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Opinions of Sunday, 14 April 2013

Columnist: Ayitey, Benedictus D.K.

Why do Ghanaians resort to insults?

Why is it that ghanaians both home and abroad resort to insults when they are discussing serious national problems seeking real solutions?

I have personally observed that Ghanaians both home and abroad now days prefer to offer insults as their alternative contributory solutions to other contributors’ views to serious national problems facing our dear country Ghana. On the airwaves, print media and internet; politicians, parliamentarians and contributors on panel discussions descend to this level, is something which beats my imagination, as if we do not have brains again.

Does this mean that our schools during this democratic dispensation do not have debating clubs to train students being our future leaders in the art of public speaking?

I remember vividly that when I was in form one in 1977 at St Paul’s Secondary School-Denu, we had such debating club for this purpose. And it was through this club that we got a letter of invitation from the debating club of Mawuko Secondary at Ho in same year to engage in inter school debate competition with them. By the end of the debating session, we were able to defeat them, as our strategy to victory was based on constructive & best alternative solutions we offered to their ideas/views and not insults. The Spaco club was lead by one of our seniors Thomas Tamekloe popularly called T-Tom. The prize for defeating them was that the host school organized evening dance for us and “awarded” each one of us a lady to dance with. (It is great to be a student-lol!)

It is my personal belief that if these debating clubs and their activities are encouraged to take firm roots in our schools and even made part of school curricula, they could be used to train students in the art of public speaking; and the benefits would be great for the nation. And the reason is that students would learn early that when it comes to debating issues on any platform, you offer better alternative solutions to your opponent’s ideas/views in a respectable manner rather than resort to insulting your way out of the issues. As our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 15:11 which reads thus” It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles” and no doubt my late Daddy (may his soul rest in perfect peace) put it this way thus” You cannot give what you have not got” hence contributors on serious national debates who have got nothing but insults, spew such insults on other contributors’ views/ideas ,who proffered some solutions, thus defiling themselves in the process as the good Lord postulated in the afore-mentioned biblical quote.

From the fore-going, it is my firm personal conviction without any mental reservation that if debating clubs are encouraged, nurtured and made to function vigorously in our school system with competition organized at inter-school, district, regional and national levels and taken seriously by our national leaders, so that those who win such competitions are awarded, would go a long way to prevent this type of pollution from our airwaves, print media and internet and thus would allow for decent and constructive discussions on these platforms to the benefit of our nation. The above will also encourage contributors to panel discussions on the airwaves, print media and internet to undertake serious research before coming to present their alternative solutions to these important national problems. The simple truth is that God in his infinite wisdom gave us brain to use to offer solutions to our earthly problems and that the brain was not given us to offer insults as a solution to our problems.

“A word to the wise is enough” says the old adage and which is re-confirmed in Matthew 11:15 which reads thus” Let anyone with ears listen”.

Before drawing the curtain on this, the critical question I would like to raise is; are others going to use their God-given tools (the brains) properly from now onwards after reading my article or are they going to continue to make it mal-function again by ‘raining” insults when they read my article and any other articles offering solutions to serious national problems on the internet, print media and airwaves?

In conclusion, from now onwards, our firm has instituted cash award of $200.00 to any Ghanaian who will offer real solutions to our current pressing national problems, which, we have reviewed and found to be the best solution, by our panel of judges. I welcome any constructive and decent contributions to this topic I raised. I am also looking for other like-minded Ghanaians in the diaspora from around the globe, who are professionals and very creative to join my new global think tank group I am setting up to offer real, creative and constructive solutions to our current nation’s economic woes facing our dear country, for let us all remember that there is no place like home.

Let us see what we can offer our dear country-Ghana but not what our country-Ghana can offer us, as postulated by the late President JF Kennedy in his famous quote. By the way, am I sounding presidential here; as no one knows if this could lead me to consider any future presidential ambition for our dear nation?-lol!

Benedictus D.K. Ayitey, is a Graduate Student-(LLM- International Finance & Banking Law) at University of Liverpool. He is Chairman/CEO of his own International Finance Consulting firm Global Capital Resources Group, LLC, based in New York. My email is-