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20 Things Ghanaian Divorcees & Single Parents Want You To Know About Marriage and more

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29425125 1666400293453157 8618602321879760896 nGhanaian relationships and lifestyle blogger, Kwadjo Pinyin and his Facebook group for single parents and divorcees have explored 20 things facing Ghanaian single parents and divorcees as follows:   *This article is in commemoration of world single parents day on March 21st. Like most people, I hardly paid attention to the advice people shared about marriage during my engagement a few years ago. In reality, the day of the engagement or the wedding is the worse time to offer advice about life and marriage to the new couple. Their minds are primarily occupied with the myriad of activities buzzing around them, the wedding cake arriving on time, the photographer staying off the booze, the groom men lusting after the bridesmaids and wrapping up the festivities without any hiccups. If you’ve lived through a marriage or a relationship with kids and had to make the tough decision to separate from your partner, you can come away battered and bruised.  With time and hindsight, however, comes discernment and wisdom and single parents and divorcees with kids have an abundance of both. Interesting enough, we don’t always hear the voices of single parents and divorcees with kids during engagement and marriage ceremonies.  Folks sometimes view us as failures; not realizing that some of us hold the map to the pitfalls new couples need to avoid in marriages. IMG 0116 Read on to learn what these candid members of the over 30 Ghanaian single parents and divorcees Facebook support group have to say about marriage, relationship and the lessons they learned. *The images depicted are members of the Single Ghanaians Mums & Dads Over 30 Years FB Support Group. The pictures are distributed randomly and do not correlate with the quotes.

“As far as you both has accepted to marry each other, remember he may never change. If he used to beat you when you were dating, he may continue to beat you throughout the marriage. If he was stingy, he will be stingy throughout the marriage. Sometimes, it is better to call it off when you have too many red flags.” – Divorced mum with children; Deutschland, Germany   IMG 0106
 
“I made the mistake of electing to be a homemaker even though my ex-husband was against the idea. In time and as the kids grew older, I lost my ability to be a valued contributor and found myself at a distinct disadvantage just before the marriage ended. I struggled during and after the divorce proceedings because I was in a weak position. I had no way of proving that I could take care of my kids financially. It took 20 years for me to start benefitting from my education and gain financial independence. My advice is simple, do not let your education and skills go to waste when you get married.” – Divorced mum with children, New York   IMG 0113 1
 
“I discovered a stark reality during my marriage. Sometimes you won’t feel love toward your partner especially when you start hitting the rough patches in life. During my marriage, there were times when I had to intentionally love my husband. Every time I forgave him for cheating, my love for him diminish yet I chose to intentionally love him. I ended up getting hurt in the end because he was honest about his lack of love for me.  I will no longer intentionally love someone.” – Divorced mother of one; Chicago, Illinois   29387204 1872985276079880 843953256823521280 n   “I wore a lot of hats when I was married; mum, maid, teacher, counselor, cook, financial planner, part-time breadwinner and Unselfish lover. I became so consumed with making everyone happy, I sacrificed the little joys in life which used to make me happy. I should have made time for theatre because there was time; I should have made time for my friends because there was time; I should have made time to build my career because there was time. There was enough time but I gave mine up while everyone else invested theirs in the little things which made them happy. My advice to new couples; make time for the things you used to enjoy before the marriage and after.” – Divorced Mum with 2 kids, Maryland, USA   IMG 0118   “I stayed in an unhappy marriage longer than I should have because I thought it would be better for the kids. She was very unhappy and not satisfied with most of the things I did. There was a lot of negativity in our house and the kids saw it, felt it and started acting out. It was at that point that I realized that this was not what I wanted for my kids. I was too afraid to be a single dad and forgot to realize that I was thinking more of how society will view me versus seeking happiness for my kids. My kids do not have a family home now but the negativity they experienced is gone and they are much happier. Staying in an unhappy and broken marriage because of your children may end up having the opposite effect on them.” – Divorced dad with 3 kids, Kumasi   29472153 1944018032275010 2758745833108144128 n   “I quickly descended into having obligatory sex because I believed that if I don’t have sex frequently, my husband will be tempted to cheat or go after other women. It took me a while to realize that I was doing a lot of things sexually for my husband out of fear. I discovered during our divorce that he got tired and bored of having sex with me because I wanted it all the time. He was worried about not been able to satisfy my weekly overtures. He wanted to pace things out rather than have sex just to have it. Never assume you know each other’s sexual needs during a marriage and do not please each other out of fear. Fear breeds only discontent.” – Separated mother with one child, Accra   IMG 0110   “To the man, if you want to have a peaceful marriage, just get this simple notion; If she makes some money, it’s for her, but if you make some money, it’s for you both. If you get this from the beginning, I promise u a happy marriage life.” – Single dad with one child, Accra   IMG 0107
 
