I have always heard the statement that ‘It is not what the country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country’.
Based on my knowledge, experience and being fortunate to have traveled extensively seeing modules worldwide, I have often wondered if I could share or contribute to my country’s growth, but do not seem to find an avenue to do that.
In this country, unless you are employed with a big corporation or connected to the government, even though highly-qualified, nobody seems to take your advice or suggestions seriously.
You must be some certified consultant, or model citizen, or have big name as we say, to be taken seriously. No ordinary person seems wise enough to contribute to the development discussion. So, me being an ordinary person, I have no voice, no say and no suggestions that can be taken seriously.
I listen and watch and see how many ways that things can be done differently, more progressively and more profitable to the state. But how do you find the means to offer a different opinion? Take, for instance, the Creative Industries frequently spoken about, but not established in a way that will develop the artiste or the arts. It is like making bricks with straw — no training institutions, no performing outlets, no employment policy for artistes, no strategic planning for upward mobility, no promotions of artistes no meaningful festivals that put our artistes first, no decent pay structure, no associations or guilds — yet we call it the Creative Industry.
We continue to talk about education, yet spending money on roads, bridges, footpaths retaining walls, demolition, horseback riding and race tracks to be used once a year are more important than spending money on school repairs.
Housing is now quoted in millions business property is rented in the thousands and you hear daily about self-employment.
What amounts you think are allocated to take care of the common man? Nobody sees the relevance of grassroots development, so our planners keep aiming for the skies and we wait and hope that tomorrow will be greater, and better days will be coming, and our governments will deal with our needs.
But, I say, all that amounts to dreaming while awake – in others words, wishful thinking! (Carlton Ishmael)