How many Ghanaian Scholars are inventors? None or maybe just a few. It is because we are not raised to aspire to invent.
Poverty of ambition is basically lack of ambition. The way we are raised is the force behind poverty of ambition in Ghana. For instance, our parents expect us to go through high school, graduate from a tertiary institution and land a reputable job that is attached to a fat salary after which life just becomes a perpetual wait for pension benefits and death.
So we live out our parents expectations without paying attention to what we can do to make our continent better. The thing that is wrong about this norm is that it only generates an aura of acceptance of lack of ambition among us.
We rely on the so called developed countries. We are too busy caught up in the web of using what someone else invented and sold to us. All I came to tell you is to aim higher, aim to invent something, develop a theory. Lack of ambition is trifling the growth of Ghana, because we always have to borrow their diagrams, theories, inventions to be able to do simple things here.
President Barrack Obama Said“Focusing your life solely on making a dollar shows a certain poverty of ambition. It requires too little of yourself". People with poverty of ambition do not dream big, so it was not surprising to me when one of our former deputy ministers’ wanted to make 1 million US dollars out of politics.
"That is quite a sum, but the issue here is, if all she wanted out of politics was money, then 1 million dollars was a representation of high level poverty of ambition"Anonymous.
People who are poor in ambition hardly take risks. The average Ghanaian does not want to take risks and lose their life savings. The fact is, 75% of all startups fail. But if we don’t try, how can we determine if we can. We also forget that Page, Jobs, Zukerberg and Gates didn’t need a degree to be their own CEO’S.
The reason why we are not inventing anything even with our noses always in a book is because these days before a baby even walks, our society has already mapped out their life. Oh this one will be a doctor, a lawyer, they are telling us who we should be and instead our trusting our abilities and talents we grow up fulfilling their self prophesies. That is why my niece just wants to pass her papers and get into a university, while her age mate in America wants to find the cure for HIV.
People! It’s time to challenge the conventional wisdom we agree with. These days we complain too much about political failure and darkness, what happened to upholding the Nkrumanist visions of showing the world that we are capable of managing our own affairs? That we can invent our own TVs, cars, recipes for global consumption.
This is the first generation where the parents can learn from the youth. I am challenging you to redefine your life to enable you derive more fulfillment and make a difference. I know there are limitations, but that’s a reason to fight harder. I dare say that even after hearing the phrase “dream big” 3,297,391 times (or more) over the course of their lives, most people still don’t get it.
If all you aspire to is the Ghanaian standards of a white collar job, marriage and death, you should reconsider. A 14 year old Ghanaian, Nathaniel padi recently developed a homework app. He has what I call a young wealth of ambition. He is the future of African inventions. I want to leave you with two quotes.
Winston Churchill “the greatest empires are the empires of the mind”
Clement Stone- Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” Thank you.