By: SaCut Denis Amenga-Etego
Ghanaian Political Journalist & Activist
In 1979, there were shortages of basic goods and services in our society. The black market aka “Kalabule” market completely took over from the formal economy. corruption was the most popular word after “Kalabule”. People queued to buy uncooked kenkey. Basic goods could not be found on the market.
There was social disorder and the people rose up in righteous indignation and called for the blood of the leaders. And yes, they did have it.
We have a benefit of the oral history since we all have grandparents and older parents and neighbours. Learn the history, if you don’t know.
In 2022, there are plenty of goods on the market. We still queue for cooked kenkey and waakye – if we can afford it – but majority cannot afford it.
Today, we have food sufficiency but we do not have food security. We have food availability but we do not have food affordability. Majority of People are scraping to survive. Majority are malnourished while others are perpetually famished. But there is no social disorder. Yet.
Everyone is now trying to protect themselves from the bleakly unknown future but if the majority of us are not protected from that bleak future, none of us is protected or secured because that majority will certainly not live in perpetual harmony with the few protected and comfortable people in the society.
Something must give for the prevailing human insecurity of the masses – unless the tensions cease between the few superfluously rich and the majority miserably poor Ghanaians.
But since this tension between the few haves and majority have nots continue in perpetuity, and because the few haves inflame the social tensions with their continual and avowed mission to accumulate more material possessions and will [Forever] to their own kin, it goes without saying that the social tensions, at a point, will reach a crescendo [like it did on June 4 1979] – unless leadership urgently changes course.
I have argued repeatedly, that the only reason why today, we still do have social stability despite the economic meltdown where kenkey and fish is now reserved for only the rich while kenkey and pepper remain for the poor, the only reason why we are still holding it together is that we have a timid and sycophantic generation who do not want to join the choir – even if they want to sing.
How can we anticipate and prepare for the breaking point? Because perhaps the timid generation may just wake up someday.
Many prefer not to think about it in a futile effort to escape it. But that is a fool’s errand. This is a wake-up call. We can learn from history as a country and do better as a generation. But the moment of truth is always inescapable!
SaCut SaCut Denis Amenga-Etego