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COVID-19: A diamond in a rough

The astronomical shifting of the world’s condition of the effects of the Corona virus pandemic is an incredibly versatile challenge the world powers; both big and small are battling now. The novelty of this situation is tremendously deafening because it has been able to do far more than anticipated.
The advent of this disease and its rocket jet increase characteristics have reduced several countries into a sorry state with regard to the harm the disease is causing while we all look on helplessly.
Literally, the virus has presented its unremarkable and harsh appearances it can ever provide, leaving all of us on tenterhooks for an immediate remedy to end this pandemic.
Behind these harshness lies another quality of trying to see the silver lining of the dark cloud – the diamond in a rough – of the effects of the disease which feel very much like the calm before a very long and punishing storm.
However, trying to keep grounded provides some positive effects emerging that might possibly outlive the virus itself.

We have become more socially connected in our relationships and neighborhood spirit.


1. Community spirit
In recent weeks, it is striking how many people seem to be taking better care of their relationships, especially with conversations that are struck up between family members and even passers-by; a rare experience work and other duties prevent us from having often times.
Though, spatially distant from one another, we have become more socially connected in our relationships and neighborhood spirit. This seems to be cherished more than ever. We are having dialogues at safe distances with passing neighbors whom we may have probably not spoken to previously. It is a nice feel of community spirit growing in countries.

As the disease is spreading with a startling rapidity, we have seen people stepping up to support with some needs of the vulnerable.

2. Nationalism, philanthropism and benevolence
The same seems true from the kind of nationalism, philanthropism and benevolence that have sprout up among individuals and organisation in the country. As the disease is spreading with a startling rapidity, we have seen the government and its officials, corporate Ghana and individuals stepping up to support with some needs of the vulnerable people and the entire population.
As forerunners of these benevolent acts, the president of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo and his vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on 24th March donated their three months’ salary into the COVID-19 Trust Fund. It has so far seen several industries and individuals who have accepted and made seemingly relevant contributions into the fund.
Also, no matter how trivial it may seem, for once; we turn on our TV and radio sets and do not see or hear political party sympathizers throwing tantrums in the air.

The dawn of the disease has stirred up the consciences of everyone since the disease can function in tandem with poor personal hygiene and sanitation.

3. Personal hygiene and sanitation
Another thing that many have taken for granted for a very long time is personal hygiene and sanitation. The dawn of the disease has actually stirred up the consciences of the government and the entire population at large, since the disease can function in tandem with poor personal hygiene and sanitation.
Arguably, the government only took steps to disinfect the various market and public places in the country after the country had recorded its first case of the Covid-19.
There is no gainsaying the fact that many more people die every day for many other reasons — it’s still unnerving that such a potent virus can come about from virtually nowhere and claim so many lives, spreading so quickly.
There will undoubtedly be many serious adverse effects from Covid-19 and these are not to be downplayed. Nonetheless, there is hope that many of the positive effects will endure into the future.

Till next time, this is from the mind’s mind.

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The sun will rise, never again to set (2)

Lay in the heart of the universe,
Some evil unknown
Touch the soul with malign kiss;
Our lives to mould.

Millions already diagnosed:
The sick move in as patients
On their beds but come out in boxes,
En-route to the grave.

Red fangs have torn her face.
Earth’s blood is shedding;
She mourns from a lone place
Her children perish.

The engine of growth is motionless:
Companies and economies on the fringes;
Segregation as the new gospel
And socializing, the devil’s angel.

O! thou novel crimson curse!
That corrode and devour,
Give back this universe
It’s pristine bloom.

For nothing to shake
The laughing heart’s long peace,
While it hope in faith
To see all these to pass.

A poem in solidarity to the end of Covid-19

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Empty your cup to get it refilled – A plain advice to all NSP

It all started when I got admission to the university and had to attend my first lecture.

It was one bright Thursday morning and I dressed up with all my stationery fully loaded in my school bag.

Typical of every first year student, we were all seated in the lecture hall an hour before the lecturer came in.

There entered a bald short man with a stunning look on his face; maybe it was a way of welcoming students into a different setting like the university.

