Love Is Scary: Scared To Love And Be Loved!


Love Is Scary!

Love Is Scary!

Honesty
Allow me to be honest: I’m scared to love and be loved. I have broken some hearts and I have had my heart broken as well. I have made some bad decisions at the expense of the heart of others. I have disappointed a few girls and I have also been disappointed – hence I’m afraid to love again.

What Is Love?
What is love you ask? It is a decision. The crazy excitement you feel especially at the beginning stages of a relationship or “talking” is normal. It is called the “honey-moon” phase. It is bliss. It is beautiful. But unfortunately, it does not last forever – sorry to burst your beautiful bubble, but it fades away with time. Usually, they show up as love, bottled up in infatuation. Love and infatuation are like fever and typhoid – they present the same symptoms, but only the test of time differentiates whether you really have a fever or typhoid. The same applies to love and infatuations – time reveals what is real – remember they can both be initially be wrapped up with emotions, but infatuations are 90% of the time emotions and will remain that way forever. See, the thing is, emotions are unstable. You can be happy today and sad tomorrow. You can be crying at this very moment and all of a sudden, start to laugh with the next few minutes. But true love stands the test of time. Love incorporates some emotions, but true love can stand without the overflow of emotions on a consistent basis. When you say you love someone, it is more of a decision (or at least it should be). It is a decision to love the ins and outs of this individual. It is a decision to love this man or woman irrespective of how much weight they will gain in the future, how much money they will have or not have in their bank accounts, what career they will have and etc.

The Battlefield
Someone said “love is a battlefield” – yes, I agree! And just like any battle, the fainthearted do not survive. Deciding to love someone every day is not an easy task. Deciding to love them for their flaws, failures, “nastiness”, etc. takes patience, kindness, perseverance, commitment and consistency. The fear here is that, since love is a decision, the person who claims to love you can one day decide to go the other route and there is nothing you can do about it. They can literally wake up one day and say, “I want to break up, I want a divorce, I do not love you anymore, it is not the same, it is not you but me, and etc.” These words can totally shutter your whole life, dreams, goals and vision. They can easily destroy a human being and the end result is usually insecurities, fear, emptiness and feeling worthless. Whether the grass is greener or not, people change, mindsets change and we change decisions on a consistent.

Forever?
Should the decision to love be forever? I certainly agree. But do we see “forever love” consistently in our generation or society today? Certainly not.

Scary
The scariest thing is giving someone your whole heart to love “forever” when actions and decisions of tomorrow can’t be predicted. It is scary. It is more like giving someone a shotgun and telling them to shoot you whenever they feel like it.

Conclusion
Will you decide to love? Will you commit to love? Yes, love is scary without a doubt, but before you decide to love, pray and make sure you are going to honor yourself, God and your partner. You can either make love ugly or beautiful. Just like it is a decision, it is all up to make that decision and honor that decision on a daily basis. Do you love me? :)

Joe Darko
Instagram: @joe_darko
Twitter: @joe_darko
Facebook: Joe ForChrist Darko

Let’s Face It, It Is Tough To Love God In Difficult Times


Tough Times Ahead

Tough Times Ahead

Have you ever found yourself straying away from God because of life’s challenges? Or better yet, have you ever caught yourself talking to God in anger due to the troubles of life? Best believe I have! One thing we all face in life is challenges. Life is not perfect and life can’t be perfect. I can marginally describe life with fancy adjectives but at the end of the day, it is what it really is: life. I can get creative and transform the word “life” into an acronym just to project my thoughts and views during different seasons of this journey: L.I.F.E – Living In Faith/Fear Every time. At the end of the day, your spectacle of life might not be vaguely different from mine: we come into this world as innocent babies, we grow, we learn, we go through challenges, we go through difficulties, we overcome, and then we die. Some do not even get to overcome the challenges and difficulties of life, they simply die. No man can boast of living without facing the afflictions of life. It is just life.

While I was thinking of our world yesterday, my faith was challenged and I began to doubt. I started asking myself these questions: “God, are you real?”, “If you are real and all love then why can’t you show love to kids suffering from slavery?”, “Why do you allow hundreds of people to die in the name of a virus?”, “If you are all powerful, why can’t you turn our afflictions around?”, “If you are indeed a just God, then why don’t you end the injustice of this world?”. To be honest, I went on a rant with these questions and I felt my spirit drown in sadness. Growing up in the Christian community, asking these questions and doubting God is frowned upon, but if we will throw away the politics of religion and allow ourselves to be human as Jesus was when he shed tears or better yet, when He said, “…Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done…”, then we will all admit to sometimes wanting to give up; we will all admit to the tendency of sometimes questioning the existence of God. We will all admit to what we truly and really are: humans.

Let’s face it, it is tough to love God in difficult times. Yes, I can easily preach to you and encourage you that “everything is going to be alright”. I can quote scriptures and do a Joel Osteen impersonation and motivate you every single day of your life. I can passionately motivate you like a football coach would motivate his players to overcome every single obstacle just to win the Championship game – all these are good and needed, but I will not be doing you any favor if I do not, first and foremost, humbly accept what is true and what is real: it is tough to love God in difficult times. I will also not be helping you if I do not lead you to Christ. My stories may motivate you, but trust me, you are unique you also have testimonies on your lips to be shared with the rest of the world. These stories are testimonies resulting from my level of faith and grace pertaining to my relationship with God, the cornerstone of my faith. Before I go any further, allow me to share with you what God spoke to my heart.

I was a little heartbroken when I left the office yesterday, mainly because I was so focused on the injustice of this world. The system is created for a few to benefit and a lot to fail. The system supports racism and other facets of injustice. The system neglects the poor and needy, shuns people with morals while praising those who will be willing make a fool of themselves on TV for better rating, which turns into advertising and which ultimately leads to more revenue for the “select” few. To be honest, I was more frustrated, hurt and broken. As I was driving to Chick-fil-A, I started to talk to God: “Are you even there?”, “Are you enjoying this?”, “Are you not just?”, “Are you going to ignore me just like you have ignored the cries of people suffering?”. At this point, I stopped under a red light, and proceeded to mull over my decision to accept an invite to preach to a congregation around Christmas. I had lost hope. Yes, I knew God existed and knew that the existence of evil does not negate the existence of God, but as human as I am, the struggle and injustice of this world overshadowed my faith – which can be a tricky and a dangerous situation for a Christian to be in – I needed God more than ever! As I grabbed my phone to decline the invite to preach, I decided to ask God a final question: “why do you make it so difficult to love you…especially in times like this?”. Immediately after I said this, I felt a response in my heart: “No one said it was going to be easy. My son suffered and died for you when it was not popular to do so. He made a decision to love you and as a sign of his love, He suffered and ultimately sacrificed Himself on the cross. Do not forget that it was not easy for Him, because He asked that if I were willing, then I should take the cup of suffering from Him, but He ultimately left it to my will. The true act of love is not always evident when things are rosey, but when things hit rock bottom, when we feel defeated, when we are weak, when we feel disappointed and when we are down and out. My son showed love on the cross to you when it was tough to do so, but it is your choice to love Him in difficult times, especially when you are down and out and nothing compels you to do so. I never stopped loving you and won’t just like I won’t stop loving the same world my son came to die for”. This statement in my heart left me speechless for a moment and I quickly accepted the invite to preach irrespective of everything going on around me.

