Insidious culture of soliciting
It’s our culture.
Politicians do it best.
They do not know how to think through issues, to sit and think; but here and there we find them, cup in hand and stretched out, imploring for everything and anything under the sun.
Even in begging we are not strategic!
When donor agencies get firm, sometimes, and say no to what we beg for, because the begging is as a result of bad governance and policies, politicians call for reparation!
Were we mere sitting ducks during the slave trade?
Our kith and kin helped in the trade!
I would not entrust any politician in Ghana, be they leader or Member of Parliament, with any reparation funds.
They would squander it all, and the cycle of begging would persist.
The culture of begging has so eaten into us that we all beg to live...
We have fathers to be, knowing about delivery dates of wives, and yet, they put no plan in place in eight months, only to go begging and haranguing friends, family, colleagues, etc., for the funds needed by medical facilities to deliver their wives.
We have presenters on radio, distastefully putting out birthdays and subtly soliciting listeners for gifts on the day...
We have teachers (even at Sunday schools in churches) advertising their birthdays to children they are supposed to teach and soliciting gifts from them.
Thus, children get home and put pressure on parents for expensive items like shoes, dresses, etc, for their teachers at church.
We are a society of beggers!
We beg police officers to be let off the hook when we clearly infract traffic regulations.
Because police officers get a sense of feeling ‘big’ when being begged, they make processes of arresting and processing for courts tedious and time wasting!
We beg for money for food, school fees, medical attention, to start businesses, etc, etc.
What do we not beg for, collectively as a nation and individually?
Soon we will be begging for water from wiser neighbouring countries, as Ghanaian politicians hedge their positions against winning the fight against illegal mining, only to turn a blind eye on it, or in certain cases, profit from it behind our backs.
Do they think they would not be affected?
Like a boomerang their offspring would bear the effects of the dishonesty and bad governance.
Begging was never an option, growing up, and not that there were no hard times.
Growing up at the height of military regimes, with control prices and scarcity of all items, including common herrings for shito for secondary school, we learnt how to survive without begging.
I never heard or saw my parents beg, or any of their friends begging from them.
My parents’ generation always, always, looked at what they could do as families to weather the storms of scarcity.
They fell on their savings, sold their dumasis, (quality African cloth), jewellery and other precious possessions to get the wherewithal for the survival of their families.
Integrity, the pride of being adults and knowing how to fend for oneself in challenging times were guiding principles.
In these days we beg and are not ashamed doing so.
Begging erodes confidence.
It makes adults children.
Proverbs 22:7 states, ‘the rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender’.
No wonder we have young IMF staff at our Ministry of Finance telling experienced adults and technocrats what to do.
Begging erodes our sovereignty as a nation.
Remember Dr Kwame Nkrumah saying that we are capable at managing our own affairs, on the eve of independence?
In retrospect, I wonder whether he was merely being over exuberant that night before independence.