It is over a year now since I publicly penned down my thoughts, but I am motivated to write on this day because of what a good friend told me a couple of weeks ago.
As we sat down sipping our lemonade at one of the plush hotels in the Brong Ahafo region, the urge to lament over the happenings on the African continent with a wider perspective on our dear nation was seriously unavoidable.
As I sweat and became emotional of our inability as a country to utilise our resources, both human and material in order to be a world super power he told me, “Charley, we cannot give up.”
But with my eyes clearly visible on something non-existent far away, I remarked, “Kofi I give up.”
But like a priest comforting a new disciple, he held my hands and said softly “Ghana can work again. We cannot let our children down. No, we cannot keep quiet because keeping quite is as bad as talking too much.”
Today marks exactly 60 years since Ghana weaned itself from the shackles of colonialism from Britain. Yea, 60 damn good years and we are still the ridicule of our compatriots who achieved independence before us, with us and after us.
You can talk about Malaysia, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
That is why Robert Mugabe who can barely feed his Zimbabwean citizens could muster courage and describe Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana in his own despicable words without any shred of doubt. A description I believe made our founding fathers turned in their graves.
“I have been to Ghana 1958 to 1960 and when you look at them now and compare their present situation to that which existed in the 1960s, no change. There might be more people yes, there may be one road from the airport which has been well done.
The cry of independence and freedom were the only shouts on that day as Ghana became the first sub-Saharan African country to achieve this feat.
Filled with hopes and many prospects, the new and tiny independent Ghana was led into a new era of freedom without bounds for its citizenry.
After 60 years of self-rule, the story of Ghana is not different from many developing countries as series of problems have truncated this found freedom.
Political instability, unbridled corruption, conflicts, embezzlement and bad leadership have been the bane of a country blessed with some many natural resources leaving 21.4% (2012 World Bank estimate) of its population comfortably within the poverty bracket without access to basic necessities in life such as good roads, potable water, and electricity and health facilities.
As the country marks this diamond jubilee, it should be a time for introspection and sober reflection on the ideals of our founding fathers.
As usual, school children will match at the mercy of the unpatriotic scorching sun followed by lengthy, wonderful, aesthetically and elegant speeches from government appointees. But haven’t we been doing that all these years without corresponding improvement in our lives?
The time to wine and dine is over; after all, we have been wining and dining for 59 years. I believe strongly that we are now filled to capacity after eating for so many years. Even gluttons’ pause to check the number of empty plates and bottles in order to reflect on what they have consumed.
Fellow Ghanaians, the time for talking is over, this is a new era, an era whose radiant should be seen by other nations.
Yes, 60 years of wasted time, opportunities and resources but we can still make a difference, a difference which will start with hard work, unflinching commitment and dedication.
The programme towards this Sexagenary is already planned but we can still soldier on with the dreams of our first president, Kwame Nkrumah by making the black man great.
Yes, by destroying the over-reliance on the whites as if they are super humans with super brains.
As I end this piece with a tearful eye and a quote from Ghana’s first president, let me remind you to be citizens and not spectators in this new Ghana we seek to build.
“Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge – a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve – to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?” (Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah)
God Bless Our Homeland Ghana.