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Opinions of Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Columnist: Albion, Kojo

Ghana@50- Where Do We Go From Here?

“Afehyia Pa ooo!!”

Response: Afe Nk) mb)to h3n. “Afe da sisee d3m na yaay3 Ghana yie ma h3n enyiwa agye.”

Ghana@50- where do we go from here?

Response: “Forward!

Ghana@50- where do we do from here?

Response: “Forward!!”

I was reluctant at first when I was asked to give the keynote address for many reasons. Then when I prayed about it, I was convinced that for us to invite someone from say, the Ghana Embassy in Washington DC to come all the way to Liberty, MO, will not be necessary at this time. As one of the KC Metro residents, I bring some authenticity in addressing my own people because “where one stands, determines where one sits.”

We are sick and tired of being sick and tired of all the politics- “NDC this and NPP that” or the “nebulous, passive talk and no action.” What we want is ACTION now!

It is not about the party in power.

It is not about the President

It is neither about you nor me but it is about God and Mother Ghana.

It is all about God and Mother Ghana and how we can work together on the same team. Like the Black Stars of 2006 World Cup, with a unity of purpose, we can conquer the land. We will be able to defeat those who have already written us off.

Many of our people are, s3be, living in “a survival mode”- desperate and poor, sick and tired of leaders and bureaucrats who will grumble over Ghana@50 cloth and memorabilia rather than coming together selflessly and sacrificially to find solutions to the riddle- “Why is Ghana@50 so rich and yet so poor?”

When we sing, “H3n ara asaase ni”, we come to:

Mogya na nana nom hwie gui nya de too ho ma yen

Adu me ne wo nso so se yebeye bi atoa so…..”

It is our turn now to take things to the next level. People died to get us to where we sit now. When you see a turtle on a fence post, ask, “How did it get there?”

A little bit of history- Do you know that in the 60’s you could not leave Ghana because you have received a visa from the US Embassy just like that? You had to go to the Ministry of Interior or some Bureaucracy to get an “Exit Visa.” I need not go into the hassle of getting an exit visa from your own Government Office. Gyae! As3m paa!! Then also do you know how much money you were allowed to take our legally? $50 in the early 70’s as spending money if you did not have the right connections.

We are not here on our own for “such a time as this.” We are communal people- what belongs to me belongs to the community. I am defined by the ebusua (clan)- we all belong to an ebusua back home whether we accept it or not. We do NOT have a choice. I repeat, we all belong to an ebusua back home whether we accept it or not and we do not have a choice in that matter. And to crown it all, Nananom are calling us from the Great Beyond. Nananom are with us and they are watching.

Like Joseph, Esther and Nehemiah of the Old Testament times, we are here to save a nation. Will you accept the baton for the next leg of the race? Will you heed the call of Nananom?

I am doing what I can by the grace of God to make a difference and I even challenge my students every semester to help me solve the riddle: “Why is Africa so rich and yet so poor?”.

A CALL TO ACTION: With Ghana@50, I would like to plead humbly with everyone to pick up the baton and do 12 practical things in the coming years to move Mother Ghana forward. There are no excuses. I encourage you to continue living in such a way that the blessings that you are receiving will trickle down to those, s3be, waiting at the ground floor for the elevator. Please push the ground floor button from the top for those looking up. This is the legacy that we want to leave behind. May those who will come after us praise God and us for trying to make a difference.

You may begin by making a phone call to someone tomorrow about your new determination to help. You may send a useful magazine or a book to your former School or University. What about sending $25 to a former Classmate who has been calling over the years for assistance. Talk about solutions instead of the President’s grey suit at the Ghana@50 Parade. Let us focus on the essentials because many people are suffering.

I would like to challenge all the Ghana Associations and Churches to institute a Humanitarian (or Service) Award for next year’s Independence Celebration and let us all contribute. Let us honor those who live for the “common good.” (Emmanuel Yeboah of “Emmanuel’s Gift” (DVD) comes to mind. ‘A must see’ video.)

Great things are happening in Ghana. A wind of change is blowing, the clouds are hanging low, soon showers of blessings will fall and we will reap the harvest ‘if we faint not.’ Why is Ghana so rich and yet so poor? The solution to this riddle is in our hands. Like the 2006 World Cup- Black Stars, let us take our positions and play ball. The opponent is not the other party nor your brother or sister. We are in it together for the development of Mother Ghana. .

When we benefit more than the people that we are serving, we are not serving. The land is ours and now is the time for us to put down partisan politics, Phd’s (pull him/her down), tribalism and above all, ‘what is in it for ME?’ It is time for action for the common good. Let us put God first and then we work together in unity of purpose to benefit the nation.

Ghana@50- where do we go from here? Forward!.”It is raining and yet the ground is very hard but the sun will shine tomorrow and miraculously the ground will be soft. Weed and plow your portion very well and soon we will meet in the middle.

Congratulations Mother Ghana. God, we thank you. Nananom keep on calling



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