19.06.2012 Feature Article


19.06.2012 LISTEN

There are lots of things I have never really understood since childhood. Some may sound funny, stupid, and strange to you. Well, that's me. I believe there is a lot you can relate to as well.

Maybe I've been listening to a lot of FOKN BOIS (I like outlandish stuff) songs lately but many Ghanaians especially the female folk want to be white. They bleach, put on artificial hair, eye lashes and other things like that. I learnt the artificial hair is painful and over time it gets uncomfortable. But they still wear it.

We are desperately trying to get recolonised.
Of course we can go outside for the right reasons but why should we travel to do things we won't do in our country. We do menial work with our degrees. Ghanaians do several jobs when they travel out but don't want to work when they are in their home country. I believe if we worked in Ghana as hard as we did in other lands, we would be better off.

I wonder if Nkrumah really did us good by fighting for independence. It looks like we are not really ready for that. Or are we? Then let's stop importing foreign culture root, stem and branches into our country, let's stop trying to impose long sleeved shirts and a rope called tie on male employees, let's stop wearing jackets in hot weather in the name of dressing officially and stop wearing used underwear.

Ehee, and if we can learn more about our local cuisines instead of patronizing the junk they rightly call junk food. I am guilty too but let us stop equating “fruit juice” to fruit. They are worlds apart.

I come from a continent where we only see things to be good if it gets foreign endorsement, a continent with all the wealth but is barely existing, where our gold, oil and other natural resources are outside our control, where the self-confidence of our people is at an all time low, where our elections are funded by foreign puppeteers. No wonder we are being ordered to indulge in homosexuality for aid. Who knows what we will be asked to do next- a strip tease? Well…

And I come from a nation where you are crashed if your party loses political power. Where you have to take “dropping” (charter a commercial vehicle) for the police to enable them take action on your case, where people are compelled to, as it were, “relinquish their case to God” because their rights are too costly to pursue, and our leaders prefer to go for medical care outside the country. And yet we train medical practitioners. What a vote of confidence.

There is a place where the customer is never right, and can only be wrong. Where banks and other financial institutions hand customers raw deals and expatriates enjoy the wealth of the land and local entrepreneurs can't start and sustain production because of heavy taxes and bureaucracy.

In this place, it is difficult to do the right thing as a government because you may lose favor and get voted out. So we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. The leaders keep visiting disaster sites where the blood of the lost lives remain on their heads. Yes! And they can't absolve themselves from it because they have always had the opportunity to do something about it.

Growing up, I learnt Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah said something like “the independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked with the total liberation of the African continent” and that “the African is capable of managing his own affairs”. Hmmmm! It sounds nice.

Well, why is everyone becoming a “social commentator” in Ghana? What is that? Doubt if the originators of multi-party democracy wake up every morning to listen to at least three hours of aspersions and very abrasive language in the name of NDC and NPP. Please!

Why is it that kids grow up in their own country and can't express themselves correctly in their mother tongue? We forbid our own languages to be spoken in basic schools. Yet we learn English, French, Spanish, Chinese and others. But not our own languages.

Why don't we bring craftsmen to just teach engineering or whatever it is they do (if it does not qualified as engineering) instead of the non applicable engineering we are thought in school? What is the essence of project work in the tertiary institutions beside it being a requirement to graduate? Great works are gathering dust on shelves in university libraries.

Sitting down to write something unplanned (which is what this piece is), I realize the more I continue to write, the more hopeless I feel about my prospects as a writer because as I said, I need to get an international award for anyone to take me serious; and what is the future when people still die from malaria around me anyway?

So whether you take me serious or not, whether you like this piece or not, whether you are touched by this or chuckling, at least I am doing my part.

I know talk is cheap which is why this is not a manifesto.

And I lay it at the doorstep of those who lay claim to the highest forms of education known to man, the one per cent who enjoy the toils of the citizenry, who promise us heaven on earth, who have travelled the entire globe and are given audience on international stages to redeem their promises and fulfill their duties to the populace.

-Bernard Buachi,
020 8 55 79 65

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