My name is Ghana maybe you know me as Gold Coast…
I embrace you with my imagination, is this possible? An ecstasy overwhelms me writing on this empty piece of paper, transforming it into a mystagog of the soul for the God-made land of natural beauty and contrasts. Do not be surprised that I am talking to you, my daughter is hosted by you, you are a God-blessed country, she passed on to me the knowledge and the love she feels for you, conveyed your traditions and customs. I hope you feel proud that you stand on your own two feet.
In my eyes and for the rest of the world, you are a pioneer, you are the first that taught other people how freedom is conquered. And that independence is the cornerstone of prosperity. You paved the way. You birthed extraordinary people, like the great leader Yaa Asantewaa, the celebrated sculptor El Anatsui, the talented architect David Adjaye, the passionate sculptor Kwame Akoto-Bamfo. I’m also talking about the great revolutionary Doctor Kwame Nkrumah who in 2000 was voted by BBC listeners the first head of an independent Ghana their “Man of the Millennium” and an International Symbol of Freedom.
His vision was for Africa to be one. To establish the United States Of Africa. Unfortunately, due to some unapprehended variables, and some opposing states, this didn’t occur, they stood in the way of his bold vision. This man was and is a reference point in the history of your land, he paved the way for prosperity, progress and democracy. Culture, during his time, was intertwined with history but also deeply connected with the cultural heritage that is so compelling. From the ancient tribe of Akan with their huge contribution to culture moving on to the Assyrians – another tribe that helped with your struggles, fighting those who from time to time wanted your land.
I would need a lot of paper to refer to the whole range that composes your ancient cultural heritage that you spearheaded as well. You proved it with your participation in the 58th exhibition of the Biennale in Venice. You were the first African country to participate in it. This Art exhibition alone, demonstrates the continuity of the path set by your honorable ancestors. Ancestors whose millions were violently taken from their motherland by the wretched and unconscious slave traders, the descendants of today’s “developed countries”.
I really wonder how they are not the winners of the Guinness World Records for the saddest act ever written in world history – an act that UNESCO made sure is globally remembered by acknowledging various cultural heritage monuments such as the castle of St. George the Fort of St. Jayo – the Cape Coast Castle. Monuments that are visited by thousands of people who are left with the emotions of horror, pain, devastation and the thought of the atrocious things a man can do out of greediness. Nevertheless, you stood tall. You showed how superior you are by raising people like Kofi Annan that comes from your blessed land. A man that was honored by the Swedish academy with the Nobel Peace Prize!!!!
Many academics, creatives and artists praised you with their words like the French writer Jean Cocteau, when asked by a journalist what’s his opinion about Africans he said “I am fair on the outside but dark on the inside, they are dark on the outside but fair on the inside”, and Alexander Dumas, when he was disparagingly told that he was a Negro, he replied “My grandfather was black and my great-great-grandfather ape, my generation starts where yours ends!!”. I will sum this up with your National Anthem which is indeed an anthem to freedom, grace, honesty and humility. Children of Ghana I wholeheartedly wish you to step into the future and prosperity, by the Grace of God.
“Children of Ghana arise and uphold your cause
And blaze the trail of freedom far and wide,
O God our Father harken to our call
and bring us peace here in our fatherland.”