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Mediocrity at its best - It’s time to look in the mirror Part 2

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Mon, 9 May 2016 Source: Kojo Easy Damptey

... continued

Road Worthy

It is my belief that while much of the blame for our country’s mediocre performance lies at the foot of government and political leaders; part of the blame lies on each and every citizen. Let me explain by using a daily occurrence that everyone has been part off.

Driving in Ghana is the classic microcosm of how our attitude is contributing to mediocrity.

At most 4 way junctions there is chaos at its highest peak. Everyone that approaches the junction is determined to be the first to go through. This attitude of selfishness, disrespect for law and lack of cooperation has set us into the abyss of mediocrity.

It is this attitude carried out by citizens in all aspects of life that is affecting us. If this is how we approach our day-to-day activities this country is destined to go down the drains. The simple solution to the madness at 4 way junctions is to use the right of way. By so doing any one that approaches the junction allows the vehicle on their right hand side the right of passage.

By using this principle, we will build patience, cooperation and respect for law & order. If these principles are carried out in all aspects of the society then we will have a chance. Otherwise, we will continue with the chaos at 4 way junctions and our country will be doomed to stay in the abyss of mediocrity.

What is the panacea? In the words of Michael Jackson:

I am starting with the man/woman in the mirror

I am asking him/her to change his/her ways

And no message could have been any clearer

If you want to make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make a change

Take a look at yourself and then make a change

The Role of Women

If one is to look at the history of post colonial Ghana, leadership is dominated by men who have not only abused power, but lack the African values of consensus building, conflict resolution and communalism.

In pre-colonial Ghana/Africa, women played an important role in shaping and advising leaders. In an effort to adopt or better yet inherit the colonial governance structure we have brushed aside our African values for capitalist values that marginalize women in our society.

While our traditional past can be a solution to our current problems it is wise to adopt what Prof. Gyekye calls critical Sankofa. A process of approaching one’s traditional past with critical eyes to select those elements that would be of use to one’s present life and could also be helpful in building a better life in the future. One can only go through this process by listening and reading the words of Michael Jackson:

I am starting with the man/woman in the mirror

I am asking him/her to change his/her ways

And no message could have been any clearer

If you want to make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make a change

Take a look at yourself and then make a change

Moving Forward

I am of the notion that Ghanaians, and as a matter of fact, Africans suffer from what I call A.I.C (African Identity Crisis). Scholars such as Nana Kobina Nketsia, Prof Gyekye, Paulo Freire, Frantz Fanon and others have discussed this identity crisis. I expound on what they have said to crystallize AIC as a state in which the African is caught between his past of traditional indigenous knowledge systems and the present calling of conforming to the neo-globalization paradigm of the West. How is this identity crisis manifested?

Lets take a look at 3 examples.

Firstly, the idea that working men and women wear 3 piece suits to work is preposterous. All things being equal if we didn’t have an identity crisis, everyone will be wearing their respective traditional attire to work.

Nonetheless, here we are wearing 3 piece suits to work because in the neo-globalization paradigm to be professional means to wear a suit says the white man who came to exploit us.

Secondly, the plight facing women needs to be addressed. Currently majority of women in the country do not have the courage to show off their natural hair.

They are found wearing wigs made from God knows where. The shades of these wigs differ in color, style and length. Why would women blessed with their own hair feel uncomfortable?

The neo-globalization paradigm says to be beautiful you need long straight hair or short straight hair. This paradigm has dominated the scene such that our women have lost their confidence in being who they are in order to lead this country into prosperity.

Lastly, our government (be it NDC or NPP and the other 24 parties) is a product of the neo-globalization paradigm. All of them mask as leaders carrying the will of the people, yet they have done nothing for the people.

All they do is march to the orders of the West (IMF, World Bank, etc), thus sacrificing our autonomy for exploitation in the name of democracy and good governance.

All in all what is the panacea? In the words of Michael Jackson:

I am starting with the man/woman in the mirror

I am asking him/her to change his/her ways

And no message could have been any clearer

If you want to make the world a better place

Take a look at yourself and then make a change

Take a look at yourself and then make a change

Columnist: Kojo Easy Damptey