Once again, it’s Founder’s Day.
I’d love to wish Osagyefo a ‘happy’ birthday but I don’t think he’d be amused if he were around today (and I’m not the only one who thinks this).
A new issue of DUST is just about to hit the streets. Our theme this time around is ‘people’s politics’. By very kind courtesy of the Mmofra Foundation, we picked a picture by the classic American/Ghanaian photographer, Willis Bell and put a DUSTy spin on it.
I’m not the biggest fan of Ghana’s politicians. I’m sure some of them have good intentions. Some may even act on those intentions. I believe they do far less than they could though. To do more would require real courage and sacrifice. Leadership. The people I see leading us don’t seem like revolutionaries. They seem like people who toe the line. A few don’t. Many seem to be there for perks though. Others fell by the wayside or were overwhelmed by the System. They would all rather be a part of the System than fight it. Fighting would be too hard.
The worst thing I ever hear is “Oh God no: I don’t do politics.” It’s a truly terrible and tragic thing to say. Politics is a lot more than the circus you see day in and day out in the media. No one would want to be a part of that. Look up its definition and you’ll find that politics actually refers to how we make decisions and solve our problems. So if politicians are not solving your problems, they are not actually doing politics. They are doing something else, and you should not vote for them.
I believe in the ‘Can Do‘ attitude that existed in Nkrumah’s time. Fresh from kicking our colonial oppressors out of Ghana, people back then had this spirit of ability. We believed in ourselves. Paa. In our potential and our ability to effect change. We lost that in subsequent years. Now we have a ‘Can’t Do‘ attitude. How many times have you had an idea you believed in shot down by the people around you? Often? That’s that ‘Can’t Do‘ attitude in action, telling you that your idea will not work; that the things you are passionate about are irrelevant; that people will point fingers at you and judge you; that you will fail; that you must toe the line. Screw toeing the line though. The line is what has gotten us to where we are today.
Break the mould.
I see flashes of that ‘Can Do‘ attitude coming back. I don’t see it in our politicians. I see it in us. In the people that my role as an editor, a lecturer, as an arts activist and as a Ghanaian brings me into contact with. Me? I put the people who inspire me in the magazine I edit and try to amplify their message. I try to challenge received wisdom and force the people around me to think critically. As Ashesi University College’s latest lecturer, I will also be trying to inspire and teach the next wave of Ghanaians to do the same.
It’s not a lot, but I’m doing something. You should too. This Founder’s Day, don’t just enjoy the time off.
Do something… and don’t listen when they tell you you ‘Can’t Do’ it.