Friday, May 15, 2009

change comes oh so slowly

There is a book entitled " Africa-Dispatches From A Fragile Continent" written by Blaine Harden.

It's a fascinating glimpse into African culture ,covering many countries on the continent, but because I work in Ghana, I am suggesting Chapter 2: Eye of the family.

Although written in 1990 and referring to the '80's what is striking is the timeliness of the story.
Unfortunately, not much has changed. He talks about the burdens encountered by a Ghanaian who has to support his extended family...sometimes not even a blood relative, but maybe the daughter of your mothers next door neighbor. It's skewing of the economy and the collapse of so many businesses. If you hire a relative to work for you based on his relation to you instead of his skills, you will not be in business very long.

He talks about the belief in juju (magic) which doesn't help either. And there's jealousy- deceit- guilt...

Almost every visitor to Ghana remarks on how happy and friendly the Ghanaians are. Well, it's not unlike life in the rest of the world where there is a public face and the face you show your family.

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