“If the frog tells you that the crocodile is dead, do not doubt it.”
I start with this quote from my Ghanaian elders because it is perfect for the occasion. When “we” went on the #OccupyGhana demonstration some months ago, we were met with insults and mockery. Not only from politicians in government, which was expected, but from ordinary young Ghanaians – our “friends” on twitter.
I’ve thought long and hard about posting screenshots that illustrate this, and I have decided it is not necessary. One of my personal favourites was “Go and occupy wo na” which literally means “Go and occupy your mother — it’s more insulting that it seems (lol). There were also several snide remarks about OccupyGhana being a “middle class protest” and declared that the people demonstrating shouldn’t be complaining because “they were rich”.
I was surprised, no, shocked… but as I thought more about it, the shock began to wear off. Of course there were the tweets from young people who were benefiting or had always benefited from the rot because their parents/ relatives were in positions of authority, and these people were easy to read. However, there were other people who shouldn’t have been so “relaxed” about the state of their nation’s economy. My best guess is that they were either drawn by a desire to fit in, impress internet peers or were indifferent. These young people, out of school and either jobless or in a crappy job – or people who are directly affected by government indifference or mismanagement – were very eager to rack up cool points online by mocking this demonstration.
In the past month however, there has been a transformation. I keep seeing tweets like “When is the next occupy demonstration? This time around, I will go” from some of these same people. This transformation is, as far as I see it, generally a response to the worsening power situation – 24 hours off and 12 hours on in many places in Accra and Kumasi at my last check.
“If the frog tells you that the crocodile is dead, do not doubt it” means that a frog, who lives in water with the crocodile is in the best position to confirm Miss Crocodile’s death.
So therefore, if “middle class Ghanaians” who should be comfortable in their wealth, stage a non-partisan protest about the state of the nation, you better have a good reason to think that it is pointless or should be dismissed.
I hope we will all be wiser in the future.