My good friend and sister Nana Ama Agyemang Asante penned this ahead of Ghana’s 55 years. I get livid on March 6 and apparently she does too. Have a read.
Once upon the time, the Queen of England made decisions for Ghanaians. She, through her governors decided where the next school should be built, how much our cocoa should sell for and little things such as who went to school where. This irked the men who had benefited from the Queen’s education so much they agitated and fought for freedom. Freedom so Ghanaians could decide their affairs. The Queen knowing it might not work resisted but a man called Kwame Nkrumah and his minions wore her down. On 6th March, 1957, Ghana was declared an independent nation.
Tuesday marks fifty-five years since that night Kwame Nkrumah gallantly declared Ghana independent. I wonder what he is thinking as we prepare to celebrate him again with another March Past of pupils, students and the security agencies. Does he know very little has changed in the lives of Ghanaians since that night? That is, if he isn’t fooled by the shiny veneer of four wheel drives, tall buildings, and our latest baby the George Bush motorway (which was built with borrowed money).
I know if I was him, I’d be livid.
Contrary to the tales we are told, Ghana isn’t doing well. At fifty-five years old, over twenty-eight percent of Ghanaians live below the poverty line. Life expectancy is at sixty-four in an age where people at hundred do not go senile. Everything that is supposed to ensure better lives for Ghanaians is in shambles-the health and education system is beyond repair. Touchwood, if a tsunami or an earthquake struck any part of this country, people will die in droves because this fifty-five old nation doesn’t have an emergency system.
But Ghanaians are numb to this. On Tuesday, the President will take the salute and give one of his speeches. And we will watch from our homes happy to be off work.
Fifty-five years in the life of any organism is quite an achievement. And we ought to throw the biggest of parties and dance to celebrate the people who fought for our freedom and secured it for us. But I suspect Kwame Nkrumah and his people would rather we wept, wailed and mourned so the Queen might decide to come to our aid.
It might be our best bet considering how the Americans are able to force us to do their bidding (Serbia on my mind), the Chinese, and even the Indians.
It will be that or he’d want Ghanaians to quit celebrating mediocrity and ponder the state of this country. Maybe we will discover we have miles to go before we celebrate.
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