Obama is president. History has been made. So now I look into the future. But before I do that I ask myself what have I learnt over the year that just passed. How can I apply the ideas I have gained over the year especially during and after the American elections.
We all want change… I want change. I will admit that Obama has inspired the desire to change within me. And when I say change I do not mean to be the next president even though it is possible. But a personal ambition to be a better person. To be more ambitious. To be more courageous. To be more honest. Because I have always believed that if you want to change the world, you have to be the change. I believe that if we all look within ourselves and spark up some faith in us to do the unthinkable I believe it will just be enough to cause a ‘change’ reaction to begin.
I am proud Ghanaian. I love the flag of my nation. But I live in a society where mediocrity is the order of the day. Few dare to live above average but the masses easily live within the status quo. We are so caught up with the norm and always want to blame others for our failures. It is either the whites who came to colonize us or globalization. It is either we do not have enough or we do have but cannot use. It is either the fault of N.D.C or N.P.P. Yet we are so quick to forget that our forefathers fought for a free and united Ghana where it does not matter whether you come from Wa or Cape Coast, whether Berekum or Ho. They did not spill their blood for nothing. They did it for a free and united Ghana under one flag, one constitution, and one anthem.
I think we the current generation are ungrateful. We always think of ourselves and not the nation. Some even go to the extent and wish we are still under colonialism. To me these people do not understand freedom and justice. They do not understand equality and opportunity. They do not understand their unalienable right that all men are created free. Their backs where never whipped. They were not shackled down like slaves so they have no regard for our independence.
There is no order. Anybody and everybody can do whatever he or she feels like doing because the country has a weakened structured and no respect for nationalism and rule of law. The good refuse to arise because they fear for their lives. The wicked do what ever they like and who loses? Ghana. Ghana will always lose as long as we sit down and do nothing but complain. I have never read anyway that said problems went away by complaining. Problems are solved by facing them square in the eye.
Ghana is the beacon of Hope to Africa so says the black star on our flag. I believe it is so. I believe there is hope for Ghana. But if we want different. If we so desire change then it boils down to everyone. It requires that we once again believe in ourselves and that we us a people can face our deepest fears. We can change our challenges into fears.
We live in a nation where a nurse has to work and does not get paid for three months. A little boy in the village who has to walk miles to the next village just to get a decent education. A pregnant woman who has to be canoed to the other side of the river to get decent health care. A man who thinks he does not have enough to cater for his family.
Government will not do it all. Government cannot do it all. We all have a role to play. If we do realize that our problems are not bigger than our united hearts. The problems we face are not insurmountable than our enduring spirits. Then will grow through the storms and come out as champions. Fifty years ago our people faced tyranny and injustice but they stood side by side to fight for freedom. Today we cannot deny that we are beneficiaries for their sacrifice. So the question I ask is what have we sacrificed for the next generation? What will it be like to be in Ghana for our children’s children? If we do not act now. If we do not face our problems together and instead think of only our individual needs and wants our children will suffer.
Change of government does not come by changing political parties every four years. A change to our leadership starts from the home. It starts from learning from our ideals and culture. It starts from going back to what made us a people some fifty years ago and then building upon it as a foundation.
I believe our leaders have failed us a long time. We have failed Africa to long a time and I cannot wait any longer to see Africa shine again. There is a lot of work we have to do. We have to educate our people, provide them with good drinking water and a decent health care plan. We need to provide them with a decent house to live in and good food to eat. We cannot do all these if we wait for change or for the government to perform a miracle. We each have to build the house together, brick by brick as we each toil in sweat and blood. We will build a much united nation which is not based on tribe or economic group you belong to.
You might wonder whether if I am truly a Ghanaian with all the problems facing our nation. Well I am. I recognize the problem we face and I know they will not be easy to solve. But I also know that if we continue to sit down and fold our arms waiting for America, Europe, the World Bank, the so-called IMF, or our incompetent leaders we will remain in the pit. We will never forge ahead. We will not grow. Our problems will deteriorate. Our economy will crumble and it will be close to impossible to recover from the depths we may fall into.
I know some of you who may read this have totally given up on Ghana and I share your sentiment. But for the sake of our forefathers I urge you to renew your love for our nation not because the problems will go away but for the fact that you are a Ghanaian. You are the hope of Africa and many our waiting for you. Our nation can change if only you and I change. It can be rich and prosperous if we decide to work hard and eschew evil.
And I have a message to our leaders that there is a new breed of Ghanaians coming up. A new wave of fresh Ghanaian big thinkers who are set to bring change to our nation. Because a new era is on the horizon. A new way of leadership is arising and the old way of doing things will go away. Our democracy will change. The old ideals will be challenged. A brighter Ghana will be forged where lack will give way to opportunity. Greed will give way to love. Tribalism will give way to nationalism. Injustice will give way to justice and ignorance will give way to knowledge.
I believe in the new Ghanaian.
Nene Odonkor, Ghana.