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Tue, Jul

There is a finality that it has, at least on earth, on this side of heaven. A certain abruptness that hits hard, no matter how old the person is. No matter how many times it seemed like he was going, and yet survived.

To Daddy

One week after Father’s day, on Sunday morning, I lost my Dad. I got in in time to see him alive. Just in time. But it was like arriving at 11.01 for the 10.59 train. Seeing it pulling away, and standing powerlessly. Seeing all the glory of an express train, with no possibility of touching it, being on it, experiencing it.

I know enough about the defeats I have had, to understand the influence of guidance. It is a tragedy to be fatherless. It is that fatal mix of directionless existence that cements underachievement. Look at any life that has no substance, and somewhere hidden in the entrails of untouched dreams, is the lack of guidance, encouragement and vision.

In life there are journeys to be traveled so life is better for posterity. Journeys that are long and arduous. Long enough to get lost in. And it is the fathers in my life who have given direction.

On father’s day, my Dad was unwell. I am far away from home and praying. These are not good times to be ill in my country. I am sure this has been a day for him to think about his children. I have been thinking about mine. I am separated from my kids too. Along a journey that has gifted me with good fathers at every step.

She will be the toast of a few radio stations for a short time. She will recount her experiences and sometimes those who listen will rejoice with her, and some won’t. She will inspire some, and discourage some. And then she will disappear into some obscurity. Into the system of education which do not exactly produce more people like her, or schools like hers.

Shifa Amankwa-Gabbey, winner of Ghana’s 2018 National Spelling Bee contest sandwiched between Raj Thakwani and Akshaya Janikiraman, both from DPS International Ghana at Tema.

I have been thinking about Shifa this week. One lone Ghanaian voice on the international spelling stage. Counting herself among the spellers who have come together in Washington to celebrate knowledge. She did not win, but that is not the important thing. She has traveled the road that many great people have traveled before her. Now it is completely up to her, to make this count in her future.

I have read some of the comments that have been made by people after the statement by the health minister about government bearing the cost of training specialists. Some break my heart. That a country should come to the point where it wants doctors to pay for specialist training is unthinkable in the first place.

Cry Freedom

Broad Street in Philadelphia is this wide swathe of black, running through its middle. A black big motoring vein with asphalt tributaries emptying cars, and people, milling restlessly with a tenacity that hardly ever changes. The City Hall punctuates it, splitting the broad street flow with its imposing gravity defying white columns hewn out of stone. Intricate sculpted masonry from another time, that remains beautiful in these days of glass and steel. The statue of William Penn looms blackly atop the tower, keeping perpetual watch over the city of brotherly love. The city that he, and his fellow freedom dreamers birthed.

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