Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What is behind your name?

The teller looked at me suspiciously and said, "Excuse me Sir, this is not your account. It belongs to another." I calmly smiled and responded, "It's mine" -- and handed her an ID. She bashfully looked into my eyes and said sorry. I told her not to worry and that I get that all the time.
I guess you are wondering why I should undergo such embarrassment because I wanted to withdraw cash from my own account? Simple. My name Mary! Don't blink, it is M-A-R-Y.
I have therefore decided to clear the air once and for all, regarding where my name Mary comes from, and the meaning of my other names. No, it wasn't given to me by my parents during my christening.
My parents gave me the names Dominic Kofi Kafui Mawuli Kornu. These all have a reason. You see, my mum's family didn't think it was possible for her to have me safely at her age. When I was delivered and found healthy as well as my mum, I was given the names Kafui and Mawuli which literally translates to 'Praise Him' and 'God exists' respectively in the Ewe language. Dominic, meaning 'Of the Lord' was given to me by my uncle, Rev. Msgr. Anthony Kornu. Kofi as most of you know is the name given to boys born on a Friday in the Ghanaian culture. Kornu -- my family name -- was explained to me by my paternal grandmother, as doing something that is praiseworthy, something that is beneficial to others and that is cherished. It's almost like dong something famous.
So where from the Mary? Well, I took it on my confirmation day as a form of reverence and appreciation to Mary on whose feast day I was born. Crazy.
So there you have it. I know most of us have very interseting facts surrounding the origin of the names we bear. I would love to hear them.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

BlogCamp 2012 -- The Experience

Blog? Social Media? What has the Law got to do with Social Media? Oh, can I really make a living from blogs?
If these are questions you find yourself asking, then you should have been at the first-ever -- yes, you heard me -- first-ever Blogcamp event in Ghana, which took place at the AITI-KACE. The theme was Voice of a New Generation.

A Blogcamp is actually a gathering of bloggers (newbies and oldies) to discuss the world of blogs, share ideas, and find ways of using social media to impact their communities in a positive way. The event was organised by the largest association of bloggers in Ghana, BloggingGhana. Almost 400 participants 'invaded' the venue -- the burning passion and quest for knowledge was simply overwhelming.

I had awakenings, epiphanies and inspirations throughout the event.

Highlights

  • The first highlight of the event for me, was when we had the pleasure of interacting with Brett Morgan of Google via Google+ hangout, as he talked on "Making blogs graphical with HTML5" -- 'twas really cool.
  • The second was when Nana Yaw Asiedu was called upon to talk on "Social Media and the Law". I know a lot of the attendees share what I'm about to say. He was introduced as a lawyer and so the 'Ghanaian' mind expected to see an 'old' (used relatively) individual. But no, we saw this unassuming young man step up, take the mic, and 'school' us on the topic with undiluted authority. Mindblowing! I dubbed him, "The Coolest Legal mind at the event". ;-)
  • The breakout session on Photoblogging was amazingly handled by Nana Kofi Acquah.
    Mac-Jordan Degadjor's session on Social Media for Corporate bodies was engaging. I particularly love the point he momentarily turned the session into a 'mini movie theatre' by playing a video on 'What a Blog is'!
  • The main sponsor of the day, Vodafone Ghana had three raffles and gave prizes to winning participants. The prices included Android torres phones, Mi-Fis, and Web Boxes! Others also won free BloggingGhana T-Shirts -- myself inclusive. :-)
  • The biggest highlight for me was the launching of the Social Media Awards by Golda Addo.

Memorable Quotes

The day had its fair share of quotes that should be in ink:
We never really know where it'll lead us, but we have to start from a place of integrity.
~ Nana Kofi Acquah
" It's impossible to be politically correct as a blogger and be taken seriously. "
~ Nana Kofi Acquah
" You need to take a stance. It's either you are a mouse or a cat, you can't be a mat. "
~ Nana Kofi Acquah
" Truth is the best defence in defamation, but it should be truth you can prove. "
~ Nana Yaw Asiedu
" Those in most need are the ones to really exercise their democratic franchise. "
~ @kinnareads
" If for nothing at all, joining BloggingGhana allows you a lot of reach. "
~ Kajsa Hallberg Adu
" It annoys me that a lot of people are interested in poverty in Africa. "
~ Kobina Graham

It was a great event -- thanks to the organisers and the sponsors.
In the words of the in-law in a Ghanaian TV advert, I end by saying, "mE ba aha dabia abE didi"!

I know you folks have got other exciting experiences to share about the BlogCamp event. I'd love to hear them. Do leave a comment, and let's get interactive.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The CUCG -- Improved Transport

Since moving to their permanent site in August 2008, the Catholic University College of Ghana has been plagued with a number of challenges. Paramount among them (was) their access road.

A number of pleas have been made to the government and other agencies to come to the institution’s aid and help develop its access road. Thankfully due to a Cocoa Farmers’ Funding Project, the road has been given a face-lift to the joy of not just the university community, but the people of Fiapre (the locality within which the CUCG is sited). Thanks to J. Adom Company Limited – a very good and efficient construction firm based in Sunyani.

Prior to the construction, transportation was a very big issue to students. Drivers refused to ply the road because of its bad nature. Most of them complained of how the road had adverse effects on their vehicles. The school buses were also breaking down constantly. This affected academic work as some students were late for lectures.

It was really heartbreaking to see students on foot after lectures.

Thanks to the contract, transportation has improved. Now I pick a cab from town to the school’s junction, and the driver will ask, “Mi nfa mu nk) campus?” (Can I take you to the campus?). Interesting. A bit funny. There’s even a union of drivers for the CUCG campus! Yes, really.

But these drivers need education. Most of them drive carelessly because of the enhanced road. We do not want accidents on our road!

The community is grateful to the institution(s) that played (and still play) a major role in the project.
Mawu ne yra miakata. Nyame nhyira mu. W) nunts) ni y) ngwE adz) nyE. God bless you.