Friday, July 27, 2012

#Ghana - The passing of a president (#RIPMills) and decisions we make

This week will be remembered for the passing of Ghana's sitting president, John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills. He was a good man, and I will remember him fondly. His memories will live amongst us, everywhere. He really wanted a "Better Ghana". We should all want the same and contribute our quota to make it happen.

My favorite Accra station, CITI FM, shared top 10 quotes of Professor Mills. My favorite is from his acceptance speech from his induction on 7th January 2009. He had been elected fuelled by a campaign of change. He said "Change has also come to Ghana; let us embrace it and forge ahead together with a common sense of purpose. Let us all put our shoulders to the wheel and begin to build a Better Ghana. May God continue to bless our homeland Ghana and make her great and strong". This quote was also shared by The New Ghana Facebook page which is steadily going viral (like it should).

I will also remember this week for the patriotism and unity shown by Ghanaians. I see that level dissipating back to where it was before "Asomdwoe Hene" died but I hope its tenets linger for a long time. It has me thinking about patriotic songs, especially Dr. Ephraim Amu's Yen Ara Asaase Ni. There is also a Ga version in Wo Dientse Wo Hyikpon Ne and an Ewe version in Miade Nyigba Lolo La. I'd share the lyrics (& translations) of the songs in later posts.

Tributes poured in from all over, from many Ghanaians on different social networks, individually and collectively, and condolences shared. One of Ghana's most exciting projects in recent years, #GhanaDecides, has been collating relevant information around this year's election and encouraging ciitzen participation in the electoral process. You should follow them on every major network, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, etc.

Personally, I could care less about politics in Ghana today. It's not that I am being apathetic, it's that there are more important things than the pictures the media and our citizenry help us paint today. The ways in which Ghanaians are succeeding and braving challenges in spite of the well-documented problems we love to talk about. It was sad to see the aftermath of Mils' death get politicized. And it was the little things. Shots of NDC supporters mourning at the NDC headquarters when it could have just been "shots of Ghanaians mourning". We have to get past this.

It's been a while since I shared any opinions on Ghana on my blog. My permanent address got changed to a Ghana one on August 17, 2011. I have become enamored with the achievement, desire and vim of many Ghanaian youth. In my opinion, Ghana will go as far as Ghanaians want it to go. That's the decision we all need to make, not who succeeds Atta Mills. We have to decide to want better.We have to decide that the onus is on us to take Ghana as far as we want to go. We have to decide we want more, and the best.

I had to come up with the blog post's title after I wrote this. So there. What decision are you making today? I have decided I have a major role to play in my community and country's development. I know I cannot do it alone. I am going to bring on board as many people as I can because there is strength in numbers. Join us. More vim!
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