Entertainment of Monday, 18 February 2013

Source: Henrietta Adjetey

Ghana man & time, will this ever end?

The familiar words you hear from the lips of a typical Ghanaian late for an appointment are “I was stuck in traffic” and that is all there is to be said.

Funny enough, most of these appointments we attend late with this excuse are either appointments that go a long way in adding essence to our own lives or programmes we have paid our hard-earned money to attend.

One would ask, “Why can’t the Ghanaian man get his time right?” But how can we when lateness has been welcome and made a necessary part of our culture?

Gradually, we have embraced lateness as a part of us and have accepted it as the “normal”. We show up late for work, business meetings, job interviews, dates, shows, ceremonies and the list goes on.

Obviously, our attitude with regard to time results in our low productivity and that is not an attribute of any progress-seeking country. It rather reflects on us as a people who cannot prioritise their needs, and lack a sense of urgency in all their undertakings.

We do not seem to realise that our lateness is playing a massive role in Ghana’s regression and if this country is to develop at the pace we require, we have a lot of catching up to do with getting our time right.

When we show up late for a programme, it is expected that we close late which automatically affects the next appointment on schedule, and then unto the next which continues unending. It appears as no surprise that in Ghana, events start an hour and thirty minutes late, what should take a week, usually takes a month, and a contract of two years is executed in the fourth.

An event starts two hours late and the explanation an organiser gives is “this is Ghana for you” - how appalling? But do we always have to blame the organisers for starting a show late? If audiences show up on time for programmes, there is no way organisers would leave them sitting down watching an empty stage.

It is surprising how quick we are at copying all sorts of lifestyles from western cultures yet we don’t seem to be bothered about that positive attitude about them that says “we don’t joke with our time”. This approach to life obviously has made these countries industrious giants to contend with.

For our own good, let us, as Ghanaians, take our time more seriously as that will be just the beginning of Ghana’s headway.