Thursday, December 24, 2009

Great Outfits for 2010

Okay, so it is only right that I start with an apology to my few - but only blog fans. I've been MIA for way to long!!! Yea, I'm deeply sorry... My graduation was in June, then I started studying for my GRE's in July, started working in September.... I'm deeply regretful and apologetic and I promise to try harder in the future.... New Year Resoultion No. 1!

I don't know about you, but I absolutely hate it when I go to my seamstress/tailor with a great fabric in hand but have absolutely no idea what to have sewn.... to help me out of this rut, I usually keep my eyes out everywhere I go - especially at weddings and church services (forgive me God!). I also do this when I am online or watching tv... when possible, I sketch down something. More recently, I have taken to starting a clothes gallery on my own. I'm an avid fan of gossip girls for instance; - not much for the story line, but for the great fashion! While watching, I take shots of great outfits and save them in my 'fashionista' folder on my laptop. I also do this with movies, etc. Here is a compilation of my favourite women's outfits for 2010. Hope you enjoy it and please let me know what you think! ;)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Customer Service in Ghana

Have you ever gotten so angry that you feel your temperature rise, you start to stammer and shake like a leaf? Well, that happened to me today. I felt like I was about to explode and perhaps make the Guinness Book of Records as the first human time bomb!

Now, this might not be a big deal to many of you; but for me, with a typical phlegmatic personality; it is a big deal! Definitely unheard of, no psychology book on character traits ever mentions the quick temper of a phlegmatic. Why? Well, because it's pretty much non existant!

So, here am I this morning at the post office in town trying to post a CD to my older brother. I purchased a padded envelope but due to its rectangular nature and my square shaped CD, it only filled about 2/3 of the envelope. In order to make the package more secure, I folded the extra third over and stuck it tight with the adhesive side of the envelope and cellotape for added security.

With my package firmly closed and addressed neatly I took it to the lady at the counter for her to process it. I cheerfully greeted her with a smile and hearty 'good afternoon' and slipped her my parcel. Without even a smile in return, the lady (who didn't  even acknowledge my greeting) looks up at me and in the rudest voice said (in Twi-local language);

'Who told you to seal the envelope like that?'

Me, very surprised replied (in English - for some reason when I am pissed I speak only English - lol) saying;

'What do you mean, sealed it like how?'.

Then she said;

'Who told you to seal the envelope with cellotape'.

At this point, I stood shocked. I just couldn't understand why she was talking to me like that. What did I ever do to her?  - I am starting to get really pissed - I spoke back in an equally rude and sarcastic voice;

'How was I supposed to know there were particular rules for the way envelopes should be sealed'.

She went off again accusing me like I was some criminal. I looked at her and said sternly:

'Okay, I didn't know - now I know, so next time I'll know how to deal with it'.

Then -and this is the killer- she looks at me and smirks;

'Now you're talking'.

Now, that last statement was the last straw. Boy oh boy, that did my head in! I snatched my parcel from her and walked away to another lady; determined that if I got similar treatment from her I would just leave. This second lady however was very pleasant. She took the envelope and kindly told me that they needed to see what was inside before sealing it, so she would have to open up. I was like;

'Oh, ok. I didn't know that'.

She then sorted everything out for me and directed me to where I needed to drop it. At that point I told her what happened with the other lady and told her to teach her decent manners. However, I wasn't satisfied. My blood was still boiling for more action. So I went back to the first lady and told her;

'Next time learn how to talk to your customers. You can go to the other lady for lessons'.

She looks at me and says;

'What's your problem, what did i say wrong?'.

I said;

'You talked to me rudely! There is no sign anywhere in this building instructing customers on how to go about sending parcels, so you need to be patient and explain the procedure to the customer, in a pleasant manner. Not shout at them like you did'.

Then, she raises her hand and dismisses me with a wave and says in Twi;

'get lost' (fio ko).

OOooohh, that did it. I looked at her raised my hand, gesturing towards her and said disgusted;

'You are a disappointment and a big shame to this establishment. It is in your best interest to take the advice I'm giving you. As a matter of fact, you should be thanking me for my frankness. The postal service system is dying and soon it will be non existant! It is in your best interest to be nice to customers, thus encouraging them to come again so that you can continue to receive a salary'.

The other pleasant lady I went to earlier then starts calling out to me to please stop. I walked to her and she was like;

'Please, it is okay. I will talk to her'.

