Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Super Wednesday- The Big Deals of my 2014

All too soon 2014 is almost ended and this may be my last blog post for the year. Its been a very wonderful year for me (one of my best years actually!). I thought I should do this blog post how my year went with some lessons as well, and since it's a Super Wednesday, its the best time to do this.

I have undoubtedly become a much better person than I was last year, though I have already shared on some of these areas, I shall go a bit more into detail as I promised.

Yibellla Journal
I'm sure you have already guessed I was going to talk about this first. (and why wouldn't I talk about it anyway? I love it!). Yibellla Journal is my baby and my blog ,yes here (in case you didn't know). I have kept this blog since 2013 and within this year, I have written more richer, interesting and informative content which wrought great and positive feedback.

Within 2014, I introduced three awesome segments here; Young Legends of Inspiration ,Super Wednesday  and the Science segment where I feature scientific articles I write for ghscientific. People found these very useful and have helped increased readership on this blog as well.  

I am extremely glad about this because I love blogging and it makes me happy that I have been able to improve greatly here.
I can proudly say the growth of this blog has inspired others to take on initiatives they are passionate about and guess what? They are doing great! With this I say, look for that thing that makes you tick, grow it and nurture it to it fullest and it will unbelievably bring to you some awesome things your way!

Winner of ''I know a Ghanaian star writing contest"

Winning this competition is one of the biggest achievements of my life so far. 
I knew this was for me the very moment I saw the ad. This is not to say it was an easy deal, far from that perhaps you should ask Ato Ulzen-Appiah and Francis Addai the wahala I went through to get this. I was able to make it through to the top 5 and finally won.

Winning this has made me an admiration in the eyes of others. I won't forget how awesomely I felt receiving congratulatory phone calls and messages from people who found this great. Within this period, I have had colleagues at school and other people approaching me to tell me how much I inspire them through what I do.

With writing as my passion, I am extremely glad I have been able to make this achievement in my writing journey. I hope to have more winnings in the coming year.
This task looked and proved herculean but through hardwork I was able to make the mark. With this I say work hard always because it definitely will pay!

Meeting the Legends

Wow! this brings goose pimples all over my body any time I remember it. Within 2014, I had this great idea through which this brainchild of mine was born. So I said to myself, why don't I bring down some amazing people I know and have featured on the Young Legends of Inspiration segment down to my school, Ghana Institute of Journalism to come share to my colleagues and other students on their various initiative and inspire them as well?
Then I put it action! With the help of a great team, this dream of mine became reality.  This event was set for a day that wasn't really favourably for students to attend and it amazed me how great the turn out was! Over 60 people for a start!

I had Ato Ulzen-AppiahNaa Oyoo Quartey and Gabriel Obodai Torgbor- Ashong come share with them. They were just so great with their deliveries, the audience were inspired and loved them! It was so good that some people came asking me how much I had to pay them for the excellent sessions they mentored them in. They thought it would be damn expensive! But I kept on smiling and telling them they did it for free because they believed in this initiative and also also due to the of the good relationships I have with them. More on this can be found here.

I am very grateful to them and to everyone who helped one way or the other to make this a success.
In this coming year make it a point to network, make great contacts for you may never know who that saviour might be!

The other cool things 
There have been great improvement in my reading habits, trust me I have read more than any other year! Insightful articles, great write-ups which has made me more knowledgeable!

I also became a paid freelancer this year! I began writing stem related articles for GhScientific which is means more learning, improved writing and more experience!

I also joined the Wikimedia Ghana User Group where we write and edit Ghanaian related content on Wikipedia. It has been a good learning experience working with Oral Ofori. That guy knows a lot!

Aside many of which I can't even remember I have met great minds like Ama Atta-AidooJemila AbdulaiManasseh Azure AwuniProf. Agyeman Badu Akosa, and a lot more which time will fail me to mention.

These were the big deals of my 2014, I hope to do more and strike great achievements in 2015. God be my helper!.
Do leave a comment, let me though what your thoughts are.

