The Survival of who you know
Corruption by far has become a devil in most African countries if not all. Most African writers
often in a bid to address this issue from a satirical perspective in their writings are denied the
serious urgency and attention it needs.
A case in point is “The Beautyful ones are not yet born” by Ayi Kwei Armah a book that was written in the 1960s after post-colonial period. Several novels including ‘No longer at Ease’ by Chinua Achibe among others cannot be left out in anyway as they reveal the filth and rot in and around the country.
These authors indeed have painted an image of the sort of corruption we find ourselves in as a continent. It is because of this little or no attention given to such relentless efforts on the topic of corruption that has ignited my desire in writing this piece christened “the survival of who you know”.
Many years ago before the emergence of the social contract theory, which sort to cart off
brutalization from the existence of human being, men lived in the state of nature or other put
“the survival of the fittest”.
In this state of nature i.e “the survival of the fittest” the only class of survivors were the strong, fit and the abled. Weaker families were relegated, humiliated and beaten. The drive for this was because these men and women were not strong enough to protect themselves, their families and properties.
These were the periods of darkness enveloped in constant confusion and mayhem. A moment where men lived in fear and panic.
The call for and introduction of the social contract theory saw to reprieve citizens. Citizens
could now entrust authority to some persons so they could be protected from the brutalization
of the strong.
In this moment, fear and panic was reduced to the barest minimum. Indeed, the
era of the survival of the fittest is over as states have enrolled measures to safeguard the lives
But surprisingly, a different twist has emerge in recent times which is “the survival of who you
know”. We leave in a state now where your qualification is no strong point to secure you a job
but to know someone in a high organization thus to get employment, is dependent on who you
Qualification is an appendage to “the survival of who you know”
The issue of corruption has eaten up our state institutions without giving any hope to the
masses. Sadly, responsible state institutions mandated of countering the menace are not doing
the needful to curtail to. In fact, some of these institutions propagate corruption.
A thorough visit to these institution will reveal if not confirm the several assertions I advanced
early on. Welcome to Ghana where competence is not needed, but to basically know someone
in a high position is ideal. We live in such an era now.
A typical case in point is the fresher’s online registration here at the University of Ghana with its associated criticisms and drawback. In UG, the maximum time available for the online residential registration is 10 mins or less and then one will be unable to secure a slot anymore.
As if all bed slots displayed online were booked, some parents and guardians who knew the hall
authorities at this various halls phone in or visit the hall for his or her ward to be allocated a
Some even get their halls before they start with the registration. My intent is not to put the University of Ghana on the spot but that is a fact and the canker is no different from that of other similar public universities in this country. Put the universities aside and the scene is the same in some aspects of the economy. The value is the same.
The issue of nepotism and favoritism is a serious problem pending address. If we want to eradicate corruption then we have to pay attention to the issue of nepotism and favoritism.
This issue is rampant amongst politicians. Several graduates lack jobs although they have
awesome qualifications but because they know no one at the top unqualified people get the
As a country if we do not speak against this ungodly act and continue to thread this path, then
our country has no future. What will happen to the poor man in the village who has no one to
rely or report to? In other to see to it that there is equity and equality, we need as a matter of
urgency eliminate this menace from our system.
Should we continue like this then poverty shall set in this campaign starts with you and I. Let us speak against this form of corruption.
In as much as the era of the survival of the fittest has passed, we must help to eradicate or
minimize the era of “the survival of who you know”. Ghana must work again. Ghana will work
YOUNG POSITIVIST a concerned citizen of Ghana.
WRITER: Boamah Sampson (0548690091 / [email protected])