Tuesday, 31 March 2015


I was lying in bed this morning and I had a flashback of my childhood days. I was comparing the days then and the days now. I took a lot of things into consideration. I thought of how technology, morality, education and growing up have affected our days "then" and "now". Those days, 'our day' was a good day when our parents bought us drinks and prepared some sumptuous meals which we took to school in colourful baskets. Nowadays, children gather money sometimes through fair or foul means and spend their 'our day' in the malls, shopping for what they want. I was looking at the fact that even some words then do not mean the same now. Growing up, we used to have a cat and I was not so much of a fan. Before we went to bed I always ensured that the cat was not in our room, so if I heard it purr, I would blurt out to my sister "Take your pussy outside!". I bet if I am to tell any person especially if that person was a lady the same thing now, it might be the end of our friendship. Even  the common verb "come" which I knew was a simple command now can send shockwaves down the spine of many people when spoken now (wink!). We have even adulterated the names of animals. Common words we used in our elementary school days now mean differently. Such words include "blow", "touch", "job". Those days the issue of talking about sex was a no-no but now all you need is some internet bundle and you can surf the internet for all the sexual and sex related information you need. You might even see some "tutorials" involving familiar faces. We call them "leaks". Those days when you were considered corrupt, it meant you had taken money from your mother's purse and used it without her consent and when you were caught, you either slept on an empty stomach or with some cane marks in your bottom or both, that was if your corrupt act was high. Nowadays, corruption is a cliché for the time when someone embezzled state funds and even have the effrontery to take the state on when questioned and could provide a thousand and one reasons why the act was  legitimate and even had supporters. Those days, you could tell if someone was being spiritual or just being religious. Nowadays, it is difficult to tell the difference because we preach virtue openly and practice vice behind closed doors. Pastors used to come to the pulpit holding their own Bible now pastors cannot enter a church premises without a security detail following him or her. Sometimes I picture a pastor casting out a demon with his Bible "then" and casting that same demon "now" with his Tablet which contains his Bible and other "miscellaneous" things.
This is how far we have "come". It has been a long journey but we still aim to get home. Our minds have grown and developed and has known many things including good and bad. With the passage of time, our minds have been adulterated. Sometimes it becomes difficult to determine good or bad because time has changed our perception of things. We all have our views and values. All these things have been made permissible due to the passage of time, geographical location, culture and belief system. Sometimes, I wonder if the passage of time has done us more harm than good. If there would be any saving, it would be only time that would determine. So in the interim, before time miraculously saves us, let us continue to live in time because whether we live in good times or bad times, time is all we have. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "then and now" R.A.T  (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT). More at
Please note: Due to the fact that all the "pussies" are outside, the RATs are on Easter break so tomorrow no RAT. Sorry for the inconvenience caused. Thank you. By the R.A.T Management

Monday, 30 March 2015


I always love to have a very good breakfast every morning and I normally take it in grand style. This is because I have always enjoyed quality food because I  grew up in the home of a caterer. As a matter of fact, I always wake up from bed feeling hungry. There is this Waakye seller in my neighbourhood and in my opinion she prepares arguably the best Waakye in Accra. I had to wake up early to start my journey to her joint since being late would mean you would have to wait in line of an unending queue for your turn to be attended to. She was that good. The aroma from her stew was so irresistible that I likened it to hearing my favourite song being played. As the years passed, the queue kept reducing and the aroma from her stew did not make me feel the way it used to anymore. Complacency had set in. She knew she was too good and did not expect competition so she prepared the food anyhow and with time, her once great dish had lost the special touch. Nowadays, when I hurriedly rush past her joint to the new joint I have discovered, I only see a few people gathered to patronize her food. To be complacent means to be  contented to a fault with oneself or one's actions. Complacency therefore means  the feeling you have when you are satisfied with yourself. Logically, this feeling of satisfaction should push one to strive for more success but the opposite is the case. Complacency in our local settings begets ego, pride and class distinction. Complacency normally sets in when you are not aware. It takes different shapes and forms. The sad aspect of the whole issue is that complacency can be found in all aspects of life. Some beautiful women tend to get complacent by the fact that they are pretty. They see their beauty as their sure bet to success. They therefore invest so much in their beauty and pay little attention to their other attributes like patience, humility and respect which would compliment their beauty. Have you ever asked yourself why there are so many aging pretty women in the pews at church praying for partners? Complacency does that. Even in the church complacency plays a role. Sometimes prophecies breed complacency. A lady receives a prophecy that she is going to marry a wealthy man and a young man also receives a prophecy of landing a new job with a five-figure starting salary. The young lady per this assurance would turn down many men because their three-figure salary cannot be compared to the six-figure salary of her supposed wealthy husband. They normally forget that wealth acquisition is sometimes a slow and steady process. The young man who has also received the prophecy of a better job would treat his current job with contempt. We sometimes forget that promotion is also a new job and if we treat what we have anyhow, who do we expect to recommend us when the opportunity arises? Complacency has dire consequences. For the Waakye seller, her price was the collapse of her business but others may not be that lucky. Complacency has caused the death of many people.  Examples of such people include the famous biblical giant Goliath who was killed by a pebble. His colleague, Sampson was also killed by complacency. Sometimes complacency can be contagious. Your act of complacency can or may affect others. I once lost a bet when F.C Barcelona failed to win against Granada. There may be times that it would be difficult to recover from a complacent act because people would have already formed their lifelong opinion about you. Let us all be careful with our actions.
I know that sometimes what we are naturally good at makes us complacent but we must strive to substitute complacency with matchless pursuance of continuous excellence. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a R.A.T. (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT)
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Friday, 27 March 2015


Have you ever wondered why you keep giving out your best even though you do not get reciprocal treatment? Ever wondered why you cannot stand to see people in pain? Ever wondered why you respect caregivers so much? Ever wondered why you feel deep inside a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction whenever you help someone even if you had to take stringent measures? Ever wondered why you cannot seem to give up on people even when they give up on you? Ever wondered why you cannot seem to get people out of your mind even when they totally forget about you? Ever wondered why a world such as ours should be plagued with sickness, poverty, disability and chaos? If you fall in any of these categories, you are part of the people I call "human angels".
Human angels are rare. They are normally identified by their beautiful hearts, souls and minds. Human angels are scattered all over the world. They are in our families, friends,workplaces and if you are lucky, you will tie the knot and spend the rest of your life with a human angel. Human angels are few but their actions more often than not defy logic. They normally go through pain, heartbreak,rejection,exploitation and pressure to ensure others are happy. They are very patient and have a long rope for tolerating people. Human angels cannot pretend to love. In relationships, human angels seem to prioritize and make their significant other their topmost priority. They appear tough on the outside but deep within, they have the softest of hearts. They get jealous sometimes for no reason. They want their significant other only to themselves. Sometimes they tend to nag and appear annoying. Human angels at work want to do all the work. They relate well with people. They are the type that might give up what they have to please their colleagues. In our families, they sometimes give up their dreams to allow their siblings succeed. They are normally the bread winners but end up with little or no bread at all. In government, they are selfless and are true reflections of the National anthem and pledge ( there are just a few of them in this sector nowadays) They always aim to please their partners.
We are human angels. Human angels, based on my point of view should be people we normally cannot live without but the opposite is the case. They always seem to take second place in the lives of others. I have come to realize that people for some reason do not like relationships where everything is handed down to them on a silver platter. People would rather like to beg, treated roughly and feel hurt sometimes; these traits cannot be found in human angels yet they still take second place.
If someone makes you feel bad just because they want you to do them a favour which they know you won't refuse, then know that you are a human angel. It sometimes is amazing the way other people and things "blind" us from seeing the human angels in our lives and just like George Elliot posited,
"The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone". If you would be patient to reflect, you are likely to realize that there has always been someone or a group of people who you can call your guardian angel or angels. We all can be human angels and we need each other to survive. We are each of us angels with only one wing, to fly we need only embrace each other- (Anonymous)
Nobody is perfect and I know it is not easy giving up your heart but what would be the essence of life if for one moment we cannot be our brother's keeper? Are you a human angel? My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is my Friday R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT

