Selorm Brantie’s State of The Nation

This is something a friend of mine wrote that set me thinking and i want to share it here. 

Selorm Brantie has always been bothered by the Ghanaian situation and i always love his analogy of putting the Ghanaian situation metaphorically juxtaposed by some of our everyday activities. 

“In Ghana, we like playing “small poles”. I love football analogies because they somehow reflect perfectly who we are as a people. In small poles, we maximize the micro-game. We are very adept at making deft, simple touches of brilliance. To a limited extent, our link up plays are a delight to watch; we show off to the crowd for plaudits. 

That is the micro-game. All skill, very little efficiency. It is hard to score a goal in small poles. For all the effort used in the dribble and trickery, there is, in this tiny goalpost, which even under normal circumstances is difficult to score, you will find one person who is supposed to be a player tending the goalposts and blocks it so mu h that after 2 hours of play there is usually only a goal or two scored.

The advantage of this is that we adapt very well to situations, also on the micro levels. Ghanaians have a marvelous spirit. We fight with grit, tooth and nail. We are fiercely proud, and we love that. Traditionally, we are always thought to think small; don’t be flamboyant, don’t grow too big, don’t let people see you rise. Hide your talents, there are witches around, etc, etc…. the negative admonitions go on and on.

This world however isn’t a closed space. It is a competitive, no holds barred space where the small picture, rural type or clan-scale mentality doesn’t wash. My observation is that we can do the best of things, but we are conditioned to always think small. Any ambition or tendency to expand beyond a certain scope is furiously and aggressively cut down, because after all, when we were we who were you? 

This nation is suffering from the lack of “big poles” mentality. We can play as a team but don’t think as a team. Everybody wants to be the star dribbler  the master player. We cant fathom our roles as cogs in the wheel. We don’t understand the concept of individual attributes that could contribute to a big picture. Everybody wants to paint their own small picture or masterpiece and get praise for it. We cant see how we can fit each of our colors together into a big and beautiful mosaic.

So here we are, erecting statues each day for fallen heroes, because they pioneered the big pictures, but the subsequent generations have failed to add on to that. In fact, all the monumental achievements have crumbled, to be replaced by effigies that are unveiled with fanfare, pomp and pageantry. That is the state of our nation.

I am glad however for every youth that is working hard to change that paradigm. We are facing opposition on all sides, but we shall triumph. Regardless of political or social obligations, let’s see the big picture, let’s team up, let’s refuse to follow the myopic examples they want to entrench in our subconscious  The future is ours. We should change the state of this nation. No more hypocrisy and boot licking. Everybody counts!”

So as we say in Akan at the end of wise words ‘yasem pa’ meaning the ball is now in our court as youth of this blessed nation Ghana.

*Dammit! the lights just went off!*


2 Responses to “Selorm Brantie’s State of The Nation”

  1. Beautiful piece depicting the state of our nation. Our leaders have failed us, we’ve simply being (mis)educated. We speak big English and revele in entitlements but so inept in practicality. We have first of all recognize and appreciate our individual differences and it’s corresponding strengths and weaknesses; only when we can come together as one, with the hindsight that I can never be you and you can never be me hence the need to support your efforts rather than pull you down. The state of the nation indeed is a pity!

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