“Criticize gently. Don’t judge too harshly. If you have to criticize, do so the same way you would want others to criticize you. Be kind and considerate at all times” – Single mum with one child, Tema   IMG 0108  
“A lot of people learn what marriage is about after they are married. I found this assertion to be wrong. The definition of marriage is different for different people. What is your fundamental reason for getting married? This is a very important question that has to be addressed while dating.” – Divorced mum with children; Houston, Texas   IMG 0114  
“What worked for the couple next door may not work for you. Make decisions to make it work and keep to your decisions. Embrace every new thing you learn about your partner and let it help you to relate to each other better. There’s no perfect marriage. Keep in mind you’re both not perfect and learn to forgive each other at all times.” – Single Mother with one child, Accra   29425125 1666400293453157 8618602321879760896 n
 
“On the engagement day: Remember you CHOSE to love this person. Love is not a feeling. Marriage is NOT all about ‘living happily ever after’. You CREATE your own happily ever after; it’s not automatic. You are each other’s best friend. Whoever you each had as a best friend now becomes second (note that I did not say they exist no more as partners still need to maintain their individuality in a marriage)  Most importantly talk to each other about anything and everything!” – Separated mother with children; London, England   29425674 1237794223017415 2959573386561959631 n
 
“Once two agree to marry, they must understand and accept the fact that marriage involves a lot of work. Lazy people cannot get marry and expect their marriage to last or be fruitful. You don’t let love blind you and believe that he /she will change after the marriage. No, it doesn’t work like that as you can’t change your spouse. Rather learn to love his or her weakness and flaws. Never compare your marriage to that of your neighbor. Put in much effort to make it work.” – Single mum with one child, Accra   29432693 1311154909029112 1658296137230057472 o
 
“Marriage is for companionship whilst on a journey to build a family. Your partner becomes your friend and family whom you would raise your kids with. On that journey, there will be obstacles, challenges, good fortunes, mishap, joy, pain, ailments; there will be anything life can throw at you. If you don’t think you can be on that long journey with your partner, don’t say “I do”.  Once you say “I do,” be ready to endure everything with that life partner. To me, marriage is not such a big deal compared to the decision to get married to someone. Don’t go into that life long journey for experimentation because you would be causing harm not only to yourself,  but to the children, mothers, fathers, siblings and even friends. If you are married now, you need to believe your partner is just perfect for that “journey of creating family mission” and you would move together through it all together.” 29496565 1651230058246672 754380584381008492 n Another things is whom you share your challenges or experiences with. Remember, you have your own mind and you will make silly decisions sometimes so if you are acting on another person’s perceptions and thoughts now, be very careful. If you are religious, speak to your God and be rest assured that His will shall prevail for you. Try to talk to few trusted persons even if you MUST share with someone. Again, you have a mind of your own and a deeper understanding of your situations so try not to be misled, giving in to your gut feeling would give you calmness compared to adherence to an unsure advice. All the best on this journey of bitter sweet stuff in what we call marriage.” – Unmarried mother with one child, Accra
 
