Nsempiisms: Dribbling Without Scoring

In our factory in Amalaman, which we built from the ground (starting in 2011 and part of it beginning operations in 2013), there was water hydrant line that ran along the main drainage as one accessed the factory from the pedestrian entrance. This pipeline used to make me angry because the contractors couldn’t construct it in a straight manner. It was so crooked that I blurted out once whether the contractor couldn’t get his artisans to use plumblines. My colleague Femi reminded me that this was how straight the artisans could get the pipeline done with the plumbline!

When we were growing up in Kotobabi, our football practice consisted of playing socks-balls on small fields, with the goals marked by two stones of each side, popularly called “small poles”. Most of the playing was focused on dribbling and defending. Someone has theorised that this could be one of the reasons why we have historically produced great midfielders and defenders, rather than strikers. We didn’t practise a lot with proper goalposts and scoring in those standard post dimensions.

Effort is important to the result but the finishing is what makes the effort meaningful. Dribbling is meaningless if it doesn’t result in goals.

In the installation of the packing lines in our factory, I observed the attention to finishing that the European engineers exhibited. With their plumblines in hand, they set the machines and conveyors in place. Similar tools, different results. A clearly different mindset in respect of the significance of finishing.

Today, my mind went to these situations as I reflected on how many of the stories we have heard, read or spoken about haven’t been followed up to logical conclusions. How many of the issues we have in Ghana are left hanging, unattended, unresolved and swept under the conveyor belt bringing the next juicy story. That explains why our problems never go away, why our national sores always fester and why our issues appear familiar, all the time.

We love to partake in the marathon of national building but not necessarily to finish the race. Activity without progress.

We have to look to our finishing.

Nsempiisms. My mouth has fallen.



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