Our faith is often nurtured when we love “in spite of” instead of always looking to love “because of”. Let me elaborate: we tend to love others based on what they do for us and especially when things are perfect, but our love is tested when things are not going as planned. Does this automatically negate the fact that it is tough to love God in difficult times? Definitely not, but as people of faith, we should always choose to love God during the darkest times of our lives. We should not be fair weather lovers of God, but ALL weather lovers. It was not easy for Abraham to obey God out of love in an attempt to sacrifice his son, neither was it easy for Job to restrain his lips from cursing God when he lost all he had. It times of trouble, let us continue to exemplify our love with actions and as usual, we will always overcome.

The interesting thing is that, God knows. He knows what you are going through. Is it His will that we suffer? Definitely not, but is it His will that we endure through Faith, Grace and Love. God’s purpose of free will is to make unique humans who will choose to love Him unconditionally, but we sometimes forget that free will also comes with the opportunity to make mistakes and bad decisions. These decisions/mistakes have consequences and through the Mercies of God, we are forgiven while His Grace gives us the strength to get through any repercussions which will result from our horrible decisions. Some people are going to be wicked instead loving, some are going to be unjust instead of just, and some will ultimately choose to destroy instead of build – this is life and it is their choice.

In 2013, I got in a terrible car accident. A certain individual chose to drink and drive and his decision ultimately led to his death and my car being totaled. Did God kill him? I doubt it – he exercised his free will by choosing to drink and drive. Did his choice affect another individual? You bet – his choice forced me to miss some time from work, affected me emotionally and physically but through the Grace of God, I am alive and well. This testimony is to show that, you and I are going to be affected by the horrible decisions we make and the horrible decisions make, but we should understand that God can turn situations around through His love and He can grant us the Grace to get through it.

Should I think God does not exist because I got in a car accident? Should I think His love is not real because of the countless of challenges I have faced over the past few years? No, but rather, I should continue to love Him in spite of the horrible world we live in and also avail myself to be an extension of this love towards the world we live in. Yes, it will be difficult, but we Grace and Faith in Christ.

You will go through many trials and tribulations, but do not forget to look at the cross. The cross should remind you of a certain man who in the midst of difficult times, chose to love. That love saved us all and when we exemplify that kind of love in the midst of our difficulties, we shall be saved. It won’t be easy, but is it worth it? You bet!

Joe Darko
Twitter/Instagram: @joe_darko
Facebook: Joe ForChrist Darko

If I Have Gay Children, I Will Love & Pray For Them – A Response


Source: leftcentral.org.uk

Source: leftcentral.org.uk

This piece is in response to Pastor John’s piece “If I Have Gay Children: Four Promises From A Christian Pastor/Parent” – http://johnpavlovitz.com/2014/09/17/if-i-have-gay-children-four-promises-from-a-christian-pastorparent/. This is one of the best posts I have read in a while and I agree with John on so many levels but I differ with him on a couple of thoughts he shared as well.

I personally know John. Ironically, in the past, I have gone to John for advice concerning marriage. John is one of the most humble people you will ever meet. He is full of life and full of love. I started working with a youth group, which John used to Pastor and I’m yet to hear anything bad or evil about him. For those of you wondering whether he is legit Pastor or not, be rest assured that he is one. I’m not writing this post to totally debunk what he wrote, but I am only shedding light on where we slightly differ from a Biblical Perspective on this topic.

I’m also a Christian and a Youth Leader but not a Pastor – at least not yet. I grew up in a Christian home and because of that, I’ve grown a little bit accustomed to the religious practices of the Christian Church, but I have not always agreed to certain practices of the Church. I have always been an advocate for the “Christ Culture” in the Church which embodies Grace, Mercy and Unconditional Love. About a year ago, I made a video on YoutTube talking about how Christians are supposed to love everyone including our brothers and sisters in the gay community. To be honest, I faced a great backlash from a lot of Christians for my stance but just like my faith, I was not moved. I will never be moved and I’ll continue to share the Biblical truths on such topics for generations to come.

As a Christian, there are certain truths I hold dear to my heart and couple of these truths are as follows:

1. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Personal Savior and I believe that He is not only the son of God, but God Himself. I also believe that I am under Christ’s Authority and not of my own
2. I believe in the Bible as being the Authoritative Word of God which continues to stand true to the test of time
3. Finally, I believe in love

With that being said, my stance on this issue is that we are supposed to LOVE ALL through Christ. We are supposed to love the fornicator, we are supposed to love the drunk, we supposed to love the murderer, we are supposed to love the thief, we are supposed to love the racist, we are supposed to love the gay, we are supposed to love robber and if I have gay children, I will equally love them unconditionally. As a matter of fact, we are supposed to love ourselves because we are certainly not perfect in anyway, shape or form.

I agree with John on so many levels concerning loving his kids if he is to have gay children. With the same token, if I ever have gay children, I will unconditionally love them and always think the world of them. I will not reject them. I will consider them as my prize possessions. I will not hide their sexuality, but protect them from the harsh world. I will be proud of them, not because they are gay but because they are my kids. I will listen to them, read to them, play with them and continue to support them in everything they will ever choose to do. I will encourage them and as a family, play video games together and also pray together. Most importantly, when I go to my room to pray for the rest of my family, my friends, and the rest of the world, I will also pray for them.

I’ll pray for them the same way I’ll pray for the couple going through a divorce. I’ll pray for them the same way I’ll pray for my fornicating son or daughter. I’ll pray that God will give the couple (going through a divorce) the strength to get through the difficult times of their marriage without a divorce and I’ll pray for my fornicating son or daughter that God will give them the strength to help them get over the temptations of fornicating. Finally, I’ll pray for myself. I’ll pray that God would purge me of all unrighteousness and continue to work in me through Christ.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting my gay son/daughter to not act on their disposition of being gay. My want for them not to act on such dispositions certainly does not mean that I love them less. Jesus loved us more than anyone could ever love us, but he certainly does not agree with our sins. On a couple of occasions, Jesus told specific people in the Bible after healing them or protecting them to “Go and Sin no more”. “In saying, “Go and sin no more,” Jesus was not speaking of sinless perfection. He was warning against a return to sinful lifestyle choices. His words both extended mercy and demanded holiness”. The same way Jesus loved these people, that is the same way we should love. At the end of the day, we are CHRISTians and not JOEsians or PAULtians. Our identity and authority is in Christ and not in our President, Boss or Pastors – so we should strive to love as Christ; did but at the same time, we should spend time in prayer. If the people we are praying for go back and sin, we should not reject them but continue to love them and pray that the power and spirit of God will give them the strength to overcome any and every temptation. We should not pray for them as if they were abnormal but we should pray for them just like we would pray for ourselves: for God’s strength to allow us to overcome the temptations of the flesh.

