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Daixy's Blogg Posts

Lesson Learned from Czech Ebola Debacle

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Ghanaian student manhandled in Prague
Ghanaian student manhandled in Prague

To: Zita Okaikoi, Ambassador to the Czech Republic

From: Daixy, Unrepentant Critic and Opinionated Ghanaian Woman

 

Dear Zita,

May I call you Zita?

Of course, I may. This is my platform and you are currently unavailable to deny or accept my request.

I wish I could say I was hollering at you for good reasons. Next time, we should confer over a cup of tisane, and some of my famous cupcakes, and discuss the pros and cons of running a business in Ghana.

Today, however, I have a bone to pick with you.

You see, I was scanning the news this evening when I saw an item about a Ghanaian student who was “arrested” at Prague. The item came with a video which was appalling, to say the least.

Reports say the student had been cleared by airport screenings but was picked up at a train station.

There’s a lot wrong with the situation.

First of all, the student was profiled on account of his race. Tell me that a white traveler would have met the same fate at this boy. Being covered in a plastic sheet?! Was he dead? Why didn’t they just place him in a sealed body bag and be done with it?

Second, he was chased after his initial clearance. Granted, he showed signs of being unwell but that brings me to my third point.

Being arrested at a train station, carted off on a trolley (not a stretcher) and covered in a plastic sheet/blanket before being dumped in an ambulance, is not the way to treat a human being. I do not know if it was fear on the part of the man in the hazard suit but the way he grabbed the guy’s arm and shoved him in the ambulance was awful. I am usually hesitant to call racism but this is clearly the case here.

Now let me get to the meat of my message to you.

In your Interview with JoyFm tonight, you indicated that the Ghanaian Mission to the Czech Republic was “quite shocked” at the incident. Shocked shouldn’t be your reaction. Outraged, sounds about right to me. You should be incensed at the poor treatment meted out to one of your citizens and calling for the proverbial guillotines to be mounted.

Zita, what shocked me was your statement that this incident should “be a lesson for all West Africans”. Those words should never have left your mouth. I may have misconstrued your meaning but feel very strongly that you could have worded things better.

West Africans should NEVER have to expect such inhumane treatment whether in our own country or elsewhere. We should NEVER accept profiling and manhandling, no matter where we are. If a westerner had been treated in Ghana; the way this boy was treated, heads would roll. Please, by all means, tell West Africans that they should be careful when making their travel plans; that they should be aware of overzealous health workers and a security system intent on marking them for quarantine regardless of whether or not they have visited an Ebola-struck country. Tell them they should realise that now, when white people stare at them and clutch their children to their bosoms, it’s not really because they are black, but because they have “Ebola until proven innocent”.

I applaud you for your willingness to protest the unfair treatment of this student, who in your own words, is “highly traumatised” but must call you out for your defeatist attitude when you said, you believe the Czech Authorities will simply respond by saying they were taking precautions.

Do not back down! Imagine that boy as your son and stand firm when you demand an unqualified apology for him, and the people of Ghana. I would expect that by now, the Czech Ambassador would have been summoned to the Flagstaff house to provide an “explanation” for this debacle. ANYTHING to show the Ghanaian community within and abroad that our government gives a damn about the good people of Ghana.

And for goodness sakes, please don’t ever ask us to “learn” from awful treatment meted out to us. This is how black slaves told their daughters to learn, every time they were raped by a white man. “Don look ’em in de eye, chile. Don yoo wake up de faya in ’em”. Perhaps my analogy is harsh but it’s how I feel.

I look forward to hearing your demands to the Czech Republic.

 

Best,

Daixy

 

Earth Child: Naptural Woman Pt 2

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So….laptop died. Got new laptop. Lost password to the site. Now I’m back.
New site, new look. I had installed a lovely gallery but apparently I cannot troubleshoot for beans and my techy person is never available when I mess something up on the site. Look out for new improvements on here.

Today, I just wanted to share with you, my new favourite look. Perhaps you remember that in October last year I hacked off my permed hair. I’ve been playing with everything since then and finally settled on a look.

