It Starts With You
Recently I had a conversation with a young lady on my way back from my village, Agogo. One of the places you surely need to add to your tourist destinations in Ghana.
For the purpose of this article I call her Christie. She is pretty and contoured in all the right places. Low hair cut, dimples and ….. Anything you add is correct.
Even though I was trying to take a nap, I could not help but pick a conversation with her. Immediately she told me she works for the social welfare department I ignorantly said, then you will know my wife and mentioned her name. How ignorant, I forgot that it is not only the School of Social Works in Osu, Ghana that produces them.
She corrected and told me she is a graduate of University of Ghana. Hmm why all these long winding narration? Go straight to the point. Yes we had a long conversation not in my interest but in the interest of mother Ghana.
My friend, Christie was somebody who was working in a very important yet the most unappreciated organisation. At one time the head of social welfare had to put up in his office. He had obviously been transferred to Accra to head the department but no provision had been made for his accommodation. The man and his family came to Accra only to realise that one of the basic necessities of life shelter, has been omitted from his package.
This was the organisation pretty Christie was working in; she was still there because it guarantees a monthly income. She had a lot of issues with her work.
Even though I could share in her frustration, my question to her was “what are you doing about it”? Nothing was her answer and added this in Twi; try as you may it will amount to nothing. She then asked me if I was in her shoes what my reaction would be.
With my wife being a social worker and knowing the important role social workers play in our society I suggested that they should form a regulatory body which will regulate and facilitate the activities of social workers. With a body like Institute of Public Relations (IPR), Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG), etc it will ensure that whoever is elected or appointed on to the department is a social worker of good standing and one they trust can push for the recognition of the work of social workers. I also suggested that once the body is formed they can lobby for ministers to the sector to be social workers, yes. Why don’t we appoint just anybody to the position of minister of justice? It shows the level of importance the state attaches to the ministry. I hope IPR will take a cue from this and put pressure on government of Ghana to appoint competent communicators, members of IPR to the position of ministers of communication or information (if the later ever comes back). The level of contrasting information from government is embarrassing.
Back to my Accra bound bus, Christie disclosed that even if you have the courage to start something the “Big men” at the top who are paid to steer the organisation to greater height will be the ones who will discourage you and gave examples. The situation is so bad that she asked “who am I to bring any change”.
She has taken a position of I don’t care, She hopes that one day she can travel abroad (certainly not to xenophobic South Africa) where social workers are appreciated to seek greener pastures. She had decided not to vote because she thinks even if she does elections will still be rigged. I got her to consider her position on voting. She assured me that before she got down.
A lot of people find themselves in the position of my friend. They do nothing because they feel they are insignificant. They fear to challenge the status quo for fear of victimization. The reason we find our nation in this state. People blindly vote for policies in parliament because is the position of their party. Nobody wants to incur the wrath of the president and their fellow members.
Mr. Martin Amidu, former attorney General in Ghana, stands tall in Ghana’s politics, he fought for Ghana. He did not just loose a handsome salary and fat allowances; he spent his personal resources to ensure the return of some wrongfully paid gargantuan monies to some individuals and entities. P. C. Appiah Ofori, former Member of Parliament in Ghana started something but his own comments sometimes let him down. Do you remember the infamous sale of Ghana Telecom now Vodafone?
Yes, if you don’t stand for anything you will fall for everything. It took one black man for the United Nation to be started. It took one young man for the global soap project to be adopted by the United Nations.
Sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone to be counted. Even if you don’t receive recognition in your life time you may be remembered after death. Martin Luther King Jnr. had a dream of a black man becoming the most powerful man in the world (President of USA).
Let’s dream, a dream that challenges the status quo. Until Galileo predicted the world was round the prescribed shape of the world was flat. Galileo died for his stance but is he Right or Wrong?
Are we going to do nothing about how easily people put their hands in national coffers and yet turn round to tell us to make up for the money through taxes. Are we going to watch whiles all the good of the land is eaten by people who claim to be servants and have our interest at heart?
Are we going to watch while square pegs continue to fill round holes? Will we watch while ministered are transferred to different ministries for criminal offences?.
Let’s not be deceived, anybody who starts a good thing will face opposition. To whomever reading this, it takes a positive change in your corner to make something happen. We do not need a Lee Kuan Yu. We need people who will start for the right no matter who, when what and where it happened. It starts with you.
The only personal question I asked Christie was whether she plan settling down soon, to which the answer was NO. Certainly she know a thing about “maame ne papa” (sex) based on calls she received and made in-between our conversation. There is a guy on her bed. I know you will ask, we didn’t exchange contacts.