Thursday, 26 March 2015


 I happened to find myself in a dilemma some time back and I was in dire need of advice. The problem had been on my mind for weeks and I could not seem to get a solution for it. I decided to confide in a colleague of mine at the office. I chose that lady because she came across as someone who had this kind of aura of problem-solving around her. There were a couple of times when I saw her discuss issues with other colleagues and it was pretty obvious who needed the talking to when you listened into their conversation. I was highly confident that the young lady was an epitome of the "go see" person when one had a problem. She came across as  very affable and down to earth. Truth be told, my dilemmas had now doubled because even though I had identified my "counsellor", I had to strategise how I was going to approach her with my issue. In my head I felt she was going to go like "here comes another troubled dude that I need to solve issues on his behalf". I finally gathered some courage and decided to approach her. I met her in the company of other people and I had to join in the conversation. I managed to gather momentum and rapport with her and got her to follow me to a "comfortable" place where I could let my "cat out of the bag". I got her talking so I wanted her to finish her submission so I could begin with mine. Before I could have my day in "court", she suddenly said she had wanted to see me and had something of importance to discuss with me. I was stunned but alert and gave her my rapt attention. She went on to say she had a problem to discuss with me (this was before I could say anything). She said she saw me to be easy going and felt I was in a position to hear her out and offer solutions to her issue. In simple terms, my proverbial "old woman" had turned the table on me. My "warehouse of knowledge" had come crumbling down right in front of my eyes. I was so shell-shocked and for a moment I thought I was rooted to the spot. I think my mouth was wide open but I had suddenly become dumb. I listened to her in awe and finally she asked if I could advice her. I took in a deep breath and the rest is etched in history.
There were lessons I learnt that day that I would like to share. First of all, do not always think that you have a problem that cannot be solved. The fact in reality is that, people have bigger problems. Judging from what this young lady told me, I realized that my "supposed" dilemma was very little of an issue and after hearing her out, I quickly swept my issue under the carpet. I actually found a solution to my dilemma in her problems.
You do not always need to let the world know your problems because sometimes you are better of keeping your problems to yourself than have it roaming in the public domain. When this happens, you would first have to deal with the people who know your problem because they will surely form their own opinion about you and try to offer solutions even though they have no idea of the details of your problem. In the end, you would have to deal with your problem all alone. I pondered over the fact that, why would she say she had wanted to discuss her issue with me in particular? People at the office always say that I am always laughing and that I seem to come across as very happy all the time. Little do they know that I have my own faults and problems to deal with. When this lady "approached" me, she made reference to what my other colleagues always said about me. Fact is, you do not always need to appear miserable because of a problem, sometimes you have no other option but to let the problem be and put on a big smile and just be happy in the moment but harbouring the hopes that everything will surely be fine. Solutions to our problems might not come instantly but they will surely come someway, somehow, so why push it? You might not know who you might be encouraging with your smile. Sometimes all the inspiration another person needs is to see you happy. It is possible, despite our faults, shortcomings and enormous problems to light up the world with our smile . Our appearance alone can be a reference point to someone. It would be very unwise to think that one can live without any sort of problem. Sometimes even life and living it becomes a problem and having problems are sometimes a sign of progress just as speculated by Scott Alexander that "Understand that most problems are a good sign. Problems indicate that progress is being made, wheels are turning, you are moving toward your goals. Beware when you have no problems. Then you have really got a problem. Problems are like landmarks of progress".  When next you are faced with a problem, look at it like a temporary situation and know this that, "We have no problems, only situations. Not all problems have solutions, but all situations have outcomes"- (John Edward Gray). My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT)
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Wednesday, 25 March 2015


"The chains of habit are generally too weak to be felt, until they are too strong to be broken".- Samuel Johnson.

From the time I grew and  understood what it meant to have a new year's resolution, I always dedicated two weeks to the start of every new year to carefully draft my new year's "do's and don'ts". It will interest you to know that by the time the new year hits the quarterly mark, it was either I had failed in fulfilling the things I promised to do and excelled exceptionally at doing the things I vowed not to do in the new year. New year resolutions are probably not my style. Looking at these little notes of my resolutions, I realized that the problem was not that my resolutions for the new year were herculean; the problem was with my attitude and thus my habit. It is a herculean task breaking from a habit be it good or especially bad. A friend of mine said "if you took "H" out of HABIT you still had "A BIT"; when you took out the "A", you still had "BIT" of that habit and even after taking out the "B" you were left with "IT". This was his simple way of explaining how difficult it was breaking free from a habit. I cannot agree more with Tryon Edwards when he posited that "Any act often repeated soon forms a habit; and a habit allowed, steadily gains in strength, at first it may be but as a spider's web, easily broken through, but if not resisted it soon binds us with chains of steel". I have come to notice that our habits go a long way in determining how our lives pan out. The habits we exhibit in life, be it at work, in our relationships, or even our commitments go a long way to define who we are and these same habits are the "measuring rod" used by others to define us. It is very expedient to hold on to our good habits although the bad ones tend to gain all the attention. Breaking from a bad habit has never been easy. William Somerset Maugham shared the same view when he said that "The unfortunate thing about this world is that the good habits are much easier to give up than the bad ones". Take me for instance, I tend to have the habit of daydreaming and wishful thinking about how I want to build myself a castle and live in it. This habit of mine started to decline when I read Mary Martin's quote: "Stop the habit of wishful thinking and start the habit of thoughtful wishes". It was one of the quotes that got me to start writing. Determination is the catch word needed to break bad habits and polish good ones. Most of our habits are picked up from infancy and sometimes I do not really put the blame on us for some habits we picked up per what we saw our parents or other grown-ups do. Therefore going forward we can take a cue from this quote "In early childhood you may lay the foundation of poverty or riches, industry of idleness, good or evil, by the habits to which you train your children. Teach them right habits then, and their future life is safe" (Lydia Sigourney). We sometimes take our actions for granted and fail to realize that our bad actions, repeated over time become some sort of reflexes and breaking free from them are sometimes close to impossible. Our habits determine our level of mental growth and would normally determine our general well-being and development. People who are in the habit of constantly keeping untidy environments tend to suffer from hygiene-related diseases. Our habits are sometimes non-negotiable because the way you would behave or act at home would to a high extent be the same way you would behave outside home. This is because habits are acquired reactions, they just do not happen. Our habits are our mirrors, one little crack and then it loses it beauty and this is made clear in this excerpt "A single bad habit will mar an otherwise faultless character, as an ink-drop soils the pure white page". (Hosea Ballou). Habits contribute in no small way to success because if you would reflect carefully, you would come to the realization that the people and groups that are doing well in terms of development owe part of their success to their habit. Let us all endeavour to do away with our bad actions that grow into habits and take it upon ourselves to harness and develop our positive actions which would invariably translate into positive habits. Bad habits are not easy to break but let us all be motivated by Dr. Rob Gilbert's observation that "First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits, or they will eventually conquer you". My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is one big R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT)
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Tuesday, 24 March 2015


