“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
I do not know how the Ghanaian lifestyle was 40 years ago so i can’t compare now to then, i can only use what i see or hear now to put out my thoughts. What is on my mind? I just want to ask a question..a simple one. Whose life are you living? I told you it would be simple. A deep question you say. But seriously, whose life are you living? Are you living to please your parents who sent you to Mfantsipim School because thats where all the men in the family went. Or did your career path lead to a certain direction because your parents ‘told’ you that everyone in the family is a lawyer or a doctor? Are you living someones life who advised your family that you can’t marry someone from a certain tribe? Or did your friend advise you to break up with your boyfriend because ‘he doesn’t have a car or he is not buying you expensive gifts? If you answered yes to all the above questions, i am compelled to ask next, ‘Who are you?’ No seriously, if you are Ama and Akua is directing your life like a puppet then you surely aren’t Ama. You are Akua.
There are some things people don’t like to talk about but all add up to factors affecting the lifestyle of the ordinary Ghanaian. I heard of a girl who broke up with her Ewe boyfriend because according to her mother, ‘They are some way’. So she leaves behind happiness with one guy to try her luck with someone else. Did she get the same happiness? I dunno. But she made her mother happy. I read Esi Cleland’s blog post on this same topic and i just had to crack a smile and nod in agreement.
I remember my mother telling me some time back that i shouldn’t dream of bringing a Nigerian man or a dread-locked guy to the house. According to her, Nigerian men were all ‘Juju’ men (the word 419 was unheard of then) and all dread-locked men were wee-smokers! So I became mindful of who I befriended. I didn’t want to upset mommy you see. Then my father wanted me to study Pure Science in Secondary School to be a doctor which i didn’t see myself becoming. So since he was paying my school fees, i went and i failed. I was then forced to do A-Level Science, i didn’t pass biaa! Finally, i mustered the courage and said i was going into Business. I rewrote my SSSCE, this time with Business subjects and guess what? I passed. Found some interesting article about Nigerian men in case you are dating one *wink*
Its so easy traveling outside the shores of Ghana now. Back in the day when a relative was traveling outside the country, we would dress up in our Sunday-best and accompany them to the airport. Then Dad would point out the relative on the tarmac and we would all wave!!! Whether the person saw us or not we didn’t care. Now di33 nobody bats an eyelid when you tell them of your traveling plans. So with all the international exposure, its becoming common to see inter-racial relationships and marriages. I know some Ghanaian guys who would wonder why a Ghanaian girl would marry an European man, according to them the Obroni can’t ‘do it’ like they can. But if this Obroni is the one to make you happy why should you bother about what other people are thinking? According to CNN, interracial marriages are on the increase. There are some inter-racial relationships which when you see you know definitely that its a ‘Sika As3m’ one, take a walk on the Oxford Street and you can see for yourself. But then are genuine ones of course.
Why are Ghanians living the lives of others? Who are you trying to impress by struggling to get what you can’t afford? Is it your desire to live by pleasing others all the time and forgetting what matters to you? Then you are not a very happy person. In a bid to fit into society and to be accepted by colleagues and family, people are making the wrong choices in terms of finances, partners, parenthood, marriage, etc. What they forget is that once they make the decision, its they who would pay the price and not the outsiders they were so desperate to please. Or maybe you should step back and ask yourself what are the intentions of those trying to push you into a certain direction. Are they envious of the way your boyfriend treats you? Or are they worried about what people might think about your career choice?
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying live a selfish life. Though the Bible doesn’t give a specific verse on loving oneself, it does command us to live sensible lives. A message to those who make their business to mould their friends and family to be just like them; He says, ‘mind your own business’! I think as a person you should have a good self-esteem whereby you are confident in knowing what you want and bold enough to stand up and declaring it. You were made without a spirit of fear.
Follow your heart or intuition, it leads to where your hearts desires are.
If someone gives you advise on anything, i would advise thinking it through first and not responding affirmatively in fear or in trying to avoid a fight. A word to the wise.