With that, I walked out. Everyone there looking at me. Lol. ;p

What do you think of this? What ever happened to Ghanaian hospitality? Or is it because I wasn't a foreigner and so didn't qualify for it? We copy so many things blindly from 'developed countries' - bad and good. Why can't we copy their usually excellent customer service to? 

What is our problem? I have no answers, perhaps you do! Do you care to share? I would really want to know.

PS: Oh yea, by the way - I intend to go directly back to no other person but her if I ever have need to go back to the post office again. I would like to see if she has learned her lessons. If she hasn't, well; I'm surely giving her a second dose of my piece of mind. Lol

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ghanaian Music and their Lyrics

She burst out laughing. Couldn't help herself... then, she looked around at pedestraians and other drivers and passengers in other vehicles staring at her with puzzled expressions, as she waited for the traffic lights to turn to green. What made her laugh? Well, it was the music on the radio! A typical popular Ghanaian highlife track with the most absurd and shocking lyrics! 

It got me thinking, is it the sharp-nature of our local languages that makes it sound so extremely vulgar and absurd, or what? I thought and was like no, it was more than that; it should be the lack of imagination and the want of quick money fast; the newest characteristic of many young and upcoming Ghanaians, not just musical artists. We are in too much of a haste to make money with the littlest effort. That is why musicians  many a times can't be bothered to put so much work into the lyrics of their music, what's the point of a songwriter when he has the greatest beat? - he gets his awesome beat; puts a few words together, and... presto! ..... song hits ... and 'loochie' starts to roll on in!.... :)

Another idea comes to mind and I put it to you in the form of two questions,

Question 1: 'How many times have you seen Ghanaians shoot up to dance almost as soon as music starts to play - no matter the place they find themselves - be it at church, home, work, marketplace, taxi rank - where ever?'

Answer: ''All the time!''

Question 2: 'How many times do you actually hear these same people singing along with the 'right' words; especially, when it is in English or any other language outside their mother tongue?

Answer: ..... 0.00001% of the time!!.... hahaha.

So what does this mean? I believe it means that Ghanaians are born with music built in their heads, feet, hands and hearts... we live for the beat; our bodies automatically begin to bopp, our feet start a-tapping our fingers a-snapping, our heads a-nodding. Doesn't matter what we are listening to or what the lyrics are - it's just the beat that rocks us.... :)

These must be the reasons why our musicians normally don't spend much time on their lyrics.

I compiled a couple of lyrics (thanks to MUSEKE! - to common highlife/hiplife songs that have been hits over the past couple of years.

What are your thoughts on the quality of the lyrics of most Ghanaian songs and what do you think is the cause? Perhaps some of you can also help me with the translation to English.

Album Aben wo aha
Artistes Daddy Lumba
Language Twi
Runtime 5:14
Track # 1 
Writer Charles Kojo Fosu (aka. Daddy Lumba) 
Year 1999

Chorus 8x
Manya m'adedɛdɛ (Ama) - I've got my sweet thing (Ama-ladie's name)
Me ba resu a, mente o(Ama)  - When my child cries I won't hear (Ama)

Verse 1
Ɔdɔ abɔ n'ani akyerɛ me - My love has winked at me
Ɔte biribi ara ase - She understands something
Ɔsere kakra kyerɛ me - She smiles a little at me
Dada, woama ma nane - She makes me melt
Adeɛ nsɛe yɛ a - If it's not nightfall
Awoɔ ba a, adeɛ tene wɔba o - ???

Obi abɔ pono mu anadwo yi - Somebody has kncoked on the door this night
Bɔmu a, woaha me o - If you knock you have worried me (being a bother)
Wobɔm ma m'angye so a (If you knock and I don't answer)
M'ano kita adeɛ yi (my mouth is holding onto something)
Wobɔm na mɛmmie a (If you knock and I don't open)
Mesan kita adeɛ mu (my hands are holding onto something)
Wobɔmu na m'ante a (If you knock and I don't hear)
Asisi ma so o (It has blocked my ears)

Repeat Chorus 8x 

Verse 2
Awushie (6x), aben (2x) - 'awushie' means nothing, aben- it is hot ready???
Aben wɔ aha (6x) - it's on fire here
Adeɛ yi, yɛnnoa, yɛnkye - this thing we don't boil, we don't fry
Adeɛ no ara, yɛntoto a - this thing we don't roast
Adeɛ yi, yɛnnoa, yɛnkye
Ɛno ara, yɛntoto a
Odomankoma aduane a - God-given food
A yɛfrɛ no ɔdɔ yi - that is called love
Menim ne dɛ nti - I know how good it tastes
Memma ɔdɔ nkɔ mɛnyina hɔ - I won't let my love go, don't stand there?????

