The advantages of being an Ashawo in Accra

Before you start dissing or musing those inappropriate words at me, maybe you should read this to the end and then let the insults fly afterwards.

For those of you who do not already know, or are still pretending, an ashawo is a prostitute or a lady of the night. We already know the disadvantages of being a prostitute: HIV, STDs, rape and the fact that society frowns on it so I wont even go there.

Every night, they come out of hiding, onto the streets of Accra in search for a man who needs their services in exchange for money. They are everywhere in Accra standing by roadsides, junctions, roundabouts whistling for cars to stop and pick them up.

Ghanaian men. Smh. Rich men. You need the money. You give them what they want, they give you what you also want, and everyone goes home happy.

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What Stories Do You Tell Yourself?

I want to begin this post with a quote from Washington Irving which goes like: “I am always at a loss to know how much to believe of my own stories”

I stumbled upon this quote recently and it really struck a chord with me. But first I had to look up who Washington Irving was. Turns out he was a 19th century American author, essayist and historian. I do not think I had ever heard of him before now – although as I discovered I that I had come across two of his best-known stories The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle before.

Now back to Washington Irving’s quote; and the question that it triggered in my mind is how much should we believe the stories we tell ourselves? For don’t we all tell ourselves stories which define who we are? We are the daughter of X, the son of W, the sister of Y, the mother of Z and so forth. What do you do, people ask us. I work as an accountant; I am a blogger, I work as a pharmacist, I work from home, I am an unemployed mother with two kids, I work in a bank. We tell other stories too. I am a breast cancer survivor. I have ALS. I have HIV/AIDS. I own an NGO. I am a social justice advocate. I feel empowered. I want to make a difference.

And then there are the darker stories we tell ourselves. The less-than stories. The stories we hide in our closets. I am scared. I am damaged. I am not worthy. And the stories others tell us about who they think we are.

Let me tell you the story of a man called Victor. At the age of six, Victor was taken to a children’s counseling center by his father. At the end of this visit they leave with a story (diagnosis) of Victor’s diminished mental capacity. Victor grew up believing in this story he has been told, and believing the same story, he was treated as a fool by everyone who knew him. Some years later, Victor took an intelligence test which revealed that he had an amazingly high IQ. Now he had a new story to tell himself and others. Victor Serebriakoff was not a fool, but an intelligent, capable human being who incredibly went on to become the president of MENSA, the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world.

The stories we tell ourselves shape our lives.

But here is the thing we should never forget. We are the author of our own stories. For every perceived weakness we possess, we posses huge potential too. We get to choose which story we will tell ourselves – a story that will lift us up or knock us down. I am not denying there are obstacles to overcome in your story, that life will throw you off course time and time again; but you still have power over the stories you tell yourself.

One of the stories I told myself years ago was that I would never get over my obstacles and truly achieve all my dreams, hopes and aspirations. I would never feel happy again. And yet years have gone by, and I can’t say I have done so much towards those dreams but I am still fighting, and there have been moments of happiness, success, peace and joy. I recently heard someone speaking on the topic of suffering and he suggested that instead of saying to ourselves, I am sad, or depressed, or lonely, we could try saying “I am the person with sadness, with grief, with loneliness” These words have the power to change our story to one of possibility and hope that we will not always be the person who is suffering.

What are some of the stories you tell yourself? Do they help or hold you back? Is there some way you could change an element of your story to make a difference to your life? I would really love to hear your thoughts.

Hi, I am Nii Aryee and I choose from henceforth to tell positive stories about myself no matter what I am going through.


The Burden Of The Listener

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Who is the “Listener”? Well, in my opinion, the listener is the one who listens to everyone’s problems. Yep. That is me. I am the “Numero Uno Listener” of people’s problems. I remember one time I was sitting by a young lady in a trotro bus from school headed home and from the look of things and how she was behaving, she came across as a distraught, confused and sad young lady. I made the mistake of asking her a two word question: “What’s wrong?” Continue reading

Adolescent Girls more at risk of getting HIV/AIDS

teenage girls

Teenage girls in sub-Saharan Africa are five times more likely to be infected with HIV than boys, a new UN report says.

Nearly half of all the adolescents living with HIV globally are in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in East Africa, according to the report by the United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAids).

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Ghana @ 58. Focus on The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum

Osagyefo Kwame-NkrumahKwame Nkrumah was born Francis Nwia-Kofi on 21st September, 1909 to a gold smith father and retail trade mother in Nkroful now in the Western Region of Ghana. He was baptised a Catholic and like most of the children of his time, the missionary schoold offered one of the surest ways of getting primary education. He attended the Roman Catholic elementary school at Half Assini. He later went to Achimota College in the 1930s from where he became a teacher teaching mostly in the Catholic schools at Elmina and Axim. Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day And The Reasons Why I Had Sex

Happy Valentine's DayToday is St. Valentine’ s Day and I am not quite sure how to feel about Valentine’s Day. I have never been sure. On the 14th of February, it does not seem to matter which way you turn. There is no escaping the red roses, pink hearts and lip shaped chocolates. Well, today I was caught in one of those moments when I did not have much to do, and so I decided to write a list of every woman I have ever had sex with. Weird huh? Continue reading

Have You Ever Been Crazy/ Drunk In Love?

drunk in love

Drunk In Love is still one of my favorite songs. How did Beyoncé’s hook go? We woke up in the kitchen saying, “How the hell did this shit happen?” Oh baby, drunk in love. We be all night. Last thing I remember is our beautiful bodies grinding up in the club. Drunk in love. We be all night, love, love. We be all night, love, love. Enough of the singing already? Continue reading

What Are You Trusting God For?

Trust God*I could not make it to church today but tuning into one of those Sunday morning radio shows inspired me to write this post. The radio host asked a question, “What are you trusting God for?” and below is my answer* Continue reading

50 Shades Of Nii Aryee #50ShadesOfGrey


fifty-shades-of-greyAfter so much hype on Social Media from my friends and after watching the movie trailer off YouTube, I finally gave up and I have read the 50 Shades of Grey book written by E. L. James. Now according to some of my friends, I am greatly behind the times for someone who has a passion to read anything and everything. One of them even billed the book as being the greatest piece of erotic fiction of our times. Continue reading

Time For Sarkodie To Get New Rhymes

SarkodieLast week, I read somewhere that Ghana’s BET Award winner, Sarkodie is going to release an album called “Mary” this year and I am sitting here like “Man, if Sarkodie does not start coming up with some new rap lyrics, then I don’t know. It’s like every time I turn on the radio or hear a Sarkodie song at a random place, it sounds like Sark is recycling his same old rhymes. Continue reading