08.08.2020 Feature Article

Indiscipline in Ghana on my mind

Indiscipline in Ghana on my mind
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For a keen and non-hypocritical observer Ghana, that school children think nothing of insulting the president of the republic and having the audacity to release the video doing so does not come as a surprise.

The question is: what exactly did we expect as a people when all that our children see of us is our coming out with begging bowls to solicit and accept cash and other inducements from foreign governments and non-government organizations who were bent on promoting their social engineering agendas?

Almost every street corner of Ghana, most especially in the northern part of the country, is dotted with one European, Asian, Arabian or American “aid” organization. We turned ourselves into champion beggars without taking into consideration our personal and national image.

Many Ghanaians make good living from promoting any foreign ideas as long as it guarantees them good salary, foreign holidays and, of course, the v8, without which, for many, life is not complete.

Unfortunately, these are the most vociferous among the people we read in our newspapers, ear on our airwaves and watch on our television stations. They are the ones that shape our national discourses and mold our consciousness.

Of course, they do their best to promote all the foreign ideas, ideals and policies that made it possible for them to enjoy such an easy and good life.

So, we accepted all the fundings from foreign agencies and introduced into our societies policies that were designed to turn us into pathetic caricature of Euro-America, today we bemoan our fate that our children have scant regard for us and all that we represent. We raised children who have absolutely nothing about our culture.

Did we not acquiesce in imposing foreign values on our societies under the guise of promoting freedom and democracy?

Did we not set up agencies to ensure that our children are brought up like their counterparts in Euro-America where children think nothing of insulting their elders and are taught all their rights but nothing about responsibilities?

In the name of freedom and democracy, we threw our airwaves open to every manner of foreign stuff that are harmful to developing and fragile societies like ours.

To satisfy our insatiable greed for material aggrandizements, we tore all our traditional values into shreds, today we bemoan our fate as our children mock us and have no compunction whatever to be seen doing so.

We forget our Elders’ admonition that:

1. We shall reap whatever we sow

2. As shall sleep on our beds the way we lay them.

Today, we are confronted with the Frankenstein Monster we sired

I tackled the harm my generation did our society in my article, “Respect is not an Entitlement.” I wrote, among other things: “Our grandparents fought hard to win independence for us. Today, we have managed to sell Africa back to new colonisers, leaving our children the burden to fight for their own emancipation. Our parents did not have much, but they starved themselves and denied themselves life’s luxuries so that they can send us to school. They made huge sacrifices to ensure that our lives become better than theirs. Many of them live in small houses, even in hovels, and they spent long hours to trek and work in their farms, eke out a miserable existence, so as to guarantee us a better life.

And how did we pay them back? By becoming selfish and greedy. By becoming totally incapable of taking any thought for the morrow. By not being able to think beyond our stomach, our own comforts.

We took for granted all the sacrifices lavished on us by our parents, today, we shamelessly deny our children the same thing. What could be more terrible than to listen to some among us, beneficiaries of free education policies, arguing, without any sense of irony or shame, that free education is not possible for our children?

We can drive around town in the most expensive jeeps that money can buy, but we cannot find the money to educate our children. Our mansions are more opulent than those of Arabian rulers, while we condemn the majority of our own citizens to wretched lives in Ghosttowns – that is ghettoes within ghettoes. We are glib and eloquent when it comes to denying our compatriots the same luxuries we take for granted and cannot do without. Without blinking an eye, we sentenced our fellow citizens to lives of miseries under SAP, ESAP, HIPC, and whatnots, while our stomachs bulge and spill over into Executive Pouches. My generation saw nothing wrong or ironic in dressing up in the best Saville Row suits and drive around in expensive jeeps to meetings where they append signatures to IMF and World Bank Austerity measures, that devastate our economies, wipe away our nascent middle class, and turn our currencies into Monopoly money.

Unluckily for us, our children today have access to the internet with its vast resources, that were unimaginable a few years ago.

So, they can compare notes with their peers scattered around the globe. They can see the wonders human minds have created while we wallow in stupid superstitions. They need no one to tell them how badly we have let them down. They need no one to convince them about our backwardness, and our apparent inability to even grasp how far behind other people we truly are. They need no further proof that we remain the Fanonian Wretched of the Earth.

They will, rightly, ask us where we were when other people invested so heavily in mathematics, science, engineering, and technology. Our Children will certainly want to know what we invested for them. The questions of our children will be many. What would our answer be when our children ask us why parents in other climes left their children with great citadels of learning, awesome laboratories, and research centers, while all we leave for them are shiny but useless cathedrals and mosques? They very surely will ask us why we crammed their head full with useless religious tracts, while other parents filled the brains of their children with computer programming languages, robotics, and AI skills?

With the exception of mine, every generation, strive to leave a better society than they met for their children. It was parents’ prayers that their children should be greater and better than them.

Unfortunately, this was not so with my generation. We focused only on how to aggrandize our personal comforts. Only the primitive acquisition of material things excites us. We crave the latest exotic vehicles the way famished hyenas crave food. Production is not our thing, only wanton consumption. We did not build any productive venture worth mentioning, importation was our only interest. The only competition that holds us in sway is to compare our mansions with the best in society. Crass materialism was the only thing that consumes our lives. Our focus and vision did not extend beyond our stomachs. The Nigerian writer, Kole Omotosho, very brilliantly captured our penchant for materialism in his book, “My Mercedes is bigger than yours.”

Apart from that which will feel our stomachs, we have no other dream, no ambition and no drive.

Today, as we totter on our way to on our graves, we suddenly discover tradition; we want to be accorded the customary respect reserved for elders in our society.

Ha! We ate our cake, and we want to have it. Too late.

As can be imagined, the piece riled so many people who, instead of facing up to the truth, decided to unfriend me.

Read the full article here:

Let’s listen to Peter Tosh:

“You can't blame the youth

You can't fool the youth

You can't blame the youth

(Of today)

You can't fool the youth

You're teachin' youths to learn in school

That cow jump over moon

You're teachin' youths to learn in school

That the dish ran away with spoon

So you can't blame the youths

(When they don't learn)

You can't fool the youths

(Can't fool the youth)

You can't blame the youth

(Of today)

You can't fool the youth

You teach the youth about Christopher Columbus

And you said he was a very great man

You teach the youth about Marco Polo

And you said he was a very great man

You teach the youth about the pirate Hawkins

And you said he was a very great man

You teach the youth about the pirate Morgan

And you said he was a very great man

So you can't blame the youths...”

Fẹ̀mi Akọmọlàfẹ́

August 8, 2020

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