Y’all should come check out the candles behind me. All home-made and scented with love

My mom thinks it doesn’t suit me. Thinks it makes my “megoshi konko” forehead look bigger. My dad thinks I look like “Sasabonsam”. Well two days after and people were coming up to me and asking, “why don’t you perm your hair?”. I forgave that question easily because it was a question I asked natrual haired girls back when I was relaxing my hair. I wasn’t asking to be annoying. I genuinely wanted to know why I should stop slathering cream on my strands. Sadly, very few of them gave me a proper answer but that’s for another day. My response to questions of why I’ve chopped off my perm is;

  • It’s my natural hair and high time I embraced the kinks
  • Studies link relaxers to breast and ovarian cancer as well as to birth defects. This needs more investigation. I do not like the use of parabens and pthalates on the body, which is why I make my own lotions and am graduating to other cosmetics. I’m removing chemicals from my diet and cosmetics. Why eat soy and other healthy foods, only to dump chemical relaxer on my head?
  • I really wanted to see what a fro would look like on me
  • My relaxed hair never got to the original length from way back when (my initial relax at age 9 saw my hair falling to my shoulders. After cutting it for JSS, it’s never been able to get to its original length) and I want to give it the chance to grow properly.

Yeah, I know. Supposed to be one answer but I never do short answers. I forgave these people because they weren’t offensive. They asked a simple question and listened to the answers.
What irked me, instead, was the people who came up to me saying, “Oh but you looked so pretty with relaxed hair. You should go back to it”. Like WTF?! So I look ugly now? My face is the same (albeit a bit fuller cuz I’ve gained weight) it’s only the texture of the hair that has changed. Why would you insinuate that I no longer am pretty because I’ve embraced my kinks? In typical Daixy fashion, my thought was to shave my head completely and watch them gaping like guppies while trying to figure out what demeaning comments to make on my hair, or lack thereof. Sanity prevailed, though (in the form of @madjetey) and my kinky head is still safe.

I don’t understand why it is that fake is the new normal. We, as Africans, are now expected to be lighter skinned with silkier, straighter hair. The longer and finer the hair, the better your chances at grabbing an eligible partner or that dream job. I wonder if job interviews these days are conducted in a salon, with the interviewer running their hands through to determine whether your mane is care of a relaxer of brazilian “lawyer”. Chances are, you would get more points if it’s a lawyer and at least 16 inches long.

Everyone should have a choice when it comes to their own appearance. Advice is always nice, considering it’s delivered tactfully but it’s up to the individual to determine what works for them and what doesn’t. For those of us Africans who choose to reconnect with the Earth Mother, let us be. We won’t judge you for not doing the same. Please, do us a solid and return the favour.
Oh and quit suggesting chemical based products when I tell you I only use water, coconut oil and shea butter. It’s not cool.

~Daixy~

originally posted August 30th 2013 on daixy233.com

This Easter: Give Blood

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Credit: Ghana National Blood Centre

Everyone wants to be a hero. At least that’s what I’d like to think so please do not pop my bubble.

Perhaps we’re used to super heroes like “Superman”, “Optimus Prime” “Black Widow” who risk life and limb to save the world. Maybe our ideas of heroes are of the brave men and women who fight wars to keep our ideologies safe, or of the people who jump in front of gunmen and buses to protect the lives of others.

But there’s a kind of hero that’s often overlooked. The hero who walks into a hospital or donation station and offers, free of charge, a spare organ or life-saving blood.

Last month, Blogging Ghana in partnership with the Rotaract Club of Adentan hosted a Donation Drive at Pentagon. We had 80 heroes that day.  On that same day at the Mall, Dr. Paul Mensah (who is partnering with the docs at the Accra Mall Clinic) was also receiving donors. Over 60 heroes turned up at the mall; the greatest turnout so far, for that location.

Here’s a message from Dr. Mensah from the last exercise at the Mall.

Video Credit: Gameli Adzaho of Blogging Ghana

I’ve spoken of giving blood here and here and hope by now that word has spread about the Monthly donation exercise at the Accra Mall Clinic. We may have pulled some numbers to voluntarily donate blood but now we’re asking for Ghanaians to make it a regular exercise. Every four months, please walk yourself on down to the Accra Mall or to the Korle Bu Blood Centre and give a pint to keep the Blood Centre running.

This Saturday, Dr. Mensah and the National Blood Centre will be at the Mall collecting Blood. You can sign up for the event here. I will drop in to support the heroes who turn up. I have a few cupcakes (made by moi) for people who donate (will be in the recovery room).