If I were a parent with children having the dispositions of being gay, I’ill certainly go on my knees and pray that the spirit of God does not allow them to act on such dispositions. A disposition does not necessarily justify the expression of that particular disposition – and this is for all sexuality including fornication and infidelity. Married men have the disposition to cheat on their wives but this does not mean that they should cheat on their wives. Young men and women also have the disposition to fornicate, but the disposition does not justify their actions. A young and hungry boy on the street has the disposition to steal but his actions will be reprimanded by the law.

As Christians, we’re all called to love. We’re called to show the love of Christ. Love accepts & understands, but does not always agree. Just because someone does not agree with an issue does not mean there is no capacity to love. I don’t agree with the robber who robbed the bank, but through love, I will accept him as an individual who fell into the temptation of sin. At the same time, as Christians, we are called to be bold. We should boldly accept people who are rejected. We should boldly stand for the weak. We should boldly be willing to lend a helping hand but most importantly, on the issues of Sexuality (which is a sacred one), we should boldly accept and understand the struggles and difficulties of others but we should boldly take the stance that God’s plan was for a man to marry a woman and his plan was also for a man to be faithful to his wife. Just because a Christian takes a stance under the authority of Christ in support of marriage between a man and a woman does not mean the Christian is not filled with love.

If I have gay children, I’ll accept them, understand them, love them – and while I disagree with the idea of their sexuality, I will use one of the most powerful weapons we have as Christians: Prayer. BUT I will never stop loving them at all cost – whether they act on the dispositions of their sexuality or not. I will always love them.

Joe Darko
Twitter/Instagram: @joe_darko
Facebook: Joe ForChrist Darko

Redirect Post: A Letter To Ghanaians In The Diaspora: A Rant


Hi all, below is the original letter from Nanama. A couple of people have talked about the link to the original site not working, so I decided to copy the post and redirect people to the post from my blog.

Below is her original letter to Ghanaian from her original: http://www.infoboxdaily.com/index.php/life/your-life/item/2066-a-letter-to-ghanaians-in-the-diaspora-a-rant

Dear Diaspora,
When I was in my third year at University and school was out for the holidays, I decided I would visit my aunt and uncle in London. It was summer, but you couldn’t tell because the weather was all miserable and confused like maybe the sun had lost its memory and had forgotten to be hot. They picked me up from the airport, and on the drive home they tried to manage my expectations, saying, “Our flat is not what you’re used to, it’s small but we make it work.” I was ok with that.

After about two hours on the road we got to their flat in Peckham, and they helped me carry my suitcase inside. They didn’t lie, it was a tiny, tiny place and it felt even more cramped because apart from the fact that they had three kids, it looked like they had tried to fit all the world’s belongings into it. I got settled into my new room for the next 3 months and then went to find my cousins (Hehe. I say “find” as if it was a palace with many rooms and I had to wander about for hours trying to figure out where they were. In reality, I took maybe 3 steps and I was back in the living room).

During the course of my holiday, I quickly learned that life in London, for my aunt, uncle and their kids, wasn’t rosy. It was work, work, school and busy, busy. It was easy for me to sympathise with them; they had to deal with weather that couldn’t decide between rain and sunshine and work and school routines that didn’t allow for much leisure time.

Life is like that for a lot of you Ghanaians in the diaspora, but it’s as though when you land at Kotoka, there’s something in the air there that gives you amnesia and makes you forget who you really are. Here’s where my rant begins, and mind you, I have taken the liberty to speak on behalf of all Ghanaians living in Ghana.

First of all, you make a huge fuss about the weather as if you expected any different. The sun was blazing hot in the 25 years you lived here before you left, and it’s blazing hot now. Besides, every time we speak to you on the phone, you complain about the bitter cold and how you can’t wait to come to Ghana and have the sun on your back. Well, now you have it, so shut up and enjoy it like you said you wanted to.

Secondly, you can fold that feigned air of superiority and stuff it back in your suitcase. We know you live in a matchbox, but you have the audacity to turn up your nose at everything, including the poverty you see on the streets — the hawkers that are still hawking and the beggars by the roadside who are still begging.

You talk big when you see people, like you’re playing the role of a hotel magnate in a big Hollywood movie. You paint a picture of a luxurious life, like it’s a bed of roses and every day is a holiday, but we know the truth o, we know. What’s annoying is that after making people think you eat and poop money, you get upset and complain when they ask, “d3n na wodi br33 y3n?” and expect you to be Santa Claus, all laden with gifts.

You have solutions to all our political problems, and you usually bestow your wisdom on us while you sit in your London or American flat. You tell us everything that’s wrong with Ghana, like we’re blind people and you’re the walking stick we need to get to the bathroom. You tell us, “Fight for our rights!”, “Don’t settle for mediocrity!”

This reminds me of a recent occurrence on Twitter, just before the #OccupyFlagstaffHouse demonstration was to happen, when a certain someone (name withheld), who wasn’t in Ghana at the time, was trying to rally people to join in. He was laughed at and insulted, which is, typically, what we do to you when you try to tell us how we can fix our country. If you’re so concerned, move back home and fix it yourself.

Speaking of home, do you realize how silly we think you sound when you say, “back at home,” like London is your hometown and you and the Prime Minister have tea and biscuits every Tuesday at 2 P.M. “Back at home,” like you don’t come from Abetifi, Kwahu in the eastern region of Ghana. And another thing, what is, “you Ghanaians”? You’re racist now? You say it like your nationality is a cheap suit that you took off and decided never to wear again.

The way you dress when you’re here is funny (this is mostly for the women), piling on the beads and the African print wraps that have no business being paired with that flower print dress and those dirty sneakers. Your British accent comes and goes; it comes when you’re talking to people you’re trying to impress, but when you go to Makola and you’re bargaining for cloth, it magically disappears.

You manage to weave, “meti abrokyire o” into every conversation you have. Isn’t it exhausting? Next time you’re coming down, why not just get a badge made that says that on it and pin it to your forehead?

Last thing, the legal tender of Ghana is the Cedi, in case you’ve forgotten. Not the Pound or the Dollar or the Euro, so quit asking, “How much is that in Pounds?” as if we don’t have any forex bureaus, or you don’t have the sense to know to change money before going shopping or to eat at a restaurant.

