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Opinions of Monday, 16 November 2009

Columnist: Danso, Kwaku A.

Peace, War and Ghana Radio

By Kwaku A. Danso

Sharing is part of the experience when some of us return home to Ogyakrom Ghana. For some strange reason I stayed home today and all plans were at a standstill, giving me a chance to sit down and work at my projects whiles listening to Ghana Radio. We have been lucky today with only a 15 minutes electric power down in the afternoon – and my AC has been working all day – simply set at 78 Deg. F and stepping outside for a breather dialogue and continuing my family lecture-dialogue of knowledge sharing with my mother.

On Serving Peace-Keeping in War Zones –

Today (November 15, 2009) the family lecture was on what is out there in the world when young people go outside the country! Government deceives the young that they should serve Ghana by going outside as part of Peace-Keeping forces in Sudan or other places. The truth of life is that they are going into a War Zone and every kid, every young man or woman should know that, arm themselves physically and mentally before they make the commitment. This avoids possible shock and trauma that in Ghana they never report. This topic came about as one of my nieces who is in the police force has volunteered and actually sought to go and serve in the Peace-Keeping forces simply because, I think, a friend of hers served and when she came back she had saved enough money to start her house. In Ghana, for many women, their ambition includes building a house for themselves! Strange way of family union indeed and we talk of building a nation when we can’t even build families and communities and towns! One well-to-do man owning a furniture store and driving nice SUV car, and his wife has been in the US every summer last three years to work and save her own money! What kind of society? What kind of people are we where husband and wife do not share common aspirations and do not even plan retirement together? My gosh!

The War at Home-

There is a war at home as well as a war outside. This niece has two young girls as a single mother and she is going to leave them and go serve his country, as she thinks. I will give my full reality lecture when she comes this weekend. Forget about Peace in another country and remember Peace in your own household first!! I tried to inquire what financial incentives had attracted her to opt to go on the Peace Keeping and she gave me this cacophonous excuse that money is not her motive but to serve country! My Gosh! What a crock! Serve country by going to keep peace in Sudan between a war being waged by their own government against their own people! Why not call it by the right name, WAR!! Why call it Peace Keeping? Well, my lecture is ready for this coming weekend before she goes. At least if I do my part, if anything happens, uncle would have done his part in advance warning. War is war and life sometimes is war! I just gave the Franz Fanon advice to my mother and she understood it! I guess I have a good style of communicating the truth. I asked my mother if the white people who brought Christianity to us did not carry their guns when coming to Africa, and she agreed they did have their guns!

That is the lesson we should give our children when growing up! Carry your Bible in one hand a gun in the other! Life can be tough and when going outside that is the lesson! My mum does not even believe that these young men around here should cook for themselves! My Gosh! What a training!

Folks, it’s been very different life growing up among 3 generations of women. Do women believe that feeding is the only mission in life!? Sometime I wonder! Don’t you women know that a starving man is a stronger man!! Come oooon!! I have four days leftover food in my American size Fridge now, and how do I say no to my mum’s food! I have eaten more yams and plantain that I usually eat in a whole year!

Radio show on Child Defilement –

Folks, the word child defilement is the right word and is used in Ghana, and it really is stronger than even the word rape used in America. A team of pastor and counselor discussed this problems and some two or three testimonies from boys who were raped at the age of 7 or so, and in one case, how it affected his life, outlook on sex and women and on life in general. This young man detailed out how, after the woman raped him at age 7, he relied on only a woman to find self-confidence and how eventually one woman even introduced pornography to him as a stimulus for him to chase her. This is so traumatizing indeed! And there were two other men who called and testified to similar experiences. Of course we all know the greater number of cases is perhaps of men or boys around the house defiling younger girls. For some reason no woman called in the time slot of the show.

I find this kind of preaching and pastoral counseling very useful indeed and I think some of these radio stations are doing a wonderful job in psychological counseling, something that is not common in Ghana in our illiterate society. This was on Asempa FM 94.7.

Well, this is my Sunday sermon Advice from Ogyakrom home.

Teach your nephews and nieces that if and when they marry they are together as one unit, and any assets they acquire belong to both of them. The woman cannot hide money she has earned as hers, and spend the man’s money and when the man is down, she walks out! The man cannot think of giving money to the woman as he pleases if she is not working. That is silly and archaic culture!

Teach your nephews and nieces that they should keep an eye on their children and have only what they can take care of.

Teach them it takes more than mere feeding the children these days to raise children and they have to plan from day one to save to take care of them through high school at the least.

Teach your nephews and nieces not to think they can leave children at home day and evening to seek money to feed them; because these days feeding them to grown big is not enough! Being around the house, at least being around sometimes to see their school participation and seeing them do their homework when younger is part of the job. We can excuse the ones who had no formal education but today that excuse is almost non-existent, thanks to Kwame Nkrumah’s free and compulsory education in the later 1950s to 1960s. It takes one lonely evening for somebody to defile your child and their life may be ruined for ever. I have seen how these boys and girls develop and what hurdles they have to overcome due to broken down families. I plead with you to advice your sisters and brothers at home to think of Quality care of children and not Quantity of children they bring into the world, many without fathers! Uncles are becoming scarcer and scarcer these days to take care of your many children, and now and if you don’t give quality care to your child, the little you do may even be erased one day as nothing!

Dr. Kwaku A. Danso (Email: East Legon, Accra, Ghana.