Speak Magazine

Death by numbers

By: Carolyn Thompson and John Van Dusen ACCRA – More Ghanaians die from diseases related to diarrhea than any other cause of death,..

January 15, 2014 with 0 Comments

Crooked scales

By: Carolyn Thompson and John Van Dusen ANKASA – Ghana’s cocoa farmers say purchasers are stealing from them using improperly..

January 14, 2014 with 1 Comment

Whale carcasses washing up in droves

A growing number of decomposing whale carcasses are washing up along the shores of Ghana. Since August, ten whales have been spotted. That..

December 14, 2013 with 0 Comments

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On Tuesday, the world celebrates Human Rights Day, and the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Click here to see..

December 9, 2013 with 0 Comments

Cost of living in Ghana

December 3, 2013 with 0 Comments

Tracking Ghana’s media

By: John Van Dusen ACCRA — Ghana’s media landscape is a shell of its former self. Twenty years ago there were only a handful of..

December 2, 2013 with 0 Comments

Naval death reinforces need for safety policy

By: Carolyn Thompson ACCRA – A naval worker whose life jacket malfunctioned was swept away by strong currents after the life boat he..

November 14, 2013 with 0 Comments

Ford Nation making waves an ocean away

ACCRA – On a crammed minibus in downtown Accra, a radio announcer is reading a newscast in Twi, one of the local languages in Ghana,..

November 5, 2013 with 0 Comments

The art of poverty

By: Carolyn Thompson ACCRA, Ghana – In a working class neighbourhood where open sewers reek of feces and vendors sit on rickety stools..

October 24, 2013 with 0 Comments

Awoonor’s cultural legacy

By Carolyn Thompson ACCRA – Dozens of women in red and black dresses stream through the aisles, with small candles atop their heads..

October 15, 2013 with 0 Comments

Beyond the 9 to 5 in an informal economy

By: Carolyn Thompson ACCRA – The trotro was full but I didn’t want to wait. It can take half an hour for the minibuses to fill up..

October 15, 2013 with 0 Comments

Human rights activists in Tanzania fight to abolish death penalty

By: Roohi Sahajpal DAR ES SALAAM – Today, human rights activists around the world commemorate the 11th annual World Day Against the..

October 10, 2013 with 0 Comments

A safe home for abused Tanzanian girls

By Adam Bemma ARUSHA, Tanzania – Welcome to Pippi House. Karibu sana. Please feel at home. This is Tanzania’s only safe house for..

September 20, 2013 with 0 Comments

Tackling Development in Tanzania

by Adam Bemma ARUSHA, Tanzania — As a boy growing up in Tanzania, Juma Kittyler never gave the game of rugby much thought. In fact,..

September 16, 2013 with 0 Comments

St Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes

By Adam Bemma ARUSHA, Tanzania – Every Monday morning as the sun rises, 8-year-old Kelvin Mushi wakes up and puts on his neatly-pressed..

September 12, 2013 with 0 Comments

Hyena Ground

by Terri Fikowski I’d seen poverty in my first few weeks in Africa.  I mean, who wouldn’t expect to witness some form of..

June 3, 2013 with 0 Comments

Pharmacist strike hurts aids patients

By: Abby Wiseman HIV patients line the hallway of the Fevers Unit Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. They wait for hours for their name..

June 3, 2013 with 0 Comments

Living on Abokobi’s illegal landfill

  By Abby Wiseman Adelaide pulls out one of her large lactating breasts and plunks it into the mouth of her 10 month old baby while..

June 3, 2013 with 0 Comments

A modern day Mother Teresa: Tanzania’s Sister Martha

By Adam Bemma ARUSHA, Tanzania – Meet Martha Mganga. She’s a 50-year-old Tanzanian woman with albinism. She’s not afraid to use..

May 21, 2013 with 2 Comments

World Press Freedom Day in Tanzania

Every May 3, journalists, activists and media organizations in developing countries around the world acknowledge the importance of World..

May 6, 2013 with 1 Comment

False promises of Liberian gold

Gbessey Musa is a long way from home. Three years ago, he left Sierra Leone in search of a job that could provide for his family. Chasing..