Wohia na anɔpa a - You need it in the morning
Ama, aben wɔ aha - Ama (ladie's name) it's on fire!
Wohia no awiaberɛ a - You need it in the afternoon
Ama, aben wɔ aha - Ama, it is on fire! 
Wohia no anwummire a - You need it in the evening
Ama, aben wɔ aha
Wohia no anadwo a - You need it in the night
Ama, aben wɔ aha 

Repeat Chorus till fade

Video URL

This song was banned off the Ghanaian market for some time, a year or so I think. Shocking ain't lyrics ain't it? How do you translate 'aben wo aha' into English so as to capture the meaning as much as possible? ANy ideas anyone, I tried, I really did! lol

Album Nana awu
Artistes Daddy Lumba (DL)
Language Twi
Runtime 6:03 
Writer Charles Kojo Fosu (aka Daddy Lumba)
Year 2008

Lalalalalala (repeat)

Ayɛ huhuuhu, (huhuuhu) huhuuhu (huhuuhu) (2x) (It has become frightening)

Hwan na ɛbɛsu nnɛ, nnɛ (2x) (Who will cry today?)
Na woasu sɛ (wiii aaa, wiii) (Who will cry like this wii aaa, wii)
Hwan na ɛbɛsu nnɛ, nnɛ (2x)
Na woasu sɛ (wiii aaa, wiii)
Obi ba rebɛsu nnɛ, (ngaa ngaa), rebɛsu nnɛ (Somebody's child will cry today, today)
Na akɔ ne ho aka sɛ (m'akoma koma) (It will get to him and he will say (my heart, my heart)????
Na woaka sɛ (m'akoma) (He will say (my heart)
Obi ba rebɛsu nnɛ, (ngaa ngaa), rebɛsu nnɛ 
Na akɔ ne ho aka sɛ (m'akoma koma, m'akoma)

Obi ba rebɛsu nnɛ, (ngaa ngaa)
Na akɔ ne ho aka sɛ (m'akoma koma, m'akoma)

Repeat Chorus 

Hwan na ɛbɛto twede kane (Who will throw the first blow?)
Hwan na ɛbɛka sɛ ɛhyɛ me bo (Who will say that it burns my chest?)
Hwan na ɛbɛka sɛ ɛhyɛ mu now,
Hwan na ɛbɛto twede kane (2x)
Hwan na ɛbɛka sɛ ɛhyɛ mu now, ɛhyɛ mu now
Gye w'ani o, (ɛhyɛ mu o) - Be happy (it pains you)
Gye w'ani o buru (o winner) - Be happy ..??? (the winner)
Gye w'ani o hey (ɛhye mu o, ɛhyɛ mu o, ɛhyɛ mu o) - Be happy (it pains you)
Gye w'ani o, (ɛhyɛ mu o) - Be happy (it pains you)
Gye w'ani o buru (na winner) - Be happy (the winner)
Gye w'ani o hey (ɛhyɛ mu o, ɛhyɛ mu o, ɛhyɛ mu o) - Be happy

Ebi bɛkɔ, (ebi bɛka), ebi bɛsu, (ebi bɛsre) - Some will go (some will stay) Some will cry (some will laugh)
Ɛte sa ei, (sa ei, sa ei, sa ei) (This is how it is)

Obi ba rebɛwu o, bɛwu o (Somebody's child is going to die, to die
Na yɛsie no, na yɛsie no, akɔ ayie o (we will bury him and go to funeral)
Obi ba rebɛwu o (bɛwu o), ɔrebɛwu o
Na yɛsie no, na yɛsie no
Fine boy - fine boy
Ɔde awerɛhoɔ akɔda, ɔde awereho akɔda (fine boy) (2x) - he has taken saddness to sleep (fine boy)
Fine boy, ɔde awerehoɔ akoda (fine boy)

Lalalalalala (repeat)

