#233Entrepreneurs – The Beads Jewelry Maker

So I’m starting a new category where I talk about young Ghanaian entrepreneurs and change makers. There are plenty young people out there not waiting for others to do stuff for them, but who are creating their own opportunities.

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I’ll start with someone who makes jewelry from beads, Naa Adjeley Mensah of “adjeley”. I follow her on Instagram and I saw some beautiful jewelry made from beads. I thought she was advertising for someone but I later found out she makes and sells them herself. I was impressed, not only by the beads and designs but the fact that she is venturing into a new field, doing what she is passionate about which has a potential of making money, all as a university student. Our educational system doesn’t really encourage activities which are not book oriented.

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She started making beads in Jhs 1 and she sold her first jewelry in Jhs 1 too. She learnt how to make them on her own, she researches, watches videos and reads books, she didn’t really get an expert to learn from on the job. Design ideas come to her and she figures out how to make them. She didn’t end there, she went ahead to brand herself, everyone wants to be associated with something trustworthy and branding helps with that. In her experience so far, she has had good days and bad days but she is happy knowing that  people know about her and her jewelry. And yes, she is considering starting her own business after school. One important thing she has learnt is that, once something is beautiful, people will get interested and some would buy it.
I won’t say she is the only jewelry maker in Ghana, but she is doing something she loves and I think instead of the youth having the “get rich quick” attitude, they should have the “I love my job” attitude . The future is bright. Watch out for adjeley designs, made with love…

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Was woman made to be enslaved?

Strange question, but yes, it has popped up in my thought train a thousand times and more. I look at society and wonder what went wrong. Every day we hear of one rape situation here, domestic violence here, broken heart leading to insanity there, single parenting, cheating in marriage etc.

I recently saw a quote, “Men are supposed to respect women, but women are supposed to give man something to respect”, and I was like hey, even the fact that you stayed in a woman for 9 months gives you a reason to respect her or? Well not everyone thinks that way. But right now, I want to rest the man oppressing woman talk for just this post, I want to talk about another. “Women,give man something to respect”, I encountered, actively and passively some situations in my university. First, A guy slapping and beating his GIRLFRIEND, his reason was, the girl wasn’t showing him respect. The guy practically dragged her back to his room and she was apologizing amidst tears. Second one, a girl whose boyfriend has given her a set of rules, who she can talk to and who she can’t talk to. She goes to do his housekeeping and in the case she doesn’t clean well, the guy gets angry and she apologizes for not doing the “work” well, he can decide not to talk to her and she gets all upset and worried and cries for days even to the extent of not attending classes. Third one, this guy who emotionally abuses his girlfriend, always calling her nasty names, leaving her sad and depressed, and she is still with him, she once caught him having sex with another girl, she got angry, packed her stuff from his room and left, a few days later she went to apologize to the guy for reacting like that. Please, the girls I’m talking about here are university girls, they all wrote WASSCE and they are offering courses like engineering, sciences, social sciences, etc.

You might be saying, “Ah these girls are stupid, why don’t they just leave the guys”. There is this audio clip where a girl asks her boyfriend for GhC5000 for a phone and other stuff and the guy goes like “Herh!! The number you are calling is either switched off or out of coverage area”.

The question I’m asking here is, we as women, are we giving men something to respect? Because I honestly don’t see any self respecting woman taking that kind of abuse and staying. Do we even know our worth as women or we are just following the woman empowerment- feminism train? Do we even understand it? It’s different when men disrespect you for being a woman, and it’s different when we allow ourselves to be disrespected by man all in the name of love. Woman was not meant to be dependent on man, in fact, unless you are a child or handicapped (Even they don’t like being dependent), you have absolutely no right to be totally and completely dependent on another human being. Women, let’s make all those who died fighting for us to get the right to speak, proud. We have found our voices, let’s not enslave ourselves again.

An empowered me,

Anonymous233

Content is king

I borrowed this title from the upcoming #BlogCamp13 event which happens this Saturday 23rd March, 2013. I was chatting with a friend, talking about my childhood and it occurred to me that content really matters. Blogging is really simple, register with either wordpress or blogger or join twitter and you are a blogger but people stopped blogging because they said it was difficult maintaining a blog and having to deal with the writer’s block disease.

Anyone can write, but not everyone can write well.The contents of the blog or whatever we are reading really matters. Children are naturally curious and reading answers most of their questions, now let’s say we get a child to read, next question is what is he/she reading? This is where content comes in, reading changes lives (I know this) and this makes writers very important people eg. Enid Blyton. Is the child reading quality, life changing English or terrible English(I’ve seen some that confused me)? Their absorbent minds will take everything in, so imagine your child learning all that horrible English we see in books or hear on tv or even read on twitter. It was after I started blogging that I really began to appreciate English as a course. When a person wants to offer English as a course in the University, people can ask silly questions like “What work will you do after school?”, “Do you want to be a teacher?”, The worst I heard was “Ah, did you fail your WASSCE?”. I realized Ghanaians in general, don’t know the effect reading and writing has on our lives. No wonder university students can write and speak English that would send shivers down your spine, and they usually do this using LAFA. -__-

But its great to know there are Ghanaians who still believe in reading and writing and are trying to promote it(They aren’t only talking). This is what we need as a nation, its good to know that slowly but surely books and articles are going to be written with quality content that would shape the future of the nation and change the negative mentality of Ghanaians.

An optimistic me,
Anonymous233

My take on Ghanaian software developers and hype

Software is supposed to solve problems and who better to develop an app to solve a problem in Ghana than a Ghanaian? Its normal when we feel proud that a fellow Ghanaian and African is developing apps, but now, all it takes is for someone to create an app and that person would be hailed as the next Bill Gates, like we have had over 1000 Bill Gates in the space of a year(true talk). Software development in Ghana is becoming like our music industry; from underground to 1 hit song then kaboom! vanish. This is not helping our IT “industry” at all. I am not saying there aren’t good developers; there are and I know a lot and most of them are low key, not basking in the temporary glory of one app that honestly does nothing. Like someone trying to build a Facebook for Ghana, why bother? So is it like we are going to have a Ghanaian version of every app?

Software development takes time, its not a popularity contest. If you want to be as popular as Mark Z then you should read about him, he started Facebook a long time but we heard about it when it became stable. Software has an interesting way of embarrassing people, it might work well with 100 users but once it gets to 1000 or more users, it might crash. Start ups are now the movers and shakers of the IT industry worldwide and as a country, we aren’t far behind, we have a lot of promising Start ups and if they get the RIGHT AMOUNT of hype, it increases our credibility.Start ups are good, not all Start ups will succeed, its normal. We don’t want a situation where no one will trust start ups from Ghana because we hyped every kind of start up!!

We need software products and developers who can compete globally not local champions who get unnecessary hype just by compiling code. When I hear those in the developed world commending us for some apps we develop, I feel more insulted than proud. Its a patronizing attitude, like “wow, people from Africa too can program? they tried, at least they can run “hello world””. When will we also create stuff that will dominate like Facebook, twitter, instagram etc? Or even develop our apps targeted specifically for Ghana but others will see and want to use elsewhere? Apps that solve problems locally but can compete globally? Its a global village after all.

I am not saying software developers should not be given attention, I am saying the hype and recognition should not be the target, the hype should be for the problem the app is solving. How many of us know Herman Chinery-Hesse of Soft tribe? Hype should be given to functionality. Software developer isn’t a celebrity status.

An IT me,
Anonymous233