What serendipity is this!?! I have been searching for a document I remember I had once made listing all the cost/scholarship amounts of my expensive university education so far. I just couldn’t remember the name of this document so I was going folder by folder opening every word file I come across with the faint hope that some spark will be lighted in my head to remind me of the exact title of what I was after. In the end, I did find that document titled – FUNDING HISTORY – tucked away in a folder called FIELDWORK which I created during my PhD research. It was in this folder that I came across another file that I had totally forgotten about with the title of – “Thoughts on Ghana…so far”. I had apparently written this text on 2nd November, 2014 with a total of a 100 minutes.
After re-reading all 978 words of it, I thought woah…the more things change, the more the remain the same. I decided I will share this here with the context that this piece was drafted at a time (August – November, 2014) when I was undertaking fieldwork research for my PhD. It was also this period – 13th November, 2014 to be exact – that I created this blog; Ghana, Land of My Birth (GLoMB) and published the first post about how “the lack of good roads/transport network system is what is blocking the pipeline of national economic development”
Okay, context….here is the unedited rumblings of 2nd November, 2014 with all the spelling and grammar errors, and uneven spacing reflecting my unstructured thoughts…
Thoughts on Ghana…so far
The thoughts I have had on Ghana has to a large extent being intrinsically linked with what I want to do with my life – well and the life of my wife and kids.
I have had lots of thoughts that I have not been able to write down and of which I always feel will disappear from my mind but I think the gist of it all remains the same;
– Ghana is in a big mess; basic governance mechanisms are not working. The national psyche is in need of an overhaul but it seems to me that nothing is been done about it. I have come to find the President pathetic – he lacks any real sense of leadership capabilities like boldness, self-discipline and even a sense of being in control.
What we need is a benevolent dictator – failing which a leader who takes the long term view with keen interest in national development. Why the heck do we even have a national development plan when each government come in with their own short term ideas. Why can’t the government kick some ass – all these day light robbery of the national purse and yet the President is mute
The environment is in a mess, corruption is everywhere – nobody wants to do the right thing, many people want to cut corners because that has apparently become the norm
In all this I feel sick, sad and overburdened…sometimes I feel like crying for the land of my birth. The biggest burden I feel comes from seeing those struggling in the sun to make a living – selling stuff in traffic, mothers, grandmothers sitting in the sun by the roadside trying to make a living – it leaves me thinking about life, the cruelty of leadership in Ghana and how indeed not all fingers on the hand are of the same height.
The introspection is on myself – I feel do I deserve what I have? Am I in any way better than those struggling to make a living under very difficult circumstances. As I travel up and down between Accra, Cape Coast, Kumasi, Dunkwa, Sunyani, Koforidua, I look out the window and wonder about the future of the kids I see in some of the villages – I wonder, are the classroom staffed with teachers, are they going to make it with good grades, will they have the opportunity to go to higher levels of education, what becomes of them when they don’t make the grades and don’t learn any vocation trade, where is my dear country Ghana going to, what is to become of our future leaders. In all this, I reflect on my life and I feel extremely blessed with the opportunities that I have had. I feel humbled and keenly responsible for the people I see on the street.
It feels so unfair to know that at this point that I am, I have a sort of life security that many people I see don’t have – it makes me feel that I don’t deserve it. I ask myself and ask God why me, why me and my family. Of course I don’t really have much but even what little I have, I feel I owe it to the rest of those struggling to reach out and help. Sometimes the urge feels so heavy on my spirit and the need so great that am at a loss as to where to begin.
I want to make an impact – some friends advice that one can’t make any real impact but I want to disagree not only in words but in deeds. We have to start from somewhere. Others tell me I shouldn’t even bother to come and settle in Ghana – this is not an option for me. Ghana is my home, the land of my birth, a land I call home and want to contribute to its improvement.
I have thought maybe starting with an education tv series to reawaken the consciousness of the populace but there, I have been told I will have to compete with the Mexican telenovelas that have take over the tv waves. But we have to start somehow, a tv drama on the evil effects of corruption, environmental degradation, poor sanitation, cutting corners and general indiscipline in society, A friend said that the tv programme will have no impact if for example there are no rubbish bins for people to dispose of their waste. Moreover, even where this is a bin, there are not taken away when it gets full.
I think a day or 2 ago, it got to me that maybe I should not be overburdened with all the people I consider to be in need. Maybe I need to give the most is respect not just pity. Not everyone is going to work in an office with air-condition. The reality of life is that there will always been those who because of a lack of opportunities end up doing menial jobs. I need to accept that as a part of life…just as the fingers are not all the same so forever will be the case in society that not everyone is the same in terms of wealth and access. Accepting this reality of life will then free me to live the life God has purposed for me – a life of loving, learning and legacy. A life in which I choose to help others in whatever little way I can even if the impact is in changing one life for the better, opening the door to someone’s future through encouragement words, through mobilising funds for a scholarship…all the little things that makes a change. Above all, what matters is that I treat everyone who comes my way the same way – with love and respect – whether a rich guy, a poor man or a destitute. God call us to a life of love