Friday, March 06, 2009

Independence Day: A View out of Ghana


Today is independence day in the fair country of Ghana; 52 years of freedom and justice (with questionnable lapses here and there along the way). Independence day is also the theme for the communal blog topic amongst Ghana bloggers. For some reason I am completely uninspired by Independence Day 2009. There are a number of reasons for this:
  • A bad work meeting over the phone with collaborative partners in Europe that ended 30 minutes ago
  • The fact that it does not feel like independence day and in fact most people have gone to the mall or the beach
  • 52 is an odd number...it is not like 50 or 55 or 60...these seem to offer something more to celebrate
Before coming to work, my family and I spent our independence day lounging around after a delicious brunch followed almost immediately by my current favorite meal apem and palaver sauce (boiled plantain and spinach stew ). Like millions of Ghanaians, we watched the official independence celebrations on TV and listened to our new President's speech. He was poised and eloquent but we were a tad creeped out when the camera man captured a shot of the president's speech script and we could see that the font size was Arial 60. After the celebrations, television quickly turned into the usual documentaries about life in the 1950s and the path towards independence.

Around lunch time, TV3 started showing a Ghanaian film classic from 1970 I told you So starring the late greats Araba Stamp and Bob Cole. We gasped at how little Accra (especially around High Street) had changed from when the film was made to now...Not a good sign.

Regardless, this day should be a time for all Ghanaians to reflect on how far we have come as a people since 6 March 1957. The struggles we have faced, the adversities we have overcome and how these have only made us stronger and wiser.
Just as Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had so much hope for the future when he declared that Ghana was free for ever, so too should we look towards a brighter future filled with bigger and better things.

Rocky Dawuni's classic In Ghana very grainy video but the message still rings clear for me.


7 comments:

posekyere said...

Hi Abena,
Your blog is as graciously beautiful as you are!
I think you are astonishing in the new picture. Beautiful, graceful and simply captivating.
Happy independence celebration, Ohemaa!

catomatay! said...

My sentiments exactly

Abena said...

*LOL* You guys are too kind...Making me blush...Real life paints quite a different picture!!
Happy Independence Day :)

novisi said...

blush abena..., blush...

the little things in life really do matter and one can only be grateful amidst all there is! so just enjoy the real life picture really!

guess what? i've been greatly enriched and blessed by all the interactions with you on your blog!

now, i hardly see independence cos i don't believe in all the talk about patriotism and such sectarianism (i only see Nkrumah as one of the many human's who meant well enough) but i can wish you happy indece! (belated) and just stay blessed!

Anonymous said...

So I'm guessing his speech wasn't as painful to listen to/watch as his inaugural speech? Then arial 60 it is from now on!

Abena said...

*Awww* Thanks Novisi, that does mean a lot. I have enjoyed our interactions greatly as well..

Abena said...

Indeed Anonymous, The speech was pretty good and far different from the inauguration one. I have a pic of the font size I photographed off GTV but alas I think that would be too un-patriotic to post on the net.

Conspicuously absent from the celebration were the minority and former president Kufuor. Not sure why that was the case...Even if the then-opposition NDC boycotted most of the NPP independence day celebrations, I was hoping the NPP would have moved beyond tit- -for-tat politics and attended. Besides, they missed the live swipe by President Mills when he said in his speech that Ghana almost "moved forward in the wrong direction".