On June 14th 2013, I was privileged to have been invited to “Gymnasium Rahlstedt’s“ (Rahlstedt Highschool) end of year graduation ceremony . What made it special was that many of our kids, African kids were among the students that successfully passed, and with luck would be gaining admission into the various renowned universities across Germany.

The parents were extremely happy; “yes we are delighted seeing our kids excelling academically” said a jubilant mother.  At this juncture I would want to congratulate all students for this achievement, not forgetting parents and teachers for their respective roles.

We can only remain relevant in this knowledge base country, by transforming and making our community more qualitative and effective.  We have to see education as serious business; it is the key to success and influence in any civilized institution.  

My appeal to parents is that, it does not end here; they have to continue to support and monitor their kids through their university education. Also they must not encourage their children to run to the United Kingdom. And to policy makers I urge them to put more mechanisms in place to make it easy and possible for the kids to attain the best. 

Opening ceremony and handing over of certificates was done by Mrs. Wiegandt and Mr. Niedenzu. Mr. Walter spoke on behalf of the parents, whereas Jessica Pohl and Phillip Libitowsky did a wonderful speech on behalf of the students.

The star of the day was the intelligent queen who got the 1.1 note, the best in the school.

I am confident, we would be welcoming all of them to this year's 3rd African Youth Education Award, schedule to take place on the 19th of October 2013, at IHK -Hamburg, Albert-Schäfer-Saal, Adolphsplatz 1, 20457 Hamburg.

God Bless Africa! God Bless Germany

Desmond John Beddy

The challenges facing the social, economic and political development and advancement of Africans in the Diaspora, particularly in Germany and the practical measures needed to address the lapses must be of concern of all. There is the urgent need to revolutionize our mind set, change our priorities, focus on education, adapt quickly to our environs, we should be determine to succeed.

Since the onset of the European financial crisis, I have read extensively on the subject, the more I do the less I understand and the more confuse I become.

Nevertheless, I have understood one major thing about modern Europe, solidarity is the key. Countries like Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece must be saved from collapsing. A fall of any of these countries would have adverse, retrogressive impact on the others.The story in the African communities all over Germany is the opposite, the black man and for that matter Africans believe they can only succeed after they have brought their brothers and sisters down.

The question we need to ask, has that ever brought the needed results, the answer is NO. We remain the only folks on this planet that think only of today, we refuse to invest into the future.

The likes of Mobutu, Eyedema, Babaginda and many other African leaders looted their citizens of anything they could lay hands on. And even in our new democratic dispensations the focus of politicians has been on how to enrich themselves at the expensive of the tax payer. If at least one of them could have built a university or a hospital and name it after him, my mind could find some rest.

I challenge Blacks and Africans in general that should whites introduce slavery again, we shall start selling one another! That is how far we can go…

A prominent German politician had this to say, “Ihr seid wach, aber unstrukturiert, verwirrt und & ohne Orientierung”. Literally meaning: the African community in Germany, referring to those in Hamburg are awake, but unstructured, confused and without direction". At first I felt insulted, but today I am in better position to examine this statement critically.Awake: We are no longer sleeping! This is impressive and encouraging; we are gradually setting foot into the media & politics, initiating education programs holding seminars’ on health. We have the likes of Elombo Bolayela (Congo) & Karamba Diaby (Senegal) and many others venturing into regional and local politicss

We also witness the birth of African Christian Council in Hamburg, getting better and stronger, becoming a cooperation partner to every project in the African society. For the first time the yearly African Youth Education Award project was initiated and successfully executed, a program focusing on the future of the African kids in Germany. We took giant steps to progress beyond the usual entertainment and cultural performances (drumming and dancing). We need to be proud of all these people and efforts.

And like any civic institution we can’t get to the top without making mistakes. However, we need to address our short comings with all urgency. That we are confused, unstructured and without direction must not remain unattended to. We need all hands to critically examine the above quotation.

Let’s be bold with the truth, call a spade a spade, learn to agree and to disagree, criticize constructively. We need to start catching up with the rest.Solidarity: The number 1 enemy of our advancement and miserable state of affairs is our lack of solidarity. For our community to see real collective progress we need to mobilize support for one another. If we begin to patronize the services of one another we can at least attain the Turkish -/Döner status in Germany. People you dine and drink with, kept asking if your business is still existing, these are people who consciously refuse any services you render and waiting to see the day you fold up. Let us learn from the Euro Crisis, for we are in the same boat.

Ironically they kept reminding you that their kids are having challenges with internship -/”Ausbildugsstelle”. Forgetting Siemens was not established overnight.

The Indians and Afghans are now controlling our Afro-shops, they supply our shops with everything from smoked fish to Guinness imported from Africa. My brother & sisters where are our senses!