Growing up as a child, I suffered from inferiority complex for a better part of my childhood. I think it came about as a result of the way I was brought up. You were either scolded or beaten for every wrong done. Do not mistake this for the fact that correction is wrong. You could not speak when "authority" spoke for fear of being branded "disrespectful". It made me unable to engage in discussions even with my peers even though I knew deep down that I had the brains to do so. It took a while for me to break out of that shell of inferior feeling to be able to better relate with people in society. Inferiority complex seems to be a huge word but the effects it tends to have on us are even much greater. It is a fact that people still suffer from this "disease" for various reasons including my reason. Some ladies tend to feel inferior because they feel they are not pretty enough. They forget that beauty is objective. Disability makes other people feel inferior to others. I always had the notion that most disabled people ended up on the streets to beg till I entered the university where I had to sit in the same class to compete with visually impaired mates. I can tell you for a fact that none of them ever felt inferior and truth be told, they beat us well in the field of academics. Disability is not the end of a man's life, believe me when I say this. There are a thousand and one things that can make one feel inferior. Inferiority complex is a canker in Africa. I have come to realize that my mates who believed that the Whiteman was a "deity" suffered heavily from inferiority complex ( See my piece: System Malfunction, Help! I guess they felt that their only place was below the Whiteman. They think it would be suicidal to compete with people of other colour. Sometimes I blame this on the effects colonisation and slavery had on us and what we were made to believe. Other times too, our "strict" upbringing causes inferiority complex to be an automatic ingrained tendency. To demystify its hold on us would  only take the hand of God. Inferiority complex has caused many talents to be untapped, many inventions uncreated, many poems unwritten, justice not being served, exploitation, suicide, the fear of demanding accountability, many great ideas stolen, prospective life partners lost and the list goes on. I had a friend who once had a brilliant business proposal but due to inferiority complex he could not find the courage to share it. The idea has been stolen and now another person is making millions out of it. Inferiority complex is a mental illness. It is one of the world's leading cause of stagnation and underdevelopment. I also realized that some of the evil that was done the world by certain people was a result of their inferiority complex. Coups, genocides, religious conflicts and racism take some root from inferiority complex. Inferiority complex can cause lack of self worth and can equally stoke sentimental flames with disastrous end-results. In the midst of all this chaos, life has taught me that, there is nothing more prudent than having at least some fair amount of self-worth and feeling good about what and who you are. I believe that if we are able to know how worthy we are, people will respect us and not treat us anyhow. Self-worth as a country would change our stand point with other countries. Self-worth as a people would lead to the drastic curb in exploitation of others. Many people would feel better and would be able to contribute meaningfully to the progress of our society and the world at large. Beauty is objective so under no circumstance should you allow anyone degrade you for your looks. Feeling good about yourself is one sure way of reflecting the way other people will see you. Again people should be taught to be tolerant of other people's views, ideologies, ideas and identity. This will go a long way in breaching the gap between inferiority and a feeling of worthiness which would also go a long way in promoting general unity for consensus building. Inferiority complex must be dealt with once and for all. We all have great capabilities and ideas. It is about time we broke out of this "psychological prison" and let the world know us as we are. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is another R.A.T. (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT) More at

Monday, 23 March 2015


 There were times in life that   people used words to justify certain circumstances or misfortunes that happened. Words are very powerful and we should not underestimate their potency. There are certain words that we have used so frequently that we do not stop to look at the possibility of seeing them objectively. I was pondering over a few of those words and I realized they either fell short or had the power to resign people to their fates. In my view these words need second viewing. I therefore choose to christen these group of words as "misconceptions". Today, let us consider a few of those words.
The first set of words are "Good things come to those who wait". I do not have a problem with looking at these words from the religious point of view where "waiting" would mean to show some sort of commitment, devotion and spiritual activity like praying or fasting or exhibiting some sense of religious piety. My problem lies in the fact that we normally look at these set of words and use them to cover up our inefficiencies. They tend to make us sit back and wait for "good" things to happen to or for us. It makes us resign our destinies to some sort of fate or rare occurrence or even sometimes divine intervention which is bound to happen. In my view, I think "Average things come to those who wait; good things come to those who try and the best things come to those who persevere". This is more like it. We sometimes do not have to  "wait" for things to be done to us or for us, sometimes we need to get up and take action. Action is the difference between achievers and dreamers. The next time you hear anyone say these words, tell the person that it is a"misconception".
Our second set of words tend to be very popular and they are perfectly put together thus : "Appearances are deceptive". I think this set of words lack the clause "sometimes" because in my opinion, I think appearances are sometimes not deceptive but are truly what they are. Let me explain that it would do us more good than harm if we thought of it in this way: Some things and people will never change and what you see now would probably be what you would see in the next ten to even twenty years. Allow me to ask this rhetorical question: If it is true that "appearances are deceptive", how should we judge appearances?  People normally judge a man on his first appearance so why take the risk of appearing unprepared? Life is not a magic show where you can play games with the minds of others and later come out to say it was all for show. First impressions always count so please next time you have the chance to appear anywhere, come out rocking it and make it count. Mistakes cannot be tolerated. You have just one shot to make your appearance count so endeavour to make it a lasting impression so the next time you hear this "trinity" of words spoken, tell them "it is a misconception, watch me tear it to pieces".
Our third and final set of misconceived words for today are "No one knows tomorrow". This set of words are particularly dear to me because they reflect some amount of "aspiration". In my sole opinion, I think it is complacent to say the least to have such a state of mind. To me it belittles the idea of dreaming and hoping for a brighter future. Picture this, an intelligent young man who is in medical school will not pass out of school to become a lawyer. His "tomorrow" has already been defined by his present engagements. I sometimes have the urge to think that these set of words seek to promote care-free living. By no means should we live freely without any cares! We should hope and dream because that is what makes the hopes of wishing for a brighter "tomorrow" worthwhile. When we do so, we will be able to even determine beyond how our "tomorrows" will look like,  have a clear cut path to follow to reach our goals and quash the misconception that "tomorrow is unknown". We are the painters of our lives let us endeavour to make it a masterpiece or a priceless work of art after all is said and done. We are achievers. Let us make our days count. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT (R.A.T)
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Friday, 20 March 2015


