Categories
Personal Development

MOOC 13 is Just Around the Corner!

One of the earliest post on this blog was my triumph with the Introduction to Digital Currencies MOOC by the University of Nicosia.

I was in MOOC 12. Yesterday, I got an email that MOOC 13 would be starting on Monday the 20th of January.

If you are interested, you can sign up here.

Once you sign up, you will get a call from Cyprus probably within the week if they haven’t changed their policy.

Being Nigerian, at the time, that was jarring.

Once you decide on this path, prepare for 3 months of intensive study.

You can read about my experiences here.

Categories
Uncategorized

Negative People

This is a story I will keep telling forever.

When I was in University, most likely 1st or 2nd year, I wanted to participate in the First Bank annual undergraduate essay competition.

The theme for that year was privatization. It was the Atiku days of privatization.

I had read quite a lot on privatization even before the essay. I got more books and started writing. It was flowing and I was looking forward to a good submission.

Until one day, one of my dad’s friends showed up. He asked what I was busy with?

With great enthusiasm, I told him about the competition.

He laughed and said that such competitions from banks are targeted at Finance and Economics undergraduates.

I was studying for a BSc in Mathematics in Ife. He discouraged me totally. I immediately stopped writing.

Fast forward a few months later, the winners were announced.

The top prize winner was an Engineering undergraduate.

I almost became depressed.

But it taught me a great lesson about negative people. I stopped listening to people who say it is not possible.

It was later I realized that the same man was the reason my dad bought a black/white TV in those days and not a Colour TV.

Reason? He said Colour TVs spoil often.

He also discouraged him from buying land in the early 80s because of Omo Onile (Local Gangsters).

Such people exist everywhere around you.

Once you spot them, run!

There will always be good counsellors who will give you great advice.

You will know if you can calm down.

Again, run from negative people who never see good in anything. They will cost you.

Story
Ayobami Oladejo on Twitter

Featured Image
Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash

Categories
Drawing Adinkra Symbols using Python

Drawing Adinkra Symbols using Python – Introduction

I was privileged to live in Ghana for 15 months of my life. All around me I would see these symbols which I didn’t know what they meant and one day I would ask my Ghanaian friends their meaning.

What would follow would be an exposition into the heart of Ghanaian culture. Sadly, that culture is dying. This isn’t just true for Ghanaian culture but African culture in general.

The reason I believe is that at present, our culture contributes nothing meaningful to our lives. What’s the use of culture if you can’t feed yourself. Sadly, everywhere you look, Africans are at the bottom of the totem pole.

Yet, that culture is relevant to today’s realities. I am a graduate of Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos and I would say that my understanding of my culture was made more meaningful to me from my studies.

There are many forms of power in this world. The strongest of which is identity. When you know who you are, you will reject anything else and the world will either conform to you or eliminate you but while you live, you will dictate your terms.

I am an Esan man from Edo state in Nigeria. A descendant of the last men to surrender to the British in the Southern Protectorate that would later become Nigeria.

Knowing this, I expect myself to lead and on the hard days, I remind myself of who I am.

That is the strength an identity gives you. Why African culture doesn’t do the same is simply because we have never sought to truly understand it.

Most of what we call culture in Africa is dogma. Whenever you ask the practitioners the reasons for some cultural belief, there is no explanation other than: “It’s our culture”.

Such an approach repels most people who only see the rites but cannot connect to their meaning. Rather than acceptance, such an attitude breads contempt.

I only got to learn about the Adinkra symbols because the Ghanaians were open about it. If my friends had kept quiet, I would never have discovered the beauty, minimalism and symmetry of the Adinkra symbols.

This series “Drawing Adinkra Symbols using Python” will look at 40 Adinkra symbols and my attempt to draw them using the Python programming language. It is a rewrite of a series on my old blog.

I will be using Python 3. In the old blog, I created the code using Python 2. I intend to optimize the code as much as I can.

For a quick introduction to the Python programming language, please check out my fifth book: “Learn Python In One Week“.

I will be drawing 40 symbols in all. This symbols are the easiest to draw because they are made up of lines and circular curves.

Using Turtle Graphics

Before we can draw the symbols satisfactorily, we need to use a grid to analyse the symbols.

A grid will be drawn over the images of the symbols and we will be attempt to reproduce the image on our own grid.

The base images are 200 X 200 pixels. I will be drawing on a grid of 400 X 400 pixels.

The commands we will be using are:
1. import turtle
2. turtle.penup()
3. turtle.setposition(x coordinate, y coordinate)
4. turtle.pendown()
5. turtle.forward()
6. turtle.right(degree)
7. turtle.left(degree)

Please check out the Python documentation if you need to know the meaning of the commands.

The source file should be saved as template.py because we will use this file to draw the other symbols.