September 23, 2012 with 0 Comments

Riding Towards Sustainable Development

In a country burgeoning with traffic congestion, increasing economic growth, and a stark urban-rural divide, Ghana’s Bamboo Bikes..

August 23, 2012 with 0 Comments

Rain in Liberia and how weather becomes an issue of health, and even life or death

Living in Liberia through the country’s wet season, I find myself nostalgic for the relatively dry climate of Vancouver. To witness a..

August 14, 2012 with 0 Comments

Breaking News, Breaking Hearts: How Ghanaian Media Handles Tragedy

Journalists make the news. They find the issues, gather the reports, and tell the stories. But how they do this can have a lasting impact..

July 25, 2012 with 0 Comments

No faith in science: a Homo sapien rights issue?

Evolution is accepted by 97 percent of scientists in the United States but by only 61 percent of the public, according to the Pew Research..

July 25, 2012 with 0 Comments

Polio effects linger in Ghana despite vaccines

When Maclean Atsu Dzidzienyo contracted polio as a nine-year-old, his symptoms worsened to the point where his nerves were affected and his..

July 22, 2012 with 0 Comments

Day Cares and Dump Sites: Sanitation Problems in Kumasi

This week, my colleagues and I decided to examine urban sanitation and the associated health issues for Ultimate Radio’s Morning Show. We..

July 20, 2012 with 0 Comments

When Household Chores become Human Rights Abuses

At eleven years old, Thema, a native of Kumasi, hopes to be a nurse when she grows up. Currently, however, she is employed wandering..

July 13, 2012 with 0 Comments

Searching for the man with biscuits

“This man continued giving us biscuits and bananas every day for close to two weeks. So it’s like he used that way to drag so many..

July 9, 2012 with 0 Comments

Finding Accountability for Vehicle Safety

  Last weekend, on a mission to buy a pineapple, some friends and I walked to the “Amakom traffic lights” – a major intersection..

July 3, 2012 with 0 Comments

Secret Women

In Chichewa, the widely-spoken language of southern Malawi, being pregnant or “kunkhala ndi pakati” translates to being in the middle..

June 29, 2012

Take it slow, my Canadian friend.

I’ll never forget my first day in a Malawian newsroom. I came in eager, ready to utilize countless hours of preparation and training done..

June 28, 2012 with 0 Comments

Poverty prevents some Ghanaians from seeking education

Very little light illuminates the abandoned railway line that cuts down the center of the squatter community of Kejetia. The large field..

June 27, 2012 with 0 Comments

This land is your land, this land is my land

Some men wore fitted suits. Others were dressed in traditional kente clothing. The event started an hour and a half after its scheduled..

June 26, 2012 with 0 Comments

Revamping the Malawi Police Service

“I was detained, in jail for 7 days for no reason,” said Comfort Chitseko, who was arrested by Malawi police in October for allegedly..

June 26, 2012

Mob justice in Northern Ghana

Northern Ghana is a powder keg, waiting for a fuse. Whether it’s a dispute over the enskinment of a chief or over a bad left turn in..

June 23, 2012 with 1 Comment

“Mind the gap” – The crippling impact of HIV/AIDS on family composition and elderly Malawians

The old “respect your elders” adage has customarily been an important part of Malawian culture, with the elderly able to depend on the..

June 22, 2012 with 0 Comments

When beggars should be choosers – How the promise of remuneration is heading off freedom of movement and free choice of employment in Malawi

Not long after cutting their teeth, North American children are encouraged to call forward their dreams and consider the question, “What..

June 17, 2012

Driving change in Malawi – Signposts and speed bumps on the road to gender equality

With two hands gripping the steering wheel and the right turn signal flashing, 21-year-old Vanessa Nsona’s concentration does not waver..

June 15, 2012 with 1 Comment

Radio empowers youth in northern Ghana

“My studio is so full you could bake a loaf of bread with the heat,” says Awonatey Hippolite, the exuberant host of Voice of the Youth,..

June 11, 2012 with 0 Comments

Repatriating Ghana’s “Witches”

Ghanaian witch camps are a cultural phenomenon I have yet to fully experience and understand. Although I have read much about them and..