Ebinom rebɛwe nsa, de agye yɛn ani a na yɛde asa, na yɛayɛ saa (some will drink and get happy and dance)
Nkrofoɔ dan mu, ɛnnɛ, ɛnnɛ (in people's houses today today)
Bewɛ nsa, na yɛanom nsa, de agye yɛn ani a, na ayɛ saa
Nkrofoɔ dan mu, ɛnnɛ, ɛnnɛ

Sɛ ɛnka atutu tu a, (ɛnka awiase bɛgye bum bum) - if gunshots had flown (then the world will sound boom!)
Ɛnka atutu tu a, (ɛnka awiase bɛgye bum bum) (4x)
Ɛnka atutu tu o, (ɛnka awiase bɛgye bum bum) (2x)
Bum bum bum bum bum (ɛnka awiase bɛgye bum bum)
Sɛ ɛnka atutu tu a, (ɛnka awiase bɛgye bum bum)

Ɔde awerɛhoɔ akɔda, ɔde awereho akɔda (fine boy) (2x) 

Fine boy, ɔde awerehoɔ akoda (fine boy)

Repeat Chorus

Repeat Chorus till fade

Video URL

This song was made my the artist during the last presidential run-off when the political atmosphere was so tense between the two main opposition parties. A lot of Ghanians were scared as to whether their party would win and whether power would be taken away from the current ruling party - NPP. They were also afraid for civil wars to break lose as there had been a few restricitons and a lot of rumours. 

Album Eye fe kekeArtistes Slim Busterr, Tic Tac
Language Twi/Fante
Runtime 4:23
Video URL 
Writer Ebenezer Asare
Year 2000

Woyɛ me lady, lady - You are my lady, lady
Ɛnyɛ easy, easy - it's not easy, easy
Mede no bɛko me baby, baby - i will take her to my baby baby
Woyɛ me lady, lady
Ɛnyɛ easy, easy
Mede no bɛko me baby, baby
Slim, drop the track
Wodiggi, me nso me diggi, yɛn nyinaa yɛ diggidiggi  - 
Tic Tac, Slim Busterr, we drop the track (2x)

Masan aba o (2x) - I have come again
Mayɛ wo bɔne ntsi, fakyɛ me o (2x) - Forgive me for I have done you wrong
Ɔdɔ e, masan aba o, masan aba o - My love, I am back, I am back
Mayɛ wo bɔne ntsi, ntsi na mese, fakyɛ me o (2x)

Sophia e, masan aba o - Sophia, I am back
Masan aba o, masan aba - I am back, I am back
Mayɛ wo bɔne ntsi, ntsi na mese, fakyɛ me o (2x) - I have wronged you so forgive me
Masan aba o (2x)
Mayɛ wo bɔne ntsi, ntsi na mese, fakyɛ me o (2x)
Menim dɛ, mayɛ wo bɔne ntsi - I know that I have wronged you, so forgive me
Ntsi na mese, fakyɛ me o

Verse 1
Honey, baby
Nneɛma nketenkete yi a, ɛdze yɛ me no o - it is the little things that you do to me
Ɔno ntsi na woama masan aba yi - Because of those  things that I am back
Madwen ho a, mɛhunu dɛ - I've thought about it, I've seen good things
Dze a, medzeyɛɛ wo yi, Sophia e, ɔnyɛ koraa - What I'm doing to you, Sophia, it is no good
Ɔno ntsi na (2x) - That is why
Woama, Sophia e, masan aba yi - You have let me come back Sophia
Woama, Sophia e, merepa wo kyɛw yi - You have let me come back to beg forgiveness
Na nipadasani nso, ɔnhu adze papa ara da - Humans never see good things when they come their way
Ansaa na yɛbɛhu no, gye dɛ woasɛe koraa - By the time we realise it, it is too late
Sophia e

Repeat Chorus

Verse 2
Tic Tac
Excuse me, mose ɛyɛ dɛn a
So be digging Slim, so digger
Menkɔte adɛn a, ɛyɛ ampaara
Tatatataa, mereba abɛtua me paa
Pɔpipɔpi, moba na meyada
Mahyɛ da, m'ani abre paa
Bra ha sɛ yɛfrɛ wo a, sa bi paa
Gyamera Papa Ibrahim nyɛ ɔmo papa
Na mayɛ a, it's on top, check it out
Sɛ woate a, Sweetie lady sa bi, yɛ me baby
Mongyae mo ntoatoa
Ono ankasa na me ne no bɛkɔ
Ɛnnɛ mɛkɔ, mɛkɔ

