Sunday, 6 March 2016
MY VISION FOR GHANA ON HER 59TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY
It has been fifty-nine long years since this sovereign nation of ours attained independence from imperial rule. Have the years made us wiser? Last year, I asked the question, “Are we growing up or growing old?” (http://randomafricanthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/03/are-we-growing-up-or-growing-old.html). This year, I dare ask, “As the years pass us by, is 59 years worth the brag considering how far we have come comparatively? Isn’t 59 years too late a time to be waddling in naïve stuff? We have over the years celebrated this “august” occasion with the highest level of splendour and pageantry. We celebrate the old and young; we honour the past and anticipate for the future; we show off our security detail; we showcase our rich African culture and heritage which is depicted in our way of dressing; we showcase the ‘little’ that technology has blessed us with. The cycle repeats itself the following year and the next and the next. Now to my next question, does it all end there? Is our independence only one which can best be described as a “showcase independence”? Where have all the years we have gathered as a sovereign State passed? I am a proud African and proud Ghanaian but in all my years, our independence appears to make little meaning to me with the passing of the years. Where is the proverbial ‘national’ cake that we are all supposed to enjoy? 59 years is not a small feat and as my friend rightly put it, if Ghana were a human and a civil servant, she would have another 365 days to go on retirement. I don’t think her retirement package would be anything to write home about judging from my own personal opinion. The future looks bleak but we hope to brighten the path to redemption by pooling together our little ‘glimmers’ of hope for the greater good. The “old” Ghana is nearing her retirement age and as growing young Ghanaians, the mantle will soon be thrust upon us whether willingly or unwillingly because it is a heritage that needs to go on. We must prepare our minds for the task ahead. We must aim to do better; we must strive to do better and we have to do better because we know better. We have been under training for too long. It is time we rose up to the occasion and proved to the world that we can manage the situation no matter the mess that is obviously going to be turned over to us. Without further ado, here is my prayer for Ghanaian youth and I believe if we declare this daily, we will see the Ghana we all dream of…
“I promise on my honour to be faithful and loyal to Ghana my motherland”…These words have always appeared as mere words when we recited them at our morning assemblies in preparatory school. But as we take a deeper look at these words, (I am sure some of us are getting to see these words in writing for the first time) take a minute to reflect upon them and you would understand the gravity of the mantle that we are about to take up. Now, let us break them down, “Promise”, “Honour”, “Faithful”, “Loyal”. These words are big deals when it comes to relationships, self-respect and expectations, image and dignity. They carry a sense of responsibility to do the best possible. So it is little wonder that our national pledge has this powerful introduction. It is a wakeup call to us that the task ahead has a tall list of unquenchable human and personal requirement to service and a will to do the best for the motherland. It is not the time to go back on our words or to dishonour our image and heritage or to be unfaithful in all our endeavours or disloyal in our quest to serve the great purpose of working for the greater good. These words were chosen for a reason and that reason is for us to attach to our persons, the right moral and ethical values to service. Then and only then can the Ghanaian flag fly high without any blemish attached to it. It is the beginning of hope and that is the kind of big shoes we are expected to fill.
“I pledge myself to the service of Ghana with all my strength and with all my heart”. Here too, the call to service is made clear. We must arise and build like it were a personal vendetta against a sworn enemy; a revenge that is only sweet when all your best laid plans see the light of day. When you can sit back and proudly say, “I took part in the development of this nation”. It is only unbroken will and perseverance that are needed in this venture. As a matter of saying, it really takes “heart” and “strength” to carry this out; with “heart” representing passion and “strength” representing perseverance. We need not mince words, our Ghana needs saving and we are the doctors to this ailing patient. Our pride is at stake, we will not let her down! Our hope and creed going forward would be to serve God, country and more importantly, humanity. That is the core purpose and a true reflection of who we are and who we have always been.
“I promise to hold in high esteem, our heritage won for us through the blood and toil of our fathers”. For those of us who did not know, “Heritage” is synonymous to “Inheritance”, “Legacy”, “Tradition”, “Culture” and “Custom”. Do not be carried away yet because the heritage that is going to be passed down to us is not to be accept as the “and all and be all” because we know too well that some of the “Legacies” need to be ‘hanged’ to die because of the adverse effects they have on our National development. Corruption, which is becoming too much of a national parlance must be the first to walk the plank followed by her cousins and second cousins. There must come, a new breed of faultless “heritages” that we must seek to pass on when our time comes to hand over the mantle to the generations to come after us. Our forebears had to ‘fight’ for what we now see as a common feat and it would take more ‘fighting’ in the form of good deeds to keep this ship afloat. Our esteem as a people thrust with responsibility is at stake and we must live up to the hype if we want to rub shoulders with the rest of the world. History is watching us from behind and posterity is waiting patiently in the future. We must not let both of them down!
“And I pledge myself in ALL things to uphold and defend the good name of Ghana…”. It has never been easy from the get go and it promises to get tougher with time. Here is the good news; we all have a shot at redemption by playing our roles without fear or favour. We must do the best we can to develop ourselves and the motherland. We must put in a good word for our industries and rich culture; we must flaunt our hospitality without being taken for granted; we must speak freely without being intimidated or intending to belittle one another and more importantly, we must respect Ghana and promote Ghana at the least chance we get because if we don’t sing the praises of our own, who will?
“So help me God!”. The final words of this fine piece, which we have come to know as the “National Pledge” of the Republic of Ghana need no explanation because, it truly speaks for itself. Help is good but divine help is divinely good. This is our Ghana, Your Ghana and My Ghana. We will not let it drown! We will not let our oppressors have the last laugh! We will be free! We will let the meaning of our independence be more than a formality! We will make this work! This is the pledge!
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