Fri, 21 Jun 2024 Feature Article

Voices In The Wilderness: A Poem For Ghana’s Forgotten Children

Voices In The Wilderness: A Poem For Ghana’s Forgotten Children

In the heart of Ghana, where independence was won, A generation of children feels left in the sun.
Their dreams and aspirations, like grains of sand, Slipping away, unnoticed, without a helping hand.
What if a Ghanaian child has not been captured
In the government's budget, a mere afterthought?
No allocation for their future, no penny in sight, Leaves them wondering, “What will become of my life?”
We have representatives in local assemblies, In Parliament, and some in ministerial positions, it's true,

But have they touched every land they headed?
Have they spoken to all of us, before representing us, too?
Do they know what we've eaten before sleeping?
Do they know what we've eaten before the night is drawn?
Oh no, they don't know, they don't understand, The struggles we face, the challenges we withstand.

I asked my father, “When shall we be free, Like the children in the USA, Canada, and Europe, wild and carefree?

When shall we have the chance to chase our dreams, Without the weight of corruption, poverty, and schemes?”

He looked at me, with a sigh, and a shake of his head,

“My child, our freedom is still a distant dream, yet to be said.

But hold on to your dreams, don't let them fade, For in your generation, a brighter future may be made.”

I asked, “Daddy, why do I love to watch videos all day, On YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, in every way?

It's because I want to be like them, free and bold, With a future that's bright, and a life that's worth living, to be told.”

He smiled and said, “Your dreams are valid, don't you forget, Keep chasing them, and don't let anyone regret.

For in your dreams, a better Ghana may arise, Where freedom and prosperity, will be the prize.”

He encouraged me, with a determined look,
“Learn hard, my daughter, and don't let your dreams go lukewarm.

In four years, you'll complete Junior High School, With good grades, we'll visit a TV station, and share our story, it's cool.

He spoke of his struggles, with a single parent's strife,

“But I'll do my best, to give you a better life.

Maybe this December 7th, a miracle will occur, A new leader will emerge, and our fate will be reversed, for sure.”

I nodded, with hope in my heart, And promised to study hard, and never depart.

From the dreams we share, of a brighter tomorrow, Where freedom and prosperity, will be our borrow.

He mentioned the names of corruption cases, one by one, PDS, Ameri Deal, Agyapa Royalties, and more, so undone.

“Bribery, embezzlement, and nepotism, a never-ending tale, A government that promises to fight corruption, but fails to prevail.”

He spoke of the National Cathedral project, a grand design, With a price tag of two hundred million dollars, a sum so divine.

And the Aker Energy scandal, with contracts so sweet, A deal worth four billion dollars, a treasure to repeat.

He mentioned the Grabbed Lands, a tale of deceit, A scheme that robbed the state of millions, a wicked feat.

And the Rot at the Tema Port, a stench so foul, A scandal that cost the nation millions, a tale so uncool.

He spoke of SSNIT, a trust fund so grand, Mismanaged and looted, leaving workers so bland.

And the Government's plan to sell off state hotels, To Bryan Acheampong, a businessman, with connections that compel.

“If a minister can hoard so much, without a care,”

He wondered, “what if she were Minister of Finance, or President, or Vice?

What hope is there for us, when leaders try to accumulate, And leave us with nothing, but a desperate fate?”

I looked at him, with tears in my eyes, And asked, “Daddy, do we have a future, or is it just a disguise?”

He looked at me, with a sigh, and a shake of his head, And said, “My daughter, our future is uncertain, our fate is yet to be said.”

I went to sleep, with a heart full of pain, Thinking of the struggles, we face in vain.

Teenage pregnancies, sex trade, dropouts, and strife,

A harsh reality, that cuts short our life. Parents struggle to provide, textbooks and more, but prices soar high, and hope is hard to restore.

The government seems deaf, to our silent cries,Leaving us to suffer, with tears in our eyes.

I wonder, what if tomorrow never comes?

Will our dreams be shattered, like broken drums?

Will we be stuck in this cycle, of poverty and strife? Or will a miracle happen, and change our life?

I ask, will a saviour come, to save us from this plight? Or will we be stuck, in this endless night?

We've heard of huge grants, and loans, but they're just a tease, Never reaching us, just a distant breeze.

My dad struggles, to provide for me, But what if he's no longer here, who will set me free?

No safety net, to catch me if I fall,Just a harsh reality, that takes its toll.

I yearn to escape, to a life beyond this shore, Where opportunities abound, and hope is galore.

For Ghana, once a haven, is slowly becoming a hell,Where struggles and hardships, are the only story to tell.

I dream of greener pastures, where I can live and thrive,Where education and skills, can help me survive.

But here, in this beloved land, opportunities are scarce, And the future looks bleak, with no escape from this dark place.

(Tears of a Child)
In the eyes of a child, tears fall like rain
A reflection of pain, a heart that's in pain
A cry for help, a scream in the darkness
A plea for love, a desperate fight

(Lost Innocence)
Innocence lost, a childhood gone
Memories of joy, now but a fading melody
The pain of growing up, the sting of strife
A heart once full of hope, now but a distant life

(A Mother's Lament)
My child, my child, why did you have to go?
Leaving me behind, with a heart that's frozen in grief
I weep for you, my dear, my tears fall like the rain
Longing for your smile, your laughter, your sweet refrain

(The Cry of the Forgotten)
In the shadows, I cry, unheard and unseen
A soul neglected, a heart that's lost its way
The pain of neglect, the sting of disdain
A cry for love, a plea for someone to remain

(The Last Goodbye)
This is goodbye, my dear, my final farewell
The end of our journey, the last goodbye to say
I'll remember you always, in my heart you'll stay
But now, I must let go, and walk away.
If leaders leading us failed, and we the children are left to grieve
What are we to do, when our future is stolen, and our hopes deceive?
Shall we rise up, and demand a better fate?
Or shall we succumb, to the darkness that awaits?
“A child is the light of the future” – Yoruba proverb (Nigeria)
“The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow” – African proverb
“Children are the arrows of the future” – Zulu proverb (South Africa)
“The future belongs to those who prepare for it today” – African proverb
I'll sleep, and dream of a better day,
When fortune smiled on us, and our hopes were at play.
I dreamed, and one day, I gave my dad a lotto number too,
And he won, oh joy! We were all happy, our hearts anew.
May tomorrow bring another chance,
To live that dream again, to dance and prance.
May our luck change, and our struggles cease,
And we'll live a life of joy, and release.

(Islands of Survival)
Where waves crash and hearts beat with resilience, Children survive on islands of hope and defiance.
But what lies ahead, in the future's unknown shore?
Will they find a brighter dawn, or more waves to endure?
It takes 24hrs to reach the next island of hope, A journey through darkness, a path they must cope.
Their dreams are anchored, like boats in the night,Waiting for a breeze, that sets their sails alight.
Will they sail to shores, where love and hope abound?
Or will the tides of fate, their destinies confound?
The journey's long, the path uncertain and wide,But in their hearts, a light shines, a beacon to guide.
For in the islands of survival, where struggles are real, Lies a future of promise, a story yet untold, a dream to reveal.

By Hon. Simon Yaw Awadzi
(Action Children's Future Protection, Widows, Widowers and Women's Empowerment Initiative Network -Ghana.)
[email protected]

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