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Opinion | Mar 7, 2019

Ghana’s Independence, My Independence!

By Samuel W. Akonsi And Philemon N. Avaala
Ghana’s Independence, My Independence!

On the 6th of March 1957, Ghana became the first of Britain's African colonies to gain independence. All Ghanaians were filled with joy as we officially attained independence on that faithful day. Ghanaians had no option but to dance, sing all sort of songs, made merry among others in our bid to express how welcoming and fulfilling the news of our new status of no longer being under colonial control was received.

Among the salient features connected with Ghana’s Independence were a new National Flag, a new Coat of Arms and a new National Anthem. The new National Flag was designed by Theodosia Okoh. The colours of which are red symbolizing bloodshed; green standing for beauty, agriculture and abundance; yellow representing Ghana’s mineral wealth; and the Black Star symbolizing African freedom. The new Coat of Arms which is made up of the eagle, a lion, a St. George's Cross and a Black Star, with copious gold and gold trim was designed by Amon Kotei.

We can infer that the key derives to the joy and happiness from the Ghanaian perspective was the high anticipation and expectations about the future. The people at that time interpreted independence to mean the nag dimity to all the predicaments and challenges which engulfed and bedeviled the nation. It is worth mentioning that, it is not enough to say Ghana is 62 years; it is imperative that as citizens we ask ourselves how Ghana’s independence has positively impacted our lives.

Records have it that during the early days of independence all students enjoyed free education, cost of living was relatively low, there was peace and security, job seekers could easily find jobs, among others. The big question we will like to ask is are things the same as they used to be?

It is no longer a secret that Ghanaians are living in very trying times with the elderly dissatisfied with the present and the youth unsure of their future in this country. More worrying is the fact that majority of our politicians, public servants and some religious leaders have gradually established Ghana a dubious reputation, a place where nothing ever gets done until money changes hands. We cannot but keep seeking answers to the question: where did the rot in our character and thieving inclinations that controls the moral fiber and conscience of almost every Ghanaian start?

As proud sons of this nation, it is our wish that those in authority will stop rewarding and applauding criminal behavior and the display of a vicious mindset. Our leadership must realize that where we go from here depends entirely upon what we make of the current circumstances in this country. We challenge the leadership of this beloved country to symbolize the qualities of integrity, patriotism, competence, vision and the acceptance of the burdens of democracy.

Permit us to leverage on this 62nd Independence Day Celebration period to reecho to our public servants that the most valuable human possessions are health, harmony, happiness, wisdom and above all a character that reflects ethical and human values. When these values are manifested in one’s thoughts, speech and actions, he/she could be called an enlightened person. We seek to inject into the conscience of every individual who has an opportunity to serve this nation that we do not work for name, fame, power or status, but for building up strong character and wisdom so that our intrinsic value as a nation will be enhanced.

To our dear youth across Ghana, in contemporary times, rational thinkers are concerned with the speedy erosion of moral, social and spiritual values that has created hurdles in the path of our progress as youth and for that matter the future of our nation. You will agree with us that one does no longer need to look far to see how our newspapers, magazines and other news media are flooded with reports of crime, murder, violence, immorality, and cybercrime perpetuated by the youth. As the future leaders of this beloved country, we must realize that we are the architects of our own destiny as such, if we failure to sow good seeds into our future then bitter ramifications awaits us all and no one can stand in exoneration when the hit backs begin to teach us a bitter lesson.

Below are a few nuggets which can be leveraged on in our quest to as youth, take our destinies into our own hand and for that matter be independent even as our nation is independent;

  1. Having self-belief and a positive mindset is the first method we would recommend for better life style as Ghanaian living in this post-independence era.

In these times of hardship, it is often than not difficult to achieve aims and goals one has set. Self-confidence and a positive mindset serves as a catalyst that catapults people to living their dream. A positive attitude is at the heart of optimistic and successful people. Successful and confident people have positive attitudes. Self-confidence is based on a belief that one's efforts and abilities will allow one to reach a goal. Successful and confident people have a positive self-images.

