Where Were You When Gas Exploded?

Last Saturday 7th October 2017 was a display of tragic fireworks that made Ghana wish Superman came to our aid. Alas, Superman is only fictional and even if he wasn’t, the chaos and crime in the world that day may have prevented him from being a hero to Ghanaians. (Black Panther who is near by may be a better option). 
As the explosion occurred I was at another explosion less disastrous occurring in the East Airport vicinity.
A baby shower was happening for my sister and two teams of family and friends were exploding with answers and at each others throats trying to win points for the coveted honor of wearing a baby shower medal.
It was during the shower that we heard news of the explosion. Thanks to our smart devices, social media and the internet, all were abreast with the current situation and quickly checked in on their loved ones to ensure all was well.
That however did not stop us from engaging in our baby shower games which by far was the best I have been to. I have to credit my little sister and friend for putting this together. They did a marvelous job.
Its however interesting that on a night set to celebrate the coming of a child, an explosion occurs that took away life and more. A debit and credit of life was occurring and I just happened to be on the life side of things at a baby shower designing a onesie and writing inspirational messages on diapers.

I designed one of these
Hondred Percent’s Onesie design
 
Here is a little poem I wrote about Saturdays event titled “When the gas exploded”


When the gas exploded 
When the gas exploded
A fire was born
She fed on fuel and shone soo bright 
She turned night to day
But caused dismay
Hurting whoever came her way


When the gas exploded 
Eyes grew wide
Some stayed still 
Some run for their lives
Some overreacted, others too slow
Some confused as to where the fire may go


When the gas exploded
Chaos was born 
A twin of the fire but filled with scorn 
She burped stampede and farted a confusion spree
This was a baby without manners indeed


When the gas exploded
Babies were born
Their light shone brighter than fire and chaos’s scorn
Their cry was gentle, their laugh was sweet
They provide hope as fire and chaos sleep


Where were you when the gas exploded?
Keep it One Hondred!

October Fire Thoughts 

Accidents are interesting events. They seem to always occur unexpectedly. In some cases however, you can tell that one is bound to happen. Those who truly understand the risks get out of the danger zone. Others unaware of the risks or optimistic about the outcome face the same road.
Throughout 2017 I have listened time and time again to natural and unnatural accidents that have occurred throughout the world. From hurricanes, mass shootings, bombing and burning buildings; I always pray that such events never come to Ghana. I thank God that we have not experienced the above mentioned catastrophes. Unfortunately it seems that as a nation we are prone to gas or fuel related accidents.
From the flood Goil station incident around Circle in 2015 and the LPG blow out around Trade Fair in 2016; we seem to be running an unfortunate streak of having a gas or fuel related blowout once a year and last Saturday marked 2017’s entry.
Last Saturday 7th October 2017, there was a gas explosion at the atomic junction near Madina, Accra, Ghana.
I don’t have the facts on what caused or occurred during the fire. I have not even bothered to watch a video or dwell for a second on the pictures that are being circulated. Peoples reactions are enough for me to understand the gravity of what happened last Saturday. 
Despite the lack of information there is one thing I do know. Like all the other disasters that have happened in the past, we will survive this October disaster. We may loose some loved ones and many peoples lives will be changed forever by the fire but we should look towards the future.
I can’t comment on what should or shouldn’t have happened with regards to security measures to minimize damage as I don’t have information on what truly happened that evening. There however has to be some action taking place as this has become an annual disaster.
To the families of victims of this sad event my prayers go out to you. To those in hospital my prayers go out to your strength, doctors, nurses and families. 
The fire is an indication of how important life is and my question to all is whether when the time comes for us to part this earth we know where we going?
Keep it One HONDRED!