One lucky donor who also happens to read this blog will get a box of frosted cupcakes (vanilla and chocolate) delivered to a location of their choice.  All you have to do is go give blood this Saturday and drop a comment on this post. Tell us about your experience (was it good or bad? will you return to donate? Would you recommend blood donation to others?) and you very well may be the lucky person to get a box of my yummy treats. Winner will be announced Saturday Night.

Happy Easter everyone and thanks for being heroes!

~Daixy~

Enough is Enough

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I was checking out Adventures From, yesterday and read something that dug into me.  The topics discussed on that site usually jab at me for various reasons but this article pretty much sums up a lot of what’s been on my mind. The article is titled “What Exactly Are Our Attitudes About Abuse” and it’s written by Malaka.

Malaka points out a lot that’s wrong in the way our society handles victims of abuse in general and sexual abuse in particular. Victims do not get help. They’re told to suck it up and move on; burdened with a load that should not be theirs to carry. It saddens me even more when the victim is a young child. Why should children have to deal with the depravity of adults?

I’m not saying it’s better to rape an adult than a child. I’d rather sexual abuse never came up anywhere but I can’t wrap my mind about anyone thinking it’s okay to turn their sexual attentions on a child. The statistics Malaka points out are disgraceful. As always, it’s usually the females targetted and I wonder when something will be done.

In a country where less than 5% of the National Health budget goes to mental health, how are we going to provide the necessary psychological care that victims of abuse need in order to move forward with their lives? When will we realise that abuse leaves victims with PTSD which can evolve into other disorders? We’re not just talking trust issues and a few nightmares. We’re talking possible depression and suicide. We’re talking about potential multiple personalities etc, simply because people are not given the tools with which to not only cope, but overcome their experiences.

It sickens me to hear some of the scenarios Malaka mentions. It’s about time we placed responsibility squarely on the shoulders on which they belong. The abusers, the society, the security and health agencies. 

Making victims keep quiet about their experiences only goes to pile more needless shame on their shoulders. Depriving them (knowingly or unknowingly) of counseling and other support is a travesty. Making them protect their abusers is a sin my fellow Christians should never ever commit.

Adventures from is doing something about it. They’re organising “Surviving Sexual Abuse” This Friday (29th March) at Passions Cafe in Osu. More info here. Readings and performances on surviving are a great idea! Excellent group therapy, if you ask me. If you can make it, please drop in, even if it’s only to offer support.

And if you’re in a position to make change happen, please do. I think it’s long overdue for victims to not only have a voice but the proper help they need.

~Daixy~

Save A Life: Part 2

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So back in December, 2012, I worked with Blogging Ghana, StACC-Ghana and Noguchi on the “Save A Life” Blood Drive.  It was all pretty rushed but we got 30 people to Give Blood at Korle Bu  and Noguchi.
Several Bloggers (eg here, here, and here ) gave their takes on  their experiences, or asked people to go #GiveBlood. The support on twitter and facebook was wonderful and I would like to thank everyone who tweeted, texted, emailed or showed up to donate during that period. That December, a lot of people heard the over-all cry for help. 
Photo credit: Greg McGoon
On the day I went to give Blood for instance, the good men of the Ghana Armed Forces showed up to donate.  Overall, 801 people walked in to voluntarily give blood in December 2012. We need this trend to continue.  This is why I, Blogging Ghana, StACC and Noguchi are asking you to please make a habit of going in to donate at least every quarter of the year.
As promised, here  is my video of my experience. Please do not laugh at my “Ow Ow Ow face”. I do not like being pinched 🙁                        

I know, I know…I spent a lot of time ogling the men in green but what can I say other than that I love a man in uniform?

Photo credit: Greg McGoon

 A few things to note:

  1. Every last Saturday of every month, Dr. Paul Mensah of the Korle Bu Blood bank will be teaming up with the Doctors at the Accra Mall Clinic to collect blood for the bank.  For those of you who don’t want to, or can’t go to korle bu, this is a good option. Take a friend with you and chillax before and after you donate. Incidentally, this Saturday, he will be there.
  2. Drink lots of water and eat something before you go to donate.
  3. If you’ve given blood before, please be sure to take your donor card along with you. 
  4. I’ll be showing up randomly during the exercises at the mall and just may have some goodies for the people I meet there 🙂
  5. When you go to give blood, tweet/blog/facebook etc about it and tell others about your experience. Let’s create a culture of helping help ourselves. 