Friday, 12 December 2014


Autism (or Autism Spectrum Disorders) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects the way a person views and interacts with the world around him. It is a wide spectrum disorder that challenges a person’s communication and interactive skills, which means that no two people with autism will show the exact same combination and degree of symptoms. Some may have mild symptoms whereas others will present severe symptoms. Although the condition occurs in both sexes, it is about 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42 boys) than among girls (1 in 189 girls).
Like most conditions that affect brain and behaviour, there is not an exact cause of autism, however autism risk factors can be narrowed down to genetic and/or prenatal causes.
GENETIC FACTORS: Genetic factors may be the most significant cause for autism spectrum disorders. The genetics of autism are complex and more than one gene may be involved in different individuals. Furthermore the genes may interact with each other or with environmental factors with differenct consequences and this could be the reason why the disorder has a wide spectrum. Several candidate genes have been located within which mutations increase the risk of autism and the study of these mutations remains an active research area.
PRENATAL ENVIRONMENT: The risk of autism is also associated with several prenatal risk factors which occur during pregnancy or delivery. Advanced age in either parent may increase gene mutations that lead to autism, use of psychiatric drugs by the mother during pregnancy, bleeding and diabetes could all contribute to the child been born autistic. Autism has also been linked to birth defect agents acting during the first eight weeks from conception, though these cases are rare.
With such a broad spectrum, the Autistic symptoms can only be identified in a person by looking at the various areas of life where a child with autism may behave differently. Some of these areas include:
People who have autism are socially clumsy. They have difficulty with social interaction and usually prefer to be alone to the extent of been uninterested in other people at all. The person with ASD might give the impression that he is talking at people, rather than with or to them because they hardly make any eye contact. In addition, autistic individuals are very likely to miss the subtle social cues used in everyday society. They are not the “people-kind” and seem to be in their own world mostly sometimes struggling with the playing and talking skills we have come to accept as a norm.
An autistic child may also find it very hard to be aware of and understand the feelings of other people. Unlike most people, autistic individuals have a weaker ability to instinctively empathize with others. In spite of this, their ability to take other people’s feelings into account can improve tremendously if they are frequently reminded of this. Nonetheless, empathy does not come natural to most.
Routine is one thing an autistic individual can get comfortable with. Most love to go through doing the same things over and over again, for example drawing the same picture again and again, page after page or jumping from one end to another again and again.
Autistic children do not develop at a relatively harmonious rate. It is common to find that while cognitive skills may develop fast, language skills may trail behind or while language may develop rapidly, motor skills are lacking. Social skills of an autistic child will not develop at the same pace as other people.
The higher the severity of the autism, the more affected the person’s speaking skills. They will often repeat words they hear (echolalia) and this is one way they learn to engage effectively with the surrounding environment.
Some kids with ASD do not like to be cuddled or touched. Not all autistic kids are like this though; some will greatly appreciate a hug from a relative and may actually find more comfort in this than most other children will. In this case only a parent, carer or sibling will know best. One thing is for sure though, isolating an autistic child is never a good idea.
Some autistic children find loud noises unpleasant and quite shocking, the same can happen with some smells and sudden changes in light intensity. This level of sensitivity can be reduced by warning a child of  of what is to happen,  he or she can then cope with it better than when it happens out of the blue.

