Surprises

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Surprises are sometimes exciting, mind blowing and emotional moments. Like surprise birthday parties or that moment when your fiancé kneels down with all humility and takes out the
ring!!!!!! Nevertheless they could also be the other way round, disappointing and shocking.
We’ve had surprises at different stages of our lives. I’ve also had my own experiences.
I was a first year student in the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and I had enjoyed the fun that came along with being a fresher. I mean making new friends, enjoying
every hall week, digging our heads into books and lecture notes and partying late nights. Now, first year had finally come to an end and we could no longer stay in the traditional halls as a result of a policy structured by the University; The In, Out, Out, Out policy. This meant that after your first year in University you need to move out of the traditional halls. We all had to search for hostels. It was a frustrating period because, it was a new thing to us and we didn’t really know the hostel market that well. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, I
finally found a hostel that was just right for me. The next academic year came in and I had just moved into my new hostel. The hostel was very beautiful and my room was just right because it was spacious, clean and had all the fittings in place and in good condition.
Everything was just right till a month later when I experienced a long interruption in power supply which I couldn’t seem to understand. My prepaid was supposed to take me through the whole semester per the information given to me by the management team but it had been only a month since I moved there. My neighbors also had power. Later on, I found out that the prepaid got finished so early because, I was sharing my prepaid meter with the opposite room which was occupied by 4 people. I had no prior notice of this when I paid my hostel fees and felt it was very unprofessional and wrong on the part of the hostel management. The power outage was succeeded by other problems like long periods of water
shortage and theft cases. These experiences have inspired this write-up.

If you’re a student reading this, do yourself some good by reading it to the end. A number of solutions to some very common problems students face after making payments for hostel accommodation have been put together.

This write-up is dedicated to all of you, our cherished readers who have supported Saasepedia in diverse ways. Special thanks to:
Elorm Sekey, Kwaku Appiah-Adu , Nicholas Kitsi, Mubarak Abubakari, Daniel Ofosu Dwamena, Lawrencia Kessie, Abigail Aryee- Atta , Claudia Hihetah, Makeeda Gabriel, Angela
Akorfa Modzabi, Elliot, Dennis Owusu-Nimoh, Esther Fosuah Agyei, Gifty Mintah, Julia Aryee-Atta, Faustina Deenu, Ephraim Ahiagba, John Pabi, Aku Sackey and Linda Okine
You have no idea, how much you inspire us!

“The Various Surprises Students Meet after Making Payments for Hostel Accommodation ”

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Some of these surprises can be very frustrating and as such, you may want to take measures to avoid such surprises. Here are a few of them:
1. Never make a payment for what you have not seen
Hostel owners or managers like any other seller would want to maximize profit. They would say anything to get you to pay for the room you haven’t seen. Make sure you go with the hostel manager to inspect whatever you are paying for before making any financial commitment. And even when you have seen the place, it is not advisable to make full payment before occupation, till you are very sure you would be able to get a refund of money paid in case the hostel owner or manager fails to fulfill his part of the contract
2. Do Your Own Background Checks to Be Sure of the Services Provided By The Hostel

Apart from what you would see or hear the hostel owner or manager tell you about services provided by the hostel, do your own background checks by asking other students who are already occupying such hostels to be sure if such services are actually being provided and how efficient such services are. You may want to take a stroll through such hostels or visit such hostels to see for yourself, what services are actually being provided.
3. Read the Terms and Conditions Guiding Your Stay in Such Hostels
Some hostels have their terms and conditions of occupation documented. In such instances, make sure you read them carefully and ask for clarifications from the hostel’s management when you do not understand any of their clauses.
4. Start Searching for Your Hostel Accommodation Far Ahead of Time
Avoid last minute search for hostels. This has led so many students into settling for hostels with poor conditions because they are in urgent need of hostel accommodation.
5. Try As Much As Possible To Be Involved In The Hostel Search Yourself
Avoid middleman transactions as much as possible in your search for hostel accommodation. Do this to avoid third hand information. If you should involve anybody at all, ensure that the person
involved is a very well trusted person.
6. Consider Your Comfort and Convenience When Considering Options for Your Hostel Accommodation
You may want to consider hostels with good security, not too far from school, serene environment for learning. Good water and electricity connection. Study rooms, enough privacy, among others.
Aside these, always have this in mind:
“No one is perfect — that’s why pencils have erasers”. Not every hostel is perfect but we can get something close to perfection.