Montsie (2x)
Friday night, na ɔtse dɛn ɛ, na ɔye
Monday night nso na ɔtse dɛn ɛ, na ɔye
Ɛneda anwumire na ɔtse dɛn ɛ, na ɔye
Woyɛ tough a, woyɛ beggar
Woyɛ tough a, meyɛ fire

Repeat Chorus till fade

This is a little difficult to translate because it is all in Fante which although similar to Twi (my language) has some significant differences at times. You should see the clip to this one though... it's something else. This guy, artist, Slim Buster has one of the most flexible bodie's ever and he started out on the music scene as dance champion so his clip is all about the beat and the moves.

Any other funny and silly songs anyone knows about and wants to put up?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Infidelity.... Generic to the XY Chromosome?

On Larry King Live about two weeks ago, there was an ongoing discussion about the mysterious 4-day disappearance ( and subsequent press conference of Mark Sanford, the US governor of South Carolina. Turns out he went on a, should I say; 'romantic rendezvous' with a new found lover in Argentina. At a press conference upon his return, he confessed to having had an affair and claimed that he was sorry for having disappointed so many people especially his family and friends. Governor Mark Sanford, a highly respected, promising politician with many political ambitions. It has been said that prior to this, he was in the running for the Republican seat as the possible next contender to take on Barack Obama in 2012. The question is, why would he ever think of committing infidelity? Especially at a time like this when so much repect is given him and expected of him? Why would he want to jeopardise it all? I mean, the importance of remaining in the good books of the people at this point in his career cannot be overemphasised. So why?

Well, Mark Sanford is not the first and definitely not the last American politician to committ adultery. Over the years there have been so many reports of cheating politicians (congressmen, senators, governors, presidents, you name it!) in the States that have been caught up in some issue of infidelity or the other. There was the famous Clinton/Lewinsky scandal from a couple of years back, then; John Edwards the ex. North Carolina Senator, the former governor and attorney general of New York State, Eliot Spitzer, John McCain, and the list is endless. Is it as a result of the stresses and pressures of being a government official that lead them to this?

Unfortunately (or not) it's not only Americans politicians that are struggling to keep their pants on. There have been numerous claims of infidelity amongst politicians right here in Ghana. Here however, such cases more often than not remain an 'open secret'. Although it is seen on the regular, no one ever wants to talk about it publicly. Possibly, out of the excessive fear experienced in our society of the 'powers that be' - very much unlike what happens in U S of A (don't you just love America! lol). The unlucky few like the Hon. Richard Anane's however have had to face much public disgrace. He had his dirty linen washed in public back in the day. I have personally heard stories from friends who either were directly involved or had friends who were having affairs with some politician or the other. Many of these famous politicians are regularly spotted on the campuses of our universities, - no, not only on official duty or at official hours, but at the oddest hours and in the oddest places! There was one case where a friend's roommate was alleged to be having an affair with one such very popular minister of state. My friend told me how this Minister would come over regularly to their tiny campus room and would be seen sitting on her roommates bed drinking ' voltic mineral water' from a sachet, very comfortable and unconcerned. He would then leave with her shortly after, sometimes dropping her off late at night or the following morning. So maybe it is a thing with all politicians, irrespective of their nationalities?

No again dear reader! I have personally known many people in my immediate circles who have been victims to this menace. 'The high and mighty' in society as I like to call them; yea, the highly respected, often pot-bellied men with respectable positions and well-paid jobs in society, some very easily old enough to be the father's of their 'victims' driving most times the most fashionable cars in town; MD's of reputable banks and other institutions, lawyers, doctor's, lecturers and professors, rich business men, and the list continues. I've personally had experiences of my own in fact; several sexual advances made at me by such unruly men. What makes it most shocking is the fact that these days they no longer hide their wedding bands!! They proudly sport them and even openly talk about their wives, some even having the nerve to claim that they are 'happily married'.

