I am a minister, how dare you sent an intern to interview me? I am a lawyer, don’t dare me. I am a medical doctor, be ware. I am the paramount chief of this area, I will destool you if you cross that line. I am a professor, address me appropriately. I am an MP call me honourable. I am the regional police commander, I will have you arrested and no one can do anything. I am the Archbishop of this church, I will do to you as Elijah did to the 400 Baal worshippers if you don’t do what I say. I am so so and so.
In everyday conversation with the so called elite in Ghana, it is common to hear them brag about their titles, political positions, party affiliation, and economic and social credentials. This is typical of a crude elitist society. In every society that is elitist, the elite tend to claim to be superior. They claim to have the best knowledge and also claim to possess the ultimate intelligence.
But what actually defines that society is not what the elite claim to be but rather how those who are not considered elite live their lives. It is also about how outsiders see that society. A society in which those at the bottom of the power chain drink filthy contaminated water, sleep in makeshifts, school under trees, use rudimentary healthcare system is not only a failed society but also shows the intellectual bankruptcy of the elite.
In Ghana, while some of elite live in enclaves and gated communities surrounded by high walls, and CCTV, they breathe the same polluted air as the rest of the population. They use the same pothole-prone and accident-friendly roads as the rest of the population. They all suffer from mosquito bite everyday just like the people and when dumsor occurs, few are able to escape it. In every year when Accra’s flood shows its ugly head the so called intelligent elite suffer like the unintelligent. They also die unnecessarily like the rest of the population. In the last 10 years or so we have had a sitting president die in his office, a former vice president die in a gym and a former top government adviser die while in traffic.
Rather than throwing their titles around and demanding to be worshipped, the elite in Ghana should get down from their high horse and put on the apparel of humility and work to transform Ghana from its current socio-economic doldrum.