Antwerp Under The Administration of Mayor Bart De Wever

Could Bart De Wever be the best mayor of Antwerp?

The major of Antwerp, Bart De Wever and writer Joel Savage

The Mayor of Antwerp, Bart De Wever and the writer, Joel Savage. Photo:@Kouablan Dominique.

Not quite long in Belgium, but fifteen years in Antwerp is enough to write a narrative essay, whenever I meet this challenge at an examination hall. Even though Antwerp is a famous city, known for its rich diamond collection and flourishing seaport, in the early 2000’s, the city was very rough and unsafe for both tourists and citizens.

It was this period Leona Detiége, a Belgian politician and member of the Flemish social-democratic party, then mayor of Antwerp, did her best to tackle the problems destroying the reputation of the city of Antwerp, as a tourist attraction center.

She swung into action, focusing on the notorious places, such as De Conincksplein, a neighbourhood that harboured all criminal activities, including drug peddling, prostitution, bag snatching, pickpockets, pimps etc, and De Falconplein, another notorious neighbourhood, serving as a red light district for prostitutes, pimps, and drug couriers.

Her undertakings weren’t just a bluff, it did really paralyzed the prostitution industry. Many prostitutes were arrested and deported to their countries of origin and the pimp industry collapsed. The Antwerp police received a letter from a group calling themselves ‘The Nigerian Mafia,’ threatening and ready to fight the police to death, for taking their prostitutes off the streets.

Leona stationed a mobile police van at the center of Conincksplein 24 hours daily, and all the nefarious activities and crimes subsided. Apart from that Leona made it uneasy for landlords that stole money from tenants. It was a period, criminal-landlords was known as ‘huismelkers’ were making a lot of money from tenants. Like a farmer milking his cow, they steal the three months guarantee paid by tenants. Her actions worked and totally reduced this menace which had taken over Antwerp.

Unfortunately, all the hard efforts of Leona came to a fruitless end, when she left office and Patrick Janssens, a member of the SP.a, succeeded her, as the next mayor of Antwerp. Patrick Janssens probably thought the best way to serve Antwerp, is be friendly with everyone. It was his time drug peddling, which Leona had fought to subdue, increased significantly.

There was time, Moroccans in Antwerp, believe or thought the city is for them. They drive, stop on the street, talk to friends, with a long queue of traffic behind them. Who dares to talk? You will be surrounded and if the police are not around, you will be beaten mercilessly.

At Schijnpoort, a neighbourhood in Antwerp, a Belgium driving, stops and asks a Moroccan for help, as he couldn’t find a street he was looking for. As soon as his window came down, right in front of me, the Moroccan accumulated a thick saliva in his mouth and spits onto the face of the driver. He picks up a tissue paper, wipes the saliva from his face and drove away. My heart ached when I witnessed this scene.

Under the administration of Patrick Janssens,   the situation in Antwerp grew from bad to worse. More drug trafficking at coffee shops run by foreigners. By the time he decides to take drastic action, it was too late. The people in Antwerp are fed up and really want a change.

I will always remember Patrick Janssens for saving the citizens of Antwerp from dog’s waste explosion. It was a period one always comes home with a dog’s waste because they are everywhere. He did well to impose a fine against dog owners that leave dogs’ waste in the city after excretion.

The coming in of  Bart De Wever, the leader of N-VA party, as the mayor of Antwerp, took many by surprise. As a politician who has dreams including the creation of an independent state for the province of Antwerp, many don’t like him much, but that didn’t prevent him from winning the seat as mayor of Antwerp.

The man knows that coming into office as a mayor is not all that is important but one’s achievement. De Wever is destined to carve his name as one of the best or probably the best mayor in the political history of Belgium. Since he assumed office, De Wever has done a lot within the shortest period many past mayors couldn’t achieve.

In regard to security and safety, Antwerp is now a safe city any time of the day, including night. Conincksplein, which used to be a dangerous place in Antwerp, is now a safe community for citizens.

The newly completed library adds glamour to the beauty of the area. Antwerp also remains clean since the administration introduced fine for litterers. Alcohol forbidden zones are now in force within the city.

Despite all his achievements, many still don’t agree with him. Some say he is a good man or bad man, others think he is wicked, but whatever name they call him, there is no doubt that Bart De Wever is the best mayor Antwerp has ever got or probably the best in the political history of Belgium.

Choosing A Wholesome Entertainment For Children

 

Ban dangerous games on the television

The love for money has encouraged companies to manufacture dangerous games for children

Very often psychologists and psychiatrists trace the cause of our present day ailments to homes.  Homes have straightforward stories to tell. The set up of our homes, immediately convey the message to a visitor the nature and character of those dwelling there and the sort of training or life being acquired from it. 

