Friday, July 13, 2018
A few days ago I made a thread on Twitter about Government's new tax relief for young entrepreneurs. It got a whole lot of people interested. Some even said it was too good to be true but ladies and gentlemen I'm here to let you know that it's very true and is easier than you think to be part of this initiative. Now let's start with the basics; what this is and who needs it.
Last year, government decided to help small businesses run by young people in Ghana (18 to 35 years) make doing business easier and more cost effective. It's no hidden fact that small businesses contribute a lot to the country's economy. More local businesses means more employed people that government doesn't have to worry about, income generation and in some cases foreign currency in the system from international trade and lots more. With this initiative any young Ghanaian business owner will be able to operate tax free for 3 to 5 years.
There's no doubt that this is an awesome deal especially now that government is very strict on taxes. Young business owners can now focus on reinvesting and scaling their startups. This also opens doors for small businesses that have been 'running' away from GRA to boldly be legitimate with all the documentation needed to bid for big state and international contracts. No need to be worried about contracts that require a tax record. This will also generally give many business owners peace of mind.
You don't need much to enjoy this tax holiday. The requirements are very simple. You need to be a Ghanaian not younger than 18 and not older than 35. Once you fall within the age group grab your business registration documents. It could be sole proprietorship, partnership or limited liability, it doesn't matter. If you haven't registered your business yet now is the time to get that done! Send the documents including your TIN to the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) office close to Wild Gecko around Shiashi and fill a form. I suggest you take a national ID to prove your age. That's about it!
I also heard there are possible extensions for women and people with disabilities so you may want to ask about that if you fall under these categories. I did a quick search online and found the number for the NEIP office. You can call them on 029 900 3839 (the number looks weird but it works) for more information. Let me know how it goes :)
Monday, June 25, 2018
After a few minutes the female police officer walked into the station. She whispered something to the officer in charge and they both turned to look at me. Just then I saw Kwesi walk in. I stood up immediately! Whatever miracle this was I was happy it was happening. "Kwesi!" I called out. He turned to me and waved. "I'm getting you out wai. Give me a minute." He said. I nodded with excitement as he spoke to the police officers.
In no time at all I was released. "Abi I told you Frank is powerful." KK said as I left the cell. I was so excited to leave I didn't bother to reply him. I collected all my belongings from the police, including my laptop and left with Kwesi. When I took out my phone I saw I had over 50 missed calls and tons of messages."What the hell? So many missed calls..." I said and Kwesi smiled. He obviously knew something I didn't. Apparently he put up the video of me being robbed on social media. The female police officer saw it and recognized me so she contacted him. That was how he found me. "Wow that's cool. I would have died in there chale. Even though I don't really approve of this your social media life it really came through for me this time, thanks," I said. "Maybe you should stop being so boring and hop onto it too. Who knows, next time it may be you saving me," He replied with a grin. We both laughed and got into his car.
As Kwesi drove me home I went through my messages. There were so many concerned friends reaching out. Some even offered to lend me their laptops for a while and stuff but one in particular stood out to me. It was from a girl who lived a few blocks away from my house, my crush for years. "Hey, saw you were robbed. It's terrible! I hope you are not trying to go after them oh. Sounds like something you would do. Anyways I tried calling. Just want to make sure you are safe. Hit me up when you get home so I pass by ok?" Her message said. A big smile formed on my face. Maybe this wasn't such a horrible day after all. I smiled as I looked at my laptop.
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Tuesday, June 5, 2018
A small smile formed on my face as the officers rushed in with guns. They had come just at the nick of time. What I didn't expect was them arresting me as well! An officer grabbed my arms and hand cuffed me, yelling at me to comply. KK and the kid had the same treatment. The officer then grabbed me by the shoulder and lead me to the police car outside. "I'm not one of them! It's a mistake." I kept saying but it was like they didn't hear me. They put all three of us at the back of a caged car. "Mr Police please I was the one who called you to come oh. My laptop was stolen. I'm not a thief. I got robbed after I closed from the office." I kept saying. "It will never work. It's better to tell the truth," The boy said to me. "Ei but do you know me?!" I shot at him furiously. The Police officers just laughed and said they had meant this group for a while now. "Who wears a t-shirt and cap to the office? Shut up over there!" One of the officers yelled at me. At this point I didn't know what else to say.
