24.07.2004 Feature Article

Rejoiner: Andam, Juju, Students And Development

Rejoiner: Andam, Juju, Students And Development
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Mr. Kofi Akosah-Sarpong putting aside what Prof. Andam said or didn't say, I think your article raises many interesting issues which all development-minded Ghanaians must be concerned about- our strong belief in superstition. Belief in witchcraft, juju and other forms of superstition as counter-productive as it is, is still in the 21st century widespread in Ghana. The saddest aspect of it as you rightly pointed out, is that even most of our educated elites, despite their scientific training, have been unable to emancipate their minds from this irrational way of thinking. It is an outdated tradition which we have stubbornly refused to let go. Many Ghanaians living in western cultures such as in Canada, UK, Germany and Australia (where I currently live) still believe strongly in witchcraft and juju and as a results spend precious time and resources consulting these new generation of "false extortionist African prophets" scattered around the globe.

You gave credit to those leaders who are trying to tackle the issue. I agree that anyone trying to do something about this 'canker' deserves a pat on the back. I was however expecting a strong hit on the new generation of "Asofo" who instead of preaching the gospel are encouraging these beliefs in order to amass wealth from the poor and insecure masses. I didn't see much of that in your article. Nevertheless, belief in superstition as said earlier is anti-developmental and it's about time we join efforts to confront it. I see your article as a good contribution.

Asante A. D ([email protected])

Very well spot on for coming out with such an article to address this issue of juju marabou within the Ghanaian culture which has stifled our progress. It's high time we have intelligent people like yourself making open, such issues which for so long have marred our thinking as a people and prevented us from moving forward in our effort to develop our lovely country and eradicate poverty.

As a matter of fact a wide section of our people dabble in such practices especially our leaders, people in high positions, the ordinary citizens as well as the learned and educated. In effect the country is actually run and administered by stupid illiterate and ignorant juju and spiritualist men and women who live in remote recesses of the country as these so called leaders receive their advice from them. And if a country is ruled by such people, what can we really achieve as a nation. My own elder brother who completed Secondary School and obtained a GCE certificate and lived in Germany for almost 20 years paid a juju man in the northern region of Ghana 20 cows so that he would protect him from his competitors in business - stupid silly superstition, isn't it? It's high time we change our mindset and the government should actually take measures and steps to make it illegal for such dangerous practices and forcibly stop them as was the case with witchcraft and wizardry in the British Isles in the medieval ages. I doubt that would be possible as the very people who would do that are themselves practicing it, what a pity. But it is my strong belief that more of such articles from enlightened and civilized son of Sikaman like yourself in the mainstream Ghanaian media could bring about a positive change. More grease to your elbow, Kofi.

Asamoah Eric ([email protected])

I thought I was the only one who share the same opinion like you in Belgium. You know people find me weird when it comes to matters like these. They just don't comprehend that development doesn't takes place by juju and so on but by tackling reality as it is and seeking realistic solutions to them. I remembered back in the middle of 1990's I was in Ghana when there was a huge blackout in the entire country. While I was on my way home from a business meeting hoping to chill out later in the aircondition, it hit me there's no electricity to power the airco.

In the middle of all this thinking there came the voice of minister of energy on radio asking Ghananians to pray to God for it to rain to fill up the dam. I got so furious that I contact the radio station to throwed up my frustration. How can a country like Ghana allowed such person to be in such a position for the past many years. Did he forgot there are variuos ways of generating electricity than depending on one source of energy and hoping that it rains. I mean a child in the west will find the honorable minister speech a laughing joke. When are we Africans going to understand that there are ways of governing and dealing with problems, than waiting for juju or western donors to solve our problems. They must take a look at the asian country and dip into economic history. This is just sad. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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