Official Statement: Pepper Dem Ministries 

So I’m sure you’ve heard all the noise, arguments, debates and you name it flying around on social media about a group of women calling themselves #ThePepperDemMinistries.
Well here’s everything you need to know about them. 
This is our official statement on who we are, what we are about, and where we would like to go with the Ministry.
Who are we?

These past two weeks the Ghanaian Facebook sphere was captured by a group of charismatic young women with their male allies who drove/put gender on everybody’s agenda. The #PepperDemMinistries (PDM) is a group of like-minded women on Facebook who were already in the business of probing into the structures operating in the Ghanaian society that somehow leave both genders imbalanced and incompatible to work in unison to advance society. We are called “Pepper Dem Ministries” because we engage with the issues which are mostly uncomfortable and unpopular in our socio-cultural space. Pepper can burn and we raise issues which can make people shift in their seats. Our advocacy focuses mainly on gender. 
What has happened in the past two weeks: 

PDM took “advantage” of two incidents in the past couple of weeks to reverse narratives and create scenarios which pointed to our gendered biases in order to highlight unfair judgments, mostly, placed on women in society. By this, we also showed how restricting women, ultimately, disadvantaged men and the overall progress of society. The first incident was the fracas between Mr. Paul Adom Otchere and Mr. Manasseh Azure. The second was the leaked video of Madam Afia Schwarzenegger by her “husband” for supposedly “cheating” on him and threatening to pour acid on her. 
These two scenarios offered us an opportunity to successfully flip the script and replace “man/men” with “woman/women” and vice versa in our socio-cultural narratives engineered by gender stereotypes. We have skilfully maintained the same tone and logic used in these same instances to either (1) brand women as their own enemies and (2) let sexually unfaithful men off the hook easily and therefore burdening another fallible human (the female) unnecessarily with higher purity standards and as custodians of morality. We set out to be deliberate and raw (say it as it is) in order to give everyone a mirror in their hand to reflect their gendered thinking and a gauge to measure their gendered angles. We recognise that being a good person is not necessarily a cure to sexism and misogyny and both women and men can fall prey to this. 
Our purpose: 

The purpose of our probing, interrogating, and theorising is to facilitate learning, unlearning and re-learning of the narratives both male and females have been operating by, in order to establish a better approach to our socialization. The issues we technically address are certain ingrained gender norms and how partial it can be against women . Although we highlight the fact that these narratives are more dangerous for women, we do not lose sight of the many subtle ways these narratives affect men too. 
The Way Forward:

We have used and will continue to use the affordances of social media, in its very essence to shape and re-shape the mindsets of our generation and the next and we would like to invite you to join hands with us, engage us and freely critique us.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be flipping, theorising and projecting the lived experiences of women and girls in our society to generate conversations around gender bias in our society (ShareHerStory). We will also be inviting men to share with us how patriarchy has hurt them and how gender stereotypes also affect them (HearHisVoice).
Our Successes:

This is only the beginning of our third week and already our official Facebook page is at a 1000 likes in just three days of operation. Thank you for making this happen! 

For the past two weeks, #PepperDemMinistries has been trending on and off social media. We’ve got the entire Ghanaian social media scene talking, probing and interrogating gender norms in the society. This, has been ongoing for the past 2 weeks and we are utterly elated! 

We see our male allies and we recognise that there are many that are for us than against us.

The backlash around our “approach” and “tone” is ultimate proof that the damage of the narratives are deeper than we had imagined. These truths we speak are uncomfortable and society is having a hard time confronting them.
As we celebrate our successes and continue discussions around these narratives, let’s be reminded that the #Pepper in our name refers to the uncomfortable narratives we are dealing with.
Now that we have your attention, note that we will remain primarily on social media and continue speaking up against these narratives. Catch up on our posts and events at:
Facebook: Pepper Dem Ministries

Twitter: @PDMAfrica
— 

-Efe Franca Plange

 Graduate Teaching Instructor (Michigan Technological University)

 President (African Students Organization)

 Department of Humanities Rep (Graduate Student Government)

 Editor (www.sankofareviews.com)b

We condemn/praise an action based on how we feel about the person or situation; WHY? 

Since yesterday one of Ghana’s popular female comedians Afia Schwarzenegger has been trending for all the wrong reasons.

A video allegedly leaked by her ex husband, shows Afia naked in bed with another man, and her husband  threatening to pour acid on her.
She’s seen visibly shaking and at some point begging for him to stop.

Several stories and audio clips from both parties have been circulated on what really happened, if they’re truly separated or if he was within his rights to confront her in her house. 

But that’s not what I want to focus on.

