You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2007 12 26Article 136489

Opinions of Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Columnist: Awortwi-Mensah, Paul

Afrehyia Pa

The year 2007 is drawing to a close; bringing an end to a very eventful year.
Customarily, the beginning of every new year or season , is a period of joy and togetherness during which people all over the world thank the Almighty God for his bountiful mercy , a prayer for goodwill is shared among all men.
Many people all over the world have over the past weeks been busy preparing feverishly for the celebration of a New Year, and Ghanaians are no exception.
Ghanaians have declared the year 2008 as the “the year of the millennium” as Ghana play host to the 2008 African Cup of Nations Soccer fiesta, and also go to the polls to elect a new President for the country still besieged by differing political and idelogical struggle.
During this period of happiness in Ghana, the streets of almost all the cities are almost filled to capacity with vehicular and human movement, as people prepare themselves to celebrate what God and country can offer.
Not a surprise , shops in Ghana would be full at this time of the year as employees also work twice as hard to be able to cope with the demands of numerous customers.
Most homes, shops, churches, and entertainment centers would be adorned with toys, flowers, paper decorations, color bulbs and ribbons , a preparation to usher in the New Year.
Already, the numerous enchanting carols that filled the air with the nostalgic feelings of Christmas are giving way to some new “New Year” songs. People have already started wishing themselves, their relatives, friends and loved ones throughout the world - “A Happy New Year and many Happy Returns”.
As custom demands, many scattered members of the family have started traveling or converging at their hometowns to celebrate the occasion in unison.
As usual, the celebration of the New Year will begin with various activities on the night of the New Year eve, December 31 with vigil services in wait for the first second into the New Year, January 2008. As midnight strikes, some age old carols like “Afe Ako Aprow”, “Yema Mo Afrehyia Pa” among others would be sung in thousands of Ghanaian homes and churches around the world ,while church bells would begin to peal.
Many families would walk or drive through the streets to the cathedrals and churches for midnight masses or church services. In the big cities, well-known and renowned singers and choirs will take part in church services, these churches would be parked to capacity and the celebrations would follow.
What we should all recognize is that, as we wait for the dawn of the New Year, we must resolve from today, and true to the tradition of the occasion, rededicate or transform to become true ambassadors of peace among men on earth.
Peace should be the guiding principle through which real happiness would be extended to all people.
As the celebration begins, we should also be conscious of our environment.
People should not forget to properly dispose off waste to avert outbreak of any epidemic during the occasion,we must seriously undertake communal labor to ensure that our surroundings and the entire environment are cleared of any filth.
Government officials, church leaders, chiefs and opinion leaders, as well as individuals must endeavor to ensure that we do not enter the “new millennium” on a rubbish heaps , and choked gutters.
We must resolve , that as we enter the year 2008, we will endeavor to make our surroundings clean, ensuring that we lead healthier lives.
Drivers must also observe traffic regulations, and abstain from excessive alcohol consumption during the festivities . This would ensure that our roads are devoid of accidents to save precious lives.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since we celebrated the last Christmas 2006 and the New Year 2007. This is why Ghanaians have to thank the good Lord for giving us the strength and the wisdom to withstand all the excruciating social and economic difficulties which threatened to engulf the country. Thank God we are alive.
As we enter the New Year, let us learn to forgive and forget, and together pledge to work for peace, the development of our country, build our nation on goodwill, tolerance and love for one another.
As we enjoy ourselves at this time, we should not forget the poor and the needy in society. We should visit the less privileged ones, and share with them the little that we have; we must endeavor to respect human rights as well as the rights of the poor child.
Let’s all hope that the year 2008 will not see the youth, especially teenagers on the streets selling dog chains, sugarcane, biscuits, toffees, iced water and the likes in this struggle for survival in our dear country.
The New Year should open another chapter, through which the Department of Social Welfare and the government would strategize, and work toward rehabilitating the youth, so as to enable them contribute meaningfully to the development of our country.
These and many others should be our New Year resolution.
On this happy occasion, Ghanaian should cast their minds further afield and pray for goodwill and calm, because chaos can rear its ugly head.
We must also pray for peace in the year 2008 as we prepare for general elections.
The New Year should remind us of things that we did in the past year and resolve not to repeat the negativity, but improve on the very few things that we could not do right.
As we kill our chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats, cows and the likes, and adorn ourselves with the best of clothes, as we make merry , singing and cheering, let us keep the sentiments, let us forgive and forget all grudges, and spread the message of love and peace. We have to allow these nice attributes to rule our hearts as we enter the year 2008.
Let us resolve to think about the poor and the suffering , how we can help alleviate the suffering of these underprivileged ones.
The New Year should be greeted with renewed determination, translating our ideas into reality and building a better Ghana in the spirit of co-operation, tolerance and national unity.
For all these reasons, it is only fitting, that on this festive occasion Ghanaians would reflect on the New Year, reminding themselves of the universal perception of goodwill based on that unchangeable spiritual ideals.
These ideals also keep reminding us, that for decades, the relevance to benevolent, and to adopt the right measures have been well kept by many people all over the world, for which Ghanaians can safely imitate in the interest of our country.
To all , I say Afrehyia Pa.

Awortwi-Mensah, Paul, a journalist, was a former reporter of Daily Graphic in Accra, Ghana. He now resides in Worcester, Massachusetts

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.