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Opinions of Monday, 2 March 2020

Columnist: Stephen Atta Owusu

Love Ghana more than yourself

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As children, we had great love for our country, Ghana. We sang patriotic songs like, "God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong...." We sang many patriotic songs both at home and at school.

During our time, toys were not easily available to Ghanaian children so we fabricated our own toys, sometimes by filling a designed baby boy or girl and filling them with rags so the shape would come out. The eyes nose, mouth and ears were marked by drawing them out with pens. Woods were cut and the Ghana flag, drawn or cut out on them. As we grew up, we made small cars with Ghanaian colours that could take four people with woods, tins and old aluminium sheets. Government officials and teachers looked on with interest and we wondered why none of them showed concern.

One Friday in the elementary school, the teacher told us to bring a craft, that is, something we made by our own hands. I made a kite and a boy who sat before me made a toy helicopter. He could be a top aircraft designer in the making, but who cared? In America and some European countries such kids are taken from their normal schools to special schools which are solely meant for kids with high intelligence and talent. Those are children who grow up to become inventors!

Apostle Safo Kantanka is a patriotic citizen, a complete genius, but more of him later.

Indeed Ghanaians love their country but the system has no welfare for the citizens and each and every one has to struggle for him- or herself. This attitude of each one for himself or herself has encouraged corruption, selfishness and lack of vision in Ghana. Due to lack of social welfare and governmental support many Ghanaians have turned into self-made pastors and prophets who have turned religion into business. Those who are eager to use their in-born talents to create something to help society are hated, branded as "too-know" and whatever they invent or produce are shirked by Ghanaians out of jealousy and hatred. How many Ghanaians buy Apostle Sarfo's cars?

We should stop this and show our love for Ghana by patronizing made in Ghana goods.

If, indeed, Nana Addo and his government love Ghana and are eager to place Ghana in the golden pages of the automobile world, they should consider supporting Apostle Sarfo Kantanka and his inventions. Nana Addo, send these mechanical engineers to help work on these cars. This will ensure that these engineers will not just sit in the offices in Accra and just receive phone calls or append their signatures on documents. Nana rise up and put them on the field. General Motors is not for the government but for certain individuals. At a point the company almost collapsed but since the government considers it as the pride of America, they rescued the company with financial support until General Motors stood on solid grounds.

What saddens my heart is that the Apostle gave two cars free of charge to the police service to try and see the stability, effectiveness, and strength of the car. After one year the police came out to declare how strong and technically composed the cars were. Sadly enough when they needed cars for the police service, they imported them from abroad. How wicked and selfish!! Is that how the police can thank Apostle Sarfo Kantanka for the two free cars?

Interestingly, this man has no University education but his products and other inventions are unique, all for his love for Ghana.

The herbalists, both literate and illiterate, are trying in their own small way to produce herbal drugs in the form of capsules, tablets and mixtures. We are in a country where pharmacists are trained mainly to sell foreign drugs. These herbalists are struggling to provide quality drugs in order to compete with foreign drugs but the problem is finishing - how to package it beautifully to face competition. This is where the pharmacists come in. For the love of Ghana, the government must make it a policy to promote herbal medicine. A factory that can go into research and production by involving pharmacists to give weight, recognition and acceptance to the final products. We must produce drugs that can compete internationally.

Many Ghanaians who travel abroad are doing exceedingly well but they seldom bring their findings, knowledge and experiences to bear on Ghana. I will illustrate this with a lovely story that happened in Germany. A Pakistani who had just completed a doctorate degree in Physics got a temporary job as a cleaner at the Atomic Energy Commission in Germany. On one of his cleaning rounds, he saw that one of the main computers was not shut down. He went near the computer, touched the mouse and saw that there was a chapter which said, "step by step production and launching of atomic bomb”. He clicked to get to the page. He hurriedly copied all the information required. Within a week, he prepared and left for his country. He presented the entire document to the president. In no time Pakistan had launched a test of atomic bomb!

Beloved Ghanaians what ideas do you have to take to Ghana to speed up development rather than thinking only of building a house for yourself in Ghana.

Lastly, everyone especially MPs, the civil service and government must think more about Ghana while avoiding corruption, nepotism and favouritism. We must learn to love the nation more than ourselves. Ghana is bleeding.

Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads