Sunday, 16 September 2012

SLAVERY; my humble opinion



I regard “slavery” as one of the popular word that is vulgar to every language in the cosmos. If you are not fortunate to have a university education, you must have heard of the word “slavery” in one of your high/secondary school curriculum. I first heard of slavery when I was in primary school, also, when I progressed to secondary school; I had an in-depth knowledge of slavery. Therefore, I can state freely that regardless of your - age, society status, educational level, gender and race – slavery is one of those words that you cannot deny having knowledge of.

Slavery is the state of being under the control of another person; it begets vices like Racism, Ethnicity, Apartheid, Homelessness, Hunger, Diseases, Sexual exploitation, Child labour, among others. The modern day slavery is where the underprivileged in the society are compelled, due to harsh economic condition or deprivation of basic necessities of life, to work under servitude for the affluent in the society.

But slavery is deeper, emotional and sensitive than what the two paragraphs above professed.

Slavery in Africa can be dated back to 1441 AD, where the Portuguese explorers became the first Europeans to arrive the continent of Africa. The main intention of the Portuguese was to trade for gold and spices; therefore, they set up colonies on the solitary islands of Sao Tome. In the 16th century, the Portuguese settlers found that these islands were ideal for growing sugar. Unfortunately, sugar growing is a labour-intensive undertaking which will require the Portuguese to work close to the heat with no infrastructure coupled with hard labour. These limiting factors on the human nature of the Portuguese thwarted the progress of the sugar production. To cultivate the sugar, the Portuguese turned to large numbers of enslaved Africans who by virtue of their distinct human nature can work long hours without the aid of machinery and their body designed to withstand any temperature. Elmina Castle on the Gold Coast (which is now called Ghana), originally built by African labour for the Portuguese in 1482 to control the gold trade, became an important depot for African slaves that were to be transported to the New World (North America and South America).

Throughout the 14th and 15th century, the Portuguese dominated the continent of Africa by engaging in buying of slaves (I do not think slaves are regarded as humans in those days, they call them commodity because proceeds from their sales are taxed) and selling them to the rest of the world. These slaves are subject to maximum degree of torture before (and obviously another torture awaits them at their destination) embarking on the slave ship for the New World, some may fall sick along the journey while some may die before reaching the destination. In order to avoid the cost of taking care of the sick slaves, they are thrown into the Atlantic Ocean alive. Yes, alive!

With the man power from Africa, Portuguese were able to designate the required labour for the development of their economy and also profited from the sales of slaves to other countries. It looks like a monopoly venture until other European countries (Spain, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands) joined the cause to exploit Africa of its human and natural resources. And what is the justification of the white men for their evil-deeds? Christianity! Yes, Christianity!! The recent public apology by the Church of England for their involvement in the slave trade is something Africans should start to ponder about.

“When the missionaries came to Africa, they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘let us pray’. We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.” – Jomo Kenyatta

This business venture called “Slave Trade” grew to be a prosperous recipe as each European country has their individual business strategy. It got to the point (at the time of the industrial revolution, around the 17th century) where the proceeds from slave trade amount to 5% of Britain GDP.

"We have no slaves at home – Then why abroad? Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs receive our air, that moment they are free. They touch our country, and their shackles fall. That's noble, and bespeaks a nation proud. And jealous of the blessing. Spread it then, and let it circulate through every vein." - William Cowper

The Spanish were the first Europeans to use African slaves in the New World on islands such as Cuba and the West Indies (Haiti), where the native population starved themselves rather than work for the Spanish.

Researchers and historians agree that in all, the Dutch shipped about 550,000 African slaves across the Atlantic, about 75,000 of whom died on board before reaching their destinations. From 1596–1829, the Dutch traders sold 250,000 slaves in the Dutch Guianas (Guyana and Surinam), 142,000 in the Dutch Caribbean islands, and 28,000 in Dutch Brazil.