We love you Ghanaians in the diaspora, we really do. If for nothing at all, for the humour we derive from your antics. But you seem to forget who you are and where you come from. You expect magic, that when you come down everything that’s wrong with Ghana should already be fixed. Things aren’t perfect here, but it’s home, so quit with your nagging.

Yours forever,

Ghanaians living in Ghana

REPLY: A Letter To Ghanaians In The Diaspora. Not A Rant, Just A Response


REPLY: A Letter To Ghanaians In The Diaspora. Not A Rant, Just A Reply To A Letter

REPLY: A Letter To Ghanaians In The Diaspora. Not A Rant, Just A Reply To A Letter

I just read an interesting article titled “A Letter To Ghanaians In The Diaspora: A Rant” by Nanama Boatemaa Acheampong. It is an interesting post and it has some truths to it. Nanaama clearly stated it was a rant, so my expectations were set before I read it. I was not surprised by her rants, because it seems to be the general consensus of most Ghanaians against Ghanaians in the Diaspora. Before you read my response below, I suggest you click on her link and read her post. You will like it because there is some truths to it.

http://joedarko.com/2014/09/25/redirect-post-a-letter-to-ghanaians-in-the-diaspora-a-rant/

My Reply:

Dear Nanaama, first of all, I want to thank you for your rant. It places things in perspective – but I suggest you do the due diligence to understand things from a greater point of view before you rant. Yes, I am a Ghanaian in the diaspora and for the past 12 months, I have been to Ghana twice. I am the kind of guy who likes to dress comfortably over the summer here in the states – with my T-Shirt, shorts and slippers (or sometimes my loafers or sperry’s) coupled with my wrist beads and African necklace and whenever I am in Ghana, I wear similar outfits. I have had Ghanaians in Ghana say “Oh, isn’t he from the U.S? Why is he dressed so normal like this? My answer is simple: I do what is comfortable for me and I do not try to impress anyone in Ghana or in the States. Believe me or not, there are a lot of Ghanaians in the diaspora who have this mindset of not trying to impress anyone. Not every Ghanaian in the diaspora is a “show boy or show girl” when they come to Ghana. Not every Ghanaian in the diaspora is looking to impress anyone in Ghana. I am just a simply young Ghanaian man, who just graduated from Penn State 3 years ago and working now. My life is simple: I have my little car and my little apartment with some of my toys like the XboxOne and other stuff and I’ll never flaunt to any Ghanaian as if I live with Obama in the White House. I cut my coat according to my size and with time, I will get to where I need to or want to be – and yes a lot of Ghanaians in the diaspora are also living like this.

I’m sorry to hear that you lived in a “match box” when you visited your auntie. Well, that’s what they had. Maybe instead of you ridiculing it, you should appreciate it. They actually gave you a place to lay your head. In your letter, they obviously did their best to set your expectations during your ride to their place from the airport. They did that possibly because they knew you were living large in Ghana and didn’t want you to be disappointed. But you were still disappointed like a brat and instead of appreciating it, you proudly wrote about it and rudely exposed their humble lifestyle – I bet you they didn’t ask you to preach to the world about their tiny home. If you care to know, historically, houses have always been small in the UK. The rich or poor live in small houses and even compared to the States, their food portions are also small. Sometimes it is cultural and sometimes it is simply the economic situation of the people you will be living with. If you don’t want to live at a small place in London on your next vacation, I suggest you carry your mansion the next time you visit or better yet, stay in Ghana and enjoy your vacation.

You are saying Ghanaians in the diaspora complain about the weather when they visit Ghana, well shoot! It is hot. We complain here when we get extreme temperatures over the summer and the winter. We are humans and humans complain. We do not complain in Ghana to get your attention or to beg for your sympathy – we simply complain just the same way you do. Yes, it is expected that Ghana will be hot, but in life, you do not always get what you expect. Whenever I get ready to visit Ghana, it is always in my subconscious that it will be hot, but I still sweat like a dog when I get there. My expectations do not change the temperature from hot to cold. Yesterday was the first day of Fall here in the States and I expected it to be cold but it was freezing. When I started to freeze, I called up one of my friends to complain – this is life. Ghanaians living in the diaspora do not complain to get anyone’s attention when they come to Ghana. We complain simply because we are stating facts – sometimes we are simply exaggerating and being a little dramatic. Oh and by the way, before you point your finger at others just look at your own life: you are the same person who complained about the weather in UK during your visit in your post. So it is okay for you to complain when you visit, but it is never okay for us to do the same? Perfect. I get it.

Concerning politics, we are not saying Ghanaians are too blind to see their problems, but let’s call a spade for what it is and for once let’s accept the truth: we (Ghanaians) do not hold our government accountable. You are right, we should come down and help if we are going to give our two cents, but you have forgotten that some Ghanaians also have families here as well and will not just get up to fight the incompetence of Ghanaian leadership. Unless you have a fat bank account (and I’m talking about millions of dollars), you won’t risk it. Also, we all know that Ghanaians will not just sit and watch a Ghanaian in the diaspora come and make positive changes simply because “he did not live in Ghana”. You are the same people who ignore the help of others try to come back home to help – we hear you say, “what is he doing here? he thinks he knows better than us? he did not live here but wants to come here and make a change?”. You are the same people who push people away when they are trying to help. You forget to understand that for any positive change to be administered or be effective, it starts with a grass root – so when we give our two cents, it is ONLY our two cents. You can simply take it or leave it. A corrupt society does not benefit anyone but people with buying power; and for the people overseas, so long as they are working hard and have more buying power than a majority of Ghanaians, then a corrupt Ghana will benefit them and not necessarily some of the people in Ghana who are working only to make ends meet – so if someone in the diaspora is just giving their two cents, then it should tell you that they simply care. Do not overlook this as arrogance. An arrogant person will not care and continue to live their life.

Whenever I’m in Ghana, I speak twi. Yes, my family members make fun of my Twi, but I see no difference in what I am speaking and what they are speaking. I speak it because it is my language whether it is good or not. I do not try to “brofolize” anything to impress anyone. Do you realize that the Dadabee’s like you are the ones who are always trying to speak English to us when we are in Ghana? In your own country, you avoid speaking your own dialect – then we become the criminals for responding to you in English with an accent we have developed overseas. Have you realized that YOU are the same people who try to talk with a British Accent and American Accent? You actually try to force it. Have you realized that YOU are the same people who are so pressed to pick up on American or British lingos? But then you turn the tables and blame us when we connect with you on that level and communicate with you. I per-se do not need to speak English to prove to you that I have an American accent. It is a language and nothing more.

