Wow, Rattray Park! That’s was my exact reaction when I first saw the story with pictures of a beautiful recreational place in Kumasi with such a big English name, in a culturally conservative part of Ghana were ‘abrofosem’ will not dare compete.
A quick fact about ‘abrofosem’ in the movie industry: In Ghana we have two set of names to identity the industry: ‘Kumawood and Ghallywood.’ Like it or not, the actors/actresses in Kumasi have created a huge market for their business, and equally earned celebrity status in their own rights.
But that’s not the focus of this piece, my purpose as I hope to achieve, is to give the CEO of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) a thumps up for his initiative. The story I read about the Rattray Park attributed to Kojo Bonsu as the “brain child.” The park is really beautifully and speaks volume of a smart leader with ideas to modernize his metropolis.
This initiative must be replicated by his peers in their respective MMDAs to create public places for recreation and exercise, to preserve vegetation and beautify our towns and cities. I believe that there are some institutions in Ghana which needs to be challenged to do some great things from within instead of always waiting for outside support.
Around 2007, smooth talking Mr. Tony Aidoo, then in political opposition criticized some workers of Zoomlion, about 20 or more in groups on the Labadi – Teshie road manicuring the green grass. His beef was that, too many people were doing a work that could take few hands to do. I agreed listening to him on Radio Gold then, and even with that large workforce, the grass and the flowers were not blossoming or smiling as expected.
Peace FM’s Chairman Kwame Sefa Kayi is on record using his platform to lament, the unpardonable poorly managed lawns at the seat of government, the Flagstaff House. A job seems to be shirked by the Department of Parks and Gardens. In my opinion, the Parks and Gardens has a big potential to revamp itself to become financially resourceful through development and management of public parks across Ghana for profit, just like what the management of Rattary Park is doing in Kumasi. They can also learn and adopt what other countries are doing.
For me, the department is still serving its civil service purpose designed during the colonial times. It needs to diversify its business to attract patronage to make profit. It’s possible and must be done. And not through privatization! The Aburi gardens, such a paradise on the Akuapem Mountains, where memorable pictures/videos were taken by many Ghanaians, including Highlife music legend Kojo Antwi who shot a hit music video there in the 90s is fast becoming extinct before our own eyes.
State institutions need to be challenged to do extraordinary things. I believe the workers are ready to follow instructions by smart and visionary leaders to succeed.
When I read about a Gold Museum (in Spanish “El Museo del Oro”) in Bogota Colombia, I was struck by it years of existence and gold collection, making it the largest in the world attracting thousands of visitors and researchers from different countries. What fascinated me most to put this information across was that, Colombia is not among the 14 leading gold producing nations in the world per my checks, Ghana is number 10. And what the South American country has done which Ghana has failed to do is to add tourism to it country’s mining.
The Museums and Monuments Board can do same to attract both domestic and foreign tourists. Ghana’s history is actually embedded in gold, the country was formerly called Gold Coast and such a museum would not lack ideas and resources across board. I have never seen a real gold bar (12.4kg) except replica gold bars in movies and in books, and I hope I’m not alone. So the attraction to a museum of gold in my view is a good venture the Museums and Monuments Board must consider. There are many other areas to explore and develop beside the castles and the few attractions under their care, by increasing public awareness in order to raise participation for revenue.
So once again thumps up to Kojo Bonsu and his Ratrray Park for the urge to write this piece to contribute to the growth of my country, which thousands of ideas are shared everyday in the media. I hope this new attraction in Kumasi will further SATISFY former president Rawlings who expressed his admiration for the neatness in the Garden City in an interview in the Ashanti capital.
Talking about satisfaction, does Donald Trump see Hillary as threat? The billionaire New Yorker, who announced his intent to run for US president, tweeted on Mrs. Clinton before his presidential announcement: “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” Well, I guess in politics such punches are allowed.