I Almost Gave Up on Ghana

WRITTEN: March 12, 2015 . I wrote this for another blog I have. After watching The Season Finale of An African City it reminded me of this. 

When I started this blog on Tumblr, I had wanted it to be a monthly even weekly place I would go to provide people with information, tips and insight into moving to Ghana. Show people the beauty of Ghana. Eleven months ago I wrote this post about how I have longed to live in Ghana for as long as I can remember and I didn’t care if anyone thought it was a crazy idea.

The purpose of the blog was to help others see the beauty of Ghana and to help people like me who were interested in moving there in the future with tips, and various resources to help with the transition. I started off great with so much hope in my heart for this idea of mine. I did a few interviews with people and researched things like buying or renting a place in Ghana and where people could go on days off for some fun. Then I just stopped writing. I stopped interviewing people. I stopped looking at anything that was related to Ghana. For many months Why Ghana has been idle.

At first I just wanted to say that life got in the way of me finding time to write and update. I wanted to say that I took a break because I was so busy. Being busy was not the case at all.

I haven’t written or even put up links or pictures in a long time because I started to change my mind about one day living in Ghana. I had gotten to a point where I had decided that I would rather move to Nunavut, and I hate the cold.

So what got me to the point that I no longer wanted to move to or talk about a country that I have dreamed about most of life? My change of mind came about after reading the way people would talk negatively about Ghana online.

If you are interested in Ghana you will know that they are right now going through some tough times in many areas especially in the case of the economy and energy sector. And when I would turn on the computer I would see comments that made me say “Oh hell no! I need to forget about Ghana”.

I know Ghana is not perfect. I know about the bad roads, the inconsistent electricity in certain areas, the lack of proper health care and so forth. I’m not naïve and I have visited the country for more than two weeks and not just for leisure. But to turn on your computer and constantly see people talking negatively about a country you have dreams of living in one day can weigh on your conscious. The way certain people only have negative things to say about the place had me rethinking my decision. I told one friend that the way Ghanaians talk about Ghana you would think it was like the sixth chamber of hell or something. Constantly seeing complaints upon complaints upon complaints made me think I was making a big mistake wanting to move to this country.

I had to sit down and really evaluate the situation and see why I was letting the negative information I was seeing greatly impact my decision to one day move to Ghana to the point that I wanted to move to an even colder climate.

The negative information was frightening me because if people lived there and felt that way then the place must be bad and I was being delusional. My idea of moving there must be flawed and I should listen to what all these people on the internet were saying and just stay where I was or move elsewhere. Anywhere but Ghana.

I’ve had conversations where people in Ghana have literally told me not to come over there and that it is pure hell. That I am blessed to be where I am and that they are even trying to come over to where I am because they can no longer take the hell they are in.

They are right, I am blessed to have grown up in Canada, I won’t deny that. I have had some opportunities and situations happen here that might not have happened if I lived elsewhere. But no place on this earth is paradise. Canada has its issues as well. Which country doesn’t?

I started to wonder if I was buying into this crazy dream about moving back to the land of my parents. Had reading Afua Hirsch’s piece on the Guardian website a few years ago helped me believe a lie? Were our parents right in leaving Ghana? Should we not want to move there? Should we just forget about Ghana? The citizens of the land are on the internet letting us know every day the place is hell and I don’t do hell.

But one story kept coming back to my mind whenever I thought about permanently giving up on Ghana. A family friend told me a couple years ago about a farm job she had here in Ontario (yes Ghanaians work on farms out here). One day a new worker came with them to work on a chicken farm and he seemed to be struggling with the tasks he was given when all of a sudden a chicken pooped in his eye (still not sure how that happened exactly). The man then left his work area and sat on the floor. My family friend immediately went over to him and told him that he had to get up and get back to work or he would get in trouble. He explained he was done and wanted to go home. She kindly reminded him that they had been transported there in a van and the van would not come back for them until the end of the work day. The man explained that he didn’t care and would no longer work any more. He said to her “I never knew it was like this out here. I lived my whole life in Ghana and a chicken never pooed in my eye until I came here”.

The story might not make sense to some people reading this but for me it tells about the struggle many of us abroad go through on a regular day. And just like Nana Awere Damoah I don’t see the point in sweating elsewhere to build someone else’s city and country and have my mother land lacking.

I had to counter-attack the negativity I was seeing with positive information about Ghana and why my decision to move there one day will not be a bad one. I had to remember that I started this blog with a purpose. I wanted to help provide people with information that would help them learn more about Ghana and make a solid decision if they did want to move to Ghana one day.

The purpose of the blog is to show the country love. To show the good and bad and maybe impact people to help make a change in Ghana. Because if we sit around waiting for someone else to fix Ghana we might as well pack our bags and leave the place vacant.

I have decided to try my best to not leave this blog that idle ever again. Whatever I am feeling about Ghana I will blog about it. I wont let the negative commentary online by Ghanaians, who are fortunate enough to have access to the internet impact my views on the country and moving there one day.

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One thought on “I Almost Gave Up on Ghana

  1. Lovely piece. Yes Ghana is basically hell on earth. Yes there are faults in every country but like I tell people, there’s beauty in the struggle. It really isn’t a drill down here, reality stares us straight in our eyes. Corrupt government employees supposed to be working for us do us dirty by spending tax payers money on luxurious mansions, SUV’s etc. But people are still making it here. The struggle is unimaginable. Great Piece. And yes thank your stars you grew up in Canada, the African man’s mindset can drive you nuts, trust! All the same great article

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