Let’s just say the day didn’t start off on a good foot because I had not slept at all the night before because I was overwhelmed with packing. Of course family members have to overload my luggage with stuff to give everyone back home in Ghana –many of which they can easily get in Ghana, but for some reason bringing it from the US gives it more cachet or makes it somehow better. Figuring out how to pack it all without having to pay close to $300 for excess baggage, which Deltas rips off their customers for, since they are the only airline with such exorbitant fees for going over 50 pounds was no easy task. My cousin’s wonderful husband was gracious enough to drive me to the airport & surprisingly everything went smoothly at the airport, so I could just relax & await the flight.
So the journey has begun once again, back to my mama’s land, the motherland, the Black Star Nation, Ghana! This time a little wiser, a little more learned about the so called “Ghanaian mentality” & a lot more tolerant while building on the precise beautiful art of patience. In this land everyone is at their own pace with an extreme abundance of pride or “twae”, but after all what do you expect from the Black Star Nation who showed herself to be the leader of Africa 52 years ago in her independence & the call for all her brothers & sisters to join her revolutionary evolution for freedom & independence Now – for & by Africans! 52 years later the “Nkrumah like” first of Barack Obama comes to remind the world once again that Ghana/Ghanaians are the model he & the rest of the world wants to see for Africa, so you best believe that the pride is high, but we’re moving on- that is as an elder Ghanaian said to me –if we can get past some of the ignorance in behavior & thought process.
It’s happening as I write this. I am on my way to Accra on Delta, one of the worst airlines in terms of customer service, but unfortunately it’s the only airline that flies direct to Ghana from New York. Sitting next to me is a Ghanaian who did his masters & phd in the USA & decided he wanted to go back to Ghana to build on the blueprint of excellence in education, which Nkrumah had started, by building a private international school in Kumasi where excellence is not only expected from the students but from the faculty & the infrastructure where they gather, eat, learn & excel, thru a focus on the sciences. Within a 10 year period of conceiving this idea & bringing it to fruition, Dr. Yeboah now has one of the best primary/secondary schools in Kumasi that is beautifully done to rival any day/boarding school in Ghana & abroad. I didn’t have my own private/self-contained bathroom in my room at the boarding school of the elite in the US that I was privileged enough to have gained a scholarship for, but in Today’s Ghana it’s part of the staple –Chale mek u no try- because we are coming up & the movement is being led by those of us who have been educated, lived & travelled abroad; fed up with the so called American Europe dream as we watch foreigners/foreign investors live their dreams in our homeland without much benefit to the average everyday Ghanaian. Many ex-pat Ghanaians & now even their children born & raised abroad have chosen to come back to give back to the nation that gave us our power & more vim to be able to make it anywhere with excellence as we keep the black star shining & rising-Nkrumah’s exact road & blueprint in full effect! Dr. Yeboah is on the plane with about 20 or so children from his school, who as little Pricilla AKA Serwaa ,with her innate sense of politeness that is second to none in Ghana & the sweetest of voices tells me, they were on a sponsored tour to Chicago & New York- one of the international/global educational tools that is incorporated in the curriculum of the school. Pricilla proceeds to tell me how she wanted to tell the flight attendant “Delta knows they are going to Ghana why don’t you serve us some jalof rice or something”. I laugh & shake my head knowing just how right this young lady is & recognizing that she is a powerhouse in the best ways possible & will one day perhaps be heralded amongst other great intelligent females who represent the best in country, womanhood & firsts such as Hilary Clinton, Sonia Sotomayor, Michelle Obama & Yaa Asantwaa . I am filled with so much joy & hope for Today’s Ghana as I watch the founder of the school, teachers & students interact in a way that is more family than pupils & as the African-American flight attendant sits next to the founder of the school & me hoping we can help her find a good school for a young 16 year old Ghanaian boy who she has taken to & is determined to help in Ghana. She tells us the story of how she met him at the art center on her travels to Ghana & he had confided in her his dream of becoming a doctor, even though his parents are pushing him to be a footballer because they believe he will make more money quickly so he can take care of them.
This woman has no known blood relation to this young man except for the fact that she sees Ghana as home as an African-American & has become the embodiment of the Ghanaian proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”, by just choosing to stand up to do her part in being the change she would like to see in the world. She has dedicated herself to helping this young man live his dream of becoming a doctor & has decided to call on her village of friends to help out financially or with just something as simple as information to make sure he is in the right environment for learning, so that he becomes someone whose dream is realized instead of another one of many whose dreams are deferred because of lack of funding, access or that one person it takes to believe in a young person’s dream in order for he/she to really go for it & believe that it is possible! Today’s Ghana is about Change & Forward Ever & I am delighted to have the privilege to be on this journey with a resurrected Black Star vim to build on this blueprint!