Sunday, 18 March 2012

The 'spirit child'

Welcome to the Lane………………………..

Today we take a journey into the twilight zone. What will cause a seven year old girl to pick a piece of paper and start listing the names of her father’s living relatives….? Asked why….. she is says she wants to know how “big” the family has become… was this “innocent” answer that sent shivers down the spine of my sister in-law….enough to give me a call and tell me the amazing exploits of this little girl…..her mother further recalls that since her daughter started speaking she has been saying and asking her rather strange questions. On one occasion, she asked her mother if she (her mother) knew her real name. Her puzzled mother responds :why not ? I named you….the child responds…: no..not that name..I mean my real name..!   Her mother then enquires what this “real” name is and the child responds by saying “Amenuveve” a word that means someone who cares about people... (She was barely 3yrs old) On another occasion she warns her mother to stop beating her else “she will return to where she came from….!”; welcome to the world of the “born to die child” the Yoruba call it “abiku”,the igbo  “Ogbanje” and the Akan of Ghana call the phenomenon “ awumawuo”

The myth of the spirit child has it that when a woman continuously bears children who die a short while after birth or has frequent miscarriages, such women are said to be plagued by the spirit of a “born to die child” ; an evil child who will die shortly after it is born and will  to re-enter her mother’s womb again in an unending cycle. It is believed that this cycle can continue for a long time and can only be broken  when the child’s “iya  uwa”, the stone that links it to the spirit world is found and destroyed,  in other instances they are given horrible names, with the believe that they will be too ashamed to go back to the spirit world with such names….sometimes medicine men will try to discourage the dead child’s (spirit) from coming back by mutilating its body before  burying it…literally throwing it into an “evil forest”.  In extreme occurrences, the children are known to return with the scars of mutilation at their birth(reincarnation)- unbelievable, but strangely enough the phenomena has been observed  and this believe is so entrenched in the minds of most Africans.
This niece of mine came only after countless miscarriages and a child who did not survive beyond the first year. It is also known that such children when they finally decide to “stay” behave strangely; where does a three year old girl get the faculty  and confidence to tell her mother to stop spanking her else “she will go back where she came from”…?

I  am a Christian, so you can imagine how difficult it is for me to believe such things, yet the fact cannot be denied.

In Chinua Achebe’s book “Things fall apart” he makes allusions to the existence of such children in the except that deals with Ekwefi, Okwonkwo’s wife and her struggle with childbirth; it tells the story of how the cycle of death was finally brought to an end when Ezinma’s (the born to die child) “iya  uwa”(spiritual stone ) was finally found.
Well could there be a scientific explanation to the behavioral pattern of such children? What about the ones who come back with their scars of mutilation?
Your guess is as good as mine….we may never know………….!

Monday, 5 March 2012

An overview of Zepto and RLG laptops

Welcome to the Lane………………………..

Today, I bring you an overview of Zepto and RLG laptops.

 With this blogging thing of mine came the need to own a laptop…… Back in college, I had purchased a  second hand desktop that  stopped working almost about the same time I submitted my thesis…..guess it wanted to just see me through……faithful servant…! Now the problem was which brand of and type of laptop will give me the best specification at the least cost….Here in Ghana, there are a number of categories of laptops to choose from. They include the “home used”: second hand laptops often imported from the US and Europe, locally used laptops offered for sale, and brand new laptops (brands such as DELL, Apple, Samsung etc.) the cheapest among  these are the locally used ones and the most expensive are of course  the brand new imported laptops. The problem I found with these categories is that people always found it difficult to get parts for them whenever they broke down especially the second hand ones that often break down easily. 

The last group of laptops are the locally assembled ones….so called “made in Ghana” laptops….two brands that stand out in this category are the Zepto and RLG laptops….Zepto laptops are produced by a Danish company that relocated to Ghana after they were declared bankrupt in November 2009.
RLG laptops are produced by a subsidiary of the AGAMS Group of Companies: rlg Communications is a Ghanaian-owned limited liability company.

