On that historic day, 6th March 1957 when Dr. Kwame Nkrumah declared that “Ghana, our beloved country, is free forever!”, most Ghanaians living at the time no doubt felt a sense of pride to be part of such a great nation and looked forward to a very bright future. Ghana was set to be a beacon of hope for all of Africa and one would have expected that by now we should have been pacesetters in terms of development and advancing the African dream.
61 years down the line and our founding fathers would be wailing in their graves and shaking their heads in disappointment at what the nation they toiled and bled for has deteriorated into. You occasionally hear the “I’m a proud Ghanaian” mantra from people who have probably had a bit too much to drink and you can’t help but wonder what exactly they are proud of. All we do is live off past glory and do nothing to make our future generations betters off and give us the sense of pride we are expected to have in our dear nation.
You look around and you might break down in tears if you really love your country. Who wants to see something they love in such a dilapidated state with no foreseeable hope of recovery? Everything is a damn mess and it is a crying shame.
We are expected to be proud because we have natural resources like cocoa, gold, oil and the like. Just having them and not feeling or seeing the benefit or impact on the nation hardly incites pride. Instead, we should be extremely ashamed of ourselves for having all these riches yet being so poor.
61 good years of so-called “independence” and we are still begging the white man for everything. We can’t do much for ourselves so we import everything and produce very little. Why would we be importing tasteless, corrupted chicken when we have delicious local chicken and guinea fowl? Because we don’t have sense.
And by “we” I am referring to our leaders. That is the simple explanation. Because really, if we were sensible and thought things through we wouldn’t be going through most of the predicaments we have today. Basic needs like potable water, electricity, decent shelter and standard education are still a luxury in Ghana.
And it’s not like we can’t afford it. The amount of money involved in all these corruption scandals is staggering and enough to provide infrastructure and develop the nation, but our leaders are consumed with so much greed they can’t think past their own stomachs and the welfare of their close relations. We don’t have patriotic leader who will put Ghana first and actively push for our collective betterment.
We haven’t even been able to manage our waste properly, how much more our resources? At 61 years we are drowning in filth and dying of preventable diseases. At 61 I can’t have a week of uninterrupted power supply. At 61 there are people in rural areas who don’t know what clean water looks like.
At 61 our children are getting “educated” in dilapidated buildings. At 61 our healthcare system is too inadequate to sustain our lives. At 61 our roads are killing us every day due to their poor nature. 61 years and our attitudes stink as bad as our communities.
Yet every year we allocate money for elaborate “independence day” celebrations; money that could be used for development. What exactly we are celebrating, I shall forever wonder. I cannot in good faith be proud of Ghana in its present state, just because I’m Ghanaian. I am ashamed, and I am worried.
They say a fool at 40 is a fool forever, and we’ve been “foolish” for 21 years now. Would you be proud of a “foolish” father who has offered you nothing but keeps trumpeting the achievements of his grandfathers and recollecting the good old days? That is Ghana now.
I want to be proud of my country. I really do, but when I see what a sorry state we are (in), I can’t help but feel ashamed. And we should all be.