African Benefits In The Works

Here is what Kammie Holder is writing elsewhere – Credit to Nation Newspaper 03/09/2010

Kammie Holder

I am sitting in a restaurant at the Golden Tulip Hotel Kumasi, Ghana which is managed by Barbadian Stephen Husbands. The serene ambiance places me in a transcendental frame of mind.

The last 15 days have seen me traverse the Sahara desert and driving on a well paved highway 272kms long. Yes, in Africa. My journey of adventure and work has not been without pain and tears, the visit to Elmina Castle on the Cape Coast brought me to tears.

Every citizen of the African diaspora should visit the birthplace of his ancestry. For two long, we have been miseducated and our thoughts of Africa poisoned by those who would want to believe the worst of Africa.

Fellow citizens of the diaspora never blindly believe what you hear from the biased eyes of those with hidden agendas. Africa and Ghana is a land of many opportunities. What pains me is the ingratitude and appreciation of many Barbadians for the many social services and opportunities available. Bajans seem to be caught in a whirlwind of envy, deceit, selfishness, laziness and greed, to the detriment of the country’s development.

Being in Ghana has also convinced me that both the BLP/DLP have spoilt Bajans to be mendicants and complainers, rather than to be creative and innovative. I am seeing coffins being sold on the streets, women with barbecued turkey wings on their head hustling to make a sale from passengers stuck in vehicles on the highway, truly entrepreneurial.  Certainly, the resilience, tenacity, innovation and dedication are something that can be borrowed from Ghanaians. How do we awake Barbadians from the deep coma of laziness and complacency?

Barbadians of African lineage, you can claim ancestral links to Ghana, thus I will boldly say a fountain of gold awaits persons from Barbados with the entrepreneurial spirit. One such is the farming of African Giant Snails, which is a delicacy served in hotels and retails in markets for about US$2.50 for a large snail. Another observation I made, is that British Airways and four other airlines fly from Lon

to Accra daily at full capacity despite British visa requirements. Have we been so brainwashed that we are ignorant to the potential of the African middle class spending power?

Kammie M. Holder, the boy from the village, is now Kofi Ageyman Holder in Kumasi Ghana.

32 thoughts on “African Benefits In The Works

  1. Kammie since you are in the entrepeur Spirit, maybe you can open a delicatessen restaurant with emphasis on the African Snail gourmet.
    Now are you telling Bajans togive up the cell phone and cable tv and all of those other goodies to load coffins on their heads and sell them ! Are yuh fuh real . I think you might have eaten too much yud them snails.

  2. The governments are the ones to blame for killing the entrepernurial spirit of Bajans. Once upon a time . Bajans owned small shops along Nelsonstreet Baxter Rd. and other small villages across the country.NOw Bajans are only taught to buy bigger house and have big motrgages with no concept of how they are going to pay for them. A government which truly believe in its people would have encourage them from the get go to be selfproductive . What is happening here in barbados is a reflection of governments ineptness towards their people. .

  3. Clitoral mutilation still a practice in Ghana? Visit eh?I don’t think so! Enjoy Cammie Boy Enjoy!!Drink a bush rum fuh me!

  4. Interesting Kofie Ageyman, very interesting! I just located the Golden Tulip Hotel in the City of Kumasi in Ghana. The place is beautiful man; not what the average person here in Barbados would have in mind when one thinks casually about Ghana.

    I admire your great innovative thinking, and I agree you should open a Giant African Snail Restaurant, BUT OPEN IT IN GHANA, NOT BARBADOS!! A few years ago, someone won the Prime Minister’s Innovation Award of $75,000.00 for the idea of FROZEN DUMPLINGS for export. I have not seen those dumplings yet, and maybe it did not catch on.

    But think about it…….DELICIOUS AFRICAN SNAILS, A READY-MADE CATCHMENT AREA FOR SNAIL-EATING CLIENTS IN GHANA, AN ABUNDANCE OF SNAIL MEAT IN BARBADOS, AND SEED MONEY RIPE FOR THE PICKING!! All you have to do now is get that direct flight thing from Barbados to Ghana revived.

