Ghana Culture Essay Contest

I was so excited I woke 15 minutes before my 6:15 alarm. I took my bath, dressed, ate breakfast and organized the things I wanted to take to Koforidua. Werner got up. Time dragged and at 7:25 I couldn’t wait for them to come at 7:30 so I walked down to campus. I found two of Vida and William sitting on the pump at the bore hole. They sent two of their mates to get Deborah and Frank.


Up at the house I had bread with margarine and some cold sachet water. I know it sounds awful but the kids love bread and never get cold water. I also know we were going to Goldie’s for lunch and there they could fill their bellies.  On my way to get Eric I walked by them eating on the porch and I saw Frank give his second piece of bread to one of the water boys.


If it takes 1 person 10 minutes to get ready to leave, it takes 2 people 20 minutes etc. After what felt like an hour to me we were all ready to go. The mentors, Werner, Eric and I and the children, Frank, Vida, Deborah and William headed down the path to the junction. At the junction we were lucky enough to find a tro tro that we could all fit in. I held back as Werner, William, Deborah, Frank and Vida disappeared somewhere in the tro. I dubious that the tro would hold us all but the other passengers urged me to get in. The five of them were in the backseat meant for three, Eric was in the jump seat in front of them and I took a seat behind the driver. I think Werner might have felt like he was in a clown car.


When it came time to pay the mate only made me pay for 6 of us instead of seven.


On the ride to Kof I heard Eric telling the children about the Vodafone Internet Cafe. “It’s air conditioned!” “You will meet big men there.” “The connection is so fast!” I think Eric was just as excited as I was about this trip.


We arrived at Kof and the cafe safe and sound. When we entered the cafe I took the kids step by step through buying the time, getting their Username and password and logging in to the Vodafone network. I proudly introduced the kids and my fellow mentors and told the Vodafone employee about the contest.


The students successfully logged into their computers and we began our first task – signing up for an Email account. The tutorial they had watched at school had said it would only take 10 minutes to sign up for an account. No way, I thought. Because of my experiences in the library with newbies, I knew 10 minutes was way too optimistic! I planned 30 but even that turned out to be optimistic!


Boy oh boy did we all have trouble with the Email accounts. Everything imaginable happened. The students were slow typist but I wanted them to gain experience so we had them type the information requested. Once after Vida had filled everything out she clicked to get her account and the whole tab disappeared. Of course she had to start all over again. Werner was working with William in Gmail and they kept getting the message that this page is unavailable. Everyone had trouble with the hidden letters. If you can read them it means you are human and not some program registering many spam accounts. I guess we were programs because we failed time and time again to decipher the letters and numbers. When the student didn’t get the numbers correct then the registration page came back. They then had to reenter their passwords and remove default setting like, “keep me signed in” and “share my email address with advertisers”. Luckily all the info the typed didn’t have to be reentered!  After 50 minutes everyone had an email account and they had started sending messages to each other.


Werner sent them a congratulatory Email with a link to the trailer for the new Pirates movie. This was a good introduction to YouTube! I had a couple of things they could search for – cat and dolphin and guitar lessons. Then they had a free for all. Their interests were immediately apparent. William was watching shots from Wimbledon. Vida was watching a female Ghanaian pop star. Frank was watching football (soccer). Last, Deborah was watching a woman singer as well.


I pulled them away from YouTube to show them Wikipedia and the Daily Graphic (Ghana’s major daily newspaper) but after YouTube these sites were snoozers! Note to self: Next time show the students YouTube last.


The excursion was very satisfying to me. The kids gained concrete skills. The girls especially could manipulate the mouse better and navigate around the computer screen with more confidence. They saw three different types of websites as well as getting an email account. On a more abstract level I hope I showed them the collaborative nature of the internet and exposed them to a larger world. It’s funny how ICT tools are making the world smaller but also making an individual’s world larger!



Comments Off on 7 July 2011 – Form 1 at the Vodafone Internet Cafe

The maiden edition of the Daily Guide Essay competition has been launched in Accra with the aim of encouraging the reading and writing culture among the youth.

Editor of Daily Guide Newspaper, Alhaji A. R Gomda during the launch on Wednesday, said that the competition is to test the knowledge of entrants and to encourage them to take an interest in both national and international affairs.

He added that participants must be first-degree graduates interested in furthering.

“We are expecting about 1,000 first degree holders to enter this competition but they should be interested. This is a great opportunity… We hope to have it yearly depending on how this year’s competition goes.”

Chief Executive Officer and founder of Study Abroad West Africa, Akua Konadu Kusi said the winner will not only have the opportunity to study abroad but will also get to select his preferred course.

“The winner will get the opportunity to do their masters at the Glocal University in India, with a wide range of courses to choose from.” She said.

She added that, the scholarship will take the form of tuition and accommodation and hopefully the ticket of the winner.

“We are still working around the clock to get sponsors to take care of the flight of the winner but this scholarship covers accommodation and tuition”, she emphasized

The competition is set to commence on 17th May 2017 to 14th July 2017 on the topic, “Encouraging the reading culture in a Developing country – Ghana’s Social Media Era”, with renowned lecturers and professionals as Jury.

How to Enter:

Option 1

Complete and Cut out the entry form portion in the Daily Guide Newspaper from 17th May 2017 to 14th July 2017.

Drop your printed script together with the cutout form at the Daily Guide office at Keta close, Nima residential, near the Nima Police Station.

Option 2

Complete and take a snapshot of the full page of the entry form in the Daily Guide Newspaper from 17th May 2017 to 14th July 2017.

Email your script together with the snapshot to

Option 3

Complete Entry Form and upload script on


Daily GuideEssay competitionGhana News2017-05-24



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