Tuesday, 6 March 2012

On this day in History: 6th March 2012

Today is: the Independence day of Ghana, we're 55 today! and my grandma's 90th birthday!

Unfortunately today Ghana lost a great actor: Godwin Kotey. I remember him from Inspector Bediako  but he went on to do many other thingsApparently he died at the Ridge hospital this morning :( 

Today felt like a Sunday to me, I lazed about for the most part of the morning, which is a welcome change. After all it is a holiday. Children have been at various grounds around the country, itching to show off their marching prowess at colourful march pasts and ceremonies. Even Google rolled out a nice surprise:

I logged onto facebook only to see a barrage of lamentations about how empty Ghana's Independence is. Complaints about how bad everything was and how nothing has been achieved since independence. This really upset me. I love birthdays, and if on a birthday the only thing you got was insults you wouldn't feel very happy would you? especially from people who have never given you a single gift. So I put up the following status on Facebook:
"It's really depressing to see people only pointing out flaws on a 'person's' birthday. Sure there are loads of problems but many have been minimized and effects mitigated. Sure there are loads of challenges but there's also been a lot of improvement. Sure you can complain all you want and you're allowed to but what have YOU done about it??? Any of it? Name one single thing. I bet you don't have much to say now, do yah? Kmt. If you haven't done squat, Shut up and enjoy the holiday. If you're have ,keep on Being positive and hopeful. God bless Ghana." 

I feel you can only really have a real cause to complain if you have actually tried to do something about the situation. I dislike idle talk. I am a very action oriented (when I can be bothered, that is). Why talk if you do not mean to do anything about it, especially when is within your reach? (This is part of the reason why Ghana is so hot, too may mouths opening and closing for nothing, letting out warm gases, smh)
My status caused a few debates about what the focus of the day should be, some as comments and some in my inbox. What should the focus be: how far Ghana has come? or how little things have actually changed over time. A radical or two went on to suggest that we were a failed/failing state (o_O). S

I was arguing on a completely different plane because I didn't think that was what the focus should be at all. I felt that the question we should ask ourselves, for once, is what have I done to change things? YOU! not anyone else. Not the government, not the Member of Parliament (MP), not anyone else...You.

It's so easy to talk about things happening other people, but when it's our turn we want the matter handled sensitively and tactfully.  So let's put the spotlight on you:
What have you done to help/ change something you dislike about Ghana? let's see, what do you complain about the most??
Is it the bizarre driving on some of the highways? are you a good, law abiding driver yourself?
Is it the poor level of education in schools? have you, with your good education, ever visited your community school or any school anywhere in Ghana to ask questions or offer any form of assistance? have you tried to set up a library or donate books or generally encourage children to read more, for example?
Is it the levels of corruption? have you aided and abetted by offering a policeman or public officer a bribe to cut short a matter or speed up a process? (i know I've gotten a lot of us with this! lol)

Are you a police offer or public officer or offering a service to the community? are you doing your work diligently without always asking people to "dash you something" and
are you doing your work in the best manner possible without being overly difficult so people have to "give you something small?" and
are you doing your work as quickly and diligently as possible?

Do you try to cheat the ailing, limping system every chance that you get?
Is your motto what does the government do for me anyway??
what do you do for your country?!?

Maybe if we all played our parts; the nameless, faceless government would be forced to work harder too

if we all held governments, MPs, DCEs, Assembly men and women etc accountable, regardless of partisan politics,
if we all did our jobs as if we worked for ourselves, instead of dismissing it as 'aban adwuma'
if students actually studied  and thirsted for knowledge to improve themselves and not learn by rote for exams....
if we eschew sycophancy and mediocrity...

....the list of issues is so long that I suddenly felt too weary to type it all out. that's how bad our situation is.

But thank God we are not where we were sometime back...even if we are not as far from it as we would like to be. There has been undeniable progress. The lack of imaginative and dynamic leadership has hurt us but all is not lost. Never. Every little helps, we just have to learn to help ourselves. Apathy and greed only hurt us in the end.
Field Ruwe of Lazy intellectual scum fame, is trying to lead a renaissance of Africans to shed off the 'lazy' legacy we seem to be building. The motto is : 
"Ours is a future of Innovation" 
So I hope on this day in history a group of Ghanaians are taking it upon themselves (after all we're 'honam p3 job anyway')  to actively lead the way and make this country a place everyone can be wholly proud of, in every sense of the word...a country where BBC and CNN can descend like birds of prey  to scavenge and have nothing newsworthy  cringe worthy to report, hehehe.
Ghanaians are trailblazers, after all we even invented democracy and taught everyone else (lol, joke) and this was waaaaay before we colonized the world with Azonto ;) .
It is about time we took back our place as the beacon of Africa by redefining our priorities and setting new boundaries. Boundaries unaffected by laziness and mediocrity or bludgeoned prematurely to death by corrupt officials and politicians. It's about time! 
 I hope...no we shall we pave the way to a new Africa, leading as Nkrumah always knew and hoped we would.
Starting now!
Next year, the question should be what MORE can we do for Ghana?
Happy Independence day!

Added on the 7th:
You see: I just read  Davida 's post on Independence: http://dramedies.blogspot.com/2012/03/ghana-firing-at-55.html the revolution has began already!