Yes infact, infidelity amongst married men has become so rampant in the Ghanaian society these days. It is rather sad and unbelievable. One of our favourite lecturers ever mentioned in class that husbands cheating on wives is purely generic to the male species and therefore inevitable. He urged that wives should not waste their time hurting about being cheated; but rather, use that time to pray that their husbands continue to provide for them and their families and that they would have the decency to 'go at it' with a condom, so as not to infect them with any kind of disease.

Then there was the case of a very popular and respected professor on campus who was spotted on the regular paying visits to a particular girl in a hostel back on campus. His car would often be spotted parked right outside the hostel at the ungodliest of hours. Sometimes, he would be seen dropping her off; or picking her up late at night or at the crack of the dawn. They did make the strangest of couples those two, the man being smallish and petite while the girl was a giant of a woman, tall and very large. It was quite amusing really.

So, it looks like it is the fixing of social status and feel of personal success and the need for a further boost of ego that pushes elderly, respectable men to so as to say 'spread their wild oats'.

I ever had a discussion with friends (males and females) on this topic, we were trying to put a reason to why men so often cheat more than women. We concluded that womanising is a necessary stage of a man's life. Men were not created to be naturaly monogamous beings. We agreed that that the crazy lecherous pursuit of women however was a stage in their lives and normally would happen at some point in any normal man's life. Some men in their teenage or university years were popular amongst the females as a result of their being handsome and/or athletes or sons of rich men who wore the nicest clothes and as such were exposed to that stage of life earlier. Other, unlucky ones -so to speak - were probably unpopular because they were shy or had none of the added pluses the afore mentioned had . They only start to gain the attention of women once they start climbing the ladder of social status with a fancy car, job, expensive suits and whatnot. At this point, the new attention is overwhelming and they are unable to handle it. Some other men however, were always part of the 'lucky' and always have had that attention. These either remain womanisers for ever, or they learn their lessons somewhere along the line and settle down.

Women cheat to. But however, I dare say women are a lot more discrete with it,
in Ghana at least. Mostly, women who cheat do it only because there is something wrong in their relationships. Not a justification though ofcourse. Ghaniaan women are probably most discrete because of the way society treats a cheating wife. It is the biggest and worst of taboos; traditionally in small towns and villages, such women if caught are banished from their villages and ostracized. However, a cheating husband in the same society is considered as being normal - and infact, not cheating at all; just a normal, matter of cause.

Talking about the exceptions - bashful unashamed cheating women, many stories have been told of women in power who go around clubs picking up 'young boys'. Some don't even waste time to go into the clubs, they just pick up from their immediate environs; subordinates at work, garden boys and even watch men.

So perhaps, it is just the high social standing in society that is the cause. The money, the fame, the ego-boosters and perhaps even the sex of the individual is pretty much irrelevant.

I don't know how many of you have watched this reality TV program called 'Cheaters' on DSTV. Cheaters is about this company being run to find out cheating partners. They have a team of private investigators that specialize in detecting infidelity. They work 24/7 to investigate on the possibility of cheating partners- both male and female. They are hired by doubting and suspecting spouses to investigate and show proof of a cheating spouse. Once proof has been produced, cheaters crew create an avenue for the complainant to catch the cheater red-handed and for an often much-relished confrontation between the two; 'cheater and the cheated' infront of camera men. You can only imagine the kind of things that go on. I wish there would be a Cheater's program designed for Ghana. Oh, in fact I don't think the program would survive on our airwaves for even a week....

So why do men cheat? Is it an inherent trait generic to the XY chromosome of men? Or a trait generic to both XY and XX chromosomes? Is it the need for an ego-booster? or pathetic means to hold on to youth? Is it out of boredom? Or is just out of immense curiosity? Is it the fault of their women who do not treat them right thus indirectly pushing them to go look for what they are not getting at home outside?

The controvery and mysters surrounding this topic remains and continues... let me know your opinion!

Friday, June 26, 2009

"The Moonwalking Maestro..." (1958-2009)

I had a phone call from one of my best friends just after 10pm yesterday (25th June) and as soon as I picked up she was like, 'have you heard that Michael Jackson is dead?' I was like 'what, you've got to be joking. Are you serious?' and she was like 'yeah, I'm watching it on CNN right now'. With that, I hurried to end the conversation and ran to the tv. I tuned into CNN and was immediately met with the headline: 'MICHAEL JACKSON IN COMA AFTER SUFFERING CARDIAC ARREST'. I switched to BBC and there it read: 'MICHAEL JACKSON DIES'. With that, silent tears started streaming down my face. I felt so sad. I then woke up my folks and they were just as shocked and surprised as I was.

