It was FOREIGNERS who named it the “Gold Coast”.
We ourselves didn't call our land by any single name. We called ourselves by the names bequeathed to us by our ancestors – usually based on the language or dialect we speak.
Now, that's a very important distinction. When the British and other European peoples came to trade with us, they only cared about the products they found on our land. And one of the products they valued most highly in our country was gold. So, they captured our lands at the point of a gun and renamed it: the Gold Coast!
It became their protectorate. Then, their possession. Next, their colony.
Next door to us, the French were doing the same thing. They called their prize the Ivory Coast. In time, the entire landscape in West Africa along the Bight of Benin became known, at one stage, as the SlaveCoast because – you guessed it – not only inanimate commodities were obtained from there to be sold abroad but also humans who could speak and think like their kidnappers.
But history moved along. And in the late 1950s and 1960's many African countries became independent. Many changed their names. We changed ours from the words, “Gold Coast”, to Ghana.
But we couldn't hide the gold that lay beneath our soil.
And this happened: because our economy had changed, by the time we gained our independence, into a state whereby people could be deceived into working against their own national interests by being given ready cash with which to purchase goods and services that were now regarded as essential to life, corruption soon became rife in every sphere of life.
The policeman at a road barrier; the market toll-collector; the teacher in the classroom; the civil servant in charge of granting licences or other permits; the chief in his finery granting title to ancestral lands. Almost everyone sought to obtain money without working for it. And, of course, the law-makers and law enforcers at the top could not do anything about it either. Why? Because – they too were infected with the same disease.
That is how galamsey was allowed to grow from a small social 'mishap' that killed unfortunate people every now and then, into a calamity that threatens the survival of our entire nation. We have progressively become to a sucker nation where foreign fortune-hunters team up with local idiots who can't see beyond their noses, to ply their trade successfully by just knowing who is the best person to bribe and where. Foreigners are brazenly corrupting our people into leading them to our farmlands and riverbeds, and sometimes, even homesteads, to mine for gold. Precious lands selected by our ancestors for their ability to sustain life are being churned into gold-bearing gravel that, washed with mercury, cyanide and other chemicals, turns into solid gold.
So unusual this spectacle of a people allowing themselves to be driven out of their ancestral lands by their own stupidity that it attracts foreign film crews. Aljazeera alone has screened several films, one of which was called China's African Gold Rush. It also commissioner Anas Aremeyaw Anas to do a film entitled Fool's Gold. Anyone who has a computer that's connected to the Internet can just go towww.google.com, then Search for ghana+galamsey+films. He/she can find at least 20 films. The existence of these films makes one wonder: how can this accurate information exist and without this galamsey evil being uprooted?
One of the more interesting of these films was made by the famous Discovery Channel. As long ago as October 26, 2012, Discovery started showing a series entitled Jungle Gold to its worldwide audience.Jungle Gold ran for two whole seasons as follows:
Season 1 (8 Episodes): October 26, 2012 - December 7, 2012; Season 2 (6 Episodes:
August 11, 2013-September 6, 2013. You ask: how come I didn't hear about this? You didn't hear about it because in the country in which you live, national economic and social disasters – other than gory accidents – do not make the news. It is rather pastors, priests, prophets and other self-talking “celebrities” who make “news”! Oh – and politicians, especially politicians are given to an abusive turn of phrase.
Jungle Gold was syndicated by Discovery Channel of the US to the following Channels around the world, i.e.: Canada, the United Kingdom, Poland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, India and Russia.
The stupor of indifference among Ghanaians is so deep that although there are voluble Ghanaians spread around the countries where Jungle Gold was shown, I do not know of any protest movements that sprouted in those countries when the film was shown there. Indeed, the film-makers were able to return to Ghana and successfully film the episodes that constitute the stories of Season 2!
What is the story of Jungle Gold? The story-line contains all the assumptions that make the blood of the anti-racist boil. It tells of the belief by a team of youngish Americans that having lost a load of cash in the real estate crash that occurred in most of the industrialised nations in 2008, they could try and restore their fortunes status by – coming to far-away [and presumably backward] Ghana to mine gold in its jungles.
While in Ghana, they can hire helicopters; they can be spirited away from the country by charter flights at the drop of a hat. But the country remains a jungle to them. Worse, their families are depicted as living in constant fear that something awful will happen to them. Nevertheless, the pretty wife of a member of the team thinks the “risks” worth taking: what else could her husband possibly do but take “risks” to ensure that their family continues to enjoy its comforts? It doesn't occur to her to wonder what those Americans forced to live on “welfare” do!
Anyway, let me give you a few lines of Jungle Gold:
QUOTE: The series follows [two Americans] Scott Lomu and George Wright as they join the lucrative African gold rush in an attempted high-risk financial recovery from having lost everything in the real estate crash. It focuses on the duo as they encounter the task of gold placer mining in the Ashanti Belt ... in Ghana. The men used excavators, and water pumps to mine for gold.... [No mention of the destruction of rivers; nor of the poisoning of the land by mercury and cyanide.] UNQUOTE
Are you shocked to find that not a word of condemnation is to be found in the film about the destruction of water-bodies or farms and that all that concerns the film-makers is: will the two Americans be able to make money and take it back safely to America to be enjoyed by them and their families?
I ask you: why should they care if WE don't care?
The question that I personally hope you will ask yourself is this: What has happened to the brains of the people of Ghana?
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