See  you on Saturday!

~Daixy~

Blast from the Past: National Identification?!!!

Remember when I blogged about the National Identification Scheme and questioned whether or not Ghana was ready for such an exercise? I was concerned with the amount of information that was being collated and questioned whether it was safe for our security personnel to have access to it.

It’s been four years since and since then I’ve noted the following:

1.  The website is no longer http://www.niaghana.gov.gh/ 
It redirects you to the new website
2.  The new one is http://www.nia.gov.gh/
Recently, I paid a visit to the NIA Office near Gulf House and being the curious person that I am, I followed a website mentioned in an ad placed in the lobby. The ad was inviting people to visit Ghana’s e-services hub.  Since I had my smartphone on me, I typed in the link and was actually impressed with the site. I decided to click on the NIA page there and followed a link there to the official website whereupon was promptly directed to….
3. a porn site. A Russian porn site. I thought my eyes were deceiving me so I went back and clicked the link. Same thing! So I checked from a tablet. Once again, I was directed to the porn site. NO, I did NOT take a screen-shot of the questionable content (I know some naughty ones will ask for evidence).
I informed the receptionist of the problem and she said “We know. The IT guys are on National assignment so we can’t fix it now”. For real? NO ONE was available to stop the hackers from redirecting visitors to their lewd gallery?
Later on, I was made to understand that the hack only worked on mobile devices. Computer browsers sent you to the actual NIA site so all I had to do was find a computer and save my eyes the trouble.
Still, this security thing nags at me.  This is the NIA. Information security should NOT be a problem for them. If we’re to trust them with our vital info, they should be able to handle the security of their own website, surely? 
This is what the website looks like today on both web and mobile browsers. 
I can only assume that the IT guys are finally back from assignment and are cleaning up the website. How long the welcome screen will greet us, I’ve no idea but I’ll take this to naked chics any day.
Have you registered with the NIA? Do you feel your data is safe with them? Have you experienced anything like I did when visiting any Ghanaian Government site?  Hit me up in the comments section.

ECG: Tale of an Energy Monopoly

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If you’re a Ghanaian then chances are you’ve heard these phrases before:

  • Electricity Come and Go
  • Either Candle or Generator
  • Energy Crisis of Ghana
  • Ela-TDC (yes it’s its own political party and won -0.05% of the Ghanaian populace over)
  • Dumso Dumso

Here’s the thing.  Someone let their pet monkey loose in the Electricity Corporation of Ghana. This is not a joke.  There’s someone who lets their monkey onto the premises and this little bugger keeps messing with the switches.  How else could you possibly explain the disco day and night fever that has gripped the Nation?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about  POWER OUTAGES!

I live in a part of Accra, where the electricity is virtually always out. At least four days a week, we experience some sort of maintenance or cable fault. A few years ago, they claimed we had a busted transformer and During Christmas week, we were out for five days straight.

It’s become normal for Ghanaian homes to have backup generators now.  Those things come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  I’ve got a medium sized one which handles lights and a few TVs but definitely not my freezers. Some homes have humongous ones so they can continue to use their heaters, air conditions etc but what is important to note about all types of generator users is, it’s an additional cost to a home or business user. If I pay GHC150 a month for electricity and about GHC 80 for water (meanwhile I haven’t had water in over 6 months. That’s a post for another day) oh and tack on about GHC 100 for Internet (includes what I tack on to my phone and iPad) well, that’s over GHC300 from my meager salary going into utilities. When you throw in the cost of maintaining a car, fueling it and clothing….I pity the average Ghanaian’s pocket.

The point I’m trying to make is, what we’re paying for utilities is bad enough without having to tag on additional costs for fueling our generators. My genset will go for 8 hours on about GHC20 of petrol but egads! What of the poor sods who invest in larger ones? How much extra do they have to pay in addition to the about GHC400 that ECG collects from them monthly?

Last year, the entire country had their electricity rationed. Every couple of days, an area would go off for about 12 hours and this went on for months. The nation dubbed it “Dumso Dumso” which loosely translates into “switch on, switch off”. It became a bone of contention during the just ended elections, with people seemingly forgetting that such situations occurred even during the previous administration.