In Ghana having a child with autism is viewed by most as a curse on the family, or worse still in certain places the mother is labeled a witch which may cause mother and child to be shunned by certain quarters of society. A lack of education in this area means that many are not seeking the necessary help that they need; instead they are hiding these children at home, locking them up in their rooms. Many children in mainstream schools who have autism but can somewhat express themselves suffer discrimination and teasing from peers.
The Autism Awareness Care and Training centre [AACT] Accra seeks to fill in this much needed gap in education and service provision. The centre was set up by Mrs. Serwah Quaynor about 15 years ago when she returned to Ghana from the USA after her son had been diagnosed with autism at age 2. At her return, searching for autism services for her child proved difficult, thus she began autism awareness in Ghana.
“Nortey, my son, was sixteen years old with raging hormones, many challenging behaviors, ranging from self-injurious behaviours, aggression and insomnia, to mention a few. Sleep at night was a luxury (I was lucky if I got two (2) hours). What was I to do in a country where there were no services for children with autism? I felt like an outcast, dejected, alone, and petrified!” Mrs. Quaynor explains. Since then, through fifteen years of service, it has assisted hundreds of children and their families.  The centre provides many services and encourages inclusion into mainstream education and society. AACT’s training focuses on behavior management (which is the core of the entire training programme), functional academics, music and art therapy, speech and occupational therapy and life skills training.  Resources to train these children simply aren’t available here in Ghana, however, the centre is fortunate to receive speech/language and occupational therapy resources from international volunteers. They use local materials like the dry seed othe flamboyant tree as music shakers and Djembes drums for drumming to teach music and dance.
The centre has been successful in spite of challenges such as unavailability and insufficient resources. They currently work with close to forty autistic people, ranging from preschoolers to young adults (Find out more about the centre here).
  • Routines are easier to work with so establish them early and change them rarely.
  • In the first moment you want to teach a new behavior you must use consistency and continuity or you will fail.
  • Isolating an autistic child is never a good idea and only enforces their condition.
  • Praise positive behaviour no matter how minute
  • Involve them visually and physically, the more animated and fun the better
  • Most of all be patient and know that there are other parents out there who could help you with any and all challenges
With all this been said, there are many historical figures who are believed to have had varying degrees of Autism and have also been extremely gifted and talented. These include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [Composer], Sir Isaac Newton [Physicist], Albert Einstein[ Scientist], Michelangelo [Artist, Architect, Engineer, and Donna Williams [artist, sculptor, composer and screenwriter]

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

"Meeting the legends", a dream coming true!

I have never done anything like this, it's a dream coming true and every fibre of me is expectant and filled with joy in await of this event. Few months ago the idea of organising this great event popped into my mind, I told myself I must do this before the year ends. The idea initially came out of this blog; why don't I organise an event to bring together the people I featured on the "Young Legends of Inspiration" segment of this blog, to talk about the wonderful initiatives the they have taken to inspire others to do more? I made my intentions known to "that man, that inspiration" and he thought it would be a wonderful initiative to carry out and offered to sponsor it! (I'm looking foward to more people and organisations sponsoring this in the subsequent editions.)  

Next step? I approached my first legend Ato Ulzen-Appiah and fortunately, he urged me on and agreed to be on the program. That encouragement injected a lot of #vim into me. Some I approached weren't positive but at the end of the day, I managed to get Naa Oyoo Quartey and Gabriel Obodai Torgbor-Ashong on the bill as well, they were really positive about this! With the help of an awesome team, everything has been put in place. This isn't going to be a one time event but will grow stronger into a yearly one. 

Still wondering who these legends are? Let me shortly introduce them.

Ato Ulzen-Appiah is an entrepreneur, manager and blogger. He hails from Elmina, grew up in Kumasi and lives in Accra. A notable alumni of Presec, he studied at MIT for his Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and had his Master's degree at Stanford in construction and engineering management. 

He currently works at Rancard as product manager building new revenue services off its platform, in charge of payments and content hosting.notable alumni of Presec

He's the director at the GhanaThink Foundation which mobilizes and organizes talent for the primary benefit of Ghana. GhanaThink, since its inception, has given birth to Kasahorow and Museke. It currently runs the Barcamp Ghanaprogram (37 events since 2008) from which the Junior Camp Ghana program was created (7 events since 2013). Through GhanaThink, he also initiated National Volunteer Day, which is now part of the Ghana Volunteer Program. More of him can be found here.

Naa Oyoo Quartey is a Ghanaian lifestyle blogger with an authentic and refreshing style of creative writing on lifestyle topics ranging from; movie reviews, events in Ghana, relationship topics, health topics, reviews of restaurants in Ghana, short stories, fashion events and tips, social media, wedding planning tips, social issues, etc. She won two awards at the Ghana Social Media awards for Best Lifestyle Blogger and Best Short Story, Creative Writing Blogger at the BloggingGhana awards in 2013. Her love for all things people, food, travel, health and innovation ensures the blog is relevant for every reader. Her hobby includes creating handmade accessories which is under the label Roots by Naa, writing and dashes of style photography. More about her can be found here.

Gabriel Obodai Torgbor-Ashong is a broadcast journalist at Metro Television and was the former SRC General secretary of the Ghana Institute of Journalism. His zeal and hardwork helped the SRC chalk notable successes during his administration. He loves working with and for children, hence volunteers at Curious Mind, a group which advocates the rights of young people. More about him can be found here.