How I Celebrated My Birthday

So last Wednesday I celebrated my birthday and as I write this I realize its been about a year since I launched the hondredpercent.com website. A lot has happened since September 2016. My writing has increased, I released an album, I experienced fatherhood, my beard grew, I fell in love with green tea etc.
When I was younger birthdays felt like a giant spotlight was on you for the whole day. I woke up to my mother’s love. The living room was decorated with birthday stuff to make me feel special. I got a card and always wanted a badge to showcase my age. There was special breakfast, lunch, supper, a cake, a song, presents and a whole lot of other interesting things scheduled for the day.This year though I toned the expectation of the giant spotlight. I didn’t wake up to all that I was used to when I was younger. I woke up to my phone buzzing, my picture as the display picture which is still up on my school whatsapp group page and my active son who has no idea that it’s my birthday demanding his father’s attention.
The day was like any other day with my phone buzzing a lot with birthday messages and me saying thank you. In the future though I need to get a personal assistant to aid in replying to birthday messages.
I had interesting gifts too. I had a beautiful smile as a gift from a friend whose smile truly lights up my day; a digital portrait of me from a high school friend and a kiss on the head from my son. 
The best gift of all was from the Lord. I was given an opportunity to witness that beautiful day and all it had to offer. I take it for granted sometimes but on my birthday I realized that God has been by my side all this while and still continues to believe in me. That’s amazing!
Earlier that day as I drove around town, I heard on BBC that some people suffer from prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness. Apparently there is a part of our brain responsible solely for remembering peoples faces and some people suffer from not being able to remember who people are a few minutes after they leave their sight and return. In worse cases they can’t even recognize themselves in a mirror.
I was in awe of the magnificence of the architecture of what lay in my skull and made me appreciate the gift of life given to me by the Lord.
It was a beautiful day not with the bells and whistles I was used to but a day that made me reflect and treasure the important things in life.
God and love.
Keep it One HONDRED!

A Review of "The Comeback"

Our elders have a saying:
“Dont call a spade a spoon if it is used in feeding cattle”
This is exemplary of the humorous wisdom rendered by Jojo, Uncle Ebo Whyte’s main character in his latest play titled “The Comeback” which I had the opportunity to preview last Wednesday 30th August, 2017.
“The Comeback” is a play about a successful uneducated Ghanaian Italian league soccer player, Jojo, who returns home to realize that his investments have been squandered by his brother.
My first Ebo Whyte in 2015 left me unimpressed. The script lacked depth, had an overuse of singing and jokes that in my opinion often fell flat.
Despite my past sentiments on Uncle Ebo Whyte’s work, I went in to watch this play in the hope that my issues from the past will have been rectified. 
Alas, my past issues were still visible. I often found myself sighing whenever there was a performance involving song. To be fair, the songs were much shorter but still rubbed me the wrong way.
Overuse of Singing
The problem with singing or use of song within plays boils down to choice. Many of the songs used within the play were unnecessary and added no value to the message or context.
One excellent use of song within the play was the use of Ghanaian rapper EL’s song “Kaalu” in a scene where coach arrived in the nick of time to prevent Jojo from assassinating his brother. 
It was perfectly placed to deliver laughter. I laughed effortlessly and was impressed with the idea. If all songs were placed in a similar manner I would be singing a different tune about Uncle Ebo Whyte’s plays today.
Characters

The choice of the characters in this play was a perfect recipe for humor. Coach for instance was my favorite character. He is a professional coach who enjoys life, likes to have a good time and calls a spade a spade as is evident in his commentary of issues at the family table.
Jojo’s mother, brother and Uncle were also great characters. The characters with the exception of Jojo were developed well.
I had issues with Jojos character. Jojo was the main character of the play. The acting was spot on but certain aspects of his character did not contribute to the success of the production.
Jojo’s illiteracy and wisdom