Well, all this “dumso dumso” nonsense was right down my alley. My area (near Kwabenya) is used to constant power outages and we actually welcome the scheduled outages.  When I know I’m to go off at 6am, I make sure to iron and prep everything and head out of the house early. And if I know I’m going off at 6pm, then I make sure to charge my phone and laptop in town and grab some candles so I can read a bit before bed.

Our problem is with the unscheduled outages, like what we’re experiencing now. Our power went out on Friday night. I’m typing this up on my IPad which is quickly draining of power at 8 am on Sunday, January 20. The problem? Supposedly a high tension cable fault somewhere in Kwabenya. We were promised we’d get out power back yesterday but as of this morning, my kontonmire with mutton and smoked mackerel is going bad. My dogs will no doubt be feasting on the large pot I made before the day is done. THIS is the real “dumso dumso”.  This is a real case of either candle or generator.

Calls to ECG (who have got really nice customer service agents but still haven’t got the solution bit down pat) only serve to infuriate me further.  “Oh have you reported the fault?” “Yes Madam, we did say 3pm but our engineers are still in the field and do not have an idea when they will be done.” “Please Madam, what’s an ETA?”

This morning, after being asked again whether or not I’d made a report and if it was my whole area that was off, I blew up. I’m an extremely impatient person and it doesn’t take long to get me to let loose the hounds of hell. “This is unacceptable” I said, ” I just told you my power has been out since Friday and you act as though you do not know about the problem. Does your system not tell you Kwabenya has been off since then?” The poor agent had to hush up and listen while I told him, “add this to the new report. Tell your people that if they were another service like my ISP, I would have switched to someone else by now. You people have a monopoly on electricity in this country or else you’d give us value for money.  How can you keep taking us out for 3, 4, 5 days and expect us to accept it? My food is going bad! Will you pay for it?”

Now I’m supposed to call in a few more minutes to see if the faults men have given a new estimated time for power to be restored.

Thing is, if we had multiple power companies, which really should be the case then perhaps we’d have better service. I don’t believe that state enterprises should be sold to private bodies (as in the case of Ghana Telecom to Vodafone). I believe that private institutions should give healthy competition to government bodies. We should have a choice. I should be able to make the choice to go off the national grid, if I want.  Perhaps the government should subsidize alternate energy sources for Ghanaians who want to go green.  I would invest in an affordable solar unit for my home and much as my folks hate the idea of biogas, I sure as heck would use my home sewage to power my house (they will NOT use it to cook no matter what I say).

Point I’m making is, if the government knows that Gridco, ECG etc cannot handle the pressure of powering up the nation (and yet they sell power to other countries) then they should make it easier for communities and individuals to generate their own power. We’re sick of all of this.

The next election, I am voting for whoever can give me uninterrupted power supply. Do you hear that, Hassan Ayariga? Promise me “domesticated” electricity and you will have my vote.

For now, I’m entreating whoever that monkey belongs to, keep that bugger under lock and key. He’s been playing havoc for far too long.

~Daixy~

Accra: Village, Slum or City?

Woke up this morning to see this article floating about on twitter. In this article, Eonline reporter  Alyssa Toomey writes, “The handsome boy-banders visited the impoverished village of Accra and took to Twitter to detail their eye-opening experience.”
From what I can surmise, Comic Relief (responsible for Red Nose Day)  brought One Direction to Accra. Lord knows which parts of Accra they sent them to, but hey, they saw a slum or two.
This is what one member had to say about his trip:
https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=179c22f4fa&view=att&th=13c42b9e2363e27e&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1424311331919495168-1&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P_VP_Hzw4NW2i-th9UwWnUb&sadet=1358329173800&sads=xWeM9eT46wLS5CbRfyeOYv0bni0
Hey Niall, thanks for visiting my country (even though you only visited Accra) and thanks for wanting to help those who are poverty stricken but here’s some thing you need to wise up to. Poverty is everywhere, even in your beloved United Kingdom. How is it that you managed not to notice that “poverty is real” before you visited my “impoverished village of Accra”?

In response to the article and the tweets from Niall Horan, GH twitter had a field day. Aside from tweets like mine which expressed outrage, a lot took to humour to voice their displeasure.

This one from Wanlov the Kubolor had me laughing my butt off!

 
I can’t blame One Direction.  They’re kids, really and hey, I can understand to some degree how in all the excitement, the band members could have tweeted like they did.  You can never see poverty and walk away untouched.  You’d have to be a cold bastard for that.

