Ghana might not be the most powerful nation in the world by way of military might. It is not the richest when it comes to economics. It is not the largest country by way of land mass even in Africa. Definitely it does not even have the numbers when it comes to population with it’s 25 million peoples. But does it mean Ghana has achieved nothing, so it’s people have to feel helpless?
Yes there are challenges but this country has come a long way and it will simply be unfair for anyone to insinuate that we as a people have nothing to be proud of. For starters, it was tiny Ghana which became the first country south of the Sahara to gain independence on 6th March 1957, not bigger and mighty Nigeria.
It is worth noting that the peace we currently enjoy is as a result of foundations laid by our forebears. The biggest thanks has to undoubtedly go to Kwame Nkrumah, the country’s first prime minister and president. The thing about Kwame is that he loved this country, the African continent and people of all persuasions who respected themselves and others. He gave in all 16 years to the state, serving first as leader of Government business from1950-1955, as Prime Minister from 1956-1959, as President from 1957-1966 when he was overthrown in a senseless coup d’état plotted by America, Britain, Israel, West Germany and other western states and implemented by self seeking officers in the Ghana police and army.
It is vital to note that had Nkrumah’s grand vision for Ghana and Africa be left to grow, the country will not be in the mess it finds itself. Again the continent will not have the situation where Mali faced with rebel incursion had to cry for France to come to it’s rescue, or for Nigeria to still be grappling with the Boko Haram threat. How about Ghana finding it tough to curb the galamsey menace now heavily attracting dozens of Chinese nationals. Nkrumah is mentioned here because he had a 5 year development plan which guided his development of the nation after which he had begun implementing a 7 year development plan when the coup took place. Since then, this nation has not had a development plan to guide governmental action, all we have is fire service approach based on the areas or sectors raging most.
On the African front, Nkrumah was the brain behind the setting up of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the forbear of today’s African Union (AU) because he realized that unless the 54 states in Africa unite, any country can take attack us individually as happened in Libya, Cote D’ivoire, Somalia and other African states. He called for a standing army which can repel any attack be it from the United States of America, Britain, France, China etc. His call for a common market to facilitate trade within African states has not been heeded to many years after his death, exposing the country and continent to inimical agreements and contracts instigated by European nations and America.
But this piece is not about just about Kwame Nkrumah, Africa’s most important person ever but about why Ghanaians need to still believe in themselves and the country. Aside abundant natural resources God has blessed us with, the human resource we have is enormous and the line continues till date. For those who do not know, here are a few names Philip Gbeho, Ephraim Amu, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ayi Kwei Armah, Efua Sutherland, Kofi Anyidoho, Albert Adu Boahene, Azumah Nelson, Abedi Pele, Margaret Simpson, Reggie Rockstone, Obrafuor, Yaa Asantewaa, Togbui Sri, King Bruce and Kofi Annan who have excelled in their chosen fields. Aside the names, the country has for many years been described as the land of peace because of the relative peace citizens enjoy and the fact that the country has managed to hold free and fair elections since 1992 when after decades of military rule, multi party democracy was decided upon as the system to use to govern the citizenry. The country has become a shining star for others to emulate as despite the rate of insults, pettiness, and biases within media reportage, the country has averted a civil war as happened in other African states.
It is often said that music is food for the soul; it is little wonder then that thanks to the immense contribution of highlife players, the country is tagged as the land of highlife. Greats such as Nana Ampadu, C.K Mann, Daddy Lumba, Kojo Antwi, George Darko, Papa Yankson, Akwesi Ampofo Adjei, Alhaji k. Frimpong, Alex Konadu, Paa Bobo, Wulomei, Osibisa, A. B Crentsil, Amakye Dede, Rex Gyemfi, Pat Thomas and others have for many years brought joy to Ghanaians and helped to win goodwill for the country.
Tourism has been used to develop many nations, even though the authorities have failed to maximize the tourism potential of the country, tourist attractions abound such as Boti falls, Wli falls, Manhyia palace, Accra and Kumasi zoos, Kakum canopy walkway, Lake Bosomtwi, meridian city Tema, Mount Afadjato and Lake Volta.
When it comes to sports, the country has a lot to be proud of, the senior national team, the Black stars have won the Africa cup of nations trophy 4 times and appeared in several finals. The under 20 team, the Black satellites have recently won the youth championship, a first for Africa. Aside the national teams, club football is taken seriously in the country with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) running a sixteen team league with Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak being the prominent teams garnering millions of followers.
Another reason to be proud of Ghana is the various dishes the indigenous people prepare and consume. Meals such ‘tua Zaafi and kukaa’, Akple and ‘fetri detsi’, beans and ‘gari’, fufu and groundnut soup, yam, plantain, rice with ‘kontomire’, tomato stew. Again favorites like Hausa koko, ‘Ekweigbemi’, Tom Brown, wheat porridge, ‘Asana’, ‘Brukina’, ‘Lamujine’, ‘Sobolo’ cannot go unmentioned.
The media has and continues to play a prominent role in society. Journalists, TV stations, Radio stations, newspapers have become a part of our democracy. Names such as Komla Dumor, Kwesi Pratt, Kweku Baako, Kwame Sefa Kayi, and Kofi Akpabli stand out. TV stations like GTV, TV3, and Metro TV have provided a huge platform for enlightenment and serve as source of employment for many young men and women. Others like Unique fm, Joy fm, Citi fm, Peace fm, Adom fm, Radio XYZ, Daily Graphic, Daily Guide, Ghanaian Times and Graphic Showbiz show media diversity in the country.
When it comes to dance, the country’s diverse ethnic groups provide a rich source of cultural identity and entertainment, dance moves such as ‘Agbadza’, ‘Adowa’, ‘Gombe’, ‘Kete’, ‘Borborbor’ and the new craze ‘Azonto’ continue to be uniquely Ghanaian. Hip life emerged sometime in the 90’s with Reggie Rockstone tagging the music form as we know it today. Names such as Lord Kenya, Obrafuor, Kontihene, Akyeame, Tic Tac, VIP, Mzbel, and Samini have paid their dues and in the process garnered huge following but latter day stars like Sarkodie, R2Bees, Stonebuoy, D-Black, Kwaw Kesse, Efya, Kaakie, Eazzy and Racquel are doing so well.
When it comes to religion, Christianity remains the dominant religion in the country with orthodox and charismatic churches springing up all over the country. Names such as Charles Agyin Asare, Nicholas Duncan Williams, Sam Kuranchie Ankrah, Mensa Otabil, Eastwood Anaba, Dag Heward Mills, Steve Mensah, Robert Ampiah Kwofie will pop up so will names such as Shiekh Nuhu Osmanu Sharubutu and Mauvi Wahab Adaml emerge for the Islamic faith. Of course the traditional faith healers like Kweku Bonsam, Nana Nyameke cannot be written off.
I cannot forget the country’s natural resources such as gold, diamond, salt, bauxite, limestone, sun, manganese, bronze, rivers, sea, timber, oil, copper and Colton which continues to be a source of envy for other nationals.
In essence Ghana can be said to be God’s own chosen country because of the afore mentioned reasons and many others which I couldn’t delve into. If this country is not worth being proud of, I don’t think neighboring countries would be anxious to possess Ghanaian passports through fair or foul means. This country might not be the most prosperous, but we have something. I word to the wise they say is enough, I rest my case.