There are many notable brands in GH. Talk about the Kempinskis, Unilevers and what have you. The mere mention of such brands arouses some pretty good memories… and such is the POJOSS brand!
Indeed, I am privileged to be a product of one of the three (3) best high schools in this side of our world. Care to know what these three schools are? Well, Pope John SHS (POJOSS) comes tops, followed by St. Roses SHS and then… the rest. I know I just stoked some endless furnace of debate. Haha.
Somewhere in the 2000s, I entered POJOSS as a freshman. Of the many things that caught my attention, one that stood out was the phrase “Vela Damus”. It sank really deep into my heart. It fanned into flames an undying passion to chart the path of extraordinariness.
This mantra was reechoed at assembly every morning all through my stay there… and it continues to ring in my ears even until today. Vela Damus!
“Vela Damus” means “We set sail”. It means we are the captains of our lives and we alone can and must determine the direction it heads towards. It means our lives will be only as better as we want it to be. “Vela Damus” means we are responsible for our success… and failure!
Each morning, one question that rears its head in my mind is, “Has your life been set sail?” Thing is, our lives are like inertia. Until we give it a push, it will continue to be at rest or move automatically as it has been moving. Forgive me for bullying you with my scanty knowledge of Physics. Haha.
You see, our lives are like ships. If you don’t set it sail, it can’t set sail on its own. It is perilous to put your life on autopilot. We ought to determine the course our lives go. They shouldn’t just follow trends. Like ships that have routes and a set destination, our lives should be heading somewhere— not just anywhere!
When about to set sail, a ship would need to overcome a lot of resistance. The persistence of a ship must always be greater than the force that resists it if it has to move forward. In same vein, if we want to set our lives sail, no resistance should be able to stop us. No matter the negativity around us that tries to drown us, we must forge ahead with the positivity inside.
We must set sail at all cost. Life is no playground. It is no child’s play. If you want to get anything done and done well, of course, you should be prepared to resist the resistance. Your persistence should overcome your resistance. If success were ever cheap, hard work would have been non-existent. Nothing great comes on a silver platter!
It’s okay to dream. In fact, dreaming is free. Getting that dream, however, to become a reality is not. Getting your dreams served on the table of life comes with a price tag; an expensive one, of course. This expensive price tag is what separates daydreamers from dream doers!
“Vela Damus” is more than a mere motto. It is a dare. It is a charge to everyone to take their today into their hands and mold it into the future they want it to be. It is an admonition to whip up the sense of ambition in us to keep our dreams going despite the storms of life. Like a ship, our lives must stay afloat regardless of the raging tides.
Truth is, the storms of life won’t ever get any less harsher. If you are waiting for the tides to subside for you to start swimming in life’s opportunities, you might as well wait forever. If you’re waiting for an opportune time to take opportunities, you may be disappointed because there’s no such time as opportune!
Put your life together and set it sail as soon as you can. Set your ideas sail. Set your business sail. You may not have enough but start with your little. It will grow. No big business today ever began big. Every mansion was once only a foundation. Start setting your life sail now!
I have a big crush on “Vela Damus” because it reminds me of the unfriendly storms of life’s high seas. However, no matter how fierce the resistance may be, I should set my life sail by all means because “We set sail”!
“Vela Damus” cautions me of the risks of dreaming big. It reminds me that a ship needs to set sail against the wind first before it navigates its way through. I need the “against wind” to find my feet in life. I need the resistance to build my endurance!
There’s no time. I am starting something every day regardless of how small it may look. If I fail, I will learn my lessons and start again. If I fail again, I will start again. At all cost, I am setting my life sail. Vela Damus!
By Kobina Ansah
The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications, a writing company based in Accra. His play TRIBELESS is this weekend on KNUST campus.