Hearing a Ghanaian-born Canadian’s shock about sharing take-away packs of food in the motherland as Covid relief, put it all back into perspective.
It’s a new month and he probably had already received his bi-weekly $1,000 stipend, their government’s version of “sit tight guys, let’s face this livelihood-stripping pandemic together” intervention.
But here we are in Ghana, now repaying – through new taxes – for ‘free water and electricity supply’ enjoyed at the peak of the pandemic as a pseudo-social intervention programme.
I thought deeply about this while on a Twitter Space conversation with dozens of youth – most of whom are thinking about their rent advance for the next 2 years – surrounding the way forward in light of the #FixTheCountry movement.
I could tell that the Ghanaians in that particular conversation were shaken by Nat’s passion on the audio forum.
Not because of the passion with which he spoke on Wednesday night, but because of the fact that he couldn’t fathom some of the terrible conditions we found as very normal in this country.
This is not your average opinion piece. It’s a series of rhetorical questions.
It’s simply a reflection on a timeline of failed promises by subsequent governments which have only led to a glaring display of misplaced shots at dampening the sentiments of a genuinely wailing youth.
Ever wondered why a country of about 30 million people find nearly a quarter of its populace on social media?
It’s because, in a space where hopes and dreams are a mirage, life on the virtual community seems like the best of alternatives for the over 8 million lives online.
The reality is rather grim, unfortunately.
Look at yourself, as a youth who has probably lived just as long as the 1992 constitution has been in existence. Is this the ‘You’ your young self-envisioned?
Have you eventually settled for Less because, More is a far cry from what the country can provide – which a certain government at a point in your growth had initially sworn it could deliver?
Governments are supposed to be in the position to create favourable conditions for each citizen to live their dreams. I will not go any further but after a brief introspection, are we there as a country after 64 years of independence?
For myself and the over tens of thousands of Ghanaian youth who have joined the #FixTheCountry movement with their tweets and social media posts, your guess is as good as mine.
The sentiments have moved beyond just a hashtag. It’s now a reverberation of decades of depression and elusive opportunities. The canker has been rife for a long time, but today’s youth is not ready to back down. No holds barred.
As it stands, a massive protest is in the offing on Sunday, May 9, and the police has demonstrated its reluctance to shepherd such a move over Covid-19 restrictions.
I pray ongoing dialogues make this demonstration a reality.
If you ever idolized, Kwame Nkrumah, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jnr and all the revolutionist that came before us, then this is your chance to stand for something.
Because, in the words of Dr King Jr., “the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence of the good people.”
The author, Kofi Tweneboah, is a Ghanaian youth and development expert.
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