Diasporian News Thu, 15 Jun 2006

Reflections: How to be a Black Star

Have you heard about the Black Star Campaign? If not, don?t be the last to know. Check out www.iamablackstar.org. The Black Star in our national flag represents the hope of Africa. This campaign is about making Ghana a nation full of Black Stars, patriots who live by the same principles of discipline, selflessness and service to man and country that we demand from our national footballers. As we blaze through the World Cup, please allow us to present a series of weekly reflections on how we can all be Black Stars, using poignant analogies from the national football team. Can you proudly call yourself the Hope of Africa? If not, we urge you to meditate on these reflections.

Week 1: Answer the call!

Imagine Michael Essien relaxing in London, after helping Chelsea win a game earlier in the day. His phone rings. It?s Coach Doya on the line. There?s a match next month, and he wants Essien to join the national team. ?Coach, I can?t make it,? says Essien. ?I?ve been very busy with Chelsea. I?m tired. You guys have enough players to get things done without me. Besides, it?s just a friendly. Best wishes to the team!?

Would you accept this attitude from Michael Essien? Probably not, and neither would I. In the same way, let?s not accept such attitudes from ourselves. We do the same thing when we fail to use our skills and resources to serve our country. There are too many of us sitting on the sidelines expecting others to solve Ghana?s problems. Is Ghana better because you exist? What selfless contributions have you made? Do you keep making excuses? Can you proudly call yourself a Black Star or do you just observe and pass comments?

Yes, the government has an important role to play, but don?t sit on the sidelines. Answer the call to serve. Social and economic change in Ghana must start with you.

Thought for the week:

Do you live outside Ghana? Are you lost for ways to serve Ghana? Here are some ideas:

1. Sponsor an underprivileged child.

2. Gather clothing from your neighbors and co-workers for your next trip home.

3. Donate money to an NGO doing great things in Ghana.

4. Volunteer to help at a local NGO.

5. Mentor a child with no role model.

6. Support your alma mata.

7. Organize a book drive for an underserved school.

8. Invest in the Ghana Stock Exchange.

9. Donate blood during your next trip.

10. Join forces with other Ghanaians to invest in local businesses.

If any of these things interest you, contact us at info@neoafricafoundation.org. We will be happy to get you connected through the NEO Service for Africa Program (NEOSAP), which is currently under development.

Source: Daniel Osei-Antwi"