This is stupid

  • rant

In 2019, when I picked up Blender again, one of the objects I used for practice was a charger, a phone charger. I like to post my work; so I posted the render of this charger on my Whatsapp status. One of the comments I got from a viewer was that: “what is the purpose of the charger that I renderered?” “We need money and I’m modelling a charger!”

As a kid, I liked to draw a lot. In fact, I could draw entirely from memory sometimes. And yes, I showed my work to classmates. But, a number of times, I had some of my work defaced. This was in primary school. It’s not vivid, but I can remember advising myself that there was no need to keep drawing.

I still have the talent, but it’s very dormant

I also liked soccer. But since I was the nerd, I was always the last person to be chosen for a team. And 90% of the time, I never made it.

If you believe you have some level of intellect above most of your peers, I bet you have faced something similar more than once in your life. Also, if you’ve felt intimidated by a peer’s intellect before you may perpetrated a form of this bully.

I recognize this is a universal problem. It’s not special to some group of people. In any country, region or ethnicity, we will find a number of these cases. But right now, I’m not concerned with any other country or people than Ghana/Ghanaians.

Is that what you’ll eat?

Unfortunately for us, we seem to clearly know what we want. It’s along the lines of “Is that what you’ll eat?” We have all heard this kind of response so many times — in Twi, if you will. If you dare ask some form of preference, be it for how a product is packaged or how some service is offered, you’ll be dismissed immediately with such a response.

Ghanaians have been reduced to what they’ll eat and in essence gotten ourselves a very bland culture. Interests in things like writing, drawing, storytelling, choreography, poetry, athletics, music (yes, music), etc. have been thrown away because we don’t eat them — they’re not important.

I’m not implying the absence of any of these. Yes, people do it. But these are the few people who have survived the bully.

I know some of you will come with a defense like: “we’re in a poverty-ridden country and warrants such behavior”. OK. But do you think the middle and upper class are any different? Do they speak any different?

No passion

It’s very sad. I’ve been looking: you’ll rarely find people with any form of passion. Rarely will you find people who care so much about something. Even our own musicians are circumstances of what they’ll eat. And when they find what they’ll eat, there’s nothing more to offer. Do they understand music? Do they want reach more people with their craft? I don’t know!

I could respond Yes! Which is definite.

Heck, we don’t even have people who are passionate about their own country. We did this to ourselves!

In a country/culture where there’s no care for anything, do we expect more from our society? Do we expect people to be ever-ready when there’s a call to help clean roadsides?

It takes people passionate about soccer to want to build a beautiful stadium, a beautiful league. It takes someone who cares about children to want to build/re-build a children park.

Consequently, but not surprising to me, people who care about nothing will instinctively find a blame. “But we have people who have been hired or voted for to do this or that!” But if you paid attention to anything I’ve just written, these people you’re demanding accountability from are just like you and the rest of us — they care about nothing. But you demand more because they’re in position? Remember again: they’re there for what they’ll eat.

Is it a children’s park they’ll eat? Is it a beautiful stadium they’ll eat?

It only takes a few

When people hate their country/group, it’s actually the fault of a few people — leadership. But people who end up in leadership are just a product of the rest of the people.

When people love their country, it’s also because of a few people. A simple example is Ghana Black Stars of the old. I remember as a kid when people will lift up the Ghana 🇬🇭 flag and put on souvenirs during African and World cups. It took a few players to be proud of Ghana.

What we get wrong here is that, we don’t call these kind of people leaders. But they are!

Shatta Wale got a feature with Beyonce for a soundtrack in Lion King (movie). It got Ghanaians proud.

Patapaa - Akwaaba, Big Shaq - Mans not hot.

Heck, we sometimes want to claim foreigners of Ghanaian decent as ours when they succeed.

What I’m getting at here is that: while it may seem all hope is lost, in our music, movies, football games, politics, etc., it’ll only take a few people to restore that hope. It’ll take people passionate about anything to remind people that life is not just about what they’ll eat. There’s also life after eating. What are those? Did anyone stop to think?

One typical example for me (and Nigerians) is Burna Boy. Yes, Nigerian music was doing well. But Burna Boy showed how far it can be taken. We can all see what that inspired. The Nigerian music industry has gone through a huge makeover. When it comes to music in Africa, Nigerians are the most proud. They will immediately identify as Nigerians.

Is it about what they’ll eat? I dunno. Is it about passion? That I can see.

Not only in music, Nigerians are doing well with their movie, tech, in fact, the creative industry all-together.

This is not to say the people of Nigeria are not going through hardship. But these few people remind them to keep trying; to keep caring about something.

What I ask of us as Ghanaians is that, if you will, there should be something you care about beyond what you’ll eat. This is the only form of leadership that brings actual change!