My beef is with the article on Eonline and thus, with  Alyssa Toomey. Ms. Toomey apparently failed to do her research before posting the article.  Even worse, the article either did not go through an editor, or her editor was an ignoramus. Accra is not an “impoverished village”. So I asked Niall, One Direction and Eonline to please tell Alyssa that Accra is not a village.  None of them bothered responding but that’s to be expected.  I tweeted at Alyssa herself asking her to edit the article and deliver an apology but received no response. I didn’t really expect otherwise.

While others rant on about whether or not Accra is a “modern city” and complain about the “dirt” etc, I would like to make myself very clear.

A village is defined by my common dictionary to be:

  1. A group of houses and associated buildings, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town, situated in a rural area.
  2. A self-contained district or community within a town or city, regarded as having features characteristic of village life.

Accra is very much an urban area, no matter what people choose to say about it. It is larger than a town. Perhaps the slum that was visited could be described as a village but my Capital City of Accra truly fails to meet the description of a village.  It is a CITY! I do not understand why the word village has come to mean in some people’s minds, “a dirty group of mud houses with animals roaming freely about”. Please! Not every village comes with complimentary death and squalor. Accra has a huge problem with sanitation and we need to get our people to stop throwing their crap in the street but just cuz some so called “villagers” have relocated to Accra from the rural areas etc does not mean it has become a village.

Every city the world over has its share of poverty. I don’t really care about the author tagging Accra as impoverished.  Hey, if she thinks hotels like Movenpick Ambassador and La Palm Royal are signs of impoverishment, that’s her problem. I can take her behind Dekalb in the Bronx or walk her through Harlem and show her some poor people. Would she like to call those places villages too? Even in Memphis, I saw squalor.The abject poverty I have witnessed will not let me attempt to fool anyone that we do not indeed have impoverished sections (and a lot of them) in Accra.

My problem is with western media always needing to portray Africa as a poverty ridden “country”. They blatantly refuse to show the progress we’re making. Growing up, I studied geography and read a lot so I knew most of the states of America and of course, that the Britain was a teeny weeny Island etc. It was all drummed into my head, whether I wanted to know it or not.  So how come Western kids do not know that Africa is a continent? How could Alyssa Toomey not have checked facts on Ghana and thus not know that Accra was our Capital city?

Later on in the day, I discovered that the article had been edited and the insulting phrase taken out. I feel better, knowing that at least one more person out there will think twice before writing about my homeland in a derogatory manner.  I don’t care if you tell the truth about my country.  Talk about the poverty all you like (but talk about yours too and maintain the balance) but please do not make the mistake of belittling us.

To celebs like One Direction who love to do charity work, kudos. Your hard work is really appreciated but please for the love of all things Holy, do your homework. Don’t mar the good work you do with ignorant comments.

My final two cents is meant for all Ghanaians. Can we fix up our city? Please? Accra is a health hazard and it’s time we cleaned it up. We have town and country planning.  Why are their codes being ignored? Why are people dumping rubbish wherever they feel like? And what do we do about the mass exodus of people from rural areas to our urban centres? How long has that Slum at Korle Gono been in existence and what has been done to take care of it?

Until we make strides to improve things and better brand our nation, we will forever have ignorant impressions running around about this country and the rest of Africa. Let’s work together to paint a better picture of our homeland.  It’s the only one we have! 

God Bless Ghana!

~Daixy~

Save A Life: Give Blood This Christmas.

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Last Friday I read about the Korle Bu Blood bank’s sorry state: They have only 80 units of blood left and are contemplating closing down (They need a minimum of 200 to run properly). The Christmas Season in Ghana usually sees an increase in accidents and as such this period is the worst possible time for the National Blood Centre to be low in stock. Having them close down means families with emergencies are going to have to look within themselves for eligible donors, or pay people to donate.

The sad news about the people lining up to sell their blood at the blood centre is, they are usually the ones with blood communicable diseases (ala HIV, Hepatitis etc). They are not a SAFE bet.

I decided that this year, I would donate some of my blood. For years, I was too low on Haemoglobin/Iron and too skinny (I once weighed in at 43kg with my 5’8 frame) but now I am of a healthy weight and for the past year, my HB levels have been excellent. I asked on twitter if anyone was ready to go with me to give blood this Christmas and after talking to Blogging Ghana, StACC-Ghana and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, I am proud to Announce the Save A Life Christmas Blood Drive!