Yesterday was a very sad day for me. I lost almost half of my male friends across all social networks because I "snitched" on them. They all shared the same sentiments that the piece had put the burden of proof on them and that they would have to work harder to prove my synopsis wrong. I wish them luck. I need  my male friends back so ladies, this is war. No hard feelings. So after hours of brainstorming ( it took me just a few minutes to research on male psychology 101 ) and consultation with a few female psychologists, my dear "ex- boyfriends", I proudly present to you the guidebook of all guidebooks, the myth-buster, the whistle-blower and the secrets to understanding the most complex software ever created; the woman. Gentlemen, this is female psychology 505. Yes, 505 because you have to upgrade your brain from 101 to 505 to understand women. Women are moved by words. Women love to hear sweet words and "psalms" about how beautiful they are. So guys please research on oratory and literature before wooing any woman. It works all the time.
When a woman is in love, it is easy to tell, she glows in it. Just a few women really know how to hide their emotions. Every lady is dating till you become her friend and get to know that she told you that just to appear a sort-after damsel. A woman in love would do anything for her man. Sometimes their actions even defy logic. On the contrary if a woman does not love you, dude, do not push it. No amount of money or gimmicks would change her mind. Honore de Balzac captures this in his quote when he remarked that "When women love us, they forgive us everything, even our crimes; when they do not love us, they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues".
Every lady is a princess no matter her age. Call them that and half of your job is done. It is true that women crave care, attention and love but it is also true that they want their men to put them in check and help them  build their lives. They say that if a woman tells you her problems it means she trusts you but it is also true that any woman who shares her issues with you is likely to share her heart also with you and expects you to have a share of the problems. Women are the most controversial and contradictory among all creatures. They say they are fine when they know they are not. They do not want to fall in love yet they do over and over again. Dave Barry simplified my research when he noted, "What Women Want: To be loved, to be listened to, to be desired, to be respected, to be needed, to be trusted, and sometimes, just to be held. The world is run by women. All decisions that are taken are influenced by women. Most women do not really care about their looks when they are with someone they cherish. Most women have this idea of dating tall guys ( I do not really know the reason). Before a girl turns 16, she already has her dream husband in mind. The truth of the matter is just a few women get to marry their "dream boyfriends". The happiest day of a woman's life is her wedding day so guys, please live up to the hype and do not dare mess it up. Women have more fantasies than men. If a woman tells you "it is ok", do not take it lightly because anything you say or do would surely be used against you. Women are jealous. Please if you are in public with her, make sure you are just stealing glances at the other pretty women. Do not lose your focus because she sees everything. Women do not see competition in other women, their competition is with what that other woman is wearing. Whatever her friends think of her man rarely moves her and if she can tolerate your most annoying tendencies, she is prepared to spend the rest of her life with you. All women are two-faced no matter how meek they may appear. She can be your muse or cause of abuse; your heaven on earth and the painful other. She can be both your delight and terror. Women are fragile and should be carried like a crate of eggs; even the "rowdy" ones are capable of incomprehensible emotions when the right buttons are pushed. Women are epitomes of courage, serenity, emotions and unmatched love for all persons and should be marked  "Handle with care because the contents are highly inflammable or satisfying, you decide which comes out". This is Edwin Oko Lamptey. This is a RANDOM  AFRICAN THOUGHT and my WikiLeaks version of the WOMAN. More @

Thursday, 19 March 2015


I was at a restaurant some time back. I was waiting for a friend of mine. I had to wait longer than I thought because my friend was caught up in another commitment. In the course of my wait, a group of about six ladies walked into the restaurant. They had had seats reserved for them because they had come to celebrate the birthday of one of them. There were a group of guys already at the restaurant before I or even the ladies arrived. These ladies were seated directly across where I was sitting and started their own thing. They were laughing and giggling and sharing their presents with the celebrant. I saw the group of guys suddenly huddle up. I was sure they were planning on "crushing" the birthday party. After about 45 minutes of deliberations and planning, one of the guys, I think the bravest one started making his way to the table where the ladies were seated. I can only imagine the thoughts that went through his head as he made his way to the "ladies zone". When he got there he asked why the ladies had a cake and did not invite him. One lady offered him a slice and gave him a seat. He started a hearty chat with another lady and like clockwork, all the other guys started making their way towards the birthday table. Now, ladies, please pay attention because this is male psychology 101. Many guys dread rejection. We always want a warm reception. If the ladies at table paid no attention to the guy, he would have been the laughing stock of his friends. A lady can totally destroy a guy's confidence if she "shys" him like we say in Ghana. Most guys will not approach a lady because of this. When a guy who has been rejected by a lady sees her in the company of other ladies, his first thought is that they are "gossiping" about him. Guys appear to be more of attention seekers than ladies are. Most guys would only approach a lady if they get positive feedback. More often than not, we would wait for the lady to make the first friendly gesture. Guys are naturally shy and if you want to test a guy's resolve, look at him intently while he is speaking to you and he will fumble uncontrollably. When you speak to a guy and he cannot look you in the face, chances are he really loves you and has grown shy of you. If you want to know how a guy would treat you, pay attention to how he speaks to his mum or sister. If you happen to be seated close to a guy and you keep exchanging glances, chances are he wants to chat with you but doesn't know how to approach you. So please just approach him and introduce yourself. You are going to make his day. Guys are very jealous so please give them your utmost attention. It takes a whole lot of confidence to approach a girl we like. We get angry for no reason when we spot a girl we like so much just talking to another guy. We feel we are in a competition and you are a trophy. No matter how broke a guy is, he would try hard to impress you by taking you to a place you have always wanted to go. Guys love surprises so please surprises us all the time. I don't mean showing up unexpected but doing things that we like. Guys love football and if he changes the channel for you to watch a telenovela then it means he has committed an "offence" and he is trying to make it up to you. If all things are equal, please do not force us to watch your telenovelas with you. Most guys are of their best behaviour when they are with their crushes. Some guys would rather hide from a lady he likes than meet her on the stairs. Majority of guys are afraid of commitment because we know that we would meet prettier women. When a guy sees a lady he likes, he can compare it to hearing his favourite song. That is why we keep smiling all the time. Guys enjoy being teased with a particular lady by calling her his "wife". When a guy often calls you his wife, chances are he loves you. When you find a group of guys gathered please do not think they are talking about you. It is possible they are talking about football. They have noticed you but no one knows how to change the topic so we just fantasize about you individually. Every guy has a dream girl and the selection criteria is based mostly on external features. No matter the age of a man,he is automatically a baby when he is with the woman he loves. Ladies please handle us with care because today you know our secrets and you know we have big issues. Please be receptive, friendly and approachable. Thank you. This is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this has been a RANDOM  AFRICAN THOUGHT. More at

Wednesday, 18 March 2015


Yesterday is a canceled check: Forget it. Tomorrow is a promissory note: Don't count on it. Today is ready cash: Use it! - Edwin C. Bliss.

