Sankofa

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It has been widely spread and has come to stay that the original phrase of “Forward Ever Backwards Never” is attributed to Ghana’s visionary leader Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and this has been our mantra since independence. But come to think of it, does this apply in every context especially in a case where we need the benefit of history in hindsight to make some decisions with regards to where our country is heading.

Recently in one of my high profile Whatsapp discussion platforms the issue of national development came up and it was agreed that one of the key ingredients to national development is education but then that begs the question of what kind of education are we referring to in this case. Lemme just post a transcript ofparts of the discussion here and then I’d continue.

AA: I was born in the house of a ga man who was also a historian and he told us a lot of things at that tender age. Today where are our historians? Even historians of today don’t tell the true story about who we are, where we’ve been and where we may be heading to. They’ve all taken political positions and refuse to tell the exact stories.

AB‬: True, when we are educated and knowledgeable the politician would not  get the privilege to do
What they are doing. It’s better they mess up the education system so we don’t have a say because the knowledge to bring them to book would not be there.

AC‬: With this narrative , it looks like we are walking and running at the same time instead of crawling … Shine in ur little corner

AA: You see what I was talking about. Wholistic approach is not there, but individual approach towards problem solving is what we seeing now. It’s become the phenomenon” shine in ur little corner ” How long are we going to shine in that little corner if we don’t  advocate for a general change?!!!

AB: Yes, in the current confused culture we find ourselves. Historically no. Our forefathers paid attention to everything.

ME:  Am I not educating you on the history of this country? All on this platform know the importance of history but what are we doing to teach the younger generation. Yeah you said it, brighten yo corner.
Yes! That’s the best solution now to make the younger generation aware that this is what was and what could be not what is now.

Had the privilege of talking to 45 youth in Tamale at action Aid Global Center after a night of watching the movie A Long Walk To Freedom (Mandela story) which was apt cos they’re trying to raise young activists and I told them the history of how people fought for the freedoms we’re enjoying now and how it’s  now their turn to also fight for their children.

AB‬: But kola besides those who had the privilege of the old system who else apart from those offering history as an elective subject knows any history of Ghana through our current education system?

ME: Yes! That’s what I’m doing in my corner , youth advocacy whilst I still shout at the policy makers for their ineptitude. What are you doing even in your corner? Is it really any different from those standing among the masses who just scream foul and go back home to sit in the dark?

From the transcript it can be deduced that history is very important to national development. The youth need to be made aware of what existed, politicians and policy makers need to go back into history to see what sort of relationship existed between our forefathers and the whites to serve as a guide to our dealings with them and as individuals we need to learn where we are coming from and better understand the challenges we face as Africans in a fast growing and expanding cosmopolitan world.

Education is the key to making constructive  criticism and wise decisions in our daily life and dealings with our environment and surroundings. There is too much “they say” in the system and we find adults who can’t construct a simple opinion for themselves because they were brought up in a system where you take everything piecemeal once it kind of makes sense.

College students now depend extensively on handouts and without them they cant function as students and some lecturers too wont encourage individual thought and the cycle continues because those who can regurgitate the handouts become the “brilliant” ones who take over the academicians who teach and perpetuate the system.

What are we doing in our corner? For me, I’ve decided to help shape young minds and create the awareness. I won’t be a party to a generation that raises robots and intellectual zombies, but a generation that is thinking for itself, a generation with a firm grasp of the issues at stake and a generation that seeks primarily the development of Africa as a world power making use of all the resources we have on the continent.

As much as possible I’m creating a generation of readers and of writers who will say their mind based on what they know, based on their history, based on extensive research into and awareness of their surroundings. That’s my commitment.

Our traditions and cultures that we’re discarding with impunity is seeped in our history. Our forefathers lived peacefully and didn’t struggle and suffer as much hardship as we are now because systems were in place that worked and they looked after each other not the selfish regime we are in nowadays.

But it shall be well. Once we all have hope in Ghana and think nation first we will definitely make it. We’re already on track and though it be rough, we’ll surely get there.

The journey of a thousand leagues, begins with one step.

It begins with YOU!

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