Now here’s a list I never thought I’d struggle with – five positive things about Ghana. I thought I had it all down. I may complain about the negative stuff here, but there were things about Ghana that I love. Why else would I moan and groan about all that is wrong? This was until my friend Naa asked me to list five positive things about Ghana. “Easy, the people are wonderful, as in, we cherish family connections, and people will go out of their way to help you………. ”
“And,” she asked when I stalled.
I was blank.
I couldn’t find anything beyond the warmth of friends and family. Throughout that afternoon, we kept going back to that question, partly because I couldn’t let it go. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have anything positive to point to. I tried all day to find five positive things to say. I even turned to Google, but I didn’t find anything useful. So I turned to my sister Alex.
“Peaceful country” was her response.
I rejected that because countries are expected to be peaceful. I know having Somalia on this continent makes us think we are something special, but we are not. I don’t know why I am beating myself up, most Ghanaians will struggle too.
There is nothing here to be proud of. There are no systems so I cannot say the laws work. And I’m sure all twenty-something million of us will agree that both health care and education system in shambles too. We do not have adequate housing, social welfare is non-existent, our roads claim more lives than HIV/AIDS does in a year.
I could say we make the most delicious foods on the continent. I could say we have made some strides in football, music, and tourism, but one cannot measure strides. Tourism is not raking in millions for the nation yet, not with our poorly maintained tourist spots. Football is a tricky one, we are up in FIFA rankings, but we have not won a major cup in a while. We don’t have many players in the major leagues.
If there was anything positive to report, the Brand Ghana office would have been all over CNN, and Aljazeera. Maybe I have become too cynical to notice the positive things. Will someone let me know if I missed something?