Sometimes, I desperately desire  to turn back the hands of time to undo certain actions and measures I took while I was growing up but that desire will turn out only to be wishful thinking. Some actions and decisions we took in the past has had a telling effect on our present and sometimes can continue into our future. Some actions of the past made people lose their trust in us. We also lost confidence in people because of their actions. Sometimes when life hits us with a painful reminder of our past actions, we normally breakdown and wonder if things would have been the same if that situation had been taken care of in the past. These  reminders make us dwell so much on the past. It makes us sometimes take life for granted because we think that life has been unfair to us. Some of the actions of the past were inevitable like the death of a loved one, so dwelling on them so much would end up doing us more harm than good. There were many times in the past that people expected us to set  examples worth emulating but we let those people down. In the same vein, there were other times that we also expected more from people but we ended up being disappointed by the actions and inactions of those people, it is a back and forth phenomenon. Now see this, no matter how hard we try, we cannot get back the lost years but we can sure make the best out of what is left. We should be motivated by our present and even be hopeful about our future because it is only what we have as is captured in the words of Charles Franklin Kettering that, "We should all be concerned about the future because we will have to spend the rest of our lives there".We should not let our past mistakes or misgivings or even the inevitable circumstances of the past determine the present or decide our future. Our main focus going forward would be to avoid past mistakes and ensure we do not repeat them because Pearl Bailey was of the view that, "There is a way to look at the past. Don't hide from it. It will not catch you if you do not repeat it". It is one thing learning about the past and an entirely different ball game altogether wallowing in its effects because it normally slows down our progress and I tend to agree with Les Brown when he noted that " If you are carrying strong feelings about something that happened in your past, they may hinder your ability to live in the present". We have this moment and the future to correct the past wrongs. Though our past is written in time, its value cannot be compared to our present and future. The future looks extremely bright with lots of bright possibilities but on the condition that we let go of our past mistakes and live in the present and be hopeful for the future. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and though I have made countless mistakes in the past, I would not allow my past determine my future. This is a RANDOM AFRICAN  THOUGHT. More at

Tuesday, 17 March 2015


I have this rare gift of not forgetting faces no matter how long it takes. People I meet tend to be fascinated by this rare feat and always wonder how I am able to keep such an amazing memory of faces. "Last week I chanced  upon a very good friend I had not seen for at least 14 years in a market at night, hence I walked up to him and stood there smiling, thinking he would recognise me too but the young man stood there looking so startled and I had this very "stupid" smile on my face. He tried to place the face but to no avail and the fascinating part is that we are in the same WhatsApp group. So I decided to put him out of his misery by introducing myself and he was like "I remember you the Random African Thoughts guy right"? He is also a twin like myself so I figured he was going to use that as a point of reference instead he referred to me with something I did and not what I was. To be honest I felt really honoured that someone made reference to my pieces and recognized me based on that. I am blessed with the gift of remembering faces but on the other hand, many people are blessed with the gift of or are in the business of not forgetting what other people did or sometimes did not do when they had the opportunity. I realized that not all people can remember faces that well because my friend could not fathom how I made him out after so many years but another observation I made was that, people would never forget your reputation be it good or bad no matter how long it takes and would use that as a reference point should you bump into them in town. Many people tend not to forget easily things and circumstances and will be quick to "christen" you with such a feat. For instance many ex presidents have their names put on certain achievements. In Ghana for example you would often hear Rawlings' chain, Kuffour bus and so on.
People will always recognise you for something be it good or bad and it tells us that our reputation really matters to people. What you do, did and could not do, what you stand for, are things people do not easily forget. People take decisions and even form opinions about people just by their actions and sometimes inactions. As much as people would remember you by your many good achievements, just one blunder can override all those achievements and reduce your reputation to zero. It is sad but it is the truth. Joseph Hall captured this observation too when he said "A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was". People, let us try to build  good reputations so they speak for us wherever we may go. Henceforth, let us watch our actions and always think of who is watching. I could not find a more appealing way of concluding this piece than borrowing the words of Benjamin Haydon when he noted that "The great difficulty is first to win a reputation; the next to keep it while you live; and the next to preserve it after you die, when affection and interest are over, and nothing but sterling excellence can preserve your name. Never suffer youth to be an excuse for inadequacy, nor age and fame to be an excuse for indolence". My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is my RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT.
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Monday, 16 March 2015


I was coming back from work yesterday and I was thinking of  a good friend of mine. His story made me come to a realization that we sometimes overrate our problems. Sometimes we are "blinded" by our problems and we seem to forget that solutions are sometimes not too far away. My friend has a female friend, he was just coming out of a break up. This female friend actually helped him back on his feet after his "near-death" experience. This lady is amazing, single, in love and yet my friend's "shortsightedness" or his lack of vision thereof is making him look elsewhere for a "comforter" while there is one right in front of him. I know people would say "what if he does not want such a lady?". My response is, "you cannot judge if you have not tried". This is not a story, this is something that is happening. More often than not, you would find a lady who receives so much attention, care, support and love from a particular guy, this guy falls in love with the lady yet the lady is busy looking elsewhere for some "imaginary" prince charming to whisk her off her feet when her solution is in that young man. The issues of life are many but it is quite amazing the places that one can find solutions to these issues and what is more true is that these solutions are often not far off like we think. We sometimes look too deeply and fail to see that sometimes life's solutions are wrapped in very simple things if only we would take our time to look. There are times you would find people searching for knowledge from books; expensive books yet they seem not to be satisfied with all their findings. Knowledge they say is power but not found in powerful books. Sometimes we look in the wrong places for answers to life's questions when we can look into say our scrapbook for a little quote we wrote down, or even diary or just a chapter from an old story book or a religious journal which may hold the solution to the issue we may be facing. We do not need to know or have everything in order to find satisfaction sometimes the little we have and know can do "mighty" things. Sometimes we mistake problems to mean setbacks, shortcomings or limitations but in actual fact some problems are what you need to break free from certain situations.
Sometimes we do not need the big things in life to make us grow or shine. Sometimes it is the unwanted things like pain, frustration, heartbreak, a quest for self actualization that we need to motivate us rise to the top. You do not need to have a rich dad, silver spoon, university degree or even a millionaire boyfriend to make something of yourself. Sometimes all you may need are some tears, a few times sleeping on an empty stomach, a few nights when you had to cry yourself to sleep, rejection and so on to make you realize and wake up to turn things around. When you get to that turning point; that "do or die" moment, you would stand up and fight and tell yourself "never again am I going to find myself in this place again" and that, my friends would be the solution you were desperately needing. It would amaze you how that little motivational speech you gave yourself can carry you out of the "mess". It is good to have all the things money can and the things money cannot buy but sometimes when your heart is at peace, nothing else matters. When we know where to look, some of our "overrated" problems would be a thing of the past because  sometimes, what we are desperately searching for is right in front of us. This is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a RANDOM AFRICAN  THOUGHT.
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Friday, 13 March 2015


