General News of Saturday, 11 March 2017
Four men in the Joy News studio tried to wrap their head around suicide – a menace reportedly on the surge.
On the phone to contribute was an occupation and safety expert – Dr. Kwadwo Amponsah Darkwa.
In the studios, a head of History Department at the University of Cape Coast Prof. Kwame Osei Kwarteng and former NPP MP for Bantama Henry Kwabena Kokofu who was joined by his NDC counterpart the South Dayi NDC MP Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor.
Regular guest and Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide Abdul Malik Kweku Baako was also in the studio.
In the past four days, media reports of two young people who have committed suicide have renewed public shock at what exactly is happening in the minds of the youth.
A 16-year-old girl committed suicide at New Tafo in the Eastern Region. Her lifeless body was found by her mother in their kitchen last Tuesday afternoon.
Jennifer Nyarko, a Consumer Science student at the University of Ghana, allegedly jumped from the fourth floor of her Akuafo Hall residence. The final year female student was found lying in a pool of blood on Wednesday morning.
An occupation and safety expert – Dr. Kwadwo Amponsah Darkwa opened his analysis by stating he does not understand why young people take their lives.
A sense of bewilderment seeped through his sentences, his explanations and so he stuttered and stuttered. The Executive Director of Doctors without Borders shared vivid stories more than vivid explanations.
He recalled a young lady whose self-esteemed had been battered because her classmates made jokes about her wide nose.
She went to the juggler, sticking super glued into her nose to tighten it up, he narrated.
‘Jesus!’, host Samson Lardy’s unguarded shock was let out. The beauty who thought she looked bestial could not breathe properly, could not socialise properly, veiled her face to attend lectures.
Boxed out of society, she may well box herself out of life permanently.
Stepping up the notch of examples, he told of a pastor’s wife who tried to poison her daughter after she found her in bed with another man – who was not her father, of course.
Bottomline is, desperation, depression and the threat of shame are factors that can lead to suicide, Amponsah Darkwa suggested.
Former NPP MP Henry Kokofu suggested that occultism in tertiary institutions could be a breeding ground for the menace – a view that appears to be non-mainstream.
In the ongoing bemusement in the studio about suicides, historian Prof. Kwame Osei Kwarteng told a history of suicides in his family. His uncle drank DDT, he said.
Pleading a lack of expertise on the sociological menace, veteran journalist and life-long panelist on the show Kweku Baako offered a suggestion that the cultural fibre of the Ghanaian is under threat.
An systematic re-engineering of a conservative society to open up to liberal ideas may be taking the steel out of the Ghanaian youth to deal with life’s vexed matters, he analysed.
“We may be losing something relative to our culture” he said.
“We must look within the family… there is more to do with a conflict of a sort. w e may have to look at the modern elements coming into our society. The movies we watch, the books we read, the contact with eternal influences”, he said.
The Managing editor of the New Crusading Guide declined to explore his views further on the matter just after he had opened a debate about whether contemporary Ghana is too liberal for her own good.
Before the show ended news report of another suicide at Achimota came in. A young man was left hanging by a thick rope as shocked residents gaze at another man who couldn’t take it anymore.