The first few things he did were to greet us, introduce himself, his Teaching Assistant and the course he was going to lecture.

Next, he asked a colleague to wipe the board which had some gibberish writings on it, then he said;‘these are your respective knowledge from your various Senior High Schools’.

A lot of us did not understand that ritual very well. I think some do not understand still.

Actually, I only got to understand that ritual when I was posted to do my National Service with a company.

I realized aside from everything I have learnt in school, the corporate world had different dictates, thereby; making all the knowledge acquired previously ‘gibberish’.

Although, “I knew my thing”. Abi you know what I mean.

Considering myself as a university graduate was enough to hold shoulder high and make those whom I went to meet know that,chaley, me too I dey.

Dear National Service Personnel, if you have such ideas running through your mind, I am sorry; you are treading a slippery path.

You should know that there are clear-cut distinctions between that “first class academic” excellence and the “Low grade work experience”.

The irony is that the latter,which in most cases,looked down upon, is very expensive and can only be achieved not on a silver platter.

You may be the best student from your institution but you cannot match head to head with even the cleaner of an establishment.At least, that uneducated cleaner has a lot on-job experience than you, who is from academia with no employability skills.

I am in no means saying that academic qualifications are useless. They aren’t useless; they are very vital and essential quality that needs to be achieved by any one possible.

My argument lies in the fact that, whether the best or otherwise, you need to empty your cup of pride and settle for the last, if not the least, in a way to get the cup refilled with on-job experience.

It is a National Service so you would ultimately be required to add on to what is being done, but you can’t give what you don’t have.

And if I tell you that you can’t give what you don’t have; trust me; you don’t have what it takes to be in the corporate world. I have been there before.

I have this simple thing to tell you: take advantage of your new setting, turn it to a different learning ground and explore new areas.

As Isaac Newton has it “if I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”

This metaphor of a dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant expresses the meaning of discovering truth by building on previous discoveries.

Don’t be ‘too known’ to learn new things. Be calm and you will be too knowing through learning.

After all, we only need a bowl of Fufu and energy drink as my colleague, King Midas, will say.

Till next time, this is from my mind’s mind.

What do employers want from employees? A sequel

I got news from Naana one fine morning that an institution had called her for a job interview. She had less than a week to prepare since the interview was due in some few days after she got the letter.

Like any other person, she started revising her notes and revisited abandoned books so that she could literally ‘kill it’ at the interview – and I was her junkyard. She would tell me everything she had learnt and asked clarifications and questions on things I didn’t even have any idea about. Argh, did I have to suffer the brunt of someone preparing for her interview?

Anyways, sorry about my unending blabbering, I didn’t even tell you who Naana is. Naana is my childhood friend – she’s in her middle twenties and a health professional. Lol, I know you were all expecting to hear something different (Gosh, I wish I was what you were thinking for me) but that is never happening.

Naana is a health professional with degree in Nursing. Photo credit: PA Photography

Enough with the Naana story. This piece is a sequel from my previous article, “Why didn’t you pick us, Mr. Employer?”. You remember I told you one of the HR managers sent me a voicemail explaining why I was not chosen for the job? Refer to the tenth paragraph of this article (Why didn’t you pick us, Mr. Employer?)

Lemme tell you what was in the voicemail. But before that, I want you to take a moment and ask yourself what employers want from job seekers like me. I’m going to try and tell what employer want from an employee’s perspective – I don’t even know if that is possible.

Knowing what the employer wants will make you prepare well to meet their demands.

Two days to the interview, after Naana had left no stone unturned, read any piece she ever laid her hands on and satisfying her ego to face the interview panel, I played the devil’s advocate and asked her one general, yet, important question that recur in interview rooms: “Who is Naana?”

Cross section of an interview room as the panel pose questions to the employee. Source: youngdiplomtsgh/twitter.com

I’m sure you wouldn’t hesitate to give a plot summary of your life as we used to do in the basic schools when we were asked to write about ourselves. Naana did something not too far from this (Hehehehe this lass will kill me for writing this).

I know if she had given her answer to “Who is Naana?” in the interview room, she would’ve felt satisfied, thinking that she’s been able to answer that simple question accurately.
However, is that satisfying answer satisfying to the panel too?