"The African continent was bled of its human resources via all possible routes. Across the Sahara, through the Red Sea, from the Indian Ocean ports and across the Atlantic. At least ten centuries of slavery for the benefit of the Muslim countries (ninth to the nineteenth century); Four million slaves exported via the Red Sea, another four million through the Swahili ports of the Indian Ocean, perhaps as many as nine million along the trans-Saharan caravan route, and eleven to twenty million across the Atlantic Ocean" - Elikia M'bokolo

Western critics debated that slave trade wouldn’t have been successful if the local authorities did not play a role because Europeans rarely enter the interior of Africa, due to fear of disease and moreover fierce African resistance. Therefore, some historians concluded that African rulers enslaved their fellow Africans, selling them to the European traders in exchange for metal cookware, muskets, cloths, gunpowder, currency, iron ore, rum, livestock, and seed grain. But Mungo Park, a Scottish explorer, who traveled within the interior of Africa between 1795 to 1797 described how curious and inquisitive Africans are, wanting to know if white men are cannibals, also what becomes of their fellow Africans who traveled across the Atlantic Ocean.

This conspiracy by western critics is obnubilate, if truly African rulers sold their fellow Africans to slavery; what do we say of King Jaja of Opobo who refused to do business with slavers? Ashanti King Agyeman Prempeh who sacrificed his own freedom so that his people would not face collective slavery? King Nana Badu Bonsu II who was executed in 1838 by the Dutch for decapitating two Dutch emissaries?

"The viewpoint that “Africans” enslaved “Africans” is obfuscating if not troubling. The deployment of “African” in African history tends to coalesce into obscurantist constructions of identities that allow scholars, for instance, to subtly call into question the humanity of “all” Africans. Whenever Asante rulers sold non-Asantes into slavery, they did not construct it in terms of Africans selling fellow Africans. They saw the victims for what they were, for instance, as Akuapems, without categorizing them as fellow Africans. Equally, when Christian Scandinavians and Russians sold war captives to the Islamic people of the Abbasid Empire, they didn’t think that they were placing fellow Europeans into slavery. This lazy categorizing homogenizes Africans and has become a part of the methodology of African history; not surprisingly, the Western media’s cottage industry on Africa has tapped into it to frame Africans in inchoate generalities allowing the media to describe local crisis in one African state as “African” problem." — Dr. Akurang-Parry, Ending the Slavery Blame

Across the West African borders, a record of over twenty million African slaves were shipped via Badagry Lagos State of Nigeria, Elmina Castle in Ghana and Ivory Coast to Europe and America. 5% of the twenty million African slaves lost their lives before reaching the final destination. The continent of Africa was depopulated as a result of the slave trade. The slave trade deters the formation of larger ethnic groups thereby causing ethnic division; it also reduced the mental health and social development of African people. Slavery birthed hatred among African tribes as the children of the slaves were used by the white men as a bait to catch alligators. There was a need to transport wild animals to Europe and America; therefore, children of the slaves are thrown to the wild animals as food so they can be caught alive. The children die and the wild animals are being shipped overseas and kept in the zoo.

One of the ships that was used to transport millions of African slaves to America is called Jesus. You get to wonder why Black folks don’t run when they hear the name Jesus. Apparently, the Africans in Africa are waiting for the slave ship Jesus to return and take them to America WHILE the Africans in America are waiting for the slave ship Jesus to bring them back to Africa.


Paul Adepoju, ACMI

Monday, 20 August 2012

ILLITERACY; Causes, Effects & Solutions

The word “illiteracy” is ambiguous; it is akinesia to the state of mind of the individual concerned. Illiteracy is often used as the opposite of literacy.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defined literacy as "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society."

Therefore, base on the above definition, I can depict illiteracy as the” inability of an individual to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.”

Illiteracy keeps people chained to ignorance, slavery, inaction and exploitation in a number of ways. For example, an individual might refuse medical care because of faith in a clergy.

“As centuries of dictators have known, an illiterate crowd is the easiest to rule; since the craft of reading cannot be untaught once it has been acquired, the second-best recourse is to limit its scope.” ― Alberto Manguel, The History of Reading

In the antediluvian times, only a small percentage of the world population are considered as literate whom are regarded as the elite of the society, thus, the majority of the population are regarded as illiterate. Furthermore, illiterate people are the inferior segment of the society moreover the underdeveloped countries are mostly in the bond of illiteracy. The level of illiteracy in a society is always measured by human development index which constitutes; life expectancy, literacy, education, and standards of living of a country.

A study conducted by the World Statistics Institute (WSI) shows that over 27% of the world population are illiterates. Another study by the same institute shows that the speed at which illiteracy rate rises is 32%. These rates are relatively important, as illiteracy has negative effects on the society at large.


