Nsempiisms: A Hurricane Hits Home

2 November, 2012

I am watching CNN this evening and seeing the recovery work being undertaken after Superstorm Sandy hit the US. Some areas still don’t have electricity and there are long queues for fuel at gas stations which are rationing the little they have. There are pictures of people with red gallons standing in line for hours to get fuel for heating purposes. Cars roam the cities for gas, running out and being left behind. I saw a picture earlier today on Facebook of residents in some cities waiting to charge their phone from the dynamo of a bicycle. Uncle Ben Dotsei Malor posted a picture of the groundfloor of the UN Building in New York full of those charging phones and iPads.

My heart went out to the people in these cities.

The scenes quickly reminded me of Accra. And Lagos.

But these scenes are as a result of a phenomenal natural disaster.

The similar scenes in Accra and Lagos are with us daily.

Results of our inefficiencies, our ineptitude, our mismanagement and our inability to build on what we inherited at independence. Results of a brighter past that we have supervised to turn into a black present with a bleak future ahead of it.


In the past few months, as I commuted between Lagos and Accra, I have had the opportunity to engage with some young men on the flights, sharing my long-held view that soon my peers will be in positions of authority, running our countries and the change we desire is ours to implement. And imbued with the determination that we don’t turn into the same leaders we berate. But everyone of them has looked at me with mild bemusement mixed with amusement. Thick with disbelief at my idea that we can change the despondency we feel all around us.

I listen to our political campaigns and I hear little or no audacious plans to change the status quo, to transform our country.

We live in the midst of a hurricane each day. But we shouldn’t despair even though the signs on the wall don’t give hope. If we think we can do nothing, what is the use of living in Ghana and working and hoping?

There is hope yet, but we need to take each other’s hand and step out to make our future better.

Here is my hand – will anyone join with me?

My mouth has fallen. Nsempiisms.


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