We have since time immemorial attributed all our failures to racial discrimination, I have never doubted the existence of it, but I believe that should rather motivate us to excel in whatever we undertake; we have the likes of Prof. Louis Henri Seukwa (Cameroun) Dr. Aissa Halidou (Niger) Prof. Yankey (Ghana) Lawyer Imasi (Nigeria) honestly speaking we have dozens of Africans who are on top.

Racial discrimination shall remain part of humanity, just as tribalism has eaten deep into Africans.

Jesus Christ said "He that is without Sin, Cast the first Stone” if you are practicing & preaching tribalism, who are you to question racial discrimination.

Lack of creativity is another challenge facing our community; we are having so many wonderful ideas dying, it is difficult it is to invent. If one comes out with Alafia or Black History Month, we need to throw our weight behind them.

If you have similar ideas join the existing institutions or bodies to expand what they have. The attitude of organizing parallel events and arguing that Hamburg is big enough and that every African can do what he wants is a fallacy.

Thinking only of today! Let’s analyse our present actions carefully and be mindful of the consequence and implications on the community tomorrow. Unfortunately we are refusing to put measures in place that shall take care of us in the near future. Research has it that Africans remain poor because we care only of today; Europeans are what they because they invest into the future.

I still believe that for us to make any meaningful impact in this civilize and advance society we need to enter into mainstream politics. Gradually we are seeing the Hamburg Integration Council as the gateway to community politics. Sylvaina Gerlich, Kenneth Gbandi, Dr. Jean Bollo, Dr. Mohamed Khalifa and Emmanuel Asare, in their efforts to get to the top, shall commit errors. For us not to make the mistake of importing African politics of divide and rule, we need to help them by criticizing them objectively. They are setting the pace for the future generation.

The first major unforced error was between 25th – 27th May 2012, when Sylvaina & Kenneth organized African Day for the African community simultaneously there was a third African Day which took place in Hamburg –Harburg. This must never happen again. They need to come together, involve the other community leaders and the result shall be wonderful.

Another disturbing issue is the divisions! All of a sudden my good friends are all busily building clans around themselves, the question is what for? Everybody wants to be seen to be in charge, thus resulting in the countless number of events we are organizing around. Please it is not the quantity that matters but the quality of what we do.

The quality of leaders we badly need is those who shall help unite our poor community. I am afraid this attitude of you are either for me or against me is not what we want at this level of our development in Germany. How can you represent a group of people, at the same time quarrelling with them? You have every right to disagree but not waging war!  We want leaders to unite us not to strengthen the division. The Hamburg Integration Council should be a Blessing not a Curse.

The major political parties should not use the political immaturity of our brothers and sisters to manipulate them; one might argue we do not have the numbers to be of any importance, I am sorry that is wrong! Study the demographical development of Germany carefully.

The Churches:
The African Christian Council, under the leadership of Pastor Ossai Okeke and Apostle Bona Sriboe are on the right path. There is however the need for our churches to step up their social responsibilities. NordKirche Weltweit, is supporting financially to motivate the African kid to attain higher education, whilst the very churches these children attend look unconcern. This is not acceptable.

The Mosques:
It is my uttermost wish that my Muslim brothers can imitate their Christian brothers, by forming a formidable union. It shall then be very easy for the German Institutions to reach them, so shall we? They must also be seen taking up more social responsibilities.

Besides encouraging Africans to enter into politics, the community needs vibrant media houses that shall be neutral, critical & objective to the needs of the community.

By far this is one of the most challenging aspects of our advancement as Diaspora’s. We do not see how Germans can help develop a platform that could be critical to their relationship with minorities, whilst we see a community that is not prepared to have a medium that could attempt to serve as check and balance on them.

Embassies & Consulates:
The relationship between most embassies and consulate and their people is not anything one can write home of. The problem can largely be attributed to lack of communication and weak national unions that could bridge the two. We therefore challenge the embassies to constantly educate -/inform their people and frequently interact with them.

The Afrika Tag -/African Day need to be transformed, the embassies would have to meet their citizens and more especially involve the youth in such programs.

Let us start the re-structuring process today, let us re-define our wants, and let us define what we want to be in 20 years. I entreat all Diasporas to take stuck of their minds set, re define their priorities, put education high on the agenda, develop interest in politics, live a stress free life and most importantly have solidarity to one another. 

Rome was not built in a day, but there should be a desire to build Rome.

God Bless Germany!
God Bless Africa!
Desmond John Beddy

“Sir your people complain, you do not honor most invitations”, he answered "it is very expensive for the state when the ambassador travel. You can therefore not expect seeing me at funerals and parties at the expense of the state, there are more urgent needs to attend to.

“Sir what legacy do you intend leaving after your duty”, he answered by saying “lets people judge me by my work.” I went on to ask; “Sir! Do you know most people know the responsibility of an ambassador?” His Excellency felt provoked and fought back, if you know why ask then.

