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Opinions of Thursday, 15 January 2015

Columnist: Anaba, Bernard

In our national DNA: FiiFi Kwetey Vrs Franklin Kudjo

"Phd" is the acronym for Philosophy in Doctoral Degree, but in Ghana this has assumed another practical meaning, "Pull Him Down" syndrome. This Ghanaian cliché is fast becoming a national character indeed and not just in folklore.

It is often said the Ghanaian is hospitable. This I vehemently contest, on the grounds that Ghanaians are only nice to foreigners but not to themselves. Consider what happens on our streets and offices daily; total disrespect for each other. But also watch a Ghanaian extend a broad beyond bounds grin to a foreigner, usually if he or she suspects a favour in return. To reconcile this with the above assertion of the Ghanaian brand of Phds, you can see how hypocritic we are as a people.

A Ghanaian is often compared to a Nigerian in national characters. For the Ghanaian will treat his or her customer to several wasteful errands that can be done in one. Usually you are not told how much it will cost you for the service even if you are expected to bribe. You are expected to use your own initiative, lest you're treated with the useless errands that don't yield anything in the end.

Compare that to the Nigerian. He will tell you upfront how much it will cost you even if he or she intends it as a bribe. Your service is delivered exactly as agreed upon, fowl or fair. Is this not a common feature of our national character? That we are actually very cosmetic and like to pretend? if you like hypocritic?

I recently listened to the "YAM" advert on mobile phones by TIGO with disgust. Well, if TIGO is not wholly Ghanaian, they have been bitten by the bug. The question is, do they have to put down another product in order to look good? If the product TIGO sought sell to Ghanaians is that superior can't the product be sold on its own merits without looking down on other product by calling it "YAM?" Like I said, it's all in our DNA, pull him down with you. We like the negative sides of things.

Well, as if not enough, I also followed the political banter between Fiifi Kwetey and Franklin Kudjo degenerate into this PHD thing. Fiifi Kwetey is aleged to have touted that he got all three A's in one sitting compared to Franklin's several attempts and struggle at the subject. My question is, does Fiifi Kwetey need to question Franklin's educational attainment in order to tout his own credentials? Poor judgement and our culture of Phd is manifest here too. What Mr. Kwetey said was just unwarranted and immaterial to the subject of their disagreement, except to say that even at the highest level we cannot resist that cultural tendency of Phd.

Well I am not sure how we can reverse this mentality, its killing us as a people. Let's learn to be brothers even in adversity.