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Opinions of Thursday, 1 February 2018

Columnist: Eunice Abbey

Every country has a ‘shithole’

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Until recently, “Shit hole” was just any of those terms lying in its dormancy. The controversial US President Donald Trump, whose initials of D.T could easily be synonymous to “Deadly Tongue” brought this term alive. His remark of “shithole” was a direct attack on African countries which was received with mixed feelings and reactions from many. Some applauded his comment to mean everything representative of the African countries, others also launched their displeasure at this gross insult from a man whose “hole” of a mouth is known to spew a lot of “shit” anyways. Sounds disgusting right? Now back to the real issue, what exactly did Mr. D.T mean by shithole? That Africa could not provide her citizens with their basic needs, or she isn’t intelligent enough to make use of the abundant resources? Could it be that he meant Africa isn’t attractive enough to keep the butts of her citizens glued to herself or there are hundred percent scoring rules and laws on paper but zero in action? Whatever he meant, your guess is as good as mine. Mr. D.T obviously didn’t mean anything good or positive with his “shithole” comment towards African countries.

What Mr. D.T forgot and probably escaped many of us as well was our failure to deconstruct his comment and remind ourselves of how every country whether first or third has had, and still continues to battle its own weaknesses and challenges. In short, every country has some “holes” here and there uncovered and out of which flows some “shit”: deadly and unpleasant stuffs that no one needs as far as peace and comfort are concerned. The local adage that “Efie biara Mensah w) h)” translated in English to mean, “There is a Mensah in every home” should throw some light on this. Before you start wondering whether I am comparing African countries to the “Abokyires”, let me answer with a resounding yes! Would this also be a mismatch and incompatible? It is a yes again. However, this is what comparison is all about. As long as we can tease out some differences and similarities if there are any, then the game of comparison is on.

You see, what should be of concern here are the number of Mensahs in the home, their nature and what they represent, the type of holes they are drilling whether they are of good or evil and what the homeowners (leaders and citizens) are doing about these holes. Undoubtedly, the US and the likes have it smooth and rosy compared to African countries; the systems work, basic resources are available and accessible, you cannot get in or out and away easily with the “whom you know-who knows you” concept entrenched in my country, life is just so good that many will fight tooth and nail to get there. These are just but a few of the lists of inspirations/motivations on the tables of many. The way some fellas are fighting “gidigidi” to travel to abokyire, shit hole or no shit hole, they don’t give a damn. Ask the senior “boggers” of the hassles, the inconvenience and nuisance they encounter in these countries, then we can probably dine on the tables called reconsideration and the renewal of mind.

Not long ago, I read about the shooting in one of the high schools where Mr. D.T resides, many were wounded and some lives were lost. This isn’t the first case of people breaching the standards and laws on the usage of guns in the US. This is in addition to the countless cases of rape, murder, violence at many levels, kidnapping, drug trafficking and abuse, scandals, political propaganda, tell me about Fire and Fury as well and oops, I nearly wrote Fast and Furious. These are certainly the products emanating from some “shitholes” that Mr. D.T forgot were and are existent in his country. Likewise, other developed countries that have been tagged as flowing with milk and honey are also facing their own challenges and troubles. My brothers and sisters, the “shithole” shows up everywhere in different ways and for sure, the consequences are nothing that humanity wants.

Now let me concentrate on my continent and home affairs. Ghana and by extension Africa, are dealing with their weaknesses as well. Charley, truth be told, the “shitholes” in this my beloved continent are “chaw” (many). We should have, by the resources at our disposal, shot Africa to the skies by now but many are the songs of bitterness, pains, corruption, foolishness, lawlessness just to mention a few that are heard on our streets. Ghana is blessed, Africa is gifted. There are many individuals who have carved out a niche for themselves and have made it big time amidst all the “shitholes” we see around. This glory must shine forth and go beyond the individual levels to communities, to the various countries and the continent at large. This isn’t the case yet so what the hell is wrong with Africa?

Our leaders and those in whose hands the destiny of the African countries have been entrusted should take no offense at Mr. D.T aka Deadly Tongue and in real life, Donald Trump’s comment at all. After all, the guy is also struggling to deal with some “shitholes” from his end. Africa and our leaders, please drop the self-drive, wear the cups of selflessness and rise up to the call. As citizens we must keep pushing and holding our leaders accountable, let good and light over ride evil and darkness. It may take many years to cover our “shitholes” in order to keep the stench away and to replace the holes with pleasant goodies and aura. However, this is certainly doable! So yes, every country has a “shithole” but how they are being dealt with should be the issue of concern to us. Will sign off with my two-by-four Pidgin English, Ghana make you concentrate on your own “shitholes” and do something ASAP! The talks be too many, we want actions and change garnished with positivity, love, peace, progress and development, equal opportunities for all and you name the rest!

NB: The taps have not been flowing in my hood for four days now and I have just about five gallons of water left. Seriously, this “shit” must stop!

Eunice Abbey (PhD)


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