- Sometimes people who are illiterate are called the un-educated people.

The most important effect is that illiteracy works as an inhibitor to the society, in other words, the more illiterate people in a country; the harder it will be for the country to progress. Illiteracy not only limits the full development of individuals and their participation in society, but also has recoils throughout life, affecting a person’s family environment, limiting access to the benefits of development, and preventing the enjoyment of other human rights.

Illiteracy is caused by lack of proper education. Education is the bedrock for the future, therefore, if you don’t have education, you might be considered as the rejected in the society. Education comes with a sub-conscious elation of optimism. Someone without education might feel intimidated by an educated person just because proper education enlighten an individual to know his/her rights, with education, he/she can differentiate between ethicality and morality.

“70 out of 100 people in the world cannot read... if you can read then you are the luckiest out of 2 million people in the world that cannot.” - Call Bain

- Economic condition of the people which we can also regard as “Poverty”.

“Poverty or destitution refers to the state of severe deprivation of basic human needs, which commonly includes food, water, sanitation, clothing, shelter, health care, education and information.” - Wikipedia

Poverty is a by-product of illiteracy, which is why most underdeveloped countries have the highest rate of illiteracy in the world. An impoverish person will always undermine his capability to soar beyond a certain limit, he is a pessimist, he does sometimes believes that the world owes him a living. Poverty deters an individual to contribute his quota to the society, it impede social-economic development of any society. A destitute individual sees health care, education, housing e.t.c as a dream which cannot be achieved throughout his time on earth, since he does not have the means to satisfy his basic needs, other categories of needs are fantasy. Illiteracy which usually begets poverty is a psychological and evolving process which every society should tackle from the grass-roots.

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ― Nelson Mandela

- Genetic effects

Illiteracy has a hereditary effect if it is not abolished early. It transcends generations, be it current or future generation.

As the saying goes "we came to this earth with nada and we will leave with nada". We are all born without the knowledge of the society which we found ourselves, therefore, there is a need to acclimatize and familiarize ourselves with the society. Most of our characters, habits and pet peeves are all acquired during childhood. At a tender age which I regard as strategic age gap, mostly between 1 to 4 years, children learn about the society from their ambiance which is mostly the parents. It is in this strategic age gap that children learn between good and bad, reality and fallacy, morality and immorality, God and Satan e.t.c.

The children of illiterate parents are more likely to be illiterate compared to literate parents. If an illiterate parent does not want their children to be illiterate, chances are that by observation, the children will eventually become illiterate because they will reflect the attitude and character of their parents.

Illiterates people tends to take everything hook-line-and-sinker, they believe everything they are being told and make irrational decisions. They are not knowledgeable to challenge opinions, hence their enemies seems to be someone who wants to help them to cure their ignorance.

“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.” - Bertolt Brecht


Reminiscing back to history; the uneducated majority of the populace are slaves, maid, helpers, assistants e.t.c while the educated are the kings, princes, queens, princess’s, sultans, advisers e.t.c.

Illiteracy is not natural, neither is it inherent - it can be cured, reduced and eradicated by universalizing primary and secondary school education at a no cost. This can be achieved by both private and governmental institutions teaming up together to provide supports, policies and finances. Russia and China are perfect epitome of countries who conjuncted together to say NO to ILLITERACY.

The individual, society and government have responsibility in solving the problem of illiteracy. The utmost responsibility lies with the parents who are the first instance impact to their kids.


Paul Adepoju, ACMI

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Miss Nigeria Ghana 2012; Officially Launched!!!

At the auditorium of the Nigeria High Commission, Accra Ghana
On Thursday 16th August 2012

  • ·      Your Excellency, Ambassador Oluseyi Onafowokan , the Nigeria High Commission to Ghana.
  •        Deputy High Commissioner and other principal staff of the High Commission.
  •              Our Amiable sponsors
  •              Members of Nigeria Communities
  •       The National Association of Nigeria Students Executives
  •       Gentlemen of the Pres
  •       Ladies and Gentlemen
We give thanks to God, the almighty and our creator, who impacted us with knowledge that yielded this idea and who makes this day a reality. Our mind also wells up in appreciation to fellow human who helped tremendously in all activities leading to today’s presentation. We are grateful to the Nigeria High Commissioner and all staff of the high commission for always been there for us. We salute the courage of our sponsors who believe and support our dream and to our friends from the media, thanks for making time to be here.

