It is a fulltime job to be a Ghanaian. Erratic power supply. Constant fuel price hikes. Outrageous monthly rent. Indiscipline on our roads. These are all characteristics of a broken country.
A broken country that needs to be fixed is one where politicians chase us every 4 years with promises and we chase them for the next 4 years to fulfill those promises. In a broken country, promises are almost always never fulfilled because they are always in the pipeline ― a choked pipeline full of promises. When a country is broken, leaders always promise followers heaven but always deliver hell.
When the Bible says “deliver us from temptation”, maybe it meant we should pray we were not born into a broken country because you wake up each morning to a new temptation. Rights become privileges and privileges are non-existent.
It is only a broken country that pretends to fight galamsey. A broken country condemns galamsey in public yet funds it in its closet. It pretends to crack the whip only on camera. It will quickly blame the Chinese after it has led them to every nook and cranny. That broken country should prepare to import drinking water aside the whole world that it imports.
When a country is broken, problems are only half-solved. Galamsey is fought with conferences and symposia. That broken country derides itself because all the several meetings are only a waste of the taxpayer’s money while the mountain of truth is circumvented.
In a broken country, a party card can take you places your numerous degrees can only imagine. When a country is broken, how far you go depends on how well someone knows you. How decent a job you get is largely hinges on how recently a certain big man contacted you. They say education is the key but in a broken country, the padlock of that key is still in the pockets of our politicians.
It is only in a broken country that road accidents kill thousands of its citizens every quarter. It is a tragedy if a country watches on as it loses its young and old to accidents each day. A country needs to be fixed if its human resource keeps being wasted on its roads month after month.
When a country is broken, getting a decent job after university becomes a privilege not right. In a broken country, it takes grace to move from grass to grace. Graduates are searching for good jobs while others think they need to be graduates to get good jobs.
In a broken country, buying a land is a future impossible tense because your monthly rent is more than your monthly salary. You start every new month with a new debt because there’s always a new tax to pay. Your take-home pay never takes you home because you have to pay for everything that is claimed to be free. Free utilities are never free indeed.
In a broken country, affordable housing is only a tag because they are never affordable. Houses built for the poor are eventually bought by the rich. The poor continue to live under deplorable conditions in slums when housing projects have been left to rot because they were not built by an incumbent government.
In a broken country, the security system is a puppet of the government. It becomes a ‘job for the boys’ ― a hub of footsoldiers. They are in to do the bidding of the powers that be.
When a country is broken, you need to get used to darkness because dumsor is always your next door neighbor. In a broken country, power is never enough for everybody. A broken country is one where problems are never solved because every government will blame the previous government for the bad but praise themselves for the good.
A country that is broken is one where sick politicians will be flown abroad because they perceive our hospitals to be temporary graves. Even to get a bed to die on, one need to know someone who knows someone. In a broken country, your survival is by blessed assurance. Forget national insurance. You will likely die from a disease others survive elsewhere.
When a country is broken, almost everybody is trying to cut corners. Like a jungle, the cost of goods and services are outrageously increased and dishonesty is the order of the day. Like a food chain, everyone is trying to outsmart the other. In a broken country, the followers curse the leaders for wrongs they embrace in their closet.
In a broken country is a people with a broken mindset. They assume political positions should be a place of luxury. They will admonish their family members in such places to make enough for themselves before they leave office. Day by day, by their incessant wishes, they push these politicians into the pit of wanton greed.
A broken country is one where its citizens litter indiscriminately yet cry to the government to clean the city. In a broken country, citizens drive carelessly yet when arrested, one ‘call from above’ sets them free. They want to jump queues to be served first. When a country is broken, people cry that the systems must work only when those systems don’t favor them. Are you willing to cooperate with the systems to work?
A country that is broken is one where people find excuses to steal from their employers. They demand the salaries of elephants yet work like ants. As long as a property belongs to the government, they waste such.
In a broken country, the leaders think the citizens are the problem but the citizens think the leaders are their headache. They pray for an opportunity to be at top positions so they can do worse than those they complained about. When a country is broken, we assume everybody is to blame except us. Fix this mindset to fix this country!
Knowing we are all a part of the problem is the first step to uncover the solution.
By Kobina Ansah
The writer is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm. Connect with him on all social media platforms.