Yaa Bosomtwi Needs Our Support

Tue, 11 May 2010 Source: Berko, George

, Not Impeding Skepticism.—What Rare Show of Patriotism!

The Article published by Ms. Yaa Bosomtwi, appearing on the Ghanaweb.com on May 11th, 2010, and concerning her duel with her employer, the Columbia University, obviously has many facets to it that merit the attention of Ghanaians and other stakeholders receiving and managing foreign Funds for various local Projects. But one thing, in particular, among the numerous responses to the Article, pricked my conscience to generate my request for a more thorough, in-depth Public discussion. And that is the subtle efforts by some to dissuade the aggrieved Author from taking on her employer. I was, specifically, very troubled by those comments that alluded to the Author’s mention of her ambitions as playing negatively into her reasons to sue her employer.

Many who share the view that the Author’s ultimate ambitions were a reason why we should disbelieve her version of the story seem not to have looked at the issue holistically, or be missing a very important trait that significantly threads through her whole story to depict, at least, an inkling of her character. Yaa, consistently displayed a rare streak of honesty and prodding for transparency in her exchanges with the various parties she had to deal with. She demanded that the right thing be done at every turn of her encounter with her employer, not just for herself, but for the Nation and all other Ghanaians she was working with. This is a most laudable manifestation of a principled, ethical, moral, and patriotic mind of which we are woefully deficient in Ghana, these days. And we should be proud of her and count ourselves lucky that we still have someone like her, a remnant of the fast disappearing best stock of us, alive with us today. Her brazen challenge to the other side to contest her claims at Court, her courage to disclose her ultimate ambitions as a Citizen of Ghana, and the seeming braggadocio she enjoys for standing tall and up to the corporate colossus of Columbia University, underscore a vector directing to an individual that is proud to live an upright, decent and honest life, in which her Patriotism is unwavering and her heart is full of empathy for her fellow Ghanaians. She demonstrates a rare gallantry that most of us can hardly relate to, now. And she seems to gloat, justifiably, in scoring points against our common foes—those who would rather use us and care less if we ever live, unless being used as guinea pigs and specimen for experiments, in a petri-dish. I would always love to experience life beyond the petri-dish. Who wouldn’t? Well, if you could, “flow like a butterfly and sting like a bee” (my apologies to Mohammed Ali)!

Yes, the Author made no secret of her Professional and Political ambitions to ascend to become a Minister of Health of Ghana, someday. But if folks would pay closer attention, it would be seen that she invokes that personal goal as a source of motivation to persist in living a life of integrity and honesty. What would we have her do, instead? Cover up her real intentions? If nothing at all was very revealing about the character of this Lady, her voluntary disclosure of her ultimate ambitions should establish the fact that she is not afraid to be blackmailed, further affirming her exceptional courage and conviction. This is as good as it gets! The Lady is a quintessential patriot and we ought to applaud her and stand by her to the very end. It does not matter if the other side has their own story to tell. It does not take a rocket scientist to read in, on, over and between the lines in her article. Nothing could be hidden in it to dampen the core essence of it-- the exposure of how corporate entities connive to keep us where we are and use our homelands as hunting grounds for fodder to feed their greed.

Like the Lady said, our Hospitals lay bare without the basic and much needed equipment for saving lives, so glaringly noticeable by these figures of corporate power who are using the same Hospitals and their patients for research for which huge Funds are offered. And yet, these greedy folks, with all the grant money they use to ensure their personal luxury, have not cared to improve the conditions in the Hospitals. Left to them, the Health of our folks should remain ever so abysmal to offer grounds for their so-called research that they would use to draw massive Funding from unsuspecting charitable sources. Most of the Funding for various projects in Africa have gone to fatten the bellies and Bank Savings of many Directors and even creators of the NGO's claiming to undertake such projects. We are often being used, and sadly, often we see some of our own who collaborate with these selfish frauds to misuse us.

Then, another thing I would like others to closely examine is the question of why the employers of Yaa’s remained recalcitrant in demanding the use of GHS (Ghana Health Services) as a cover to veil who really owns the Project, at the strong and unflinching opposition of Yaa. Could her employers envisage an imminent failure of the Project? -–A failure they did not want to associate with the names of the Sponsors of the Project but found it convenient to blame the GHS for? Why would the employer want to evade taxes in Ghana, if they truly desired to help the Nation develop and its Citizens have healthier lives? Ostensibly, the behavior of Authorities directing the Project Yaa was Manager of, under Columbia University’s tutelage, do not seem to really want us to succeed and then they might have the audacity to turn around to call us incorrigibly backward when we are stuck in our developmental quagmire.

