It was a Thursday night in October. I lay on a bed in the little town of Heidelberg, Germany. The room felt heavy, almost as though the thoughts in my head were leaving my mind and filling up the room.
Six months earlier, my heart and mind had started forming around the decision whether to go into politics at this level – a process which started all the way in 2015. Back then, I left if at culminating my thoughts into a treatise I titled, “The Marricke Gane Chronicles”. I said to myself, at least that’s enough. Some folks will take it and find some use for it. Now, it was different – it was taking on flesh.
Today, was the day it was all coming together – the pros, the cons, the relationships that would be tested, the hard decisions that will need making, the career implications, the freedoms to curtail, the mental pressures, the personal sacrifices, the regrets and or things I will have to live with for the rest of my life… it was almost torturing. I remember sitting up a few times, lying, pacing the flat, crouching in a corner, talking to myself. A lot was at stake. For me at least it was. I was here to do an audit of a research grant the EU had awarded a scary science facility in the hidden mountains. It was my second time here, out of three times, except that this time, I came both to work and sieve through this burden.
If there was one thing that was obvious during these 3 turbulent days, it was a rather familiar knowledge that – the odds were against me, it was even against the idea I was contemplating, and I was damn certain the odds were against how we were going to get it executed – afterall, no Independent candidate had the kind of money or political machinery is assumed as needed to contest our two political behemoths. I certainly didn’t. So why won’t this burden just leave – I quizzed myself fruitlessly.
By now, I had already spoken to 12 people. Three close family – persons who knew me inside out, persons who cared about me; then I reached out to one younger and three older friends I considered had all already walked or parried through Ghana’s corridors of political power – a consultant, a lawyer, a diplomat and an engineer by professions. Then of course the Pastor, whose 21 Day fasting drill he put me on when I first told him, remains to date, the hardest in my Christian walk largely because of the thinking it came with and indeed, the most turbulent period of my last decade.
But it was the most necessary. Somehow, during that fast, I came to believe when the Bible talked about Jesus meeting satan in the wilderness after His 40 days fast, it wasn’t satan He met, I think He met Himself – only in a mirror that reflected the darkness he could have become without the sacrifice of self. It is a place we must all visit – to see what we could each become without the sacrifice of the things we treasure most. Then I spoke to a nemesis of mine, a woman who wielded power behind global curtains, simple but insightful. I remember she was in Instanbul when I called her. She heard me and for the first time of knowing her for 20 years plus, she was silent, then asked to return to me in 2 days time. 2 mentees who for their ages possessed quite unflinching convictions.
They mattered to me. Finally, Madam Esther. She, is pure Gold. Sadly passed away mid 2019. Madam Esther many years back changed my view of what knowledge truly was. I chanced on her through an old Aunt of mine a d she became a mentor. She’d never been to school, traded her whole life, raised her children to the highest intellectual orders and understood what Politics truly was pre-PNDC and right through the 4th republic. She gave me one advice – it is one I hold on to, daily. May her soul RIPP.
Now, I had to put it all together. A wise man once told me, paraphrased, “many hunters and chiefs can give you advise and insights into tackling a lion- at the right time, you will need to be in a forest, with the lion…alone” Today for me, was that day.
I asked myself many questions, replayed the different pieces of insights and advice, played many scenarios, replayed several things I had heard people say about serving one’s country – some discouraging, others just downright frightening – why throw everything away? These people are vicious – you could get killed in the process you know? In the end, this one question weighed my intentions, my fears, my desires, my doubts and my Hope’s. A question we all as citizens must ask ourselves from time to time:
“If Ghana were at a point, where its progress, depended on you availing yourself, leaving behind personal comforts and society’s entitlements – could Ghana count on you?”
Eventually, I made my decision. I needed to do it. For many reasons than just one.
I knew then, what many would say, but I needed to do it. I knew the insults to come, the sleaze, the doubtful castings. There was much to expect – but I needed to do it. The Romans have a saying – Even One Hair, Has a Shadow!! So do each of us – we each matter!!
Today, I ask you sisters and brothers, what I asked myself then:
Can posterity count on you? If it all depended on you…. can our beloved Ghana, count on you?
….To be continued…
By Marricke Kofi Gane