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[Poem] INDEPENDENCE DAY REFLECTIONS!

Ghana, we now have freedom

Ghana, land of freedom

Toils of the brave

And the sweat of their labours

Toils of the brave

Which have brought results

Sailing & sailing & sailing

Across the shores of time

And the African sun’s brilliance

With memoires ranging from the gate of no return

To the land of dreams come true,

A living memory, after shimmering dark – groping years

Of some three score historic years,

Rekindles my heart

When such days come in view.

 

Nkrumah, Caseley-Hayford, Mensah Sarbah, Paa Grant, Sergeant Adjetey, Big Six…

And all who fought for freedom,

Now realize from distant lands

They rather fought for deliverance.

It was there I gladly heard the melodic rhythms

Of the great fontomfrom and atumpan

Echoing the glee of great hearts, by drums,

In a privileged view of an unfolding story

The fight for independence.

 

This is your day, Ghana,

Yet a curious question

Aches my heart.

Is Ghana free indeed?

As Ghanaians, have we truly gained freedom?

In growing 60 years wiser,

I come in the womb of this great day

With the wakeup call of the whistle blower

And the attention – drawing rhythms of the gong-gong beater,

To provoke hearts in a frenzy

Of Independence Day celebrations,

That the songs and joyous chants

Of our forefathers, were actually

Songs of deliverance, and not freedom!

The blackman has still not come

To grips with bearing the burden

And responsibility of freedom.

For the blackman to rule himself,

He must teach his children,

His sons & daughters born in the wilderness of deliverance

These 60 years

Who neither bear the stench & lustre

Of the dust of Gold Coast days,

Nor the sweat, toil & blood of our fathers

In resisting oppressor’s rule,

But have merely known the manna & quail

Offered them always

As if, that had been the case since time began.

They have not known the story behind the history

Swirling them along this trajectory

Where they claim they’re free

Yet bound.

It is in this regard

I have been sent

To shed rays of light

On the yonder promised land

Where blame games are not played

And the burden of freedom,

Neither despised, nor belittled.

The most pervasive characteristic that pervades our society today

Is irresponsibility

Irresponsibility is the abandonment of conscience

And the ignorance of accountability

Irresponsibility is not being answerable to authority

Irresponsibility is lacking a sense of accountability

Irresponsibility is being unable to respond to conscience

Irresponsibility is not being committed to any vision

Irresponsibility is to transfer blame.

We are experts at blaming the past for our future

We blame our parents for our habits

We blame our teachers for our ignorance

We blame our leaders for the way we follow them

We blame sickness for our health

We blame our children for our social problems

We blame cigarettes & tobacco companies for our cancer

We blame the government for unemployment

Forgetting we actually do not want to work

We blame alcohol for drunkenness

Our wives for our waywardness

Our husbands for our depression

The black man still blames the white man for his predicament

The poor blames the rich for their poverty

The criminal blames society for his behavior

The sinner blames the hypocritical preacher

For his damnation

We’re a society of blamers

When we owe our behavior to the society we live in

We are in big trouble

60 years on, we must act our age.

It’s time to grow up

And growing up means responsibility

Shout with me, RESPONSIBILITY.

Where is our ingenuity?

The wealth of a country is measured by how productive a nation is

Let’s find ingenuity within ourselves

So this nation will not suffer from poverty

We’ve got brains within our ears

With over 1 billion cells; we haven’t used 10% yet

There’s something we can do with our hands

Which we don’t need the government to tell us

Some can sew what they wear

Yet they still buy from folks in Paris & Italy

Some can bake with their hands

Yet they still import cookies from western lands

Ghana, it’s time to maximize ourselves

Let’s deploy ourselves

So no one will employ us

To determine our worth by how much they’ll pay us.

We live in a generation which believes

Life owes them something

A generation that refuses to take personal responsibility

For their actions & decisions

 

Yes! I shall tell of our land

Flowing with purpose and responsibility.

Our land where dark rich soils

Break out with seeds sown in faith

Springs fountaining the life

Of an African who truly knows

His identity, purpose, potential, heritage, and destiny.

I have not come with the pen of a ready writer

Nor ten thousand tongues to sing of freedom.

I am here with a throbbing & aching heart

Blowing winds of life

On the eyes of my kind

That hopefully, they may arise to the calls of history

And respond to the groans of destiny.

Creation earnestly awaits even up until now,

The sons and daughters of mighty Mother Ghana,

The life of Africa

The stars of hope, truth, and life

To beam shamelessly through the crevices of every civilization story

And exude in power, clad in true beauty & majesty

Their discovered selves.

It is then, we as a people, would recognize

The promised land of freedom

And value independence day reflections.

Written by: Emmanuel Boakye-Yiadom

emmaby2012@gmail.com