Michael Jackson died at 2.26pm LA time at the UCLA Medical Center shortly after going into a coma subsequent to suffering cardiac arrest. The exact cause of death is yet to be established later today.

I've always felt sorry for him. I always saw him to be a victim of circumstance. I mean, who could possibly be, for lack of a better word 'normal'   after having dealt with divorce of his parents, an abusive father who picked mostly on him, a childhood spent constantly on stage, court issues later on, constant crazy fame which made him more and more reclusive, etc. Sure, he was rather 'queer' sometimes, but who wouldn't be after having to deal with such unfortunate issues? 

Supposed molestation, plastic surgeries, his claims of 'sharing love' by sharing his bed with kids, building a childhood fantasy land (Never Land)  in his home, bizzare first wedding to Lisa Marie Presley in 1994 where they spent wedding night in separate rooms, as weird as it may seem I  believe these were just many ways that he felt he could deal with his issues. Somehow I believe that is some cases they were just pathetic attempts to gain back a lost childhood. He was not a happy man. A very good friend of his, Uri Geller interviewed by the BBC this morning said that M.J. ever described himself as "a very lonely man". 'There was a lot of sadness in my past life', he again revealed in one interview by CBS.

We made him and unmade him. Unmade him by always picking on him. Why couldn't we have just respected his privacy and instead of ridiculing him, helping him to really find himself. He had the most bizzare of lives, never 'normal' because no one would ever leave him alone! He had it all, fame, fortune, but not the most important; happiness. How many more famous people are we going to 'kill' like this? We already did that to Princess Diana of blessed memory.

My earliest memories of him was of me and my brothers watching a video of him doing the moonwalk. We would rewind it constantly and replay it in slow motion, making miserable attempts to learn it for ourselves. We had loads of videos and tapes of his. Thriller was definitely a family favourite. 

He had an upcoming final 'This is It' concert at the O2 Arena in London this upcoming July. He was to do 50 shows in all. Tickets were claimed to have sold out in a matter of 5 hours, a ticket being sold every 11 seconds!! Amazing!

He is the undisputed King of Pop and will remain for ever. I don't think anyone will ever be able to beat his records of 13 grammies, 100million copies of thriller (biggest seller of all time), 13 no. one hits in his lifetime!! Someone like this should have lived longer, 50 years was not enough! But then again, when you think of it, perhaps it is better for him. He can finally have his piece of mind.

Michael, you came, you fought, you conquered. Definitely, you will find better happiness and peace in death, than in life.

What were your fondest memories of the Pop Legend?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Judge Not...

I've been looking for inspiration for my next blog entry, ever since my last (and first). I'd almost given up and started getting this sinking feeling that perhaps starting this blog without any clear focus or goal in mind probably wasn't as good an idea as I'd previously thought. I felt like maybe Kaleidoscope wouldn't survive and would die a death of starvation. Then thankfully, I chanced upon a poem on a friend's (Prince Adu-Poku)  facebook page. He'd named it 'Judge Not'. A little research on the world wide web produced the author, one Rama Muthukrishnan.  

Here it is,

Pray Don't Find Fault 

Pray don't find fault with the man who limps
or stumbles along the road, 
unless you have worn the shoes he wears
or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt, 
though hidden away from view, 
or the burden he bears, placed on your back
might cause you to stumble too. 
Don't sneer at the man who's down today
unless you have felt the blow
that caused his fall or felt the shame
that only the fallen know.
You may be strong, but still the blows
that were his if dealt to you, 
in the selfsame way, at the selfsame time, 
might cause you to stagger too. 
Don't be too harsh with the man who sins
or pelt him with word or stone, 
unless you are sure, yea, doubly sure, 
that you have no sins of your own
for you know perhaps if the tempter's voice
should whisper as softly to you
as it did to him when he went astray, 
it might cause you to stumble too. 

- Rama Muthukrishnan -

How many times have we heard or read stories and expressed our utter shock and disgust? We wonder, 'how could anyone in their right mind ever perform such a hideous act!?', many atimes we (well, at least I know I do) just conclude that the person was probably just that - not of right mind. We think they are merely weak, horny, lustful perverts with abnormal sex drives, bored individuals who have nothing better to do with their time,  evil persons possessed by some kind of dastardly evil spirit, selfish, sourpusses, or paronoid individuals who think only about themselves. At times we think that something must have gone wrong seriously wrong in the lives of these people, perhaps in their childhood as they were being brought up.

