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.

Fordham to Offer New Course in West African Language, Twi.

Contact: Syd Steinhardt
(212) 636-6534

A course in Twi, the most widely spoken language in the West African nation of Ghana, will be taught at Fordham next summer.

Fordham will be the only New York City university to teach this language of the Akan people, the largest single linguistic group in the country. The official language of Ghana, where hundreds of languages and dialects are spoken, is English.

The Bronx has the highest concentration of African immigrants in the United States, said Mark Naison, Ph.D., chair of the Department of African and African-American Studies at Fordham. There are about 36,000 Africans in the Bronx, as assessed by the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2005-2007 American Community Survey, a large percentage of whom are Ghanaian. There are also significant numbers of Nigerians, Malians, Guineans and Gambians.

That number is likely higher, according to Jane Kani Edward, Ph.D., director of African Immigration Research and a post-doctoral fellow at Fordham. She based that assessment on her team’s interviews with Bronx Africans in places such as mosques and churches, as well as at Fordham.

Ghanaians comprise a major portion of the labor force in health care, particularly nursing homes, Naison said. That fact, and the number of first-generation Ghanaian-American children enrolled in the public school system, contributed to the decision to teach the language at Fordham.

“Twi is for people wanting to teach, and for people working in health care, in the Bronx,” he said. “Teachers will be able to talk to their students’ parents and health care workers will be able to communicate with patients.”

The teaching of the language is one example of a greater prominence to be given to Africa at Fordham in the coming year. The African Cultural Exchange, a two dozen-strong student group led by Kojo Ampah, a junior at Fordham College at Rose Hill, plans to hold an African festival in February as one way to “bring Africa to the fore,” he said. Eventually, Ampah hopes that the cultural exchange will grow to become a resource for African issues.

Naison agreed.

“Fordham is a place where African culture and history is going to be discussed on a regular basis,” he said.

Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to approximately 14,700 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in Westchester, and the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y.

Tweet my Goal! The 20 funniest comments on England’s draw with Ghana!


Ghana were the perfect party guests for what turned out to be England’s most entertaining friendly for years.

These are some of the funniest tweets on the game:

@garyalsmith: Gold Coasters went to England barefoot in ’51. Came back with boots for the 1st time. That was the beginning of the modern Black Stars.

@benwreks: If you combined the speed, control, agility and instinct of Gyan with, um, the, er, hair of Carroll, you’d have the perfect striker.

@richiebaaby: Wembley aint ever seen fans like us. I heard a man say “ghana won 1-1” yeugh!!

@Mr_BMills: Then I saw the ball in the back of the net. One short & old Ghana man with dreadlocks was screaming in my face blowing fumes.

@jdtheking: Asamoah Gyan is consistent.. Very very consistent. He go miss 99 chances n score only one. Cant remember last time he scored two for Ghana.
@niilexis: Dear Baby Jet, we beg u dey ‘gb3 shi too much’ before u dey score. e lef small like I lose ma bet. Abeg, no concert again.  Signed: Ghanaians

@reymour: Seeing how many Ghana fans were at the game tonight just shows how many illegal immigrants are in our country…

@petittonton: Yes. I want to go to the country where, so I have been made to understand, girls are sexy like cheese LHM!
@karenfaz: Apparently #Ghana won with the away goal rule tonight.
@IamNii_Teiko: So many stunning, BEAUTIFUL #Ghana women at the match tonight – it was un-be-weave-able at times though LOL #englandvsghana
@akyaan: Now accepting applications for temporary Ghanaian citizenship. Come on, you know you wanna be like us!!!

@LCBrennan: BBC website is down. I blame Gaddafi. And Ghana.

@KGHC: All of a sudden cheese is actually sexy! #Ghana

@BBCOllieDoward: Ghana fans worth price of admission alone. Streets outside Wembley transformed into downtown Accra.

@TagorJnr: Meehn gov’t shd consider changin Ghana airways to Baby Jet airlines! #winning

@rioferdy5: Ghana are a good team by the way, young quick with #silks and fearless.

@CallMeSJay: Fat Bums everywhere too 🙂 RT @DollyLDN Ghana match was maaaaaad! Wicked atmosphere!

@kotibotor: the ghana match exhaust me. the fumes from ppl dey no boff longest.

@EatMeCupcake: Today I was so embarrassed whilst at the match Ghana’s national anthem came on and I only knew the first sentence.