June 4, 2012 with 0 Comments

“Meating” halfway – The growing importance of soy in Malawi

Skewered meat sizzles on kickstand grills along the main M1 highway, a whole pig is slaughtered in an open-air butcher’s market shack, a..

June 2, 2012 with 0 Comments

"Meating" halfway – The growing importance of soy in Malawi

Skewered meat sizzles on kickstand grills along the main M1 highway, a whole pig is slaughtered in an open-air butcher’s market shack, a..

June 2, 2012 with 0 Comments

Remodel to rehabilitate – The need for mental health aftercare and rehabilitation treatment in Malawi

A build or remodel is not typically what the doctor ordered to stave off chronic stress and depression; the process risks construction..

June 1, 2012 with 0 Comments

Understanding the link between gender and climate change

When I met 16-year-old Chikondi Phiri, she was struggling to lift a weighty load of firewood on top of her head. I offered her a helping..

May 29, 2012 with 0 Comments

Ghanaian journalist lectures JHR chapter about rights media

On May 19, the JHR chapter at Tamale’s International Institute of Journalism hosted a community forum about witchcamps. Among the..

May 23, 2012 with 0 Comments

Ghana makes inroads against child mortality

Ghana has taken a major step toward reducing its under under-five mortality rate with the introduction of two new vaccines for rotavirus..

May 17, 2012 with 0 Comments

Barriers to mental healthcare in Ghana's Northern Region

Mami Sandow started hearing voices when she was nine years old. “She used to roam, talking anyhow, climbing some kind of trees,..

May 15, 2012 with 0 Comments

Barriers to mental healthcare in Ghana’s Northern Region

Mami Sandow started hearing voices when she was nine years old. “She used to roam, talking anyhow, climbing some kind of trees,..

May 15, 2012 with 0 Comments

How Malawi will remember late president Bingu Wa Mutharika

The flag flies at half mast outside Malawi’s parliament building where thousands of civilians have braved long line-ups in smoldering hot..

May 15, 2012 with 0 Comments

Children in Malawi run away due to lack of food

Co-written with Sibongele Zgambo from Zodiak Broadcasting Station  Its 10 p.m. in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, and the nighttime vultures..

May 15, 2012 with 0 Comments

Malawi’s fisherman more likely to catch HIV: Reports

Ronald Gomo, 37, is a fisherman who would rather live alone than associate with the other fishermen who reside on the shorelines of..

May 15, 2012 with 0 Comments

Ghana’s prisons: ‘universities of crime’

Thanks to poor conditions, and a focus on punishment instead of rehabilitation, Ghana’s prisons have become “universities of crime,”..

May 9, 2012 with 0 Comments

Ghana's prisons: 'universities of crime'

Thanks to poor conditions, and a focus on punishment instead of rehabilitation, Ghana’s prisons have become “universities of crime,”..

May 9, 2012 with 1 Comment

Malawi recognizes World Malaria Day

It’s April 25 and 12 year old Blessings Phiri traveled, by foot for hours from his village to sit in the waiting room of Kamuzu Central..

May 8, 2012 with 0 Comments

The future of press freedom in Malawi

Joyce Banda was sworn in as Malawi’s newest president on April 7 under the terms of the constitution, following two days of political..

May 7, 2012 with 0 Comments

World Press Freedom Day event reveals media freedom in Malawi has a new landscape

Media freedom in Malawi has been commonly deplored, but amidst the political transition that brought Malawi its first female head of state..

May 5, 2012 with 0 Comments

Ghanaian police covers up child abuse, says legal expert

A child abuse case is being covered up by Tamale’s Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DVVSU), a Ghanaian legal expert says...

April 25, 2012 with 0 Comments

Rural Malawi’s inaccessibility to oral healthcare

Isaac Muralaudira is 8 years old and has never visited a dentist. He suffers from periodontal disease and tooth decay. “His gums are..

April 25, 2012 with 1 Comment

African women in media: Making waves in radio

“Mostly ladies are known to be shy … [too] shy to talk in public.” This is a strange declaration from Bridget Nambah, a DJ and..

April 23, 2012 with 0 Comments

Money lending sparks new-found rights for women in Malawi

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but in Nkalo village it grows near one. In the centre of the village a tree has become the site of new..

