Dear Maame,

You are 60 today. Last year on your 59th birthday, we had a chat. I asked you if you were okay and you responded. I must say that I am proud of you. Your maturity showed in December. The manner in which your children and their children conducted themselves in a scary period of time was impressive. You are a good mother. I always knew it so Maame forgive my surprise.

Today is a big day for you, Maame. It has been six decades since you joined the group of other countries who are in control of their affairs. It has been a long winding journey but this is just your beginning. Akwantuo no ware. Within the year, a lot has happened in your life. Way too much. Let's start with the bad. I know that manners and hospitality has been your hallmark for many years. As a mother, it is your hope that the lessons you teach your kids will be carried on through their adulthood. So I am going to apologize on the behalf of the liars, con men, selfish leaders and false prophets some of your children have become.

Maame, asem yi di ka. One can hardly lay their head in peace without some "pastor" promising heaven and earth and all the rivers in between. Atrofuo adifuo. Your granddaughters and daughters swarm these con men like bees seeking some sort of hope. The desperation in the air is so thick that your sons in forestry will have to invent a new cutlass to chop it down. Insults fill our ears in the morning. I know that these men on the radio shouting insanities were not raised in your household, Maame. I refuse to believe that you birth these men. Did I tell you about the contracts?

Maame, endiye yi wasum. I have always known that a majority of your children lived in poverty. They live content and very simple lives. I always knew that it would take us a while to get to a place where we all could choose to have both  amane or kotodwe in our nkatekwan. So imagine my shock when I heard of your ex-abusuapayin and his cohorts, awarding contracts worth millions of abrokyire sika to build two way roads five feet above ground. Ei Maame, enti saa wa abosuo mu ye duru saa ? So why is little Jake (who become a "meme" last year. The stuff your grandkids finding entertaining these days is worrisome) in Asempanaye still walking to school? Why is he sharing a small classroom with several other kids? Why are his parents finding it so hard to pay his tuition when you are obviously not as broke as I thought? Isn't Jake important? Isn't he worthy of a stress-free life? Aren't his parents your children too?

I know that your hands are tied. You have relinquished control to people you trust to feed your children but sometimes, I panic when I think about the future. I don't mean to scare you, Maame but there is no other way to live but with honesty. We have extended our hospitality to such a far reach that now visitors are rubbing your grandchildren's face in blended pepper, chaining them in shipping containers and destroying their lands. Some of your selfish sons have sold the soul of their communities for money. How did you get here? Where did the thirst of instant riches and insatiable materialism come from? The disrespect we have for people we deem less than us has reached a record high. But don't panic. It is not all bad.

Let's talk about the good and hopeful. You must be proud of your children and grandchildren for selecting a new abusuapayin to control your affairs. From your healthcare to your exports, economy and standard of living has been entrusted into the care of a man called Nana Addo. Maame, you already know how I feel about politicians. I do not trust them. They are responsible for the challenges you had in your early days and still till this day, cause a majority of your headaches. But I support your overwhelming decision to make him the new head. I can only hope that he follows through with all the promises he made to you. I will remember him in my prayers.

After all is said and done, the sun still rises at dawn. Ever so gracious in it's warmth. We hum our hymns each morning and raise our heads to feel it's rays on our face. Nana Onyakopon still smiles and blesses you with rain. He holds you at night and calms the stress of the day. No matter what happens Maame, we have each other.

I hope your palm wine tastes a little sweeter and special today because you deserve it.


MO NI Y)!!!!!