When we got to the Police Station, they dragged us all into a small cell and took our wallets, phones and other possessions. I could not believe this was happening! "Look officer, I'm not one of them. My laptop was stolen and I went to take it back. I was the one who called you. Please check my call records." I said. One of the police officers starred at me. I hoped she was going to listen to my story but she just took out her phone and walked away. The rest didn't even bother.
I sat there in a bench wondering how to get myself out of this situation but what I didn’t notice was that there was more trouble waiting for me in the cell. "Hey, guy. Why are you making so much noise?" I heard someone say from the back of the cell. I remained mute. A shiver run down my spine. We all know about the scary cell mate stories. "You, the one in the black t shirt," He said again. I knew very well I was the only one in black but I pretended not to notice. When I heard the sound of footsteps next. I knew it was over for me. My heart started racing as the footsteps got closer. "Chale he is one of Frank's guys oh. Do you want trouble?" KK said. I turned around to look at the cell bully. His boy scared the daylights out of me. He looked at me walked back. His expression said it all. Whoever Frank was he wasn't to be messed with. For this particular case dierr I didn't deny Frank.
To be continued...
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Monday, May 21, 2018
The house had no gate. I walked slowly into the compound looking out for dogs or something but it was all clear. I noticed a motorbike parked by the porch. This was definitely them! I took out my phone and called the Police. I gave them directions to where I was. According to them they would be there very soon. I sent my GPS location to Keli too. Just in case I got caught and killed at least he could find my body.
Just then I heard voices coming from behind the house. I moved closer to hear what they were saying. " KK what are you doing? My girls are waiting for me at the mall." The lady said. I recognised her voice immediately. "Then go eh? I just dey copying some of ein movies." A male voice replied. "Ah, you are lucky I don't know how to ride a bike. Frank will come for the laptop tomorrow. Let's go, ah!" She snapped at him and he giggled. When I heard doors opening I knew I had to hide! I crawled into a bush in a dark corner.
When they came out of the house I watched them get onto the motorbike. The guy was much bigger than he sounded. The lady had changed her clothes and had put on makeup. It annoyed me how pretty she was. It was definitely her because I recognized her tattoo. I knelt down quietly in the bushes till they were gone.
When I was sure the coast was clear I rushed out and headed for the room I heard them talking from. I honestly didn't know what I was doing and before I could come up with a plan someone opened the door to the house. I just stood there staring. It was a teenage boy. "Who are you?" He asked. He had just opened the door to the room I wanted to enter. I took my chance and cooked a story. "I'm Kojo, Frank's friend. He's busy so he said I should come for a laptop." I lied. The boy stared at me with a blank expression. "I called KK and he said he's stepped out but I should pick it up." I added. At this moment he believed me because he let me in. "Ok you can pick it up." He said.
I walked into the room and was surprised to see tons of phones, laptops and tablets. I tried to remain composed. I looked around and immediately I spotted my laptop I heard the sound of a motorbike. "Looks like KK is back." The boy said. My heart skipped a beat. There was a fair chance KK would fall for this trick too but what if he called the Frank guy. I had to leave but it was just too late. KK got to the door before me.
"KK this is Kojo, Frank's friend." The little boy introduced. I nodded and looked away. That was probably a bad idea. KK stared at me. When he reached for his phone I knew it was all over. I looked at my laptop one more time and wondered if it was worth my life I was going to lose. Maybe I could offer him money to spare me but my account was dry as hell. As my life flashed before my eyes I heard a loud bang and next I knew there were police officers inside the room.
To be continued...
Sunday, April 29, 2018
I got out of the car to look for the lady but she was nowhere to be found. I asked the hawkers around and they confirmed that someone on a motorbike picked her up. "Ai, ai ai this can't be happening. How did she do that?!" I exclaimed. Just then I remembered I had a tracking software on the laptop. Immediately she turned it on I would be able to trace it. I hopped back into the taxi and asked the driver to drive in the direction the biker went.