OUR ‘BORGAS’ AND THEIR HOME CONTRACTORS

Remittances are classically defined as monetary funds sent by individuals working abroad to recipients in their home country. Here in Ghana, it is a very common practice to have relatives abroad send money to family members to build or purchase family homes. Such monies are usually sent to trusted family members with the thought that when they finally get back to the country, they would have a place to lay their heads without having to think of monthly rents. They spend most of their lives abroad working so hard, even sometimes OVERTIME with huge tax burdens. Some of them end up accepting job offers that are way below their qualifications. But their toil is not a hopeless one. As they work so hard, they can smile because there is definitely going to be light at the end of the tunnel. Their lives would never be the same once they return to Ghana. But do they always come back to Ghana to meet what they actually expected? Here is the story of Ato, a 27 year-old “BORGA”

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Ato was on a skype call with his old time Achimota school buddy, Kwaku just catching up on old times and discussing the latest gossip in town. They were far apart. Ato was in London and Kwaku was in Jamaica but they made a conscious effort to still keep in touch.
“But what’s the agenda this summer?” Kwaku asked. We need to meet up. “Haha. Bro, so many plans this summer. From beach parties to home parties to clubbing to a trip to Greece”. “I believe you can tag along”, Ato said. “Exciting plans, Ato! Just let me know the proposed dates and I will be there”.
Just after speaking to Kwaku, Ato reached out for his other phone, scrolled through his notifications, only to realize that he had missed 10 calls from his mum. “O Gosh what could it be this time?” He wondered. With the hope that it wasn’t one of those calls prone to ruin his day, Ato dialed his mum’s number and placed it on speaker as he cuddled up himself in bed. Mama picked up after the first ring in haste. As if she did not care about Ato’s wellbeing, she shouted out loud, “Ato, you must come home this summer!!!!!” In fury, Ato asked, “why this time of the year?” “Why mama, why?” Mama said, “My son it’s for your own good ooh. Guess what? I have gotten a potential wife for you after all these years. This has been your prayer all these years, my son please just come home ok”.
“Hmm Mama that means I have to cancel all my plans this summer”, Ato said. “Opportunities come once in a lifetime ooh, forget about all this summer nonsense and come home!”, shouted Mama. As obedient as Ato was, he succumbed to her demand. Mama continued, “Ahaa, my son, I want you to buy a house in Ghana before you arrive, just to show your friends, relatives and future in-law that you are not a small boy”. “That’s a great idea mum but who’s going to handle purchase?”, Ato asked. “Don’t worry my son Uncle Basa will take care of all that. Just send the money. It’s a 3 bedroom fully furnished house located at East Legon”. “Alright Mama. I will secure a loan from the bank and send you the first down payment by close of the week. Thanks and bye”.
On 25th July, Ato arrived in Ghana. In the company of his mum and Uncle Basa, Ato headed towards his supposed new house. When they got to the house, they realized that lights were already on and could hear sounds of people chit chatting. It sounded like there was a family already in there but that was supposed to be Ato’s house. To clear doubts, they decided go in and speak to someone in the house. Upon a few consultations, they got to know that the family had purchased the house 4 years ago and it still remained their place of abode.
At that moment, Uncle Basa’s faced was filled with shame because apparently, he just did the transaction with the agent on phone by sending the first down payment without inspecting the premises. The whole purchase was a scam! That was the end of Ato’s USD 20,000 investment.
Dear buyer, BEWARE!
Real Estate is a big investment and it’s always best for you to perform due diligence before taking that bold step to purchase any property on the market.
To do due diligence means to do thorough and proper investigations to be fully convinced that the property is free from encumbrances. This can be done by inspecting the property to be sure whether it is actually what you’ve seen in pictures and also doing an official search at the Lands Commission. The search reveals ownership information on the property.
On the other hand, if you are not in the capacity to do that yourself, employ the services of a qualified estate agency of good reputation. Conduct an extensive background check on the company and assess reviews from customers who have patronized their services until you are fully satisfied that the agency is suitable for the job. The advantages of hiring a good estate agent is that, they are able to negotiate very well, they have adequate knowledge about the property market, understand the procedures and can deal with the paperwork efficiently.

