“We may not yet be proud…” by Ama Boakyewaa Adjei

Sixty-one years down the line, we have five coup d’états, a ‘poor’ nation (by the world’s standards), bad leaders and a largely illiterate and unpatriotic citizenry. The world mocks our freedom. 

We are wholly taken – reason and sanity –

placed under leash in obscurity’s lair.

We are wholly bound by the chords of vanity

and forever thrust into deception’s fair.

 

Our console now lays in the lies of everyday,

as we live unabashed in unending masquerade.

Our souls demand us without delay.

Our spirits, from strain, begin to fade.

 

For undying cupidity, commands many a soul.

Crowns and stones are the gods we extol.

The King flounders from the weight of his crown;

his Queen, powerless, looks down at her gown;

Our Bishops spout lies in their honorary robes;

Pawns, vexed, demand answers to probes;

and Knights betray loyalty in hopes of plunder,

so the once mighty Castle falls asunder.

 

We have jumped into bed with deception’s consort

and have soiled our souls from this incestuous resort.

Beneath the contrived cloak of diplomacy,

we have ceded our supremacy.

 

So the Grandmaster looks away in disgust;

Condemning His pieces to fate and to rust.

We lick our wounds. We disrespect our leaders. We have taught our youth to be ashamed of ourselves.

So do we give up?

Freedom is a journey not a place. After the battle comes healing. After healing comes the need to conquer our own selves – to cure off our fears, our ignorance and our limitations – mental and tangible.

Yes, we have been beaten but we have been strong. We have fought. We pushed out oppressors from our land. Our leaders may greedy but none so wicked as to drag the country to ashes. We may be largely illiterate but we have culture. We do not make silk, but we have kente. It’s difficult to marry across tribes, but it is not impossible. We may not yet be a ten, but we sure as hell aren’t a two.

We are evolving.

In our own peculiar way, we are. Better a millennium doing it by ourselves than a century having someone do it for us. This is our pride. And we’ve been true to it!