The Intriguing View of the Darker You

April 5, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Ennin Kwaku Godfred


Growing up, I asked my mother several questions about the somehow dark image that followed me wherever I went. I sometimes saw it behind, in front or sideways giving the direction of the source of light at that moment. I struggled to comprehend the meanings associated with the behavior of that darkish image. One evening after supper, mom sat me down to help clear certain doubts about the darker image I used to see. In fact, the chat was so amazing and educating. “The “sumsum” (which translate into shadow in our local dialect) will never leave you” she said. In brief, she added, “the ‘sumsum’ is you!” From that day forward, I realized that my understanding of the dark image I cast under the presence of light was not just a figment of my imagination but rather an allegory of real life.

“Shadows are formed when an opaque material is placed between a source of light and a screen.” I remember my science tutor saying this during one of my high school classes. A shadow is obviously seen in the presence of light but is however obscured in the absence of light. A shadow as seen in light serves as the medium through which the “darker” part of what we are made is exposed. The fact that we don’t see a shadow when in the dark doesn’t mean we don’t have a shadow but rather means that, we need light to display our shadow.

Leonardo da Vinci once said “the beginning and ends of a shadow lie between the light and darkness and may be infinitely diminished and infinitely increased. Shadow is the means by which bodies display their form. The forms of bodies could not be understood in detail but for shadow.” Each and every individual is a complete creature capable of igniting passions once we come into contact with favourable opportunities. It is up to us to figure how we utilize existing opportunities to cast the desirable shadows in the lives of people as we progress in the journey of life. ‘Time flies over us but leaves its shadow behind’ -Nathaniel Hawthorne.

A shadow could symbolically be emphasized as the particular point in time where opportunities are harnessed to have a lasting impact in the lives and minds of the present and future generations. A shadow is something so unique that it is always with us but the condition is very vital – light must be present. No matter what we do, it is with us. Even as we read, we see a shadow because the condition is adhered to. Life is like a shadow and what we do today, the impact we have in someone’s life or society will forever remain irrespective of one’s geographical location-dead or alive.

Some great individuals have cast shadows which have impacted the lives of many generations undoubtedly. Apartheid was eradicated when Nelson Mandela’s shadow was cast, the independence of Ghana was given birth to courtesy of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s shadow and not forgetting what Martin Luther King Jnr’s shadow meant to the people of the Black race. Surprisingly, these freedom fighters had one thing in common, they were once in the dark before casting shadows.

For us to harness the light needed to shine, we must come out of our comfort zones, reflect on our experiences in the dark and begin to break out and forth in our quest for greatness. We shouldn’t belittle ourselves or throw our hands in despair. Let us see our limitations as a dark zone which will vanquish once exposed to light for us to cast an infectious shadow which will linger in the minds of society and the generations yet unborn. Never be afraid to cast a shadow, they simply mean there is light shining somewhere nearby.







Ennin Kwaku Godfred

Ennin kwaku Godfred, as I’m affectionately called, is an up and coming sensational and creative writer who hails from Kwahu Mpreaso in the Eastern region of Ghana. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and sociology at the University of Cape Coast. My passion is to write about the relevant social, educational, political and economical issues, among many others, circular issues and is mostly triggered by personal experiences birthed by my desire to write. Such a characteristic of me is evident in the originality, innovativeness and influence of my articles. I am driven by my popular saying ‘UNTIL THE OCEAN FREEZES TO BREEZE, I WILL ALWAYS BE AT THE SHORE TO WRITE.’


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