Dignity or Daily Bread

Yesterday, a few Ghanaians lost their jobs because of the actions of their employer. In the heat of the discussion about Atlantic Lobster and Dolphin, some people are suggesting that had we not created this firestorm, the waiters would still have jobs; they would be able to feed their families and pay their children’s school fees. Dignity or Daily bread which would you choose?

Would you prefer to have a full belly yet walk in a land where you can be denied a service because of the colour of your skin? Would you prefer to stand in a store and be ignored because the Ghanaian clerk does not respect your Cedis so they will rather serve the Euro or the Dollar or the Rand before they look at you and realize you were first in line? Would you prefer to go to a bar or a restaurant and be told that you cannot enter because it is for Koreans only? Just a few weeks ago the Dalai Lama was not granted a visa to South Africa to attend the birthday party of Desmond Tutu, one of the country’s freedom fighters, because South Africa is not ready to lose investments from China. Dignity or Daily bread? We have all found ourselves in situations where we bend because we are weak, or the financial circumstance seem so grave we cave to Daily Bread.

However, there comes a time when your birthright is at stake, when your nation is being recolonized and you have to stand up and claim what is yours as stated by the constitution and the blood of our forefathers. I feel sorry for those who lost their jobs -I am sure they have their own story to tell – But the bigger story here is as Ghana continues to become an economic hub in the region, the rights of Ghanaians cannot be exchanged for a loaf of bread. If not for the unstinting sacrifice of some brave men and women, Ghana would still be called Gold Coast and Nelson Mandela would still be in Robben Island. As weak and imperfect as we are, we should be able to point out when Dignity trumps daily bread.

‘Whites only’

There is a ‘degustation club’ in Ghana that is for whites only. Unbelievable right? Well believe, because it exists, and ONLY white people are registered members. This happens because some foreigners who live in Ghana think Ghanaians are inferior to them. The abuse continues, here is a verbatim account of what happened to a Ghanaian lady.

“I wish to bring to light an incident that occurred in a restaurant that I visited recently that has left me dumbfounded and completely infuriated that this could happen in our country..
Atlantic Lobster and Dolphin Ltd is a shop down Papaye road in Osu which deals in seafood. They recently opened an open air restaurant above their shop serving seafood.
They have recently converted the restaurant into a “degustation club” for lovers of seafood. There is a GHc20 registration fee and you are then issue with a membership card.
My 2nd visit there was on the evening of 26th October. I was invited there by a Japanese colleague who is a member of the club and we went with another colleague who is Spanish.After our meal our host (my Japanese colleague) asked for the receipt upon which we were presented with a piece of paper bearing a handwritten amount of GHc180. When he insisted on a proper receipt one of the Italian owners by name AXL told us that this was all they gave as they were a club and not a restaurant. My colleague was told that if he insists on a receipt he would have to come to the shop the following day to be issued with a “receipt” for the purchase of seafood from the shop and not for the food we had consumed.
Nevertheless, as our Spanish colleague wanted to join the club too our host informed the owners and they fetched their membership register for him to join. At that point, I asked if I could also join to which he replied “No, it is for white people only” and then laughed. I was completely taken aback and rendered speechless that this man could have the effrontery to make such a bigoted and racist statement. We left the restaurant shortly thereafter.
It is my sincere hope that this matter will be taken up by your good selves and the public made aware that such an establishment is our midst. We cannot be subjected to open racism in our own country and we need to send a clear message to expatriates living here who mistreat their local staff and look down upon us Ghanaians that we WILL NOT stand for it.

What can you do? If you come across business that refuses to serve Ghanaians, bring it to light immediately. We cannot be bought. Our independence was bought by blood and sacrifice so we can be FREE. Please spread the word.