West African country, Ghana, just like any human habitat, is not a perfect place, however, one thing that gives her proximity to an utopian world, is hospitality. This drooling soci-cultural value of Ghana, has been re-echoed by Ghanaian motivational speaker of international repute, Oscar Bimpong, who resides in the UK.
Giving an account of his seven months stay in Ghana, Oscar Bimpong touched on the good, the bad, and the ugly encounters, but upon strict evaluation, he’s of the firm conviction that Ghana is truly a country anyone (foreigners to be precise), irrespective of credo, race, nationality, tribe, or faith, can and must consider as a second home.
Read his full 7-month stay experience in Ghana:
In my personal opinion, Africa is the ‘new first world’ and not the acclaimed third world country because it is in the process of tremendous transformation.
That is, Africa is full of opportunities and uncountable untapped ideas with numerous existing ideas that need value addition to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace. The potential for growth is huge with enormous opportunities. I have realised that the earlier you get into the African market the better for you.
Though the continent has its genuine challenges, don’t listen to the naysayers and the bad report you hear about the continent especially from the West and some Africans themselves but rather channel your energy and resources to enter the market to bring a difference to the lives of people.
In return, you will create an empire that is so difficult to build in America and the western world at large.
The fact is after spending seven (7) months in Ghana pursuing the vision God has put upon my heart to change the mindset of people across the globe especially in Ghana and Africa, I’m glad to say it is one of the most exciting journeys I have ever embarked on.
It was exciting with happy moments, mind draining, stressful at times with some depressing moments but I can say I enjoyed every bit of the journey.
The amazing aspect is that Train2inspire Consultancy which is the Training and Development with Strategic Consulting solution wing of our business is now operational in Ghana and the STEPOUT With Oscar Bimpong brand which focuses on changing mindsets, for personal development and empowerment made tremendous impact.
I remember before I left London to Ghana, I was discussing with a Ghanaian friend that I was coming to Ghana for seven months and the first thing that came out of his mouth was how are you going to survive?
Everything he talked about was drenched on the negatives about Ghana and not a single positive to stand on. I can say the mindset of the Ghanaian abroad is not much different from the Ghanaian based in Ghana.
I want to therefore reiterate the fact that I had a wonderful experience in Ghana my motherland. I will like to start by letting you know that Ghanaians are the best in the world when it comes to hospitality.
I mingled with people in the taxi, trotro, had public engagements at weddings and funerals, a lot of speaking engagements, corporate trainings and meeting people on the top of the ladder in career and business and I can testify that their hospitality is second to none.
They are first to support when in trouble. I remember I had an accident and immediately I was surrounded by the people in the community to support me.
Their empathy and kindness to support you in difficult times is a lifestyle. For example, when travelling and you get lost, a Ghanaian is so happy to give you direction and if they don’t know the direction, they will make sure they get the right person to support you.
Their sense of humour in my own definition is a gift from God They create jokes out of good or bad situation. It doesn’t matter how poor or rich they are, they love to crack jokes and always see the funny side of life. I can conclude by saying that to be bored or stressed in Ghana is a choice.
In a trotro
I have come to the conclusion that though the world is full of chaos, confusion, misunderstanding, stressful and depressing moments, Ghanaians make life worth living through their hospitality, empathy and their showmanship of love coupled with a sense of humour in difficult times.
This does not mean Ghanaians are perfect as they have their downside especially when it comes to their mindset. The mindset of the Ghanaian per my observation creates a limitation on their life. I observed certain pronouncements on the lips of many Ghanaians on the daily basis as a lifestyle that defines their mindset
The few I picked up are ‘it’s not easy’, ‘Ghana is hard’ and ‘life is difficult’. The reality is that life is not easy but to pronounce it as a lifestyle defines the mindset that you harbour and carry. Remember your thoughts becomes your words and your words is the definition of your life and destiny.
Meaning, whatever you say is already ingrained in your subconscious mind. So many Ghanaians I came to contact with have either given up or have less or no expectation in life. They are not purposeful as they think there are no opportunities out there especially the young people. The fact is I don’t blame them as what they probably see, and experience doesn’t bring any hope to them.
I will say that you have the sole responsibility to define your success as you don’t have control on any third party you are waiting for to support you. Have a responsibility to take charge of your life against all odds.
Changing Mindsets on TV Africa
The most frustrating aspect of most Ghanaians is their disrespect and disregard to time. Everything starts late and finishes late and no one questions it as majority of the people have accepted it as a norm.
You are sometimes seen as weird when you complain about their total disregard for time. I remember I had training for the leaders of a particular Church, and they were late for two good hours. When they started arriving, I was standing in front of the Church and the surprising aspect is how they were relaxed with no sense of urgency even though they were two hours late.
I think it was too embarrassing for the Pastor, so he told me to arrive an hour late for the next day training so that I come to meet the leaders and not me waiting for them. This disrespect to time infiltrates every fabric and aspect of the Ghanaian from building their careers and business to public engagements and duties. How can a Church grow when the leaders are doing the wrong thing?
The interesting aspect is when some easily get offended when you try to correct them. A typical example was a training for final year students at one of the departments at a university in Ghana and the PRO who was late for an hour was trying to justify his lateness with a flimsy excuse.
After being corrected, you could see offense written all over his face. When the future leaders cannot handle constructive criticisms, then their humility is questionable when they become the leaders of the nation.
Impacting Lives Positively
I like what Amit Ray said and that is “the mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it, to see a better world.” Life is full of choices and to succeed, fail or to live in your comfort zone is a choice.
Hence, my mission is to tell anyone reading this short article to understand that you have only two options in life and that is to continue to pursue your vision or to give up.
Giving up is the easiest option but to pursue your vision against all odds is the first step to meeting your goals and to encounter success. The fact that so many people are accustomed to the negatives and the challenges they encounter in the country doesn’t make it right.
Set yourself apart and learn to stand on the few positive stories and learn to surround yourself with those that see possibilities in the midst of tremendous impossibilities. Remember in the midst of all the challenges, some people are succeeding against all odds and those people are the ones I want you to look up to. Remember it is possible if only you believe.
By Oscar Bimpong