Zepto laptops come in the 10”,14”,15.6” and 17”……the specifications and prices are as follows:

Zepto 10 inch Netbook
Screen Dimension       10 inches
Processor         Intel® Atom™ Processor N455
Operating System       Windows 7 Starter
Hard Disk Drive         250GB
 Price: GH¢ 599

Zepto 14 inch Netbook
Screen Dimension       14 inches
Processor         AMD-C Series (Dual-Core)
Operating System       Windows 7 Starter
Hard Disk Drive         320GB SATA HDD
 Price.. :GH¢ 899

Zepto 15 inch Laptop
Screen Dimension       15 inches
Processor         Intel® Pentium Dual Core ® Processor T4500
Operating System       Windows 7 Starter
Hard Disk Drive         250GB
 Price.. :GH¢ 1180

Zepto 17 inch Laptop
Screen Dimension       17 inches
Processor         Intel® CORE i3-350M (2.26GHZ , ARRANDALE)
Operating System       Windows 7 Starter
Hard Disk Drive         500 GB
 Price.. :GH¢ 1999
RLG offers the mgs range of laptops…….their specifications are as follows:

mgs One:
An exclusive aluminum coating, 4-hour long playing time, built-in wireless, webcam and slim, light-weighted and performs best due to its relatively fast processor. With Bluetooth features the 2GB, 12.1

Price: GH650

mgs Two:

This is upgraded version of the mgs One with a CD Rom feature. It is light, easy to carry and quite stylish.

Price: GH 750(old price) currently out of stock.

As you can see information on RLG laptops is a bit difficult to come by….they have a Facebook page but they hardly answer queries posted on it and I find that very unacceptable for an IT company….they have a weak marketing department and their website needs a lot of tuning  up….they however have offices in almost every regional capital and they provide reasonably good after sale service. They have hire purchase arrangements for salaried workers and have entered into various deals with government to provide laptops for schools.

Zepto on the other hand has representation in two out of ten regions: Accra and Kumasi…..but have a stronger representation on the net…their website
Provides detailed information on all their products…they also have some sort of hire purchase arrangement for salaried workers although it doesn’t really work at the moment….they always come up with an excuse that the hire purchase  forms have run out(for over a month now….Kumasi office) , they also provide training in I.T.

I settled for a zepto 14”  because generally I think Zepto is a bit ahead in quality……the reason I would recommend any of these brands however is the after sales service they provide…..meaning you don’t need to bother about  replacement parts and stuff  like that…and the relatively cheaper cost.

Convertion rate: GH 1.7=$1

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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Recipes brewed in the African pot............

Welcome to the Lane…………………………..

Hello lovely guys today is one of those days……you know days you want to do something fun……I like food…yes I do….but who doesn’t? I thought why don’t I open an African recipe  page…..?.....yeah a recipe page…..! So I can teach all you guys how to prepare some good healthy African dishes……. in these days when even Africans have forgotten how good, tasty and healthy African dishes are and have taken to eating pure junk… the name of westernization or is it globalization…..!  Trying to live like the Caucasian: eat like the Whiteman, talk like the Whiteman, sleep like him and even do unprintable things…. all like the Whiteman……don’t get me wrong all you white guys….. I have nothing against you….my problem here is with my own black folks who think anything African is primitive and should be done away with.....But I think there are still a lot of indigenous African practices which are great and helpful and should be kept….one of them is the kinds of food our grand folks ate…..great so let’s get down to business….This page, like the one on African proverbs will be constantly updated…so join me in building this encyclopedia of African recipes……Below are some great African dishes and their recipes……your comments and recipes are welcome…..

Disclaimer: This really is a collection from various sources...we do not claim ownership of any of the recipes mentioned.

East African Recipes
Every culture seems to have thier own version of fried dough! This East African version has a sweet taste and pleasant chewy texture. You might eat maandazi for breakfast in a Kenyan cafe.
2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg
¾ cup water
4 cups vegetable oil, for frying

1. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, cardamom and salt in a large bowl.
2. Whisk egg and water together in a small bowl. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add egg mixture. Mix together gradually with a fork until mixture forms a soft dough. You can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour (one at a time) if it is too sticky. Cover dough with a wet towel or plastic wrap and leave 30 minutes or longer.
3. Heat oil in a deep, heavy pot (cast iron is preferable) until is reaches 360° F. While oil is heating, roll dough out on a floured surface into a rectangle ½ inch thick. Cut into 2-inch rounds with a glass or small biscuit cutter. You can also use a knife to cut rectangles. Form ball again with remaining dough and repeat process until all of dough is cut. You should have about 20 rounds.
4. Fry maandazi in batches of 5, for about 5 minutes per batch, turning to brown both sides. Hint: Turn the mandaazi before it gets too puffy, or the air bubbles will prevent you from turning it at all. I usually turn them several times during frying process. Remove from oil when both sides are golden brown. Serve warm, dipped in powdered sugar if desired.

Yield: about 20 maandazi

 Nigerian: Ewa Agoyin(boiled beans)

Ewa Agoyin simply means plain boiled beans eaten with a pepper sauce.
This is the perfect way for those who do not like beans to enjoy it. I can tell you that yours truly does not like beans yet, I can never get enough of Ewa Agoyin. I don't know what it is about it that makes it taste so good. Maybe it is the caramelized onions. All I know is that I enjoy eating it.


