Friday, February 25, 2011

Where I Belong

"A danger foreseen is half avoided." 
Thomas Fuller

Sooner or later we are going to be called on to declare where we belong or forever stay away when the sharing of the cake comes. I've been told all who want a better life must belong to one party or the other so should their candidate wins, the grass-root folks shall be attended to. Nothing is more shameful than this fact in Ghana politics.  Why at all must my community be neglected by government simply because it did not get enough votes from the electorate? 

I for one am into politics more than most of folks think of me. I love politics the same way I love philosophy, religion and history. If any one desires wisdom, these study disciplines must be on his/her finger tips. I don't just follow politics, I chase after its history, status quo and future prospects. It's almost a hobby.

I however refuse to be tied down by ordinary 'follow me' dogma where my conscience is suspended in exchange for party slogans, manifesto and their so-called ideology. To me what matters most is the development of my people vis-a-viz my community. I don't believe the destiny of Jacobu and the Amansie Central District lies in the hands of  some one political party.  I tell you not even Nkrumah could convince me to believe otherwise. Ghana shall surely move forward regardless of which party is in power. And so shall the lands of my fathers.

As a growing young man whose life is molded by years of poverty, lack and more lack, I am most  previewed to grass-roots life. The harshness, the filth, the squalor and the stench of neglect. I schooled under trees, mud houses, thatch roofs and clustered dusty classrooms. I lived in darkness all school life till some when in college. The last time time I travelled on a tarred raod into my beloved hometown was just about three years ago. And the list goes on.

I certainly need be told how deprived we are. We need not wait till a year before elections for some talk-free political superstars to come all the way from Accra to 'promise' us the good life or a better Jacobu. If as a people we fail to sit down and identify our weakness so to measure our strength, we shall forever be held in derision by these agents of polytricks. 

I always say we live in exciting times. Many fail to read the signs of the times. Some eleven years into the twenty-first century, who waits for some go-gay, universal get-developed-quick-manifesto from a bunch of disconcerted team whose main career is in propagating near-truths, untruths, and mischievous fallacies? People who wait four years for such shall always be disappointed. No wonder we are cut from what goes on on our behalf! How can any meaningful measure be put in place in my interest without my consent and involvement? Believe it or not, partisan politics is the common enemy just as colonialism was the common enemy during the independence struggle. Wake up people!

Imagine a summit of the Odoto clan, where kinsmen meet to decide their destiny. Imagine living in the community where our common bond is our common heritage as one people - Jacobites. Imagine my children and your children playing the songs we used to play and dance around with before the evil days of multi-party confusion. And come to the hilltop and see for yourself how pleasant it is to behold our new undivided rising. This is where I belong.

You are the right person to make that change. Be the change. Call me I will help.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Walking To The Hilltop

"A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gathering his like to him; wherever he goes."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

A lifetime of following philosophy and religion, history has taught me one meditating principle; anytime I bow down my head in prayers, I see how my past developed into my present. I believe we all are Gods in the making just as Jesus taught us to believe. Beholding the lives of Moses, Abraham, Jacob, David and Jesus, religion teaches me how God used man to glorify his name in their exploits. How he blesses them with many ordinary talents and how they blessed mankind with their extraordinary gifts.

In philosophy, I am blessed to sit in the council of great minds, the province of which wisdom takes preeminence, and dialogue with the simplest of men that ever walked our planet. I hear them speak, I listen to them talk, and I dare them to grant me a hearing too.

So when I sit down to think, I close my eyes to see where my story begins and ends to begin - Jacobu, the land of my fathers.

I remember the first time I saw this land from a distance on the main highway. It was the biggest city I'd seen so far! And it was on the hill! There were so many people on that market-day. I was but a child. I was young but I could see.  Hence I remember. I remember saying to myself: I shall live here one day.

It wasn't long afterwards that I came in town to attend junior secondary school. I walked six kilometres a day, to and fro, for three years so I could obtain my first certificate. I loved the school for it was the biggest I'd seen. I had many mates but few friends. In here, the town begun sensing my presence.

A year after my BECE, my family moved into town to settle where my father's fathers once stayed. I was the only one at the back of the vehicle that came for our bags and baggages. I had just lost some friends and I had no idea who my next new friends were going to be in this big town. On that dusty road I felt alone because I have no brothers or sisters of my own. But it was because of me that my family had to move from that village so I could have secondary education in this new town.

Catching a vision at a my secondary school was a wishful thinking for few of us really knew where our tuition could take us. The school was so less endowed. Students were few and teachers were fewer. But for me, I was thankful we had abundance of books. My favourite spot was the library. My worst memory is my school's failure to see individual students as they are. I was misconstrued several times and was generally assumed to be a misfit. But I had friends. Real but few friends. And I am grateful they are my friends even to date!

After secondary school, climbing to the hilltop and be heard was getting in sight. Any little further education and we shall be able to come back one day and effect positive changes in our community. This dream, however, nearly turned into a nightmare. My results were nowhere to be found! It was during those uncertain times that God told me: "Son, from this time forth, learn to trust me."  When at last my results came, a narrow path had been created for me to go to college.

Those three years in the teachers' institution were the times when my manly spirit was invoked. In men-only institutions, your place as a man is always dared, and one must learn to take a stance and defend it with his life. Either by word or by action. And a teacher shall never lack in words!

Also in college days, many in town had got on board the education bus. My choice of friends thwarted to this side. Like minds attract. A whole new bond of friendship had been born among my circle of friends. A bond that was sealed with many years of knowing ourselves, many books we have read together, many perspectives we share and the fact that we share the same land.

Soon after college, many other youngsters had awaken to the reality for a wider bond. It begun with old students' association for our secondary school, to students' union for our constituency and finally to  Jacobu Youth Association. The latter stayed, and to date.

As my prayer begins to end, I spend the last moments in the present time thanking God for how far he has brought us. Today, doors open upon our approaching, the town heeds when we call, the leaders invite us to sit and talk as men, the palace welcomes our view, the church grants us a hearing,the child looks up to us, the youth dances to our music and eat from the table we set before them, and the elderly believes we hold the potential to undo the past in the present.

As we near the hilltop, many are roaring to command the comrades. Men steeped in conceit and vain-glory who have little respect for themselves and for fellow man. Flying from faraway places to perch on the giant tree so they can peck the few fruits we've gathered with our labour. Greed incites them to make false promises; they enjoy to see the strife continue so our people shall have need of them all the time. How wrong they are!

Come let's join hands whoever have walked this hilly path. Just stretch to take the hand of the kinsman next to you, be it behind or ahead, rich or poor, young or old, man or woman. We are so close to the top of the hill. I know we shall get there. In fact I know the way; I was here from the beginning!