Business in Ghana

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Archive for February, 2015

Pardon My stupid. Critical News, 22nd February 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 22, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Death creeps in your heart, engulfs your mind and with heartrending signals, captures your senses, numbing them confusedly. In its jolting way, first news of a dead loved one, dulls the realism of life, leaving a sense of non-purpose, a linger on the mind, warding off other reality in such a way that questions of why and no reasons to why, drift to and forward through your mind even as you hear reassuring words from engaged humans, perfecting the ploy of held down grief, a forever attachment to sadness; death.

Floating memories of time together, casual, vivid images of time spent with love smiles, gestures of peace and together ideas for mutual existence, all play games.

You try to be brave, try hard to shake off the pitted sadness in your mind and in your heart, clearly losing the battle that only time can heal.

To all those who have lost close ones in recent times, I understand. I am feeling it just as much at this time and were I a praying man, I would be on my knees asking a God to take away the yoke and free me from misery. But alas. Read the rest of this entry »

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Unlearnt Lessons. Critical News, 15th February 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 15, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

I lost my cousin on Friday. Sissy died in the early hours of Friday, ravaged by diabetes and her sense of no-life.

I come from a family of five boys, my female cousins were the closest to sisters that I knew as we grew up over the years, life molding us, taking us further yet closer with every passing age and circumstance. We married, had children, educated some and agonized over most, whose fate turned left when the signposts read ahead and north.

She fought diabetes for ten years, a hard unflinching fight trundling from one hospital to the next herbal center, hoping for the miracle cure to end the mental agony of an inevitable end, an end which when it came was her own choice for death as she shut her mental will to the fight of life.

A few weeks ago as she lay in hospital, her messages to me delivered by more than a handful of family, flew past my busy schedule, me promising and never visiting.

Thursday she was discharged and once again I made the fatal decision to postpone seeing her until over the weekend. I thought she was out of danger; and for another time in my life I made the critical mistake of not listening to the small voice that guides me; rather, running my life around work and trivia.

Sissy looked after me as a boy, caring for us when parents traveled and nurturing us like a true mother and her nest of unruly cockles, a daily routine that challenged the most patient adult. And even as I grew up, she was always there for me and so too did I think I would be always there for her.

So I have not learnt any lessons at this level. I have regrets, regrets born out of thinking that my world is too important to be interrupted by life’s foibles and that the greater patriot rides paramount over the person and the heave of life’s past love.

May you rest in peace Sissy, one day, maybe one day, I will have learnt this lesson of life. Read the rest of this entry »

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Castaways of Flagstaff House. Critical News, 8th February 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 8, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

Our lives are a miserable choice from what we used to have a decade ago. We are forced to cook at least three times a week in order that we can eat everything and not have food deteriorate in the fridge. The fridge and freezer are in a complicated fight about who can raise the more stink; and my nostrils have become the more sensitive and discerning judge, trying to decipher the line between borderline spoilt and definitely off.

I will not afford a generator. At least my statements of environmental principle tell me I should not afford one. Why on this god-given earth should I, out of poverty and someone’s poor choices, burden the world with more pollutants and dissipate energy just to enjoy home comforts to, as the conspiracy theorists say, encourage more “policrats” to import an inexhaustible number of machines, only to boost noise levels in our ravaged communities?

This morning I woke to the distorted sounds of, once again a group of Christian worshippers who believe they are above the byelaws of this country as far as their right to create discordant music.

I fought a four-year battle with a previous group of five congregants until finally the executives at Ga South Municipal Assembly found it fit to ban the church over the wall beyond me. Now someone else is back and I am not sure I have the energy to write fifty-seven letters like I did the last time.

But it looks like it will be a long wait before we get round to fixing what we should have done decades ago. With Social Democrats turned capitalist crooks, it has become a race for how much can be stowed away before 2016 gets here and maybe another group captures the imagination of the voter and takes matters up another notch. Read the rest of this entry »

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Remembering Dictators. Critical News, 1st February 2015

Posted by Business in Ghana on February 1, 2015

Sydney Casely-Hayford, sydney@bizghana.com

My world futured back to the past on Legon campus over the weekend when I went to buy a book or two. My life, now consumed with large spats of power down-time, interspersed with benevolent electricity supply from VRA’s Kirk Koffie and his subordinates, I ventured to find Dr. Obed Asamoah’s book on the political history of Ghana (1950-2013), catch up on modern history and occupy my time when I cannot do any work because I am locked in a pretentious modern society, where I think I live in a civilized country but have no water and no control over noisy neighbors who fill my naturally ventilated open-window bedroom with smoke at five O’clock in the morning.

Legon bookshop killed my spirit. I swear I recognized some of the books from my days there in 1974. The layout has not changed, the categories of books are still the same and even the man who sits in the lifeguard chair, keeping an eye on potential student thieves was an aging version of the same one I knew then. He just has a glaucoma look in his eyes and if he can see anyone very well, I wonder if he can get off the high chair to arrest them.

I think the University dons must sit up. On a campus where there are many more banks per real estate kilometer than anywhere I know, you can’t even buy a book with a bankcard. Can’t even buy a CD-rom book, a tablet or even a book reader. Seems modernity overlooked them when it arrived because they had probably closed for the 2pm day on a Saturday.

I am so disappointed that our highest institution of learning just does not get it. Not even sure you can access a website of books in store. They still write prices of books in pencil and sign off. How do you still do this in a computerised world? And they had advertised they would be closed for stocktaking. In days when you stock take in real time. Bueei! Read the rest of this entry »

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