Often within the play, Jojo will blurt out some wisdom attributed to his elders. This happened so often that I looked forward to his so called words of wisdom. 
The problem was that majority of these quotes were either not funny, made no sense nor contributed to the discussion within the play at the time. 
More thought should have gone into these quotes to have made the play a hit. I feel each time Jojo made reference to his elders was an opportunity to make the audience laugh and this opportunity was not utilized efficiently.
Jojo as mentioned earlier appears to be uneducated. Thus, his speech is wired with bad grammar. This provided the audience with a lot of humor and was a bit excessive. In the same vein as the quotes, his lines could have been scripted better. 
A great example of this is in the early scenes of the play where we see Jojo return from his travels and realizes that his investments have been squandered. 
“wait, wait, wait….halftime, halftime”
These were Jojos words. The use of soccer jargon to express himself was effective in delivering a joke as well as expressing his frustration.
As a soccer player I felt such jargon should have been used more in his conversation to showcase his dependency and passion for on soccer as a livelihood.
That Weird Dance Scene
Now I am not sure what the idea of Agnes, the daughter of Coach and her fiance dance arguing was about. 
I always look out for something unexpected or surprising but this was beyond anything I my mind could create and till date I am not sure how to feel about it.
It was weird, confusing and hilarious. I laughed so hard that I believe the cameras took a shot of my laughter; and as I laughed I kept looking for something to justify this weirdness and came up empty handed. 
Now that scene could have worked if Agnes for instance was introduced earlier as a dance enthusiast and her fiance and her have been seen practicing a wedding dance of sorts. 
The dance however was a distraction from the main plot and totally unnecessary.
Stage Screen
Before concluding I want to comment on the screens used on stage as backgrounds.
I liked the idea of screens being used as backgrounds. The opportunity and convenience it presents allows a variety of scenes to be crafted. 
My favorite background was the gym background. The visuals created the ambience of a gym. Though I kept wondering what a dining table was doing within a gym premises.
The household of Jojos mother however had a background that looked animated than realistic. Which I thought wasn’t good enough. 
Also there was tv screen within the background in loop showcasing a channel that I felt was distracting and again, unnecessary as it failed to contribute to the story. 
If that was an attempt at product placement it should be reviewed for future productions.
Conclusion 
This play was far better than the one I watched some years back. Though I haven’t elaborated on all my issues with “The Comeback”, the play shows that the production house of Uncel Ebo Whyte is improving. 
Generally people loved the play and found it humorous. Uncle Ebo definitely understands what Ghanaians find funny. It just needs polishing to appeal not only to Ghanaians but others nationals as well as that can see his work being adapted in other countries.
Then again, a production house looking at producing a play every quarter will be faced with many challenges and for that I say the play went well despite my issues with it.
That however, should not be the case. The plays must strive for a good rating at all times and if that means making changes to time or staff that help in the content then it must be done to ensure that quality is maintained.
Bear in mind that going to the cinema is way less than watching an Ebo Whyte play. So for me quality should not be compromised as other entertainment options are available.
This play gives me hope for future productions and I look forward to the growth of the production house. 
Keep it One Hondred!

What Other Festivals Can Learn From Chale Wote

So last weekend was the Chale Wote Festival and as usual High Street saw floods of people parading through James Town to take selfies, express themselves, enjoy the art and entertainment artists had to offer and have a jolly good time. If there is anything that the Chale Wote festival teaches us, it is that Art is powerful social magnet. 
I remember when the Chale Wote in 2011 started. I didn’t attend that year but the streets weren’t packed with people like I saw last weekend. It was the beginning of something great and like a baby, Chale Wote festival was just getting used to its feet.
Year after year the scale of the festival has just grown to become in my opinion the biggest festival in Ghana. Strangely enough other festivals and events, paid or free that have a track record still can’t attract the audience that Chale Wote attracts (well unless its a sports event or shata wake lol).
The Chale Wote festival and its organizers are not perfect but on the whole understand people better than most. So I ask myself this question, why can’t other festivals especially the cultural ones, fuse art into their events?
There is a lot to benefit from such fusion. First off you get people who aren’t attracted by culture to be interested in coming to the event. 
Art within cultural festivals is a win win because it presents audiences with an opportunity to experience the beauty of Ghanaian culture that they may have been unaware of. They get to take their pictures with art and also see a side of Ghanaian culture that they never knew.
Tourism also has an opportunity here. Restaurants, bars, guest houses, hotels and the likes can make use of such festivals to increase business. The ministry of Tourism in my opinion should champion the cause to get something started. A lot of people travel to see the Chale Wote festival. What are the stats on this? How can we use it to improve festivals and tourism?
We are sitting on a lot of opportunity here that people are dying to see. All we have to do is infuse art with it and “kpakpakpa” you got success.
Keep it One Hondred!