April 16, 2012 with 0 Comments

"You are doing great job" : feedback from stakeholder in Tamale

“How long we waiting?”, Lucy asks, as we sit under a small mango tree. We are sitting outside the Cienfuegos Suglo Specialist Hospital,..

April 16, 2012 with 0 Comments

“You are doing great job” : feedback from stakeholder in Tamale

“How long we waiting?”, Lucy asks, as we sit under a small mango tree. We are sitting outside the Cienfuegos Suglo Specialist Hospital,..

April 16, 2012 with 0 Comments

Health Services Workers Union makes inroads in Ghana

In Ghana fewer than 10 per cent of workers belong to a trade union. While the minimum wage has almost doubled since 2008, at 4.48 Ghana..

April 15, 2012 with 0 Comments

Exploitation of Malawi’s tobacco tenants

Eletina Mwale has worked on several tobacco estates since 1985. Currently, she works on a tobacco farm in Salima, Malawi. “I have been in..

March 27, 2012 with 0 Comments

Victims of Malawi’s bloody protest speak

July 21, 2011 was an unruly day in Lumbadzi, Malawi – a violent protest paraded through the streets. While some citizens were using the..

March 23, 2012 with 0 Comments

The children of Zion Bata

The children of Kachitsa Village, a small village of 1,000 in the northern outskirts of Lilongwe, Malawi, are adamant about their religious..

March 20, 2012 with 0 Comments

Radio waves inspire change in Malawi

Violet Banda is not your average 21-year-old. A poised, confident and outspoken child rights activist, Banda personifies the power of radio..

March 20, 2012 with 0 Comments

In Malawi when ‘Life’ gets tough, it gets banned

Saturday night in Blantyre and the drinks are flowing at Mustang Sally’s, a fluorescent bar with a swimming pool centerpiece frequented..

March 9, 2012 with 0 Comments

In Malawi when 'Life' gets tough, it gets banned

Saturday night in Blantyre and the drinks are flowing at Mustang Sally’s, a fluorescent bar with a swimming pool centerpiece frequented..

March 9, 2012 with 0 Comments

Kidney disease: a ‘silent killer’ in Ghana

He says he feels weak. Plastic tubes protrude from his arms and connect to a rectangular machine next to his bed. They are coloured crimson..

March 9, 2012 with 0 Comments

Kidney disease: a 'silent killer' in Ghana

He says he feels weak. Plastic tubes protrude from his arms and connect to a rectangular machine next to his bed. They are coloured crimson..

March 9, 2012 with 0 Comments

Collateral damage: Police report policy delays treatment for accident victims in Malawian emergency rooms

You’ve been in an accident in Malawi – where do you go?  If you said the emergency department you could be wrong. A few months ago my..

March 4, 2012 with 1 Comment

Hacks versus flacks: Ghana edition

“You want me to do what? You want a copy of all my questions?” It’s the third time today I have spoken with Gabriel Nii..

March 1, 2012 with 2 Comments

Teachers in over crowded schools on strike for unpaid ‘double-shift’ wages

LILONGWE, Malawi – Primary schools in Lilongwe are over their capacity. There are not enough classrooms to seat 8,000 or more students..

February 13, 2012 with 0 Comments

Not skirting around the issue: Malawian women take on gender norms

Three thousand women were leaping out of their seats and waving their hands in the air amidst a chorus of cheers. A continuous line of..

February 7, 2012 with 0 Comments

Justice Adjourned

As the first-ever judiciary strike in Malawi enters its fourth week, the doors to over 200 courts remain closed and justice has generally..

February 6, 2012 with 0 Comments

The street vendor’s motto: “Freedom is bought by blood”

Lilongwe street vendors have been headlining Malawi media for quite some time and it doesn’t look like their name will be out of the news..

February 5, 2012 with 1 Comment

Developing energy-saving lights and solar lights to improve standard of living in Malawi’s cities and rural areas

“The lights are back on? Lets celebrate!” It’s become the common expression for us after moving to Malawi a couple of weeks ago...

February 3, 2012 with 0 Comments

“It’s God’s will” isn't good enough

The electricity had been out for 24 hours where I was staying in Namiwawa, Blantyre, either due to the heavy seasonal rains or the theft of..