More other awesome legends like Edward Amartey Tagoe of Nandi Mobile Ltd will be featured in the next edition of this.

This great event will he held at the lecture hall I of the Ghana Institute of Journalism on 14th November, 2014 at 3:30pm. This would have the legends come share on their various initiatives to inspire us to take action and do more!

You just can't miss this,come let's get inspired to take action!

You have a suggestion or want to sponsor? Kindly send a mail to

Monday, 29 September 2014


2014-08-21 19.34.26
Ghanaian ladies lately seem to have gone back to the earlier days of their mothers and grandmothers when growing and keeping natural hair was the order of the day. Back then, it was the usual thing to keep virgin natural hair till permed hair became the new thing. Most ladies followed the perm trend, but the story is different now.
For sometime now, I have seen lots of young ladies in Ghana go through the big chop to start growing natural hair. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t keep outmoded styles from the past, but rather modern and very stylish ones. Trust me, I am always awed when I come across well kept and stylish natural hair.
After interacting with a few ladies to find out why they decided to go natural, I found some responses which summed up recurring sentiments:
  •  “Perm chemicals are harmful in nature”
  •  “Perm is so painful, I don’t know if it is worth it”
  •  “Did you know perm leads to baldness?!”
  •  “Natural hair is versatile. You can do numerous thing with natural hair that perm can’t do. I could have it wild and crazy one minute, then tame the next with a scarf or in a bun.”
  •  “No pretensions. I think African ladies should know ourselves as we came into the world.”
  •  “I think natural hair just has a genuine texture and look. Really interesting and authentic.”
Talking about well kept hair, let me quickly drop some maintenance tips in case you decide to switch too. Switching from perm to natural hair isn’t really difficult, it’s simple.
Natural Hair Maintenance.
  1. Keep your hair in braids for at least 2 months before the big chop. The big chop is cutting off the remains of the perm of your hair to stay natural.
  2. Try to ignore comments from “unnatural” advisors, just do your thing.
After the big chop, you can observe the following tips to make your hair look great.
  1. Co-wash your hair every week if you can. Co-washing is using conditioner to wash your hair.
  2. Use conditioner instead of shampoo because shampoo strips your hair of moisture.
  3. Use products with organic contents and avoid products with petro oil and mineral oils. Opt for products such as jojoba, coconut oil and almonds.
  4. Minimize heat. Lots of heat applied to your hair may cause breakage. I can bet you wouldn’t want that.
  5. Detangle your hair regularly. Be patient when detangling, washing, twisting, do it with care.
  6. Use the right products! There are various brands so every natural needs to find the ones that works best for their hair.
  7. Do protective styles like twists, cornrows or braids.
If you want great and very healthy hair, you ought to know how your hair works, grows and what to eat or not eat. Let’s get to know more about the science of hair now.
Hair is a very common component of the human body. It is a protein filament that grows from a skin organ called follicles and goes through three main stages when growing, namely: Anagen, Catagen and Telogen.
Anagen Stage
It is the primary phase of hair growth also known as the active stage and right now about 85% of your hair is at this stage. Hair can be in the Anagen stage for 3-6 years and in this stage hair grows approximately 4 inches per year. The longer your hair stays in this stage, the longer it will grow.
Catagen Stage.
Hair gets to the Catagen stage once the Anagen stage ends. This is also known as the maturation stage. Here, the lower part of the hair is destroyed, the follicles shrink and the hair gets pushed out of the skin in preparation for the last stage. This phase last about 2 weeks.
Telogen Stage.
This is the resting stage of hair growth and at any given time, about 10% of all hairs on your head are resting. At this stage, hair is capable of shedding.

Food Nutrients That Boosts Hair Growth
What you eat has a say in how your hair turns out or looks. Nutrients play an important role for hair growth and not all kind of foods support good and healthy hair growth. To boost hair growth and make hair luscious, look out for some of these nutrients in your diet:

Proteins are life’s basic building blocks allowing repair and replacement of hair. Inadequate protein in diet can slow the rate of new hair growth and cause your hair to be weak/ brittle. Some sources of protein are eggs, legumes and dairy products.

