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Skepticism remains amid celebrations in Ghana

Posted By Denebola On November 26, 2008 @ 11:04 pm In Global Education | Comments Disabled

By Lolan Ekow


“Barack, Barack Barack Obama!

The radio buzzes to the popular reggae rhythm of musician Black Rasta’s latest hit song. My head is buried in this weeks’ copy of Time magazine and I try to block the music out and focus on an article concerning the Big Bang theory.

Just when I think I’ve succeeded achieved focus, the van hits a pothole, jolting my head up.

As I glance through the windscreen, I notice an unusual looking sticker. Something blue and white with a name in red, the beginnings of which read “Ba. Yes, it’s Barack Obama again.

“Enough of this Obama mania! I yell in my head.

Obama is all over the place: on the radio, on front pages of newspapers, on stickers fixed squarely onto the trunks of people’s cars. Where is this going on? Somewhere in Iowa, Washington D.C, or even Virginia? You’re wrong. This is Accra, Ghana.

My name is Lolan Ekow Sagoe-Moses, and the minivan is actually a commercial transport vehicle called a “trotro in local parlance. Now I’m sure you can tell from the very sound of that name that traveling in a trotro is not a pleasant experience, especially on the pothole-infested roads of Ghana.

Yet, even in the midst of our poverty, Ghanaians, still have time for Obama. Ask any of the Obama supporters what they know about Obama’s policies and they’ll turn deaf and dumb overnight.

A similar response will be received if they’re asked the difference between Nana Akuffo Addo and John Atta Mills, the two frontrunners in Ghana’s upcoming presidential election.

Unlike in the United States, a large percentage of the Ghanaian voter population is either illiterate or semi-literate and would vote for a party solely because their father was a member or because its candidate is from their region. Across Africa, it seems that the general consensus is that Obama will be better for Africa because, of course, he’s our black brother, and his father is from Kenya!

I doubt political analysts have taken sufficient time to peruse his policy for Africa. Both he and McCain seem to have very well defined policy objectives for the Middle-East and Asia and have traveled there extensively to court leaders and pose for the cameras, but neither candidate paid an official campaign visit to Africa.

Obama scheduled a visit to his ailing grandmother in Hawaii. I wonder if he would ever visit his ailing grandmother in Kenya.

Obama’s silence mirrors the distant relationship between Afro-Americans and the African continent. African-Americans show little interest beyond the usual yearly pilgrimage to the Goree and Elmina slave forts. Obama’s African roots bring up the even more pertinent question of whether Africans who left for the West will ever be able to contribute sufficiently to the growth and development of Africa.

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URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/11/26/skepticism-remains-amid-celebrations-in-ghana/

URLs in this post:

[1] Obama ignites Kenyan pride while masking deeper conflict: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/11/26/obama-ignites-kenyan-pride-while-masking-deeper-conflict/

[2] Media loses focus in election coverage: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/10/29/media-loses-focus-in-election-coverage/

[3] Faculty reflects on a historic election: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/11/26/faculty-reflects-on-a-historic-election/

[4] Barack in Boston: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/11/21/barack-in-boston/

[5] “Bring America back to what it was”: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/10/29/bring-america-back-to-what-it-was/

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