Keeping an active blog has been one of the numerous New Year’s resolutions I have failed to see through or even commence. The others are either too sinister or too grandiose to discuss in a space of a 1000 words or less. I did keep a blog prior to starting “zangotude.wordpress.com” and it was not a bad experience. It had a few entries and a couple of views. The most positive thing about it was, it did serve as a launching pad for my later writing exploits and I am very glad about that. And then there was the time I dilly dallied between short poems on Instagram and political rants on Facebook. When I switched back and forth between Pedro the hopeless romantic and El Hajj Malik Shabazz the “politically woke young black boy”. All in all, I have never been as active with my blogging as I have been over the past 4 months or so.
Senioryearinlegon.wordpress.com has been my pet project. Like a baby procreated after years of infertility, I have seen it cry hours after my first entry, smile when I got my first few likes and follows, laugh when an entry was reblogged by a prominent blogger in the country and now it is beginning to crawl and sit. My dedication to it has been quite positive, personally ensuring that I blog at least once a week. This commitment was broken over the past two weeks or so. Final year exams are literally a do or die affair due to the ominous threat of a re-sit preventing you from graduating. So I shied away from Microsoft Office and stayed true to Adobe PDF Reader anytime I turned on my laptop. The lecture slides were not going to magically telepath to my humongous head without me reading them!
With exams over, I found myself drawing up a social enterprise business module for a competition my overly ambitious friend Aurelia got me to apply for. Running a business has never been one of my dreams. I have always fancied myself as either a stay home father or some development technocrat wearing khakis and Sperry’s in the flat lands of Nakuru Kenya. So coming up with a business idea for the Hult Prize competition was quite a challenge. Not forgetting that we had barely 3 days to get our ideas together. Eventually, we penned something down and banked on our public speaking skills to court the judges on our side. It is safe to say that we wowed the judges and audience with our presentation skills but unfortunately came up short compared to an idea named Poopberry which wanted to use the poop of slum dwellers to create jobs. If you did not shout out “ewwww” then you might as well stop reading this!
Immediately after that, Legon prepared to receive the most dialectical young minds in sub Saharan Africa. The Pan African Universities Debate Championship is the most competitive debating tournament on the continent. It is also the most exciting!!! Speakers have 15 minutes to prep for a random motion which spans fields like science fiction, religion, sports, politics, terrorism, economics etc. This is my second year of active debating and I went into the tournament with the ultimate prize as my goal. It certainly was not going to be a walk in the park with a couple of Southern African universities at the tournament as well as some very good teams from Nigeria.
My team made it to the quarter finals only to be knocked out after some shady adjudication. Well it is only convenient to blame my loss on adjudicators (they get the most smack in debating circles) but I legitimately feel like we should have made it to the semis. Sitting through the finals was torture. Of course the physical pain endured by Abu Ghraib and Gitmo inmates is zenith of torture but if there was anything like “debate torture”, then I went through that on Wednesday December 16th!!!
But tournaments are not all about winning debates and medals. If there is any place one can make friends with the smartest minds on the continent, then it is at such tournaments. The conversations I had with students from the Witwatersrand University could probably win the Pulitzer Prize if they were transcribed. The affection Zimbabwean students have for Robert Mugabe makes you question what the western media has been pontificating over the years about the frail old man. My naija guys are the best of the crop. Ever filial to Ghanaians, they manage to reinforce the hegemony of the Green and White state in Africa without even trying. They merge into a whole free from the Igbo-Yoruba-Hausa-and other smaller tribe rift and are super supportive of one another. Not forgetting the eloquence of their speech which unfortunately is ruined when they say thaty (30) and ogost (August).
Tournaments are also the opportune time to crush on daughters of mama Africa. Girls from the South just having a way of creeping into my cardio vascular. I just don’t know why or even how to stop it!!!
So in the last 14 days since I last blogged, I lost two tournaments, I almost cried after losing one of the tournaments, made amazing friends, caught myself “slurring” the English language so an adjudicator from South Africa could comprehend what I was saying and crushed on someone from Zimbabwe.
But in the less than 14 days left before the year ends, I hope to get closer to Allah, blog until my fingers hurt, start compiling my “Legon’s most Impressive Student List”, study the schemes of Frank Underwood, go on a charity trip, see other parts of Ghana and keep blogging as I do all of the above. And oh, go on that trip to Chorkor Beryl and I have been talking about for eons!!!