Just Because They’re Cute❤

Oh my love for architecture, I just love the idea of someone transforming plain bricks, sandcrete blockSELRES_69b94ac3-a067-4381-9b48-7862ef6d407cSELRES_69b94ac3-a067-4381-9b48-7862ef6d407cs, mortar, glass and wood into something so creative, artistic, innovative, catchy and pleasing to the eye. A masterpiece I may say. I always had the passion to become an architect since the age of 6. I said to myself at the age of 21 that I must have visited at least 10 interesting buildings in the world.
Of course the first on my bucket list was Burj-Khalifa in Dubai followed by the Piano House in China, the Lotus Temple in New Delhi, the White House in USA , the Llyods Building situate in London and the list goes on .Talking about the World’s most interesting buildings doesn’t Ghana form part of the world?
Not even one Ghanaian building was on that list. We look to the West for the best, only forgetting that we could be or are the best. Ghana also has interesting buildings I tell you!!!!!! Be it modern or historic.
Ok let’s hit Jamestown. Jamestown is one of the oldest districts in Accra and emerged as a community within the 17th Century on the Gulf of Guinea Coast. Due to the rapid growth of the city during the 20th century, it became an area of dense mixture of commercial and residential use. Currently it remains a fishing community being inhabited by the Ga ethnic group.

In the heart of Jamestown we found a couple of interesting buildings. First, the Jamestown Café.

Jamestown Café
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People say first impression counts and the first thing that caught my attention were the woven baskets which the market women normally use lay horizontally on the roof eaves.

Jamestown Cafe Basket

Floors finished with wooden like panels , tables stacked with asanka bowls , wooden Ghanaian artifacts , books , walls painted bright, stop guessing the colour it was orange. The kitchen area was enclosed with polished wooden panels and with two bamboo finished bicycles placed at the top. The roof was made of asbestos and there was no ceiling but I could just see the wooden rafters laid nicely. Not only did the orange colour illuminate the place but there was a section of the roof with a sky light allowing the sunlight into the place. So many posters of programs pasted on the walls brought life into the building. It’s a café with an area to sit, eat and work. It’s the Jamestown café. This café was designed by Joe Addo a well renowned Architect who is also a chief patron of ArchiAfrika which is an institution that advocates African architecture.

Ussher Fort

Ussher FortNext was the Ussher Fort which formerly known as Fort Crevecoeur built by the Dutch in the year 1649.However, in the year 1862 there was an earthquake which destroyed the structure leaving the foundation and some part the Dutch built. In 1868 the British rebuilt the Fort and named it Ussher Fort. It was formerly used as a factory by the Dutch but the British changed its use to a Male Prison. This prison had two cell sections, offices, an execution area, a chapel and a small workshop where the prisoners learnt a trade like carpentry, tailoring etc. In 1957 after independence till about the year 2000 it was then used as a refugee camp but in 2007, it was no longer used as a camp but a tourist site. Some interesting facts about the building is that it’s made of limestone you may be wondering why, this is because limestone has high strength due its characteristic of high density and it endures weather changing patterns. This property helps the building to stand strong and prevents it from collapsing because forts were normally built near water bodies. The color of walls of the fort was white which signifies conservation and also caught the attention of shipping and a smart appearance which attracted customers. It also houses a museum which contains old artifacts collected from structure the Dutch built like shackles, weapons , pictures of other forts in the Ghana and just to mention a few. Although the Fort isn’t in good condition it just give us an idea of the colonial times in which our forefathers toiled and labored. Ussher Fort is also listed under the World Heritage buildings and is managed by the Ghana Monuments Board. You should pass by Jamestown one of these days.

Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral

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This wonderful piece of artistic architectural work, designed by Architect C.A.A Barnes is one of the most beautiful religious monuments in the country. Located along Ghana’s “Wall Street”, is another very interesting building that caught our eyes, the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral. It is among the oldest religious monuments in the country. The design of the building is typical of church buildings in England at the time. It is not only a beauty to behold on the outside, but has a very fascinating interior design.

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The building which is built of red clay bricks provides a very relaxing environment, typical of clay buildings and is just perfect for its use as a church. Clay is one of the most sustainable and healthy building materials. The church building is about 124 years old and was initially patronized by the colonial expatriates when it was built. Anytime you find yourself around the 28th February road, do pass by the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral and enjoy real beauty in architecture.

James Fort

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A few metres walk from the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in Accra, our very own 345 year old James Fort. This building has seen generations upon generations and still exists to tell a story of what happened down the memory lane of our country. Although the building is currently not in a very good state, it reminds Ghanaians about some interesting events that occurred in the country some years back: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade is one very common event the fort is noted for. The Fort was purposely located by the sea because it made it easier for the slaves to wash down when they were brought to Accra from the various parts of the country. Initially, the fort was built by the Dutch to be used as a lodge. After the collapse of the building, the British reconstructed it for use as an office. It then became a slave trade centre. It was later used as a Prison over a very long period.
Because of its outstanding universal value, it is among the listed buildings of the UNESCO’s world heritage sites programme. Portions of the James Fort building were constructed with Dutch clay bricks, yellow in colour and plastered with Lime. Because of Lime’s ability to withstand salt, it is a good material for buildings that are close to the sea.

 

The Colour of Your Room Painting Says a Lot About You

When I had my first daughter, Xola, it was not a joy just to me, but a great source of happiness to the entire squad…. my husband, Kofi…. my siblings, Dela and Norkplim…. and my mum, Obaa Yaa. And of course! Nordey Chupey, my mother-in-law who made sure I drunk all the bitter concoctions just to ensure I had a healthy baby.

As happy as we were to have our baby, the entire squad wanted to have little Xola in their homes. Unfortunately, as many welcomed little Xola to their homes, not all were lucky enough to have her feel welcomed in their homes. Our experience at Nordey Chupey’s house still remains fresh on my mind.

Anytime we went to Nordey Chupey’s house, Xola would cry so aggressively. We just couldn’t figure out why she cried so hard anytime we were in Nordey Chupey’s house. It could be very embarrassing to myself and Kofi. Were the flowers not beautiful enough? Was granny not receptive enough, were there not enough dolls in the house? What could be the reason behind this?  We realized she cried even louder as we entered granny’s bedroom. What could be the reason?

Then during the Christmas festivities, Grandma Chupey decided to change her wall painting.

So it’s been Granny’s wall painting all this while! We should have known earlier.

If you think wall paintings have no effects on our minds and emotions, try locking yourself up in a small room with black wall painting for a couple of hours. Try that in the same size of room with a white painting.

Wall paintings have effects on our minds and our emotions.

What Your Wall Painting Says About You…….

Today we’d want to educate ourselves on certain primary colours and their effects on our minds and our emotions:

Red:

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Red is known to be a colour that arouses emotions. It arouses passion and romance. Red can increase excitement and alert the mind of danger. It could even increase a person’s appetite when used as wall painting in the kitchen

Yellow:

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Research has shown that the colour, yellow makes babies cry. This is because the colour can be irritable in its darker shade. When a lighter shade of Yellow is used for wall painting, it arouses happiness, makes the mind perceive sunshine as brighter and arouses optimism.

Green:

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Green is the most restful colour. Think of nature. Think of the vegetation, fertility, wealth. And they’re all summarized in the colour, green. It creates a feeling of calmness in our rooms and is best suited for the bedroom environment and home offices.

Blue:

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The colour, blue is said to stimulate creativity. Too much blue would make a person moody.

Blue in the dining room stimulates appetite.

Violet:

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The colour creates a feeling of Royalty. To give your room that Queenly or Kingly feel, the colour performs the function excellently.

Remember that every colour in its darker shade would make a room look smaller, whilst a colour in its lighter shade would make a room look bigger.

Continue reading “The Colour of Your Room Painting Says a Lot About You”