Thursday, December 5, 2013

Finding the narrative - Ghana

Ephraim is from Ghana, he is also  part of my life I am a sort of adopted mother to him, he is the friend and one would almost say brother of my son Mark.  They met at university, have schemed these last ten years to make their fortune writing computer programmes, and they both live in Bristol. Ephraim was married to Sarah, and they have two children and so every fortnight or so a great batch of photos arrives by email of Ephraim's weekend's taking the children around one of the many places that Somerset has to offer be it Longleat or Stourhead.
On my external drive, which I managed to make work last weekend, are not only my photos but theirs of the great trip to Ghana, where they spent over a year writing programmes for various businesses but  did not make their fortunes! 
Whenever I look at these hundreds of photos of a far away country in Africa I realise there is a story to tell, it is not one of unhappiness but of people living their lives within the confines of the place where they are born, very much like our lives coping within a framework of the deck of cards we are handed out.  Life is difficult within our Western culture yet easy viewed from such far away places as the poorer European countries of Poland, Romania etc, to immigrants we offer a better future (though this may not be necessarily so).
In the town of Accra I see our 19th century history, there is poverty, mixed with wealth, people selling goods from the side of the road, according to Ephraim who can argue (and does) very articulately about the corruption of the Ghanian politicans, and the laziness of the men, and do note there is a lot of photographs of women working, less so of men.
Ghana is one of the upcoming countries of Africa, it has rich resources and a potential for moving forward, two of Ephraim's aunts work in America as nurses another aunt is married to a successful businessman, I met her once when she came over and she was collecting a whole container of goods to take back to her country; not sure how my gardening books contributed but she was a gardener as well.....
What Ephraim captured with his camera is of course a record of how he saw his country but his snap, snap, snapping that fills my drive is a fascinating recording of a moment in time.



  1. What an uplifting post Thelma. We so often hear of the down sides of life in Africa - lovely to hear a good story instead.

  2. Really enjoyed this post too Thelma. So many of us in the west complain about stuff that would be laughable in Africa. We really don't appreciate how lucky we are.

  3. Weirdly prophetic as Nelson Mandela died yesterday, a great man in all respects, the real 'face' of Africa is very rarely reported on.