Zinc is an important nutrient in relation to hair growth as it maintains function of the oil glands around  the hair follicles.  When zinc levels fall, hair loss, slow growth and dandruff follows.
Zinc can be found in oysters, lobster, crabs, sunflower seeds, skinless chicken and cashew.

B Vitamins (foliate, B6,B12)
These vitamins are vital in the creation of red blood cells which carry oxygen and nutrients to all body cells including those of the scalp, follicles and growing  hair.  Lack of these vitamins can cause shedding or slow growth as well as promote hair breakage.
Essential B vitamins can be found in bananas, tomatos, groundnut paste, watermelons, shrimps and strawberries.

Iron is one big thing in hair growth, helping a great deal in the overall growth and wellness of hair. Low levels or lack of iron can cause hair to fall out and lead to even baldness.
Iron can be derived from egg yolks, whole grains, chicken, dried fruits and beans.

If you ever wondered whether what you eat has an effect on the quality of your hair, well it does! Including these nutrients in your diet will go a long way of keeping your natural hair healthy, luscious and strong!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Five Tips to Help Prepare for That Interview

Taking a trip down memory lane, I can clearly recall and almost relive memories of interviews I have had in  the past.
I  had a couple of interviews even before hitting nineteen ranging from scholarship interviews, job interviews, etc. I will share some of these experiences later on.

Last week, I came across an article on interview tips by Jemila Abdulai which I found really insightful and useful. If only I knew some of those before my very first interview for scholarship when I was nineteen...
I wouldn't want anybody saying "if only they knew this earlier" as I am saying now, so I thought it would be thoughtful to hit on some these tips Jemila shared.

1. Research Research Research

Ignorance is really no excuse in an interview.  Find out a bit more about the company you are interviewing with, dig deeper into their affairs, what interests them, and top up your knowledge on them.  Well preparedness for a battle brings confidence and confidence on the job is a marvel to behold!

2. Structure your responses.

Structuring your responses in an interview goes a long way in providing accurate responses. Interview questions  could be tricky, make sure you listen carefully to note if the questions of the interviewer are two-in-one questions or not. A two part question should have a two part response.

Your tone shouldn't be too low or too high but just right.  It is mostly better to be sure you are heard by your interviewer than weren't heard.
Don't shy away from asking "can you hear me?"  when there is bad Internet connection in the case of a virtual interview.

3. Look presentable and be yourself

Whether a virtual or one - on- one interview, take that extra time to make sure you look presentable at least. 
Being yourself whiles trying to be cautious in an interview is important. Even though your cover letter and CV talks about you,  an interview helps the company to get to know you better.
It's a way of they getting acquainted with you and knowing more of you, aside the things stated in your cover letter and CV.
Don't forget to wear a smile often when necessary during the interview, it could help do the magic!

4. Follow up and say thank you

It shows thoughtfulness to follow up with an e-mail to your employer to say thank you.
Not only does it show thoughtfulness but keeps you in their thoughts and mind.

5.Ask Questions if possible.

Asking a question during an interview doesn't mean you are bugging the employer, it rather helps to clear and flush out doubts you may have concerning the job and this may go a long way to prevent future misunderstandings.

I didn't know some of these tips shared above earlier but I'm glad I do now.
Kindly share, you might never know who badly needs this to make that mark! ☺

Monday, 11 August 2014

I Know a Ghanaian Star Prize giving Lunch

Winning Konnect Africa's "I know a Ghanaian Star" writing competition is a  big achievement for me and a great step in my writing journey.  It feels awesome when your effort pays, trust me.  It is not completely about the prize but about the experience and fulfilment.  I have blogged about it already but this is to bring life and evidence to complete the whole story.
August 9,2014 was the day scheduled for the Prize giving Lunch which was to take place at Buka Restaurant located in Osu, Accra. This long awaited Saturday finally arrived and it was so awesome. It was a colourful,  fun filled and wonderful.  It's one of those days which you don,t need to mark in your best days column in your diary but you simply and naturally remember it for the rest of your life.
The organisers safely arrived by 7 am in Accra from Nigeria for the event. By12:30 noon, the organisers,  winners and a special guest were all gathered at Buka Restaurant in Osu. Buka is a beautiful African restaurant.  Their building,  interior,exterior and everything portrays Africa. Only African dishes are available and served, so in case you are craving for Ampesi, fufu, akpl3 and fetri detsi,  Buka is the right place to head to.
We had an awesome time connecting with  each other,  learning, eating and receiving our prices!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Young Legends of Inspiration- Regina Agyare

A lot of people believe in great things but it is actually a few people who take the initiative to do the great things they believe in.  I heard her story and got inspired. This young lady had a dream, took daring decisions and bold steps even though a bit risky.