 My sister has a friend and he wanted me to do a piece on bleaching but I would rather do a piece on beauty. My friends normally ask me, what do you find attractive in women?  I say "everything". They also ask if I know any ugly woman but I tell them I have never met one and that every woman is beautiful to me. Everyone sees beauty differently so I would not say my take should be everyone's take. I really find it difficult to answer the question of beauty because I see beauty in different shades and in different people. Normally I tend to see beauty in the simple things in life. With women this might sound weird but I love women with messy natural hair that I can just dig my nose in and smell. It is really attractive to me. Some women like to put on all kinds of hair, Brazilian, Peruvian Indian and the lot. In reality they put such hair on to look attractive and pretty. But ask any man and he would not be able to tell you the type of hair you have on because in actual fact it does not matter to him. All that he wants is the beauty of a lady inside. You can have the most expensive synthetic hair on but if your internal beauty does not resonate and speak for you, it would be better off if you were bald. Sometimes people mistake beauty to be external features, yes external features  look attractive but it is the beauty that comes from within which would normally count. Jacqueline Bisset made an observation which I agree with that "character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful". I once boarded a commercial bus with one such externally beautiful and pretty young lady. Her beauty was so striking that it was the first thing you saw when you joined the bus. In the course of our journey the lady realized she had been shortchanged by the conductor. The fury that came from her mouth automatically woke us up from the "trance" her external beauty had put us in. I was shocked to the marrow because I did not expect such words from any lady let alone that ravishingly pretty one. I said to myself, "if people actually looked like their personality, we would have a lot of ugly people in the world". Sometimes a lady's  external beauty can turn out to be her undoing. I realized that most guys are put off by externally "extremely" pretty women who can really dress up. We are afraid first of all of being rejected by them and secondly our reaction when such a thing happens. Sometimes women do not know the things a guy would go through just to be able to speak to a woman he likes. Ladies, it is not that simple like you think. When a guy sees a ravishingly pretty lady, his instinct tells him to either approach her or walk away. The tendency to walk away almost always wins the battle. I do not know for other men but to me if you are pretty keep your dressing simple but decent so it gives us confidence to approach you. Sometimes external beauty scares us so much that we do not even get the chance to explore the internal beauty which should be the main point of attention. To me, every soul, regardless of your external features that has love, patience, humility, respect, an accommodating heart and wisdom is an epitome of true beauty. Everyone is beautiful in their own right. Do not let anyone take your version of beautiful away from you. People fall in love for various reasons and your version of beauty is one of them. Keep doing you because to even classify you as "one in a million" is an understatement because you are one of a kind. You are so beautiful to me because like Aristotle said, "Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference". This is Edwin Oko Lamptey with his RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT. More @

Thursday, 12 March 2015


I made lots of male friends in the university and typical of guys, we engaged in many arguments. Our arguments ranged from intellectual discourses, informative segments but was mostly on women. One line of argument which was both intense and intriguing was the argument on the ability of the Blackman as against other counterparts. I never won this argument  even though I was always for the motion that the Blackman was capable of attaining great exploits. My friends on the other divide saw nothing good coming from the Blackman. They were of the view that the Whiteman was "too superior". They passed funny remarks that seemed to "deify" the Whiteman. Some of them passed comments like "any African who did not visit Europe in their lifetime should be disqualified from entering into heaven". I always thought to myself after "losing" the debate that if the university was known to be the highest level of education how come some of it's occupants had such lowly thoughts? I blamed their line of thought on our educational system. I have come to realize that right from our formative years, our educational curriculums do not promote critical thinking and we tend to grow up with it. Our educational system seems to be just repetitive. Even at the tertiary level, the courses are structured and designed to teach us WHAT to think and not HOW to think. It is quite amazing that some facilitators do not inspire us to think outside the box just because that was how they too were taught. That is how come we sometimes have mediocre ways of thinking. We churn out massive numbers of graduates each year and we are still engulfed in our problems. We are not analytical in action and have to "borrow" minds from other places to solve our issues. Our curriculums focus so much on our negative past like slavery and speak very little on our bright and prospective futures. Even more so, we are made to map out routes of slave trade caravans yet we only mention the few but influential black people ( in general) who have contributed immensely to world development like Ella Baker a civil rights activist, Kwame Nkrumah, King Musa l of Mali, Ralph Bunche, Mary Prince, Dr. Patricia Era Bath Trevor Macdonald, Charles Odamtten Easmon and so on. The stories of these great men and women should be taught to inspire us to achieve greater heights.
We should start thinking and acting analytically and critically. Our curriculums should encourage critical thinking and problem-solving techniques. We should seek to know the truth and most importantly we should be proud of our own because having a negative way of thinking would never give us a positive and prosperous life in reality. We should develop "hands on" ways of solving our own issues. We should believe in ourselves because we are capable of unthinkable exploits. This is Edwin Oko Lamptey and is a RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT. ( Inspired by "What I wasn't taught in school")
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Wednesday, 11 March 2015


 We all have our priorities in life. Whether we are aware or unaware, we treat people and situations differently depending on how such things  or people "influence" us. I made an observation that sometimes we tend to give more priority to friends and acquaintances than to family. I drew the conclusion that to some extent, familiarity breeds contempt in this case. Every level of society has its own set of priorities. For instance every government has its own priority per what it deems fit for the nation. The citizenry can also in a way determine what a government's priorities should be and so on. I also came to realize that,we sometimes have to deal with pain because more often than not, we make the wrong things and wrong people our priorities. It is very hurting when you give someone or something your all and expect them to return the favour but you end up being short-changed. I would not normally delve into the topic of relationships because I am not too good at them but on the issue of priorities, I think the subject would be worth mentioning. It is true that love and commitment are the cornerstone of most relationships. I have realized that any relationship that can stand the test of time would be a relationship in which both parties know their priorities and stick to them. We all show care, love and attention in general but the "quantum" in which these emotions are distributed are not equal. Some people are entitled to "special treatment" truth be told. You cannot treat your girlfriend or boyfriend the same way you would treat your course mate, it is a matter of priority. I had a friend who we always accused of having misplaced priorities because he gave all his attention to  video games and he could not just get enough. This priority he gave his laptop cost him his girlfriend ( for some strange reasons ladies like so much attention) and his first class. He was the least perturbed because to him his laptop takes first place in his life. This trait brought me to the realization that no matter how hard you try, you cannot choose a priority for someone who is bent on doing their own thing. We normally say that a man's actions make him but I think a man's priorities make him. Every sportsman and woman has the aim of winning a trophy or medal and is driven by such a passion to put in effort by training hard. Training and top performance therefore becomes their priorities. Every religious person harbours hopes of encountering an ultimate reality so piety and "staunch" religious belief becomes their priorities. Whatever it is you prioritize is what you deem more important in that moment, any other thing takes second place. Sometimes situations can also set our priorities for us. Due to the fact that you need to get your salary at the end of the month, you tend to make working hours a priority. As human as we are, we all set our priorities. We should never be known to set misplaced priorities. We should endeavour to know the people who make us and things relating to us their priority and seek to return such favours. It is high time we stopped accepting second place in people's lives and endeavor to be second to none. We cannot all be first but we can always get someone to treat us in a special way. Say no to being a second option in people's lives. This is Edwin Oko Lamptey and I write because the people who read my pieces are my priority. This has been a RANDOM. AFRICAN. THOUGHT.
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Tuesday, 10 March 2015


