DS Opinions

Like many Ghanaians, we at the Daily Statesman believe individuals who lay down their lives for this country must be celebrated while they are alive rather than waiting for them to die before we read nice tributes at their funerals.

We even think the popular saying “a nation that does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for,” should be rephrased to read, “a nation that does not honour its citizens during their lifetime is not worth dying for.”

This is because there is not much good in waiting for people who sacrifice their lives to die before they are honoured.

One of Ghana’s illustrious sons, Emeritus Professor Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia, an ethnomusicologist, writer, scholar and an instrumentalist, was celebrated Wednesday night for his achievement in music and in academics at a festival at the State Banquet Hall.

There was no better way to celebrate the legendary Kwabena Nketia than to have President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo participate in the festival.

The exploits of Professor Nketia transcends the borders of Ghana and the words of President Nana Akufo-Addo that his, “achievements are worth celebrating, because they give us formidable cultural capital to fortify our unique African identity, forge a great Ghanaian nation, and pursue our historic pan-African vocation,” sums it all up.

Here is one man who has defined music in the country, trained a lot others and even continues to impart knowledge to others at his age.

We trust that there are equally other great Ghanaians who have contributed to the development of the country in diverse ways and must be recognized and celebrated.

It would not be far-fetched if we get an institution of a National Hall of Fame, where the statues or busts of deserving fellow men and women would be preserved.

We should also try and encourage some of these great individuals to write books chronicling their lives and how they got to where they are.

This proper documentation will prevent our rich history to be washed away by the rushing tide of western indoctrination. Children can read such books and they can learn a great deal of lessons from it and some of them can become their mentors.

If we fail to do this some subsequent generation will not have any rich history to learn from. To them, their heroes and mentors will be those outside the country who they barely even know.

On Professor Nketia’s 98th birthday, we at the Daily Statesman commend him and say ‘ayekoo’ for his numerous achievements which has had a positive impact on the lives of many people.

The future of every country largely depends on the youth and extent to which they grab the the opportunities offered by the state for their general development and economic empowerment.

It is often said that the reward of teachers is in heaven. This cliché appear to mean to the Ghanaian that whilst on earth, teachers must sacrifice their all, with little benefits thereof, unlike the other professions, and wait to be rewarded in heaven.

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