Regina Agyare is a young social entrepreneur who is passionate and loves Technology. She has been in the technology industry for 8 years and has worked in varying positions as
Product Manager for Internet Applications at Rancard Solutions, Product Manager for E-business
Applications and Management and Information Systems Supervisor at various companies.With the dream of changing the African single story through technology, she has taken great initiatives so there could be more positive stories coming from Africa.
She attended Ashesi University where she studied Computer Science. She found herself working in a bank after completing school where she worked very hard to develop a lot of their web applications and set up that department. She was unfortunately denied promotion because She was a 
 female and young. She felt devastated and resigned from the job and got employed at another bank. There, she had a good salary, bonuses, she could get special recommendations and afford a great life but she felt unfulfilled because that did not match her dreams. With an alarm of making a change ringing in her head all the time, she obeyed and resigned.

She then moved on to start a company, Soronko Solutions which has a mission of using basic technology to drive human potential and a vision of developing the next generation of critical thinkers and innovators in STEM. The company also leverages on developing innovative technology solutions across different channels such as Web, Mobile, POS and ATM to solve problems. She is currently helping small and medium scale enterprises in Ghana create visibility and grow their businesses with technology.

In her high school days, she had a dream of becoming a rocket scientist, she couldn't further with that because the educational system wasn't structured in a way which could help her make this dream a reality. So then brooded on these questions; “how can I create a better environment for young children like me who would want to build rockets?” “How can they be fostered and nurtured to think about Africa’s problems?” “How can they become critical thinkers and problems solvers?”

These thoughts drove her to the rural areas where she had different sessions with children on Science and Technology games which required critical thinking. During those sessions, she found out that the boys were aggressive and the girls always stood back watching. 
There again, she thought about how she could get girls to take part in creating technology to have the female perspective. Then a brilliant brainchild was born.
She set up “Tech needs Girls”, a mentorship program which trains girls between(6-19) how to code, build mobile applications and websites. She invites other females who are either computer scientists or engineers to have coding classes with the girls every Saturday. These girls are now designing web applications which is really amazing!

Her hardwork paid off!  Below are some awesome opportunities and achievements of hers;

      •Her story was published in the Lean In for Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook.

•She is an Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow,Global Shaper of the Accra hub of the World Economic Forum, Vital Voices Fellow,Change Leader with Tigo Reach For Change and YALI Washington Fellow 2014 and will meet Obama and Michelle.

•Finalist for the African Digital Woman of the Year,awarded Women of Courage Award for Technology and Tech Needs Girls was awarded in the Ghana CSR Diary Awards

•Had the Crown Princess of Sweden come to the Slum to visit Tech Needs Girls and was invited to speak at Harvard University and TEDxLabone.

•She is on the project advisory board to help advice the UN Committee for the Rights of a Child update the Convention for the Rights of the Child for a Digital Age.  

If you have a dream, just go ahead and work it out!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Super Wednesday- The Contest

Whiles going through my Google+ notifications, I came across this;
cool opportunity, I thought. I took time to know what it actually entailed; subject,requirements, conditions etc. We were supposed to write about someone who is M.A.D (making a difference) in our society or country.The prizes were so cool too.
  Not a bad topic at all I thought, smiling to myself. I instantly put on my thinking cap and decided on who to write about. I didn't need to let my thinking wheels travel too far. With the Young Legends of Inspiration segment on my blog in mind, I decided to write about the first legend  +Ato Ulzen-Appiah, of course with his permission which he granted! I was really glad he did, it was an honour.
I started working at it right away.I gathered all facts and information I needed and with a spice of my creativity, this article was born;
It was quite a herculean task which took days but I finally submitted it.