Living in an unsafe community, low-quality child care, lack of resources, broken homes, divorces etc; are some of the causes affecting children. Even though entertainment is said to enhance children’s education, it is said to be one of the major factors which affect children’s behavior. What programs are children watching on the television or what kind of games are they playing?

Unsafe, violent and crime games, are yearly produced by ‘Games Manufacturing Companies’ for children. Those companies called them ‘entertainments’ for children. The strong desire for money prevents them to see the harm they are doing to children. Staying hours playing these violent games continue affecting and shaping the lives of these children.

When a child starts cursing, using bad words at home or school is the time the child needs admonition from parents or teachers. They often learn those bad words from the programs they watched on the television or the games they play. The next thing is asking for fake or toy guns for their birthdays. A mother who loves her child will do everything to make him or her happy.

However, buying a toy gun for your son on his birthday, because he wants it, is a way of training your child to be a gun lover. The reason in the United States of America, many children are involved in juvenile crimes, relating to shootings. Yes, some children indulge in entertainments that graphically portrays immoral behavior.

Think, for example, movie and radio stations. Some movie stations feature only violent movies and some radio stations play sadistic and demonic music. Violent hip-hop or rap music, become some children’s favorite music. They don’t only sing, but they do the violent things the songs preach. When violently erupts, it doesn’t only sweep along those that called for it, but also innocent victims. That’s the sad part of it.

People are confused about religion. Islam, they say means ‘Brotherhood, Togetherness, and Peace, but what we see now is terrorism engulfing our neighborhood, discouraging parents to speak to children about the Gospel or to embrace Bible principles. Religious violence shouldn’t prevent mothers to encourage children to adhere to educating and inspiring Biblical principles.

Education starts at home and what parents teach children from early childhood, become part of someone’s personality and characteristics. Therefore, the things kids learn from their parents have a lasting impression on people. Thus; parents should be careful about teaching their kids the moral values and responsibilities to the society.

Humour: The Man With A Sad Face

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The man with a sad face

Sometimes before a baby is born, his or her parents had already suggested suitable names for the child. Names are influenced by our popular culture, tradition and heroes. Many people bear Biblical names, others not. As a Ghanaian from the Fantse tribe, my traditional name is Ato or Kwamena, because I was born on Saturday.

Names mean a lot but it’s not everyone who knows someone’s name. That’s the reason we often hear “Please what’s your name?” You may know someone because you’ve seen the person a couple of times, but may not know his or her name. I am one of them. In the neighbourhood where I grew up in Africa, few knew me but don’t know my name.

One day someone I know came looking for me in the neighbourhood where I lived. That was his first attempt to visit me. He mentioned my name, yet no one could help him. One Good Samaritan tried his best to help him. “Can you please describe the man you are looking for,” he asked the stranger. “He is a man with dark complexion, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, whose face looks like someone crying.”

“May be I know him, because there is a man who lives close to the beach, whose face really looks like someone crying, maybe it’s him,” said the Good Samaritan.

“Can we go to see if he is the one,” said the stranger. I was at home when I heard a knock on the door, as soon as I opened, stands Ben, my cousin who lives in the Western Region of Ghana. He narrates the funny description which led to my discovery.

“What, do my face looks like someone crying?” I asked.

“If your face doesn’t look like someone crying, how can this Good Samaritan realize that to come home with me? Ben asked.

This is not a matter of anger but laughter. I laughed so hard that my stomach ached, the fact that Ben has never told me this before. After Ben’s visit, I thought about this for a very long time and decided to get rid of this funny and humourous description about me.

By then I’ve heard of the book called ‘The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Pearle. I contacted a friend who had more books than me and borrowed Norman’s book from him. It was a very thick book but inspiring. “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” – Norman Vincent Pearle.

I did really enjoyed reading this interesting book. In fact, I have no words to describe how the book miraculously transformed my life, to get rid of that hidden facial expression which I have lived with for years without my knowledge. Well, it may be that my face still looks like someone crying, because of too much trouble in this world.

Beware Of The Pedophile That Lurks In The Community To Harm Your Child.

Joel Savage Jr.

Give them an inch, they take a yard, give them a yard; they take a mile, that’s how the world goes from bad to worse daily without any solution. There is no doubt, we are now living in a very dangerous world, as children being kidnapped and falling victims to pedophiles. The question is: How often do we speak to our children about those threatening dangers?

As a father with three children, nothing scares me more than the future of my children, especially my third son who is just eight. Europe is a good place, in regard to education, but very bad on moral issues. Here the law permits a child to have a boyfriend or girlfriend at the age of sixteen. A child begins to smoke while at school. Such things do not exist in Africa.

My wife feels bad sometimes because we don’t have a daughter. Yes; I feel sad sometimes because I don’t have a daughter, however; sometimes, I am very happy to have three sons without any girl, because it is very difficult to raise your daughter in Europe as an African. Consumed by the Western life, nothing keeps them sober or obedient. I know many Africans who couldn’t handle the outrageous character of their daughters, sometimes ending up as a problem to the police and the social offices.