Are We Sure We Know Who The Victim Is?

This is my final thought on my female abuse series which I started last week beginning with I hear rapists love mini skirts, followed by Park and chop kiss
Today I conclude by looking at the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Isaac Addo, the acting FA General Secretary, and Nanabanyin Eyison, a member of the GFA’s Executive Committee and also chairman of the management committee of the national female Under-20 team, ban for sexual harrasment by FIFA.
Media covering the story said that ban is as a result of remarks the two passed comments about a female laison. Check out the details of the story here.
After reading the story I am highly concerned about the whether the GFA officials are being wrongly accused. 
In addressing this two things catch my attention. The seriousness attached the sexual harassment in Papua New Guinea compared to Ghana and possibility of punishing someone for something they didn’t do.
Sexual Harassment in Papua New Guinea
A quick internet search on this topic will reveal shocking results. Papua New Guinea is apparently perceived as the worst place in the world for gender violence. So you can imagine why their sexual harassment laws are stringent.
I guess it is only natural that it is so but it begs the question, should sexual harrassment laws be stringent all over or only in the countries that are known to have cases of sexual harrassment?
I believe that the law should be the same regardless of what opinions are. People should be sensitive towards others and know that their actions may cause discomfort in a manner that is really disturbing.
Unfortunately this message is not echoed enough and leads to us as individuals taking it for granted and not having a unified voice to fight myths about sexual harrassment and abuse. This leads to assumptions on the issue and makes the issue worse.
I didn’t do it
In the GFA officials case, the story being told by the officials makes it seem as if they are victims of miscommunication. It sounds as if the laison misinterpreted their communication as part of what they said was in a local Ghanaian dialect.
As I read this I thought to myself how do we tell who the real victim is? Without evidence its my word against yours. We sometimes tend to sympathize with the one who is abused and harrassd due to their plight absent of the possibility that there may be more than meets the eye. 
There are a few cases of people who have been wrongly convicted for abuse and harrassment due to failure by the bodies responsible to judge fairly.
It may sound like a pretty insensitive thing to do but I believe every harassment or abuse case must look at both sides of the story very carefully to seek the truth. Without the truth its difficult to understand the details of the story. 
Its not always about who is to blame or arresting or punishment. In my opinion every harassment or abuse case is an unfortunate opportunity to understand what causes these incidents. This helps in knowing how best to deal with the issue to prevent future incidents.
In conclusion we must all do more to understand the issues surrounding abuse and harrassment. It happens to both sexes and is surrounded by a lot of assumptions. Lets educate ourselves to aid the future generation in mitigating these incidents and make the world a better place.
Keep it One HONDRED!

Ghana at 60 – What We Need To Do

Happy Independence Day Ghana!
Ok, so I am a bit late with my celebratory message.
What a weird feeling. I feel nothing this Independence Day. Nevertheless it is good to ponder over independence and where as a country we are going. 
At the moment with a new government in power it looks promising. I find it remarkable however that a devotional reveals even more hope as well as offer a solution to the strange yet ironically uncomfortable yet promising position we find ourselves.
Those familiar with the “Our Daily Bread” devotional will realize that it’s 6th March 2014 message speaks about a dog called Dingo. The message which is by David Roper, talks about the Dingo’s enthusiasm whenever his master is fishing. It describes how he barks in excitement whenever a fish is caught till when the fish is released. (Don’t ask me why it’s released I don’t fish)
David goes on to say this:
“Dingo’s enthusiasm taught me something: It’s better to get more excited about what others are doing than what we are doing”
That does not sound Ghanaian at all! 
For me at the time it did not even sound scriptural. These devotionals however never go unaccompanied with scripture and lo and behold, David pulls out a scripture to support the above statement. 

