On 6th March 1957, the Gold Coast (now Ghana), after several years of incessant political wrangling, finally broke free from the grips of her colonial masters, Britain. For the very first time in a long time, she was alone, free to fend for herself and sail the vast unchartered waters of freedom. She had broken free from the restrictive shell of oppression that had nearly suffocated the life out of her. Now she could fly, and soar she will! God bless her and make her great and strong! Sixty-four years have since sailed by.
According to data available on the World Bank’s website, the life expectancy of the average Ghanaian is about 64 years. Never mind that you are more likely to die earlier—two years earlier, that is— if an XY chromosome determined your sex. Sorry, haters. Mother Ghana is winning! Sixty-four years and she still carves the impressive figure of a twenty-something year-old model. Marred by several pauses of coup d’états in her relatively young democratic life, some would have expected that it would have taken a significant toll on her. Yet see her glow in the light of her impressive achievements. Man, Ghana is a star—the glowing black star of Africa.
I could sing her praises all day long—I could sing a year’s worth of te-deum-long hymnals about her wealth in gold and bauxite, and her numerous minerals, about the significant strides she has made in various facets of her economic life. I could sing… but I fear I would not be doing justice to the lattice of systematic corruption that threatens to set us back many years from achieving true greatness— from reaching the stars. You are a star, Ms. Ghana. A rare black star. Your place is in space, among the stars, yet your children seek to bury you beneath sand. Fiery greed threatens to burn down your silos of achievements. They light their selfish parochial interests with the fire of dishonesty and threaten to burn you down! Like the phoenix out of the ashes, may you rise!
Sixty-four is a very significant number—the first whole number that is both a perfect square and a perfect cube. Perfect. Truth is, Ghana would never attain this level of mathematical perfection, but we could at least strive for something akin to it. We could strive for a future free from corruption, and greed, a future ripe with stellar development and progress. We could strive for a future where the people, in whose bosom true democratic power resides, truly trust the people they elect to act in their interest. We could strive for a future where “freedom and justice” is not only an inscription on the coat of arms, but virtues that can genuinely be felt by the least among us. A future where integrity is not merely an abstract aspiration, but the inevitable product of the love we have for our country. We could strive for a future worthy of the blood and toil of our forefathers, a future worth dying for. Oh, to behold such a future! But truth is, Ghana will never be that perfect, but at least there is a perfection we can all look forward to.
“Look! Look! God has moved into the neighbourhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, He’s their God. He’ll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good— tears gone, crying gone, pain gone— all the first order of things gone.”
— Revelations 21:3—4, MSG
This perfect. This is perfect freedom, void of pain and suffering. This is a future we can look forward to, a future God personally sent His only son into our world to die for, inorder to unsure that you and I could live in it. This is the future. It does get better.
Today though, all we can do is strive— and strive we must— for a better Ghana, for a better future.
Happy independence day.