The only thing that threw my suspicion off the driver was the fact that he told me his car had an inbuilt camera that recorded footage for the day. In my presence he requested for the footage to be sent to me so I could take it to the police station. I checked the app on my phone to see if the laptop had been turned on but there was no luck. I decided to drop off at my brother's house not far away.
"Edem what do you want here?" Keli, my older brother said when he saw me at his door. "You are so welcoming." I said and walked into the house. I sat down and told him everything. "Ah so why are you coming to me? Do I sell laptops? Ma guy forget about it and buy a new one," Keli said cheekily. He had a point but with what money? Just then my phone beeped. It was a notification from the tracking app. I rushed for the phone and confirmed my suspension. The laptop had been turned on and it was just about 200 meters away. "Bingo, I've found it!" I exclaimed and stood up immediately. "If they see you they'll recognize you. Take this and remove your shirt." Keli said. He was right. I collected the baseball cap he handed over to me and took off my long sleeve shirt leaving my black inner tshirt. "I need to go." I said and dashed out.
I followed the directions on the app and realised I was getting very close. Just as I got closer my phone beeped. I saw that it was an email from the taxi service with the video the driver had requested. I opened it immediately and watched it. The lady put her bag on my laptop bag when she entered the car. When she was leaving she grabbed both but I didn't notice because her bag was covering it. I saw that she had a flower tattoo on her arm. Just then a call came in. It was Kwesi. I kept cutting the call to continue following the gps but he just wouldn't stop calling. "What is it?!" I answered out of frustration. "Chale some fine girl wants your number oh. She saw you on my IG. I think she..." He started but I cut him short. "Chale I make hot, I've been robbed," I said. Kwesi started asking for details but I just didn't have the time for that. "Ah, for where? What did they take?..." He asked. I remembered the video. "I'm sending you a video. It's all there." I said and hung up.
The app took a while to load after the call but finally came back and this time it was closer than I imagined. It indicated that the laptop was in a house across the street from where I was. My heart was pounding at this point. What if they were armed robbers? I second guessed myself for a minute and decided to take the risk.
To be continued...
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
"Ei best man, how are you doing?" Terry teased. I knew he had seen the post our friend who was getting married had put up on social media. "I beg oh I'm not the best man. I'm a mere groomsman. Do you know how much the best man suit costs? I no get that kind money." I confessed. The whole idea of buying a new suit just for a wedding pissed me of but Kwesi, the groom was a close friend so I had to suck it up. Kwesi was a social media fanatic. It was a picture he put up of us having a fitting of our suits that had sparked Terry to make fun of me. "So how much is your suit?" Terry asked. The price rolled up in my mind but I was too angry to mention it. "Chale I don't remember. Where's my laptop? Did your guy fix it well?" I changed the subject. Terry nodded and brought the laptop out for me. I inspected it and gave him the money I owed him. That laptop was my life! I had work on it that my boss would sack me if I didn't present it to him the following week.
"I need to get going. I'll see you later." I said picking up my things. Terry teased me one more time as I left his house. He was right to make fun of me. I was being a fool. Spending over 2000 Cedis on a suit and shoes? Why was it my wedding? I was just glad the wedding was in a few days. Finally it will be over with so I can wallow in poverty before the month ended. I stood at the junction deciding on how to go home. I could take a trotro which would cost me next to nothing but it was late. What if someone robbed me and took my laptop. I took out my phone a requested a cab. If I was going to spend all my money I might as well do it in comfort and style anaa?
The cab came in minutes and a '5-star rating' hungry driver picked me up. I could tell because he was smiling unnecessarily and kept asking if I was ok with this or that. There was a bit of traffic so I pulled out my phone and scrolled through my friend Kwesi's feed. I hoped he hadn't put more pictures of me on there. It was worse! He had put up a video of me and his best man taking a look at the suits for the wedding. He captioned it as "the finest bridal party in Ghana. Yo ladies come for your MCM." A smile formed in my face when I read some of the comments from some ladies. The next thing I knew the car door opened and a lady hopped into the back seat next to me. "Hello, I know this is strange but can I get a ride? I'm just going to the next junction. I've been standing here for an hour and I'm not getting a car," She said. I wasn't sure what to say because the driver turned to look at me.