The value of life lies not in the length of days but in the use we make of them: a man may live long, yet get little from life. Whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years but on your will (Montaigne essays)
There is this friend that I made in the university. We are still very good friends. This friend of mine has great ambitions and aspirations but one thing that is lacking is the fact that he bases all these hopes on the wealth of his father. He has a very rich dad and he talks non-stop about how his dad must see to it that he accomplishes all his dreams. That is all well and good and also in the right place considering the fact that he was still a student then. What I find worrying also is that he intends to sit back, relax and take over his dad's properties when his dad is no more so that he can manage his dad's properties. Tell you what, my friend's dad has not even stepped in a classroom before yet he is rich. I am not in anyway saying that you cannot acquire wealth if you do not have an education because there are countless world-renowned personalities that have unthinkable wealth but do not have any form of education. There is this female friend too whose dad is a university lecturer but has a bad habit of drinking. He literally drinks away his salary and leaves the family to survive on the ingenuity of their mother. Both these friends of mine have one thing in common. They are of the view that we are LIKE our parents (they base their assertion on a popular Akan proverb which translates "a crab does not beget a bird") and more often than not, we end up like them. The guy thinks he is going to be rich LIKE his dad and the lady thinks she is going to be "wasteful" LIKE her dad. Now here is what I think. People may see us to be LIKE our parents by virtue of the fact that they gave birth to us and that they are our immediate role models but in actual fact, we are more than our parents in every possible scenario. If our parents were able to be successful with only diligence and determination on their CVs, we should be able to surpass them with our various educational qualifications coupled with diligence and determination. If our parents were considered well-read and informed having just a small community library which they had to walk miles to access, we should be considered scholars by having well-equipped libraries, mobile phones and the internet. We should be able to do a thousand times more what our parents did. If your parents are millionaires aim to be a billionaire. If your parents own a hotel aim to own a chain of hotels. If your dad is a carpenter, aim to own a furniture company. If your dad is a mason aim to be a real estate developer. If your dad always rented apartments, aim to own a house. Even if your dad is a drunkard, aim to own a drinking spot ( like we say in Ghana). Whatever your dad is, aim to be a thousand times more ( in the positive light). For those who do not also have dads for whatever reason aim to live dignified and prosperous lives. We should not harbour ambitions of being like our parents. We should think bigger and become better than they are . Whatever  be the situation we must consider ourselves as barrier-breakers and line-crossers. We can do more. The limits of our parents should be our halfway mark. Let us break some barriers. This is a RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and  yes I aim to be more than my parents. More at

Monday, 9 March 2015


I have had a "problem" since I was a child, the people who know about it think it is rather a "deficiency". I have serious issues of letting go of the people and things I love when they are "no more". I grow fond of or let me say I am fond of many things. I believe this "deficiency" started with my mother. I suckled at her breasts for three years as a child. It took some bitter drug she used on her nipple to cause me stop breastfeeding. Even after I was weaned, I could not sleep if I did not put my hand on my mum's breast. I was guilty of this for another 12 years. It took me going to boarding school to break this habit. I could not see anything more comforting than "them" People are fond of many people and many things even stranger than mine. One thing I have come to realize about fondness is that you tend to get complacent when you are  attached to  something because you know that whatever be the case, "it" will still be there for you. You resolve to make do with that person or thing because to you it is your only source of joy and you cannot see beyond that person or thing. I also realized that by virtue of the fact that you grow fond of someone or something does not automatically qualify you to receive that same amount of fondness in return. Even more important is the fact that holding on too much to something or someone will not allow you to critically analyse if you are doing something wrong or right and it also "prevents" you from meeting better or worse. What I am trying to drive at is change and the fact that "do not get too attached to things; learn to let go". I read a book on great quotes and it had a quote on change which read, "Being willing to change allows you to move from a point of view to a viewing point - a higher, more expansive place, from which you can see both sides". (Thomas Crum). Sometimes in life what people really need is just a little change; a change of ideology, attitude, feelings, commitment, tradition, culture and so on. Sometimes as human as we are, we tend to get comfortable with our present situations when in actual fact we can have that and more (just like me and my mother's breasts). There are better things in store for all of us. It is left to us to take that big leap of faith and let go of the old habits that give us short term pleasures because as my brother and fellow writer put it, "Short term pleasures are equivalent to long term losses". Let us therefore seek long term pleasures that have no strings attached. This fact notwithstanding, there are some attachments we cannot do without like my attachment to breasts so dear future wife, be ready- that is just on the lighter side. All we may need to turn our situations is just a little change. This is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT.  More at

Friday, 6 March 2015


"God bless our homeland Ghana". Then the question follows, what other blessings do we need to flourish as a people? At 58 we have natural resources and human resources yet at 58 we still have nothing to boast of per the resources we pride ourselves to have. Instead, we should harness  both our human and natural resources and seek to get the best value out of them. That is the difference between growing up and growing old. "And make our Nation great and strong" yet nepotism and tribalism, petty politics, witch hunting and corruption are making us weak and inferior. Instead we must come together devoid of any form of affiliation to push the progress and development agenda for all to prosper. That is the difference between growing up and growing old "Bold to defend FOREVER the cause and freedom and of right" yet we cannot stand up to defend ourselves and act as "cowards" who cannot demand accountability. Till date a baby is still missing with no word from authorities. How "right" is that? Instead we must ensure that the principle of "all for one and one for all" is carried out to the latter. That is the difference between growing up and growing old. "Fill our hearts with true humility" yet we overlook the humble. Instead we must never forget our roots and humble beginnings. That is the difference between growing up and growing old "Make us cherish fearless honestly" yet we polish lies to make them appear real. Instead we should make sure we keep our pledges and promises. That is the difference between growing up and growing old. "And help us to resist oppressor's rule with all our will and might forever more" yet we live like we have no will. We are in the new age of oppression which is done indirectly by institutions that appear sacrosanct on paper but in actual fact are catalysts. Instead we should make Nkrumah's dream come true by proving beyond a doubt that "the Blackman is capable of managing his own affairs". That is the difference between growing up and growing old. "So help us God". Indeed, help is what we need so that our national anthem and national pledge won't be just mere recitals but acts of reality. That, my fellow countrymen and women is the difference between growing up and growing old. Let us strive as we grow old to grow up also because growing old alone is just not enough. We need to grow out of certain ideologies if we are to progress as a nation. This is not a "one-man" show. We all must put in our quota. This is my Ghana, your Ghana and our Ghana ( our home, land of rich resources, justice and freedom). Let us not make the toil of our forebears be in vain. This is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a RANDOM  AFRICAN  THOUGHT. ( Dedicated to Ghana on her 58th Independence Anniversary Celebration)
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Thursday, 5 March 2015