IMG 0112
 
“Differences in sexual libido; it’s a stereotype but not far off the mark. Most men want more sex than women and if couples have different levels of sexual libido, this can sometimes lead to problems in the relationship. Communication in this instance can be the very key in averting a partner cheating.” – Divorced father with children, Accra   29468186 1834474466595476 4834286081660682240 o
 
“Choose your battles carefully. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Learn to let go for the sake of peace. Endeavour to keep issues within! Try not share too much with others. Talk issues out and handover the baton of compromise in a fair manner. Every marriage has its own unique characteristics. One size does not fit all so learn not to compare and aspire to be like another.” – Single mother with one child,  Tema   IMG 0115
 
“Don’t entertain outsiders in your marriage. Treat your external family; that’s mum, dad, siblings separately with wisdom and treat your wife and kids the ways you want, not how someone else wants you to.” – Divorced mother with one child, Accra   IMG 0111
 
“Do not run to your mother to give her every detail about what goes on and what goes wrong with you and your spouse especially the men.  A lot of men discuss their wives issues with their mothers and sisters and even their friends. This is a real deal breaker when it comes to marriage. Don’t be a little boy trapped in an adult’s body. Your wife is human too so “communicate” with her rather than outsiders. I know your mother gave birth to you but everything has its limit. Let your wife be your best friend.” – Single mother with kids, Accra   29388313 1853710237972839 6471608622274052096 n
 
“House chores isn’t only made for women. Sometimes the man needs to help too. Imagine a working mum goes to work and comes back home to cook, take care of the kids only for the man to arrive home, sit, cross his legs and watch TV. Well, there’s nothing wrong with you watching TV but not its not okay when you can see that your woman needs help. That’s slavery.” – Unmarried mother, Accra   29366393 1833096866740326 3240910529316002523 n   “Marriage is a beautiful thing when done right. To the woman: Make sure you love this man enough that even when he wrongs you, you can find it in your heart to forgive him because you’ll encounter plenty of those moments. Marriage is not a bed of roses, it takes a lot of sacrifices, compromise, dedication to make it work. You can’t compare your marriage to anyone else’s because all that glitters is not gold, and until someone shares their inner secrets with you, don’t assume they have it all figured out. You must always bring something to the table. Have a career outside the marriage if your husband is okay with it and if he’s not, that’s a sign of an abuser and a control freak. You must have something going for you. It keeps you going, it eliminates the pressure having to depend on your husband for everything, it gives you a sense of control over your life and it earns you respect in the marriage. Don’t neglect your home, stay connected and show love at all times not just to your future kids but to your husband as well. Don’t make the kids your priority, your husband was there before they came and he’ll be there when they leave the house so invest time into each other so you don’t become strangers when the kids leave home. Learn to keep your own money based on whatever agreement you guys establish. Don’t waste money on unnecessary stuff and become an irresponsible mom and wife. 29432529 10156273220398624 2368990186789928960 n To the man: As the bible says, love your wife as Christ loved the church. Love conquers all. If you love your wife, you’ll support, cherish, protect, and take care of her. The house chores is not meant just for the woman. You have to help! The secret to getting your sexual needs met every time you want it is by giving her a hand to finish what has to be done and the rest of the time is golden! If you want a happy and healthy marriage, know that “yes honey”, “sorry baby” will end quarrels faster than any macho moves you’ve got. And always remember this phrase “happy wife, happy life!” What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” – Single mom with 2 kids, U.S.A   28827988 1854223207921542 3870342251670507580 o   “My dear woman just be submissive to your husband and let him love you.” – Single mum, Accra   29511155 10214624558388295 5144346449433067520 o
Single parents are not perfect but most are more passionate about being parents first and being single second.   29496149 395432114262947 606221379146772826 n Thanks for hearing our voices!   By Kwadjo Panyin & members of the single Ghanaian single moms & dads support group.]]>

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Meta’s AI AI machine translation research helps break language barriers

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Today, Meta announced that it has built and open sourced ‘No Language Left Behind’ NLLB-200, a single AI model that is the first to translate across 200 different languages, including 55 African languages with state-of-the-art results. Meta is using the modelling techniques and learnings from the project to improve and extend translations on Facebook, Instagram, and Wikipedia.