Back to the voicemail, the HR manager told me that, though, I had a very good academic record and seem very much learned, employers now look for skills beyond academic qualifications of candidates (Gosh, that was what I missed).

Employers now look for skills beyond academic qualifications of candidates.

She continued by saying that many of the employers believe academic qualifications and experiences are something that can easily be found, but the right combination of characteristics that help a company make money or serve money, are hard to come by.

With that in mind, I have these few points which prospective employees can take note of when preparing for an interview.

Pre-planning for your dream job interview. Source: globalga/blog

First, you must know the panel knows what you know (take time to assimilate this) at least from the CV you presented, therefore, you should not limit yourself to the CV. Tell them your intuition about taking initiatives – taking charge by having motivation to accomplish tasks on your own. Show that you are ready, able and willing to get things done without being asked.

Again, project your innovative spirit. I mean highlight your ability to figure out new ways of accomplishing tasks because employers are looking for someone who is able to anticipate change and formulate innovative responses to that change with success-oriented results.

Being innovative puts you in a better position to be chosen. Source: lovethispic.com

People who show the willingness to take advantage of training and learning stand a huge chance of winning the employers’ heart because they feel you can make an increase contribution to the company. Thus, you become more valuable to every task. In this regard, making references to texts you’ve read, researches you’ve undertaken and feats you’ve accomplished will be a vital tool in arching out the kind of person you are willing to be when you are given the job.

continuous learning always make you a better person. Copyright : Aleksandr Davydov

Therefore, always remember to ask for any opportunity for career advancement should you be selected for the job.

That notwithstanding, these points do not trash your academic qualification. It is still very instrumental, after all, it won you the interview. All I’m saying is that leave your qualification to rest and tell the panel what you are capable of which may have not been captured in your CV.

If you are a hiring manager too, are there other characteristics you look out for in your work places? Please leave a comment below.

Till next time…….I will be taking my usual fufu and energy drink.

Why didn’t you pick us, Mr. Employer?

It’s a new day, yet the same old routine of waking up, bathing and skipping breakfast to catch the bus to work. As I rode in my usual sprinter troski 🚐 from Doodowa – quite some miles away from the heart of the city – to a long day of work, I was puzzled by the goings-on brought about by hustling and bustling under a system that has left young graduates to jump from one office to another to find a decent job to do – and after they have secured it, still have to endure the drudgeries to maintain them through this stall, religious routine. Argh!😩

A bus conductor sauntering on the bus, shouting for passengers. Source: F2FAfrica.com

But wait! I’m not going to talk about this paranoia of waking up each day to go to work for over 30 working years (you wanted it and you’ve got it) but to accurately write down what seems not to be too far from the reality; the pain youngsters go through with job searching.😧😧

In every regard, I see myself in some youngsters as they go about job-hunting because I, too, have been there before. However, I guess I am just lucky because I secured myself one.

I didn’t just get the job served on a tray, however. I had to also write tons of application letters and spread it round like I was sowing rice. In other events, I applied for jobs that I didn’t even meet the requirements in full. Hehehehe😂😂 what was I thinking?

You would bear with me that after the four or three years spent in tertiary institution, one would expect nothing else but a decent job after national service, particularly, those who have no plans of proceeding to the next level of the educational ladder.

Monday morning rush hour on the Mecca Road road, KNUST, as students trek to their facilities. Source: Instagram/knust.edu.gh

Lemme tell you something; of all the applications I sprayed around, I managed to secure six interviews, wow!🤗 Three of them were actually below my expertise so I didn’t actually feel bad when the HRs didn’t get to me with a feedback😀 (I expected a feedback anyway). Let’s not even talk about those that didn’t call me for interview at all.

An interview session of the YDG Cohort III selections process. Source: ydghana/twitter.com

For the other three, hmm! I was just optimistic I will, at least, secure one of them (I did secure one though) but without a feedback from the other two while I had not yet secured my current one was like the world came crushing down on me.😟😕

I was left in bewilderment, always wondering what I didn’t do right or what I left out during the interview which didn’t precipitate my being chosen for the job. I didn’t bother if they didn’t pick me but, at least, they should have told me why they didn’t so that I could prepare well for other interviews.😊

I am simply saying that companies, organisations and institutions that call for applications should tell applicants the “why” and “what” they didn’t do right, so that we can scale up in the next opportunity that presents itself.

