Book review of “Six strings and a note”

Book review of “Six strings and a note”

“Six Strings and a Note” by E. Obeng-Amoako Edwards

So my first book review finally decides to be written on a day when I need to review a report for my boss and I have to prepare for class. Shaking my head at such capriciousness. But here goes.
This morning, my friend Esther passed a comment about how important it is to focus on one thing. That when we try to focus on too many things we end up mediocre at everything. Well, I was still trying to think of a response for that when Agya Koo Nimo came to mind.
So honestly, I’d heard of him but had never really listened to his music…but I’m a reader who likes to browse in bookshops. And thanks to my dad, this year we’ve been buying a lot of books to read. So every time I walked into Legon bookshop to buy a book this year, I saw Agya Koo Nimo’s biography. However, it just looked too expensive (that’s a blog post for another day). Finally, I told my dad about it and he agreed that we get it. I’d read a few pages and I liked what I read. So I was up for it.

I enjoyed the book! So I loved how he traced life from his village, to the palace, through to senior high school, how he learnt to play the guitar, his working life and the various performances, to his time as president of MUSIGA, to the international trips and his family life. I was impressed at how he profiled some of his friends and at the various shenanigans he got up to. I really laughed hard when he talked about the time he played the guitar to some monkeys and the effect of that. I also loved the style the book was written in. Though biographical, it is written in the first person which makes it unique and somewhat autobiographical.

Agya Koo Nimo comes off as very traditional, dedicated, a man of faith and a very disciplined person. I also really admire his humility and the way he acknowledged the various people who made a difference in his life. Even though guitar doesn’t seem to be a “traditional Ghanaian musical instrument”, he made it a great fit. As a lover of proverbs, ballads, songs which teach lessons and traditional Ghanaian culture, I fell in love over and over again. I also loved the fact that he is actively impacting the next generation in music.

I was very impressed by the fact that without ever studying music formally, he became a teacher of music and was even a visiting professor in several universities in Ghana and in the USA. A google search even showed that a PhD thesis has been written on his music at the University of Columbia! And he did all of this while serving as a scientist of all things!

There comes my major criticism of the book. While I admired the philosophical ramblings, at a point I got lost because I never got a clear cut idea of his professional life and when it ended. That is a flaw especially for those of us who didn’t know much about him before reading the book.

However, I thank him for the reminder that it is possible to excel in two professions, be a family man and generally make a difference in your country as evidenced by the many awards he’s received both in Ghana and other countries.

Cheers!

 

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Unibank takeover details

Unibank takeover details

So this is my little attempt to share about what happened with Unibank in Ghana today. The bank of Ghana has appointed KPMG as the official administrator for Unibank.

I’ll kindly direct you to some relevant sources.

1. Links to news items on the story:

http://citifmonline.com/2018/03/20/bog-takes-over-management-of-unibank/

https://www.myjoyonline.com/business/2018/March-21st/unibank-takeover-7-more-banks-to-be-knocked-off-expert.php

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/KPMG-takes-over-management-of-uniBank-636281

http://citifmonline.com/2018/03/21/10-things-know-unibank-takeover-infographic/

2. Here are two articles from the website of the Bank of Ghana.

State of the Banking System

Bank of Ghana appoints official administrator for UNIBANK GH LTD

3. Here’s a definition of Capital Adequacy ratio from Investopedia:

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/capitaladequacyratio.asp

Interesting times in the banking sector in Ghana.

Ciao!

Angela Azumah Alu, 21/03/2018

*featured image from: http://citifmonline.com/2018/03/21/10-things-know-unibank-takeover-infographic/

 

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

I loved this book! Enjoy the review written by Awo Laryea!

Awolaryea

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My first book read in 2018. Although I am neither a twin nor have a sister I share a close bond with, I enjoyed Curtis’s book. I however, think that the story could have been told in fewer pages. At a point, the book seemed  like a movie with too many characters and too many sub-plots. Despite their challenges, I liked the way the sisters  looked out for each other. Style wise, i enjoy a book better when its picturesque. Although very voluminous, I could not clearly find my way around St Louis in my head and most of the time, it was dark and dull- i thought the imagery could have been better. Nevertheless, I read every single page and in record time too. I decided last year not to write out the entire summary in my reviews but this was a 521 page book and I have no…

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Reasons to attend World Youth Day in Panama 2019

Reasons to attend World Youth Day in Panama 2019

So this post was in response to a question about the need to attend the next World Youth Day in Panama 2019.

By way of introduction, the World Youth Day (WYD) is an international festival for Catholic and other Youth. It was started by late Pope John Paul II. It usually happens every two (2) or three (3) years. In between, there are diocesan and national WYDs.

In 2018, there would be a National Version of the WYD in Ghana from 27th July to 5th August 2018 in the Greater Accra Region with the climax at the University of Ghana. And in 2019, the international Version of the World Youth Day will be in Panama from 22nd to 27th January 2019. Here’s a link to the site: https://www.panama2019.pa/en/home/

The Youth of the Archdiocese of Accra will in addition to the WYD in Panama also visit the USA (Washington and New York) and tour in Panama. So they will travel from 2nd to 29th January 2019.

Below is the Post:
17/12/2017
16:57

Well, I guess it’s a question worth asking. And there are a lot of answers to give .

