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Opinions of Monday, 25 March 2013

Columnist: Rashid, Mohammed Abdul

Who is leading us to this state of anomie?

As a young man in his late twenties, I have a fair idea of how life in our society was in the late 90s and in the early 2000s. I am a granddad’s boy and so I am privy to some history of how our society was even before Diogo d’ Azambuja’s ship dogged at our coast. It cannot be said that the 60s or the period before, were the utopian era in our history as people but, this current age is certainly not the best of times.

The world today is changing so fast; a greater part, for the worst. The speed is so much so that, no one is really able to catch up with it. It is so fast that everyone seems confused. The only persons who probably are not confused, are those who have not taken notice of the changes around them.

Growing up in the countryside, around the sahelian regions of Ghana, it was rare for instance, to own just a television set. As for mobile phones, it was the preserved of the High and Mighty, who we heard of in faraway Tamale. The first time I saw a mobile phone, I looked at it peacefully and marveled at the ingenuity of the Whiteman. Prior to that day, I received stories of using a small piece of equipment to communicate to people in “America” with some pinch of salt. I felt such stories was the height of incongruity. The last time I visited my village, even my uncle’s son had a phone. A boy who can barely walk on his own. This is just within a space of two decades and my village has changed this much, I wondered.

Thank God, my buddies were well and good and the standard of living among my people, bettered a bit. The only road that passes through my village to the neighboring villages was now tarred and a few decent homes built. Although some still lived very close to nature at least at the outskirts of the village.

I was happy and nostalgic to see my friends. We had a nice chat on a whole lot of issues. Like it happens in most villages. Everyone is interested in the chronicles of “the travelled man”. I was thrown questions from every corner of my granddad’s room to the extent that I thought, I was seated before a panel; so many questions and like they say, he who answers all questions has not been asked all questions.

Something struck me the next day while I was at the village market square. I notice that boys and girls were seen together every now and then. The boys had become so confident in approaching the opposite sex. It was not possible during my days in the village. It was an abomination. The only period boys and girls were seen together, was during school hours.

At night when I visited the “simpa” dance area to relive moments in the village, it was a real eyesore. Children who still had their umbilical cord hanging from the navel were all on “guard” at various alleys in pairs. Dumbfounded as I was, I roared at them to go home. None of them notice my presence. The only boy who at least saw me, told me to mind my own business. I stood silently watching that spectacle, comb my fingers through my hair and headed home. The following morning, while I was about to leave my village for Tamale and then to school, I asked my uncle “what has happened to our values in this community?” He sighed and said nothing, a sigh of lamentation and despair, I thought.

While in the bus out of my village, I was still pondering and wondering what the future holds for my village. Every young man’s dream in the village now, was to buy a ghetto bluster, furnish the room and a beautiful lady to have fun with. Sex has become a common word among the old and young, and morality was been chipped gradually. I was surprise at what I saw in my village not because, I had not experienced such a life before but, because I only thought the villagers could save those in the cities, where immorality is at the verge of its crescendo.

In the city the least talk about morality the better. The media has redefined values. Truth is no longer a virtue. Those who lie are referred to as being smart. Harlots are now called hot. Guys whose libido cannot be controlled are players. The list is countless. The city now lives under a pagan morality and so religion has no place any longer and God is pushed very far from the society.

So I ask who is leading us all to this state of anomie?. Do they really know where we are going and how life will be like if we get to that destination?

MOHAMMED ABDUL RASHID UNIVERSITY OF GHANA. 0242362695