  • Beans (Brown/Black eyed): 2 cigar cups | approx. 500g
  • Red Palm Oil: about 5 cooking spoons
  • Plum Tomatoes: 5 big ones
  • Crayfish (a handful)
  • Onions – 1 big bulb
  • Pepper & Salt to taste
  • Seasoning – 2 Maggi/Knorr cubes

Before you cook Ewa Agoyin

  1. Soak the beans in cold water for 5 hours. Boil the beans for 5 minutes and discard the water. Rinse the beans in cold water and set aside. This soaking and pre-cooking process will help reduce the gas inducing elements.
  2. Chop the onions, grind the crayfish and pound the pepper.
  3. Blend the tomatoes and boil the tomato puree till all the water has dried from it.
  4. Pre-cook the diced onions without any added water. The aim is to get it to caramelize a bit so that it will take less time to fully caramelize during frying.

Cooking Directions

  1. Cook the beans till done. For Ewa Agoyin, the beans needs to be very soft.
    Note: If you have a pressure cooker, beans is one of the staple foods you will want to use it for. It considerably reduces the cooking time.
  2. When the beans is done, add salt, leave to dry up all the water and set aside.
  3. To cook the Agoyin, pour the palm oil into a separate dry pot. Allow to heat up till the oil starts smoking and the red colour changes to clear. It is better to do this at medium heat so that the oil does not get too hot too quickly. Remember to turn off your smoke alarm before doing this. :)

    To keep the smoke to a minimum and still have the traditional taste of Ewa Agoyin, I use vegetable oil and when it is very hot, I add a small amount of palm oil. Watch the video below to see how I do that.
  4. Now add the precooked onions and stir continuously till the onions is fully caramelized. It should be very dark in colour.
  5. Add the parboiled tomato puree and stir continuously till you cannot tell the difference between the tomatoes and onions.
  6. Add the pepper, crayfish, stock cubes and salt to taste. You can also add a little water at this point if your want.
  7. Stir very well and bring to the boil. The Ewa Agoyin is ready!
Serve by dishing the beans into a plate and scooping some Agoyin stew on it. Ewa Agoyin can be eaten on its own, with soft and stretchy bread (known as Ewa ati Bread) or with fried plantain
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Thursday, 1 March 2012


Welcome to the Lane...................

from the bosom of the archivist.......

It was recognized at an early stage that the boy John Wesley had an unusual mission to fulfill on earth. Although the form it was to take was not clearly defined at this stage, his parents; particularly his mother, Susanna Wesley did not hesitate to play her role in preparing him for this very special assignment. She admits to taking special care of him.  On the evening of May, 17, 1711 Susanna wrote concerning John as follows: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His mercies?...I would offer unto thee myself and all that thou hast given me…I do intend to be more particularly careful of the soul of this child, that Thou has so mercifully provided for, than ever I have been; that I may endeavour to instill into his mind the principles of thy true religion, and virtue. Lord give me grace to do it sincerely and prudently, and bless my attempts with good success”

The incident that left this impression on John’s parents was his narrow escape from a fire outbreak when he was the age of five. On February 1709, the thatched roof of the Epworth Rectory caught fire, and in the mist of the confusion, everyone run out of the house with the exception of John; who was asleep on the attic. When he woke up to find the whole house on fire he threw himself out of the window and was caught by two young men, just before the blazing roof caved in. He was thus referred to as “a brand plucked from the burning”.   
The interpretation given to this event, being that John was delivered from the fire because he had a great mission in life, had a lasting impact on the Wesley household including John Wesley himself and probably explains his exceptional zeal and dedication.  It is therefore not surprising that, a prime minister two centuries later, described John Wesley as “undoubtedly the greatest religious leader the Anglo-Saxon race ever produced.”  
Rev. John Benjamin Wesley has been rightly described as the founder of Methodism. He, through his ministry, led a revival that swept through the whole of England and subsequently the USA. A man once declared, during one of Rev. John Wesley’s ministrations “now I know you are a prophet of the Lord”. What did this person mean by saying John Wesley was a prophet?


John Wesley’s ministry could be divided into two phases. Some writers have suggested that John Wesley experienced two distinct conversions, the first being his high church conversion and the second his evangelical conversion.
His ordination in 1725 significantly marked the commencement of the first phase of his ministry. A significant event that characterized the first phase of his ministry was his failed missionary exploit to Georgia in 1735, purportedly to convert the Indians. However at this stage the “unusual works of the Holy Spirit” which followed his ministry were not to be until, “his strange heartwarming experience” at Aldersgate Street in 1738.

On the 24th of May, 1738 as John Wesley recounts himself: “in the evening of that day, I went very unwillingly to a prayer meeting in Aldersgate Street. About 8:45, I was listening to a reading of Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. While he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed.”
It remains without doubt that, what distinguished the second phase of Rev. John Wesley’s ministry from the first was his Aldersgate Street experience; partly because several events distinguished this part of John Wesley’s ministry to affirm this assertion.  The Lord healed the sick and delivered the oppressed whenever John Wesley ministered.  There are reports of persons being slain under the power of God during such ministrations. The following are but the slightest fraction of the manifestations of God’s power that characterized the Founder’s Ministry after his Aldersgate Experience.
1.      John Wesley recorded one such incident in his journal thus; “those who received this new living faith through the Holy Spirit continued to meet together. About sixty of us were holding a love feast on New Year’s Eve on Fetter. At about three in the morning, as we were continuing in prayer, the power of God came mightily upon us. Many cried out in complete joy. Others were knocked to the ground. As soon as we recovered a little from that awe and amazement at God’s presence, we broke out in praise”.

2.      On another occasion he felt while preaching in a prison to say that; “God wills all men to receive this saving faith”. He therefore called to God to bear witness to this truth. Immediately one, and another, and another sunk to the ground. People dropped on every side as though thunderstruck and some of them cried aloud. The next day the whole prison was filled with the cries of those whose hearts were being touched by God and two of these are reported to have received joy in a moment to the astonishment of the onlookers.

3.      Also at Baldwin Street while Rev. John Wesley preached on the fourth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, he asked God to confirm this teaching. “Immediately a woman cried out loud as though she was in the agonies of death. Two other persons were likewise seized with pain and were later able to burst forth praise to their Saviour.” Countless of such powerful manifestations, which for want of space cannot be recounted, continued to characterize the founder’s ministry.

It worthy of note that, the greatest miracle remained to John Wesley the conversion of person to the saving knowledge of Christ. The movement grew and waxed strong even in the face of opposition. In 1739 approximately five thousand converts were made and several thousands influenced. Indeed, some writers have suggested that it is doubtful if an equal number of genuinely evangelical Christians have ever been born into the Kingdom of God in an equal length of time.

It is imperative, at this stage to ask ourselves, some critical questions.
·         Would an observer describe and identify the people called Methodists with these powerful manifestations that were a normal feature of the Founder’s ministry?
·          Do we as Methodists still lay emphasis on the unusual works of the Holy Spirit which followed and blessed our Founder’s ministry?
If our answer to any of these questions is no, then it would not be out of place to suggest that we take a moment to reflect on our Methodist heritage. We would find embodied in this very rich and intense heritage, an electrifying powerful, charismatic and prophetic ministry which unlike others has the desired aim of bringing the lost to also have the Aldersgate experience.  
It could conclusively be stated that Methodism has firm roots in the prophetic ministry and thus by the declaration of 2012 as a YEAR OF THE PROPHETIC by the Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church Ghana, the Church is only revisiting its roots; which exercise has usually proved to have positive impact on the expansion of the Kingdom of God.
Are you a Methodist? Well, if your answer is yes then you must know that a true Methodist is the one who desires the infilling of the Holy Spirit for unusual works; for this was the path treaded by our Founder Rev. John Wesley and most importantly Jesus Christ our Lord. 

This guest post is by Sarah N. Nkansah
An archivist at the Methodist Diocesan office Kumasi.

1.      Robert Aboagye Mensah, John Wesley and the Methodists, 2005
2.      W. T. Watkins, Out of Aldersgate, 1937
3.      Clare George WeakleyJr(Ed.), The Nature of Spiritual Growth,- Wesley’s Messages on the Holy Spirit, 1977
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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Highway comedy

Welcome to the Lane.............

The occasion was the commissioning of the M1 highway, a 14.1 kilometer expressway, all dignitaries present. The president his Ex. John Evans Mills…former president kufour, the chairman of the millennium Development Authority…….and any other important personality who mattered in the nation at that moment…..great occasion it was….A day earlier, a group purporting to represent the disabled in the society had threatened that it would disrupt the event “at all cost” (a quite popular phrase in this country nowadays..) 

