Thursday, April 29, 2010

Controversial - Obruni tears down Ghana and builds it up again

I am sure I will take alot of heat for posting this article - but it was truly interesting, thought provoking and it crudely tears open the wounds that neither Africa nor the West want to face...

A Ghanaian colleague of mine found this article on a popular news and editorial website here called Modern Ghana, written by a British man who lives in Ghana (who I have somehow managed not to meet)...

Please read the whole thing, before making sweeping judgments... by the end, the guy has come full circle on his appreciation of Ghana.

Happy reading! For those of you who really know Ghana - what do you make of this?

“What do you want in Ghana? Go back to your country!”

Are you the kwasia (idiot) who shouted this at me yesterday from your taxi while I was minding my own business and waiting for my tro-tro at Presby junction? What made you come out with such an exclamation? Was it just too much apio (akpeteshi - local moonshine), or do you have a matter you want to discuss with me? Have you been to aborokyire (abroad) yourself and learnt only the bad things from there, like racism and anti-social behaviour? Did you witness my brothers sticking pickaxes in your brothers' heads, simply for having the audacity to possess beautiful black skin, and has this made you want to treat all non-Ghanaians with a similar contempt? Why didn't you come back when I asked you “woye hwan?” and signalled you to “bra!” (come), so that we could continue the conversation? I wanted to know what warranted such an uncalled-for verbal attack, and to ask you why you are so keen for me to go back to my country. As you were too much of a coward to stop the car and allow me to answer, I am forced to write my reply down and publish it on the web for you. Your provocation will not make my readers happy- this article isn't going to be quite as positive as the rest.

I might have retorted by telling you that I can't go back to my country because the UK has been taken over by millions of African immigrants, asylum seekers and illegal workers, leaving no jobs, houses or white girls left for the obroni. I'll go back to my country if you can remove all the Ghanaians from there first. Or, perhaps I should have laid the blame for my continued presence here on the procrastination and incompetence of your empty-promise government, who invited me over here in 2007 for discussions that are still to be had (“The minister has travelled to South America to collect some more cocaine, the secretary will be with you as soon as she finishes playing Solitaire”). Perhaps you were just jealous of the injustice of our respective visa regulations and angry that it takes you ten times more money and a hundred times more documents to get a visa to my country than it does for me to get one to yours. Maybe out of the vexation your aboa (silly) question laid on me, I should have lied and answered that, like most foreigners, I'm here because it's so damn easy to deceive the black man and even easier to sleep with the black woman. Whichever reply I chose to use would have been an angry one: your unprovoked, out-of-the-blue comment from the safety of a speeding taxi really pissed me off. I wasn't in the mood to “fa wo adamfo” (make friends with you), buy you a Star and tell you the real reason why I'm here, which is because there's no waakye and nkati cake in aborokyire (abroad), and because the GHanja is a hundred times cheaper than the ganja. And don't you know that a true prophet is never recognised in his own country? Imagine if Jesus Christ had been told to shut up and go back to Bethlehem every time he went out to preach his Father's word.

Anyway, why do you have a problem with foreigners in your country? Don't you want us to bring in our dollars, pounds and Euros to help prop up your feeble economy? Does “Travel and See” only apply to Ghanaians struggling to get “inside”? Tourism is Ghana's third highest earner of the money you expect to magically appear in your pocket every day. The money's definitely not going to end up in your pocket if you permit the perpetuation of the paradox that the most loved tourist hang-outs, like the bambootastic Tawala Beach Resort in La and Kumasi's Four Villages Inn, are built and owned by foreigners. Your other big earners are begging the IMF/World Bank/International Donors for loans, and all your yahoo contacts and “bogga” friends and family for remittances. Doing something yourself to create wealth doesn't seem to strike you as being possible (and dozing in your kiosks and containers every day selling foreign crap to each other does NOT create wealth). If you do really want all the foreigners out of Ghana, do you want them to take all their foreign inventions and imports with them when they go? Should the Americans and Germans leave with all their cars which you sit in, should the Chinese tear up all their roads you drive on, and should the Japanese take back all their mobile phones you talk on? Do you want the Indians to leave too? How on Earth will you survive without all their razor blades, matches and biscuits? Your people will probably die of thirst if the Thais cancel all their deliveries of Vitamilk. You probably want the South Africans to head back south too, but you love their Accra Mall with its fancy apparel, expensive food and Hollywood movies, don't you? Let's also tell the Norwegians and Canadians to go back to their fjords and Rocky Mountains and take all their mining equipment with them, leaving you to dig up your own oil and gold with a stick. And just make sure that you can produce your own corned beef and rice before you kick out the Argentineans and Vietnamese, OK? Are you sure you are able to function as a 21st century citizen alone? You haven't even caught up with the 18th (toilet in every home), the 19th (electricity in every home), or the 20th (shoes on every child) yet. Should the British take back all their educational legacy, Eurocentric textbooks and Cambridge curriculum, leaving the black man to devise and implement his own more acceptable, appropriate and Afrocentric schooling system? (Well, actually, yes they should.)

