Opinions Tue, 11 Feb 2014

Where is the Ghanaian pride?

My brothers and sisters. My countrywomen and my countrymen. For too long, we have been hanging our heads low. But as Ghanaians, as Africans, as ones created by the Almighty God, not one of us here should be ashamed. And yet we are!

We are ashamed because we cannot afford to pay our children's school fees and so we see the children sent home. Again. We are ashamed because, though we work a full day, from sun rise to dark night, our ends don't meet. We walk around in second hand or tattered clothes, or shoes with nails and twine and anything we can use to hold them together. And we do this on a growling stomach. Even one (1) Ghana Cedi to buy a ball of kenkey--no fish, because the money doesn't reach for fish--is a problem. And all this I'm saying hinges on *if* we are lucky to even get a job – a decent job! A job that doesn't pay the minimum wage of GhC6 a day – so low as to make us feel justified to steal a little here or take a little there. GHANA ABRABO – ECONOMICS NKOAA!

We are ashamed because in this 2014, 24-hour access to water and electricity remain a luxury for a small few. How many of us flip the light switch on to find that the utility has been cut for load shedding or turn the tap on only to find that there is no running water for whatever reason? That is, if we even have a switch to flip or a tap to turn. In this 2014, most of us are still fetching water from where ever in buckets or competing with the goats and cows for the same water we bath and wash our clothes in. And perhaps the well we even fetched the water from may have been donated by a foreigner. EBI NTE YIE

We are ashamed because most of us would rather leave the country of our birth, this land of our fathers and mothers, at great cost, because the reality is, life is better outside. And we are ashamed because even if we are able to rustle up the funds to pay all the associated fees, even if we can get someone outside to send us an invitation letter with all of their banking information and everything else that is asked for, we can still be denied an entry visa.

But for whatever it may be, we are not stupid. We know that certain nations are not respected internationally. For this reason and many others, those who can, leave the country when they are about to give birth. The kids they have outside are Ghanaians just like you and me. But they have a British passport or an American passport. We are ashamed because the only place we can go to is Laterbiorkorshie – and not that we don't like Laterbiorkorshie – but we are human beings and we are just curious. For it would be nice to have the option to go and come back to a country we can take pride in.

We are ashamed, but our leaders are not. EBI TE YIE

Every election season, they have the nerve to travel into the hinterlands to post their campaign posters and give away T-Shirts to voters in Districts that have piss poor sanitation, no light and no water. Then they drive off in their 4X4 Land Cruisers leaving a cloud of dust--because of dirt roads. However, the roads to their homes are miraculously paved so they are not ashamed.

When they need medical.treatment, they are not ashamed to go for check-ups in South Africa or London or Maryland or New York. Isn't the healthcare system their responsibility? But they are not ashamed.

They are not ashamed that our literacy rate is at 60%. They think it's okay because others are worse. But their own children can read and write so they are not ashamed.

They are not ashamed to pay millions in judgment debts, then turn around and beg for aid money from our donor partners. Money that comes with long strings attached. Because they are not ashamed.

For over 33 years, the PNDC, the NDC, and the NPP have done almost nothing to improve this country or the lives of our people, but every election cycle it is business as usual, making promises that you, I and they, know will not be kept. Because they have no shame. DUKA DAYA.

But we are tired. Boys abr3. Girls abr3. Y3nyinara abr3! Etowo! Dedethenmianwu! But we cannot be so tired that we give up on ourselves. It has been an exhausting 56 years since Independence. We don't have to live in shame. God created each of us with a purpose and plan, and He is no respecter of persons. We should be able to take pride in being the men and women God meant us to be. We should be able to look at our fellow men and women in the eye because we are not begging. We are not stealing. We are living. Proud to be able to invest in our children's education. Proud to earn an honest wage for honest work. Proud to contribute our fair share to raise up the less fortunate among us. Proud to be Ghanaian. Proud to be African.

We know you, the reader, have heard it ALL before. We know you are skeptical and cynical. You have every right to be. Too many leaders have whispered sweet nothings in our ears only to drop us when they have gotten what they want.

Our leaders have been lying to us for decades. But we cannot lose our faith. PPP is committed to restoring pride and faith in governance. PPP has started a crusade against corruption, and building on the momentum will bring down the walls of corruption and free the Ghanaian. Why should you believe us? Well, for starters we have not lied to you before. So Give us the Chance to do things differently. The walls of corruption must be brought down, as it is only the AWAKEned Ghanaian saying “NO” to CORRUPTION, that can do it.

It's time we held our heads high. It's time. It's our time. Let's build a nation we can be proud of, together.

Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond February 2014



Columnist: Brew-Hammond, Nii Allotey