    Your idea shows greater potential for earning Foreign Exchange. Put it forward for the next Innovation Award, and there is your SEED MONEY!! You have got to win!!

    Don’t give away your idea man, go ahead and earn some real foreign Exchange for Bim. The Ministry of Agriculture just reported that they collected FIFTEEN TONS of Giant African Snails during the month of July 2010!!

    Now here are some calculations. I think ONE TON equals 2,240 POUNDS. So 15 TONS of SNAIL is 33,600 POUNDS of SNAIL MEAT. I figure that ONE LARGE AFRICAN SNAIL weighs about 4 ounces, so @ 16 ounces to a pound, 33, 600 pounds = 537,600 ounces, which divided by 4 = 134,400 SNAILS.

    NOW, -@ US$2.50 PER SNAIL, that comes to A WHOPPING US$336,000.00!!
    I figure that expenses of US$36,000.00 would cover :
    (1)Transportion costs from Barbados to the Table in Ghana
    (2) Preparation such as washing and boiling, seasoning etc.
    (3) Wages for Restaurant workers
    (4) Other operating Expenses like utilities, MEDICAL CLAIMS Insurances etc.

    Don’t forget more foreign exchange to come because you are going to season up these African Snails with good old Bajan Seasoning and Bajan Pepper Sauce!! Great support for Bajan Condiments EXPORT Industry.
    My head spinning from all of these calculations, but I seeing bear US DOLLARS coming in KOFIE!! IT LOOKING LIKE AT LEAST US$200,000.00 PER MONTH FOR STARTERS!!
    In no time, you going to be rivalling BILL GATES!

    I only asking yuh to double check my calculations and look out for any other minor expense I might have left out. WHAT YOU WAITING FOR KOFIE??

    Yours truly
    Anonymous Numero Uno
    Anonymous Consulting Inc.

    P.S. HANTS, What you think about that name?

  5. Kofi Ageyman Holder;
    I’m with you fully on most of what you have written about Ghana. I would live there tomorrow if I had the opportunity. I see you’ve been through the naming ceremony in Kumasi and the Golden Tulip is a quite nice hotel. I agree that numerous business opportunities exist for Barbadians and I think most bajans would immediately feel almost at home in Kumasi and Accra. But one would have to give a lot more thought to your Giant African Snail suggestion. Unless our snails had a taste or other exotic advantage over the native Ghanian ones, the idea of exporting our relatively small bajan snails to Ghana would be unlikely to fly as it would be like sending coals to Newcastle. Perhaps Keith Laurie’s idea of developing a small local Bajan snail processing and packaging industry, properly researched, funded and developed, could be designed to export african snails from Barbados to appropriate markets in North America and even London primarily for high end wealthy African and other consumers who already have a taste for escargot.

  6. David

    Focus man focus!!! De man write about the entrepreneurial spirit of Ghanaians and the only thing you cud ask about is “ How de snails taste? Suppose he say it taste like chicken? Would you be interested in eating some? You know the French are supposed to be at the top of the culinary world and yet they eat escargot do you ask Frenchmen how escargot taste?

    The idea of selling coffins longside de road appeals to me since I buried two family members last year and the turnouts cost a wobbotun o money. If buyin a coffin from a road side vendor gwine save me money I’m all for it.

    But don’t laugh at the Ghanaians, a couple years ago ,COSTCO dat big box store announce dat dey will be selling coffins in some of their stores. Imagine you buying yuh sugar,milk,rice and a lil pork and you turn de corner and butt up pun a coffin. Dat would put me off food for a few days. So don’t mek sport at the Ghanaians coz wah en catch yuh aint pass yuh

  7. @Sargeant

    The question is meant to be provocative. The snail population in Barbados is growing. It appears the authorities and residents alike have surrendered. How can we use the entrepreneurial spirit Kammie yearns for to solve the problem?