Yes, your post may contain some valid points, but you sound like the “angry little sister” with all this rant because NOT ALL GHANAIANS IN THE DIASPORA ARE EXACTLY WHAT YOU HAVE MENTIONED. People are different. Some might fit the bill, but not all – so do not write a letter to ALL of us when you want to address the select few of people you know. You have a problem with them, tell them to their face when they come to Ghana. Laughing behind their back and talking behind their back won’t alleviate the problem. When people travel they pick up different traits, different cultures and different habits, so do not be naive to quickly point out the prick in the eye of your beloved Ghanaians in the diaspora while you have a huge log in yours.

SOME Ghanaians in the diaspora match exactly what you have described in your post, but please do not place ALL of us in your “auntie’s matchbox” – like you said, it is too small for us all to fit.

Yours’ Faithfully,
Ghanaians In The Diaspora!

Courtesy of Joe Darko
Twitter/Instagram: @joe_darko
Facebook: Joe ForChrist Darko

Ghanaian Players “Crying” Over Money? Not Really! Hear The Truth!


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During the wake of Ghana being knocked out of the tournament, lots of posts emerged on various social media platforms claiming that the Ghanaian soccer players were unpatriotic for wanting to get paid. These players have toiled, worked hard and believe it or not, are more dedicated to the team and the country than $100,000 ($3 million total) going to their already deep filled pockets. It is not about the money, but the principle. Let’s dig deep to understand what really happened.

Yes, most of these players make more than $100,000 so why the big fuss? Trust or lack of it. The players do not trust the Ghana Football Association. On multiple occasions, the incompetent association has lied to the the players representing the country. The same reason why the FIFA organization is corrupt is the same reason why the GFA is corrupt: Money. There is money in futbol globally and big people are always trying to capitalize through their corrupt means. The GFA is no different from FIFA with regards to corruption, but FIFA is at least a competent organization – this is by no means in support of their corrupt behavior.

The 3 million dollars ($100,000 for each player) is money owed and promised to the players as a bonus for qualifying to the World Cup from the GFA. With respect to principles, the players did work hard to qualify for the World Cup and should have had this money before the start of the World Cup competitions, but once again, the GFA tried to pull a fast one, just like they’ve been doing for many years. Most of the players don’t really need the money, but standing on the ground of principles, they were willing to put a stop to the corrupt nature of the GFA.

The $100,000 bonus promised to the players is different from the World Cup Prize Money. World Cup prize money — which ranges in Brazil from $8 million for being knocked out in the group stage to $35 million for winning the title — is normally paid after the tournament. According to ABC News.com “Ghana’s cash-strapped football association has asked for an advance on the $8 million prize money it is guaranteed from the World Cup to pay outstanding debts to players ($3 million  they owe the Black Stars). FIFA said Wednesday that Ghana’s request was ‘under evaluation.'” It is not rocket science to understand that the GFA did not want to pay the players the money they have earned but wanted FIFA to pay them money they have not earned. They were trying to borrow $3 million from the already guaranteed $8 million the players were going to earn – this is certainly not fair and definitely cutting into the shares of players. The players were upset because they have already experienced this in a different fashion before (4 and 8 years ago) and were not willing to go through it again. They were willing to put a stop to this cycle once and for all.

The players were not being greedy but were not going to be duped again. They were ready to put up a fight against the corrupt nature of the Ghana Football Association. They have worked hard, earned their spot at the World Cup and deserve the bonus they were promised. They are professional athletes and not charity athletes. To them, this is a career and their wages should not be toyed with. Unfortunately for Ghanaian supporters World Wide, this incident placed Ghana on the map in a very negative light and caused some disagreements at the Black Stars camp in Brazil. Sulley Muntari who is a very vocal leader lost his cool and overreacted and this led to his suspension. Kevin Prince Boateng on the other hand was simply not getting along with the coach and was also suspended – all of this destroyed the morale of the Ghanaian Black Stars who for the past week and a half, have been playing great futbol at the World Cup, but against Portugal, they looked drained, tired and could not concentrate. It’s no surprise that both goals from Portugal came directly from errors by the Ghanaians. They simply could not focus.

This is what happens when you have an incompetent association full of corrupt officials who constantly interfere with the work of young professionals. Say what you want about Akwasi Appiah (The Ghanaian Coach) and his tactics, but in my humble opinion, he is a competent coach who was sabotaged by an extremely greedy and corrupt association in the name of the Ghana National Football Association. They created an environment where the players were not able to focus which led to their failure. The environment was simply not conducive for success. Your environment is critical to your success just as your will and drive is.

In case you did not know, no African team has won the World Cup – yet alone make it to the semi finals. Do not be surprised, because if you can’t manage your affairs in life, you will simply not win in life. Our leaders are too incompetent to manage effectively or successfully.

Let’s not put the blame on the players. They fought a good fight. They gave their all, but they needed major help from our leaders.

Even though I am based here in the United States, I will forever be a proud Ghanaian and will forever support my team, but there has to be some major changes concerning leadership. Africa can do better, but we the people have to stand up, step up and speak against the injustice of our leaders or else the cycle of failure due to poor management will never end.

Thanks,

Joe Darko

joe.darko@homail.com

101 Rules For My Mentees


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 Wheeeew! The graduation season is almost over! To be honest, I love and hate the graduation season. I love it because I get to see my mentees walk across the stage with pride and a sense of accomplishment – I am always humbled by this moment. On the other end of the spectrum, I hate it. I hate it because they are about to set foot into this cruel ad sometime, unforgiving world. I fear for them. I fear that they might forget all of my advice. I fear that they will make wrong decisions. I fear that they will stumble and fall. I fear that they will fail.

Even though my fear places things in perspective, I can’t let my fear overshadow my faith. Yes, they will make mistakes. They will make wrong decisions. They might forget my advice. They will stumble and fall and they will fail at certain things in life but it should not hinder their growth and development. As a matter of fact, their shortcomings will help shape and nurture them. I had my fair share of failures. I did forget some key advice. I made wrong decisions and made costly mistakes, but through grace, I turned out “alright”. I have faith and believe that my mentees will go through their own journey, but when it is all said and done, they will turn out just fine.

Besides the one-day summer camp which will they be attending with me to get them mentally prepared for college, I wanted to casually share some “rules” with them. So after Church yesterday, I sat down and started to think about things I would like for them to know, do and don’t do – these are things I learned during my four years at the Pennsylvania State University. I did not intend to write down 101 rules, but the list kept growing. From 5 to 25, then 50, then 70 and, finally, 101!

These “rules” are guidelines – they are not “if you do not follow these you will fail and die” rules. They are only to help guide their decisions, build character and positively help shape them into men of substance and value. I hope you enjoy these. Feel free to comment. :)

101 Rules For My Mentees

1. Don’t choose “walking” as a major. You don’t require any special skills to be the best walker or a walking specialist. My point is, choose something which will add value to yourself and your future.

