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Happy, happy, we go to where?

BY: Maj Kofi Baah-Bentum
 The large amount of humour that has accompanied the Menzgold saga comes to mind
The large amount of humour that has accompanied the Menzgold saga comes to mind

Ghanaians are noted for being free spirited and easy going.

We have a cunning way of using humour to defuse tensed situations.

This attribute has inured to our benefit and averted crises situations.

Perhaps, this is in keeping with a local proverb which says that even in the midst of crying, one pauses to blow the nose.

The large amount of humour that has accompanied the Menzgold saga comes to mind. All manner of jokes have inundated our social media space.

Rewind to history and you find Ghanaians creating humour out of even the first gentlemen of the land.

 President J.J Rawling’s ‘Anomaa antu a ogyinaho’ and Gen I.K Acheampong’s  ‘me ye nyame na ma ma nsuo ato’, and in recent times, John Mahama’s ‘Dead goat syndrome’ come to mind.

This happy nature of the average Ghanaian has found its way into our everyday vocabulary and so it is common to hear the phrase, “this-or that-happy” to connote what an individual or group is happy about.

 Though being happy in something may not be a bad thing in itself, being happy about negative things will not augur well for our development.

 For example, a trigger-happy Police Service as we appear to have is a liability to the nation.

In the same vein, a civilian-assaulting happy Armed Forces does not do our nation any good.

 Then also is the land-selling happy chiefs whose stock is to sell their subjects lands, sometimes to multiple buyers.

 The result is numerous litigations and the “ landguardism” that is confronting us.

 We also have the lazy and truant-happy workers who come to work late, loiter, pilfer resources and go home only to appear after a week and go through the same ritual.

 Their contribution to productivity is negligible but they are very vociferous when it comes to fighting for increase in salaries etc. They are the cause of the collapse of most industries.

We cannot ignore the corruption-happy politician.

 He lives for 10 per cent and in extreme cases, 20 per cent before he signs any contract.

 To him, life is all about what goes into his pocket ; to hell with the well-being of the people he has sworn to serve.

 His progress is the exact opposite of his constituents. The more they starve, the more he gets full. What is difficult to understand is his incorrigible nature.

 Politicians have generally been like this since time immemorial.

A story is told of how some of them imported snow ploughs into a tropical climate such as ours sometime past just because of the benefit to only themselves.

 A current example is the procurement of trotro ambulances for Ama Ghana, a drain to the tax payer.

Then also are the accident- happy drivers who must manufacture accidents even when it is difficult to do so.

 Their speciality is speeding, reckless overtaking etc and in their wake, they leave vehicles destroyed and human life snuffed out just like that.

Their other accolade is alcohol-drinking happy killer drivers.

We also have extra-classes happy teachers who never complete their lectures within time and must organise extra classes at additional cost to parents while they smile to the bank.

Your children risk failure if you do not register them under their tutelage.

Of course, we cannot leave out our bribe-taking happy judiciary who sell justice to the highest bidder as seen in Anas’ exposé. Their impact on the nation’s conscience does not need further explanation.

For good measure, we even have ‘apo’- happy students who will never study hard but will resort to dubious ways to excel in their exams.

As if these were not enough, we woke up recently to be confronted with a new breed, false prophets and tithe-happy pastors.

 They have specialised in predicting doom, unsettling individuals with false doom prophecies and extorting monies from their congregation while living in opulence.

The crux of the matter is that being happy is a good thing but what we are happy about is what matters.

 If we continue to find happiness in these negative traits, then I am afraid we are not going anywhere as a society.

Fellow citizens, I invite you to take a sober reflection on your life and ascertain where your happiness lies.

 The more we find happiness in honesty, hard work and integrity, the quicker we will get to our destination.

The writer is acting Director of Public Affairs of the University of  Cape Coast. E-mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.