The latter matter goes to show that, even though I thought you put your point across in a rather rude and very un-Ghanaian manner (you didn't even greet me first!), you are arguably correct. The white man has done nothing but rape, pillage and underdevelop bibiman (the black man) since he “discovered” it hundreds of years ago.

He tries to hide the fact that by that time it had already for thousands of years been the home of mighty empires, luxurious palaces, golden warrior kings, rich internal trade routes, and the world's first great universities, religions, civilisations and bushdoctors- a time when Europe was wallowing in Dark Age squalor and dying from bubonic plague. It's all gone downhill for Africa and uphill for Europe from then on: the white man should have been told to go home as soon as he arrived, just as strongly as you told me yesterday. Perhaps your forefathers should have had your same strong convictions back in 1471 and told the Portuguese to “Vai tomar no cu!” when all this kwasiasem began. Instead, they deferentially allowed them to build their dirty slave castle on Elmina's sacred ground in exchange for a few bags of shells and bottles of cheap whisky. Ayikoo (good going!). Why didn't your great-grandfather tell my great-grandfather to stick the Bond of 1844 up his sorry white ass, instead of sycophantically signing it, thereby forcing his own free black people to become subservient to some faraway white queen? In 1957 the “colonial master”, after making himself fat and rich through 300 years of slave dealing and 113 years of natural resource stealing, “granted” you independence of your own land. How noble and gracious of him. At the time, did your fathers follow your proud and outspoken example and cry foul over this “Mickey Mouse Independence”? Obviously they didn't, because Lucky Dube was still singing about such empty emancipations more than fifty years later.

That's one of the messages Kwame Nkrumah was trying to tell your predecessors before the CIA had him killed off. As well as Osagyefo, you have many more historical figures you can be proud of, who did stand up to the Imperialist immigrants, but can you tell me about some of them? Probably not- you didn't look very educated. Most schoolchildren should know the name of the Ejisu Queenmother who bravely defended the Golden Stool in 1901, but how many can name the Akwamu chief who whipped some Danish ass in 1693 to become the Governor of Christianborg Castle- the only African to ever gain such a status on the Gold Coast? Name the Asantehene (1720-50) who demanded that the Europeans set up factories and distilleries in Africa, instead of forcing his people to buy imported goods. When your son gets back from school tonight, ask him why MacCarthy Hill is called MacCarthy Hill, and what happened to MacCarthy before he became a hill. I'll pay his school fees for a year if he knows. The Ashantis should be proud of chopping off that white invader's head in 1824. But are your children learning about and celebrating these great people and moments in black history, so they will be inspired to become great themselves? Or are they just traipsing 5 miles to their dull little concrete schools every day so they can memorise some Babylonian nonsense in order to regurgitate for the BECE then forget it? More worrying still, where are today's freedom fighters and role models who will be the future inspiration for your children's children? Osofo Kantanka can't do it all by himself. Who is going to stand out from the crowd and make sure that Ghana 2050 is not just a photocopy of Ghana 2010 (only with more layers of plastic waste)? Your leaders will never achieve anything for you and your people by dressing in suits, flying in planes and attending conferences, Bretton Woods negotiations and HIPC summits. Don't tell me to go home to aborokyire, tell them to come back from there.

Perhaps you shouted at me to go back to my country because you also realise that no state which uses a foreign tongue as its official language has ever progressed, and no economy that relies on foreign aid, Structural Adjustment Programmes and 98% foreign trade has ever grown. Do you also agree that Africa can never develop until it breaks its dependence on the white man? Are you also aware that the West is deliberately keeping Africa poor so that they can remain rich? I can empathise with your point of view; you want the obroni to stop meddling in Mother Africa and allow her to go through her own agricultural and industrial revolutions, without which no developed country has ever been created. Next time you drive past your Vice-President, will you have the balls to shout at him that begging for Brazilian tractors is not the answer?