The man is straight, tolerates no nonsense and has no room for pampering; this most often is interpreted as been arrogant.

I must however admit knowing less about his private life, he was a former Director of Passports at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Ghana.

Whilst in Germany his favorite Ghanaian community was Stuttgart, he felt they were more discipline, and result oriented. The less was Hamburg, which is home to probable the largest Ghanaian community in Germany (chaotic with the highest misplaced priorities).

The man did all he could to help undertake educational projects, after noticing standard of education among African kids, especially those born here in Germany was in shambles. He held meetings with his ambassadorial colleagues to help address the issues. He donated money towards the AYE AWARDS; agree to be a patron to the project.

He is however, of the view that African communities in Germany must not wait for others to come to their aid.. They must do more when it comes to education and health.

“A lost sheep needs to be shown the way” The embassies in Berlin, especially the influential countries like South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Sudan, Ethiopia & Kenya can be useful and helpful in promoting educational projects.

Party Politics:
I am sure he has a hell fighting members of the NDC members in Germany. H.E. Paul King Aryene was posted here on the ticket of the NDC Government, then under the leadership of the late President Prof. Attah Mills. Ghanaians are still suffering from the Winner Take All Syndrome. He decided to serve Ghanaians and not a section of the community.

The NDC guys were not amused.

I am convinced; at this point of our political dispensation it is better to appoint career diplomats to ambassadorial positions than political appointees. The latter group lacks experience and bias to their political ancestry.

Bilateral Trade -/ Ghana-Germany & Tourism:
These are areas I would have love to access our Ambassador, but unfortunately there is no data for me to access. The volume of trade between both countries and how beneficial is it to Ghana. Others might want me to mention AID. Sorry I don’t believe in AID.

In Germany there is nothing for free! Africans should stop thinking they get freebies from the WEST. It is give and take, makes our leaders lazy and more corrupt.

A delegate from Hamburg asked “Sir you seem to be very humble” I am paid to work for you, but not to boss over you.

I guess our readers are wondering if the man was flawless all these years. The answer is NO.

Visas & Passports Palaver:
In my judgment the above situation has escalated, initially the passports has to be done in Spain and other European countries. Today, the passports are made and sign in Berlin, so why the delay?

The visa gives me more headache, more especially the EXPRESS VISA, people travel to Berlin, pay for express services and yet come home without the visa.The following could be done to help address the issue:

1.       Public Awareness:
How long it takes to secure a normal passport and express passports.
How long it takes to secure a normal visa and an express visa.

2.       Telephone services:
I have been at the embassy on several occasion and observed the ladies answering calls were over burden. More personal to handle calls. 

3.       More personal:
With our brothers and sisters from Spain and Italy joining us, our population has doubled. The compulsory ID Cards also need extra time.
More personal at least at the consular section, to take care of the extra services.

Fact is:
H.E Madame Fatoumata Siré Diakité, former ambassador of Mali to Germany, H.E Abdul Rimdap, former ambassador of Nigeria to Germany and H.E Paul King Aryene, former ambassador of Ghana to Germany, are my best African ambassadors to Germany.

I asked His Excellency several questions! He asked only one “ what have you also done for your people” I felt very uncomfortable & defeated. After a couple weeks I called and said let’s do something about the youth and education.

We wish His Excellency all the best.

God Bless Germany! God Bless Africa

Desmond John Beddy

The Setting; Hamburg. The Story; Touching.  The Crew; Young, Dynamic and Multi National. It was quite interesting talking to these guys because they were so full of energy and life and most of all, they are so hopeful that this is going to take them to places. The group of five youngsters led by the Bradley Iyamu a.k.a Young CRhyme a Hamburg based artist. After a short round of introductions, the show kicked off proper.

QUESTION: Bradley I know you as a musician; a singer, rapper and songwriter, how did you come about the idea of the?

BRADLEY: I’ve always wanted to do a movie because I actually did my first movie some years ago. It was a short movie sponsored by Hennessy.

QUESTION: This is the first ever black movie in Germany, we know how difficult it is for singers and actors of coloured to breakthrough here, how did you manage it?

BRADLEY: Well, it wasn’t easy but I was adamant about what I want to do and once I set my mind on it, I just do it. I talked to some guys with whom I worked once for sponsorship and they were keen and that´s how it all came to be.

Question: Have you guys acted before or this is your first time?

PRINCE: Yes I acted the role of Simba in The Lion King. The musical in Hamburg. Steve: No I have not before. This is my first said Robert and Bortey too.

QUESTION: How does it feel like to be on set?

STEVE: Initially it wasn’t easy. I was nervous but as time went on, I relaxed and it came easily.

QUESTION: Can you tell us a bit about the movie?