I think also that Yaa has even done the target of her complaints great generosity by telling them exactly what she is going to do to them. I, for one, might not even be that charitable to offer them a hint of what I would be planning for them. But given the highest probability that Yaa is convinced of the kind of evidence she has to prove her case, she does not care to tell them exactly what she has in store for them. What a show of forthrightness!!!

She has proven how transparent she could be to them that they never were to her. While planning surreptitiously to can her, she placed all her cards on the table, face up, being most confident of her justification, morally and legally, to take the action she intends to take. What a rare courage! We all have faults. No one is perfect. So, I would not be surprised if Yaa is found fallible on some things she might have done to her employers, as the case goes to a higher level of adjudication and legal scrutiny. But the facts, as she laid them down, in her Article, do not seem to have been cooked up. The quotes she provided, as assertions from the others, point to the fact that she is meticulous and aware of the full ramifications of what she has gotten herself into. But she trusts herself and the materials she has on hand to win her case. Her self-confidence is infectious and I, for one, cannot find a reason to doubt her ability. And I plead all not to misconstrue that conviction of hers as some portrayal of arrogance. Her insistence on getting Ghana the taxes due it, only speaks to her exemplary Patriotism. What else should we expect from her to justify our support?

So, we only have to support her in her fight with Columbia University. She has already indicated she is financially stable and even finds some to give to less fortunate ones around where she worked. She cannot be easily dismissed as doing this all for only her personal wellbeing or ambition. Therefore, we cannot sit by the roadside to just wave at her “adieux”, let alone smothering her enthusiasm to fight on. We have to cheer her on, not doubt her. And even if she fails to win, she would have pointed our officials and the World to the tricks that are possible to derail many a Project in Africa with foreign sponsorship.

We should not accept our Country being the experimental lot for others' researches until eternity. We do not seem to be getting commensurate rent back from them. And besides, they do not treat our sisters and brothers hired to manage their projects, here, with the same decency and respect as they accord their own. So what should we make of that? If Yaa fails to win a Court battle with Columbia University, she wouldn’t have failed with us. She would still be our glorious champion. Let others call her Amazonian, what have you! I would continue to see her as an incarnation of Yaa Asantewaah.

Remember, folks, the funding for the Project is not from the Columbia outfit itself, but from the Gates Foundation and others. The Columbia outfit is only a conduit for getting the job done and it is misdirecting the resources, and using falsehoods for reports on the Project that might not favor us.

To all Yaa’s skeptics on this matter, I would entreat you to, just, pray that the Lady wins! And if you cannot see her patriot enough to commend her, just keep your fingers crossed and wait for the final outcome and do not douse her justifiable burning rage with dampening innuendos. She deserves a word of commendation, at least, for trying to expose a possible misuse of our Nation and our people by outsiders. For the rest of us, the least we can say to her is: Bravo!

And if our honorable readership would excuse my indulgence, may I use my mother-tongue to send her some words of encouragement: "Obaasima Yaa Bosomtwi! Woye Omanba pa! Wo reko akoden akyere twie. Ye tare w'akyi. Wofro dua pa a, na yepia wo. Yere bo mpae ama wo. Efiri Ghana atifi kosi anafoo, Apueye kosi Atoye, wo nkonimdie hye ye nyinaa animuoyam. Wo nokware, w'akokroduro, ne onuado a w'ayi akyere yen no nyinaa di nkamfoo pii.

Ko so ten w’aso, bue w'ani, na fa ahobrasee gyina pintimm. Biribi anko ka pepa a, pepa ngye dwerede! Aprukuso, wo so woho e, anyaado! Ghanaman nyinaa ani di w'akyi. Otweedeampong, Katamansoo, Omintimmirm, Oseadeyo, Kokroko no ne Nananom nsamanfoo nka wo ho nkosi awieye! Mo, anyaado!!!“

Long Live Ghana!!!

Columnist: Berko, George