The Attitude Lounge by Kodwo Brumpon: Upside down, Downside Up


“If one imitates the upright, one becomes upright; if one imitates the crooked, one becomes crooked.” – Nigerian proverb

In an era where change is faster than light, it does not make sense to propose that we should revolutionarise change. But in all honesty, that is what the world needs now. Just pause for a moment to observe the world around us, and you instantly realize almost everything is rotating off their axis. The upside has been turned downside and vice versa. We rose up against square pegs in round holes and instituted round pegs in square holes. We whined about incompetent employees and yet we run a nepotism recruitment scheme. We complained about the downward spiral in the leadership abilities of those in power and yet we replace them with individuals demonstrating the same caliber of attributes and attitudes wearing different colours.

Life would never stop mesmerizing us, but we would never stop amusing life. We are quick to condemn evil and yet we set trends and fads that promote greed, pride, lust, anger, gluttony, sloth and envy.

We do not see anything wrong with policies and strategies when our favourite individuals and groups initiate and implement them, yet we will criticize even the dots and commas if the same policies and strategies were put on the table by some other persons. All you have to do is to think about how the ‘living well’ motivational concept has been packaged as the good news of salvation, and then you realize we have dug a grave deeper than we anticipated.

What is worse is that “problems” are only problems when they affect us personal; and “challenges” are only challenges when they have the potential to jeopardise our present luxury. Any other issue or event is insignificant. Unfortunately, the surprising majority of the people who can actually change this change do not agree that things are so bad. It is true that every once in a while, they reluctantly accept some little things are not in their right places, but overall they are entirely satisfied with the swing of happenings. Ask how one can point out shadiness to a person whose obedience is to unethicality? They are prone to think you are cracked and thoughtless. Craziness has become the norm and the norm has become crazy, how dare you question it?

The sadder parts of all this is, because we failed to question, resist and actually stomp out unethicality when it reared its head, the number of individuals and groups obeying its dictates now are scary. Let us not forget that people generally are obedient to authority even when this authority is exploiting them.

Amid this heartbreaking tale is a deeper horror story; one of lost ideals, misplaced morals and disgusting displays of pride and sexuality. It is a story that glorifies consumption and reduces the upholding of societal values to the discretion of the individual’s emotions and feelings. This is the story of our age, the Age of Information; where intellect is measured by how loud you sound, and wisdom by the span of one’s network.


How we managed to sink so low is worrying because we fueled it ourselves. We categorized unethical attitudes as absurd and churned them as comedy. But the more we laughed at these absurd acts, the more we wanted to see them every day. And the more we wanted to see them, the more we saw them as normal and hence its manifestations in reality. In our desire to entertain ourselves, we have given power to unethicality. We took the weight of it and made it light enough to rise to the top. Its buoyancy meant a dip in morals and the rise in unethicality. It has become the darling of the individual and plague of society.

The topsy turvy of modernity is the result of our strive to live well. We ought to recognize this so that we can do something about it. The more we aspire, the more life gets significantly complicated, churning out predicaments to keep us nervy in our comfort zone.

The state of today is the result of the tragic choices made yesterday. But we need to unhinge the upheaval; we need to turn things around. We cannot walk on our heads and expect a fulfilling life. We cannot retreat into seclusion hoping that things would be fine by themselves. It is not only impracticable, but impossible. As always, we need to shake off the challenges, by learning from the mistakes made.

We do not need to say much, we need to turn our gaze from the externals onto ourselves. It is within us that the revolution must begin and be felt before it extends to society. We only need to be notorious for being ethical in small matters which will gradually grow to eclipse the unethicality around us. We need to do a ‘sankofa’ and go back to the principles and aims and spirit of our humanity. We need to find substance in hard realities in order to make them noble. But more importantly, we must stop obeying unethicality. And to do that, we have to stop finding the comical dramatization of immorality funny for it is not.



Kodwo Brumpon is a partner at Brumpon & Kobla Ltd, a forward-thinking Pan African management consultancy and social impact firm driven by data analytics, with a focus on understanding the extraordinary potential and needs of organisations and businesses to help them cultivate synergies, that catapults into their strategic growth, and certifies their sustainability.

Comments, suggestions, and requests for talks and training should be sent to him at kodwo@brumponand

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