Friday, January 15, 2010
this picture here! Actually from my Accra Daily Photo post in February 2009. And it was taken without credit, or acknowledgement.
It would seem to me that these are the kind of lazy practices by our friends in the media that give them a bad name!
While we are on road safety, have yourself a great weekend. If you're driving, do so safely--and spare a though for the Haitians whose lives have been more than devastated this week...
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
In my humble and candid opinion, the Togolese team should never have decided to go to Angola by road! Even assuming that the sojourn through Cabinda might have been a smooth one, there was never going to be any guarantee that it would have been. When all the teams flew to Luanda, why did only one out of fifteen countries decided to go the slow route? I think we can blame Angolan security--or lack of it--till the cows come home, but bottom line is that the decision of that trip exposed not just possible security lapses by the host, but an unforgivable ignorance of the Togolese team!
Come on now! Did they not read about the country before they hopped to Angola? Did they not know it was a country that had gone through brutal civil war? Why tempt fate in any way at all? Had they read about Cabinda beforehand, they might have decided against a bus route. Given that total security is never absolute, it was paramount for the team to have been cautious about their travel.
This event reminds me of the unfortunate Black Star John Paintsil showing off an Israeli flag during World Cup in 2006. The ignorance was understandable, but ignorance in 2009 about politics of any kind is, frankly, unpardonable. And when it leads to the loss of lives, it's too tragic for words.
After hearing the cacophony of opinions throughout both foreign and local media, I have only three lessons to offer:
1. READ about any country you are travelling to, especially if it is a war-torn country so you can avoid taking certain routes
2. You might not be a fan of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, but information is online 24-7, so ignorance is not just bliss, but fatal--and unacceptable
3. large parts of Africa are at peace now, but there remain pockets of unrest--so keep yourself informed about your continent if you're an African.
Yesterday, I read news that a bomb had gone off in a European country of Greece's parliament. So would that mean that the democratic, albeit chaotic country, should be avoided like the plague?
Afghanistan and Iraq it is not.
But I also think Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma bombings in 2001 should remind us that bombs and shootings are not the exclusive preserve of the African continent.
In the year that the African Union has declared as a "Year of Peace and Security", I think the Nigerian panty bomber and the tragedy afflicting the other West African country of Togo should remind those in West Africa to get serious, through ECOWAS, on crime prevention and anti-terrorism management (through its-already worldwide-acclaimed peace and security infrastructure); and those in Africa to look within to see how they can make a difference in the promotion of peace throughout the continent.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
A couple of minutes ago, I had the priviledge of boarding a SAKUMONO-bound MASS METRO BUS. Although we have only as much as crawled a few metres through the snaking traffic, you might want to forgive me for considering it a priviledge.
You see, I arrived here some 20 minutes ago to the sight of darkness falling this side of Accra, in what would be a melee of colours and smells that contrasted wildly with the serene air-conditioning of the mall. Both cars and tro-tros would be bumper-to-bumper in a scene reminiscent of the legendary Christmas traffic that befalls the capital in December with a disturbing regularity it is not funny.
Truth be told, I did not really mind till the darkness started enveloping the capital, because I knew it was not going to bode well for the bottleneck.
And it has not.
Although the crawling of a few metres has made way for significant movement that lets us know we are going forward in a positive direction, you cannot escape the sounds of tooting horns filling the air around us. Everyone seems to want to get to their destination first, forgetting that we are all destined to undergo a degree of frustration till we get to our destination.
I am not trying to be funny here, but I cannot shake off the desire to KNOW what is causing this inexplicable bottleneck.
The historians of this country must have their work cut out, for the mysteries of the strange-yet-unresolved bottlenecks on this darned road must be sufficient to fill tomes!
___sent: e.k.bensah (OGO device)+233.268.891.841/ekbensah AT ekbensah.net
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