However, please don't make the assumption that all foreigners are wicked (only most of us). There are a handful of abrofo afrophiles with no hidden agenda who are here for positive reasons, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm one of them. I challenge you to charge me with any offence against Ghana (apart from the herbs, which I only use in my own home with a police officer present). I have never taken money, natural resources, state secrets, smuggled cocoa or trafficked children out of your country (but I do always return home with a suitcase full of Golden Tree chocolate and Mapouka Cream Liqueur: why are these delicious Ghanaian products never available overseas, but I can always buy overpriced European Mars Bars and Baileys here?) I am not one of these “foreign investors” who your government seems to love so much, despite the fact that even if these vampires invest a million dollars, they're going to suck out more than a billion in the future. I have no interest in profiteering from your people by owning a telecommunications company, Lebanese supermarket or Irish bar. I am not here to impose my English expertise on the primitive African. In fact, the opposite is true: I have learned more here about respect, personal relationships, spiritualism and good living than I gained from decades in Europe. I am not a paedophile or a batty boy. If you don't believe me, ask my wife. If you don't believe her, ask my girlfriend. I'm different to most Englishman in that I learn other people's languages, instead of expecting the whole world to speak mine. I've already written at length about the myriad reasons why I've chosen to leave my unfriendly country of birth and live in asomdweman, none of which I believe are detrimental to Africa. Quite to the contrary, I only want to lead a conscious life here and do as much as I can to help my beloved adopted country. That's why I'm writing this column- nobody's paying me for it, but I hear on the grapevine that a lot of people are “feeling” it. That's the only form of payment I desire. I'm also doing my utmost to bring more tourists to Ghana- if you and your friends would stop shitting on the beach, then I'm sure it would help to attract a lot more.

Of course, I agree with you that there are plenty of wicked, Godless, money-grabbing foreigners in Ghana who do deserve to be on the receiving end of your scathing attack, and I forgive you for getting me mixed up with one of them. They're the ones who are doing their best to keep Africa down, whether it be by stealing your oil, imposing the price of your cocoa, braindraining your best graduates, transplanting their “foreign expertise”, or forcing you to be generation after generation of hewers of wood and drawers of water. We refer to these neo-colonialists who are feeding off the dying remains of your continent as “white men vultures”. I'm sure you have heard the local appellation of “Obroni p3t3!” (white vulture) - I half expected you to add that one when you were shouting at me. Even though these people share my colour, they certainly don't share my principles, and I want to get them out of Ghana as much as you do. These people definitely do not deserve your country's Akwaaba (welcome). I can't wait for the day when Kofi Wayo becomes president- he promises to arrest all the Chinese vultures who are buying up your factories and farmlands and galamseying in your rivers, and send them all to the firing squad. With Blakk Rasta as his vice-president, there would be a similar fate in store for all the depraved sexual deviants who are coming here to rape your sons and daughters, and for all the crazy junkies who are flooding the country with their evil Colombia powder.

I might even go so far as to say that any foreigner in Ghana who is not a tourist, volunteer, charity worker, philanthropist, prophet, or anyone like Joseph Hill with a desire to help “bring back the money with the sign of the Lion on it and take back the money with the sign of the dragon on it” can be referred to as obroni p3t3. The businessmen, miners, foreign lenders, hoteliers, vehicle dealers and makers of porn movies are all here to enrich themselves at your expense, so I don't blame you for being angry when you see a white man in your country. Nor was I surprised when a Rasta man who didn't know I was one of his brethren shouted “Slave master!” at me as we passed recently. Rather, I'm surprised that I'm not at the receiving end of these anti-white sentiments more often, considering the brutal and exploitative way in which my forefathers have treated yours over the past 500 years.

I'm sick of hearing, when I reveal that I'm British; “Oh! Our colonial masters! We love you! You taught us everything we know!” If Ghana had colonised Britain and sold my ancestors into slavery, I don't think I would be so friendly to Ghanaians. So your outburst was actually a breath of fresh air. Maybe more Ghanaians should be like you and strive to kick the bad foreigners out- they're only going to continue downpressing you if you don't. But get out the car and talk to them first: there's a small chance that you might actually like them. Strangers are only friends who have never met.

Ian Utley is the author of
“Culture Smart! Ghana, the Essential Guide to Customs and Culture”
Thanks For Making This Possible! Kindly Bookmark and Share it.

