Africa has a unique cultural heritage. Africans do their things the African way. Ghana, a South-Saharan Africa country is no exception of the so called African culture. Our unparalleled way of doing things span across the divide - sports to politics, just to mention a few. Ghanaian politics has all the spices that make a good soup taste delicious.
It’s blended with all the finest elements you can think of in any political game. Politicians who are well-informed on a subject matter would hit your radio early morning like ‘kakai’ and their thought provoking ideas sparking your day likes Gordon’s Park. Others too would only leave head aching all day long. Like the Kantanka freezer in my room, the comedy in the Ghanaian politics cools a boiling heart by the fall of noon.
Gone were the days of Uncle Dan Lartey who founded the GCPP. We may have missed the interesting days of the late Mr. ‘Domestication’ though, but there appears to be someone who is doing his job in his absence. The replacement is notably one of Ghana’s humorous politicians. You’ll laugh your heart out anytime you hear her speak on a subject, as critical as you would think of. Honourable Efia Donkor is her name.
The ‘illiterate’ cocoa farmer who wants to be elected commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces became very popular when she landed her political ambition in 2012 to become President of the Republic. Her name has since remained in the limelight but with humour. A few hold the view that she’s an annoying political figure due to her controversial views on radio especially on critical national issues.
Efia Donkor was live on GHONE TV and as part of the interview process Madam ‘nyeeinunu’ was made to recite the national pledge. In case you haven’t heard her read below her version of the national pledge…
I promise on my honour. To be faithful and loyal my motherland. I pledge myself to the service of Ghana. And all my streff and all my heart. I promise to owe in high esteem. Our heritage won forward. Through the blood and toy I our fathers…
This would sound in your ears like the late Bob Okala’s comedy. But no matter how funny she might sound it present yet another opportunity to revisit the attention we give to the national anthem and pledge. Grammatically, a professor of English would score her low. This writer holds the opinion that she deserves some commendation for her effort. But why should she be commended?
This writer recalled his recent visit to the Aboseokai Methodist Basic School where he was privileged to witness one of their usual morning parades. While both the national anthem and pledge were being sung and recited, the disciplined headmistress of the school would not allow anyone around to bury the buttock on any seat. “You’ve got to be patriotic”, she would tell you. So while she stood still with the right palm stamped on his chest, this writer decided to join in reciting the national pledge. Jack! It was more difficult than the BECE exams he sat for at Koluedor JHS in 1999.
The issue of reciting the national anthem and or national pledge has become a major concern for some time now. The Ghana National Flag, National Anthem and the National Pledge are the passion that drives us. Just like the Apostolic Twi Hymn, moral of every tom, dick and harry Ghanaian will always have his spirit flying higher upon hearing the sounds of either the national anthem or the national pledge. You’ll feel very proud as a Ghanaian whenever you carry your flag along with you and can sing and recite both the national anthem and pledge, anytime, anywhere.
Nationalism has nothing to do with education, so you don’t need to be a professor from Harvard University or the Presbyterian University in Abetifi Kwahu to carry the national flag and or sing the national anthem and recite the national pledge. English is a language learned by listening, observing and practising what we hear. Once people are able to sing in the English language they should be able to sing the national anthem too and recite the national pledge, as well. It’s opprobrious if you hold a public office and you cannot recite the national pledge and national anthem unfailingly.
Everyone should be trained and taught to sing and recite the nationals’ right from home. The writer would be waiting for time when the presidential candidates would have to sing the national anthem and recite the pledge altogether; preferably during the national debate. They might be competing with the angelic Winneba Youth Choir. Jack, man’ve got to laugh on that day. Would the vetting committee of parliament make it a prerequisite for any government appointee who appear before them to sing and recite the national anthem and pledge? That would be interesting, wouldn’t it? Ghana would be glued to her television.
Patriotism begins with singing and reciting the national anthem and national pledge perfectly. Lovers of Hiplife often listen to their artist rhyme the lyrics of their songs, likewise poets recite the words in their poems with ease. Yet, some of these people cannot sing and recite the national anthem and pledge respectively.
Before you mock at her, can your presidential hopeful recite the national pledge better than she did? Is your presidential candidate a graduate at any level?
Hon. Efia Donkor might not get all the words right, but she got some right. In most exams you need a simple 50% to pass and she got it.
We have tales of notable personalities being unable to recite in full the national pledge of the Republic of Ghana. Even among the 17 Presidential hopefuls who filed for election as chief executive of mother Ghana, I doubt if all of them can perform better than Hon. Efia Donkor did live on television.
With this one I can think far with Efia Donkor. But she can do better next time.
Source: The writer David K. Flika is a graduate student of Finance and a social analyst. Contact him via email: [email protected]
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