  8. Thanks to all of you for my daily meal of laughter. What I have read above further convinces me the mis-education and brainwashing has taking such a toll , that only re-incarnation can solve. I spoke of the tenacity, entrepreneurial spirit and business opportunities to be had by the bajan entrepreneurs, yet we had great fun at a serious article. This is whats the problem NEGATIVITY killing Barbados. What about the positives. Ah one my way to a meeting, talk to wunna later.

  9. @Kammie
    Don”t take it so personnel we were only exploring your ideas in a lighthearted way. The thought of you being the owner of a Giant African Snail restaurant may encourage others to have the same entreprenurial spirit. Just some food for thought.

  10. I remember the negative noise that was made when ATM`s were first introduced. Now they are the chosen way to make withdrawals and deposit funds. My great grandfather told, me he was all for donkey carts and horses and never bought a car, as cars needed gas and insurance. Thus his productivity was slow in a fast paced world. So those of you who miss the Ghana lessson, continue to follow rather than be innovative and beat your own path. The motto for Bajans may be Follow Always, Never Step Outside the box, then blame the government and whosoever.

    I will continue to swim upstream as more opportunities await me since most persons cannot be bothered,as down stream is crowded as no effort is required to flow with the tide! Sorry, that so many of you lost the merit of my mouthing. The optimist lives Carpe Diem!

    • Consider this Kammie.

      We (Bajans) are greatly influenced by the Eurocentric/N.American ways. It is all around us.

      To get Barbadians who have been numbed by eurocentric indoctination to appreciate the characterics of their African lkienage is asking them to make a quantum leap in their though process.

      The reality brother, thank God you have been able to find a way to decouple from the cultural relativism which runs rampant.

  11. Yeah Kofie, ac is right. We actually agree with the gravemen of your propositions. I just could not resist the opportunity to have a little comic relief, because on ALL fronts, things so serious in Barbados now. Also, to most Barbadians, the thought of eating African Giant Snails is totally revolting, no matter how much time one may be given to acquire taste.

    It’s okay Buddy, don’t burst a blood vessel…….we generally all agree with you.

  12. David

    Just playing with you, but people all over the world make what we would consider strange or weird food choices. Snails may be a good source of protein for Ghanaians but Bajans won’t eat them.

  13. The problem is we all follow, criticize and complain and sit and wait.

    People I’m Barbados lack responsibility. The Governments and parents have created this. When you look at how hard our past family members worked and then how all we do is complain because for eg the remote is not working so we actually have to get up an turn on the TV this is why we are losing our competitive edge. We are too lazy and don’t take responsibility.

    As we say, eveyones knows but no one does. Most persons that criticize business owners never took a step to setup a business and instead of being supportive we are always critical.

    Kammie, one of the biggest problems we have is access to financing in order to achieve success.

    The hardest thing in life is taking the first step and that takes effort, responsibility, long working hours and hard work.

    I am not a great fan of Mr. Commissiong for select reasons, but I remember him making a point some years back along the lines of cell phone use and the cost, we were seeing children and adults toping up every day and that money was never to be seen again. Spent in cellular heaven. What should be happening is we should all be looking at how we spend money and put it into things that are progressive and not things that the International advertising cultivates our mind to spend on.

    I have always heard that Africa is very advanced without ever going there.

  14. @the author of this piece. What you have done here is commit the abominable sin for which there’s no earthly forgiveness. Had you said that ‘THERE IS NO GOD’ you would have been pardoned and even given an invitation to dinner, BUT you did the unthinkable…….your greatest crime was to think and write such blasphemy that there’s ‘ANYTHING GOOD IN AFRICA’…Insanity boy! How dare you espouse such ‘tales’ to Bajans….Have you forgotten the bajan pastime.. ‘sanctify the sinner and sacrifice the saint.’ But count yourself ‘lucky’ for many GREAT ones before you have also been crucified for espousing the ‘truth & reality’ about the GREATEST piece of real estate on this planet, the real estate where the greatest civilizations were birthed.

    Just the mention of the entrepreneurial spirit of the Africans in the throes of adversity and you are laughed to scorn, but watch the same scoffers mortgage their brick houses just to put a ‘loved one’ in the dirt where worms and moths doth corrupt.

    how funny can one get!


