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Voices Of Inspired Children Engaging Society (Voices)

Nj3 Nshoona (I come from the ocean side)

Yesterday, VOICES was informally “out-doored” in Toronto at the Trauma to Triumph Conference. I was an invited member of the speaker panel and my task was to speak to how my personal transformation led to the social transformation that is captured in VOICES’ mission, vision and work.

I spoke about my childhood and where the VOICES seed was planted. I spoke about my personal transformation journey  that began when I left Ghana to attend McGill University in Montrea,l Canada. I spoke about some very pivotal training I recieved at the Gatehouse, one of my favorite places in Toronto that works with Trauma survivors of abuse. I spoke on how that training taught me to Listen. To myself and To others. I spoke on how it prepared me for my Masters Research on Childhood Sexual Abuse in Ghana. And how my very strong emotional connection to my research further nurtured the VOICES seed giving it strength to break through and out of me. I spoke on how being able to listen and hold others stories in my head, hands and hearts led me to finally give permission to the VOICES seed to birth itself into the beginnings of the Organization and Collective that we are today. I spoke about how this process brought me back to an understanding and a knowing  of who I am, where I am from, where my dust was drawn. I spoke about re-connecting to my roots and in so doing being able to bear fruit. I spoke about being from the Ocean-side. In Ghana. West Africa. This is where my VOICE found me, and I in turn rediscovered the true essence of VOICES.

I spoke about how I discovered that I was created to lead through service and my service to humanity would begin with VOICES. I introduced myself. Ahmeda, Tuesday born, daughter of the people of the continent of Africa, created to serve…voice.

I spoke about these things and more and I did it through prose and through poetry. See below for the poem that  captured the thoughts, feelings and sense of connection to my world and my spirit (my God), the day I began the VOICES journey in earnest..

Nje nshoona (I come from the ocean side)
Nnyemi ke nyekwe, wo fee wo je nshoona (My family both nuclear and extended, we all come from the ocean side)
Bie ji wo shia ( This is our home)
No word of a lie, this is where my dust was drawn
Right here, By the ocean side
All I have to do is to sit by the ocean side.
History aside.
Connection inside.
In this spot right here, its second nature, though i contemplate,
to bear no question as to my place
Instead, I just assimilate
here I know and I am known by my his-story

But first lets take mans-story
Since times inception
before mans conception
My home, the waters,
where my dust was drawn from
has, been.

A strange relationship no doubt, between the created and the curator
Different languages
But both very much communicators
Now give me a babel fish and let me finally hear
hear the words of the oceans deep
What story pray tell, are you telling?
Crash, roar, splash, silence!
Now I hear, I am enraptured as you tell of creatures unimaginable,
Crash, roar, splash, silence!
I hear a song of praise to a God unfathomable,
Crash, Crash, silence!
I am educated of times unlinear, yet of beginning and of end
And therein the knowledge that this is where my dust is from
Where my strength is drawn
By me and those before me
Nkee nje nshoona
I said I am from the ocean side
Connection aside,
Now my history inside.

Bet you didn’t know that I am a part of a fisher folk
Fearless Ga people sustained by the bounty of waters deep
Traversing the ocean with an ease that bespeaks of timeless meets
Long before the crack of dawn
With wide nets and high hopes
With silent prayer and inner song
It is here that we connect with the three
Beneath us, the ocean, on whose horizon the sun overcomes
Over us, the sun, as she journeys outside of time
Around us, time, cocooning our existence
In our vessels we hail all three
Mentally pouring a little libation
In honor of the water, In Memory of yesterday
In honor of the sun, In Memory of tomorrow
In honor of time, In memory of none
Witness to all, Yet witness to none
As we chart familiar ocean highways with no names
History trodden boulevards with no landmarks
This is the daily pilgrimage of my people the Ga, the fisher folk

History inside,
Connection outside
And now both
side by side

I Ahmeda, daughter of Gbese, born on Tuesday
Through birthright, AND through spirit
Unrestricted by time or space
I claim my place
Nkee nje nshoona (I said i come from the ocean side)
N Nyemi ke nyekwe, woo fee wo je nshoona (My family both nuclear and extended, we all come from the ocean side)
Bie ji wo shia ( This is our home)


  • Cindy Del Tatto

    I could hear you speak each word of this as if you were sitting right beside me…your beautiful, soothing and calming voice always gives me a sense of security. You truly are a remarkable woman and I am so grateful to have you in my life.

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