January 23, 2012 with 0 Comments

“It’s God’s will” isn’t good enough

The electricity had been out for 24 hours where I was staying in Namiwawa, Blantyre, either due to the heavy seasonal rains or the theft of..

January 23, 2012 with 0 Comments

Vigilantism and the right to security

If all goes well, the justice system within a democracy goes like so: A crime is committed. The criminal is reprimanded. The authorities..

December 23, 2011 with 0 Comments

Grade ‘A’ Empowerment

In June 2009, Accra High School partnered with Amnesty International (AI) for an initiative called the ‘Human Rights Friendly School..

December 5, 2011 with 0 Comments

It takes a village to raise a child… plus foreign aid and government support, of course

The tattoo on sixteen-year-old Halima Bintu’s forearm is faded but you can still see the scars. The thin crooked letters engraved across..

December 4, 2011 with 0 Comments

The thing about microphones

Here’s the thing about microphones: Stick one in front of a fool, and he just gets louder. Unfortunately, you can’t really blame him,..

November 28, 2011 with 0 Comments

French sanctions driving Mali’s tourism industry down the drain

The debate raged on about Mali. To go or not to go. West Africa’s tourism hotspot was calling me, but I couldn’t ignore the..

November 23, 2011 with 0 Comments

French sanctions driving Mali's tourism industry down the drain

The debate raged on about Mali. To go or not to go. West Africa’s tourism hotspot was calling me, but I couldn’t ignore the..

November 23, 2011 with 0 Comments

Open Letter to Sobbing Beggar Child

Please, for the purposes of smooth narration, allow me to lump you in with all the others: short and scruffy street brats, dirt-faced and..

November 16, 2011 with 0 Comments

No Country for Old Women

Rush hour in Accra: It’s where meticulous, Ghanaian refinement goes to die. You see adults, grown men and women in formal wear, hurl..

October 30, 2011 with 0 Comments

Ghana’s youth leaders urged to resist inciting violence during 2012 election

Ghana has long been regarded as a beacon of hope in West Africa and the world will be watching in 2012 when it will mark its 20th..

October 27, 2011 with 0 Comments

Ghana's youth leaders urged to resist inciting violence during 2012 election

Ghana has long been regarded as a beacon of hope in West Africa and the world will be watching in 2012 when it will mark its 20th..

October 27, 2011 with 0 Comments

‘Yesterday was an historic day’

A neighbour stopped me on my way to work. “Hello?” she called out. “Hello?” It was October 21, one day after Colonel Muammar..

October 24, 2011 with 0 Comments

'Yesterday was an historic day'

A neighbour stopped me on my way to work. “Hello?” she called out. “Hello?” It was October 21, one day after Colonel Muammar..

October 24, 2011 with 0 Comments

What to do about Ghana’s witch camps?

The hundreds of women and few men who populate the camps sprinkled throughout Ghana’s Northern region have been branded witches by..

October 22, 2011 with 0 Comments

What to do about Ghana's witch camps?

The hundreds of women and few men who populate the camps sprinkled throughout Ghana’s Northern region have been branded witches by..

October 22, 2011 with 0 Comments

Human Rights from an African Perspective

The first time someone told me that I need to start understanding “human rights from an African perspective”, I’ll admit, I was taken..

October 22, 2011 with 0 Comments

Social Media and the Power to Create Change In Ghana

“We live in a global society. Whether we like it or not, we’re connected. “ Michelle Newlands – a Canadian intern working for..

October 20, 2011 with 0 Comments

Finding God In Ghana

I was already sweating as I darted through the path of cars and tro-tros whizzing down Labadi Beach Road. I was in an appreciative mood..

October 20, 2011 with 0 Comments

International Mental Health Day: Rewind. Repeat. Play. Stop.

Last week, Ghana commemorated International Mental Health day on October 10th. By the close of the day, parade floats that had been driven..

October 18, 2011 with 0 Comments
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Welcome to Speak!

Speak is an online magazine that publishes and discusses rights media pieces. Rights Media is the process of writing, collecting, editing, producing and distributing media that creates societal dialogue on human rights issues. Speak magazine mainstreams human rights issues through, progressive, balanced and objective reporting into everyday news stories.

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