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28.04.2019 Feature Article

What is Wrong with Some Ghanaian or African Journalists on the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral?

What is Wrong with Some Ghanaian or African Journalists on the Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral?

I have received on my WhatsApp page either a Ghanaian or an African female journalist castigating the idea of some African countries making money donations toward the international call for assistance by France to rebuild their worldwide renowned Notre Dame Cathedral that has recently suffered about 30% or more destruction through conflagration. She was accusing Ghana, Ivory Coast and Guinea (could it be Guinea Bissau or Guinea Conakry) for pledging US$2 million or 2 million Euros each to the fund for the rebuild of the Cathedral.

Her argument is, these African countries are poor with most of their citizens living far beyond the poverty line hence it is imprudent on the part of their leaders to contribute such huge sums of money towards the rebuild of the Cathedral in such an affluent country as France. She was underrating the intelligence of these African leaders for pledging or contributing towards the rebuilding of the Cathedral.

She went on further to say that even some most advanced countries like USA, Germany and the United Kingdom have not pledged money but offered to assist in the rebuilding of the Cathedral through the provision of their experts or expertise. Therefore, she wondered why such poor countries like Ghana should donate money for the rebuild of the Cathedral.

At times, I do not understand if journalists rushing to make such irresponsible statements do understand the ethics of their profession at all. Journalists must understand that by their platform, they reach out to many people through dissemination of information and some people go by what they say. Journalists are not only to inform but to educate the public. Therefore, they must be cautious about what they say when educating the public.

Ghana and most African countries are known to depend on the Western affluent and civilized nations for the sustenance of their economies and budgetary requirements. Is this true or false? Does Ghana not often factor in donor countries’ donation when preparing her yearly budget? What is budget to a layman? It is, "an estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future"

If we look up to countries like France, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada and United States of America to donate money free of charge towards our year on year national budget, what is wrong for us to show our appreciation by donating to them a small portion of what they give to us in times of their great need? Do we always have to be at the receiving end, carrying a basket or a bowl in hand going kowtowing to them for alms without ever reciprocating their kind gesture? Do we not often tease the Gas (the indigenes of Accra in Ghana) for always saying to people "Oyiwa don" (thank you) without letting others ever to say same to them because they are always receiving but never giving anything in return to anyone?

It is said in Acts 20:35 – "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive". Why then do we as Africans, think that we should always be receiving without ever giving. How can we be blessed then? Again, in the bible in Mark 12:41-44, it is said, Sitting across from the offering box, he was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, "The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all."

As Jesus was very appreciative of what the widow did, so shall France remember those responding to their international call for help to rebuild the destroyed Cathedral. France as a country, may have the funds and expertise to rebuild the Cathedral themselves but for the sake of collectivism, thus worldwide integration and development, they feel it appropriate to call for worldwide assistance.

Additionally, that female news presenter who was making mockery of the fact that the much richer nations were merely offering expertise while poor African countries were contributing money, be it known to her from me that the expertise for rebuilding the Cathedral can cost more money than the US$2 million Ghana or Ivory Coast or Guinea has pledged or contributed.

If they engage a consulting firm to help them with the redesigning of the rebuilding of the Cathedral, it will charge a fee of more than tenfold what Ghana has pledged or contributed. Therefore, she must not be all that too ignorant to tease African leaders for contributing money whilst the most affluent societies are pledging "just" free of charge expertise.

The French like any White men are not stupid, they will keep record of those countries that heeded their call for help in their dire need and repay them in kind in future. Let me quote the following bible verses verbatim to buttress my contention after which I will say no more but let you, as readers, decide for yourselves if the journalist had been right or wrong.

Kings 17 1 Kings17:1-24
17 Now Elijah the Tishbite, an inhabitant of Gilead said to Ahab: "As surely as Jehovah the God of Israel whom I serve is living, during these years there will be no dew or rain except by my word!

2 The word of Jehovah came to him, saying: 3 "Leave here, and turn eastward and hide at the Valley of Cherith, east of the Jordan. 4 You should drink from the stream, and I will command the ravens to supply you food there. 5 He immediately went and did according to the word of Jehovah; he went and stayed by the Valley of Cherith,* east of the Jordan. 6 And the ravens were bringing him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the stream. 7 But after some days, the stream ran dry, because there was no rain in the land.

8 The word of Jehovah then came to him: 9 "Rise up, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Look! I will command a widow there to supply you with food." 10 So he rose up and went to Zarephath. When he came to the entrance of the city, there was a widow gathering pieces of wood. So he called to her and said: "Please, bring me a little water in a cup so that I may drink." 11 As she went to get it, he called to her: "Please, bring me a piece of bread in your hand." 12 At this she said: "As surely as Jehovah your God is living, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the large jar and a little oil in the small jar. Now I am gathering a few pieces of wood, and I will go in and make something for me and my son. After we have eaten, we will die."

13 Then Elijah said to her: "Do not be afraid. Go in and do as you said. But first make me a small round loaf of bread with what is there, and bring it out to me. Then you can make something afterward for you and your son. 14 For this is what Jehovah the God of Israel says: ‘The large jar of flour will not run out, and the small jar of oil will not run dry until the day Jehovah makes it rain on the surface of the ground.’ 15 So she went and did as Elijah said, and she together with him and her household ate for many days. 16 The large jar of flour did not run out, and the small jar of oil did not run dry, according to Jehovah’s word that he had spoken through Elijah.

17 After these things, the son of the woman who owned the house fell sick, and his sickness became so severe that he stopped breathing. 18 At this she said to Elijah: "What do you have against me,* O man of the true God? Have you come to remind me of my guilt and to put my son to death?" 19 But he said to her: "Give me your son." Then he took him from her arms and carried him up to the roof chamber, where he was staying, and he laid him on his own bed. 20 He called out to Jehovah: "O Jehovah my God, are you also bringing harm to the widow with whom I am staying by putting her son to death?" 21 Then he stretched himself out over the child three times and called out to Jehovah: "O Jehovah my God, please, let this child’s life* come back into him." 22 Jehovah listened to Elijah’s request, and the life* of the child came back into him, and he revived.*q 23 Elijah took the child and brought him down from the roof chamber into the house and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said: "See, your son is alive." 24 At that the woman said to Elijah: "Now I know that you truly are a man of Gods and that Jehovah’s word in your mouth is truth."

Rockson Adofo .

Rockson Adofo
Rockson Adofo, © 2019

This author has authored 1761 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: RocksonAdofo

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