PRINCE: Hakeem’s friends mistakenly broke the present his father bought for his mother and they have 24 hours to replace it so they went into the streets of Hamburg in search of money to buy a new present for Hakeem’s mom and in the course of doing so, they got themselves involved with some bad guys who loaned them money that they had to pay back in 24 hours and since there was no other way to make the money other than do some dirty deals which took them on an adventurous journey.

QUESTION: In the course of shooting, did you meet real bad guys? The ones you wouldn`t want to be acquainted with on a good day?

Everyone laughed…

BORTEY: Though the movie was shot in the parts of Hamburg referred to as the ghetto because that’s where a lot of shady activities take place, we didn’t get to meet any bad guy, moreover the area is not as people tend to make it seem. QUESTION: This could be a gateway to stardom for all of you, have you dealt with the question what if that happens and how you’re going to cope with it because things might not be the same again?

PRINCE: Well, that would be a dream come true BORTEY: We would be happy because it’s all of wish to make it in the movies someday

QUESTION: Why the name THUG, why not any other name?

BRADLEY: Because I love hustling. I’m a real hustler. Starting from when I was growing up, I’ve always kind of hustled.

QUESTION: You studied Marketing at Hamburg University and you sing and now you’re into movie making, are you planning to do that fulltime or it’s just for a while?

BRADLEY: Well, actually I’m into a lot of things. I’m a businessman. Currently I’m setting up a beauty shop with some friends and that will be opened in three months time. And of course after this, I´m already planning the next movie.

QUESTION: And what’s it going to be like, do you have one ready or you’re still thinking of writing one?

BRADLEY: I don’t wanna say too much, but let me just say the end of this movie will be open and that might mean a part 2.

QUESTION: Do you guys have anything to say to youngsters like you out there?

PRINCE: Keep the dream alive and continue struggling till you breakthrough and I want to use this opportunity to thank Bradley for this golden opportunity.

STEVE: Life in Germany is not so easy, especially for people of coloured but just persevere and you will win.

BORTEY: No pain, no gain. Keep at it and you’ll get there

Lilian: Presenter of “ Lets Talk” on Topafric.com

Are you a visionary! Do you have a dream! Can you transform and dynamic! Can you mobilize and a Ghanaian living in and around Hamburg? Then this is the opportunity to serve your people.

Ghanaians in Hamburg are searching for new executive officers, with leadership qualities befitting the largest black African community in Germany.

For the first time in our history, we are using all available medium to reach Ghanaians irrespective of color or passports they hold to lead us. The most important deciding factor is their love for Ghana, commitment and ability to deliver.

We have in the past criticized and ridiculed past leaders for their inability to perform. We are therefore challenging all who believe they can do better to come forward, necessitate the change we have been crying for all these years.

“The cowards shall never come forward, but make the most noise after the elections are over”

The positions are:
President; Vice President; General Secretary; Assistance General Secretary; Treasurer and Youth Organizer. You must be 35 years or younger to occupy the position of youth organizer.

What makes it more interesting is that you need to be only 21 years old, speak good Germany and fluent English. Besides one needs to be endorse by two existing NGO’s, Churches, Mosque or benevolence associations in Hamburg.

You might have some of these leadership skills;
Ability to Delegate, Communicate, Sense of Humor, Confidence, Commitment, Positive Attitude, Creativity, Intuition, Ability to Inspire, Honesty, ability to manage Criticism, one above your followers! .

Should you be lacking a few of the qualities listed above, the community shall provide you leadership training to update and upgrade you.

You and your group of leaders should within two years attain the following:

  1. Ghana Community Databank, Registration & ID Cards: (The Electoral College shall make available, the existing data).
  2. Establish an office, with a paid assistance.
  3. Make Ghana Union interesting to the masses especially the youth.
  4. Capitalize on its huge populace as a capital drive and not a begging Institution

Closing date:

After 30th of September, a communiqué shall be sent to the Ghana embassy in Berlin and the Consulate in Hamburg. A venue shall then be arranged and free and fair elections conducted.

The Electoral College; shall be dissolved immediately after successful elections.

God Bless Ghana! God Bless Germany

Desmond John Beddy -/Chairperson, Electoral College

Wandsbeker Chaussee 15
22089 Hamburg

Mobile: +49 (0) 176 32140550

Office: +49 (0) 40 88307599

Radio: +49 (0) 40 25491970

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On the 15th of October, 2013, a Ghanaian man died in a bakery in Hamburg, Germany while he was using the goods elevator. The elevator had a height of 80cm (2feet 60inches) and is normally used for light goods such as pots, pans, and dishes.

The police found out, that the man wanted to use the elevator to go from the ground floor to the basement. While he tried that he got stuck in the elevator and died. The fire service was able to open the elevator after 30 minutes and recover the body of the 51 year old man.

The exact reason for his death is still uncertain. Condolences go out to the immediate family of the deceased.

Source: Bild.de /Topafric

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