“At long last, the battle has ended! And thus, Ghana, your beloved country is free forever”, the words of the Pan Africanist, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah after we had gained independence on the 6th of March 1957. Truth be told, we were the first sub-Saharan African country to have been set free from the hands of the British, but permit me to ask, are we really free? A thought-provoking question I must say.
Many laymen will say, “Ghana is a free world, allow her, allow him, “eny3 shwee”, in our local dialect which means it is nothing in the context of a mishappening which urgently needs a solution.
For example, “You leave your office and leave all the air conditions and lights on. The office is paying the bill. Once power is being used, somebody has to pay. So you are undermining the whole system,” the words of Yaw Osafo Marfo as part of a speech he gave at a forum in Accra in September 2019.
How then do we expect to see a positive change in the country when we ourselves have a backward mindset pertaining to the development and growth of Ghana?
The Senior Minister in his speech also pointed out that our current state of development is a reflection of our values, mindset, priorities, and work ethics as a people and we need a mindset change to achieve a Ghana Beyond Aid.
In retrospect to the speech delivered by our first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on the 6th of March, 1957, he said, “and as I pointed out…from now on, today, we must change our attitudes and our minds. We must realize that from now on, we are no longer under the colonial rule but free and independent people. But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work.”
From this part of his speech, even though he made mention of the fact that we are free, there are some conditions attached: our mindset, our attitudes, and hard work, which I believe if backed with positivity and consistency, will help promote economic growth in the long run.
Many people will say that it is our political leaders who are self-centered that is contributing to the current state of the Ghanaian economy as a whole.
No doubt about that, but the citizenry are massive contributors to this sad state of affairs also.
Why am I saying this? Talking from experience, I live in a country where most people are friendly, resilient, peace-loving and have a great sense of humor.
This is Ghana and I love my country anyway.
How about the not too wonderful attributes of which are nothing to write home about: our attitude towards work especially in most government institutions, our time-keeping skills, the prevalence of corruption, lack of public accountability, sanitation, the appalling belief in the superiority of everything European over African goods and many more.
All these shows how patriotic we are and the extent to which we hold the country in esteem.
Not long ago, I boarded an Accra-bound public vehicle, an old man, after finishing a bottle of drinking water, shamelessly threw the bottle on the road, to my astonishment.
Meanwhile, he was confidently talking about politics and blaming politicians for the high cost of living and our sanitation in Ghana.
But if such a person, with no regard for the environment and country as a whole is complaining, do you think his complaints are worth it?
No! This is because even from his despicable act it is easy to see the level of disrespect he has for himself as well as his workplace and the country at large.
I would not want to end the story on a bad note, reason being that the empty bottle which was thrown out by the old man was abruptly picked up by the bus conductor.
I believe there are still good people out there who have Ghana at heart and are willing to sacrifice their whole being for the nation.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Let us come together as one nation with a positive mindset for change and make Ghana a better place for both the present and future generations.
LONG LIVE GHANA! LONG LIVE AFRICA!
Written by: Mary Magdalene Eliason
The author of this article is a final year Economics student at the University of Ghana