I tell lies to the people about things I know I cannot do and things which are clearly none of my constitutional business. I am able to fool them to a point. Now that I am in power and they are “standing’ on my vague promises and making frivolous demands, it is just fair that the state increases my salary to supposedly cater for these demands. Because we are cronies in the act, we easily push this one through. Now, one thing is missing. All our colleagues in the executive have official guards. It is just fair that we also have similar treatment. It might interest our constituents to know that our lives are more valuable than theirs. And should any of us be attacked or die, this nation will come to a standstill. Besides, We are all noted for mismanagement so it is very difficult to find space in our 7200+allowances to cater for our own security. So today, on the floor of parliament, we are screaming for official guards ooooooo.
I started a Social media campaign some few months ago to raise 1000 books for an orphanage. In the course of this campaign, I noticed some interesting developments and learnt a few vital lessons that are worth sharing.
From the very first post and tweet, I noticed a particular group of people. Their only aim was to get themselves noticed with the project. They sent me messages informing me of their support and wish to be recognized as such. I went further by asking what exactly they were bringing on board. All they could tell me was, they ( individuals and groups) have large followings and are well known. So if they shared my post, it will push the campaign. I agreed that was a tangible point. After a few questions, I realized they merely wanted to be associated with the project without actually bring in the books or working towards getting them. Some people only want to enjoy the applause but not ready to induce the sweat. Continue reading Lessons from the 1000 Books Project
It was one solemn morning. After a long lazy break, I was able to have a quiet time again. In the middle of my quiet time, a voice kept telling me to undertake a books project. Later in the day, a number of questions kept running through my head; how will I go about this? Which medium should I use? How many books should I raise and for which orphanage.
Then an idea struck me. The events of the Arab spring tickled me. The role social media played in fueling these uprisings spoke loudly about the potentials and power of social media. I therefore concluded to undertake a Social media campaign to raise 1000 books. I arrived at one thousand (1000) because I had a little over thousand friends on facebook. I was of the view that if I could convince each friend to give at least one book, I could raise the 1000 books easily. Then I settled on King Jesus Charity home, located at Boadi (few metres away from KNUST-Kumasi, Ghana).
Immediately the first post concerning the books project went on facebook, Dr. Sam Tinagyei, one of the chief sponsors of the orphanage quickly contacted me and set up a WHATSAPP support group. We set a July/August deadline for ourselves. Within few hours, one member of the support group came up with a poster which became our rallying picture.
Our first donation of seven books came in moments after the first post. The initial posts received numerous recommendations but not equal amount of donations. Donations kept trickling in as the campaign intensified. One day, another Social media acquaintance , Jemila Abdulai informed Keith Goddard of Book Matters of my project. I linked up with Keith and he promised to send down 1000 books from Canada.
By the end of September and with the arrival of over 1000 books from Book Matters, we counted the 1,420th book of the project. One major problem I faced was transporting the books from the warehouse in Teshie (Greater Accra) to Kumasi. I made contacts with all the big people in town I know. The sad story is that I only had excuses and those who were even willing to help were asking for a quota of the books. One went as far as asking for two out of the five barrels. In the end two young ladies, Setina Amezah and Dela Daniels collaborated and sent the five barrels of books safely to Kumasi . We only collaborated via whatsapp.
One young man domiciled in the US, Kwadwo Ofori-Mensah, Dela Daniels and my own senior from Senior Secondary school, Paul Azunre were the only financiers of the project. The cash they sent in served as the lubrication of this project and helped in adding to the number of books.
One person also worth mentioning is that taxi driver who took me round Kumasi for books collection and when he understood the cause, he refused to take money from me. He became the official driver of the project.
I noticed and learnt a few lessons during the campaign. I think they will be worth sharing so I will do so in another post.
To all who supported this project in diverse ways, the 1000 books project team says THANK YOU. Watch out for another campaign soon.
Sitawa Wafula is from Kenya, an only girl in a family of four, Single, Lover of God, food, art, travel and moon watching. She is a poet and mental health and epilepsy crusader who recently got awarded for the East Africa Philanthropy Awards and Spark Kenya Change makers program. She also own an events company, Events by Sitawa and a jewellery line O-collection. She spends her days creating awareness about mental health through talks, her blog and media engagements after dropping out of Actuarial School due to a mental health condition which She developed after a rape ordeal. In this heart-to- heart conversation, Sitawa tells us the story of her life and how she turned her misfortune into an avenue to serve as a bridge of hope and source of inspiration to others. Continue reading Weathering a Murky Path