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Anonymous said...

Yes I wrote that one to shock. I love Ghana really

Ian Utley

(see u on facebook)

Anonymous said...

How about this one too:


Maya Mame said...

If I am allowed to call myself someone who 'knows' Ghana, here's my take on it.
First of all a very well written piece, which like you said, discusses something often not spoken of.

Even at the most offensive parts of the articles I found myself smiling (although for most Ghanaians, including myself, it'll always hit a nerve when an obruni points out the bad aspects of Ghana. It's a bit like a white person using the N-word, it's just never OK, no matter how much of a joke it is).

All in all, even I, with the huge growing-up-in-Sweden,only-black-child-in-school,work,everywhere! chip on my shoulder really appreciate this piece and I'm left with the feeling that I need to learn more about my country and Ian Utley would be a really interesting guy to meet!

As for not judging/resenting every obruni that comes by? I think many of us sometimes feel (ugh, another white person here to exploit us) but most of us are savvy enough to brush such thoughts away and get to know the person before judging.

krissy said...

This : There are a handful of abrofo afrophiles with no hidden agenda who are here for positive reasons, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm one of them.” Sounds suspiciously like an “I’m a good guy” argument, and as someone who works in the field of violence against women, the men who work themselves intoa frenzy going on about what a good guy they are and how much they deplore violence against women when the topic of the global rape endemic comes up are considered less than allies, because they’re in denial about their own complicitness and the ways in which they too benefit from sexisma nd how they are responsible for other men’s behaviour, not women.

He’s really onto something when he points out the reality that our fates are connected, tied to each other’s, a reality that current systems of power don’t want us to see, because then we’d all work together and overthrow them. The reality under the material/economic/political categories of black and white are a tight network of people of all colours working closely together, sharing many of the same risks…

That’s the key I guess. Solidarity means sharing the same risks, and until people in the political category of white and in the political category of black (as, I would argue, until “men” and “women” are sharing the same risks) I argue that there is undeniable inequality, and this inequality shouldn’t be blamed on the victim.

But I think it’s specious to say “the white man” as though it’s one man, one face, etc. to essentialize by saying “He tires to hide the fact,” “he” etc etc. More accurate to say, the system of racialized, unequal power distribution invites us to hide the fact that, etc etc…and this system is always inviting us to participate in it, no matter what side of this power divide we’re standing on. It’s our continued participation in this system that keeps it powerful. We have to get beyond the individualism of calling out individual people as racist and think systemically- that we are all in the belly of the beast of a racist system, effected differently inside of it, depending on the colour of our skin, as wrong as we all know that is, and dig it out at the root rather than the symptom- not just respond to people’s individual behaviour within this injustice, but the systems that collude in supporting these behaviours and letting people get away with it.

don't you think the brethren comment is a little presumptious?
Google “detours for whit anti-racists” and a bunch of the red herrings in this are blown out of the water.

Oh, and don’t tell me there’s no vulture action going on with philanthropists and volunteers. It’s called social capital, gained on the backs of poor people.

krissy said...

(I posted this before the last part but it didn't show up)

The response is soaked in privilege. Hard to take coming from a white dude. It comes across as him brow beating the black man for not being as enlightened as him.
Of course we’re full of contradictions, all of us. Sitting in a western made car and telling a westerner to go back to their country are obviously two behaviours that sit comfortably side by side in on person’s realm of possibilities for contradiction.
But the fact is, white people still have more power than black people globally. Whites, as a political category, and blacks, as a political category, still can be viewed through a cultural lens of oppressor and oppressed. Of course those boundaries are porous, and of course people do things every day to break out of and rebel against those ridiculously limited categories that have been hoisted on us- arguably by people who are in a position to benefit from them…ie. White people.
This is a really fascinating, painful piece that, as Holli said, crudely rips open a wound that was there the whole time, but for the most part is too painful to even talk about, and our loyalties and allegiances to both sides put us in positions that seem contradictory, when, under the system of imperialism/patriarchal capitalism, of course we’re all going to have to carve out parts of ourselves that don’t seem consistent, to carve ourselves to pieces in ways that leave us totally incoherent to ourselves and thinking we’re the only ones who feel the way we feel. That’s what it’s designed to do. Under this system, of course it’s easier to single out a white guy on the street and shout at him than to confront the vice president, someone from your own country who has more power than you and who you’ve been conditioned since you were born to respect.

krissy said...

here's the link- it's called detour-spotting for white anti-racists

Eighteen common detours from our anti‐racist journey are examined in this way:
The Detour’s Title:
Attitudes or behaviors that signal a detour or wrong turn into white guilt, denial or
Reality Check and Consequence:
A clarification of the underlying meaning and consequence of this behavior pattern.

krissy said...

