* I wrote this a long time ago for a certain website*
“So you came all the way to Ghana to do an internship? Why on earth would you do that?” That was the question I was constantly asked on my first day at my 3 month internship in Ghana. When I would introduce myself, my fellow co-workers were shocked to find out that I was from “abroad” and had decided to travel all that way to Ghana for an internship.
I had always dreamed about living and working in Ghana when I was older. So when the opportunity to do an internship was given to me I decided it was my chance to go back to the birth place of my parents and see what it would be like to work and live in the motherland.
That first day at work I had to constantly explain to people why I had chosen to come all the way to Ghana. I had to explain to people my love for Ghana, that I believed Ghana provided great opportunities and that I knew I could excel in this great country.
After hearing my response to their questions, I would just get stares and more questions about the sanity of my decision to journey back home when there are supposedly millions of opportunities for me abroad.
This led me to wonder about how Ghanaians in Ghana and oversees viewed our home land. I kept wondering to myself if I was the only one that believed in Ghana and the possibilities she held.
But as I looked around Ghana, I saw that many people did believe in Ghana and what she could offer and lots of those people were foreigners, that came from the Diaspora or were investors from other countries.
This led me to the conclusion that the people who didn’t believe in Ghana the most were her own people both in the country and abroad.
Many people, including my own parents, left Ghana for greener pastures and better opportunities for themselves and their family, in places like Europe or North America. They believed that it was the only way they could make it.
Now, I’m not writing this because I believe it is wrong to leave Ghana and everyone should stay there. I’m writing because I’m concerned about our perception of our own country.
Is it not possible to succeed in Ghana? Must we all leave in order to make something of ourselves? If that’s the case what about those who can’t leave, are they doomed to fail?
I recently spoke to a friend that is in Ghana and he said he wasn’t even thinking about leaving Ghana anytime soon. Unlike other young men his age who had dreams of traveling abroad he was focused on staying in Ghana and making a life for himself there. He said he couldn’t picture himself leaving a country where he was flourishing. His last words to me were, “if people can come to Ghana and succeed, why can’t the Ghanaian stay in his own country and make it?”
I understand that there are many factors like poverty, education and lack of employment that make it hard for many to succeed, but if many people have no faith in their country and are determined to leave who will stay around to make it better? Who will fix the problems?
So my question to you is, do you think Ghana is good enough?