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Mon, Sep

Bentsifi’s Tattle: A guy about town

The Elmina Castle played a big part in the slavery saga

Words, words words

I love words. They are a powerful and can be used to inspire and nurture. We all know that. Similarly, words can maim. So we are always prompted to be measured by the words we choose to use to respond to matters that affect us and particularly, our relationships.

I believe in words. They help to reinforce our concepts, our thoughts. They help us define our beliefs and make informed judgements. Words. Words are like keys. If you choose them right, they can open any heart and shut any mouth!

I’m feeling rather inspired this week. In bleak times, that’s what you do. Revisit those things that gave you a lift, a spring in your step and propelled you to get on with it! And these are such times. A ‘tightening-of-belt’ era. You must, in order to survive in this economy, such as the government itself says is hard. That, there’s no money.

That actually rings true in my pocket. And it is in such times that I know to focus more on my desires, than on my doubt. For when I do that, I have learnt that the dream will take care of itself. For doubt, I learn, is not as powerful as desire, until I make them so. Until I “will” them forth.

Start now!

So, if there is something you have been thinking about doing - like starting a business, a hobby, a relationship, anything - just start. Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling, but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are with what you have. Just… Start.

These words, as I have read them over the years, have helped me overcome many of the obstacles I have placed before me when I have to do or start something. Fear, especially of the unknown (outcome), is often the one thing that causes us to be hesitant. To contemplate. To even start and stop. But, I recently learnt that happiness, which I so seek, is on the other side of fear!

Just do it! Once you do, you overcome it, having faced your fears. And you will be happier for the both the experience and the process! You will be the winner when you get out of the rut of being stuck doing the same thing as always, but expected a different result or outcome.

So, 25 years on, and Panafest is getting a new face, I hear. A more focused festival, examining issues pertaining our place, as Africans within in the global digital space, with a more youth-centered series of events marking up the week-long celebrations.

Panafest 2017

About time too! Panafest, with its Afrocentric slant, should have by now beeen positioned to be the most important pull of Africans in the diaspora back into the continent, entry point being Ghana! Panafest used to have a certain emotional pull which definitely needs to be revived.

So, I am exceedingly delighted that it is set to rise again, and stand to put the spotlight on the African discourse, especially of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, and racism.  It needs an overhaul. This year's festival takes place in Cape Coast from July 25 to August 2, with more performance-based events.

Somehow, in Ghana, the idea behind Panafest, bringing the subject of slavery into focus, seems like a matter that does not affect us. Like something that happened a long time ago and has no relevance today. Christians, in particular, seem to think there's perhaps, even a pagan arm to the whole affair and often do not participate. All these will be addressed as part of the narrative of the festival, going forward. Religion and faith played a major role in the whole debacle because it was their faith that kept many of the captives alive and sane.

Panafest created an important link to the African diaspora and it's success is indeed as important as it is relevant, even today.
Looking forward to it.