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01.05.2019 Feature Article

How the Story of the Race Between the Hare and the Tortoise Relatesto the Everyday Lives of Ghanaians

How the Story of the Race Between the Hare and the Tortoise Relatesto the Everyday Lives of Ghanaians

On the programme of "Tete" on Peace FM by Nana Agyei Sika Pa on Tuesday, 30 April 2019, at about 16:00 hours, he narrated the Kwaku Ananse’s story about the race between the hare and the tortoise. Everyone knows how fast the hare (let’s say rabbit) runs in leaps.. Tortoise, on the other hand, crawls same as does the snail. Therefore, there is no doubt that in a race the hare will outpace the tortoise a hundredfold.

However, in this folklore, as told by our forefathers, the tortoise won the race far ahead of the hare. It used its wisdom, although slow as it crawls, to win the race to the admiration and surprise of the spectators. When the programme presenter allowed the listeners to phone to relate the story to our present day life as human beings, especially Ghanaians, I was amazed at the analyses by the callers.

In Ghana, many are those who see life as a race to win at all cost. They hurry to acquire not only the basic essentials of life but luxuries. When one sees that Kwadwo or Akua has a beautiful mansion, a luxury car, etc., they may not bother to enquire to know how they got them, but they will surely want such things for themselves at all cost. They want to be like, if not far better than, Kwadwo or Akua. No wonder that we hear of young men resorting to Sakawa, juju and all sorts of dirty and stupid means to enrich themselves overnight. Nevertheless, it is not gold all that glitters. You can run as fast as the hare, but you may not win the race. Yes, you can dubiously quickly acquire the wealth that you aspire to, but it comes at a price.

How many young men have we not heard of, or perceived, to have gone for "Sikaduro" but died soon after becoming super rich? How many politicians, Heads of Public Services, chiefs, school bursars etc., have we not seen to have illegally acquired immense wealth only to be caught, shamed and although seldom prosecuted? To quickly acquire undeserved wealth, most Ghana police officers are daily seen on the roads collecting bribes from drivers. Have the police by their reputed infatuation with taking bribes on the roads not lost their credibility and once a while taken on by some fearless "burgers" of whom the writer of this publication, Rockson Adofo, is noted for? That is an instance of the disgraceful price to pay for quickly, but illegally trying to win the race of enriching yourself.

All those resorting to illegal means to quickly enrich themselves are comparable to the hare that lost the race in the end. You can as quickly acquire wealth through all the corrupt means as you are capable of but in the end, you may not enjoy the wealth as peacefully as you would want to. If you went for "Sika duro", you may die young. If you resorted to cyber fraud, you may be caught. If you are a chief and resorted to bullying to obtain your wealth by false pretences, because you are an overlord, you will forever be disgraced when your illegal acquisition of wealth and power is exposed.

In life, let us go about acquiring our wealth patiently and correctly. Did the tortoise not win the race as slow as it is known to crawl? Everybody would have naturally expected the hare, the faster runner, to win the race but he could not. It rushed but in the end it lost the race. In life experience as said by the radio phone-in callers, life should not be a competition. Yes, you can aspire to be rich or live better but to envy someone’s riches to result in you employing illegal means to become as rich as that person is wrong. It is this silly desire in some Ghanaians to be richer, to be more powerful, to be respected and command others that have led to people entrusted with power and higher positions always swindling the country at any least chance they get.

Prefer to earn your respect and riches slowly but gradually like the tortoise and you will never incur the wrath of man or God. But if you hurry to resort to bad ways to gain your riches, you will lose your respect same as former President John Mahama, Alfred Agbesi Woyome and others are constantly being lambasted for stealing or allegedly embezzling Ghana’s money.

Be like tortoise in a race to win the race and to gain your wealth and good name but not like the hare that rushed but lost the race it could surely have won. If you become a hare in life to gaining your riches, power and fame, it will take you much the same haste to lose all that you have gained. Quick buck goes as quick as it comes!

Thank you for your educating wise attitudes, sayings and admonitions by our forefathers, Nana Agyei Sika Pa. Keep up the good job.

Rockson Adofo

Rockson Adofo
Rockson Adofo, © 2019

This author has authored 1753 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: RocksonAdofo

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