Saturday, March 12, 2011

Conscious Community Development

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." Walt Disney          "Light tomorrow with today."   Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"A year from now you may wish you had started today." Karen Lamb

I have a dream, that a time cometh when I shall stand in the midst of my people to behold the new community when all things shall have been made better. I caught this dream in the times when my life has been fed up with the life I came to meet, and continually witness.

I was just walking about like any other youngster, in Ghana, who has had some elevation by way of having gone through teacher training. Aghast, dwindling hopes, rising debt, bleak future and the incumbent educational ladder to climb. Nothing else was on my mind. I had even lost the love of my life (then). And nothing else seemed to be working right. But I had my loyal friends!

Yet I had kept one dream all along, to date: That I have a contribution to make should I ever live to see the new Jacobu which is to arise in the heart of the Amansie Central District. By then the district had not yet come but it was eminent. And soon it came!

But I had a whole lot of questions asked of the Father. Our people are, even as I write, still discordant! Our neighbouring villages still do not have a king unto whom they should pledge their allegiance. Darkness still rule a large majority of our landmass. The only higher educational institution is one underdeveloped senior high school. The hospital continues to receive cases of petty illnesses such as cholera, malaria and typhoid which are easily preventable! And on our market day, what we sell under those tents, are the old petty raw materials called food stuffs our mothers bring from the substitence farms. Domestic livestock and poultry still wander on the streets anytime even in the central business district, unattended to! Hence the streets are full of stench, filth and squalor.

Socially we have quite a divided religious front in that, seldom do they act in unity as expected of God's people (I'm yet to see them fighting a social cause). Our school children are left untutored once they close from school, and at the mercy of needless vigils, wake-keepings and what have you. Marriage and parenting are rapidly becoming dysfunctional, weak and daunting. The youth are almost voiceless despite many years of seeking attention. And sadly, the merchants are yet to be properly housed. Tradesmen and apprenticed women do so in the same old fashioned poverty-stricken sole-proprietorship.

And the district came! To some, it was God's answer to our numerous plight. To me it was the beginning of another set of questions. As a local government capital, where is the social contract document written to guide generations yet unborn? The town still has no development plan, no document whatsoever showing the way to these unscrupulous politicians and civil servants who come in to help build our district. The institutions are still weak as there is no capacity-building outlet to tap and harness our vast human resource base.

Thank God the waters are running in the pipes, the electric wires are also still overhead, and the future still holds some hope, at least, for some of us.

Untill we answer the question of who shall unite the discordant energies abundant in our fragmented social bond, we still have not begun conscious dvelopment of our community, Jacobu is still yet to climb and abide on the hilltop that the Odomankoma placed us. Our light is blazing, we are now more visible on the map, and our fragrance can be smelled thousands of miles away. We need not fail. We just can't fail!

But who builds a house without first sitting down to ascertain if he has enough to complete that which he wishes to start? When Jesus asked this question, he knew the answer and the answer is: No one succeeds this way!

Developed nations come at a price; conscious plans must be executed and followed through. And Jacobu is not left out of this natural law.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free And Independent

The price you pay for what you want is the unpleasant thing you need to do or suffer in order to get it. Becoming a positive yardstick has a price; dare to be excellent.
"No easy walk to freedom."  - Nelson Mandela

Ghana has attained 54 years after independence. The question is, how many of us are indeed free and independent? The price for freedom has never been cheap and that goes for every human endeavour be it personal or collective. I am thankful I have lived to see this day.

For many Ghanaians, Independence celebration is a school affair. Teachers and school children bear the brunt of the usually hot afternoons amid rising dusts and profuse sweats to commemorate this great day on our national calender. The rest choose to come around to observe, and probably give some cheers to deserving schools whose 'eyes right' is scintillating enough. Nothing else is so memorable to them again.

I describe this as unfortunate and a sad reality for a 54-year old independent state. Why this sheer apathy for that which is important? Why reduce this great day to childish politics and partisan strife? How do we as adults regard the young to learn from us? Which values and importance have we accorded matters that are of national interest vis-a-viz that which are trifle?

For those of us proclaiming freedom and independence, time is up that we sat down to think for ourselves how distinctly free and independent we have become even in the face of our party's stance and so-called ideology. If as a free nation such pettiness is not walked over by our maturity, we should all ask for forgiveness from the freedom fighters who put their lives on the frontline to secure our self-rule.

Up here on the hill, Jacobu, the capital for the Amansie Central District, combined forces to involve the participation of some schools within the district for the first time. I was particularly impressed to see towns like Fiankomah, Tweapease, Patasi and Aboabo who have never had opportunity to partake this event since the inception of the district some seven years ago.

I was happy to see the presence of the MP, the Nananom and most of the officials who have seat in the District Assembly Executive Committee (DISEC) at the parade. Also worthy of note are the constituency party chairmen for the NPP and the NDC respectively in attendance , and on the dais!

Even though somewhere across the country, some aggrieved teachers chose to stay off the celebrations, ours saw a very encouraging attendance of teachers ably side by side with their students saluting the national flag.

I am a very free and independent ordinary individual. My hope is to be in a team with like-minded personalities such as myself. This way, we can have a lot of positive things done and we shall chalk a lot of successes.

Let this be in you, fellow kinsman, that no matter what, you are the most important person to our district and as such, your personal opinion counts very much. Do not follow blindly else you become only a crowd. Choose to be yourself and see a great man/woman arise in you. Your name shall climb over the city walls and every household shall have it written at their gates.

Decide today what the Amansie Central District shall remember you of, and begin to act on it now. Call me if you need my help. I am a man of many talents.

Happy Independence Day!!