One Ghana Cedi Thoughts – by Selikem Tenu Kweku Geni
Another Friday is here again and as I walked to my usual Hausa Koko joint for my daily dosage of breakfast this morning, I couldn’t help but notice the difference in the appearance of the various people I passed by. They looked more of themselves though I wonder if they felt like that, suave and beautiful in the local wax print attires they were wearing compared to the so called official wear that made them look like the proverbial monkey that ignores banana to eat butter. For a while I was confused as to why a lot of people were dressed in local prints then it dawn on me that today is a Friday hence the ‘FRIDAY WEAR’. As usual of me I started laughing hysterically, an act that attracted a few raised eye brows which did not perturb me in any way. In this country we do a lot of funny and crazy things all in the name of modernization and yet day in day out we cry that local business is not booming. How on earth can we just dedicate a day out of the five working week days of a week to wearing clothes made from local prints and why not the other way round? Pathetic! How will the textile and fashion industries develop if we have this lackadaisical attitude towards it? We have become the so generous husband who will give out his wife to his best friend all in the name of generosity. At times I wonder if we as Ghanaians have any identity at all. Our attitude towards what belongs to us is so funny that we will readily accept anything foreign to implement at the expense of what we have and know to be the best. Take, for example, how with the emergence of Beer bars, palm wine bars have faded out of the system.
Gone are the days when palm wine bars were there places to be because you were for sure not only going to get a treat of a refreshing natural drink but also a good dosage of palm wine highlife music a rich dosage of authentic Ghanaian music, good delicacies (grasscutter light soup, roasted maize and groundnuts) history and gossip(local and international). You always walked out of the palm wine bar learning a thing or two about the history of your community, life in general and having a song composed with your name in it once you buy a calabash or two for the palm wineists who most of the times are also comedians as well as parodist of the local scene. Unlike the palm wine bars, beer bars offer you akpeteshie that will normally cost you forty pesewas a tot at two cedis and above just because the name has been changed from akpeteshie to names such as Vodka, black label and cognac. Since when did all ‘paintey’ stop being ‘paintey’? Most of the young men are carrying beer induced pregnancies with only God knowing when they will deliver (Please I’m not one of them) and most of the discussions that go on there revolves around the size and shape of the breast or arse of the girl who just walked pass the table, politics, girl problem and most importantly past track records of drinking and womanizing levels. If you think I’m lying, I’m willing to bet my one Ghana cedi on this especially today being a Friday.
The question we need to ask ourselves is do we intend to leave a legacy of a true Ghanaian identity for the next generation based on our belief and appreciation of the indigenous things we have as Ghanaians, our a legacy that is based on our misplaced priorities and borrowed identities that say absolutely nothing about us? Hate it or love it we need to sit up and act on the direction we want to go. As for me my one Ghana cedi thoughts will always be expressed.
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