Friday, November 6, 2009

Now, about that campaign for president...

It's been very difficult for me to write this particular blog entry. It's about the Facebook presidency campaign. Some of you might have cross it searching for me on Facebook, invited by a friend (not me), or seen it in Google results about me. On the one hand, I don't really want to be a president and thought writing about this group will only fuel rumours that I am actively looking to stage a run in the future. Some of you have seen me battle with leadership through these entries anyway. On the other hand, talking about this campaign could be taken as a publicity move to get more people to join my self-serving Facebook campaign for President. That will ultimately cast me as selfish, full of pride, boastful, etc. I can't win here. But it won't stop me from talking about the subject. So here goes the blog entry.

Like I wrote earlier, people likened me to Kwame Nkrumah when I was in elementary school because I had a similar forehead. I didn't get the whole 'you can be president' talk till I entered college and found myself acting/pretending to be/representing Ghana and Africa all day everyday. The other day, a classmate told me I was really patriotic because I was always wearing some African shirt or some African-themed shirt. The secret is, most of what I wear was given to me by my mother or relatives as presents or I got them for free. So I wear them because I can't afford to buy new shirts really love to wear them and represent Africa all day everyday. Obviously, if you care so much about something, you'll be the most likely to give your all for it. That may be true, but being a leader is an entirely different ballgame. Discuss.

"But you koraa, no one has called on you to be a leader or president or whatever the F!" Yes and no. If you were in my ear, you'll know I ain't lying, but standing on the truth. People joke around all the time, and we can't always take them seriously. For the 244 strong group, maybe some people joined the group because like myself when dealing with Facebook friend requests, am/we are too nice. Heck, I marvel at Yaa Pono's freestyles and though, I am not his Facebook friend, he has joined "the group". He's not the only one in the group who doesn't "know" me. I could argue many of my friends don't even know me that well but that's a story for another day. I frankly don't know what I've even done to win votes already.

It's only last year that Obour went around Ghana talking about the need to allow Ghanaian youth to run for President. There is some buzz about having African youth taking charge now. I know African youth are eager to create and effect change, but we have to wait our turn. At least politically. But maybe not, maybe with some united front, we could have a voice to push whatever agenda we believe is awesome for Africa. It is possible to be patriotic without being political right? It's been argued that all the NGO, goodwill, volunteer stuff that we are doing is politics anyway, even if if it's not in the name of some political party. Ghana eats, drinks and breathes politics, but inherently, a lot of Ghanaians also hate politics. How do we reconcile that?

There is even talk of a "youth political party". I was very surprised when my uncle called me Obama, Obama last Christmas. But why should I be? I am the member of the family who lives in America and is holidaying in Ghana (a country still high on Obama fever). Nothing doing. Around this same period, I addressed these presidency/political issues with my advisor, my father. His message was simple. Make your money/success/name before you take on such a venture. We've seen some Africans make their money/success/name by entering politics and becoming millionaires but y'all understand my father's point. It's true. My father is never wrong. He went on to use Paa Kwesi Nduom as an example, how we made his money and success and was now seeking office at the time. Like we realized in Ghana's December elections, "Yeresesamu Nduom" didn't quite have the popularity and Ghana wasn't ready for him either.

I didn't start the Facebook group and I can't end it. I didn't start the presidential talk and I can't end it either. I've heard all your requests to be made ambassador of this, minister of that, awardee of contracts, etc but time will surely tell. "Beh you, why you dey take this seriously?" If I take this seriously, it's because we need to be serious about Ghana/Africa. If I rep Africa as hard as I do, I do it because most Africans don't bother. I felt some folks didn't care about being proud from where they were from so I made it my job to show them that they could care and be about being proud. I wear my culture, origins and home on my sleeve. It was never meant to make a political statement but in the eyes of many friends and loved ones, it seemed to make one - the boy wants to be president or will make a fine one. If we all followed this lead, that assumption could be thrown out of the window. This is the price to pay for being different. And I'll keep on being different. The talk won't go away but like I said before, time will tell.
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