Philipians 2:4 - Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also the interests of others.
Philipians 2:4 – Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also the interests of others.

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also the interests of others.-Philippians 2:4. 
Wow! How am I only hearing about this now. I guess I am to blame for not studying the Word thoroughly. I am however grateful such a message has come to me at a time like this when I feel unpatriotic.
I personally believe that as Ghanaians we should embrace this Bible scripture as our source of inspiration forever! 
That’s right. Not only for a year, two years, a decade, but forever!
We are nation of selfish leeches looking out for no one. Within families, religious bodies, businesses etc we find someone like that. The scary part is that it’s part of our DNA so even when we look closely at our selves we realize we experience traits of PHD( Pull Him Down) syndrome. 
Well God has told us to look out for the interests of others. In other words let’s support one another. Let’s not wait for the Government to do something. Let’s start now by encouraging each other. Building each other’s faith and social well being to the point where by the true meaning of Church and Family surface for tomorrow’s generation. 
On this 6th March, 2017 I urge all Ghanaians to support one another. 
David Roper ended the message by saying:
“Paul said it best: Let each esteem each other better than himself- Philippians 2:3. Is that how we live?” That my friends is the question for you to ponder today.
Happy Independence Day!

Spoken Word Night – Sai Wine & Champagne Cafe

Poetry and wine. That sounds like a perfect match. Not a soccer match for that involves beer. This here is a compliment and smooth rolled into a single delicious chocolate moment.
So I have tried to define what the evening of Saturday 4th March 2017 will be like. If you have ever been to Sai Wine & Champagne Cafe you will agree that it is an intimate hide out for warm and hearty conversation and company. 
The establishment serves a wide variety of wines and champagne making it a wine lovers paradise. 
Spoken Word Night will see four poets including myself get on stage and enchant the audience of the night. I believe it’s my first show of the year. I have a new poem I want to try out so if you are looking at having a good time tomorrow, why not come around Labone at 8:00 PM. Its in the same vicinity as Vida e Cafe and Lenovo.
Keep it One Hondred!

Xenophobia – A Case of Bad Nuts

We are all nuts. A crazy bunch all packed in a sack called earth. Within this sack are sacks called continents and within that, sacks called countries. Today we examine a sack called South Africa. A sack that is notorious for a weird problem called xenophobia.
In the past weeks, we have been hearing news about xenophobic attacks against foreigners, with Nigerians getting attacked the most. Which also indirectly means that Ghanaians are affected; people in South Africa find it difficult distinguishing between Ghanaians and Nigerians.
I had the privilege of residing in South Africa during my university days and all I have to say is that this is just a case of bad nuts spoiling the reputation of good nuts.
A good number of South Africans do not agree with the xenophobic attitude of their country men. These attacks are nothing more than a few angry people looking for someone to blame. Violence however seems to give way for a lot of damage, even across borders.
In one way I can understand the anger by the South Africans. News reports suggest that the malice towards Nigerians stem from drugs and prostitution that the West Africans introduce into their communities. This is true to some extent though the drugs and prostitution problem span wider than Nigerians. Its another case of bad nuts spoiling the reputation of the sack and hurting the wrong people. West Africans who are going about their business and staying out of trouble all of a sudden get attacked because of something a brother or look alike did.
The reaction of West Africans in their home countries is also appalling. What good will it do to vandalize or boycott South African companies and brands. They are not the ones hurting you.
Clearly the love of God is not shining enough in this situation. We as Christians  have an opportunity to profess love instead of hate and forgiveness instead of violence. The black people of South Africa went through a harsh time during the apartheid era. So harsh that psychologically their view on issues on race are skewed.
I urge as all to be understanding during these times and avoid the negative banter against each other. 2017 Africa is beginning to look like Donald Trump’s America of immigrant policies. 
Leaders should move to curb the situation  by addressing the concerns of the South Africans about the crime by the supposed foreigners in their communities. This would bring some peace to the issue. That is if only the drugs and prostitution is the real issue.
Keep it One HONDRED!