One of the very first things is that as a pilgrimage, it can be considered as in service training for youth and youth leaders. This is because it provides them with an opportunity to go and pray and to experience the catholic church in its universality. You might argue that we can always pray in the home church but remember that its the same reason why companies send their staff for training out of the office and why the kingdom of God is likened to a pearl you have to sell everything to get. There’s nothing like being in a place for the sole purpose of fellowshipping with God and other catholic youth. It is literally life changing! You get to hear God as never before because you are away from the usual distractions of life. Everyone who attends has many stories of how God spoke to them and used them to minister to others.

Secondly, as youth  and as Catholics, experiencing a Catholic celebration with millions of other catholic youth from all over the world broadens your horizons, gives you new perspectives on how to exercise your faith and how to lead and generally becomes a stepping stone for greater heights. The youthful exuberance is so much that it changes you.

Thirdly, you have the opportunity to exercise your faith through the various religious and cultural activities you participate in. In addition, during the mission days, you are literally a missionary to the family you are staying with. What a way to obey the great commission! You become a lifelong member of that family too! You also get to meet, make friends with and minister to other catholic youth you may never otherwise meet. And of course showcase great Ghanaian culture and experience other cultures.

A fourth reason to go for World Youth Day with the  Accra Archdiocese is that because of the format of going with youth from the various parishes, you literally have a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet with and spend time with other youth from the diocese over an extended period of time. The friendships and sharing that occur over this period tend to be lasting and very impactful.

A fifth reason is that since for many of the pilgrims it is their first time of travelling, it literally becomes an opportunity to get them out into the world in a faith like environment. This helps with getting your documentation and all other things needed for international travel in order. That way, the church is literally being shrewd in giving its young people an international experience so that in other years, they have an easier and smoother travelling experience. And of course, as you travel you see more and come back with more to teach and impact others with.

Anyway, I will end here. From a physical perspective, it seems like a lot of money and the question may be asked why that money should not be used to cater for the poor and needy in the church. Jesus’s words when Mary wiped his feet with an expensive jar of alabaster oil come to mind. The poor and needy will always be with us and we need to take care of them but, just as Mary anointed Jesus’s feet and Jesus promised that this act will be said in remembrance of her, so it is important for youth/the parish to literally do all that is necessary to take part in international WYD at this time because there may be no other time.

Angela Azumah Alu
17/12/17

wyd quote

Meditations on when David finally became king

Meditations on when David finally became king

David was anointed king as a teenager. I think it’s reputed that he was about 17 years old. That was as far back as in 1 Sam 16:1-3. He finally became king in 2 Sam 5:1-7,10. He was 30 years old then.

In between, a lot happened. He killed goliath, he fought battles for Saul. He had to flee from Saul. He got married. Saul pursued him. He became a rebel leader. He learnt how to lead. He fought and won battles. He learnt to trust in God.

13 years! It was a really long time from the promise to its fulfilment. But when the time was due, it was the people of Israel who came and acknowledged that God had anointed David as king. They made him king. And he reigned for 40 years.

So there are a lot of lessons from this story for me. That when God makes you a promise, it will happen in His time not yours. Trust Him and never give up hope.

And while you’re waiting, prepare yourself. As a king, David was a leader. That meant that all the time he had spent being a leader would serve him in good stead as king.

He built up his relationship with God. That is even the most important of all. There are many psalms where you see that David literally had to depend on God. Build up your relationship with God.

He built up relationships with others. That is also very important and necessary.

And finally, he lived! Live your life! Never ever put your life on hold while waiting for a promise to be fulfilled. Cheer up! Live!

Angela Azumah Alu

About weeds and gardens

About weeds and gardens

So my mum has made a garden at home. It was a lot of work. The place was initially full of stones. So she had to get someone to clear the grounds. It’s even still not done yet. And then, she had to buy the grass and the flowers she wanted to plant.
So she did that. And then came the watering. The place had to be watered twice daily. And honestly, it’s a lot of work. I know…coz I’ve done it.
Then the dogs decided to dig the plants up. It was not funny at all. So she had to get a sort of barricade made for the plants to keep the dogs out. It’s better now but mischievous Poncho (one of the dogs) dug up the carpet grass she had planted. He’s even destroyed some of the cage like things she made for the plants.
It’s not all been doom and gloom. She’s harvested okro from the garden. The grass is a delight to see and after a year, we’ll even have our own plantain. Hurray! And now, some of the plants bloom so beautifully that you can even get flowers for the house. See the pictures below.
Anyway, enough rambling. For me, what has stood out in this whole garden story has been the weeds. They just grow! And keep growing! Whereas, she had to buy the other plants and even not all of them did well, the weeds just grow. And you have to make time to uproot them, other wise they make the garden look messy and I daresay, they take up the nutrients for the plants. That was a very deep lesson for me. Bad habits seem to develop naturally while good habits have to be consciously worked at.
And last one, as a “non regular” member of the garden “workers”, I do not uproot weeds…because frankly, I can’t tell the difference…. especially when they are very little, they seem like the other plants. It is when they grow that you can tell the difference. (Hoping to learn though). This reminds me of the parable of the wheat and the tares. The master allowed them to grow side by side so that when they grow, the difference will be clearly seen.
Question for you and I: what are the things we want to grow in our lives? Are we ready to pay the price?
Peace!
Angela Azumah Alu, 1/4/17, Legon