You know what, I managed to leave a message to one of the companies I sent my application to and the HR replied with a voice note, saying that it was enjoyable talking with me and wished she had more than one vacancy because I had great qualification. Soothing 😍😍 On the other hand, she told me what the other applicant had that outweighed mine and put him in a better position to be chosen over me. The woman had no idea how that message meant to me and boosted my vigour to pursue other offers.☺️

Why don’t other companies take a minute to tell us why they hired someone else? It would help job seekers like me and all those who associate themselves with this story tremendously if they did.

It is so selfish to pick those you want and throw the rest away like chaff; leaving them on tenterhooks and useless built-up hopes.

After the four years of university education, Congratulations! Is it worth the years spent or it is just a mere confetti ceremony to adorn ourselves with gowns and expensive suits? Why has securing a job become something like judgement and chances? Then it would have been worth the while doing another enterprise than wasting four precious years in the university.

Cross-section of post graduate students at the 53rd congregation ceremony Source: facebook/knust.edu.gh

Recruiting and job-hunting are two sides of the same coin: a matching process. While they are looking for the right person to join their team, we are also looking for the right company, the right role and the right manager.

Reaching applicants with feedbacks in events that they weren’t considered for the position is crucial for companies to do, and to help the other side build itself to fit for a specific role in the next company.

Attachment, brewed in an utopian world: the arch insecurity

There come a time in our lives, as humans, when we become desperate for attachment; but unaware of how difficult it can be. The emptiness we feel often drives us to dream up an elaborated fantasy life in that even before we meet someone, we would have already knighted the person, who in our judgement, would arrive and make sense to our lives.

This makes us most of the times lose focus on our inner conception of our substance and strength because most of us were brought up to live a life that could be jettisoned when the right person comes along.

We become too much discouraged from carving out the shape of life that best suits who we are and how we are going to accept a person into our lives.
Many of us enter into relationships without constructing a real life for ourselves when we were single because we have come to live increasingly in a fantasy world, one over which, though, we could have some control.

However, we daydream about a world that no one else could touch, where relationships worked out as planned; as in films, a world made in which we feel safer and secure.

We are therefore quick to attribute any anomalies to an obsolete conjuncture by beginning to conjure up other fellows as a possible threat to explain to ourselves the difficulties between us and our partners, for instance.

Our desperate need of security and connection, coupled with the fantasy world means that when we are faced with a real relationship which do indeed offer security, we wouldn’t know how to cope with it.

We will continue to live on tenterhooks, convinced that the emotional axe would fall and that we will be in the cold again.

It is therefore imperative that as young generation as we are, we do not become obsolete, obsessed and clouded by this utopian fantasized world, but begin to define what we really like and yet, ponder on how opinionated and sure of our design ideas we will have when we finally get into a relationship.

Till next time, this is still from my mind’s mind.

Miracles

As a Christian, miracle has been one word that has constantly resounded in my ears since infancy. First, the miracles by Jesus, and other miracles performed by his disciples as well as other early church fathers and ministers, were taught in Sunday schools.
Growing up, I came to realise how obsessed some of us are with miracles. It must be an interesting thing.

Miracles, simply, are the occurrence of things in unconventional ways – all happenings beyond scientific explanation and human comprehension. Like the burning bush without any source of fire; the turning of water into wine without any chemical reaction; raising the dead without practising any cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on them; a cripple walking without any therapeutic procedures; the blind seeing without any optometric procedures, to mention but few.

Lemme take you back to Secondary School days when the administration would organise a prayer session for students at the end of every academic year. If your school didn’t do that for you, I’m sorry – mine was a mission school. Lol!
During these prayer sessions, a lot of things happened which usually made me even question my own existence – if I was even at all in God’s divine architecture – because nothing seemed to happen for me. While others would be falling, shouting and crying, I would just be standing there looking on without even a tickle.
Some students could go to the extent where God spoke through them – which in most cases was a caution for repentance –
“the second coming of Christ is at hand.”
I lived with this mentality of being out of God’s catchment area until I started looking at miracles from a different perspective. And I know I am not the only person who has once thought about this.
Just know that miracles happen to us too, but differently.