I’m going to correct myself here- it’s soaked in unexamined privilege. As may of us, by virtue of our whiteness or maleness can’t help but benefit under these systems, what we have a responsibility to do is examine our privilege.

He uses his extensive knowledge about Ghana as an extension of his power and a basis for moral high-groundedness. So you ride in tro-tro’s and know Twi…you still talk about Ghanaian women (and white women) as objects in your fight between boys and your feverish attempt to show mastery. This goes to show, anthropological historical “expertise” on Ghana does not safeguard someone against racism (or sexism), benevolent or otherwise.

Lora said...

I have to tell you that I'm dying to:
1) read this
2) have the time to read this

It's been at the top of my to-do list for what? like a half a week now?


I saw on your last post that you didn't get too many comments on it, and I just wanted to say that the reason you didn't get one from me is because I want to take time to really read this. thank you for posting!

Nanasei said...

I write as a "Ghanaba" (son of Ghana) unashamed of my history and most proud of our cultures, identity, and as a resiliently optimistic people:

This is an interesting read. Period! Uncomfortable? Yes. The main point is: we as Ghanaians, and by extensions, Africans and black people all over the world, need to stop looking to Westerners/outsiders for solutions to our problems. Yes, we may have been brainwashed through years of economic and psychological oppression and manipulation into believing we are incapable of finding remedies to our own problems; that we need others to solve our problems for us. In effect, there has been, and continues to exist, a level of perpetual mental slavery.

But times have changed. And I say this, I am reminded of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's state: "... the black man is capable of managing his own affairs." We need to believe in ourselves again. We need to realize we are more than capable of surmounting our challenges. We have to be able to clearly identify who/what the enemy is and find ways to overcome it/their machinations. Not only that, WE NEED TO DRAW UP OUR OWN SOLUTIONS! In doing so, it will help to also identify our TRUE allies and friends, utilizing their support to help move ourselves forward.

It irks me when Ghanaians judge each other by such ridiculous metrics as how well they can string English sentences together, how much one knows about the goings on in the English Premier League (or any European football league for that matter), how many latest Western pop/hip-hop songs one has on their iPod, etc. We don't want to speak our own languages in their pure forms for fear of being branded "kuraseni" (from the countryside). We don't want to teach our children about their roots. We teach our children to speak English from infancy and dissuade them from speaking and learning to write their Ghanaian languages. We boast about how we've never been to our hometowns and how little we know of "that place" ...

As we break our backs (and bank accounts) making deliberate attempts to embrace Western culture while turning our backs on our own, do we really expect advancement in our "Ghanaianness"?

The writer's arguments have flaws in them. But that shouldn't be the focus of conversation. The main point has to be driven home. I believe ensuing discourse should start with such questions as:

a)When will we, as Ghanaians, finally learn to respect ourselves and regard our culture and identity with great dignity?,

b)What are Ghanaians really doing to lift ourselves out of the cycle of Western exploitation?, etc.

I don't want this exercise to be an all-Ghanaian affair. I'm curious to know what our true Western allies think. So if you're not from Ghana but you live/work/love Ghana and would love to see Ghana move forward, what are your proposals? Let's get beyond the fear of appearing superior or the guilt imposed by the selfish actions of forebears and engage in substantive discussions here.

IanH said...

Wow, right from the heart!

Land of shimp said...

Well, this one is tricky for me to comment upon for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is that I'm white, and that I live in the United States.

I can only say one thing with absolute assurance: "Mapouka Cream Liqueur" is something I can buy at our local liquor stores, right here in Denver, Colorado. Also, I'm fairly certain the author jumped up the "toilet in every home" by a good century, close to two. Since he seems to have stuck that in the 18th century, which would be the 1700s.

So now we've covered the stuff upon which I might have a leg to stand upon in terms of knowing. I know my cream liquors, and I actually formally studied history, at points focusing on domestic practices.

I see that the author wrote it to shock, and well done on that score. Could have done with some editing, he loses a lot of the punch by stating the same point six different ways.