Violence, crime and immorality are some of the disturbing issues parents are concerned. In the neighbourhood lurks paedophile trying to harm your children. The news we read pertaining the crime adults, especially men, commit against children, immediately aware our consciousness that probably the world is gradually coming to an end, because the prophesies in the Bible are taking place one after another.

The European Commission showed a 77 per cent increase in murders, robberies, assaults and sexual offences in the UK, since Labour came to power. The total number of violent offences recorded compared to population is higher than any other country in Europe, as well as America, Canada, Australia and South Africa. This is the information I gathered during my study over crime in Europe recently.

Parents are the greatest influence on their children. Children learn to talk, walk, and interact by watching their parents. As a child grows up, he or she looks to the parents to provide guidance, information, nurturing, and expectations. I once went on the internet showing death of many children to Little Joe, my son. After watching in bewilderment, he asked “Papa what happened to them?”

“Adults they trust killed them,” I answered.

“Thank you Papa, I will be careful.’ He said. Whether I did a wrong thing or not, that doesn’t bother me, all what I want him to understand is the dangers in this world, especially on the computer for him to be careful.

I Stand Accused: But I’m Innocent

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Photo credit: musedmagonline.com

I am not a professional psychologist, trained to conduct research, perform and evaluate the emotional and psychological challenges of individuals. I am writing this article due to my personal experience and what I’ve seen in families, individuals, groups, and society as a whole.

When we were young, we did many things which we never thought were bad. We were in the ages of no regret, so we feel good and great over our bad attitudes and the wrong things we were doing, thinking that make us great to stand out of the crowd. We only realized the many sins we committed during our early twenties or adulthood.

We can’t turn back the clock after knowing the bad things we did, than regret or repent to lead a better and responsible life in adulthood. Unfortunately, many live the same life from youth till the end of their lives. At school, we feel very proud to say that “I’ve a girlfriend,” even though many of us are scared to talk to girls.

One day while school on vacation, we organized a small party in one of my friend’s house. We invited the girls we like best claiming to be our girlfriends, yet we couldn’t even look into their eyes in a second. My best friend Aldo, invited his platonic girlfriend and I invited mine.

I told Aldo to come an hour after me, in order to enjoy my privacy with Emmy. In fact, that was the first time I tasted the lips of a beautiful girl I loved most during my school days. I felt I was in paradise, after the kiss I realized I’m still on earth. At nineteen, I consider myself too young to enter into bed with Emmy as students. I was therefore satisfied with the kiss she gave me, so I left with her to join the public transport home.

When I came back, I saw Aldo with Aggie, a very dark beautiful complexion girl everyone is proud of. I told Aldo, “I finished with Emmy and she has gone home.” I think Aldo misunderstood what I said. His mind went on different thing. Why I’m saying this? What ensued after was clear enough to know that Aldo misunderstood me.

People in our neighbourhood heard unusual event taking place in the room where Aldo and Aggie were. The struggle became so intense that I quickly went to the place to find out what is going on between them. As soon as I opened the door, Aggie with fury bolted out and all attempts to find out what went wrong were futile. Aggie left with anger without looking back.

I questioned Aldo over Aggie’s temperance, and he confessed that he had wanted to have sex with her but everything went wrong. I asked him, what’s the reason of forcing a girl who doesn’t want to have sex with you?  “You told me you’ve finished with Emmy, the reason; I tried to have sex with her.” I was shocked over the answer Aldo gave me.

“But Aldo, saying that I’ve finished with Emmy doesn’t mean I had sex with her.” I said with emotions, desperately trying to defend myself. Instead of Aldo acknowledging his own mistakes, to apologize to Aggie, he put the blame on me, ruining our friendship without further communication between us, until the time both completed our secondary education.

This scenario took place years ago, when we were teenagers, but it still hurts me. Why should Aldo take my answer to enhance his own selfish desire, when that wasn’t what I mean? After school, I tried to renew our friendship but it seems, Aldo still habours the feeling that I crashed his world. He decides not to have anything with me.

There is no need to cry over spilt milk. I gave up. Years after school, without any knowledge about the welfare of Aldo , I met a classmate who told me of the death of my friend. He had a fractured leg during a football match. The extent of his injury was so severe that he succumbed.

I miss him very much, but I have a clear conscience that my statement didn’t mean that I slept with Emmy, so he shouldn’t have tried to sleep with Aggie, above all, he failed to ask me the meaning of what I said, before embarking on a wrong journey. Whatever the situation, I pray for him to have a peaceful rest, knowing that we shall meet again somewhere in heaven or the universe one day, if truly there life after death.