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Gist by Baaba: Are We Not All Mad Here?

This is inspired by the obvious. This is everything going on around us. Let’s narrow it down to Ghana, shall we? And oh, let me issue a caveat, we all know what mad here means, right?. Let’s all be guided.

Hello Lovely Readers,

May I take a moment to express my deepest gratitude for the support and kind words. I really appreciate it.

This is inspired by the obvious. This is everything going on around us. Let’s narrow it down to Ghana, shall we? And oh, let me issue a caveat, we all know what mad here means, right?. Let’s all be guided.

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Remember when fix the country became a thing? Yes you do. While most people blamed the government for everything that is going wrong, a few asked that citizens fix themselves first. This was a debate on most social media platforms for a while. The thing is, it is neither here nor there. Hear me out first.

We all know what the government is doing or not doing right. We are all shouting. After all, we have proven to be all bark and no bite. That’s not what I am about today. Today, the focus is on you and I. I feel its indiscipline on our part and if we put things in check, there will be some kind of improvement. From how things are going, we will continue to be stubborn. So, let us continue to hope.

Many times, we complain the government rips us off. But tell me why the same bottle of water costs GHC1.00 at Madina, and GHC2.00 around the Underbridge?  Oh, let me guess: You can do it but the government cannot? We talk about corruption, yet we have priced ourselves out of this country. The average Ghanaian can barely afford their basic needs – rent, food, clothes and delivery charges are starting to kill.

Everybody wants to get rich quickly. It’s not our fault. That’s how it feels like these days. We are here to find money and spend. As a people, we are greedy, dishonest and hypocritical, and we are the same people that sing of being Christians with high moral standards.

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Amazingly, some people still litter, right by the bin. Why? People are just spitting anyhow. They just bring their heads out of a vehicle, not a care in the world. Open defecation, which to some extent, I do not blame them. Some houses for rent do not have washrooms. How do you build a house and not add a place of convenience?

Then the disrespect for ourselves; and this goes both ways. We have to deal with very rude shop attendants, angry-about-life customers, from teenagers and adults alike as well as internet trolls.

I am worried. The indiscipline is too much! Should we share copies of Courtesy for Boys and Girls?

These may be small issues if we compare them to the standards set by the society. Who is this society? They set the rules as far as all of us are concerned. They tell us how to be ourselves, but also in their way. Can you imagine?

Take the ideal woman or man for example. A slim lady, long hair, light skinned. The man; six packs, tall, handsome, probably with a baritone voice. Lighter women seem to have an advantage over dark skinned ladies. The consequence of this is that dark skinned ladies start to tone (not called bleaching anymore because it sounds derogatory).

Society’s conditioning of us will make most men prefer a light skinned lady to a dark one for varied reasons, while women will most likely go for a tall guy with a six pack. Advertising firms enforce this further by using models of these descriptions for various products. Subconsciously, we all have been programmed to think that is the ideal. Now, I think the craze is turning a bit to big bums, tiny waist, flat stomach and short hair as the ideal.  Does it mean as the society’s tastes changes; you are changing too? Are you a chameleon? Are we not tired?

Then there is the “are you married” phase. Where society puts this pressure on you to marry by age 30. Otherwise you are seen as not ‘complete’.  Once you hit late twenties, the pressure mounts. At 25, I was told by one of my parents’ friends that I was expiring. Wait, what? Twenty-five? Expire? Well, I will be 30 this year and still single. I have not died. After you get married, I hear there are “womb watchers”. This is funny. Always asking why there is no baby yet. This is ridiculous. Is there no space to breathe? Do you see how some celebrities are trolled on the internet for not getting married or having children? Should they just go for anyone? And where will you be when there is no happiness where she finds herself or himself? Think about it.

Then there is the squad that is looking for perfect, (which does not exist anyway). The Perfect head shape, perfect nose and height. I was listening to Pastor Kingsley Okwonkwo the other day; on the subject of Wrong Mindsets Single People Have. He asked his audience if they had ever heard the success of a couple’s marriage being attributed to the height of the man.

Nowadays, everything requires money. And this brings me to the topic of how much we spend on our weddings and funerals. You see, it’s okay if you have money  and want grand events. But what is not okay is to want to have a grand event by all means possible even when you clearly know you cannot afford it. I have seen insanely rich people sign their marriages in the court, hold a small family gathering, and that’s it.  But No, we want a long vendor list. We want to trend, then several years after the wedding, you are still paying vendors. By all means, do what you want, but how deep is your pocket?

I think as individuals too we must do better. Imagine someone offending you and instead of apologizing, the person posts quotes on WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat defending what they did and shading you.  We are all guilty one way or the other. When you realize you have erred, just make amends. No excuses. Communicate. Use words, if you can, face to face. Texting sometimes does not do the job.

There is a lot to unpack here. Especially when it comes to what the society wants and how it should be done. It can sometimes be very exhausting. Gender roles, expectations, a whole lot. The unpacking will be done later and hopefully we can all learn something. Let us be intentional about unlearning certain things that do not help.

In the end, do you. My friends, Eugene and Eileen always say do you boo! And I cannot stress this enough. This society will talk regardless. Society even wants to show you how to be you. So, do you, and just make sure you do not inconvenience the next person. We are society. We can do better.

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