Friday, 15 March 2013

John Mahama's 56th Independence Anniversary Speech: The Review

Hail to thy name, O Ghana,
To thee we make
our solemn vow:
Steadfast to build together
A nation strong in Unity;
With our gifts of mind and strength of arm,
Whether night or day, in the midst of storm,
In every need, whate'er the call may be,
To serve thee, Ghana, now and evermore

Fifty-six years after Ghana gained her independence, the first
Ghanaian president born into an independent Ghana attempts
to strike the right balance between praising the courage of 
Ghanaians in fighting for independence and decrying the the failure
of Ghanaians to fulfil their hopes and ambitions for the independent

The Concept
What better time than Independence Day  to issue a 
rallying call for all Ghanaians to unite and put their shoulders
to the wheel in the continuing struggle to make Ghana " a nation 
whose place of greatness in the world would be timeless and
meaningful, not temporary and mediocre."

 The Writing
It actually is rather well written. Short and concise with an suitable 
mix of hope and realism.

The Story
 Pretty simple actually;
Our valiant and heroic forefathers fought for our right to 'manage 
or mismanage our affairs'. They won, but so far (far be it from me 
to say it out loud), we have mismanaged our affairs. Nevertheless, 
there's no need to despair, even though our peers like Malaysia and
Singapore have long left us behind, we are doing okay, in comparison
with some of our neighbours, we at least have a peaceful nation.   

Any hint of sarcasm you detect, is all in your mind. Even though we
don't have much to be really really proud of, I your president am
proud of what we do have. I do therefore here and now wish to make 
this statement:
"I wish to pledge, once more, that in my first term as president of this
Republic, I will make full use of the advantages our country has,to increase
our prosperity; It is still true today, as it was during our independence years, 
that the vision could be an individual’s, but it will take the millions acting 
in concert to bring it to reality. I wish to invite you once more to join me 
in this venture of nation building by also pledging to believe, to sacrifice 
and to work for the betterment of this nation — our nation."

Come join me and we shall soar like the eagles our forefathers
envisioned us as.

Quite a number of quotes, and what may be characterized as
inspirational messages. My personal favourite;
"I want to use this occasion to appeal to all Ghanaians to embrace the wind of change.
Change does not come easily
There will always be those who want to maintain the status quo; even if they do
not like the world they live in, it is easier for them to complain than to make the effort to
change it. And then, there will always be those who want miraculous change; they want everything to be perfect by tomorrow and when it is not, they decide they are already bored with the whole process and want no part of it. 
But the change we seek is one that is intended to make our nation a better place for all."

The Resolution
The singing of the little known second verse of the national anthem,
was a nice touch, even though the weight of those words might have
been better appreciated if he'd read them with a serious voice.

The Verdict
About the best speech he has given so far, hitting the right notes on
most of the major issues. If you are Ghanaian, you should read it,
if not why should you care?

Read the full text of the speech here

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