Why is it that in times of great distress to us humans, the most appropriate words with which to express our feelings, always come from words written long, long ago?
Who, as the television pictures came to us from the apocalyptic scenes in Turkey and Syria, did not say the equivalent of the following line, in his or her soul — even if limitation to past reading could not have led to the exact phrase–“No man is an island, entire unto itself ”?
John Donne penned that line in 1624, that is, just under 400 years ago. But as the TV brought us the sad scenes in the home of a national hero of ours, Christian Atsu, did not our souls lament in unison with those millions of bereaved families in Turkey and Syria?
We knew exactly what they were feeling.
Oh, how did So-and-So get under that horrible rubble? Why couldn’t him/her have been somewhere else on such a fateful day? Oh why them?
There are no answers to such questions. The disaster teaches us how small the world really is.
Often, in the past, when we have heard the radio news bulletins tell us of disasters somewhere else on Planet Earth – floods, hurricanes, earthquakes – we have secretly thanked “Our God” that He has saved us from such calamities.
But this time, one of our very own was involved. A young man who had come to our notice because “Our God” had blessed him with extraordinary gifts, Christian Atsu, had become a “casualty” in the catastrophe.
Atsu was a strong footballer, who could face tough opposition and overcome it to score beautiful goals. Also, (according to those who knew him closely) he had a very pleasant personality, and was very charitable to those who needed help from him.
But now, on a cold morning in Turkey, he had perished.
Alas, the disaster caused by his untimely demise demonstrated to us what a crappy nation we have become.
So-called “journalists” and social media “commentators” who cannot say anything except at the top of their voices, began to invent stories bout such a horrible incident. Without a thought to the distress that would be caused to Atsu’s family, they falsehoods about Atsu’s fate.
The most horrendous story gave a hope that Atsu might have survived. It claimed that “someone” (a doctor/trainer/coach) from his club had said that Atsu was “safe” in and had been carried to hospital, but that he “had injured his foot!”
Where did they get that from? Eventually the story was padded up with alleged quotes from some of Atsu’s footballer colleagues who are abroad.
And then it inevitably happened: the Ghana ‘Kwaku Ananse’ prophets put m their oar!
One maintained that he had “dreamt” of Atsu the previous night? Why did Atsu come to him in a dream only “ the previous night”, when the catastrophe had happened more than a week ago? No answer. Yet the story was repeated again and again.
A poor house help, who probably had a crush on Atsu, kept asking for “updates” on the story. Had Atsu’s foot healed yet? Would they be sending his family to see him?
When told that the Ghana media was not to be trusted on stories like that, she said she had seen a report of it on her phone! “On Tiktok”! (she elaborated)
She is still recovering from the shock of realising that not all the “commentators” she seen on Tiktok” are to be believed.
When will our “social media” geeks catch on that if they injure their credibility by inventing stories, then, in a few years’ time, they would have no consumers at all whatsoever? If only they knew what the preponderance of lies does to a Government, they would be more scrupulous.
Why don’t the people of a certain country get nice clothing like those in another? It was because another country was seizing things that were being shipped to the one whose output was detested by its own people!
And so on and so forth!
And now look: a disciple of an Anti-truth state organisation is trying to bring an end to the entire world by levelling Ukraine. In doing so, he wants to “restore the dignity” of his Motherland.
What is the difference between the destruction of homes, schools and hospitals in Ukraine and the destruction we have been seeing as a result of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria?
The only difference is that one type of destruction is being deliberately caused to humans by other humans.
What do state-empowered killers think the rest of the world is thinking about them? Do they think “diplomacy’ can truly hide what they are dong, when the TV pictures bring the reality to our homes all the time?
I am beginning to think that the world, in 2023, is quite MAD. Why should humans to inflict such terrible suffering on their fellow humans, when Nature is lurking around the corner to inflict similar, if not worse, distress upon our heads? What have Syria and Turkey done to Nature? Is there a NATO-type organisation hiding somewhere waiting to embrace the two countries?
Of course the Americans and their Western allies bear a great deal of responsibility for what’s happening in Ukraine. They flattered the Ukrainians into thinking that if they provoked Putin, they would become heroes. Now they are heroes, yes, But at what cost to the ordinary Ukrainian?
The Ukrainian leadership should have known from their intelligence sources that Putin does not care a hoot for “national independence” and “abstractions” of that sort. He was brought up in a political atmosphere based on what is called REAL POLITIK!
One wishes that one could allow distance to act to put a barrier between our cognisance of such facts and the inhumanity of some other humans.
But that is a vain hope. For “NO MAN IS AN ISLAND, ENTIRE UNTO ITSELF.’
The casket bearing the remains of the Ghanaian soccer star, Christian Atsu Twasam, arrives at the Kotoka International Airport.
By Cameron Duodu
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