On 24th May 2013, I received good news; my entry made it to the top five, it was however not uhuru! I was to make people read my story, get inspired and like it via the facebook button and the highest number of likes would be declared as winner!  Hmmm...another round. I did my best and with the unwavering help of some awesome people, I managed to get over 600 people to read, get inspired and like my story.
Checking my progress with the number of likes was now the first thing I did when I woke up and the last thing I did before retiring to bed.
I won't forget how fast my heart would beat when my opponents were trying to catch up with me especially during the last days to the deadline. I wanted to win; If I would win anything, I wanted it to be concerning writing because I am highly passionate about writing.

During the waiting period, I really thought the days were very slow but the deadline finally came and I received great and joyous news; I WON!, I WON the "I know a Ghanaian Star writing competition"!!!
My joy knew no bounds, I fulfilled knowing that I have made one big progress in my writing journey. My joy isn't really about the prize but with the fact that I have been able to achieve something with my writing ability and made progress on this  amazing writing journey of mine. Hardwork really pays, I believe and this has proved it. Let's put away procrastination and laziness and be inspired to work hard in all areas of our endeavours. Remember,"Less Talk, More Action".

I am particularly grateful to all those who helped and encouraged me to get this far. What would I have done without you all?  Thank you so much!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Super Wednesday- Etornam

I believe I have come a long way ever since I started writing in 2007 during my first year at OLA Girls Senior High School. At the beginning, I had no mentor, my only inspiration was the fact that my first story "Just a dream" got published in "The Mirror", a weekly newspaper in Ghana. That raised my spirits and motivated me to do more writing. I didn't really think I was good before that happened.

Just about that time, national service personnels were posted to come teach at my school, and Etornam was one of them. He was assigned to teach Literature. Though I wasn't in the General Arts class, I started hearing about this new, cute and good Literature teacher in the dorms, bath houses, on working plots, classrooms and every possible gathering places, Literature students could not keep quiet about how good he was at teaching Literature. Soon, there were rantings about him everywhere.Though I was curious to know who he was, that wasn't my on my agenda.

Time flew and getting to the end of first year, Etornam and I crossed paths though I can't clearly remember how. As time went by, I realised the need for someone to help me build my writing skills so I approached Etornam and requested to be my writing coach which he gladly accepted. It was one big previledge;  because he knew and helped me a lot.He gave me several writing assignments,helped me build my vocabulary, edited my works,I can say he believed in my writing ability more than I did as at then. He inspired me a lot and pushed me to do more.
He pushed in me the awareness that people needed to read my pieces. He saw in me what I couldn't see and helped a great deal to develop it.I won't forget how he would say "Mabel, don't ever stop writing". He worked with me as though he was going to be paid. He was ever ready to help me out, any time, anywhere. Even when I thought I had written something useless, Etornam would see good in that and help me mould it into something really useful.

The academic year came to an end and the national service personnels had also completed their term of service, my coach had to leave. This was bad news for me, the thought of Etornam leaving always broke my heart. Who could take his place? He was a priceless gift to me who helped me out a great deal.
I gradually built the courage to accept the fact that his departure from OLA was inevitable. Even though he left, he still stayed in touch.

It was with his inspiration I started this blog. My passion for writing grew as a results of him.With his words ringing in my mind, I am always reminded I shouldn't stop writing. This day, I appreciate you for being what you were to me. Each day, when I take a pen to write or go through my blog, I remember I started with you and would have probably not reach here without you. Thank you Etornam

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Young Legend of Inspiration: Edward Amartey-Tagoe

I hinted on Google plus on how excited I am to outdoor a new inspiring legend here. I believe that once you are letting your light shine, you shall be recognized no matter how dark the corner you have hidden yourself. After all, sugar does not announce it presence but the ants always locate it.


Determined to become a medical doctor from childhood, Edward Amartey-Tagoe applied to study biological science at the University of Ghana. Two years after, he unfortunately did not make it on the final list of students going to be admitted into the medical school. Very heart breaking it was for him as he watched his peers make it into the medical school without him.  He finally just had to choose any of the Science majors which he resorted to Psychology.

