Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Did we go or did we come (or are we going?)

Please find below a list of things we have gone back for or are unwilling to let go of. There may be more because I think this is just the tip of the ice berg. Visit to add your comments.

I recently watched some old archived footage of election campaigning during the 50’s,60’s and 70’s. Really listening to the campaign messages you would think they were speaking at a rally last December! The message was the same,ala providing water, electricity, roads and opening more factories. Some messages can never die out – like wiping out corruption and building more schools. But after 50 years we should have moved on from building new roads and providing electricity and water.

When the Europeans first moved here they were appalled by the tattooing and numerous piercing they found on Africans. They classified as uncivilized. Today, the world over, tatooing is a common feature found on most streets in the ‘’civilised world’’. Have we gone?

In the autobiography of Malcom X he mentioned one significant difference between Ghana and other African states. That the streets of Accra were clean and he saw no single beggar during his stay here. This was in the mid 1960’s. Please Malcolm X, wish you were alive to visit Ghana today- you won’t go far, just 100 meters from the airport. Did we go or …..

Since creation, we (man and woman) have tendered to relax at the end of the day by the fireside to talk of the biggest game killed and how the crops are doing. Under the moonlight there was singing and dancing and merrymaking. Today we still meet at the end of the day in a club somewhere to talk of the boss at office and how big a salary we deserve. Looking at it nothing much has changed. There is still the fire side – the club with its lighting systems. And what do we still do there? Dance and have a nice time. The only change is that average calabash of palmwine is now a bottle of Stone Lager beer!.

Mascara or eyeshadow- Painting of the body was done by Africans both to adorn the body by the females and for the males to scare off opponents on the battlefield. Both sexes adorned their faces with various colours. Again it was deemed by others to be uncivilized. Today there is a massive industry in China and the Far East churning out various types of mascaras/eyeshadows to be sold here to our ladies. On the Osar ceremony on Sunday not one ‘’civilised’’ actress walked the red carpet without ‘’peppering up’’ first. Should we go?

I heard this explanation for why Accra and Ghana goes slow on rainy days (by which it actually meant late or no arrivals to offices or functions, empty streets and hence no traffic).That our forefathers who were farmers did not go out on the rains to farm, because rain filled rivers usually broke their banks and trees uprooted by storms blocked pathways. So I ask –really I need an answer—does it mean that somewhere in our Ghanaian cells this ‘’ don’t go out farming code’’ is still embedded and functioning? Did we ever go?

It was said that the last British Governor General prepared a secret report on the future of an independent Ghana. In it he stated that tribalism (maybe Gadafi isn’t wrong after all) and corruption are major features of politics in Ghana and he did not think Ghana can successfully manage as an independent nation. Have we changed 50 years down the line? I wish we have.

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