2. You don’t have to go out every weekend, you know that right?

3. Make new friends but continue to invest old friendships.

4. Take risks and don’t be afraid to make mistakes

5. Break some rules, but don’t be foolish because some rules will cost you for life

6. Really sick? See the doctor and stay in bed. You won’t learn anything especially if you are not in the right state of mind. Oh, you won’t get a perfect attendance award.

7. Do not be pressed over any girl.

8. Don’t get “married” your first semester in college.

9. Do not form bad habits

10. Treat girls with respect

11. Do not forget your parents – because no matter how they try, they won’t forget you

12. Fear God

13. Find a Church

14. Do not get crazy drunk – legally/illegally. You will regret it the next morning, plus it’s not fun anyways – overrated.

15. Want to have a baby? Get a puppy. Oh, by the way, getting a puppy will attract more females ;)

16. STUDY! STUDY! STUDY! This is the main reason why you are going to school.

17. Get to know more females. They are interesting and they will teach you a lot. Some will definitely annoy you and others will end up hating you – such is life.

18. Say no to drugs. Period.

19. If you are supposed to complete a degree in 4 years, it simply means you should whatever it takes to finish it within four years at all cost. No days off.

20. Priorities, priorities, priorities…. and more priorities. If you do not prioritize, you will simply fail.

21. Be honest with your parents, your professors, your friends, but most importantly, be honest with yourself.

22. Don’t plan to cram. Planning to cram is planning to fail and only a fool plans to fail.

23. Every homework, assignment, or quiz should be your final.

24. “These girls ain’t loyal”

25. Just kidding, some are…Some. Choose wisely.

26. Don’t be pressured to be in a relationship. It is expensive in college plus you will be broke anyways

27. Travel, go on trips

28. Be spontaneous

29. Give. Be a blessing to someone

30. Exercise

31. Volunteer because you want, not because you have to

32. During breaks, be excited to come to see your parents and totally serve them while you are home. They will definitely be surprised and respect you as a young adult

33. Call your mentor at least once a month. Yes, call me.

34. I don’t expect you to be perfect, so don’t expect yourself to be perfect. When you fall, rise.

35. When you make mistakes, learn.

36. But do not fail a class. You can pass any class if you put in the time.

37. Don’t be afraid to make enemies. But love your enemies.

38. Go on dates! Lots of them! Yes, girls still love them

39. You see a cute girl you are interested in, talk to her. Get to know her. You might not see her again

40. If you give her your number and she doesn’t reach out, reach out to her (if you have her number)

41. If she doesn’t respond, she is simply not interested. Don’t stalk her – its classless

42. Read. Not only for class

43. Remember God. Don’t throw away your faith.

44. Make room for your boys and spend time with them even if you have a girlfriend, because you will need them when things go sour with your lady.

45. No girl completes you

46. Stay away from girls who start drama or always in drama – not worth it

47. Invite your boys from other schools to campus events and create moments

48. Be a great host

49. Use your professors as references or point of contacts

50. If you are really into a girl, then avoid the friend zone at all cost

51. Join a club and build your network – make sure it is diverse not just on race, but ideas and personalities. Get involved with campus activities

52. Thinking about joining a frat. Well, weigh the pros and cons and make sure it will give you something no organization/anyone else can give you. Do your research. I did and I did not join one. But that’s me.

53. Hold onto your morals and value

54. Throw a party at least once in your college career – even if it is just a get together

55. Invite your friends to just come hang the day after the party. You will need them to help clean

56. Don’t feel like going to a party? Simply do not go

57. Don’t feel like going to class? Go. Bad habits are usually formed by unstable emotions. Trust me, you will most of the time not feel like going to class

58. Freshman 15 is real. Yes, for the guys too. Internship and work over the summer is a must. Don’t compromise

59. You don’t understand something, question it

60. Question your professors too. After all, they are not ‘all knowing’

61. Do not judge. You don’t know what others are going through

62. Fight for what is just and right

63. People do not have to like you, but they must respect you. Know when, where and how to put your foot down

64. Don’t give up on your dreams, they are always going to be valid until you are dead

65. Don’t want a pregnancy scare, don’t have sex

66. When you ask a girl out on a date, you have to pay for her. The quicker you learn this, the better

67. McDonalds is not a great place for a date either

68. Accept people for who they are but most importantly, for who they are NOT

69. Help other, but remember you are not superman and you simply can’t save the world. Someone has already done that. Lead them to that person

70. Be different, stand out and embrace your uniqueness

71. Practice good hygiene

72. Challenge the status quo, but respect authority

73. Boys talk should remain just that…. Boys Talk!

74. Your girlfriend is just a girlfriend. Not your wife, mother or sister

75. Some people are irreplaceable – mother, father, sisters or brothers. Remember them

76. Build your brand with confidence from Day One!

77. Attend every career/networking event at your school

78. Don’t play with the emotions of females. You might have a daughter some day.

79. Avoid 8 am’s. Just avoid them. You will be half asleep anyways.

80. Syllabus week is NOT “party week”. Look over the syllabus and get a head start with your readings. Whatever you do not understand, ask the professor in class. He/she will like that you take his/her class seriously. It is not “sucking up”, you are only doing what you are supposed to do and you are beating the system.

81. It’s not middle or high school, so your professor is not there to teach you – his job is to guide you. You teach yourself and you learn on your own.

82. Don’t hesitate to schedule office hours with your professors. They actually appreciate them.

83. Pick a fun elective. Something odd and different. You will learn something interesting and valuable

84. Learning is the application of knowledge. You are not learning if you are not applying. Simple.

85. I’m not saying all your friends will be snakes, but be wise. Not all of them will have your best interest at heart

86. Pick a random night, make sure you don’t have class the next day, play video games with the boys and just talk

87. Sleep is medicine. Remember that

88. Build your network

89.” If you do not know what to do, do Business because it underpins everything” – from my co-worker Chris.

90. Arrive early to class, sit in one the first three rows, ask questions, take notes and you will never fail

91. Don’t sit with your friends in class. You won’t learn a thing

92. Don’t throw away your culture

93. Don’t lose yourself while trying to find yourself

94. Set goals, but make sure they are Measurable and Attainable. Hold yourself accountable

95. Don’t squander your refund check. Be wise with it. It is not free money.

96. Have a clean room and ensure that it smells good at all times

97. Invest in a nice pair of dress shoes, a dress shirt, pants, a tie and a watch. It’s a gentleman’s thing

98. Your default response under any sort of pressure should be a NO.

99. Try new things

100. Avoid these four group people: Gossips, Moochers, Drama and Negative people – they will never help you

101. Live a FULL LIFE

Let me honest here. You won’t always get it right and you are never going to be perfect. College is just another journey which will challenge you and build you up. Never stop learning and you will never stop growing.

