6 things we learned from the UK riots

I am at it again. I always pick positives from the worst of situations. Here are 6 things I learned from the UK riots.


#1 When a neighbor’s beard is burning, fetch water and protect yours

Ok, do you remember what the British press said before the world cup in South Africa? Africa was deemed a jungle… where people eat each other. A place where civilization is nothing to write home about….. a place where no football match could be held. Some people even still think Africa is a country. Hmmm…. South Africa was lambasted for all the wrong reasons. In less than a year, the London Olympic Games start. Need I say more? When your neighbor is down, don’t kick him but rather help lift him up. The UK press should take a cue from this. It’s a lesson. A very important one!


#2 Nothing is as it seems

Do you also remember the Royal wedding? It drew the attention of people far and near. The whole world was glued to television sets. Everyone, especially ladies, marveled at the sight of the wedding. My timeline was blazing hot on that very day. You would have thought that everything was perfect in London and in the UK as a whole. A glamorous wedding and one of the most watched in the history of the world. Then there was the phone scandal. That dominated the newspapers and television stations for a while.  As soon as that ended….  BOOOOM….  a riot in Tottenham spread to Manchester and many parts of Britain. The bottom line is, accept who you are. Don’t wish to be like any other because nothing is as it seems. We all have our fair share of skeletons and problems.

#3 Quest for money + web 2.0 = Virtual communities!

Bills + Taxes = Hustling! Parents have a lot of bills to pay. As a result they leave the house very early in the morning and forget about their children. Children do not get the best of upbringing. They don’t learn anything that would benefit the society from their parents. The family system is almost dead. Facebook, twitter and Blackberry messenger are the lecturers of the modern generation. The internet teaches a lot. Time is spent on the web more than with parents or family. Our traditional communities are fading away giving room to the VIRTUAL. I could have 5000 friends on facebook but would really know about 500 of them personally. Attitudes are picked. Most of the people who rioted were children, teenagers and young adults. By 2020, there will be more virtual communities in the world than real ones with the advent of web 2.0 so your guess is as good as mine. Social media is awesome but it is about time parents and governments also joined in. E-government and I think e-parenting will go a long way to help curb certain situations. We must be responsible.

#4 Be prepared always because anything can happen

Life is full of surprises. No one knew this was going to happen. London is regarded as one of the most civilized cities in the world. You don’t expect people to be looting shoes and flat screens. Why on earth would someone loot a TV in London? But it happened. People whose shops have been looted are crying. I heard one man who said he doesn’t know how his family is going to survive because his shop is their only source of income. You never know what will strike so it’s imperative to prepare wherever you find yourself. I have this friend who always carries a toilet roll in his bag. Hope you understand what it means. He is always prepared because he has a very delicate stomach. Diarrhea is his friend.


#5 What happens at the North Pole affects those at the South

I was really sad when I read tweets from some people on my timeline. They didn’t care about what was happening in the UK. These people claim they don’t have families over there. You shouldn’t have a family before you know it’s going to affect you. Football fans were “rocked” last week. No EPL matches. I bet some of these unconcerned people on my timeline are football lovers. Ghana vs. Nigeria match was cancelled. Again, we never got to see the greatest rivals on the African continent “slaughter” each other.

Radio presenters, fans and footballers who left Ghana and Nigeria to witness the match lost a great deal. How much is the air fare again? Anyone? Now let me talk about this: Immigration is a political hot potato in British public discourse and always an important and sensitive election issue. These riots, which many allege were carried out mainly by young black men, clearly will feed into this narrative, with dire implications for race relations in the future. There will be extra security in the country now.  Police would be vigilant on the documentation of foreigners. Ghanaians who live in the UK illegally will be in trouble.


#6 Rise when you fall

After the riots, some volunteers have come together to clean up. It portrays a sense of togetherness. Life will throw things at you. Some of them could be insipid but your reaction matters more than anything. Don’t just stay on the ground when you fall, rise…. You are a star. Your downfall is not the end of your life. Rise and clean up!

Let’s keep on sharing. Tell us what you learned from the London/UK riots.

5 things death whispered to me!



Most people tremble when they hear about death.  I can say 99% of us run when death is mentioned. The 1% could possibly be the suicide bombers. Death is the irreversible cessation of life. It involves a complete change in the status of a living entity—the loss of its essential characteristics. However death could also have some benefits – to the living and the dead. There are five things death whispers into my ears anytime someone dies or I go to a funeral. These 5 things were made very vivid when I lost Mr. Emmanuel Larbi, a father.


               1.       Appreciate people when they are around you

One thing I have realized is that we sometimes forget to appreciate people when they are around us. We forget that tomorrow is not assured. We have today to make things count. If you intend to let someone know you love him or her at a later date, you may regret it as he or she will be taken by another or by death. Tomorrow may be too late to show people you love them. Express your feelings today. Let your dad or mom know that you love him or her. You never know when death may strike. You never really can tell.

                2.       Let go, Let God.

We all have an assignment on earth. We are here for a purpose. We have spaces in our hands so that another’s may fill them. We rely on one another. Even if you are the richest man in the world, you rely on people who are poor to keep your company or businesses going. We cannot all be the same. Imagine if there was only white as the color in the world and everything was white. Your shoes, clothes, food, plants, animals, etc would confuse you. Death whispers into my ear and tells me that when people finish their assignments in your life they will surely go. God will bring a substitute to continue the journey with you. The people you left in the past are there because their part in your life is ended. They don’t belong in your future. Let go, let God.


              3.       This too shall pass!

Look back, you can always see traces of the same thing you were able to survive. It has just happened, it will surely pass. When we lose a loved one, we think the world is coming to an end. If it happens to be your dad or mom, it is even worse but there is one thing death tells us. Regardless of the pain you go through, you are able to rise and live your life again. That applies to life in general. Whatever be the situation, don’t give up. Don’t harbor the thought of death. For you may be down today but tomorrow may be the day you are lifted up. This too, shall pass!


               4.       Make peace!

If you are lucky to have the parting moments with the person, don’t be too arrogant with your knees and heart. Pour everything out and say sorry before the good bye. Good memories cannot be replaced with anything. A smile from the heart is a treasure. There is a time for everything. I shudder when I hear people cursing others who are on their sick bed. Phrases like “go to hell” and “I hate you” are heard so often. What happens when the person dies? Do you gather the strength to cry? Death is a ritual. It is appointed unto man to die once. If the person has offended you, learn to forgive and vice versa. Peace makes the world go round.


                5.       Know thy creator!

To those who don’t believe in God, this may sound insipid or better still unnecessary but I believe in a creator. I believe in God. I see people die most of the time and I know there is a place where they go. While some die in peace, others die in torment. Screams like ‘please give me water’ are so often heard. It tells us there is a creator. It tells us there is judgement.  I tell people death teaches me so many things than weddings or parties and they look at me in awe. Yeah the latter is all about fun but the former makes you think. We will be accountable some day!


Hope I didn’t scare you because that’s the last thing on my mind.

I wish to pay tribute to Mr. Emmanuel Larbi, a father, a friend and a savior. Daddy, we will forever love you. Your daughter, Afia Sarfowaa will never disappoint you. May your soul rest in perfect peace! To anyone who has ever lost a loved one, my sincere condolences.