Wednesday, 15 April 2015


A friend of mine was discussing an issue with me. He wanted to know if I could do a piece on Africa. He suggested that we look into the assertion whether Africa was a cursed continent or not. From the moment he mentioned it to me, I started to think of the African situation and their implications. Our issues are many if you asked me. I began to wonder if we were been sabotaged or we were our own saboteurs. I realized that we were neck-deep in certain issues so our actions or inactions would as it were, contribute very little to cause a change. On our own front, I realized that we do ourselves more harm than "external" harm done us. I have always looked at the setting up of witch camps with disgust. Who determines who a witch is? Are we not aware that the main purpose of establishing institutions is to fill them up with people? Come to think of it, which institution does not get filled? Have we considered the fact that the mere fact of having these institutions encourages people to find "occupants" for them?We must abolish this institution and start thinking of productive ways of taking care of our elderly people. How many homes of the aged can we boast of? We limit ourselves so much that it has become routine. We encourage the youth to start up businesses or make a life for themselves yet when we get into the world of work, our "bosses" want to sleep with us before we can get employed. If you are a male, either you know someone who in turn knows you ( I hear whom you know alone does not cut it anymore) before you get employed. Even when you got chosen for the job, it was either you were being over exploited and being underpaid or you were threatened and made to live in fear for the security of your job. Whatever happened to qualification, intelligence, talent and being "the best man for the job"? When you go through our daily newspapers, the vacancy section asks for so many years of working experience as a requirement for employment. Who do we expect to employ those of us at the entry level so we can also garner that level of experience? It all starts from somewhere. We tie ourselves down so much as leaders by cutting deals that jeopardize the citizenry and the chance of making themselves better.  My heart goes out to our soon-to-be graduates. It is a dogfight out here but be strong and do not let your zeal to serve God and country wane. We limit our talents, strengths and abilities with requirements in the public sector. Why is height a requirement to entering the military? Our problem here is that we focus only on the battlefield and forget about the other strategic sectors. We easily forget that sometimes 'the pen is mightier than the sword". We have all that we need yet we live in want. Parents have burdened their children with the role of responsibility. Whenever I go around the Accra mall area, I see these "tuareg" (North African-looking people) parents encouraging their children to beg for alms while they (the parents) sit down and drink some coffee-like beverage. Have we lost direction? Tribalism, favouritism, nepotism and corruption have come to replace qualification and doing the right thing. We laugh over everything and we easily forget. Sometimes I wonder if our leaders ever ponder over these things. I wonder if they feel the urgency to make their countries better or if they are being used as stooges by other people. I am not writing to determine right or wrong, I just plead for us to be given the chance to show what we can do. I saw a bank advertisement on a billboard which read,  "They call it Africa but we call it home.  Let us do deep soul-searching and see if we truly treat Africa like home. If we realize that we are not living up to the hype, let us roll up our sleeves and get to work. To some of us, this might be the only place we may know.
Let me leave it for you to decide. Do you think Africa is a cursed continent? My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT)"question".  More at

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