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Opinions of Thursday, 9 September 2010

Columnist: Aka-eri, Francis Aka-ebila

Born And Bred To Fail In Ghana

Over the years, we have heard and read countless pages of why we the humble sons and daughters of Africa are so prone to failure in our quest for survival. We work and try hard to be like anyone else, but the odds seemingly stack against us on each turn. We try our best, but our best barely gets us across the finish line. So, the question is as always, why is it so difficult for us to succeed in Ghana?

Perhaps, the once precious gift of blackness is fast becoming a curse on blackness, such that we appear rather too rich in melanin and branded too black in kind to be successful. If not, then it could be because our very minds have been fine-tuned to glaringly work us down the skunk drain of shame and shambles.

The truth is that the growth and development of every person depends on the evolution of his or her own mind, because by virtue of our minds, each person is created unique and duly blessed with the capability of pursuing dreams. But when a person gladly decides to surrender his or her own dignity for charity, they virtually become mind numb robots, whose survival depends on the giving hand of others.

When we cheerfully embraced western culture in the name of the Bible, we embraced the chains and shackles of failure. When we reverently embraced Arab culture in the name of the Quran, we embraced the chains and shackles of failure. Because the farther we drift away from African civilization, the closer we teeter toward failure. But religion is not the main issue of our downfall; the real issue is the devious baggage of cultural imperialism that comes with the embrace of every foreign religion.

We cannot audaciously bury the gifts of God within us, while crying for the lack of gifts. There is plenty in Ghana and Africa as a whole, but until such a time when we recognize the truth that our core strength and steady greatness lies in our African uniqueness, then we would never see the light of day. And until such a time when we wisely refrain from our sheer sense of dumb entitlements, while embracing hard work as a self-reliant people, we would never succeed, because heaven helps those who help themselves and this word of wisdom never fades, even in the darkest night.

Returning to our roots, we must build upon our ancestral industries and nimbly carve for ourselves a competitive edge that only we can offer the world. For instance, instead of the use of chemically made medications, which usually come with incalculable side effects, we can lay our ground wining strategy on herbal medications that naturally come without such side effects. We can also cleverly go organic farming to aggressively compete with the genetically modified foods that taste awful and believed to cause strange and hardly curable diseases like obesity and cancer.

We have it all in Africa; all we need is ourselves and the zeal to succeed. Besides, failure only happens when a person decides to quit trying. But while we are still bent on wining, failure cannot be part of our daily vocabulary as a people. Our ancestors did it when they built the great pyramids of Giza, the ancient schools of Timbuktu and the great empire of Ghana. We bear their genes within our veins; we too can do it.

Francis Aka-ebila Aka-eri