@iamthenublack: commentator: “none of Ghana fans seem ready to leave in a hurry”…my dad: cos they don’t have their passports….*DEAD*

Hope you enjoyed reading them………….

Not this time, England!

The day finally arrived. The day all Ghanaians were anticipating. The players talked about it. The media did justice to it as well. The 24 million coaches in Ghana all gave their views on the game. It was to be a battle and not a friendly.

Fabio Capello, coach of England even could not stop Ghanaians from taking this game to be a “world cup.” With or without Rooney, Lampard, John Terry and Ashley Cole, the match was always going to be hugely-contested. The reasons are not far-fetched:

– England has never lost to an African side.

– Ghana has always been a trail blazer in Africa thus wanted to inflict England’s first-ever defeat to an African side.

– The young English players wanted to cement their positions in the team.

– Some of the Ghana players need new clubs especially in the premier league.

-Ghana play against her colonial masters.

I had a long chat with some friends ranging from doctors to football pundits before the game. Everyone was positive about the chances of the Black Stars. When the game started, there was total silence in Ghana. You could hardly see a taxi. All the cab drivers had parked their cars. It was time to witness some footy. Ghana has been a football nation and will forever be. Football is the passion and soul of the nation…..the only game that unites tribes, opposition parties, enemies and even…..demons and angels.

I have always been a man of positivity but the first 10 minutes portrayed how anxious, scared and feeble our players were in the face of opposition. The 20,000 Ghanaian fans at the stadium could do nothing to take the fear away as they chanted, sang and praised our players. That is how it feels when you are playing against a nation which is known as the “creator” of football.

It was clearly a game of two halves. Andy Caroll scored his first goal for England on a night when the forwards shone and the defenders finally cracked in the final stages as Gyan grabbed a deserved equalizer.

In the absence of England’s more established players – only Joe Hart, Jack Wilshere, Glen Johnson and Ashley Young remained from the team that beat Wales last Sunday – it was up to the younger players to make an impact.

And they did in 90 minutes when several of them gave manager Fabio Capello much to ponder as he prepares for more serious tests ahead.

After Wilshere and Young both blasted chances over the bar, it was the Aston Villa man who was the first to test Ghana and Blackpool goalkeeper Richard Kingson aka Olele. He let off a superb curling shot on 15 minutes that the visiting stopper managed to keep out with a one handed save. That was spectacular but i still feel Ghana needs to start looking a new goalkeeper. Olele is old and his reflexes aren’t the same as it were two years ago. if you doubt me, ask the fans of Blackpool.

Nine minutes earlier Dominic Adiyiah, part of a three-man support to lone striker Gyan, went one-on-one with Hart, who made an excellent point-blank save to keep the Partizan Belgrade man out.

Young then hit the crossbar on 23 minutes after some excellent build-up play from Downing and Milner, who crossed for the England wide man. Carroll should have done better with the rebound, but he could only shove the ball into the Ghana defenders.

If England were impressive going forward, they were worrying in defence, as the back four left Emmanuel Agyeman-Badu alone to turn Kwadwo Asamoah’s free kick towards goal on 27 minutes, as Hart again made a great save.

England then had a huge let-off on 32 minutes as Hart miscued a clearance straight to Gyan, who then crossed to Isaac Vorsah who beat Gareth Barry to get a shot off, which the goalkeeper just managed to keep out.

Carroll then settled England’s nerves two minutes before half time with a well-worked goal, as Downing laid the ball off to the onrushing Liverpool striker to drive into the far corner of the net from a tight angle.

England made one change at half time – Lescott for Gary Cahill – with an aim to settling the back four but Fulham fullback John Pantsil went close to breaching the home defence on 58 minutes with a shot that skimmed over the bar.

Throughout the second half both sides made a host of substitutions, including England debuts for Matt Jarvis and Danny Wellbeck but the raft of changes took out all the urgency that had kept the game interesting for the first hour.

There was one more sting in the tail – and again England’s back four were at fault, as Gyan ghosted past Lescott in injury time to take the gloss off the game for Capello – and send the 20,000 boisterous visiting fans home delirious.

I must confess that, Ghana was poor in the first half but the second half was great as Derek Boateng brought some steel in the midfield when he came on for Anthony Annan. The second half belonged to us….and did i talk about the “back or norr norr dance?” It was on point!

It was a draw but Ghana leaves Wembley filled with joy….we sent a message to our colonial masters…..not this time, England!