The taxi driver who risked his life to foil a robbery attempt is reaping so many rewards for his bravery.
On Saturday, at Cantonments in Accra, the taxi driver chased down two robbers, who had shot a young lady to rob her of money on a motorbike- and mowed them down with his taxi.
Less than 24 hours after news of his bravery saturated the media landscape, his mangled taxi is being replaced by Koala, employers of the saved young lady, the police would have their own reward for him- and he is luckily to be endowed with a house from Ghana’s President.
There is something to be said for getting rewarded for a good deed done, since that happens too scarcely in the real world. The dynamics of the world work out in such a way that often it is the scumbags who make it to the top, and good old honest people get screwed over all the time.
So do not get me wrong, it is refreshing to see this taxi driver- who risked his life and limbs to go to the aid of one in trouble- get rewarded for his bravery. He could easily have lost his life in the situation, and it would all have been due to his good instincts to help others in need, so kudos to him. The rebuke more lies at the feet of the politicians who would attempt to make political capital out of the situation, whilst ignoring real problems the country is plagued with.
This issue came to the fore of the public consciousness on Monday, January 11, although it occurred earlier on Saturday. Within less than 24 hours, our President had made the commendable decision to reward this man for his bravery. That is a sort of timeliness we rarely ever see in the handling of other equally or even more important issues in this country.
Government spent majority of the last year battling strike actions from several labour unions. Now these actions can be divided into two, those dealing with unpaid salaries and those dealing with a push for better conditions- where was this kind of timeliness then? Why does our wonderful taxi driver deserve his reward in so timely a fashion, but not our teachers and health workers?
Within the past year alone, junior doctors, psychiatric nurses, and several other groups had to embark on damaging strike actions due to months of unpaid salaries. There isn’t only one kind of hero in the world, the one who carries out an ostentatious flashy action, no- these nurses who work in perilous conditions at our understaffed and under resourced mental institutions are also heroes in the truest sense of the word, carrying out dangerous chores on a daily basis, yet being forced to go for months without being paid? What is the reward for their heroism?
What about doctors who save lives not once in their lifetime, but every single day of their careers? What is their reward for their dedication and their heroism? Last year, just for asking for a codified set of conditions of service, something they have never had since independence- government stonewalled to the extent that people had to die in a needless fashion for the three weeks that the doctors were not working. Now I’m not calling the Ghana Medical Association blameless in that entire debacle, because they certainly were with their intransigence- but government bears the greater responsibility, with their scorched earth response to the doctor’s demands just leading to both parties retreating firmly in their corners with no hope for compromise.
Our politicians, whose only ‘heroism’, it seems, comes from being good at picking out deals that benefit their pockets, have outrageous conditions of service that cover areas you wouldn’t believe, yet they acted offended by the doctor’s proposals, as if it such benefits has never before been seen on this earth! Yet they enjoy much, much more than that. Where was this sort of timeliness in handling that situation?
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And our teachers, who shape every single one of us into whatever we become, what do they get for their heroism? Is there a single year that passes without a need for a strike by NAGRAT or GNAT, or TEWU, who keep our secondary schools running? Teachers are some of the most important professionals any society concerned with development has, yet in Ghana they are treated worse than scum. I would know, I was born to and raised by two of them!
They are many other important professionals who keep the country running, yet have to bend over backwards whilst lying prostrate to get the government to even pay any attention to their demands. Why can’t we see this kind of timeliness when dealing with such crucial situations? Yet when an opportunity such as the one with this taxi driver occurs, who we all agree carried out a national service; it doesn’t take 24 hours for government to react.
If I was allowing my cynical side to run amok, I would say this was an attempt by government to bask in the feel good glow this entire story brings- maybe, maybe not. The bottom line is this man deserves what he is getting for his heroism, yes, but then so do our professionals who do their jobs diligently every day, displaying such bravery and heroism on a daily basis. Otherwise we are saying that doing great deeds on a daily basis, as boring as it is- is not as worthy as one James Bond-esque moment.