A Ghanaian born-British lawyer at a firm I work in London stated late last year that, he wouldn’t ever go to Ghana to live there–and that in the next 1,000 years, the Ghanaian mindset and politics wouldn’t allow the country to move an inch, closer to the United Kingdom.
I tried to convince him to visit more and that things look a little brighter. Of course, I was being generous; things have not changed in any way for good.
He looked at my face and smiled: the best universities are in the West and almost all the political, religious and traditional leaders in Ghana send their children abroad for “proper education”.
Mensah Otabil, who even owns a University sent her daughter abroad to be educated, he added.
That was one a good argument I couldn’t tear down. Because the President was even educated abroad and the children of those who matter are daily being sent abroad to be educated–so why should he move to Ghana and then pay to bring his children back to the UK again for “proper education?”
He continued: when you are sick in Ghana, you will have to pay to fly back to the UK for expert or proper healthcare–so what’s the point?
I am sure if I am to have this conversation with him today, he would cite Dr Bawumia, the Vice President as his example. Then, he mentioned how Nana Akufo Addo and former President Mills used to travel out of the country for health care.I didn’t give up; I pushed that there are a lot of emerging opportunities in Ghana which can be easily explored, even in the legal field and when it comes to other businesses.
Once again, he laughed and said: I am sure there are a lot of opportunities in Iraq too, why don’t you move there?
Opportunities in Ghana are absolutely useless if you cannot have the basics of life: water, healthcare, proper education, security, enforcement of laws–and even infrastructure such as roads.
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He said; what’s in the West today, available to all, remains an aspiration for those in Ghana if only they would be honest. It’s not a problem to aspire for what others have, but don’t ask those with it, to come and join those aspiring and yet have no sort of urgency to make it happen for them.
There’s, for instance, unemployment everywhere in the world, but the sort of unemployment we have in Ghana is different–only those who have experienced it can actually understand the pain it comes with and the exploitation, desperation and abuse it leads to.
My former teacher at Adisadel College, now a lecturer in the UK told me this morning how lucky I am to have done my first degree in the UK before proceeding to do my two masters.
He said because he did his first degree in Ghana, he struggled so much with the “proper UK educational system” when he moved here to do his masters.
He mentioned that his research skill was zero, he had absolutely no analytical skills and he couldn’t write proper academic essays incorporating the needed footnotes or references–because it was more of chew and pour in Ghana for him.
For him, Ghana’s educational system breeds ignorance and non-thinkers. Therefore, his children, wouldn’t even have a stint with that “nonsense called education” which needs urgent reform.
Ghana has layers of disturbing problems. I understand it will take perhaps centuries to fix them but my worry is, we do not even accept that we have these problems–the first step to finding a solution to any difficulty.
For now, the Ghanaian aspirations are the daily realities of others and those who are lucky to be part of the realities have every good reason and right not to want to retrogress in life.
My lawyer friend was right and I was wrong; why should he relocate?
Those abroad and home, what are your experiences in regard to the above?