It’s funny how life plays out sometimes. We go about our daily routine lives and do things or find ourselves in circumstances that we think are mutually exclusive but at the end of the week, month or year (s) when we reminisce we’re able to create a correlation between things we did.
An event could trigger a chain, which causes other subsequent occurrences to take place.
Then we are able to connect the dots of those seemingly unrelated events at the time and like cartoon network the light bulb in our head turns on and we see clearly the whole picture, making out the correlation of these events which weirdly align perfectly as though the universe and it’s cosmic forces interfered to get you to where you are.
The pieces fit so well together, almost like a predetermined mathematical probability.
Looking back on events that have occurred these past few days
I have been quite amazed at how things have synced quite nicely.
Last week while waiting in the trotro (public transport) I’d boarded to be full so I get back to work after delivering a package to someone at the 37 military hospital, a young man climbed onto the car; not for its commuting purpose instead to sell his books.
This is something normal in our part of the world where people hop onto loading public transport to sell their items. The book this man was advertising was about historical Ghanaian events.
All throughout the pitch my head was down, my fingers busily swiping the screen of my phone, suddenly the man made a statement “I’m going to give one book out for free…” at this point my head shot up, my fingers came to an abrupt halt. He continued “… but there’s a condition. If you’re able to answer 2 out of the 10 questions I ask on the history of Ghana you get a book for free”.
At this point I was feeling very cocky with a conceited smirk on my face.
I was about to take this man’s book for free and it was going to be as easy as taking a candy from a baby.
The Q&A section began, the 1st question flew by there was no answer, 2nd… no answer, same thing happened for the 3rd and 4th but i wasn’t bothered, I just needed two correct answers.
Now by the 7th question the silence in the car was getting embarrassing, nobody had guessed one correct answer. Then the next question came “What is the oldest senior high school in Ghana?” I blurted, Mfantsipim! Thinking to myself while shrugging who didn’t know that.
Suffice to say that was the only question answered outta 10 and predictably there was a rush to purchase the book.
Parents got it for their kids, others for themselves, me… I just sat there choking on the humble pie. My ego knocked down a peg or two.
On the 16th I read a thought provoking post from the blog From Tokyo To The World titled Die or Kill Your Legacy , where the writer talked about whether freedom fighters like Thomas Sankara, Steven Biko and Kwame Nkrumah who fought for the emancipation of their people and as a result became rulers would have been seen as Heroes or Villains had they died earlier or lived longer.
Now as fate would have it, on the 21st a colleague pasted an article about the 1966 military and police led coup which overthrew Ghana’s first black president Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah (The man who led the country to independence in 1957).
Like a lit match stick in a room filled combustible gas the post sparked a wild debate as to whether the coup was of benefit to Ghana or set us back.
It was an interesting discussion on the UGBS 2015 whatsapp page as both sides argued their points. There were no shortages of speculation, hearsay, conspiracy theories and facts.
And like your favourite TV series these were just the “…previously on the history of Ghana” scenes to start the next episode.
24th February is a historic and landmark date in Ghana.
It marked exactly 50 years since the overthrowing our first President Dr. Nkrumah.
It was the first ever coup to take place in Ghana and it opened up a portal to the world of coup d’états as Ghana later experienced four more coups within the span the 15 years that followed (two steps forward, 100 steps backwards).
There was enough media coverage about the happenings in 66.
Several debates and interviews were held and historical dossiers emerged.
I read and heard so much about imperialism, socialism, capitalism, pan- Africanism, and neo-colonialism and all the –isms you can think of.
The whatsapp group never intended to miss out on the action and in the evening there was a huge debate again between the Nkrumahist and anti- Nkrumahist which was entertaining as well as insightful.
It made me rue the lack of a time machine as I would definitely had patronized it and travelled back in time to experience for myself certain things.
How we lived before colonialism, how we reacted and coped with colonial rule, being a part of the unbridled joy at the declaration of independence, WW I & II, cold war, French revolution, Greek civilization… so many things I would have loved to do but I guess I have to put that on the back burners for the moment.
From all the events that transpired this week I have learnt that everyone is human and we all have our flaws. Regardless of your opinion on Kwame Nkrumah the man was a great leader and a visionary.
We in the 21st century are still depending hugely on projects he accomplished like our electricity, ports and harbour, oil refinery etc but he had his faults like any other person.
Nkrumah’s nine year rule saw Ghana take huge leaps especially in terms of infrastructure development but also a catalogue of unpopular decisions such as trying to turn the country into a one – party state and incarcerating opposing political figures without trial may have caused an unrest hence the coup. Though some believe the coup wouldn’t have come about if not for the orchestration of the invisible hegemonic hand.
What I loved in particular about this week was that it took me back years to read a bit about the history of my country and I enjoyed every bit of it. Most of us born in this generation are often occupied with a lot of stuff, we often forget that we have a lot to learn about our past and heritage. I wasn’t too surprised when some of my friends were oblivious to the whole fuss about the 1st president of our republic.
Most people didn’t know when the coup took place, what it meant to the nation, what Nkrumah meant to Africa, how Nkrumah escaped a bomb attack on his life in Kulungugu but was scathed all the same and rushed to the hospital for treatment.
How Nkrumah was forced into exile in Guinea where the president of Guinea Sekou Toure welcomed him with opened arms and even made Nkrumah the 2nd president of Guinea.
There’s a lot in history that we need to know and not just go about life ignorant of the past.
The past always guides us into the future.It helps us avoid repeating mistakes.
Now your mind may be bugging you about the link between the title and the post, allow me to explain.
In the debate one staunch Nkrumahist bloke tried to puncture holes in Gbedemah’s letter, courtesy myjoyonline.com (read here).
This triggered a host of rebuttals from team anti- Nkrumah, where another gentleman cited a quote from Ander Conan Doyle’s book A case in scarlet
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.”
Basically saying Gbedemah’s words held more credibility as he (Gbedemah) was present at the time and helped start CPP with Nkrumah. Gbedemah was for a period the finance minister to Nkrumah’s government before he was released from post.
So using an African proverb to support his point he sent a voice note saying “when the crocodile comes from under the water to tell you there’s something something there you can trust him cos that’s where he lives” but I believe the proverb he was referring to was “If the fish comes out of the river to tell you that the crocodile has one eye, you should believe it.”
The discussion run late into the night and everybody was exhausted from the day’s work but I truly enjoyed my history lesson about 24th February 1966 and I promise to read more on it and other historical events.
Next time when I meet that dude in a trotro again I’m taking that book home!