 

In an effort to develop high-quality machine translation capabilities for most of the world’s low-resource languages, this single AI model was designed with a focus on African languages. They are challenging from a machine translation perspective. AI models require lots and lots of data to help them learn, and there’s not a lot of human translated training data for these languages. For example, there’s more than 20M people who speak and write in Luganda but examples of this written language are extremely difficult to find on the internet.

 

We worked with professional translators for each of these languages to develop a reliable benchmark which can automatically assess translation quality for many low-resource languages. We also work with professional translators to do human evaluation too, meaning people who speak the languages natively evaluate what the AI produced. The reality is that a handful of languages dominate the web, so only a fraction of the world can access content and contribute to the web in their own language. We want to change this by creating more inclusive machine translations systems – ones that unlock access to the web for the more than 4B people around the world that are currently excluded because they do not speak one of the few languages content is available in.

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“It’s impressive how much AI is improving all of our services. We just open-sourced an AI model we built that can translate across 200 different languages — many of which aren’t supported by current translation systems. We call this project No Language Left Behind, and the AI modelling techniques we used are helping make high quality translations for languages spoken by billions of people around the world. To give a sense of the scale, the 200-language model has over 50 billion parameters, and we trained it using our new Research SuperCluster, which is one of the world’s fastest AI supercomputers. The advances here will enable more than 25 billion translations every day across our apps. Communicating across languages is one superpower that AI provides, but as we keep advancing our AI work it’s improving everything we do — from showing the most interesting content on Facebook and Instagram, to recommending more relevant ads, to keeping our services safe for everyone,” said Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a post on his Facebook profile.

 

Language is our culture, identity, and lifeline to the world. However, as high-quality translation tools don’t exist for hundreds of languages, billions of people today can’t access digital content or participate fully in conversations and communities online in their preferred or native languages. This is especially true for hundreds of millions of people who speak the many languages of Africa.

 

“Africa is a continent with very high linguistic diversity, and language barriers exist day to day. We are pleased to announce that 55 African languages will be included in this machine translation research, making it a major breakthrough for our continent,” Balkissa Ide Siddo, Public Policy Director for Africa said while speaking about the launch of the AI model. “In the future, imagine visiting your favourite Facebook group, coming across a post in Igbo or Luganda, and being able to understand it in your own language with just a click of a button – that’s where we hope research like this leads us. Highly accurate translations in more languages could also help to spot harmful content and misinformation, protect election integrity, and curb instances of online sexual exploitation and human trafficking.”

 

While commenting on accessibility and inclusion in the pursuit of building an equitable metaverse, Ide Siddo added “At Meta, we are working today to ensure that as many people as possible will be able to access the new educational, social and economic opportunities that the next evolution of the internet will bring to future technology and an everyday living experience tomorrow.”

 

To confirm that the translations are high quality, Meta also created a new evaluation dataset, FLORES-200, and measured NLLB-200’s performance in each language. Results revealed that NLLB-200 exceeds the previous state of the art by an average of 44 percent.

 

Meta is also open-sourcing the NLLB-200 model and publishing a slew of research tools to enable other researchers to extend this work to more languages and build more inclusive technologies. Meta AI is also providing up to $200,000 of grants to non-profit organizations for real world applications for NLLB-200.

 

There are versions of Wikipedia in more than 300 languages, but most have far fewer articles than the 6+ million available in English. Following Meta’s partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that hosts Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects, modelling  techniques and learnings from the NLLB research are now also being applied to translation systems used by Wikipedia editors. Using the Wikimedia Foundation’s Content Translation Tool, articles can now be easily translated in more than 20 low-resource languages (those that don’t have extensive datasets to train AI systems), including 10 that previously were not supported by any machine translation tools on the platform.

 

To explore a demo of NLLB-200 showing how the model can translate stories from around the world, visit here. You can also read the research paper here.

 

 

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