According to them they had filled a writ in the court to place an injunction on the formal opening of the Highway. Their reason was that the highway was not disability friendly and thus contravened the disability law. Their leader was very optimistic and spoke on almost every radio station assuring the public that the ceremony would be put on hold by the court. we were all therefore left to wonder what will become of the much anticipated opening of the M1 highway. The ceremony itself was billed to start around 1-2pm (yes that is how we here quote our time….never specific)
Around 10am there was news that a group of young men were picketing around the highway – their demand; that the Highway be named after one Paa kwesi Ndoum…. Leader of the Peoples progressive party(PPP) and a former minister of state in the past government headed by ex. president kufour. They claimed that Dr Paa kwasi Ndom was solely responsible for securing the compact for Ghana….credit should therefore be given him and the best way to do that was to name the highway after their leader.
The police were called in and a dozen or so were arrested.

The two main political parties NDC and NPP were not left out of the plot. The NPP questioned the presence of NDC flags along the Highway since they had secured the millennium compact (funding) for the project, so they were the ones who deserved credit for the highway, supporters of the ruling NDC also countered by saying that although it was the NPP who secured the compact, it was they who oversaw the actual construction- they also claimed full credits.
Supporters of both parties were therefore present at the ceremony grounds in their various party colours –each singing praises to their respective leaders ….naturally they tried to outdo each other –you can imagine the commotion. The event did finally start with long speeches from anyone who had a voice and soon, the highway was finally commissioned and named the George Walker Bush Motorway.

For those of you guys not familiar with all this talk of compacts etc.. Here is a brief explanation….: the millennium development authority(MIDA) was set up to oversee  the implementation of projects in selected African countries-countries who were deemed to be living “holy” lives according to U.S standards  (thriving democracy pla pla… )
The U.S adopted this strategy because it claims that aid giving directly to African countries often ended up lining the pockets of corrupt leaders-so ladies and gentlemen; this particular Highway was constructed and paid for by the US tax payer….. Every single cent-so our job as Ghanaians was simply to commission the Highway….and what did we do..? We turned the event into a circus…isn’t it enough that we can’t pay for our own roads..? Does it matter which government secured the funding and who actually oversaw the roads construction..? When will we ever be serious in this nation….is it not a course for concern that we have become beggars in spite of all our wealth…? Again I end a post by saying “God save us…..
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Thursday, 16 February 2012

Parliaments day of shame..!

Welcome to the lane………………………………….

Today, the president of this tiny West African country(Ghana) gave the state of the nation address, more like the state of the union address of the USA. Well I have learnt not to pay attention to such events because they make no difference to the ordinary man…this year’s state of the nation’s address was as usual presented before the nations parliament and before honorable parliamentarians-at least I thought they were honorable until today…My concern here is not about the content of the president’s speech but the conduct of our so called honorable parliamentarians.

We all know what heckling is and we see it all the time in other developed democracies….I was therefore shocked to see grownups, supposedly responsible adults who have been voted by their constituents to represent and give them a voice in the national assembly behave like silly children in the name of heckling the president, in the full view of the entire world…shouting at the top of their voices, singing and whistling at the president of the republic to go away…I find this behavior very disturbing…..what are the MPs teaching the youth of this nation? Should we ever take them seriously? Are these people fit to be called parliamentarians? I am so disappointed…I have always had my reservations about politicians but I never expected them to go this far…are these the same parliamentarians asking for an increase in their pay? Truly I think the tax payers money is being wasted on these ******* someone please tell them that the next time they decide to behave like apes, they should remember that the whole world and the youth of this nation are watching-God save us.
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Sunday, 12 February 2012

AFCON update...!

Welcome to the Lane.......................
Wow….and wow again…! What a tournament this has been and my God what  a final match…! African football has really come a long way.

The final match between the elephants of Ivory Coast and the copper bullets of Zambia more than lived up to expectation…end to end action for 120 whole minutes! 
The Zambians were not in any way outclassed by the Ivorians…they really showed they deserved to be in the finals. Ivory Coast and Chelsea striker Didier drogba missed a penalty kick…His second penalty miss in the tournament (seems he caught the Gyan syndrome). The copper bullets also had good chances but missed them…Finally after 120 minutes of great football, the question of who wins AFCON 2012 had to be decided via penalty shoot-out; really nervy moments….reminded me of what happened 20 years ago between the elephants and the black stars of Ghana…I couldn't eat days after that game…the Ivorians won 11-10…The first round of five penalty kicks could not break the tie…Finally, the Ivorians missed a kick and when everyone thought the cup will go to Zambia, they also missed their kick…suddenly, the elephants were back with a chance, Gervinho stepped up and missed the kick…The Zambians had another chance and they took it….Zambia are African champions…! Who on earth would have believed this three weeks ago when the AFCON kicked off? It seemed the spirits of the 23 men (members of the Zambian national team..KK. 11) who tragically lost their lives 19 years ago off the coast of Gabon while on their way for an AFCON qualifier against Senegal, were on the field playing….this was indeed an emotional win for the copper bullets…a win to the memory of the faithfully departed…the copper bullets did hit their target and brought the elephants to their knees…The closing ceremony was one of a kind…the cup was carried onto the park by dancing pygmies…what a sight…Zambia are the Kings of African football…
 In the third place match played a day earlier, the eagles of Mali paid back the black stars of Ghana in equal measure beating them by two goals to nil…the question now is….. who wins AFCON 2013…?  See you in South Africa…!
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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