But it was a worthwhile piece, best addressing the white standpoint, really. As someone who has studied a fair amount of history, the easiest way to put this is to write what I told my son when he was about twelve, "As white people, we have a really difficult history. We kind of suck historically."

I don't know enough about Ghana to comment intelligently on the situation right now, as it stands. If you want to know the truth, the vast majority of people in the U.S. know next to nothing about any African countries. In fact, many have trouble remembering that Africa is not one, huge country.

As for Ian, you are in the difficult situation where to do what you want, you must be better than most of your predecessors, many of your fellows and the bulk of businessmen. I wish you well with that.

It was a shocking piece, but I get the sense that Ian understands how difficult the situation truly is. Very little about who he is would be readily apparent as he stands on a curb. He seems to know that.

As for the "stop and talk" well, if we want to talk percentages of how often that would work out in the cab drivers favor, likely the cabbie would waste a lot of time that way. Better to err on the side of statistics and percentages.

I'm joking, by the way. This whole "text has no inflection" thing can get tricky. As was the case with the above article.

Anonymous said...

Nanasei if I may borrow your words 'I write as a Ghanaba...' too. But from your comments I sense you are an accomplished person whose accomplishment most likely have the influence of the western world to be grateful for...a good school either here in Ghana(built by the white man) or outside perhaps, technology and the likes! We may be tempted to chant anti-western slogans as the way forward but we most often find ourselves with this inspiration after we've had a taste of the western world and seen what it also has to offer.

My comments here is as an average university student who can participate in this discussion because of my ability to read, write and reason(thanks to my good educational background from schools though built by the white man maintained by black men and women) and my access to the internet of course. Other Ghanaians may not be as fortunate so do not expect a lot of input form the 'Ghanaba' faction.

But am sure if we were to do a census on this issue the typical Ghanaian-
- the unemployed will not give a hoot if his daily bread will be provided by a Blackman or a White
- the poor street child cares less if FCUBE is being provided through HIPC etc or that his school uniforms are being imported from china.

We are most often driven by our poverty or our perception of it however accurate or inaccurate it may be sometimes, to do the things we do.

Kicking the Obroni out completely is not the answer, ensuring that we exploit them of their expectise and knowledge in the time they spend exploiting us and using it to our advantage may help! Kicking poverty and the perception of it out can also be a step! We are a great people, our wealth may not be comparable to the western world but all the same we are rich in resources, manpower, brainpower.

money+ people + technology= success
Of the three we are very rich in 'people', a lot of money and technology will take as far!

The solution is not one but many.

Mr. PAGE said...

In the words of a true Ghanaian, Ian Utley "me tu ky3 ma wo" (I tip my heart to you). This is a wonderful piece. In the begining I started getting infuriated, but as I went on I began to get the message in the post and Ian Couldn't have said it any better.

We as Ghanaians & Africans for that matter need to get it through our thick skulls that nobody is going to do it for us if we don't do it ourselves.

Yes! hundred years ago we were exploited, and abused by these westerners but that was ages ago.

The question is, are we going to still put up with it? If not, how are we going to rid ourselves of this canker we have learnt to depend on soo much?

They say the biggest trick the devil pulled was to convince the world he did not exist. Well I say the biggest trick the white man pulled was to convince us (Africans) they were helping. They did so in the begining and they are doing so now.

I however do believe there are some decent ones amongst us who deserve the ocassional praise but if we are going to move forward as a nation we need to believe in our own product(Ghana), ignore the sponsors (the Bretton Woods and IMFs), acknowledge the competition (the western world) and trust in the brand we are building. That is the only way we are going to thrive in this cut-throat market we call civilization

Anonymous said...

"...the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those...who still define the master's house as their only source of support."
Audre Lorde

Nana said...

Great piece Ian, keep it up and jah bless. Anyways, we tend to point out every problem that we have without a solution. The history of our country will be a huge step in encouraging our future leaders. I went to school in Ghana and really have no idea about half of the histroy Ian was talking about. Its sad but true. However, I knew everything there was to know about America and the U.K. Another issue is our egos. We need to let our foolish pride go and embrace the way forward. Regardless of whom is coming from. If its right, we should seize on it and make it ours. Together we can said...

I just read your article and I want to tell you that it is by far the best description of how I felt studying/traveling in Ghana for a semester...