    Had the ‘african snail’ been introduced in Barbados as the ‘caucasoid molluscan’ with powerful viagric properties, there would have been a shortage on the island today. It should have never been called AFRICAN! Ginormous mistake!

  15. Hopi ya ole devil you
    Where you went girl? Miss ya. Glad to see ya.
    And you are right ! Absolutely right when you opine …..”Had the ‘african snail’ been introduced in Barbados as the ‘caucasoid molluscan’ with powerful viagric properties, there would have been a shortage on the island today. It should have never been called AFRICAN! Ginormous mistake!”


  16. @Georgie Porgie………My love, I missed you too. Just took off for the summer vacation. Took my sun & moon on the road. All along I was missing you. [hope JC don’t get jealous] I return to see you still bunning fyah pon dem heathens. I love it. Your a man of your own mind and I respect you.

  17. @Anonymous uno numer
    Ref: “A few years ago someone won the Prime Ministers Innovation Award of 75,000.00 for the idea of Frozen Dumplings >i have not seen the dumplings yet.
    Answer: Maybe the innovator was not paid. Rember Barrack millions he has not been paid for work done building property for the government.
    Now you have people scolding Bajans for looking the other way when the government talk about people being entrepeurs. If the government was trust worthy the people would listen. The government must be willing to invest in its people and that should have happen years ago. Too late the horse is already out de barn.

  18. @Kammie

    Your grandfather was right. Look what capitialism has got us. High mortgages.Interest upon interest on a loan. Outrageous car loans.
    I wonder if yuh father ever pay a light bill or water bill.Not to mention cell phone. Maybe Barbados can use the donkey cart the way the chinese use the ricshaw that is innovative.

  19. Hopi with all the sweet nothings being heaped upon. I hope yuh got plenty bandaids fuh when de liks start coming. Nice to read to postings again.

  20. This article just appears to be a public relations effort in reviving talk on the so-called potential of marketing the scavenging, worm-carrying African Snail.


  21. @Kofi
    A review of the poll shows a disconnect between the Blacks in Barbados and Africa! 33% doesn’t care to visit Africa.25% couldn’t careless and 42% would love to visit. Those numbers are astounding and reflects the lack of African history Barbadians have been exposed to via education. The education system should be given a “F” on this one. In this day and age in a black society the children not knowing about their original heritage is a disgrace. No one is scoffing at your article. After reviewing the poll their is definetlya elephant in the room who is blocking the view and that is our educational system. Innovation must be in the hearts and minds of the people we look up to for leadership.

  22. @ac…….who needs bandaids when I have a Doctor in the house who not only seems quite capable of administering CPR & TCL, but he is also proving to be an excellent batsman and fire-fighter as well……de good doctor just punching left, right and center today…….oh dear me GP!

  23. Not realy Hopi
    I am accustomed in being circles where I am either being taught by people talkng sense or I am teaching

    When folk challenge what you say, they have something of value to add. They are not just talking bull or attacking you. They are dealing with ideas.

    This is what I have experienced at HC, UWI and in Medical Conferences and Teaching Medical students

    In one of the two church services I on Sundays, men rise to discuss a topic on the Doctrine of Christ and speak or respond extempraneously. One can sit and enjoy 2 or 3 men bring relevant discussion about an issue to the table about the topic. But it is at a high level.

    You come on BU. People quiblling about spelling. And taking goo. And then attacking your sincerity or accuracy when you are RIGHT!

    So what can you do? Come for the entertainment. And when they attacjk you go after them and BE ENTERTAINED. Especially when you know that thier psychoanalis of you is INcorrect! It is real fun. Real sport! After a while, they are some that you blank out.

    I have been blogging on certain medical students fora for about 8 years now, so I have honed my skills well.

    In reality I am an easy going person who just likes to laugh and crack jokes, but I domnt suffer fools gladly, because I have never got anything easy or free.

    I rememmber when I would refrain from respoinding to a certain devil here and the blog owner used to tell me to engage. Well know I am engaging. People dont like it.