Let’s look at miracles from this angle:
This kind of miracle is the one we create ourselves and the miracles we are able to give to one another that changes lives in a profound way and gives us the closure we have always wanted. We don’t have to fall or speak in tongues to experience miracles.
We create this miracle with our actions and orchestrations which in turn, reconnects us with people we needed to find to become the persons we needed to be.
“No matter how hard it may be, when we choose to help, listen or forgive one another, that simple act of kindness can change someone’s life in ways that we can simply describe as a miracle” – Miles Finer.

Till next time, this was inspired by the “God Friended Me” TV Series.

A mother’s joy (Resurrection Sunday)

Truly! Truly! on that gloomy day,
All knew the end had come her way;
Last, a mother saw a son go away.
Wait! the story ending, we have not heard:
Christ resurrected and victory’s won.
Now he’s made it clear –
that all should happen, souls to win.
To follow such path, a cross to bear.

The mother knew this long before
That the son of man will rise again:
A promise she never lost hope to hold.
To look into Mary’s eyes, I long to see
When to the third day her son conquered death.
O! that love and peace she might have felt;
Changing all she must have feared.


Till next time, this is from my mind’s mind.

A mother’s sorrow (Good Friday)

Casting her gaze on the skyline near
the phosphorescent mirage made clear,
Seeing such agony, she cannot bear –
To ponder it, I do not dare!
Gloomy stale in that moment,
A mother carrying a lifeless body coiled in thy arms.
Looking with sorrow so weighed.
His wounds and body so bruised,
As blood drips from Christ’s side and thorny crown
She questions God “Why’s this my role?”
“And why my lone son to pay the toll?”
Carrying thy own epitaph, made to a cross
Alone along the path of grace?




Till next time, this is from my mind’s mind.

The Sun will rise, no more to set

I hear the voice of the world in cries;
In tears that waste the eyes,
By faith, so vainly fed;
With a tyrant so cruel to put earth to death.
“Ah, helpless world!” said I;
“Ah, wretched world!” twice did I sadly cry;
“Ah, helpless world!” the north and south reply.

When thoughts of the power nations contain,
And yet ever too vain;
I meet no word but favour to contain,
A ruler so dreadful to name;
Which fuels mortality rate,
Leaving a body in waste.

In vain, we fight the evil so wide and vast.
“In vain”, “in vain”, apothecaries try to eliminate;
“In vain”, “in vain”, twice did I sadly cry
We live in death and pain, the north and south reply.

Oh God!, no more shall this pseudo monarch do so;
For man to suffer and silently go:
All this world’s effort for antidote appears to me
a dull, ill-acted comedy:
No comfort to our wounded hearts,
We rely on your unfailing flight:
To rescue thy children in might.

Down we lay our head in plea;
Down on a cold earth; which for a while will be dead,
From the tyrant’s decree.
Ah, and the Lord will hear, I said,
For the world again to rise.
You foolish monarch, Go! to assume your broken chain,
And row here never again!

A poem in solidarity to the end of Covid-19

Heroes

On life’s busy road are a lot of downward spirals of events and turnovers. We are met with different kinds of people where memories are created and lives turned around either for the best or otherwise the unspeakable with their little actions and inactions.

Some happen to be our superheroes who carry us on pedestals to make us well known.

Through their roles played on stage in our lives’ drama, we have come to know them as the scarlet streak of our comfort and happiness.

Regardless, no matter what title we choose to give them, they will always be remembered as one of the amazing life supports of our retched lives – as beacons of hope for the darken sides of our being, and as people who have sacrificed themselves over again and again to buy our sorrows in return for happiness.

Times will come when we have to say goodbye to these amazing people, not because they were taken, but life’s adversities and circumstances have treated us thus.

However, at the end of it all, our ability to wrestle through these challenging moments make us deserving of the greatest title of all – Heroes.

My name is Nanayawinforms. Till next time, this is from my mind’s mind.