Art by Setor Fiadzigbey

As I write this, Ghana’s 56th anniversary will be over in about two minutes – GMT-wise. March 6, 2013 has been…quite unusual. For one thing, it’s probably the first time in my higher ed career that I’ve actually had a holiday on Ghana’s independence day. All because of a supposed snow storm which never actually happened (Call it 2×4). Not that I’m complaining.

I got the day off, and while I missed President Mahama’s Independence Day address (and his singing), I participated in GhanaThink‘s Twitter Fiesta Debate on whether Ghanaians are more united after 56 years of independence. Personally, I think we have more tolerance for one another. Unity would mean a deep understanding of one another – and our differences – and I don’t think we’ve reached those depths yet. We still look down on one another and hold deep-seated prejudices. Nevertheless, some (tolerance) is better than nothing abi? After the Fiesta Debate, I watched Chapter 4 of Shirley Frimpong’s Adams Apples movie series online via Hulu (so cool that they have it there!), but I kept feeling guilty for taking the day off considering all the things I should be studying.

So I decided to treat myself and make a full-fledged Ghana meal in celebration of independence day (see picture).  I actually just finished eating all the yummy goodness with my housemates. Me, cooking alone, with GH/Naija tunes in the background and my thoughts at the fore. That’s how I celebrated Ghana’s 56th. In previous years I’ve written full-length independence day articles on one thing or another. Today, I’d like to keep it short. To sit with the emotion and the reflection.

The Black Star Lives!

Many of us are frustrated. Today rolled in amidst serious electricity outages and the usual hard times. Most of us are wondering whether we’ll ever exit our discouraging situations. Some of us are wondering whether what we do is worth anything. I get frustrated too. It’s hard, but change takes time.One of the songs I listened to today was “Happy Birthday” by Efya, Wanlov and E.L. This statement stood out to me:

“If we want better country, we for better wanna selves.”

It speaks for itself, I need not say anything more. In four years (2017), Ghana will be 60years inshAllah. Being the Ghanaians we are, we will probably want to go big(ger) on that celebration. Let’s make it count. Let’s really strive hard so that when we get to March 6, 2017 we can look back and say “We really deserve this”.

As long as there’s one Ghanaian who’s still trying with all their might to chart a better course – even those that seem impossible – the Black Star still shines. May we have the vision to dream bigger than the Big Six and the courage to see those dreams into reality. Happy Independence Day, Ghana! Best wishes for the new year! God bless our homeland!

Love always,