Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ghana @ 56, what are you going to do about it? #Ghana56

Ghana is 56 years old. The age doesn't really matter. Liberia is like 231 years old. Hong Kong is . Mzansi is 23. South Sudan is 1. Catalonia is yet to be born. We've observed Ghanaian birthdays over the years with less pomp and pageantry because the gifts are not forthcoming and the "lifestyle" is still the same. You and I know what the problems facing Ghana are, no need to repeat them here. If you don't know what they are, clap for yourself. I'll like to focus this independence post on the solutions to our problems and what you the reader can do. If there is a politrician reading this blog post, learn a couple of things. Johnny Digital Mahama, I hope the blog post renders well on your Uhuru. If you are not using that device, I have no words for you. So yeah, the rest of us, let's decide we will make Ghana better than what it is today okay? Cos deciding for our president, parliament and government hasn't made us feel like 56 years old.

I'll start by saying the government of Ghana has one major job - provide the infrastructure to let those who have Ghana's best interest at heart develop it. It should first and foremost do for Ghana what I can't and leave me to do the rest. Like killing the business of Either the Candle or the Generator, ensuring better communication and transportation and making sure water reaches everywhere. If Ghana's leadership solved these problems once and for all, you don't think huge statues would be mounted for them. Anyway, I'll stay away from talking about our incompetent statesmen. They won't be the ones driving Ghana's growth anyway. We are the ones we've been waiting for.

Since our leadership won't come out and do it, I would. Resolve and decide to make Founders' Day a volunteer day. Use the day to volunteer at orphanages, give the kids vim to overcome the circumstances. Organize children's gatherings, instil discipline and show them why that matters. Get kids into classrooms (not wearing Aban jerseys) and teach them to read, count and think for themselves. Last year, we discussed Free SHS loudly in the political sphere. But only the smart Ghanaians know that the real problems exist in the atrocious percentages of Ghanaians who are literate. In English, Akan, Ga, Ewe, Dagbani or whatever. Instead of fighting over free SHS, we should help educate our communities so they can do more with less. We don't need the government for this.

I donated blood last month and I felt empowered doing so. If you are too scared to, there are other medical missions out there. Find one. Start one. Cleanliness they say is next to godliness. Let's get our hands dirty with fixing our environs. Organize clean up exercises. Own our development as a responsibility. Today, after I had left Vodafone unhappy, I passed by a promotion at the A&C Mall where Loya Milk was being showcased. My first question is always "Is this made in Ghana?" Patronize local products. Ensure people know that our capacities will only expand if we produce more within and for our economy.

I have been collecting a bunch of "God bless yous" this year by giving rides to passers-by at Accra bus stops. What have you done lately to make Ghana better? When I was robbed of my phone and wallet last night, one of my thoughts then was "I have to do something to combat crime in Ghana". Attack the root of the problem. What could I do? Talk about my story so others are warned and guard accordingly. Push stories of attainment so the thieves know there are other ways to make money. But first, I have to find where the "thieves" are. Don't help me stereotype areas of Accra. We have to do this everywhere.

Most importantly, we have to celebrate the great things happening in and for Ghana. We have to have on our lips all stories that make us say "More Vim!". It's reinforcing to let us know that we are capable of managing our own affairs and succeeding and performing creditably compared to anyone else anywhere. We have to learn to play big and do big and act big. This year, let's not play small. Let's go beyond ourselves to do some of the things I listed above. Let's prove our versatility as individuals, as communities, and as a people. If there's nothing we can't do and do well, then we are truly independent and have come of age. Let's prove this to ourselves. Happy Independence Day my fellow Ghanaians!
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