1) anxious as to whether I was wanted in the country or not
2) naturally wanting to help and 'fix' the suffering I saw
3) realizing that by wanting to 'fix' their suffering I'd be imposing my views and expectations of life and wellbeing on them
4) and at the same time being like, "well nothing seems to be getting done to change the situation"...somebody's gotta do it.

it was a confusing combination of emotions. And you expressed those emotions perfectly. I finished reading it, and I was like "YES". I especially liked the part: "I'm also doing my utmost to bring more tourists to Ghana- if you and your friends would stop shitting on the beach, then I'm sure it would help to attract a lot more." HAHA, I can't tell you how many times I thought that while in Ghana. lol. Thanks again for a great read (coming from somebody who considers themselves a pretty good writer, you should write for a living...write about exactly these kind of emotions, because they are shared by many).

Anonymous said...

I’m wondering now if we can talk about your sites statistics – search volume, etc, I’m trying to sites I can buy adspace through – let me know if we can talk about pricing and whatnot. Cheers mate you’re doing a great job though.

Anonymous said...

Thought I would comment and say neat theme, did you make it for yourself? It’s really awesome!.

Anonymous said...

A few days ago, when a Ghanaian saw me (buying something) he said to the sales woman: "Ahh, the white man came to steal Africa, that is why you must shoot him on sight". Well, I did not reply, even though I had the chance. Did THEY not sell their Gold, their Cocoa, their Slaves, their Oil and their Ghana Telecom? What I have to say is: It's hopeless, but its not their fault.

MaAkos Asuo said...

Simply put, I couldn't agree more. I was born in Ghana and came to the US when I was a child. Although I have been here for over 16 years, I can say that Ghana has never left me. I am as Ghanaian as Ghana comes. Before reading this article, I would have probably been like that guy who told you to leave the country, but your article is right on point. I couldn't agree more. We are a sad African nation. We allowed the white man to deceive us and now we can't survive without their aide. Including the asians and the spanish too. How sad. Instead of Ghanaians being proud of their culture and embracing who they are, and where God has placed them on earth, they adopt other cultures and forget who they are. Thank you for this article, I hope it opens the eyes of others. Keep it coming.

Anonymous said...

Ian - You propose to teach a lesson, but you take too many liberties. Where is the honour in kicking a dog while it is down?


Anonymous said...

..continued from above:
(Good points, raised btw. Thanks for the mirror)

Anonymous said...

It's all good but if you are White please stay away from giving us a narrative of Ghana. Even McCarthy spoke like this dude and in the end still wanted to rule over us. It's a miracle we are still here. Don't fall for this guy's lies. If he likes Ghana, he should keep it to himself. We are not interested. Remember do not trust them.

Anonymous said...

What is this guy on about. Has he forgotten his beloved Europe. I could show him the same neighbourhoods in Filthy London and Crappy New York. Stinking sewers and suffocating air. Dodgy politicians arming cowardly Ghanaian leaders? Is funny how the whites never keep the blame. It is our fault for being forced to open our market. Our fault for being cornered into Aid. Typical, even the good hearted whiteman, has a hidden agenda. wE WILL FIX gHANA OURSELVES. It is people like this geezer who delays our progress by raising school boy arguments.

Anonymous said...

It's funny this guy never thought about writing this blog until being provoked. Now he declares his appreciation of Ghana and points out it's ills. I wonder what would trigger a similar blog on his homeland. Maybe touch on the Racists demanding a simialr action from the blacks and Asians..Get out they cry daily, in their papers and on their TVs. I'm sure a similar blog was not written to answer those idiots. Is it a case of the "Superior" Ape schooling the "Dumb" Human Being? I do not advocate hatred and do not condone the actions of the heckler but likewise the response was a well rehearsed piece of junk. In a round-a-bout way, enhancing the propaganda of the "inferior" Modern African. The response from the educated African being "Yes I agree". That is one positive note from this article, there remains Uncle Tom and Embarrassing WOGs in Ghana. It is them that the heckling should be directed at. You agree with this idiot. This idiot who makes no mention of his institutions imposing trade instructions and forcing our hand. He always turns it around to show the Ghanaian as a simpleton without digging into the fundamental issues. Get the WOGS out of Ghana.

Obibini Bruni said...

I fully agree with Krissy; while she describes how I felt while reading, I could not have said it as well as her!
Nanasei’s comment is a perfect explanation as to why Piloting Postdevelopment came to exist. Ghanaians are fully capable of identifying problems and creating necessary solutions; that is what I am there to remind them of. This program has an end goal, and if it is successful, the program will die out because it will no longer be necessary!

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