Freedom! Freedom! shouted Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the crowd responded with a thunderous roar filled with hope and expectation of a brighter future from their colonial masters. My skin tingled as the radio played back the historic moment. Are we indeed free? Oh yes indeed there is freedom in Ghana. We control our own affairs, run our own businesses, create our own laws and chop State money with impudence. Thats how free we are. But I reflect on whether the country is free from foreign debts, corruption (if that is possible), free from bad governance, corrupt politicians and leaders or free from child trafficking. Has slavery even truly ended in this country?
Governments that have come and gone have made us dependent on foreign aid for everything. And I mean everything. From energy to health down to public toilets (KVIP) in our communities. I don’t have statistics or figures to back this but at least I can read the morning newspaper to catch up on what our always travelling President asked Japan to support us with or what a visiting G8 leader offered to ‘give’ us for being such a democratic peaceful nation. Thankfully I can hear too.
These leaders we voted and trusted wholeheartedly to lead this nation forward rather have led us back into years of years of debt and corruption. Even our attitudes as Ghanaians have pretty much adopted this ‘begging’attitude, its not fair to blame the government only. Our church leaders do the same. Every institution is begging.
Just like Dr. Mensa Otabil strongly remarked on during ICGC’s 30th Anniversary sermon, ‘The story of our continent and people: always stretching our hands to other countries.’ We are always begging for aid. I don’t see how that makes us independent. More like Oliver Twist, ‘Can I have some more, sir?’ We are indeed as hungry as he is. But even though we don’t get a smack on the head with a ladle, we are rather laden with millions of dollars of someone’s money to pay at high interest and often with inconceivable conditions.
On Independence Day, I decided to go on a photowalk with MutombodaPoet and Odzenma of Nfoningraphy to assess how far Ghana has come at 57 and whether we should indeed be celebrating anything at all. Somehow we ended up at the Independence Square where the parade had already started in full swing and we took more photos just as well. You know the rest of the story right? Rain. An unexpected rainstorm shockprised the entire parade, special guests, dignitaries and the President down to the bone. They were soaked right through to the bone thanks to poor planning and lack of accurate meteorological forecasts. Even our meteorological department can’t predict a rising rainstorm. #tweaaa.
The problems in the Ghanaian society are endless. The taps in my house didn’t flow on Independence Day, some people reported of blackouts in their neighbourhood Independence Night. Who has ever heard of such a thing? No wonder God sacked us from the parade to go home and reflect on how bad things have become.
E-waste in Ghana is a major environmental issue which left unchecked without the right control measures can lead to fatalities, health issues (lung cancers, leukemia) and environmental degradation.
A basic need of many Ghanaians....water.
There are only a few indeginous companies remain with many sold off or shut down under different governments over the years.
Traditional forms of food processing help many small industries to earn income in the Ghanaian industry. With little investment and local funding in these industries, many still rely on equipment such as the corn grinding mill (abele-tsōne)
Climate change is real and nothing is being done to reduce deforestation in our forest regions.
The angry clouds started building up, but did we leave? Noo! Lol!
The rain messed up the parade forcing dignitaries to abandon the square and to flee for their lives!
Generators are a common sight in the city with our poorly managed power issues.
I hope they will live by the words on the boards in their homes and society.
The Black&White iPhoneography photo walk which was cut short by the rain however looked at waste, water, commerce, infrastructure, education, etc. I will continue with more photos as I have chosen this month to be Independence Month. How did you spend your Independence Day? What measures do you think needs to be taken by the individual, leaders and the government to move this nation forward?