Feature Article of Friday, 25 May 2012
Columnist: Twumasi, Patrick
Research stats recently published by various authorities known and unknown has brought to the fore the gravity of the number of idle hands that are strewn in the streets of the country. The issue of unemployment has assumed a global dimension, resulting into the lead Arab spring in Tunisia. Back home in Ghana it is no different tale to tell. Indeed, it will take the only stranger within the sovereignty of Ghana not to have acquainted the self with this problem. Solution to this pain has eluded our Father Christmas politicians who can promise everything under the sun including long life to the electorate.
However, efforts are been harnessed to how far the situation of unemployment can be done away with or be reduced appropriately. But amazingly, the actions of fellow countrymen and women leave much of slippery ground which will make it an uphill task to deal with. Not to say that the term unemployment is the relative language of those who know nobody. Because, job acquisition is all about whom you know. Without such contacts know and be aware, your search will take you well into your retirement age. Have you not witnessed instances where no vacancy has been advertised boldly but “some” potential job seekers are engaged? Again, vacancies in most organisations are concealed awaiting the graduation of a certain lady or gentle. If you doubt this, check the security services, the financial institutions, the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). They look similar to the nuclear family. Therefore, you need to struggle to gain employment in order to hold down a place for your children, kith and kin as well as cronies. Why should we live this way and how long?
Besides, the age amendment groups within organisations in Ghana are also a contributing factor to the unemployment scare. Unless instances such as mentioned above are dealt with decisively the thought of holding back the tide, cutting the momentum and stemming the storm of unemployment in this country of ours will forever remain a façade.
Nonetheless, patronizing made in Ghana products will go a long way to deflate the swell of graduate unemployment. But as we are witnesses to ourselves, our taste is tailored abroad, thereby offering jobs to citizens of other countries while we hue and cry. Why can’t the taste for Ghanaian products be built among the younger generation, who will grow up with a unique crave for local products. For the reason that, the current call is quite late, for an old dog cannot be taught new skills or tricks.
Additionally, we have become our own trenches in which we fall. The hype of foreign football to the detriment of our beloved local Glo Premier League has impoverished and made our local football unattractive. The rep your jersey which is projected by FM stations will always lead to the enhancement of those brands. Imagine how many Ghanaian crazy soccer fans would be purchasing the jerseys of these European football clubs? It is a whole investment that has the propensity to hoist the brand of European football well above Ghana’s. Hitherto, jobs which would have been created with our local football clubs and stadia would end up abroad. This is not the case in even English football. The Italian Serie A is not shown or marketed in England, so is the La Liga of Spain. The danger of losing revenue and investing in clubs abroad is widely known to them. Can we boast that there is no such knowledge in arms with us? Downrightly, we are growing heavily and building enviable brands abroad which with care and well thought after actions would strengthen our economy.
An argument can be advanced to the effect that, the radio station is trying to make some few Cedis by selling quality air time. But we can start from somewhere by either promoting both at the same threshold or seeking for sponsorship for the local league exclusively for the creation of job here in Ghana for Ghanaians. This could in the distant future be seen as the socially corporate responsible act. Do you know that we collectively owe this nation? Yes we do. The FM stations, especially Hitz and Joy all of the Multimedia family, cannot take the entire blame as the National broadcaster has equally pulled the plug on creating job with their Mondays flagship programme, “Sports highlights” The programme aired between 8 o’clock to 9 o’clock pm is sponsored by the telecom giant MTN, while the local league is supported by Glo Ghana, another mobile network. Hence, with this brand sponsorship turf war the highlights of the local league cannot be reviewed weekly. This kills interest as European football is reviewed to the delight of ignorant football lovers, but to the detriment of the local premier league. This is taking place on the lop side of the knowledge that, when the local league is nurtured properly we stand to create jobs.
Recently, exercise books and other pamphlets come with pictures of celebrities from athletics, football to acting all from the Americas and Europe. No qualms to the total exhibition and advertisement of personalities from elsewhere, for the reason that, the world has become a global village. But, what this practice actually brings about is mentally schooling our children as to who they should see as superior role models. As the saying goes, train a child in the way he should go and when he grows up he will not depart from it. With these pictures been flaunted before kids, there is the greater probability that, these will grow knowing better such superstars as compared to our own celebs. Indirectly, we are making stars, personalities as well as creating opportunities for others to the demerit of ourselves. Do you think in your wildest dream, the American and European will be ready to market our celebs to the disadvantage of theirs? NO!! Besides, child development is an area the nation needs to be quiet interested. Because, if indeed the developmental stage of a child is not only seen as a critical period, but haven a “tabularasa” – clean slate – mind. Then, there is absolutely no wonder our taste for European football and Western products has become so intense that, it is rendering our stadiums empty, thereby shutting our football and local industries.
The unfortunate is currently happening to Sierra Leonean football as the country had to suspend her second round of local league for a while. As reported by the BBC and published in the Daily Graphic No. 18841, on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, page 62, the Sierra Leone Premier League has been suspended due to lack of sponsorship. Of course if the game in that country is not avidly patronized, how do you expect a company to invest the hard earned resources into such a fruitless venture? Then, value for money had not been achieved. Social corporate responsibility is different from corporate sponsorship. Hence, corporate sponsorship must at all times bring some level of return in the form of recognition to a product or brand in today’s world. Do not forget that, that same country had had the entire football league, from the Premier League to the lower divisions collapsed. Hence, there was no football system going on for some years. Is it returning? Remember, jobs are directly and indirectly lost. Mistakes of the dead are examples for the living.
Are my fellow Ghanaians reading? Dr. Kwame Nkrumah once said our radio will be the “Okyeame” of Ghana’s development and not for the purposes of cheap entertainment.