Bonus and Final Rule: If life gives you lemons and you don’t like lemonade, just know that you really do not have to make lemonade. You have so many options with these lemons. Take your time, be patient and find ways and means they make good use of these lemons.

Amazing Experience With FIFA 14 On The XBoxOne – You Will Love It Too!


On Field Antics in FIFA on the XBOXOne leading to ban and suspension

On Field Antics in FIFA on the XBOXOne leading to ban and suspension

*Disclaimer: My thoughts and opinions and not of my employer*

While I was unwinding from work yesterday, I decided to play some FIFA 14 on the Xbox One. I was playing a game in Career Mode – “To Be A Pro” as Joe Darko – myself  (a young 19 year old from Ghana trying to make his way to the top to join the big names).

After a couple of games, I received various e-mails from the assistant manager about my “antics on the field”  and got suspended a couple of times. This was frustrating, because “Joe Darko” on the field was just scoring goals and not doing anything wrong. Then it hit me: anytime the referee made a bad call, I would yell at my TV and say stuff like “Really referee, you got to be freaking kidding me”, “what in the world”, “what the heck is that call for”, “wasn’t that a freaking offside”, “are you getting paid” and so on (I really did not swear… but apparently, these were fighting words). Come to find out, the Kinect would actually pick up these words and the tone of my voice, report it to the referee and the referee will report it to my authorities (see the picture above). I was really fascinated and decided to test it out. So I played one last game and this time around, for testing purposes decided to swear at the ref. Well, guess was happened.. he was not happy, paused the game at some point to have a word with me, and I got banned! As soccer fanatic and a FIFA game player, this is absolutely AWESOME!

The future of gaming and entertainment is definitely BRIGHT.. especially with the XBoxOne and Kinect. This system is not only changing the living room, but changing the gaming experience for the better!  If you do not have yourself an XBoxOne or XBoxOne with the Kinect, you should definitely plan on getting one – whether you are a hardcore gamer or not, this is a system for everyone – from people who enjoy playing video games and people who enjoy playing it once in a while and just want to have a good time. It is the future and you definitely have the opportunity to live on the cutting edge of it.

P.S: For those of you who like swearing and getting your frustration out during game play, remember that this only works in a certain Game Mode. If you are playing online with a friend or a visiting friends, you won’t be reprimanded for swearing – so you can still swear your life away :). . This was developed for this mode of Game Play in FIFA 14 (Be A Pro) to make things interesting and in a way, realistic – if you are trying to be a pro at any sport in real life, you won’t be allowed to say any everything to the official on the field or on court either.

- Joe Darko

I Don’t Care About God


Too busy to care about God?

Too busy to care about God?

At some point during my college career, I was getting to know this young lady. She was interesting, smart, beautiful and most importantly, God fearing. While we were indulge in the “talking” phase of our friendship, she surprisingly made a huge accusation that I did not care about her. On a side note, the “talking” phase is the phase when two people interested in each other, decide to get to know one another exclusively, with hopes of dating in the near future. 

My friend’s accusation bothered me, so I sat her down to ask her how and why she came to the specific conclusion that I did not care about her. I was startled because even though I was preoccupied with school projects, campus activities, hobbies and personal projects, I did my best to spend some time with her whenever I had the chance; but apparently, it wasn’t enough. She blatantly told me that I did not care simply because I did not spend “quality time” with her. Once again, I was confused, because whenever I was not busy doing what I wanted to do, I did spend time with her. We debated about this for about an hour and came to the conclusion that it would be best for us to stop “talking” and just stay as friends because we were simply not on the same page. I did not understand her and she did not understand me. She felt as though I was not giving her a significant portion of my time and I felt she was just unappreciative and very ungrateful.

5 years later, I realize I was wrong and she was right. 5 years later, I understand what she meant by “quality time”. 5 years later, I realize I did not really care about her. Yes, I did spend time with her, I did talk to her but I was just going through the motions and did not really care.

This is the same reason why I say that I do not care about God. Being brought up in a Christian home, going to Church has become part of me. Whenever I am not in Church on any given Sunday, I feel uncomfortable. I try to influence my generation with the love of God and even though I am born again Christian, I realized I did not really care about God. I came to this conclusion yesterday during Youth Service when we talked about building a personal relationship with God. I realized “I was chasing after the wind” and not chasing after God. I was chasing after my aspirations, my goals and my dreams while leaving God on the back burner. I was going about my business but not my Father’s business. (Luke 2:49)

With regards to quality time, sometimes, my female friend wanted me to sacrifice some of my hobbies for her, but I was not willing to budge. I sometimes canceled already planned and scheduled time with her because something less relevant came up – of course she was definitely not happy whenever I did this. My priorities were out of “whack” and my sense of “priority assessment” was at an all-time low. What she meant by quality time was giving her the best of my time instead of my “leftovers”. I can’t help but think that this is how God feels about me currently. I am not giving Him the best of my time. I am giving him what is leftover and what is less important. I am simply not investing in my personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

During the weekdays, I wake up in the morning, shower, get dressed, sometimes eat breakfast and spend 30 seconds on my knees to pray. I usually spend time volunteering after work, work out by playing soccer or running and by the time I get home, I am tired and ready for bed. Sometimes, I grab my laptop, work on my personal projects and by the time I decide to read my Bible and pray, I would be fast asleep. Over the weekend, I support my community and friends by attending events or clean my apartment. On Sundays, I go to Church in the morning, watch football in the afternoon and go to Youth Service in the evening. I come back home, watch a show or two, work a little more and once again, make an attempt to spend time with God by reading the Bible and praying – it’s always end up in an epic fail.  As you can tell, the constant theme in my schedule is Work, Volunteering, Events, Hobbies, Church and Projects. While all of this is good, they can be meaningless if I do not develop a personal relationship with God. Christ should be my cornerstone, the backbone and the center of my life. No wonder Jesus said “not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord” will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 7:21). I was not only saying “Lord, Lord”, but I was yelling “Lord, Lord”.

As I was thinking about my personal relationship with God this morning, I could not help but think of Cain and Abel. Cain and Able both offered sacrifices to God but Abel’s was accepted and Cain’s was rejected. Abel’s offering was most likely accepted because “he brought to God the fat portions from some of the first born of his flock” (Genesis 4:4). I asked myself, am I giving God the best portion of my time or am I giving him the “leftovers”. Am I spending quality time with Him in prayer and studying the word?

My female friend felt I was not giving her my best of time and she was not happy with the “leftovers”. My words told her that she was important to me, but my actions were the direct opposite. Yes, I was busy and I had a lot do to, but if I was going to include her in my life as a special person, then I had to make sure she was getting the best of my time and not my leftovers. I had to make sure she was being treated like a priority and not an option. She was available but wanted to feel important and it was my responsibility to device a plan to help accomplish this. She was really not asking for much. Even though she knew I was busy, she cared for me enough to be there for me, gave me the best of her time while I gave her the worst of mine. It was not fair to her and it is something I am not proud of.