Within the last four years or so, I have really come to understand the importance of not judging other people. My very own experiences and temptations have been the cause for that. Over the years, I have had to come face to face with and had to struggle through various unpleasant situations, experiences and temptations. Sometimes, I found myself struggling and failing; doing the exact same things that I had frowned upon and judged greatly just some few years earlier. I would sit back and think that I had had the best of upbringings. I went to the best of schools, was well disciplined and always well behaved with conservative and morally upright parents and yet still here was I finding myself failing when faced with situations. Yes, at this point I came to the unbelievable truth. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from; one can easily find oneself performing such should i say 'socially unacceptable behaviour' (SUB).

It doesn't matter the situation. It may be acts of murder, theft, rape, pregnancy and childbirth out of wedlock, sex tapes, starring in porn movies, homosexuality, kinky sex, alcoholism, examination malpractices, drug peddling, addictions of all kinds, spouses living with abusive partners, etc. No matter what, I believe that we are all capable of performing SUB and even worse if we had to face the same circumstances. It doesn't matter how religious or morally-upright you may think you are. Anyone can do these things if only they are exposed to the same circumstances and struggles.

Don't get me wrong though. Some of the poeple who do these things really have no excuse, they are just mentally disturbed, lustful, bored, spirit-possessed just plain sick and evil people with no conscience. What I am trying to put across is that, it is wrong for us to put a label on everyone who is found behaving socially unacceptably. Some of them are just victims of circumstance. It is wrong for us to judge our fellow man, especially when we don't know the full story. What we hear in the form of gossip, rumours, stories on the news or in newspapers is not enough to understand a person's real reason for SUB. Let's desist from all forms of gossip and judging others because most of the times we don't know the full story, and it could have easily been us! Instead of raining judgement, gossiping and/or shunning their company, let's learn to be there for them; make an effort to understand them and encourage them. Let's stop being so narrow-minded and open ourselves to new things, ways of living, build our store of knowledge about life, other people and the world around us. Let's get out of the box. You never know when next you will be saving someone from a grave situation and making someone's life just that little bit more bearable!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beautiful places I've been...

I really don't have much of a plan for Kaleidoscope, as of yet... that is, as to what my blog is going to be all about! I just know that I have been wanting to have my own blog for a couple of months now. Why? Because, I love to write. Or let me put it this way rather, I used to lovvve writing! But then, Senior High School happened to me! And despite my interests in the arts I became a pure science student and since then I never seemed to have any more time to write or read for that matter.

When I was younger though, I remember spening hours on our home pc (Gateway 2000 , or is it 3000; ????hmmm. ???)  typing out my own fictional stories. I used to win a lot of literary competitions back in those days. I also started writing my first diary when I was in Grade 6. It was a day-to-day one that I still have to this day. It cracks me up now when I read the kind of things that meant so much to me back then.... crushes on boys and men! (Will Smith, my teacher, etc.), insecurities about my lack of 'feminine features' (yea, I was a late bloomer!), secrets about friends of mine, dreams... funny thing is, I kept up a consistent diary through the years; all the way through to my first year of Senior High School (Grade 10). However, I couldn't keep writing it on a regular basis as I would have liked to. I was in an all-girls boarding school you see. So, writing in my diary became rather sporadic until somewhere in Senior High School year three when I gave up all together. Now, well I wouldn't dare keep a diary; no, not because I don't have the time... but,  the thought of keeping a trail of the kind of crazy and random things I have gotten up to within the last couple years of my life scares the hell out of me! lol.  I always say that, very few people know me for who I really am.  Most people -unknown to them- only scratch the surface.

Anyway, I seem to have digressed.... Basically, what I am saying is that with this blog here I am just trusting that it will build itself as time goes on. I don't have a laid out plan; I will just take it a day at a time.  With time maybe it'll have more of a focus; but presently, all I know is that it will just be a wide array of random things that mean something to me. Sort of a way of expressing myself in many ways than one!

I am open to ideas if anyone has any for me! But I do hope against all hopes that at least, my blog "Kaleidoscope" will interest someone out there....

Cheers... ;)