Miss Nigeria in Diaspora is not a new development; in the United States of America, we have Miss Nigeria New York and Washington. In Europe, there is Miss Nigeria UK and Miss Nigeria Dublin and back here in Africa, Miss Nigeria South Africa is always a big deal.  Looking at Ghana’s close relations with Nigeria and the number of Nigerians living in Ghana, we are of the opinion that it will not augur well and will not be in the best cultural interest of the two nations not to have a feel of Miss Nigeria Ghana.

Miss Nigeria Ghana  is therefore  intended to organise Nigerian youths living  in Ghana  toward a new order of projecting Nigeria image in Ghana and fostering a more cordial relationship between the youths of the two countries  through culture and decent beauty pageant.

We are very optimistic that this program will promote Nigerian’s rich cultural dexterity and diversity among Ghanaians, serve as a tool for rebranding Nigeria image in Ghana and become a potent tool for more unification of both countries.

There are arguably over 5 million Nigerians in Ghana, and Nigeria being the entertainment power house of Africa and the uniqueness of Nigerians as carrier of fun and funfair anywhere they find themselves, and can never ceased to be the happiest people. This program we hope shall create a platform for general entertainment.  There are lots of Nigerian companies contributing massively to the economic development of Ghana which we also believe needed vehicles like this to promote their investment in Ghana and a number of Ghanaian owned companies finding their feet in Nigeria.  This event will go a long way in helping businesses across the two countries. 

There have been various effort of the federal government of Nigeria through its various agencies at home and abroad in projecting the image of Nigeria, there is no doubt that this program will go a long way in projecting Nigeria as a good people that we are and from a great nation. 

The pageant is open to all Nigeria ladies schooling or resident in Ghana between the ages of 18 and above. Application form is available for Ghc35 at the Sliverbird lifestyle store, Accra mall and on all the campuses across the nation. 

Audition shall be held in Accra and Kumasi and the grand finale shall be held in Accra on the 26th of October 2012. There are mouth watering prizes for the winner and the runner up as well as the ten finalists, including an official car for the winner throughout her reign and a $6000 Rolex watch.

The winner of the pageant shall also embark on one year breast cancer awareness campaign in all the ten regions of Ghana, in a show of appreciation and giving back to our host nation, Ghana.

The ten finalists shall compete for the crown on a night of bliss to be witnessed by dignitaries from Nigeria and Ghana.

Top on our guests list is the first lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Her Excellency Dame Patience Jonathan. We are also expecting wife of Oyo state Governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi and former Nigeria Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland and Peoples Democratic Party’s National Women Leader, Dr Kema Chikwe. There shall be representation from the Nigeria National Assembly, Ministry of Women Affairs, and Ministry of Youth Affairs, National Orientation agency and National Institute of Cultural Orientation.

There are number of artists both from Nigeria and Ghana that will add glamour to the night. Tickets for the event shall be available for sale from 1st September, 2012.

The event has the endorsement of the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana, the National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS-Ghana) and Association of Nigeria Professionals in Ghana and all Nigeria Community Ghana.

The event is being put together by Delight Communications, Nigerian Eye Newspaper, Jumacole Investment, Starkeep productions and partners.

For more information and update please visit our website

Bola Olalere – Chairman Organising Committee

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The 21st Century - The Social Media Revolution

The word Social Media is now a norm or somewhat an opium! We are all victims of this internet habituation (social media) unless if you are shy to reiterate your Facebook or Twitter addiction in public. I, Paul Adepoju, I am a Facebook addict!!!

The debate about if everyone is on Facebook or not have been sparking agitation worldwide. Ofcourse, almost everyone is on social media but not everyone is on Facebook because Facebook is just a bulk fraction of social media.

 Social Media is indispensable and unavoidable even if you are intransigent to embrace it, circumstances or pressure from peers will compel you to join the club. It has changed the way we interact with one another and to the world at large. It has effected the way we live our lives on a daily basis. And it has also served as a tool of liberation against political and religious tyrannies.