AFCON 2012...Updates and more......

Welcome to the lane……………..

Well I can’t say I am happy writing this post but at this moment guys you are all I have.

My team(the black stars) just lost .They lost to no other  team  than the copper bullets of Zambia...I still think it’s all a bad dream….someone please pinch me!.....A  well-organized Zambian soccer machinery finally exposed the Black stars of Ghana for what they really are…..a second best team with an over blotted ego…!  So blotted they even missed a penalty…! Yes, Ghana’s dancing striker Asamoah Gyan missed yet another penalty and Ghana paid dearly for that miss….for those of you guys with short memories….this is the same Asamoah Gyan who missed Ghana’s penalty at the 2010 world cup against Uruguay after Louis Suarez (may his soul be forever tormented...) committed that very shameful act of preventing Ghana’s winning goal by handling the ball in his own goal area….Anyway, the Zambians do deserve their win…. They played relatively well and scored the only goal of the match around the 75th   minute after Ghana’s rock of Gibraltar john mensah was taken off with an injury…….the black stars lost another player moments after the goal through a red card offence….yes…. things really fell apart…!

Ivory Coast is through to the finals after beating the eagles of Mali 1-0
The Ivorian’s have really lived up to the tag of tournament favorites and are set to face the Zambians….will the copper bullets of Zambia hit their target…the elephants of ivory coast or will the elephants dodge the copper bullets?
The question still remains….who wins AFCON 2012……?

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The native evangelist........

Welcome to the Lane............ 

from the bosom of the archivist.......

One of the strongest influences on the early years of the Methodist Missions in Ashanti was the movement of Evangelist Sampson Oppong.

Missionary work among Ashanti had slowed down considerably since Christianity was then considered as the religion of the victor, due to their successive defeats by the British in 1874, 1896 and 1901. On a missionary trip with W.G. Waterworth, the missionary who looked after the Methodists in Ashanti, the Ashanti Prophet, as Sampson Oppong was known, gave his message a dozen times, and the missionary, who had become almost heart broken over the apathy of former audiences, saw the people break down before the cross in hundreds. According to an enthusiastic Methodist missionary Sampson Oppong led 110,000 people to Christianity, of whom 60,000 remained faithful. Although later observers mention only 10,000 converts that in itself is very impressive. The story of his life is as sensational as the stir he caused.

Evangelist Sampson Oppong was born a slave boy in about 1884 to Yaw Kyerema in Akuntanim, a village in modern day Brong Ahafo. He was named Kwame Oppong and as he put it “God gave” him Sampson upon his conversion.

Earlier in his life Sampson Oppong was instructed in magical and healing powers by his uncle and as he became a healer (oduruyefo) and a magician (osumani).
In 1896 and 1901 when the British abolished domestic slavery Kwame Oppong was free to go where he wanted and that was when he had his first encounter with the Lord in a prison in the then French Ivory Coast. He tells his story of having ended up in prison for absconding with the wages for a gang he was supervising in railway works. In his cell he met an old Fante tribesman whose name was Moses. This Moses is to have prayed all the time and was released soon after. When he was leaving Sampson asked for money, but Moses said “I have no money but that which I have I shall give you. I commend you into God’s Keeping”. This made him very furious but later when his fury had died down he prayed, “God of Moses, have pity on me.” Later that night God revealed himself to him in a dream. In his dream, two Europeans came to his cell and one of them sawed through his chains and said: “I am the God of Moses. Burn your magic things and beat the gong for me (i.e. proclaim my word). He was released the next day by the French Commissioner. He however went back to his old ways after his release.
His interest in God was kindled again at Wankyi (Ashanti –Akim) when he went to work for a Christian woman who thought him the Lord’s Prayer and also introduced him to catechumens classes. He however grew tired of them as he had never been to school and was asked to learn to read and write. According to him he missed the income that magic formerly brought to him so he went back to his old ways.