She did look tired but the first thing I thought about was con artist! Who just enters someones car without permission? She looked good in a low cut office dress and long wavy hair but that was usually the bait right? "I'm sorry but this is a private ride. You can try the next car." I managed to say. She turned to look at the driver who slowly looked away. Dude needed his 5 stars. He was loyal. She looked surprised at what I said, like she never expected it. Good looking girls think they can have it all eh? "I'm surprised but it's cool," She said. She opened the door and paused for a second. She then threw an empty water bottle at the driver. "You too you won't even talk for me!" She said angrily and left the car. I leaned over and asked the driver if he was ok. See how the tables just turned? He said he was fine so I sat back and that was when I noticed my laptop was gone!
To be continued...
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Sunday, February 4, 2018
When I was on my way home Kevin called me and asked me to come over. I smiled and went to his place. He said he had a really good movie he wanted us to watch when I got there. It sounded like a good movie. He put it on in his room and we watched it on his bed. "It's really nice having you around." Kevin said and kissed me. I smiled. It was like old times. We would either go out with friends, basically Kevin's friends or hang out at his place. "I am sure we will make it work this time." I said pulling my phone out to take a selfie of us. Kevin didn't exactly say anything. It was his shrug and reluctance that made me uncomfortable. "Kevin, am I getting this wrong?" I asked. He tried to kiss me again but I held him back.
I slid off the bed and picked up my bag. "Mag don't be like that. I really like you. I just don't want to rush things." He said. I shook my head. "What? So what are you taking me to a resort for? I'm confused." I replied. He rubbed his eyes and shrugged again. "Daisy told you? There goes the surprise. I wanted us to spend time together." Kevin said. I couldn't believe it. I felt like a fool. I turned around and walked out. "Where are you going? Come back." He said. It was clear he didn't want a relationship with me. At least not a serious one. I left his place and went straight home.
"You were right. He really is trash." I said, on the phone with Daisy when I got home. She was always my shoulder to cry on when I was upset. I should have taken her advice. Now here I was heart broken again by the same man. "Don't beat yourself up. Kevin is a cool guy. It's normal for any girl to like him. What's important now is that you've realized he's not good enough for you. I'm proud of you for questioning him." She said. I nodded. "You know what? I think I like Pablo. I'm just scared. I can't take another break up. What if he leaves the country?" I said. Daisy adviced me to talk to him. "Every break up makes you better. You now now what you should avoid. Remember how many guys I dated before Lawrence?" She went on. She was right. I decided to talk to Pablo after work the next day. "Go girl, go for what you want. If it doesn't work out learn from it and keep going!" Daisy cheered and I giggled. She was my best friend for a reason!
When I went to work the next day Pablo wasn't at his office. I went to check on him during lunch time but he was still not there so I called him."Hey Maggie, what's going on?" He said over the phone. I asked why he wasn't at work and he said he was going to explain everything later because he was busy. My heart skipped a beat when he hung up. He had left? But why? I sad down, completely feeling defeated. I had my chance and I blew it. One moment these guys were all over me and now I was alone again.
After work Daisy came to my department. She walked right to my desk. "Where is Pablo? I didn't see you guys go out for lunch today." She asked. I looked up at her and told her what was going on. "What? That's bad news. Did you tell him how you felt?" She asked. I just shrugged and Daisy shook her head. She said something that was so true. "You need to tell him. Even if he's leaving he needs to know. What do you have to lose?" Daisy said. I took a deep breath and picked up my phone. Daisy nodded and left to the airport to pick up Lawrence.
I looked around and saw some of my coworkers. I picked up my bag and walked out. This conversation was not something I wanted anyone to hear. I noticed I was alone in the corridor so I called Pablo. "Hey Maggie sorry I was just about to call you." He said. I hesitated a bit then gathered courage. "It's fine. Pablo I wanted to tell you something..." I started. He tried cut in but I stopped him. "Let me do this please. I think I have feelings for you. I know I haven't really showed it and all I do is talk about my ex but I realise the only reason why I want to be with him is because I'm afraid of starting over again. But sometimes starting all over again is a good idea. I already know you are leaving the country but I just thought I'd tell you." I said.
