Ghana cannot grow because we do not have integrity and creativity – Okyeame Kwame laments

Ghanaian musician Okyeame Kwame has challenged his fellow citizens to rethink their values and attitudes and to embrace creativity and honesty as the keys to national development.

According to him, Ghana was a nation that lacked integrity and respect, and the root of the problem was the colonial legacy that had damaged the African mind.

“What is respect? To behave in a way, a manner that’s favourable to others because you want to get something back, because you want a vote, or, to be honest, to deal with people honestly with integrity. I don’t think that we, as a people in Ghana, can talk of respect because the nation lacks integrity,” he said.

In an interview with Berla Mundi on TV3, Okyeame Kwame said that he wanted to see a psychological and cultural revolution in Ghana, where people would redefine what is moral and what is culture, and use progressive media to educate and inspire the masses. He said that he wanted to see a million billboards across Ghana saying, “Think”.

He also criticized the current education system, which he said was based on regurgitation and competition, and not on innovation and collaboration. He said that this system had produced leaders who were corrupt and selfish, and who did not care about the common good.

“The type of solution that I want for this country is not just walking on the street. It begins psychologically. Something has happened to the African mind. Our education system is based on regurgitation. It is based on competition. That is the problem we must solve. By coming together to redefine what is culture.

“To redefine what is moral visa vis the traditional ideas and nuances versus the use of technology, influx media, and social media, to redefine what is moral, and then, through progressive media activation, retell people that this is the new way. This is the new Ghanaian. The billboards that we put in town, we need to use that to discuss thinking. There must be a million billboards across Ghana saying, think,” he said.

He said that Ghana needed to develop its creativity and technology, and not depend on foreign companies and countries to exploit its natural resources.

He cited the examples of gold and oil, which he said were owned mostly by foreign entities, such as AngloGold Ashanti, a global mining company that operates in Ghana. He said that Ghana only owned 10% of its gold and oil, and that this was a sign of the lack of thinking and creativity among Ghanaians. He said that Ghana also needed to fix its own roads and infrastructure, and not rely on Chinese workers and contractors.
He said that the only way to achieve development and prosperity was to be honest and to think creatively.

“How come we own only 10% of our gold? How come our gold is called Anglo gold? See, the highest level of thinking is creativity. And so why is it that our gold is called? Because we do not have the creativity to create the machines and the shaft that can go down to fetch the gold. So the one thinking owns 90%. What is the percentage of that we own in our oil? Is it also 10%?”, he quizzed.


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