Are the beautiful ones born? Are they yet to be born? Or would Ayi Kwei Armah forever be right in his assertion, ?The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born??
Indeed, this novel has become my all-time best African novel. It highlighted so many truths in our Ghanaian society. Our African writers in the past have stated the obvious truths! These writers can indeed be classified as visionaries because the trends they predicted and wrote about still live on.
?The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born? dwelt mainly on the themes of corruption, and perhaps social classification and neo-colonialism. In the novel, the protagonist fights not to succumb to bribery, despite his desperate family situation. At his workplace, the platform was set, and for most people, would have succumbed! Again, we have a government official who surrounds himself with corruption, taking undue advantage of the opportunities as his mandate affords him but in the end, pays dearly; he has to flee Ghana in the event of a change of government, leaving behind all that he unscrupulously amassed! Again, our law enforcement agents are not spared; towards the end, Ayi Kwei Armah highlights the point that the very institutions established to check this canker, are no better examples. How then do we build our motherland, Ghana? That is our problem in Ghana today!
Are the Beautiful Ones yet born? Most people have taken the literal meaning to this. The superficial beauty is all that matters to us! In the choices we have made in life, and continue to make, it is all about the outward or phony! We forget the most important, which is the inner beauty; the beauty of character or virtue! A lot of us have fallen victim to this! All that glitters is certainly not gold!
As a Ghanaian, I keep asking myself this same question; are the beautiful ones born? At our various workplaces, it is always about the shortcuts, fictitious deals, illegalities, bribes, to mention but a few! In our hospitals, educational institutions, offices, private residential facilities, and rather sadly, or very own law enforcement agencies, one thing is pretty obvious; Ayi Kwei Armah?s ?Beautiful Ones? are yet to be born! Our churches, the morality-check institutions, are not innocent either!
Corruption has become our way of life! Most people have turned pathological; pathologically corrupt! Whatever we do is always conditional! Will there ever be a solution to the issue of corruption? How do we go? Where do we start from?
Indeed, people have called for more stringent rules and regulations but in truth, those are no solutions! The real issue is enforcement! And who is responsible? Our various law enforcement agencies and agents are all guilty of this very crime! Institutions that have been established for the sole purpose of checking corruption are themselves guilty! Who then do we trust?
It is a matter of discipline! Ghana needs a revolution! We need a reform in our way of life, and in our way of thinking. Our children ought to be brought up on stronger moral foundations because for most parents or perhaps grownups, it is too late! It is the case of ?The Ugly Ones have been born?! With our children, there is still hope!
The foundation of our nation must be made secure, and so, our children ought to be brought up to fight for a positive change in all spheres of endeavour! We keep talking about change, but in truth, are unwilling to change! We are resistant to change, especially one that is positive! Let us endorse positivity, and decry negativity! In our country today, it is the battle of political parties! In the end, we keep voting in failures, who keep failing our country! We vote on grounds of outward beauty! Are the beautiful ones born?
I believe in a new Ghana! I believe in our future! I believe in the possibility of a corruption-free Ghana! I believe that Beautiful Ones have been born! Of course, all this is possible if we change our attitudes for the best. Ghana deserves our input! Ghana requires a collective effort from us all, as citizens! Our demands for better roads, improvement in utility services, improved healthcare and education, freedom and justice, compliance to our laws and other rules and regulations, to mention but a few can only be made possible by a change in attitude from us all! All these sectors of the economy are being managed by Ghanaians! It is not only the politician, but rather, you and I! We are the government! We are Ghana! Let us make Ayi Kwei Armah?s dream of ?The Beautiful Ones?, a reality! Are there any beautiful ones in Ghana? If so, where are they?
Anna Esi Hanson ([email protected]), Takoradi.