Report: 'Things that grow fast, die fast' – Three counselors urge youth to be patient

It was an unusual Joy FM Super Morning Show – because it was somewhat not a show.

It began as a general weighing-in about leadership and politics in Ghana. But soon, the lofty, shiny, glamorous subject collapsed into old basics – values.

And in these matters, the three guests had a grasp that was total.

A pastor of the International Central Gospel Church, Rev. Okomeng Mensah also a cost engineering consultant was joined by the Executive Director of Salt and Light Ministries Dr. Joyce Aryee. She was excitedly relieved when the pastor overcame an initial hesitation in calling her ‘auntie Joyce’, her doctorate vanished in the conversation.

‘Yes- auntie Joyce. That is what I like’ she giggled.

And finally Dr. Fred Brako, Director of Family Life Enrichment Ministry, a pastor with ICGC Christ Temple and Dean of Students at Central University.

They sat in the studio, very much  finished articles as far as life experiences are concerned. They are where every youth is heading to  – the age of grey.

But when they look back on the paths they took, they see a road hardly taken.

Take ICGC pastor Okomeng Mensah –  

“What I see most people doing is, now they don’t value growth”.

“Anything that grows fast, dies fast. Go out there and check –  mosquito – 7 days,  fly 10 days, tomato within three months, corn within three months [but]  palm tree 160 years.

“Most people are growing what I call the fibrous roots of life..it is like the grass. anytime a challenge comes…you are gone”

“Most people don’t grow into what they are and so they get there and suddenly find out that they cannot sustain it. To sustain it they must do the wrong thing”

And then he let down the hammer – ‘We are looking for external labels not internal anchors’.

He proceeded to talk about his life growing up. He remembered having to live with relatives where a heavy schedule of chores grained in him uncommon life skills.

By age 10, he scrubbed four storey-buildings, polished windows until the lord of the house could see his image in the glistening glass.

I never felt it was punishment and he found satisfaction in basic things – a simple bed is nice, dresses are not only few but few was also good enough.

“I had the feeling that you know all is well. I had enough to eat. I had been given a place to sleep”

He was to find out later in Secondary school that while the boys found scrubbing, the greatest punishment, it was a small avenue for a more comfortable life.

“I was a master in scrubber…with no provisions. So I was a contract scrubber. You get punished, I do it and I take a provi. If you ask any of my classmates they would not even know that it ever happened.

“I could scrub for people to get interested in scrubbing because I had learnt how to drag this cloth on the floor in a zig-zag way within two minutes am out of the place.”

“It was because I had internal anchors that told me that you will make it in life”, he said.

When the host Nhyira Addo asked how parents can impact their children this way when they also have to compete at the work place, he stepped on Dr. Aryee’s, passion.

She said passing on values has nothing to do with a person’s economic status.

She expressed sadness that children spend Monday to Friday with a caretaker and week-ends with the parents. She urged young women to slow down.

“Children are God’s heritage for us. We make them out of a certain affection. So they come because we claim we love one another and out of that love we are having a child. That offspring deserves the same love…

I tell young ladies well, the man is not going to get pregnant. So you have to plan your life. There is going to be a time when you have to slow down because the breast milk is going to come from you”

“You don’t have to get your degree when he is also getting his degree”, she said urging that men must understand that soon after the woman has put in some sacrifice, the man must have to be ready to put in his shift.

Dr. Fred Brako observed that the generation in Ghana currently has great charisma but little character. This creates great problems finding leaders, he said.

‘They have the ability to speak. But once they get into leadership, the character to sustain that position isn’t there’, he lamented.

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