Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blogging in Ghana: the Paradox of the Returnee --( 1)

Blogging, generally, is like a candle in the wind: it waxes and wanes in the most unexpected manner, and like the sea, it ebbs and flows in quality and consistency.

Blogigng is also rather solipsistic in the sense that it represents a microcosm of one's personal world, and is refracted through the lens of the gargantuan blogosphere.

When you find yourself at a milestone--like I have done--it can be embarassingly self-centred. My last post gave a teaser for where I'm coming from, so bear with me for a while.

It is now no secret that my formative years were spent outside my home country of Ghana. SUffice-to-say, coming back home with the family was a blessing as we all arrived safely, even if the folks came a month after I did, and our dog a few weeks before them.

Back home, I felt the only way I could track my life--not that it was a necessity, but a desire--was through blogging. It seemed to be the best way of seeing how far I have grown--or not--and evolved. Since February 2005, when I started this blog, I think I have managed to do the tracking, though not in the way I would have wanted. Still, over 250 posts is no mean feat!

To kind of celebrate five years to the day since I took the picture in the inset (that sees me taking the picture in the Accra-bound KLM plane toilet), I am going to try and pick some of what I consider my "best" entries during the five years I have been back home after toching down from Schiphol on 31 July, 2004.

1. I have travelled to Tunis for a work-sponsored/UN-sponsored trip. It would pave the way for my plunge into matters of the information society:

"As I arrived into the town centre (rue de Marseillaise) near the Hotel Oscar, you could have sworn you were approaching Paris. I swear, man.

This is a gorgeous city. It certainly is not reminiscent of Africa, which in many ways is a shame. What happened to the dusty roads?

The security detail (men taking turns in the lobby and outside with their inimitable earpiece) treats you like royalty and you are sure that you will come to no harm."

2. I witessed the eclipse in Ghana in 2006, video-captured it from television, and blogged about it:

Sporting the special eclipse shades, which many believed not to be that special, most of us wanted to witness the phenomenal experience of seeing outside get dark between 8.30 anad 9.30am in the morning...

As the time of the eclipse grew closer and closer, jubilation was written over ALL our faces. THIS is what living is all about, no? After all, the statistics indicate that few people (around 1/10) ever get to witness an eclipse. So to have witnessed an eclipse a second time (the first being in Belgium in the late nineties--11 August, 1999) is a blessing of epic proportions;-)

3. I commented extensively on the World Cupthat was held in Germany:

The commentators suggested they gave Brazilians a run for their money. At times, Ghana managed to penetrate – and dominate – the Brazilian defence, albeit wastefully. But that’s okay.

Had it been any other team other than my own, I would have rooted for Brazil. But that’s okay, too.

Despite the unnecessary chutzpah of non-pundits like myself of the game over a possible win against Brazil, I think deep down, most believed it would be tough facing a team that not only played a bit like us, but possessed a more skilful technique, associated with an unrivalled experience.

In my final analysis, I reckon the failure of Ghana in beating the Brazilians, whilst that prospect was a non-starter for many observers, was a good wake-up call to a creeping complacency that surrounds any debutante of a global game like the World Cup that advances to the degree the Black Stars advanced.

Failure reminds us that success is a process, and the process, by way of the African Cup of Nations, which Ghana will host in 2008, may just be what the country needs to remind itself that our debutante performance could be a lot, lot better.

Not to burden you too much, my next entry will bring you more of some of the entries about life in Ghana that might have eluded you.
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