WHO IS WHO: Ghana Vrs. Ghanaians

Wed, 23 Mar 2005 Source: Okyem Duku

Now wait a minute folks, this is the strangest caption I have ever come across for an article; well but this article is after all about Ghana and Ghanaians.

If there is anything I love much, it is the fact that I am a Ghanaian. I am very passionate about mother Ghana and her citizens. Ghanaians are a very lovely people, who rather than rock the boat and get a better deal would let things stay as they were in the interest of peace and stability.

Ghanaians are generally very academic people and for this quality they are usually found enviable positions all around the globe; back home in Ghana also academics are not lacking. Bring up an intellectual issue and you give the Ghanaian academics a field day. They are versed in almost everything. When it comes to innovative quick fixes, they are there.

Of late there has emerged a new trend in Ghanaian political and social life, and this trend is the ?honour mania? that has fervently gripped us. As usual there have been heated debates as to who should be honoured and who should not be honoured: Should we honour Ghana or should we honour the Ghanaian?

Some academics have attributed this ?honour mania? to a newfound ?nationalism? which is sweeping through Ghana and the desire to honour deserving individuals who have contributed in diverse ways towards the development of Ghana and well-being of Ghanaians.

There has been what seems to be orchestrated efforts to get certain individuals honoured whilst others are being denied any national honour and this has caused disaffection amongst certain Ghanaians. I have a simple solution to this confusion. Let us honour mother Ghana instead of Ghanaians to curtail all the confusion arising out of this ?honour-mania; especially when the names being bandied around to be considered for honour always seems to be Nana Boakye, Nii Obumpa, Quagraine-Smith and never Atimbilla Azompaga or Dzifa Dzibody or say Dzibottom! After all there can?t be Ghanaians without Ghana, which means that the overall interest of Ghana overrides that of the individual Ghanaian. Why don?t we name Kotoka International Airport Ghana International Airport; and also why don?t we name each of the ubiquitous circles in Accra after the various regions in Ghana so that all Ghanaians will feel part of the national honour!

If you travel to our neighbouring Cote d?Ivoire, almost three-quarters of the things manufactured there bear the name Ivoire or Cote d?Ivoire eg Belleivoire soap Hotel Ivoire etc etc and every public building, commercial house and schools fly their national flag; this is what is called nationalism. Nationalism should be driven by genuine desire to serve and honour one?s country. In Ghana, manufacturers will name their products after anything but Ghana! In the days past we had products like Ghanacan, Ghanakote etc, but they have all disappeared only to be replaced by bland labels like Star Kiss and the rest. Some are even advocating for the name Ghana to be changed. You will also find beautiful mansions in Ghana which has been christened ?American House? over which is hoisted US flag even though that mansion is wholly owned by a Ghanaian!

Is this nationalism? Finally we can honour our dear country further by introducing a new political philosophy to be called ?Ghanaism? to replace all the faded and utterly useless isms and traditions which we are clinging tenaciously to which has brought us nothing but curses, doom and shame.

Long live Ghana and lovely Ghanaians!

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Okyem Duku