  24. @hopi
    There is a doctor in the house .:Caution: He does not lick no one wounds. He also sent you a challenge in one of his postings . TA ! TA! enjoy .Make hay while the sun shine!

  25. The older generation of entrepneurs were of the same mindset of those in Ghana but the government never gave them any support financially but the they were persistent in their endeavours .When they died most of these business fell by the wayside because their children could not keep them because of lack of money. Then again their parents was also determined in giving their children an education which would offer them better opportunities. No governments at that time saw the benefits that those older entrepneurs were giving to the country.
    Nevertheless when those people were struggling with the upkept of the business and putting money into the banking system no government ever thought of giving them a helping hand in expanding their business. An opportunity lost is an opportunity doomed. Now the government hasto work twice as hard in engaging its people into such an area of entrepreneurship. BTW the government has been always willing to give a helping hand to People like MS ram .who started small similary to Barbadians with the same mindset but was given much more to further her progress.Now we have a system where most of workers are employed by the government many of whom could have been entrepneurs if only Their foreparents was given the opportunity.and their in turn past it in to the next generation. When that older generation died So did the dream!

  26. Can you imagine a Barbados of entrenpeurs mostly Bajans if the financial opportunities were given to our fore parents but because of the lack thereof. Barbados has through out the years look to outsiders to help build the country. Yes years ago their were masonswho I must say bulit very good houses using their hands and the material they use was of good quality,and then they were
    also plumbers and carpenters and so on.These people were self employed.These people were able to perform their craft without the help of government who sat idly by without the vision of seeing the entrepreneurial spirit given.Sadly those doors which were open were very slowly close. That is why we have a Barbados today scrambling to catch up with the future. One can only imagine “what if”

  27. Hmmm. I agree with a lot of what you say. Barbadians are complacent (so are West Indians in Britain too). Africans tend to be more entrepreneurial, but that is because there is severe poverty.

    Ghana, from what I hear is a pretty nice and stable country. However, exactly which part of Africa is our birthplace? Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali……….?

    Yes, we should know and be proud of our African heritage, but please be aware that some Africans (not all obviously) have a pretty poor view of West Indians (supposedly we have no history, no African language, no African name, lots of criminals, on drugs and so it goes on).

    Regarding the ‘African middle class spending power’. Yes, it is certainly there. However, Barbadians should be VERY careful about people entering Barbados, NOT just from Africa, but anywhere with a lot of poverty. If you think they will all go home again at the end of their ‘holiday’ or ‘study’ you are VERY much mistaken.

    Barbados is paradise compared to many countries around the world. I have been to Egypt, which is wealthy compared to many African countries. All I can say is if that is a wealthy country then goodness knows what the poor ones are like. (Garbage, flies, beggars and conmen everywhere you turn. Sellers who don’t take no for an answer. Money so dirty that visitors are advised to use cleaning gel on the hands after touching the banknotes, insanitary conditions…..)

    By the way, the health of incomers should also be considered. 1 in 4 infection rates in some countries is not something to be taken lightly.

    As for the snails, if they’re supposedly edible, maybe try selling them to the French islands. However, I doubt they’d want them any more than the average Barbadian.

  28. Kammie; I am bringing up this topic again as I was thinking, while doing my morning chores of removing scores of African snails from my yard, that there might be a good alternative use of the snails that could save us significant foreign exchange and also control the snails at manageable levels. The idea (and I don’t know if someone has come up with it before) would be to develop a plant that would process the snails into a protein component for animal feed, after appropriate treatment for ridding them of any parasites.

    It could be done, if the figures and feasibility analyses so suggest, on a cottage scale or a larger scale where the snails would be purchased from householders at a small cost (i.e. less that the Government’s give away that was tried and is failing as an eradication measure).

    If the idea was found to be feasible we would be able to coexist with the snails and have an industry that would be somewhat self sustaining.

    Perhaps someone could check with the Ministry of Agriculture and or Roberts Manufacturing about the feasibility or otherwise.

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