The code is shown below:

"""
Project Name: Drawing Adinkra Symbols using Python
Developer Name: Truston Ailende
Email Address: trustonailende@gmail.com
"""
import turtle
import math

# Square
def drawSquare(length):
    turtle.penup()
    turtle.setposition(-length/2.0, length/2.0)
    turtle.pendown()
    for i in range(0, 4):
        turtle.forward(length)
        turtle.right(90)
    turtle.penup()
    turtle.home()

# Horizontal lines
def drawHorizontalLine(length, division):
    pixelSpace = int(length / division)
    half = int(length / 2)
    for j in range((-half + pixelSpace), half, pixelSpace):
        turtle.penup()
        turtle.setposition(-half, j)
        turtle.pendown()
        turtle.forward(length)
    turtle.penup()
    turtle.home()

# Vertical lines
def drawVerticalLine(length, division):
    pixelSpace = int(length / division)
    half = int(length / 2)
    turtle.right(90)
    for k in range((-half + pixelSpace), half, pixelSpace):
        turtle.penup()
        turtle.setposition(k, half)
        turtle.pendown()
        turtle.forward(length)
    turtle.penup()
    turtle.home()

# Draw the grid
turtle.speed(1000000)
drawSquare(400)
drawHorizontalLine(400, 40)
drawVerticalLine(400, 40)

# Change the colour mode
turtle.colormode(255)

# Change the pencolor to red
turtle.pencolor(255, 0, 0)

# Draw the horizontal centre line
turtle.setposition(-200, 0)
turtle.pendown()
turtle.forward(400)
turtle.penup()

# Draw the vertical centre line
turtle.setposition(0, 200)
turtle.setheading(270)
turtle.pendown()
turtle.forward(400)

# Reset all the properties
turtle.home()
turtle.pencolor(0, 0, 0)

# Place code here

# End the program
turtle.done()

Check out the GitHub repository for all the code for this series.

The code shown above creates a grid of 400 X 400 pixels and resets the turtle to be at the origin of the window when the program finishes running.

The generated image is shown below:

Grid to Draw Adinkra Symbols

Where Can They Be Found?

Adinkra Symbols are ubiquitous in Ghana, a beautiful West African country on the Atlantic, situated between Cote d’Ivoire and Togo.

On cloth and walls, in pottery and logos, these Asante tribe symbols can be found everywhere.

I would first notice them in a church.

Summary

This post has introduced the series “Drawing Adinkra Symbols using Python” which has the aim to draw 40 Adinkra symbols using the Python programming language.

There are a large number of Adinkra symbols but 40 were chosen because the are the easiest to analyse and draw.

Each of the motifs that make up the corpus of Adinkra symbolism has a name and meaning derived either from a proverb, an historical event, human attitude, animal behaviour, plant life, forms and shapes of inanimate and man-made objects.

There are evocative messages in them that carry traditional wisdom. The beliefs, history, and philosophy of the Akan people is also represented by them.

They are still relevant because the corpus of symbols covers all aspects of life in terms of values and the collective knowledge of a people that has been handed over from antiquity.

Support this Series

Using the Adinkra symbols, I created the Adinkra Notebooks Collection.

You can support this series by buying one of them.

Categories
Words on Marble

Our Consiousness

We have no claws,
We have no fangs,
Our weight is negligible
And so is our strength,
We cannot run as fast
Or climb as high,
We carry no poison,
We do not blend into the environment,
Neither do we fly,
Our hide is fragile.
All we have is our consciousness,
Our most precious gift.

Poem By
OkKevwe on Twitter

Featured Image Credits
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Categories
Uncategorized

The Year Ahead 2020

Introduction

Welcome to a New Year!

With most of December fading away, a New Year can finally begin.

In this post, I intend to look at happenings in the country as they occurred this week.

One thing last year showed was that bad governance will kill everyone.

Without much ado, here is what went down in Nigeria in the past week.

JAMB Registration

I sincerely believe that in 2020 it is possible to design processes and systems without the need to “See Somebody”.

Sadly, the nature of government agencies in Nigeria make processes unusually harder than they need to be.

It’s like Nigerians want to win the “Sufferhead Olympics”.

For some reason, JAMB made the use of the National Identification Number compulsory for the examination.

The result of this policy is shown below:

JAMB Candidates at NIMC office. Image Courtesy of the Punch Newspapers

In the resulting chaos at the NIMC offices around the country, people started bribing the security agents to allow them in.

That is the effect of badly designed systems. When they break as they often will, you need human interference to keep them working.

Instead of the government asking the banks to handle this process, they insisted on creating bottlenecks for corruption to thrive.

A sad reminder that in Rwanda all processes are digital. They have a system called IremboGov which is a portal for all government processes.

When the clamor got too much, JAMB would rescind the decision making all the stress for nothing.

Increase in Electricity Tariffs

When I wrote my Top 10 Predictions for 2020, I frankly expected that taxation and inflation would increase.

However, I didn’t see why electricity tariffs would increase for electricity.

Word on the streets is that NERC has approved increase in electricity tariffs.

The comic below is from the Punch Newspaper:

A cartoon on the NERC increase in Electricity Tariffs

Regardless of the measures put in place, service delivery will not improve.

I have no confidence in the ability of the current administration to deliver on this.

Loan to Deposit Ratio at 65%

To stimulate growth in the economy, the CBN increased the Loan to Deposit Ratio to 65%.

Banks have been fined for failing to meet this ratio.

Personally, I won’t borrow money from a bank to invest in this economy.

Conclusion

As the year gets into full swing, I would advice everyone reading this blog to refrain from investing in the Nigerian economy.

You can send your funds offshore.

Policies are now implemented in Nigeria with no thought as to their consequences.

Such a system of governance makes political uncertainty a reality.

Do have a great week.

Bad governance will kill everyone.