His transition from ‘Sebewie’ (by magic he brings life) as he was known to Sebetutu (one who takes away amulets) as he became known eventually happened when he was approached by a boy with the promise of a lot of money to kill his uncle of whom the boy stood to inherit. On that fateful day, when he went into the forest to kill the man, the Lord revealed himself to Sampson again, according him “I was looking down eagerly to see whether the magic was succeeding when suddenly I heard voices behind me: ‘stand up’, they said. Two men were standing there. I stood up and suddenly I found myself in a large town with many Europeans. They were all hurrying towards a large square, and so was I. there I saw all my magic amulets and medicines heaped up in a huge pile, together with all the sheep and chickens I had acquired unlawfully by my magic. A big glorious-looking man came towards me and said: “I am the God of Moses, who freed you from prison in the Ivory Coast. Why are you still living in sin? Go, I am sending you… Take up my cross and preach about it to all the world.” “I can’t speak English, I can’t read. How can I preach?” “I shall go with you.”
He was l found lying in the forest upon a search for him.  Upon arriving home he gathered all his magic things and burnt them, in doing so he declared that “Today I have found one stronger than you. God has called me into his service.”
After this experience Sampson had a cross and a white prophet’s robe made for him and he began to preach. He preached in many places and everywhere he went he told people to burn their fetishes and give up their magic, witchcraft and everything evil and many people were converted and burned their fetishes. Interestingly, Evangelist Sampson Oppong was thrown into prison for calling a certain woman a witch, while in prison the Lord according Sampson showed him a flat stone in the prison, by whose help the whole bible was revealed to him from Genesis to Revelation. He could therefore read the Bible through the stone though he had never been to school.

It was admitted that Oppong’s way of preaching was compelling. His preaching largely consisted of telling stories about various tribes, about magic and fetishism, and he was a master at making these look ridiculous. Once he had the laughing crowd on his side he took hold of it with an uncanny, fanatical, hypnotic power. His chief demand was the destruction of all fetishes.

The phenomenon of the Sampson Oppong movement however died down with time after which he retired to his village, Akuntanim. According to him the King of Dormaa summoned him to court and he being a subject of the King had to obey him.
He still had a leading position in the little Methodist Church in Akuntanim and did some preaching though not as extraordinary as before.
Although the movement of Sampson Oppong was relatively short lived, its impact on the spread of Methodism in Ashanti cannot be over emphasized. In fact it was said that the movement that Sampson Oppong kindled in the twenties was used by God to open the doors to the gospel in Ashanti.

This guest post is by Sarah N. Nkansah
An archivist at the Methodist Diocesan office Kumasi.
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Wednesday, 1 February 2012


welcome to the Lane.......!

from the bosom of the archivist.......


