Mon, 20 Mar 2023 Feature Article

Ananse-like Patriotism!

Ananse-like Patriotism!

As pupils in primary school, we sang the National Anthem and recited the National Pledge every morning. We gleefully sang and recited the two hymns not bothering so much about the significance of the message.

We were told the import of the constant singing and recitation was to make us digest the words of the two hymns in order to become patriots. Yes, patriots!

A patriot is one who loves his country and ready to defend it even at the peril of his life. A patriot will forgo his personal comfort for the good of the country, and not the other way round. A patriot will not eat with both hands after his belly is full, while his compatriots are hungry.

I therefore ask these simple questions: Are we patriots? Are we ready to forgo our personal comfort for the good of the whole country? And are we ready to die for Kwame Okro’s homeland?

Many may answer in the affirmative to the above questions. Some may even claim to be more patriotic than the word itself. But I dare say only few would pass the patriotism test because majority has what I call “Ananse-like patriotism”.

Ananse-like patriotism is telling your compatriots you will cancel ex-gratia if given the opportunity to sit on the presidential throne again, yet greedily continue to receive same.

Such a promise cannot be genuine considering the fact that same was promised by the same man in May 2015, but was never fulfilled. It is obvious that he is saying that to hoodwink his compatriots to help him have access to the presidential throne for the second time.

Just google “Emoluments for Article 71 office holders will be abolished – Mahama” if you still doubt me.

There is this joke I read and would love to share with you. A man called Kwaku went to his friend's house and met his friend’s wife, Yaa. As they sat in the living room waiting for his friend, Kwaku told Yaa that she had great breasts and promised to give her $200 if she could just show him her breasts. Yaa obliged, opened her robe for Kwaku to savour the dish on display. Kwaku cheerfully gave her the $200 as promised and left.

Later when the husband, Kofi, arrived, Yaa told him his weird friend Kwaku came over. Kofi happily replied that he hoped Kwaku had dropped off the $200 he owed him.

Abusuapanin, what answer do you think Yaa gave to her husband Kofi? Kwaku knew he owed Yaa’s husband $200 and was bound to pay the debt. But he dubiously used the money to trick Kofi's wife so he could give his eyes a feast.

Kwaku could be likened to those under the eagle-headed Umbrella. Like Kwaku, we saw how they took advantage of so-called judgement debts to line their pockets. The infamous ‘woyomization’ saga that led to the splashing of 51.2 million cowries on the bespectacled bald-headed Zu-za financier easily comes to mind.

Not forgetting the $1.3 million Isofoton dubious judgement debt and the bus branding debacle.

It is, therefore, laughable to hear these ‘greedy bastards’ point accusing fingers at others when it comes to corruption. For a man caught ‘in flagrante delicto’ (red-handed) with a Ford Expedition bribe, and with a noose around his neck over the Embraer jets purchase, it’s shocking that President Ogwanfunu still has the nerve to call others corrupt.

But I do understand Zu-za’s shamelessness. They still believe their compatriots have short memories. That may be true for some. But the few of us with long memories will not shirk our responsibility of reminding our compatriots of the dubious nature of those under the eagle-headed Umbrella.

They can shout their voices hoarse that they are patriots. They can even hold the Bible in one hand, the Qur'an in the other, carry the nation's constitution on their heads, recite the National Pledge and sing the National Anthem everywhere they go. We shall not be fooled because we know theirs is nothing but Ananse-like patriotism.

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!