Opinion: We are freely under control

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The Arabs say you are Muslims. The English say you are Christians. What do Africans say? We are lost. We do not know who we are. But today we will be marching our way to independence. A reminder of how we have failed to reexamine what best fits us.

You cannot marry a Christian because you are a Muslim or you cannot marry a Muslim because you are a Christian. Who told us this? Why should the same God who says “Love thy neighbour as thyself” suddenly turn us against each other like this?

How come we still do not get what happened to us?

For a very long time we have rejected our clothing and food. We even fancy frozen and fried chicken to the neglect of our healthy foods and chicken. Owing to this, we spend several months importing chicken, which spends weeks at the ports but we joyfully consume because we are lost.

After all, we crave whatever has been imported but continue to cry over a falling cedi. Funny, is it not?

We have demonised everything, including our language, such that speaking Gurene or any native Ghanaian language in school becomes a forbidden vernacular speech and attracts caning or any other recommended punishment.

Today we will be marching and the children will be made to endure the heat. Year in, year out, we record cases of students and even security officers collapsing to tell ourselves how independent we are or so we think.

When foreigners arrive in this country. They go for our land. That is where our gold, bauxite, diamond, timber and the like can be found. But Ghanaians who travel out there return with used clothing, used cars, used medical equipment and anything already used. At least, we have been used all these years.

We have demonised everything African. Rings, bangles, talisman are good fashion for us but they have been associated with evil yet the young African joyfully applauds musicians abroad who put on all sorts of funny chains and bangles in the name of fashion.

We have demonised everything including our arable land such that they lie fallow while we spend millions importing rice. We are independently sick, I guess.

We are independent such that children know more about the Western world than about Ghana and Africa because that is what they read about and watch on television.

And in case you did not know, the telenovelas are a new way of shifting our attention from important things.

Today, after the Independence Day march-past, we will sit and drink imported wine, eat imported rice and chew imported chicken. We have independently chosen to eat what we import and willingly give out our minerals.

It is not surprising that what we get in return from our so-called oil as a country does not even come close to what the oil-drilling companies get. But it was our independent decision.

We have independently decided to view each other as enemies and not mere political opponents who share different views because we were told to embrace democracy yet they, who brought democracy to us, continue to be ruled by a monarch because they know how democracy can be expensive and crazy.

They gave us a choice, a choice to continue to remain consciously loyal without being controlled.

Happy Independence Day anniversary. We are free. Yes freely under control.

 

By Azebire Nambirigya Nicholas, a journalist with Yem Radio, Bolgatanga

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