My heart was pounding when I finish talking and he was quiet. "Do you have anything to say?" I asked. "What I was trying to say is that I'm at the parking lot. I can actually see you. Turn around." He said. I turned around and there he was. He was in a t-shirt and jeans. I almost dropped my phone when he walked up to me. Without saying another word he kissed me. I felt all types of butterflies."I'm not leaving. I just had an issue with the taps at my apartment. The place got flooded that's why I couldn't come to work. It's fixed now." He said. We both giggled but I felt really silly. "I'm glad you told me this." Pablo said. I couldn't help but smile. It was a good feeling. He took my hand and suggested we go and have dinner. As we walked to his car I couldn't help staring at him. I wondered why I was so afraid to start a relationship with him. He was perfect!
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Monday, January 29, 2018
Kevin dropped me off at home and went back to his. He said he was really tired. When I got inside I couldn't help smiling. Finally we were going to come back together. I took out my phone and was about to call Pablo when I heard a knock at the door. I smiled and walked to the door. I thought it was Kevin but to my surprise it wasn't him, it was Pablo. "Hey sorry for popping by unannounced. I just dropped off one of the guys a couple of blocks away and decided to see if you were home." He said. I smiled and asked him to come in.
"Where's Maxine?" I asked. Pablo told me he dropped her off at home before he dropped the guy off. I smiled and didn't ask any more. It didn't look like he was interested her. When he sat down I told him all about the party and how things went. "Did you see the date of the first message?" Pablo asked. I thought for while. "Wait, why are you asking?" I asked. He said he wanted to know if the messages were made up or real. I felt a little offended. "It's like you don't want me to be happy." I said. Pablo shook his head and apologized. I thought hard and remembered the conversation started weeks ago so I told him. He nodded and there was an awkward silence for a while. "I think I should go." Pablo said. I felt bad instantly. "No don't. I don't mind the company. I'm sorry about what I said." I confessed. I stood up and went to my kitchen and returned with a bottle of red wine and two glasses. When Pablo smiled I knew we were back to normal again.
We had wine and played a card game I had. We both didn't know the rules very well but we made it up as went and it was so hilarious. It didn't make sense to me how much fun I was having. We finished the second bottle of wine and when we were on our third I knew we should stop. We are awfully close to each other. "Does Kevin make you happy?" Pablo asked. I paused for a while and nodded. "I think we are cool together." I said. I looked away because honestly I wasn't exactly sure of what I was saying. That whole week had been weird. "Does Maxine make you happy?" I asked. Pablo laughed. "She's just my friend. You don't seem to believe that, huh?" He answered. "You, make me happy." He added. I wasn't expecting him to say that at all so I sat there, inches away from him, speechless. Pablo noticed my nervousness and looked away. It's like he could read me.
It was pretty late so Pablo got up to leave. I wasn't sure how to react to what he said but he seemed ok ignoring it. "That wine is brilliant. Anyways I'll see you at work on Monday." He said. I nodded and he left. That night before I slept all I thought about was Pablo. I was a total mess. It didn't make sense at all. Kevin was finally taking me seriously but I felt weird. I wanted to discuss it with Daisy but I knew she would be bias.
The next day I saw Daisy after church. She invited me over for lunch. She said Lawrence had travelled so she needed the company. I nodded and we went over to her place. As we had a really good meal I told her I knew about the surprise Kevin was planning for me. She looked very surprised. I told her I read their conversation on his phone and she nodded.
"Lawrence said I should leave you to choose the person you want to be with. He's right, I've been too hard on Kevin." She said, looking away. I was going to tell her I thought I had feelings for him but she went on."I wanted you to move on so bad. When I found out Pablo liked you I thought it was perfect timing. You know his contract expired two weeks ago and he renewed it? I won't be surprised if it was because of you." She said. I froze. "But anyways you said he likes Maxine so at least now everyone is happy right?" She asked. I wasn't sure what to say. "Kevin was asking me which weekend you are free. What should I tell him?" She asked. I wanted to tell her the truth that I realized I had more fun with Pablo but I wasn't sure what I felt for him was real. Just then she had a call and the subject never came up again.
To be continued....
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