Ghana at 45 years – Great time to hit maturity
By: Ade Sawyerr (2002-03-06)
This article was first published in West Africa Magazine, Issue 4315, 4Th -10th March 2002
I have not heard anyone say that it was only just yesterday that Ghana gained independence; for a large number of us whop witnessed the event it has been painfully been a long time. But it has been worth it, we are maturing if not as yet matured.
We have made our mistakes, but as all adults do, we can reflect with the benefit of hindsight on what went wrong, and after objective reflection chart a new positive and brighter course. We are doing that now with our fledging, but new found democracy.
The test of success for any nation is good governance. Good governance is what brings nations prosperity. Our leaders can have all their good ideas and intentions but if these are not firmly rooted in good institutions, systems and governance, they will remain but visionaries who could not lead us into the state of prosperity that has been eluding us.
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Ever Young at 80 – Mr James Aflah Barnor
By Ade Sawyerr, London
As a young boy growing up in James Town (British Accra), there was a particular route that I took to church every Sunday with my older brother and sisters. From Bruce Road we would take a left turn at Commodore Street into St. Edmund’s Street, past Mantse Agbona and into the High street and then past the famous James Fort, the Ussher Fort and then the Old Kingsway Store till we arrived at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity.
There were three photographic studios along the route; “Ever Young” studio on St. Emund’s Street and the Deo Gratis studio just off the High street; and just before you get to the Ussher Fort there was Mr, Darku’s studio on the left (you have to look for it before you notice that small studio!). I refer to these photographic studios because when you are in your Sunday best that is when you are likely to have your photographs taken.
I had completely forgotten about the “Ever young” studio till I came into this country because as I graduated from satin tunic shirts and shorts, through short suits, and then to full suits, I sort of remembered the many more photographs that my parents had demanded that we take during the important ‘events’ when we really dressed for church were mostly at Deo Gratis Studios. I have however recently understood why this was so and why I was more in tune with Deo Gratia than with “Ever Young”. I must say however that over the past 10 years this has changed considerably and the reason for that change is that I have had the privilege of meeting the proprietor of “Ever Young” and doubly honoured to consider him as a friend.
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Prampram, Prampram, Prampram – brief memories of Achimota School
Prampram, Prampram, Prampram. Here we are now. In front of me is the sea, behind me is the town. No swimming and no going to town. Those words spoken by Mr Galevo, our cadet master at the time who subsequently became my Young Pioneer master were for me the defining moment in 60s Achimota.
I had been to camp before, a scouts camp at the Shai Hills when our senior scout leader spent the best time carrying me on his shoulders, but that was three years before. This was the real thing a cadet camp and we had real soldiers to take us through our map reading, our rifle training and our drills. And oh yes there were the fights and the escaping to town despite the warnings and of course swimming in water that caused bilharzia for most of us. The final humiliation for me after that camp was going home, walking through the streets of Lagos Town with my head held high, marching home like the soldier that I quite was not and having my grandmother strip off all my clothes and scrubbing me down because she could just not believe how dirty I looked and how foul I smelt.
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