Though disappointed and heart broken, Edward made efforts which turned things around in his life. He found out he had fallen in love with some thing else after his first love medicine had failed him. He realized he had developed some passion for Entrepreneurship; founded a small venture to supply university students with their mobile phone calls airtime needs. He grew this small venture into a 4 staff venture with a turn-over attractive enough to pay his own bills and no longer depend on his parents. What started in Legon Hall soon got branches into two others and another one in Madina.
After two years, Edward sold his business, although he wouldn't say how much, he says it was enough to provide for himself till he entered MEST.

Edward was born with an Entrepreneurial instinct. He always on the lookout for buying and selling opportunities. Edward has tried his hands and many different entrepreneurship chances, not all were legal though. He has provided passports for the University of Ghana student body before, something he did until Anas stormed University of Ghana and 'spoilt the market'. For two years, Edward connected bed--buyers and bed sellers together and made his cut on the transactions. Though this was seasonal, it became a trade he was very well known for. At the beginning of the academic year, most stranded students would look for Edward, who most often than not, had a list of others who were  willing to sell their beds!

Now he is an ethical business man, and whenever he looks back at all the funny attempts at entrepreneurship, he has  no regrets. For him, these were the stages he had to go through to get to what he is now.

After his Bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of Ghana, he enrolled at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology(MEST) , the biggest tech incubator in West Africa. The US State department selected Edward as a tedx fellow in December 2012 to share his inspiring stories with other african youth in the continent. Edward is a Software Entrepreneur with a strong passion for technology, social media and youth capacity building. Edward's leadership roles in Ghana's I.T community has seen him
 in the fore front of tech related events and projects such as Tedx Accra, Tedx Dzorwulu, Blog camp, apps4africa and over 20 barcamp events across the length and breadth of Ghana.

He established Nandimobile. In 2011, less than a year after starting Nandimobile, the young start-up won the Best Business Award at the Launch Conference (formerly TechCrunch 50), one of the world's biggest tech conferences organized in the Silicon Valley. Nandimobile's effective technologies which connect businesses to their consumers on mobile devices, is patronized by more than close to 400 businesses in Ghana which include the nation's big brands. 
Nandimobile's technology is supported by a sound business model which saw the company break even in its second year of operations. Nandimobile in 2013 became the 1st company in Ghana to ever win the United Nation's World Summit National Award and also Global awards in the same year. Techcrunch, CNN, The Next Web, MyJoyOnline and many other reputable journals have recognized Nandimobile's efforts in Ghana.

He led a team to establish the Ghana Social Media Hub. He also managed a team to host BlogCamp12, BlogCamp13 and BlogCamp14, Ghana's biggest social media events. He is currently the Director of Nandimobile Ltd and Director of Blogging Ghana.
 The following are some awards he has received;
  • One of Ghana's 100 Most Influential personalities in 2013
  • GUBA rLG Development Award, London, Nov 2013
  • United Nation's WSA Global Champion, Sri Lanka, Oct 2013
  • United Nations WSA Award for best e-content, Accra, Sept 2013
  • Best Business Award, Launch Conference, San Francisco CA, Feb 2011
  • 1st Runner-up App Circus Mobile App Competition Sept 2011
  • Recipient, Presidential award and Scholarship, Jan 2000.
  • Best Male Student for Eastern Region, March 1999. 
  • Recipient, Methodist scholars’ Award, 1999. 
Born to a diplomat and an entrepreneur, Edward learnt and tasted different cultures because of his father's diplomatic assignments. Many Ghanaians live and die without ever shaking hands with any of Ghana's Preisdents past or present. However as one of twenty winners of Presidential Awards in 1999, Edward got the opportunity to shake hands with Ghana's President Jerry John Rawlings at a colourful occasion usually organized to reward academic excellence.
Edward attended Presbyterian Boys' Senior High School, one of Ghana's best senior high schools known to produce brilliant achievers. Edward has two sisters and is the last born. He is always grateful to his mum who at a very old age still decided to carry her pregnancy to full term whiles still stared at all the possible risks. Edward's challenge at a young age was to dissociate his father's influence from his achievements. 
With his above achievements he has attained, it's very obvious that challenged has been cleared!

I find it very inspiring that even though Edward came from a well-to-do family, he did not allow that to get into his head, but rather went ahead to work hard and take the bold initiatives which brought him huge successes!