Monday, September 7, 2009
The type that is hard-earned and touches down on the runway of your soul after the long, painful trials and tribulations.
Thursday continued the Blessings ... I met with our advisor, Mr. Adu-Asare at my father's office premises (Abba Scientific Promotions - Janssen-Cilag) in the morning, to discuss ways of getting more Ghanaian energy institutions to get onto our platform. Being one of the pioneers in Ghana to go into RETs (Renewable Energy Technologies) as well as Sustainable Development (Waste & Recycling), we have no predecessors that i know off ... so we are having to prove ourselves SERIOUSLY to these Solar and Energy institutions before they agree to partner with us on this campaign.
Out of sheer irritation, I sometimes mumble how I'll just plod along without them ... but for the sake of the Ghanaian I am trying to save and give a better life to ... I simply must get these insitutions on board - be they ready or not! Now ... we have started making them deals they cannot refuse; deals that demand a lot of ground-breaking work from us, but that will ensure that the partnership does pull through ... and it will!
You know I don't give up!
So Adu-Asare gave me some pointers on how to approach these institutions and the best angle from which they could partner us (as in what they do best within the RETs industry).
By the end of the meeting, he had led us to the leading Biogas expert in Africa (yep! a Ghanaian), a lady with a PhD in Impact Assessment, the Chairman of one of our Energy 'giants" in Ghana, and the Managers of Lighting Africa Project (International Finance Corporation, Ghana).
After this, I sped off for Mercy's office. We had a meeting with Reggie Rockstone at 7 pm, and I needed to touch base with Mercy before we got there.
Things went well, and Reggie got us all over the ground with laughter with his witty "waste" rap statements. He was a natural ... and we had a fabulous hour going over the way the day would go.
Basically, he said he loved the Greenfoot Campaign so much he would host the entire Fair. Since he does everything with people at heart, he went further to insist that he would enjoy things much better if he were to get on the grounds early enough to mingle with the crowd before starting his music programme.
Now, what we both felt was phenomenal about Reggie accepting to be Ghana's Green Energy Icon (courtesy ESF of course! lol) was that he instantly brought up the need for an INTERACTIVE music show that had the audience coming on stage to do their own thing ... under the topic of Ghana going GREEN! And also to make as much use of him as they had the opportunity to ... (what could be this fantastic?)
Hence the tagline we now use : Reggie's 'Take the Mic' interactive music programme.
We left LOL-ing all the way home ... tired and wilted like old cabbage, but happy.
Friday morning, I leapt out of bed, and hit the ground running. Practically had to tie my son on my back to get through the chores as quickly as possible .... why?
We had a meeting with Lighting Africa (IFC) at 11 am, and being so far out of Accra, I needed to rush out of the house. Finally got out in time, with seconds to spare ... and made it just in time.
Sitting back now, I feel like ... girl, if you knew, you wouldnt have bothered so much. lol You see ... we met with a dismissive attitude that came with these themes:
start-ups like yourselves ought not raise yourselves above certain stations
you are too young to have the kind of capabilities that impress me/us
you are giving a good fight in this debate, but i will keep dismissing all of them. Perhaps that will frustrate you enough to get you gone
are you an advertising agency - that you should be creating awareness and bridging the gap between needy groups and supplier, etc?
how the .... do you and us fit? or exist on the same level? How come you see us as sharing similarities?
blah blah blah ... we can't hear you! (can't these girls just give up and go away before our semi-polite hints of "Get out of here" get really rude?)
Of the one hour presentation-debate-self defense we had at Lighting Africa(IFC), these were the distinct semi-verbalised come-backs from the gentlemen we so kindly met.
We left with a promise to forward a proposal to them for a clearer picture, and with the assurance that we have gotten to know them better ... but not at all disappointed that their concluding 'encouragement' to us was "You are young girls ... focus on one thing, and AMA and Government has not even made an impression on this situation, so don't take huge bites ... you are still young...)".
I was mostly indifferent to this experience, though I made it a point to learn as much from their argument as possible ... who blames them, we ARE young! And that is the joy of it ... taking opportunity of the now!
After this, we spent the next 6 hours making photocpies of the fliers we had designed, flirting with the cutter-guy to get him to cut most of them (200 papers) up for us very quickly, and happily distributing them around.
So from Tudon (where we did the photopcoies - Circle Overhead), we strolled up towards SG-SSB. We had fliers for the Sports Competitions and fliers for acquiring fair stands or setting up ads on the field for the day.
We met a nicely dressed young man from Ecobank, shaking his buns in his spiffy trousers (:-)) and gave him some. He was nice about it. We went up to the Challenge bookshop (gave some to the attendant inside, and went in to hand some over to the General Manager. He was also nice about it). Then we went to ATTC, but unfortunately they had not yet re-opened school, so we gave the lady there a flier for the fair stands.
We then went on to the shops and businesses along that road - one Health Products shop, 2 bespoke fashion wear shops, Bayport Financial Institution (since it was Friday and the payday of the month, the SEVERAL fit, young Bayport men hanging out in front of the office were their flirty best) where we got a lot of happy young men to take our fliers .... promising to come only because our chests looked promising, and they wanted to get the names that went along with those juicy melons (we insisted we would only divulge our names on the day of the fair)!
We went on for about another half kilometre, towards Joy FM premises, where we finally gave up on our tired legs, and I jumped into a ride and headed on home, while Mercy strolled on home (just 5 minutes away, lucky her!)
Got home at 7.30 pm ... another day hard at it ... when Mercy called with unpleasant news: Joy Fm had confirmed they wouldnt sponsor us on the publicity ... the best they could do was let us pay 50%.
But for services of which the least (of a meaningful publicity package) cost about GH 3000 cedis ... neither myself nor Mercy were in the position to pay 50% of such a cost ... we have already sunk in GH3500 of our personal monies so far ... we have no more.
So today ... I sit and keep the faith. More things came up on a positive note, and I will share that on the next post.For now, at least, we know that the day will be packed ... we just need to make sure it goes well, and all sides are satisfied : Fair stand owners get a crowd to patronise them ... and crowd gets enough activity and services to make the trip worthwhile ...