Somewhere last week, during @BloggingGhana Twitter Debate, a question came up. “Can Ghana Do Without The USA?” or something like that. I answered with a “Certainly”, and earned the following response “I do not know you, but I can wager you are either 1. A fresh university graduate 2. Not a frequent traveler.” I chuckled and retweeted, and asked why she would think that. I’m still waiting for an answer, so let me do some wagering too. And oh, before I forget to mention, this blog post is inspired by a comment from a friend about the incident, apparently, that comment, hmm… it was a great punchline… Hmmm
Now back to my wagering. I do not know her, but I can wager she read my bio and saw “freshly minted architect”. I guess she doesn’t know that to be an architect in Ghana, you would have to have a second degree at least. So yes, I’m a fresh architect, with a Master of Architecture degree. My thesis was all about an African Architectural Renaissance, and I’ve done the research, but I won’t dwell on that. I also won’t dwell on the fact that I’ve been working for three years now and mostly catering for myself with my own money. (Don’t let this young face fool you oh, lol) I can wager she assumed that I was a green girl with wobbly knees and an unrealistic outlook on life. Point number two made me laugh more, the one about not being a frequent traveler, because I can wager I know exactly where she’s coming from. I know because I’ve been there, and many people are still there, but I’ll come to that later. I can wager that she doesn’t consider someone who has traveled extensively within her own country as well traveled, so I won’t dwell on that.
As for my aburokyire experience, my memories of Malaysia are almost all gone. All I remember is this delicious banana dessert I had. I can wager she didn’t know I had a daddy-sponsored stint in Chicago & New York & Ann Arbor ( and I went to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water) but I won’t dwell on that. Now that I’m done wagering, I’ll move to the things I want to dwell on.
GHANA REALLY WANTS TO RISE
No offence to my aburokyire trained sistren and brethren, but I have this dream of seeing Ghana being moved forward by people that had all their training here. I hate it when people talk like the educational system here is so terrible, like nothing good can come out of it. I’m something good, I’ve come out of it, and I have several friends like me!
When Osaagyefo started the program of taking people out of Ghana to study in the USA and the UK, the intention was that they go and learn and bring the knowledge home… bring the knowledge home to lift Ghana up to similar levels, not come home and work their butts off (arguably) so as to be able to afford school fees in the US & Europe for their kids. I don’t hate the West, but damn it I want Ghana to improve! I’m fighting very hard, fighting against the urge to run off and go do my doctorate somewhere in aburokyire….(another post, maybe) I hate the mental slavery that exists in our minds, the mental slavery that makes us ‘respect’ people who have just landed and treat them differently. I hate the mental slavery that makes people struggle to make money, struggle for a visa, go to aburokyire and take pictures at some mall bi , upload these pictures on Facebook and then come home and ‘flex’. Can the ‘borga’ word just fade away already?! I hate the mental slavery that makes people think nothing good can be found here, that my country cannot move forward, that as for Ghana dier…. I want to feel proud to be Ghanaian every single day, not just when the Black Stars are playing. I don’t want everyone in Ghana to be rich, well-educated and happy. I don’t even think that’s possible. I just want some equity, I just want people to have a chance, a choice…
When I say I believe that Ghana can do without the USA, I’m not saying we should. I’m saying we can. We can survive without aid, we can stay here and get a good education, we can move our country forward. We can if we want to. And if you think we can’t, then please, for goodness sake, move out of the country quickly. If you’re not here, don’t come back, because Ghana really wants to rise.