My Blogging Lecture

So on Monday, Patricia asked me to prepare for a lecture on blogging in case Jason (of Adsbrook) was not able to make it. He has been busy making more money for the promising startup. And the usual heartbeat skips came in. So I said yes since I am a 4-month old Techy Africa blogger.

Preparations

xkcd-bloggingSometime during the week, I had taken advantage of Google Keep to take notes on how to structure my content. I made a few notes, which I thought would be helpful, some examples and all. On Wednesday, I received a mail from Patricia about which parts would be better to concentrate on. That helped immensely. It turned out that my examples and preparations would have been a little off course. Thanks, Pat. So on Thursday night, which is yesterday, I sat in Flat 5 to complete my presentation.

I was unnecessarily quiet last night. I don’t even know why. I’m sure the tension was part. But I knew this would be different because it was not the usual high-tension 5 minute pitch with … around. 😥 But I foretold it would be less stressful. And as usual, I was so scared ECG’s Dark Knight would be on duty since we had ‘enjoyed’ electricity for almost a week. I finally slept at 1:45am, though.

In the Morning

And as usual, I woke up at exactly 7am. (not with an alarm, I think that is what this whole body clock thing is all about) Finished everything by 7.40am. Since Uncle Pius was not coming, I had to wait if I would get a legit refund. And as usual, on Fridays, my fellow classmates were reluctant to come early. But I still made it quite ‘late’ even though I had not completely finished my presentation.

When I got to school

I just rushed to get some breakfast and rushed to Elorm‘s ‘office’ to complete my lecture. Took me about 30 minutes to complete, though. Unni came in to class, I joined in later, so unlike me.

The Class

Make Money BloggingBusiness block was to start at 10am but Patricia was not so well so she came in a little late. Also, we had completed Unni’s class a little later after getting into some hot debate about Ghana’s payment platform rescue (I always love to hear that discussion). Then the time came. As usual, my GPS Team(Akua and Osam)didn’t leave me alone. They cheered me on, together with the rest of the class. The lecture started, had to release tension and give a few 411s to the class and to the Professor 🙂

On the whole, I think it was good. Blogging for startups should be a must. It’s a great way to engage your customers and even investors. If you have a company, and you got no blog, start one today. I have uploaded my presentation on Slideshare. Go through and lemme know if you have any questions. Medaase!

Advertisements

Making a Passport In Ghana – My Story II

So after 45 minutes of travel time instead of a 15-minute journey, I arrived at the Passport Office.

Check-In

Passport Office Check-inI checked in to FourSquare, and oh my, the tips I saw. I was actually worried because I knew it was public service and the tendency of hearing “Oh, he has not returned from the Easter Break” was high. But fortunately, I didn’t experience that. A plus for them. So I sat in the queue advancing while others at the front were being asked to go for one document or the other. So it finally got to my turn. The guy took my paper and then asked me to produce my original Birth Certificate. Anxiously, I checked in my bag and drew it out for him. My heart almost skipped a beat because I thought I had left it back in the hostel.

After going through, he passed me on to the next. The next time I heard my name, I had to sit for a vetting. This man asks me of my profession, then I tell him I’m an Entrepreneur-in-Training. After debating back and forth (one of them even asked me to define the word “entrepreneur”), they managed to make me change it to “Student”. [Just because I needed a passport]. Whew, finally passed one stage.

So the next office I got to, the guy just had to sign my form. Then I moved to the next office. This office was to check my birth certificate against the name I provided on the passport form. Then another office! This office was supposed to check my biodata. Just when the guy was about to sign, he ticked two fields I was supposed to fill, my grandparents’ and father’s home address. WHAT! So I had to call my dad too, (something I rarely do) for his home address which surprisingly he knew off-head. Felt like a hero. Just got there in time for him to sign. Next was the almighty photograph.

All Clear!

BNI ClearanceSo after all those parts of the document had been cleared, we were led in a file (like sheep to the slaughter, literally) to the next main building, where we were to take the pictures. Waited there for about 15 mins before being called to take thumbprints, on all 10 fingers. Had to go sit down again, for about another 10 mins before I was called to come for the photo shoot. Stood there, took the photo. I guess it was good picture.

Then I had to go sit down again! Waited for another 20 minutes before being called by last guy. When I got there, He almost raised the issue of entrepreneur-student again. Then I politely told him, “I have rectified that with the previous guys”.

FINALLY! Then I was acquitted and discharged. It was a test of how our systems in Ghana work. I fully appreciate the thorough processes you have to go through, but it takes too much time! 3-and-a-half hours! I can write some good code with that. I hope these systems become better. We are running late of technology.

An IDEA! There can be an online form. You fill it, scan the necessary letters and signatures, attach them, and forward it. If there are issues, they call you and you come to the office to fix it. We can save more money and time with systems like these.

Making a Passport In Ghana – My Story I

Two days ago, I managed to make my way to the New Passport Office. On arriving there, I met this man who tried to help me but another “strict” guy just kept telling me I should come tomorrow. Eventually, I had to go the next day.

So I woke up very early yesterday, to go the office so no-one could “brag”. Woke up like, 6am, thanks to my wonderful alarm app. So I fixed some quick breakfast and dashed out.

The Journey that almost never ended

ImageSo I stood in front of the hostel (Pentagon) to take an Accra-bound troski to the Office. About 10 mins after I got to the road side, with all the passing cars full, I made up my mind. Oh, and I got to the road side by 7:15am. So with the image of the man at the passport centre in mind with his dreaded words, I took a troski that was bound for Lapaz so I could alight at Shiashie. *Smart thinking*

A minute into our drive and oh my! Traffic! What! Is this what the people on this side face everyday? We stayed in traffic for almost 20 minutes! When we were almost near the Shell Station behind the Standards Office, I had to make a decision. Get out of the bus and walk. Yep, like you see in the movies. So I walked to Shiashie, and saw some people who had already come to pass when I was sitting in the bus. Then the search for a bus began!

I’m usually very strategic about picking a troski. I first look at the number of seats inside, the people waiting to pounce onnthe bus, etc. before I make a move. So about 5 minutes later, I spotted this cool troski I could take advatage of. So I struggled my way into the bus just to find a small boy probably 9 years sitting in one of the seats. Crap! I had to get down.

Next to come was a cab, hailing, “Accra, Accra”, So with my boldness, not knowing how much he was gonna charge, I sat in, and got a window seat. 😉 About 30 minutes later, over a usual 15-minute journey, I made it to the Passport office at 8:15am. Whew! That was close.

Want to know more? Part II continues…