Ola Rotimi said in his book “The GODS Are Not to Blame” that “,”the struggle of man begins at birth”. Yes indeed, but even before birth and fertilisation, one sperm have to struggle with a million other sperms to fertilise the egg and become a fetus, this is what i refer to as the survival of the fittest. When the fetus is born, it has to struggle to survive by crying whenever it is not comfortable just to draw the attention of it’s mother or caretaker because it cannot speak yet. As the child grows and adapts to her or his environment, she or he has to learn ways of surviving among family and friends. At every stage of growth, the individual has to find ways and means of surviving. Even at the point where we claim we are independent of our families, we also begin a family and have to make sure our members are comfortable and the struggle continues, it is like a cycle, it never ends. Even at death, we are told of how one has to make it to another world.
That is the reason why we find people engaging themselves in all kinds of activities just to make ends meet. Some people are selling used clothes, charcoal, books, drinking water, foodstuffs, vehicle parts, firewood, food, drinks, utensils, provisions, computers, fruits, fuel and so on.
Some are teaching, nursing patients, printing, repairing vehicles, driving, dressing hair, building, maintaining law and order, cleaning and many more. In all these, I see people who are determined to make it in life. Like the Dagaaba say “tonton zagra ba dire bonkaa” which means that he who refuses to run errands does not take part in the merrymaking, this has made me to realise how people cherish hard work in our Ghanaian society. I am filled with so much compassion when i see how people are ready to make sacrifices to survive and live their lives honestly and even filled with awe when I see children working hard(sometimes they have to stay away from school) to assist their parents.
In our communities, there are a lot of people struggling to make ends meet and they
will always insist on the right thing being done. It is very common to find young school children selling all kinds of things on the streets after school and during holidays to help their parents cater for them. It is also a common practice to find some hawkers running up and down in storms to make some sales. Even when night sets in, people are still eager to go about activities that will put some money into their pockets. Now this is what we call “kpa kpa kpa” movement in Ghana (kpa kpa kpa means doing small jobs to earn a living). You have to do kpa kpa kpa to survive. There are instances where some people have involved themselves in armed robbery, pick pocketing, fraud as well as other foul means of making it quick in life, that notwithstanding, there are still a lot of people who are determined and hardworking. Ask that woman selling sachet water on the street at “Winneba Junction” and she will tell you she has to put food on the table for her children. Ask that man who sells spare parts of auto-mobiles at “Abossey-Okai” and he will tell you that he has to pay the hospital bill of his child. That girl roaming “Malla Atta” market with a tray of banana on her head has to get some money to pay for her school fees. At the end of the day, it becomes like a rat race.
The question I ask myself is that, what happens at the end of the day when the woman who sells the cloths go home without making any sale? What about that man who sells the footwear or the boy who sells toilet roll? Even when they do not make any sales, they derive satisfaction from the fact that they are working, at least they are not idle. They are making efforts to contribute to society. In these hustles and bustles, life must go on. If one does not make good sales today, tomorrow may be better.
Sometimes, when I walk through some of the major markets in Ghana like the Kejetia at Kumasi, Malla Attah market, Agbogbloshie market, Tamale market, I cannot help
but admire the ease with which the head porters popularly known as “kayayo” carry heavy loads from one place to another (sometimes across long distances for a few cedis). And interestingly, most of these women have babies tied to their back while they carry all these. Many a times, I stand transfixed just admiring these strong women working hard to ends meet.
When I see the way these people are working hard to stay away from trouble and earn a living, I wish there is a way I can be of help to them. I may not be able to carry the load for them or give them some money. Even if I am able to, will I be there everyday to do so for them? NO! The best I can do is to smile at them (THEY WILL RETURN THE SMILE NO MATTER HOW HEAVY THE LOAD THEY ARE CARRYING) and occasionally share a word or two with them when I get the opportunity. It may not be much but it takes nothing away from me to put a smile on
We all cannot be doctors, or nurses, or lawyers, or teachers, or cleaners, or traders, or hairdressers,or dressmakers or any of the other professions. In whatever profession
we find ourselves, we have to put in our best and work hard to achieve our goals and make the world a better place for all. We should also respect one another not just because of what they do but because we are all the same. The man who works in a bank is not better than the one who makes shoes, the one who bakes is not better than the one who sells fish, the one who drives is not better than the one who is in charge of the public toilet, just like the one who takes care of the sick is not better than the one who maintains the law. Every profession is important and everyone is doing kpa kpa kpa in their own way to survive. CHEERS!!!