Monday, September 5, 2011

Wait, You Can't Do That. It's Not Your Turn.

“[There are] voices that say, “Wait. You can’t do that. It’s not your turn. The timing isn’t right. You see, the country just isn’t ready. You know you can’t do it, you’re not experienced. You’re not ready.”

Voices that focus on what might go wrong rather than what’s possible. And I understand it, I do. I know where it comes from, this sense of doubt and fear about what the future holds.
I call it like that veil of impossibility that just keeps us down and keeps our children down – keeps us waiting and hoping for a turn that may never come.
It’s the bitter legacy of … discrimination and oppression in this country. A legacy that hurts all of us.
Some people were like the aunt or grandmother who bought new furniture but put plastic on it to protect it, never fully enjoying it, out of their own misplaced fear.
Sometimes, it seems better not to try at all than to try and fail. Sometimes, that’s how it feels. But we have to remember that these complicated emotions are … what we’re going to have to overcome as a community if we want to lift ourselves up.”
                                            Michelle Obama, “Renegade: The Making of a President”.

“For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity, this ‘Wait!’, which has almost always meant ‘Never’.”
                                                     Martin Luther King, April 1963. Birmingham Jail.

Michelle Obama
Martin Luther King
She will smile someday?? And her son too??

Someone asked me the other day "Why do you even do it?"

"Why do you embarrass yourself, screaming yourself hoarse at people who don't care? Running all over town trying to get people to help you make this thing work?"
Don't you know? Are you new in town? 
Don't you know ... they don't care? Just waiting for you to fall off the wagon so they can shake their heads and say, 'See, we knew the heifer would come to this!'?

"Don't you know," he said, "this thing's never gonna catch up?
Even government predicts it's not gonna happen now, then you this young female thing ...?"

My head was hung whilst he was saying these ... my ears drinking them all in. My eyes were wet, and my heart was beating fast.

"Golda?" he said. “Save the energy, money, and effort ... and put it into creating a future for your son. At least that's a future you'll be more sure off. Save yourself the embarrassment of going around cup in hand all the time, begging and singing to yourself."

"You think I don't know all this?" I asked him. "I'll tell you something ... I’m here to show just how deeply we’ve all as a people, been traumatised by a system and a society that abuses us, misuses our resources, and forces us to suspect everything around us, to the point that we are now on the edge of the cliff of our existence, about to fall off into the raging sea below, and we’re certain it’s just a trick to cause us to turn back and go the other way.

We’re so used to being conned, we can’t distinguish genuine from false anymore. We play games when we should be organized, and when we should be playing games, we’re rather thinking strategy and tricks. We’re confused, we’re lost, we’re mean, and we’re at the end of our tether.

Something’s gotta bring a fresh new un-selfish perspective back to our way of thinking; a perspective that spells “c-o-m-m-u-n-i-t-y” once more.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the one certain thing that will do this (communal harmony and development) for us, enrich us, improve our standards of living, make the nation wealthier, and safeguard the country’s future ALL IN ONE … is our natural resources, and the renewable energy it gives directly to the people.

Horribly enough, it is the one thing that people still think is the last possible thing ever to happen for us! It’s crazy.
We are sitting with the gold beneath our noses, and we can’t see the forest for the trees.

I’m doing this insane thing I’m doing, instead of just shutting up and funding everything myself in small steps as I used to do, because it hit me the other day … we have not, as a people, invested our faith in this sector yet, and that is what is holding everything back. Indeed, that is what I believe holds government back from passing that RE Bill.
The people ARE the government. The voice of the people is often the voice of government.
If more Ghanaians had more faith and were willing to dig into Renergy as they are the crude oil, we would have more schools and courses in Renergy, more jobs in Renergy, more Renergy projects, and government would have jumped to it as well.
Why am I doing this alone, and making all the noise alone when my ultimate aim is to transform the entire country?

I had to backtrack. But I knew I’d have to get my Beyonce’s dancehall moves ready for this.
(See? I knew that’d get your attention, crazy misaligned people.)

Sadly, we are turning our noses up at the very thing (and perhaps the ONLY thing) that may well be our answer to employment, better standards of living, a wealthier nation, and independent of foreign financial aids, and neo-colonialism.
We are turning our noses up at the one thing that ensures that our future is safe, in our own hands, spread equally out amongst the people, gives endless jobs, and safeguards the natural resources as well.

This country has got vast potential in renewable energy, and renewable energy gives direct income to the community and the people who wield it and use it. Which in turn empowers many, and grows the nation faster than most other national programmes on nation-building and empowerment.

For that little girl who will someday grow up to become the leading expert in Ghana seawater energy because of the change that I’m working on now in our energy industry.
For that insanely tired woman walking bare-foot in the hot sun with a load of wood on her back almost half her body-weight, walking kilometres, so her family can eat and live … who will someday simply step out into her compound and switch on her biogas facility and cook with it, and whose children will stay in school instead of going down south to do crime and menial jobs.
For that man somewhere who can now sit in his compound and cook up his own biodiesel and pour it into his motor bike or car, or generator, or food processor, because we discovered how to produce bio-diesel from our local oils.

That little girl might be your grandchild, that woman, your grandmother, that man your father, and the chain goes on.

How many times have you watched a land ravaged by war, famine, drought, rape, tyranny, and silently thanked the Powers that Be … that you were born a Ghanaian? I do it everytime I see such scenes on the television.

Well, this is you now. This is your Ghana now.
What are you gonna do about it?

Do I really think I can create a better Ghana, silly girl … you think of me as I exit your office, streaming in sweat, spittles at the corners of my mouth, legs crumbling beneath me as I totter out to my next begging gig, cup in hand; you think of me as you read my status and link updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Blogspot; you think of me as you see me walking down the street.

What you don’t get is, this isn’t about me.

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  1. Sister Golda, my heart is full for you. Your work is not easy. I know that pain. I know the pain of hearing people tell you to wait, because Ghana is not ready. Wait, because you are a womon. Wait, because you are too black and too proud of where you come from. ON too many occasions, I have succumb to the pressure of fear and doubt. (And it's the worst when you succumb to someone else's fear and doubt.) I felt this way all the time while I was volunteering in Ghana. It was a feeling I could not shake, and it was part of the reason I left, when I really wanted to stay. I was afraid. Everyone told me that Ghana was not ready for the kind of anti-colonial feminist revolution I believed in. I should give the country time. All of these excuses. All of these fears. It takes a strong heart to overcome it all.

    I want you to know that I am in solidarity with you. Stay focused. Another world IS possible.

    In solidarity,
    Rita N.

    "Won't you come and celebrate with me, that everyday, something has tried to kill me and has failed" -Lucille Clifton

  2. Oh, Rita!
    How I need this ... this bonding.
    There are times you just wanna kick somebody's arse ... hard. It's my blog. I'll say it.
    Sometimes, it's too hard.

    But I love your quote (Lucille's) and I have now adopted it as mine, pleaaaaassseee?

    I wish you will come back to Ghana, Rita. Come back again, and this time, shove that fear and doubt and break its neck up that there hole, girl.
    If nothing at all, I'm here.
    I'll hold your hand, if you'll hold mine.

    In mutual solidarity,

  3. Don't Give Up! I'm expecting some money next week and I will donate $100 to this worthy cause.

  4. Anonymous, that money berra hurry to you now! :)

    Thank you, and looking forward to receiving your support.
    Can't do this and all the other projects without y'all!