Join us on 22 and 24 Dec at the Korle Bu Blood Centre and 27-28 Dec at the Noguchi Memorial Institute and give some Life Saving Blood. Time is from 9am to 2pm for each day. The break in-between is to allow the staff of the National Blood Service to take their holiday break.  These brave men and women deserve the two days to catchup with family.

Donor cards will be ready for all who donate their blood two weeks after the exercise. In order to make things easier, there will be attendance lists for all who participate to facilitate pickup/delivery at a convenient location when the cards are ready. The advantages of having a donor card are:

  1. They allow for speedy location of your donation records.
  2. If you or a family member ever require blood, you will be first in line for what is available in storage (You get points each time you donate). Since the number of regular donors in the country is low and the bank is always operating at a minimum, it’s only fair for regular donors to be given dibs whenever they have an emergency.

Not sure if you’re eligible to Donate?  Here’s a link to some information from the StACC-Ghana Facebook Page. You can also sign up for the event here. We need to have an estimate of the number of people attending so some form of snacks can be provided.  It is important that donors have something to drink and nibble on after giving blood. So your clicking join on the facebook event page will be very much appreciated.

I will be recording my experience on Saturday 22nd, regardless of whether or not I am allowed to donate. The blood stored in the bank only lasts for 35 days. I am hoping that my experience (and other bloggers’) will encourage others to go out and give blood on the regular.  You never know when you, or a loved one may need blood. It would be a shame for the bank to be empty if you should ever be in need of some.

This is the time of year when most people choose to give back to society.  This year, let’s do something different.  Grab a friend and head over to Korle Bu or Noguchi. Even if you can’t donate, you can help out with serving drinks and snacks. Oh and did I mention it’s an opportunity for free confidential medical screening? Let’s give a little blood which will go a long way to saving lives.

Now I want to hear from YOU:

  1. Have you donated Blood before? What was your experience?
  2. Never donated? I want to know if you would consider giving blood.

~Daixy~

Earth Child: Naptural Woman

Posted in Uncategorized

A few months months ago, I made the decision to transition from relaxed hair to natural hair. I began my transition with braids; I sat for hours (with lots of breaks in between) while a frustrated hair dresser twisted my hair with extensions and turned me into an earth goddess. A couple of months after my first braid, I sat in my bathroom with a pair of scissors, contemplating whether or not I was really going to go through with it. To help things along, I grabbed my hair into a ponytail and snipped it off at the base. The photo is of me after the initial snip. You don’t want to see what my face looked like after the reality of my actions hit me. Tears do not look good on Mz Daixy.
 

A week of recovery later, and I took the snippers to my hair once more and found a lace scarf to use as a headband.

 Mz Daixy’s a school girl again!

I eventually went to the barber and got the last bits of permed wisp taken off.

Ignore the ginormous smile on my face.  
Luther Vandrosss and Teddy Pendergrass were whispering sweet nothings in my ear that morning.

My natural hair is a pain to take care of.  I’ve been relaxing my hair since the 4th grade, after my mom got tired of breaking combs in the tangled mess of kinky curls. My foray into napturality has brought back best forgotten memories of hot combs burning my scalp and combs and brushes snapping like twigs. It’s impossible to comb this hair when it’s dry, it won’t lie down no matter what you do to it and I’ve had to say goodbye to afternoon naps (cuz I can’t tidy it up afterwards without getting it wet).

I’ve considered locks and passed. Locks are gorgeous, I’ll admit but knowing that the only way to get rid of them is to hack off my hair has me balking. I’m going to let it grow out and bring back the afro for a bit while I work out natural ways of making the hair soft and easier to manage. Still, I’m enjoying the fresh look and am sticking to switching up between the natural fro and braids. I even posed for this gorgeous pic.

Transitioning may very well be the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Becoming an earth child is wonderful. I’ve begun cutting out chemicals from my diet and have also been removing checmical lotions and such from my beauty regime. In future, I will be sharing some of my homemade recipes for skin care (trying to find the best one for treating my acne prone and scarred skin) for those of you who are looking for natural alternatives also.

I apologise for my absence on here (I’ve no real excuse other than that life’s been pretty demanding the past couple of months). It will not happen again. Thanks to all who moved with me from my old blog and are still here despite my truancy.