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Ghana, a country of our own

March 6, 2015

It is amazing the incredible amount of good tidings and hope that I am feeling on this day. Of course,  it is not by accident that this day also happens to be the day in history when we claimed a country called Gold Coast, after years of being ruled by those who were not of us, those who share little in common with our history and heritage.

Ever since that fateful day, our country has struggled to find its identity in order to make a home we can all proudly call our homeland Ghana. There is much to be thankful for, much to be appreciated and much to be hopeful for. All 25million of us are here because this is where we belong.

That conviction and a sense of our own country, however, has been shaken in the past few years and months as we've had to endure dark nights and daily bickering on issues that never used to separate us. The common bond which forms the fabric of our story from Dagomba to Ga, through Ashanti, Brong, and Ewe to Fanti and Nzima, is under strain because the hope we shared for a prosperous Ghana has been exhausted by the few leaders who have lacked vision beyond their own pockets and the self.  The years of military leaders have wasted the lives of our fathers and the recent years of electing our own leaders threaten to waste our future and that of our children.  Is this what we deserve? Is this what we are destined for?

I do not believe so because we the people have trekked through this land, fetching waters from our own well and building our families in-spite of the disappointment of our leaders, who refuse to take us into their bosom like the mother hen does for its own. We are 25 million strong on a journey that started in 1957 with only 5million of us. We have lost parents, brothers and sisters along the way, but with their memories, we stand today 5 fold the strength the good Lord granted us.

Our struggle, however, is the cynicism that years of disappointments and indiscipline in those we placed in higher office has brought on us. That is our biggest fight for it eats at our hearts and threaten to rob us of our destiny and the greatness of what began as the Gold Coast. The same cynicism has often caused us to fight over the struggles of yesterday that pitted brothers and sisters against each other. Nkrumah, Danquah, Busia, Botsio, Paa Willy and many others yet to be named, had the same right to a seat as we all do as we stand here today. They litigated their issues and they struggled as brothers. Whether right or wrong they did what they believed within their prerogative because they were of us and believed they knew how to make us all great.  However, as history will let us know, great countries are neither built by infallible men nor built in decades, but in centuries.  Ours have been only five decades, yet our numbers have multiplied 5 fold, underlining the monumental task that has been placed on us. So, on this day, the years ahead cannot be wasted litigating the affairs of yesterday for these were the litigations of fallible men, not of gods.

The very strength of us informs us then that an incredible strain has been placed on our resources that is 5 fold as heavy. The resources have remained the same but the question is do we have the ingenuity and the discipline to unleash the potential in the ground we live off to refocus the work of building a country we can call our own?

More than ever, we are being called to solve our problems and I believe it is the capacity we develop to solve our own problems that is going to create for us a destiny we can sing about. It is not the philosophies we expound, neither the many degrees we seem to treasure nor the funerals we so much waste our years on that will develop our nation. No, my brothers and sisters, it is our collective discipline and capacity to solve our problems in a sustainable way that will deliver us. 

We do not have to look any further than the example of what happened to the Black Stars in Brazil compared to their recent experience in the African cup of Nations to recognize that when a people are collectively discipline, capacity to solve problems can deliver dividends beyond our imagination. Unfortunately, the lack of discipline in leadership and its consequent lack of desire to develop our collective capacity to solve our problems is what has left us sleeping in dark days and brought on an unhealthy fixation with daily nonsense that we take as news.

Our politics have become corrosive and slowly eating away what binds us. The men of yesteryears still seek to rule us and as vision-less as they come, they will rob us of our destiny.  So, as your dearest brother with the blood of 5 tribes running through my veins, I want to implore you, on this solemn day of our anniversary, to put your hand to the sickle, get involved, and let's together work out our destiny.  And someday, just someday, this country will have stories told in lands afar of a great people who earned their beginnings in a Gold Coast to a nation whose reaches finally redeemed its birthright.

May our maker bless our homeland Ghana.

~ Ohene Aku Kwapong


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