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.