It’s no news that Afia has offended a lot of people, and this to some is a pay back for all she’s done in the past.
But I’m surprised by how many are willing to overlook the fact that this man threatened to pour acid on her her and burn her house? 
And yes, some have argued about the contents in the bottle that it couldn’t have been acid; but when someone points a gun at you, do you have time to question whether their bullets?

And that’s the fear we heard in her voice; so how do we ignore that? Because I would beg and all but admit to everything just to save myself from being killed. 

Are we also going to ignore the fact that he released a sex video (that’s illegal by the way) of his spouse (ex) to the public?

Our reaction to her just confirms what I’ve said many times; that people condemn and praise an act depending on how they feel about the person /situation.

In this case; Afia doesn’t seem to be deserving of the public’s sympathy because she’s probably done worse to people.

But if you use your feelings towards her to judge this case, then you’re indirectly condoning abuse.

What do you tell the next girl who’s husband/partner actually carries out the attack and kills her?

What do you say when he thinks he’s within his rights because of what Afia’s husband did. 

When has infedelity been an excuse to try to kill or abuse someone?

We really need to sit down and ask ourselves some hard questions about how we react to a situations in this country.

And the worst part is, whenever you make an attempt to speak up for victims like this it’s presumed that you’re condoning the act.

Trust me, more than anyone I understand how humiliating and hurtful it can be for someone you love and trust to hurt you in that manner; so I would NEVER condone cheating.

But neither would I condon a spouse physically abusing or threatening to cause bodily harm or kill another for it.

You can’t be against one crime and applaud another. 

And I know many of you believe she’s deserving of this because of how she’s behaved in the past, you should remember that once upon a time she was like you; she never thought this would happen to her, but it has. 
See it’s ok not to like someone, believe me you’d be surprised at how many women I’ve spoken up for that I don’t like personally, or have done the worst things to me after; but my dislike for them has never clouded my judgement towards them. 
What’s right is right, and so is what’s wrong.

Morally Afia was wrong for cheating.(if true)

But legally, her ex husband, who threatened her life, took naked videos of her and released it to the public can be jailed if found guilty.

Why’s that so hard to comprehend ?
** I want to commend all the men who’ve stood up against this injustice, a lot of times we women (yes me included) overlook all the good men out there and focus so much on the bad. 

That’s why it’s easy for people to assume all men are the same, when they’re not.  

So I promise to do my best to celebrate you whenever I can. 

Happy Birthday to my brother SAM FORSON 

Someone said to me the other day ” the love you have for your brothers is like nothing I’ve seen before, especially how your eyes light up when you talk about them”. 
Well let me tell you something, everyday I wake up I can’t believe how blessed I am and lucky God gave me the brothers I have; especially my big brother Sam.
I can’t put into words the kinds of sacrifices he’s made so I can live my life and dreams.
If I had a million dollars in my account today and he needed it I’d clear my account and give it to him, no questions asked.
If I were to hit the jackpot, he’d automatically have half.
Because my brother deserves it and more.
If I’m confident in myself it’s because he’s always there to remind me of how beautiful I am, how talented I am and just how important my voice is to the world.
I still remember him sitting me down years ago, when I went to visit, and telling me how there’s nothing wrong with my body and how he doesn’t like the idea of me starving myself in the name of dieting.
He got me a box of pizza and when I ate just the topping he got angry and said I was wasting the food and pizza wouldn’t kill me. (I still eat pizza the same way though 😂,but now because I don’t like the bread). 
But even when I still wanted to lose weight after that speech, he took me to the gym himself, bought all manner equipments and pills saying “I’ll support you on this journey if that’s what you want, but I think you’re beautiful and don’t need it”.


I’m tearing up now as I write this because you don’t know how much confidence a person gains from hearing they’re beautiful from their loved ones.
So one day Sam I’m going to give you everything I’ve ever promised and more because you love me in a way I didn’t even know how to love myself. 
And I’m so blessed to experience a kind of love many are yet to or will never in their life time. 
A love that’s truly unconditional and always puts me first.
Thank you God for this gift of love and for the life of my brother Sam Forson 
Thank you for always being with him through the toughest times and never leaving his side.
Thank you filling him with so much love that he touches everyone around him.
Thank you for his children who’re someday going to see what an amazing father you gave them.


But most importantly thank you for the gift of LIFE that you’ve given him on this day as he turns a year older; and please give him many many many more years.
Happy Birthday “OTONO”!! 🎉🎉🎉
We love you! ❤️❤️
P.S – your mum woke me up at dawn(I’ve accepted she will never stop this) just to tell me her messages to you haven’t delivered at DAWN!!!😩😩😩