Below are some social media & mobile statistics from the book "Socialnomics" by Erik Qualman;

  • Over 50% of the world population is under 30years old.
  • 96% of the total half of the world population are on social media.
  • Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
  • Social Media has overtaken pornography as the #1 activity on the web.
  • 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. met via social media.
  • It took 38years to reach 50million radio listeners, 13years to reach 50 million TV viewers and 4years to reach 50million internet users BUT  Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year.
  • iPod application downloads hit 1 billion in 9 months.
  • If Facebook were a country it would be the 3rd largest.
  • US Department of Education study revealed that online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction.
  •  80% of companies use social media for recruitment.
  • The fastest growing age and gender segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females.
  • 50% of the mobile Internet traffic in the UK is for facebook.
  • Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Sweden, Israel, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway and Panama.
  • YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.
  • WIKIPEDIA has over 15 million articles.
  • There are over 200 million Blogs.
  • 25% of search results for the world's Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.
  • 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands.
  • 60 million status updates happen on Facebook daily.
  • Indians spend more time on social media than on any other activity on the Internet.

 This tool called Social Media can play a synergistic role of linking various activities together, for example, while playing games on Facebook or watching video post, you might as well be chatting with friends at the same time.

It is also good for business, be it a owner's managed business or a corporate entity, you can target your customers on social media sites. Also works perfectly well for classified goods, post what you want to sell and users will hit you up.

With my Facebook account and BlackBerry, I don't have to stay glued to my TV set or tune the radio for news around the world. At my own convenience, anytime of the day, I can peeped through various posts and updates for happenings around the world.

Social Media is not a rocket science nor religious myth, it is a rudimentary change in the way we communicate.


Paul Adepoju, ACMI

Monday, 4 June 2012

A Bad Weekend For West Africa & State Of Nigeria Air Transport

I was about to publish my previous article when I heard that a Dana Air plane crashed in Lagos, Nigeria, killing 153 people on Sunday 3rd, June 2012.... holly molly! Not again!!

Within an interval of 24 hours i.e 1,440 minutes, the two West African countries (Ghana and Nigeria) who shared equal hegemony within the sub-saharan African region, coincidentally, lost a total of 190 of it's citizens to plane crash.

Nigeria has a poor air safety record - in 1992 we lost 162 army soldiers to plane crash, in 2002 a total of 149 people died when an EAS airliner crashed into northern city of Kano, in 2005 a Bellview airline flight crashed killing 117 people, same year in 2005 a Sosoliso airliner carrying school children from Abuja to Port Harcourt crashed killing 107 people, in 2006 an Aviation Development Co. flight from Abuja to Sokoto crashed killing 96 people. Therefore, from 1992 till today, Monday 4th, June 2012, we have recorded a total number of 784 people killed by plane crash. And what is the government doing about this? Absolutely nothing! International standards like ICAO treaty, Warsaw convention, Chicago convention e.t.c that airlines across the world are required to meet-up with is of no concern to Nigeria. The so-called giant of Africa relies too much on hope and prayers to transport itself on land and air. A sensitive and specialized industry like air transportation demands more than a combination of hope and prayers, it needs regular checkup of both internal and external body of the aircraft, highly trained maintenance technicians and a result-oriented management.

In other part of the world, conveying yourself across borders by air might be tagged as an adventure but it is a sore risk flying within Nigeria.

The sore risk I mentioned here is like a shared type; the citizens are risking their lives with the hope that historical happenings (plane crash) might not occur because they have no choice (if a plane can fly to my destination in 50minutes whereas it will take me 8 hours by road, why can't I give it a shot!) and the airline company are also hedging their risk by compelling a wounded lion to hover regardless of it's injuries.

Some of us who are informed or semi-educated about the aviation industry in Nigeria will have a fresh memory of 2005 - the days of Sosoliso Airline, days of Bellview Airline and the day Pastor Odukoya couldn't return to the pulpit to do what she's known for. We thought those mourning days are over because of President Goodluck Jonathan's FRESH AIR agenda.

With the trend that Nigeria is going, everything seems to be recurring retrospectively. We fought for the end of military rule because democracy seems to be the solution to our plight, unfortunately, the same set of military leaders are sabotaging us under the umbrella of free market, capitalism, freedom-of-speech, majority-rule e.t.c. 

Dana Air crash was a tragic incidence, terrifying and deplorable. I lost distant friends in the crash:(

"Life in Nigeria - travel by road (accident + kidnappers), sea (militants), air (plane crash), stay at home(robbers) and go to church (boko haram)." - public post

R.I.P to the departed souls.

Paul Adepoju