I’m definitely not trying to compare this girl to God, because God’s loves and care simply can’t be compared. I’m only trying to draw your attention to something that we can all relate to, so at a very high level, you can understand why we can sometimes sing all the right hymns, know all of the right verses, but fail to invest a decent amount of our time in building a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Christians. God is not asking for much. He wants our best time so we can continue to grow in Him and through Him. God is always going to be available and God is always going to care for us and most importantly, love us unconditionally. He is always going to chase after us but are we going to chase after Him? Do we care enough to put certain things aside in order to build a healthy relationship with him? Do we care enough to make Him the center of our lives? Do we care enough to make him a priority in our lives?

As my Youth Pastor said yesterday, our relationship with God should be personal but it shouldn’t be private. The moment you make the decision to invest in your relationship with God and build upon your personal relationship with Him, you should not make it private, but rather, allow the love, grace and peace of Christ to flow through you at your job, at your Church, at events and whenever you volunteer  – this is when you become the Salt and Light of the world. This is when God can use you to make a positive impact in this generation and beyond.

I don’t care about God based on my actions currently, but I am willing and ready to change that. Even though Christianity is not ALL ABOUT the “works”, it is imperative that we make the conscious effort to juxtapose our deeds, actions and work with our faith. Faith without works might be dead, but faith coupled with works is full of life – a life given to us by Christ through the medium of Grace on the Cross.

 

 

My Message To Africans – “I Am Sick & Tired”


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Africa, the Beautiful

The beautiful Africa! Filled with natural life and resources, yet we are poor. We are not poor because we don’t have enough, we are poor because we are greedy. Now, let’s not blame our leaders but let’s look within ourselves: How many times have we visited our beloved continent after years of staying abroad? We go on expensive vacations to other places, spend money to enrich their economy but we refuse to do the same for our continent. Yes, you are entitled to go anywhere you want to go in this world, but have made an attempt to visit the motherland? Yes, the conditions might not fit your current lifestyle and no one is asking you to pack your bags and go live there (even though that will be great), but it will be great to go back and see the conditions the people are living in and possibly think of a way you can assist.

I am sick and tired of Africans tearing each other apart instead of building each other up. Africans are being exploited in their own continent. The rest of the world is taking advantage of us all because they see that we are more than willing to look out for ourselves at the expense of our neighbors. They see us divided and “a house divided shall not stand”. It is obvious, we are willing to bring each other down instead of supporting each other. It obvious in Africa and oversees. An African will try to harness their talent but will get no support; an African will start a charity, a project or a program but will get no support; but we are more than willing to support foreign ventures (which is not wrong to do), but if we are going to take care of others, we better start taking care of our own for “Charity does begin at home”. The biggest excuse you hear from this issue is “we don’t trust Africans”.

Honestly, I am sick and tired. What do you mean by you don’t trust Africans? Who do you trust? I mean, you shouldn’t trust anyone but God to begin with, but what is the point of not trusting your own? Yes, we might not have the best track record when it comes to trust, but believe that the “devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know”. We are quick to trust others but our own. If you are not going to trust your own, then you might as well not trust any human in general, because the good Book says “the heart of a man is wicked” – the heart of man, yes, the Asian, the Caucasian, the Hispanic and of course the African. 

I am sick and tired of the corruption eating up our continent. Yes, corruption is a product of greed. We might all be greedy to some degree, but should we be greedy to the point that we are willing to kill one another? Should we be greedy to the point that we are willing to watch our neighbors starve and die? Should we be greedy to the point that the same people we lead are the same people we exploit? Should our greed cost the lives of our kids and women? Should our greed destroy? If our greed is going to lead to all this, there we might as well not be greedy anymore. 

I am sick and tired of the lack of accountability. We wonder why our leaders are getting away with a corruption. Our leaders know we are only going to talk and rant and not act – no wonder they are always doing what they promised not to do. When are we going to stand and say to our leaders “Enough Is Enough”? When are we going to hold them accountable to their responsibilities and actions? With accountability comes adherence to responsibilities. Our leaders are only human like you and me and you know for a fact that they are bound to be tempted and not do as they promised. Yes, there are systems in place to help avoid corruption but it is left to the citizens to get up and act and not only speak; these systems need humans to fuel it to run efficiently. If they know we will be quick to act, they will not act up. Let’s not be complacent.

I am indeed sick and tired! Us Africans can be very spiritual, but spirituality without faith is dead and faith without works is dead as well. Meaning, we got to strike a balance, we got to be spiritual, have faith and work towards our faith. We can’t say we want to stop corruption, fast and pray 24/7 and not act about it. In case you didn’t know God is not a magician. No, He is not. He is not going to come down and immediately fix everything, He is going to need people who are willing to stand up and act on their faith. Look through History and you will see that God used men who acted more than proclaiming their faith. These were men and women of action: Yaa Asantewa of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Nelson Mandela of South Africa and so on and so forth. These men and women acted on their faith, trusting God that their actions will bring about change and it did. They did not curl up in their rooms to fast and pray for 90 days for things to change. Don’t get me wrong, as a believer, I believe in fasting and praying, but do not let any Pastor, Prophet or Preacher lead you astray by telling you not to act out in faith. Even the Prophets in the Bible acted out on faith! 

I am sick and tired of the fighting among ourselves. Why are Christians fighting Muslims? For what reason? To see whose God is powerful? Why are we destroying each other for no good reason? Why is one ethnic group rising up against another ethnic group? We should accept our differences, appreciate the beauty in our differences and out of love, tolerate one another – we should not only stop there but extend that love to other nations and all people. Not every “Akata” is a criminal, not every White person is a racist, not every Muslim is a terrorist, not every Nigerian partake in fraud and not every Ghanaian eats fufu or dances azonto. Let’s get rid of the preconceived notions about our own and other, let us look beyond what separates us and look ahead of what binds us together: we are all humans, living on earth and will one day die irrespective of how much we gather here on earth out of greed or hate. 

Africa is beautiful, Africa is gorgeous. We have our resources, we have our jungles. We are blessed in so many ways, but we are allowing our blessings become a curse.

Yes, I might be sick and tired, but it is only because I want Africa to get well and healthy – In a nutshell, I am Africa, you are Africa. All the concerns/problems stated above is something we all Africans can relate to; as a matter fact, we are the biggest contributing factor. We are sick and tired: we are corrupt, we pull each other down, we tear each other apart, we don’t trust each other, we are not stepping up to act, we over spiritualize and don’t act on faith. We are seriously sick and tired, but we can all get better. The change we want to see in Africa is the change we should see in us first and foremost, because we all contribute to the problems in Africa and we are the only one who can help turn this around. Do not just see the change in you, act and bring about the change you want to see.