Starting the day with a positive attitude, being optimistic and taking past failures and mistakes as lessons is a great way to build a positive mindset and strive in this honorable country.

  1. Being more duty oriented and responsible. Be more concerned and interested in your obligations and duties to the nation as a whole and not how the nation can fulfil your interests alone. “Ask not what your country can do for youask what you can do for your country,” these historic words said by the late president of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy does not only apply to the United States but universally sums up what every good willed citizen must do to help the progress of a country. Ghana most especially amongst other countries has been found wanting in this aspect of thinking. Most of us Ghanaians think of how we can exploit the country for our own gains rather than how to preserve and help in the progression this great country. Such thinking promotes vices such as bribery and corruption, political exploitation of national funds amongst other practices that harm the nation as a whole. Observing your civic duties and responsibilities such as voting, protecting public property and observing the rule of law is the right way to go as citizens.
  2. Another way to go is by taking up good mentors and role models. Learning and following the footsteps of role models and mentors can help shape your life. A mentor or role model is most often a successful or accomplished person in life or an aspect of life. The good book admonishes us to ask of the old path and walk therein. We can learn lessons from successful people in other to become successful in life. That being said not all role models and mentors are good influence as now a-days people often take celebrities with flashy and not so outstanding character traits and influence as “role models.” It is therefore advisable to choose mentors and role models who are morally sound and can influence your life in a positive way.
  3. Another way of building oneself to be a good son of the land is to be good to all people and have a grateful heart. Being good such as showing an act of kindness and compassion to all people regardless of background or status can go a long way influencing those around you to pick up certain character traits of yours and continue the goodness. Attitudes like tolerance and respect are especially important in building character and nation building in general. A grateful heart is very essential to building good personal relation with others since you appreciate what another has done for you no matter how small that act is this act of gratitude serves a great foundation of good inter-personal relationships between people hand helps promote togetherness and oneness
  4. Following laid out plans and protocol is another way to help improve a person in this country. Following plans and undergoing a process proves beneficial and efficient in building oneself. In our quest to fulfill our dreams, lets resort to the right procedures and protocols and refrain from dubious, illegal or “short-cut”. From experience it is observed that things achieved via dubious means are short lived. The desire to get rich overnight has resulted in all sort of regretful acts by some sections of society. Sort cuts will cut you short thus desist from them.
  5. Taking good care of yourselves. “A healthy person is a wealthy person”. It is imperative that we desist from acts and behavioral patterns that puts our lives in jeopardy. Act such as drug abuse, reckless driving and riding, riding without a crush helmet, among others has the tendency of cutting our lives short. A living dog the scriptures say is better than a dead lion. Efforts should be made therefore to ensure that we live responsible lives so that we can live to see the future we envisage.
  6. Acquire and constantly improve upon your knowledge and skills. The good book records that people perish for lack of knowledge. A wise man once said that a man’s mountain is his own ignorance. It is so frustrating to note how the youth of today have relegated to the background, the place of knowledge. When you are not updated, you will soon be outdated. Let us strive very hard to sharpen our skills in whatever field we find ourselves in. if you have a diploma, aspire for a degree. If you have a degree, aspire for a master’s degree. The future is for those who are prepared.
  7. Lastly, look up to God. It is an open secret that one can receive nothing, except it is given to him from heaven. We ought to stay connect to God who is the lifter of men. The good books records that “elevation comes not from the north nor from the south, but it is the lord who exalts another, and bring down the other”. In all our dealings, let’s learn to put God first. Until God is first, we cannot be first in life.

As we celebrate this 62nd Independence Day of our motherland, we call on all the youth of Ghana in particular to embrace a creative attitude, positive thinking, and formation of a well-balanced personality in our quest to make ‘Ghana’s independence our own independence’.

God bless our homeland Ghana.
Long live Ghana!
Written by:
Philemon N Avaala & Akonsi Samuel.Wunmaliya
Bsc Planning, UDS Bsc. Accounting (UPSA)
Studying Mphil Planning (KNUST) Studying Mphil Operations Management (UG)

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