As the Methodist Church Ghana, and for that matter the Diocese, celebrates 50years of the attainment of autonomy of the British Conference; it is important to look back to see where the church began in order to appreciate how far the Lord has led His church.
The Kumasi Diocese as it is now known was born out of the missionary activities by the Wesleyan Methodists in Ashanti, spearheaded by the Rev. Thomas Birch Freeman, in 1839. Prior to this, Mr. James Hayford, a representative of the British Merchant Company Administration in Kumasi, had started a Methodist Fellowship of a sort in Kumasi. Due to his good relations; he on one occasion had the opportunity to conduct a divine service in the King’s palace. Reports of these developments to the church in Cape Coast partly precipitated Rev. Freeman’s missionary enterprise to Kumasi. The church mobilized an amount of sixty pounds to fund this mission project. Coupled with this was the interest in converting the then ‘dark Ashanti’ to the saving knowledge of Christ.
Rev. Thomas Birch Freeman encountered several obstacles on his first missionary trip to Kumasi. Notable among these was the long delay he faced in Kusa (his first stop in Ashanti) and Fomena due to the confused notions held concerning the nature of his mission enterprise. Rev. T. B. Freeman was eventually admitted by the King, Nana Kwaku Duah, into Kumasi on 1st April, 1839; after he had waited patiently in Kusa and Fomena for a total of 48 days.
In Kumasi, as Rev. Freeman recounted in his journal, he and his entourage were warmly received by the Asantehene and his Court. The King allowed him to preach in the streets and he was again given the opportunity to conduct two divine services during his stay. At this stage the seed of Methodism in Ashanti and what was to become the Kumasi Diocese had just been sown.
On April 15th 1839 Rev. T. B. Freeman returned to the Coast. He came back to Kumasi in December, 1841 bearing gifts for the Asantehene. These gifts comprised a carriage, a table, twelve chairs, a table linen, dinner, breakfast and tea sets and a portrait of the Queen. He also returned with the two Asante Princes, John Owusu Ansah and William Owusu Kwantabisa, who had been sent to England to signify Asante’s commitment to the 1831 Treaty.
By 1842 the Asantehene had permitted, on Rev. Freeman’s request, the establishment of the first mission post in Kumasi. The King further provided the mission with land at Krobo Odumase (K.O.) with which they were to establish this post. Interestingly this land houses a number of properties of the Methodist Church Ghana. Significantly this includes the Nana Kwaku Duah I Methodist House which serves as the Diocesan Headquarters.
The historic attainment of Autonomy by the Methodist Church Ghana in July, 1961 saw the birth of five new Districts, with the Kumasi District inclusive. The Subsequent adoption of the biblical pattern of Episcopacy by the Methodist Church Ghana in 1999, transformed the Kumasi District into the KUMASI DIOCESE as it is now known.
With Rev. Brooking being the first Resident Minister to be stationed in Kumasi, many other missionaries and ministers have served in what has developed into the present day Kumasi Diocese.
The Kumasi Diocese currently holds a ministerial staff strength of 141. In addition, a lay staff of 15 to aid in the day to day administration of the Diocesan Head Office.
The following have served the Diocese and its antecedent District in their capacities as District Chairmen or Diocesan Bishops in Kumasi.
Rt. Rev. J. F. Bart – Addison               1961 – 1965   
Rt. Rev. M.K. Debrah                          1965 - 1968
Rt. Rev. G. A. Apatu                            1968 - 1974
Rt. Rev. J. W. De-Graft Johnson          1974 - 1979
Rt. Rev. Major E.C. Bonney                1979 - 1984
Rt. Rev. I. K. Essuamah –Thompson    1984 - 1989
Most Rev. Dr. Samuel Asante – Antwi1989 - 1996
Rt. Rev. Kwaku Asamoah- Okyere      1996  - 2002
Rt. Rev. Nuh Ben Abubekr                  2002  - 2008
Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel K. Asante2008 - 2009
Rt. Rev. Prof Osei Safo-Kantanka       2009 – date

The Diocesan Lay Chairmen who have served the Kumasi Diocese are:
Ev. S. K. Danso                                     2001 - 2004                            
Mr. J.G.K. Owusu                                2004 - 2007
Lawyer Kwame Boafo                         2007 - 2010
Mrs. Doris Amoyaw                                     2010 – date

Methodism in Asante has since its beginnings influenced not only the religious development of the people but also the economic and social development of the Society. As early as 1844 the Wesleyan Methodist Primary School (now the K.O. Methodist Schools) had been established in Kumasi. Subsequent to this, many more basic, second cycle and tertiary institutions have been established. Notable among these are the prestigious Wesley College of Education, Offinso College of Education, Kumasi Wesley Girls’ High School, Prempeh College, Osei Tutu Senior High School, Mmofraturo Primary and J.H.S and the Kwadaso Women’s Training Centre. Again the church has established a hospital at Ankaase (the Methodist Faith Healing Hospital) together with a number of clinics to serve the health needs of the people.
Currently the Kumasi Diocese has started the Kumasi Methodist Diocesan Co-operative Credit Union (KMDCCU) which is aimed at improving the financial lot of the people in the Diocese.
The Diocese is currently headed by the Diocesan Bishop in the person of Rt. Rev. Prof. Osei Safo-Kantanka, seconded by the Diocesan Lay Chairman, Mrs. Doris Amoyaw and Assisted by Very Rev. Emmanuel Ansah and Very Rev. Christopher Andam serving as Synod Secretary and Assistant Synod Secretary respectively.
 The present day Kumasi Diocese holds the highest number of, 28, Circuits within the Connexion and an estimated total membership of 53,886, again the largest in Connexion. It is however worthy of note that, in 1997; two Districts (Now Dioceses), Obuasi and Effiduase, were carved out of the then Kumasi District.
The Kumasi Diocese, as it is now known, has been in actual existence since 1961 and just like the unrelenting missionary seed that germinated into the Diocese; the Diocese has never rested on its oars in its core business, which is evangelization. The rapid growth of the Diocese and its subsequent divisions testifies to this fact. The Diocese has repeatedly won the Connexional evangelization award owing to its continuous activeness in that respect.
This brief account ends on the note that, the gallant missionaries who sowed the seed of Methodism, for that matter Christianity in Asante, did not labour in vain as the seed has germinated into the giant and influential tree of the Kumasi Diocese today. 

This guest post is by Sarah N. Nkansah
An archivist at the Methodist Diocesan office Kumasi.
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Ghanaian singles all for free