I have a friend whom I am really fond of. She is amazing and has a high sense of humour plus she is very smart. She has an attitude that in a way puts me off. She is always in a hurry to jump into a new relationship when she encounters a break up and for some strange reason, she harbours high hopes that her next boyfriend would "wife" her. This hope is normally dashed because she wants her boyfriends to behave in a particular way thereby making her appear authoritative so the  guys end up "taking" what they want ( according to her) and leaving her. I am not against her dating people, I am only against the speed with which she jumps into a new relationship without sitting down to analyse herself to see if she is doing something wrong. This attitude got me thinking about  life in this way:
People are normally in a hurry in life and want some things to  be magically perfect but do not want to go through the process of living out life. I know a lot of people ( including myself) who do not go through the terms and conditions of applications we install on our laptops but expect the application to work. It might be the case that we are lazy because honestly, these terms and conditions are lengthy. In my view, it is just that we are of the mentality that so far as we have a copy of the application and seen it work for others, it should also work for us so we go ahead and just click and accept all the terms and conditions. When the application fails to work we sometimes get furious and exclaim that we accepted everything yet it does not work. In actually fact, it is likely that we might not need all the components of the application or that our laptops do not support the application or even so, we need another application to make the one you are planning to install work. This analogy with the application and laptop is the same with life. Most people do not take the time to go through the terms and conditions of life but want life to turn out beautiful for them. We normally rush through certain aspects of life and when it blows up in our faces we tend to blame everyone and everything but ourselves. We sometimes do not see what we are doing wrong when it comes to certain things like love and dating. There is nothing like a universal solution. You have to know yourself and know what you need to solve your problems. People are in a hurry to try out a new dish forgetting to ask of the ingredients of the dish. Just like eating something and being told afterwards that it was something you detested but you ate it anyway just because it was covered in chocolate. We are just ordinary people who are faced sometimes with extraordinary circumstances, we need to "take it slow" because there is no need to rush and crush when we can take it one "step at a time". Let us take a break, take stock of our lives so far, do some soul-searching and reflections so that the next time life presents any form of "terms and conditions" we would know what to accept. Everything turns out beautifully for those who are patient and strive to follow the due process. This is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a RANDOM  AFRICAN. THOUGHT. More at

Wednesday, 4 March 2015


The world from inception has many problems right from Adam. Even worse are the problems associated with humanity. We have to deal with growing up, adolescence, relationships, career choices, family life and a host of other issues. I made an observation that the problems of world keep compounding because we too often depend on what I call pseudo- solutions to take care of our problems. We often depend too much on other people and things to solve our problems for us. Picture a woman having marital problems and has to sleep with a pastor to solve the issue. How does that make your husband love you or how does that go in solving the issue? Governments depend so much on others to help them solve some issues that can be solved from within with no strings attached. People are faced with sanitation problems and expect the government to perform magic to make their neighbourhood clean. You need a job you have all the qualifications yet you pray about it and go to sleep thinking God will turn into a postman and send your cv's round for you. My brothers and sisters, faith without works is dead. Some parents who have sons and daughters sometimes tend to believe that their sons need to do all the learning and "climbing the social ladder". They are of the view that some rich business tycoon would come and marry off their daughters so they do not need to work that hard. What happened to self-actualization? What happened to being independent and carving out a solid foundation for one's self? Religion has in a way been used as a tool by some people to cloud people's judgement. I was amazed when I visited a market in my locality to find it almost deserted. I was told that most of the market women had left their wares and had gone to church to purchase a special "fan" that would get their wares sold. I was stunned. How do you make money if you leave your wares unattended to? Pseudo solutions have made dubious people put on "halos" and are committing heinous crimes. Sometimes I do not blame them because as human as we are, we tend to be desperate. With that being said, it does not mean we should lose our sense of reasoning when we find ourselves in crisis. I am of the view that if we took bold steps in solving our problems by ourselves, the world would be a much better place where people will not take advantage of us by proposing to provide solutions to our problems. We are the architects of our lives. Let us fix it ourselves. This is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT. More @

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


I had planned  to steer clear of the subject of greed for the unforeseeable future but a friend, after reading yesterday's piece made an observation which I found to be very chilling. He retorted that the inverse of Gabriel's "famous quote" was becoming a canker and I noticed this. He was of the view that people have made their "stomachs bigger than their eyes". He said and I quote "It is funny how most Ghanaians who purport to be christians have left all these values of success. I'm not judging, but their stomachs are bigger than their eyes, hence have lost their saltiness and put their light under bowls. Nothing gets done in Ghana now without monetary inducement. It is very sad. Some also do anything to get money. Greed is the coat we have worn and thrown out integrity". I was taken aback by this observation. It seems that we sometimes lack vision and only think about satisfying our immediate selfish desires without paying attention to the repercussion our actions would have on the future. It is sad to see men of integrity lay waste the reputation they painstakingly built for themselves just for a brief moment of letting their "stomachs become bigger than their eyes". There are many examples of such men that can be cited. There is this very pretty lady I know, her mum used her ( the lady's) beauty as a bargaining chip to make her stomach bigger than her eyes. She always pushed her daughter to date rich married men and amassed wealth for herself. This young lady "enjoyed the ride" and now she is in her mid 30's still unmarried. She now is a shadow of herself and no man wants to wife her. Her mother's  greedy ambition has been her undoing. The list and stories can go on and on from politicians who refused to consider the greater good by taking bribes to award certain contracts to labourers who by virtue of their greed stole from their superiors and are now languishing behind bars. The point my friend was trying to make which I am only reiterating is that let us be men and women of vision and integrity. Let us see with our eyes and not our stomachs. Let us judge by looking into the future with our mind's eye and not only consider the present satisfaction. Let us think of the greater good and making our "tomorrow" better by carefully analyzing situations and not making rush decisions. Let us build for ourselves faultless attributes of integrity, truthfulness and selflessness
It is by doing so that we know that at least we thought of the greater good. Posterity will always haunt us should we consider making our stomachs bigger than our eyes. This is a RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT  and I am Edwin Oko Lamptey. ( Inspired by FEDELIX KUGBE alias FK)
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Monday, 2 March 2015


You remember my very good friend Gabriel from the other piece? There is something that he used to say all the time when we had to eat together way back in Senior High School which I found to be very funny. When we were in Senior High School, we used to go to the dinning hall together and normally brought our food to the dormitory to "garnish" it before we ate. As I was a glutton then, I always wanted us to "gather" more food but he would jokingly say to me, "don't let your eyes be bigger than your stomach" because probably he knew I was being greedy and knew we could not eat that much. I always laughed it off and took more food only to waste it at the end of the day. Today, I would like to make reference to this "funny" remark because it taught me a great deal. Greed is not a good thing. A friend of mine was telling me that most of Africa's problems would be solved if we stopped being greedy. Let me leave this discussion for another day. I was looking at his remark from this perspective:
We all set our sights on attaining greatness. No one has aims of settling for anything less in life. In doing so; in our hopes of attaining greatness, we should not set for ourselves "unrealizable" dreams, dreams that we know cannot see the light of day. We should not let our "eyes be bigger than our stomachs". We all have dreams and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your dream being realized. In the same vein, we also have our limits and shortcomings despite having other faultless attributes. We should know our limits so as not to give ourselves undue pressure. I am not in any way saying that we should not dream big but in considering the forces of life and the effects they can have on even our little actions and inactions, we should take a laid-back approach when setting certain goals for ourselves. More often than not, we fail to consider the components of our dreams and how they would pan out. We sometimes tend to make "our eyes bigger than our stomachs". We normally do not put into consideration the hard work, small beginning, sacrifice and determination we need to put in to reach our goals. We only have our eyes set on the "prize" and normally when you are so keen on "winning" without considering the eventualities of life, we end up missing the mark. In this light therefore, we should strive to take  life a day at a time. We must first crawl, learn to stand, walk and finally run. We may all be pursuing the same dream but there sure is no deadline for completion. Take your time and accomplish your  dreams at your own pace. We are dream-fulfillers. Always have that in mind. Welcome to the month of MARCH. This is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT. More at