The truth they say is a bitter pill to swallow, but who wouldn’t swallow a bitter pill if it helps you get better? I know my admonishing today will not sit well with some people, but a disclaimer is appropriate at this time before I proceed further.
Today’s article is based on observation, and is not based on any scientific research, so before anybody takes me to the cleaners, the person must bear in mind my opening statement.
I have observed, yes I have observed that our President John Dramani Mahama, who has taking it on facebook and write-ups to be an advocate of “patronize made in Ghana goods”, is himself the first casualty to not live by what he says.
Hardly, will you see the President, unlike his Nigerian counterpart, Goodluck Jonathan, whom am yet to see wearing a suit either in his country or outside. I have never seen my President wear any made in Ghana cloth, in any of his travels outside of this country.
Even here in Ghana, he is hardly seen wearing made in Ghana shirts, the only time he flaunted something Ghanaian was during his investiture at the Independence Square on January 7, 2013.
I am not for a moment suggesting he does not wear anything produced in Ghana at all, at this year’s State of the Nation address, he wore made in Ghana shoe, but unfortunately the suit accompanying the shoe was not made in Ghana.
It is time our leaders, practicing what they preach. It is one thing to call on your fellow country men and women to patronize locally produced items, but you make it worth your call when you lead by example.
Two things will happen; the first is that Ghanaians will start appreciating what they have. After all if their leader is always seen in ‘fugu’, ‘boubou’, kente’,batik tie and dye’ etc, they will also want to be noticed wearing what their President wears, as it looks good on him.
The second is his appointees, who will automatically pick it up, because they do not want to be seen in the company of the President, wearing anything else.
I was scandalized when the President appeared in suit at the just ended Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) emergency summit held at the Movenpic Ambassador Hotel to discuss the Boko Harram menace in Nigeria and its implications to the rest of West Africa.
Meanwhile, as usual of Goodluck Jonathan, he was dressed in a nice African outfit.
Mr. President, you cannot compel anybody to patronize made in Ghana products, but they will take consolation in the fact that you are walking your talk by being the first to showcase what we have here.
I have observed among your Ministers and Deputy Ministers I think must commend your Foreign Affairs Minister, Madam Hannah Tetteh, she is always in African wear.
During the tenure of ex-President, John Agyekum Kufuor, the concept of Friday wear was introduced. The purpose and rationale was to promote made in Ghana goods. But today a visit to government parastatals on Fridays shows that employees are not complying with the initiative.
Why can you blame them, if the number one citizen of the land is himself not observing it, despite the calls from him for Ghanaians to promote what we have in the country?
The first Lady, Lordina Mahama, also deserves commendation and thumps up, as she has demonstrated that she is an African woman. I am yet to spot her wearing any cloth either African or made in Ghana cloth.
Madam, please kindly impress upon your husband to also start appreciating what it is that makes us different.
David Cameron of the United Kingdom or Barrack Obama of the United State of America (USA), will never come here and promote what we have, neither of them will come here and wear what is produced here. Our leaders must begin to understand that nobody will come here and do it for us.
Former President, Jerry John Rawlings is noted for wearing his locally produced shirts and it looks nice on him, if only other leaders will emulate his example, it will go a long way to help our brothers and sisters, who are in that business.
The Cedi is racing against the United State Dollar, the British Pound and the Euro, all because our balance of trade is heavily import dependent. So we keep importing from agro produce to consumables. All we need to do to reverse this trend, when we start producing what we eat and eating what we produce.
The situation cannot be reversed by mere rhetoric and appeals, but through real and realistic policies that will give tax rebates and make it mandatory on all of us to at least use something that is locally produced.
Every society has its unique way of dressing, the Chinese did so, so are the Indians, when the President was on holidays in Dubai in the United Arab Emirate (UAE), he saw how they dressed, it reflect their culture and religion.
We have since time immemorial tried to live the lives of others, the youth try to slang, exposing their ignorance, we try to dress like the white and even walk like them. Everything black is inferior because our leaders have lost faith in what we have and so are the leaders
If only the men will start to see what our women see in what we have, we will in the next few years, be a force to reckon with.
Today, Nigeria has been able to create local giants, because they made a conscious effort to promote made in Nigeria products. Presently, rice and sugar is not allowed into Nigeria that is a pragmatic and proactive government, not the nice English that our leaders speak in Ghana.
Mr. President African fabric is in abundance in Ghana and you will look good in them, rather than the suit you have become so much accustomed to.