Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Ghanaian NASA dude

Late last week I got an email from a friend of mine, and it as a link to a bbc article on this Ghanaian guy who's a big man an Nasa. My first though after reading the article was "so what?" Now, I'm not tryna hate on the dude or anything, but talks about how when he left Ghana, people were farming with cattle and hoes, and how when he went back years later things were the same. He goes on to ask "so where are our engineers?" and right then, I wanted to smack him and say "at NASA, that's where".

Here's my thing. I would love for all Ghanaians to go back home and give back their skills to the nation that nurtured them, and for many of the older generation, that literally took them where ever they are. That said, I know its not possible, and perhaps not even necessary. People can still make very valuable contributions to the country from afar, and people who live in the country arent necessailry helpless either. People have been and still are doing some really exciting and beneficial things. Besides, life happens, children get born, credit card debt gets bigger, mortgage happens and the "we'll be in Ghana in 3 years" never really happens. That too is ok. But I get annoyed when people sit somewhere far away and boast about being Ghanaian when they haven't done a single thing to help the country. So what if some brilliant doctor is from Ghana? He hasnt set foot in the country for 20 years, has a very out dated view of the country and its many peoples? does not understand the psyche (which I assure you can be very fluid), still thinks Accra has no paved roads (sometime I do wonder though) and on and on. So tell me, why should I or anyone else be proud that the cellphone technology that Mr NASA has helped build has reached "even" Ghana? all because he happens to have been born there? really?

And no, sending money to your relatives really doesnt count as helping the country!


  1. He goes on to ask "so where are our engineers?" and right then, I wanted to smack him and say "at NASA, that's where".

    spot on....I had the very same reaction when people were going crazy over Nigerian supercomputer scientist Emeagwali. He preaches "reverse the brain drain" and "intellectual capital alleviates poverty" while sitting pretty in his Jamaica home and touring the West. And now we have Chinua Achebe, 50 years after "Things Fall Apart" coming back to Nigeria after his so-called self-imposed exile to lecture on the whats wrong with Nigerian education and the rest....rolls eyes....anyway, i don tire for these cats.....and who knows, anyone of us could join their ranks.

  2. omg!
    i read the article too... and i too don't see why people make so much noise about what really should be basics!

    we all are human beings and once we serve humanity then it must not matter the location! else why should Cuban doctors come to Ghana?

    and does he just want cutlasses and hoes to vanish or what??? how cheap! i wonder how some people just think that because something is available it must be used if even not needed.

    i'm with you!

  3. "so where are our engineers?"
    Our engineers are at Nasa and overseas. They get their beginning from Ghana and continue in USA and get employed by Nasa and they come back to see cutlasses and hoes. You ask that question, who do you expert to make the changes for you? The ones who have no Nasa experience still using cutlasses or the Nasa guy with moon experience? Dwen biom, think again, do something for Ghana with that experience, after all you will come back to live in Ghana at your old age, so why don't you make the changes that we can see and benefit? Bring your self and other engineers back.