Behold! ‘Special Jubilee Party’ Approacheth!
The word “Jubilee” seems to enjoy popularity in Ghana. Halls, important buildings, Football Parks/Fields, Oilfields, Schools, etc all bear the name “Jubilee!”
For example, our offshore oilfields south of Cape-Three-Points are called the Jubilee Fields. While a football field in Kumasi is called Jubilee Park, one in Koforidua goes by the same name. There is a Jubilee School in Cape Coast and a Jubilee Car Park in Accra. A new hall of residence at the University of Ghana, Legon is called Jubilee Hall.
Perhaps, the biggest of all the jubilees is the seat of government the Jubilee House, after the name was changed from the original Flagstaff House.
Wondering what “jubilee” means and what accounts for the popularity of the word, I went searching! One result stated:
“…a jubilee is a particular anniversary of an event, usually denoting the 25th, 40th, 50th, 60th or 70th anniversary…”
The table below allocates interesting names to the jubilees.
- 25th – Silver
- 40th – Ruby
- 50th – Golden
- 60th – Diamond
- 70th -Platinum
So, all the bearers of the word jubilee must be related to an important date! In Ghana, silver and golden jubilees appear popular.
That being the case, I must start preparations for an impending very important Jubilee.
“Special Silver Jubilee”
In June 2021, my “Manager’s” beloved Toyota Corolla LE will be sixteen-years-old. My Mitsubishi pick-up will be nine-years-old. Adding sixteen to nine, I can tell without employing the services of any calculator that, the combined age of the two vehicles in our house will be twenty-five years.
So, isn’t it simply proper to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of our two resident “old-faithfuls” and all their “classmates?”
Don’t make a mistake! Those two vehicles can easily compete in any race to Paga and back any time!
Between March-April 2020, before-during-and-after the lock-down, my Mitsubishi did not move out of our house for seven weeks!
At my last servicing in December 2020, the next servicing was scheduled for March 2021 or after 3,000 km whichever came first. March 2021 is over and I have done only 600 km.
I must admit though that, for a retiree, I cannot fairly compare my movement with those actively working.
Nonetheless, for the houses which proudly display many big-engined vehicles like the Land Cruiser V8s which terrorise us on the road, demanding we somersault off the road so they may pass, how many kilometres are they able to put on each vehicle before the next servicing and how much does it cost them?
To my question, a friend shot back asking “do you think they pay for fuel and servicing from their pockets?”
“Pyjamas to Shorts!”
In my article “From Pyjamas to Shorts” in April 2020, I hoped that covid-19 would change some attitudes. Indeed, covid has made a big change in my dress code. Jettisoning my pyjamas for my morning shower, I wear shorts the whole day. Usually, because of the heat, I go shirtless. After my evening shower, I change into pyjamas. Apart from the few occasions when I go out, this has been my routine.
Some friends confessed that, looking at their extensive/expensive pre-covid wardrobes, they got annoyed with themselves. Only one word rushed into their minds; vanity, vanity!
One area Ghanaians are having difficulty adjusting to, covid-19 notwithstanding, is our penchant for elaborate/expensive funerals.
While working in Kenya, my organization lost our patron, probably Kenya’s equivalent of our H.E. Kofi Annan. A week later, I asked my secretary to organize a visit to the deceased diplomat’s residence for me to commiserate with his family! She told me “Sir, he was buried yesterday!”
Noticing my surprise, she schooled me that, in exceptional cases, funerals could be extended to two weeks to allow children overseas to return home. However generally, funerals in Kenya take place within one week of death!
When I explained how Ghanaians love funerals, she asked “Sir, apart from the psychological strain on the bereaved family, isn’t it a waste of money/energy/time keeping bodies for months?”
For readers who may want to wish my “Manager’s” sixteen year-old Toyota Corolla and my nine year-old Mitsubishi pick-up a Happy Birthday on their combined ages of 25 years, please call me! Owners of vehicles also celebrating their Silver Jubilees are welcome by Zoom!
My “Manager” and I will represent you at the Joint Silver Jubilee Party in our house.
On a serious note, Ghanaians must cut down on ostentation/waste including love for V8s, expensive weddings/funerals and anniversaries including Silver/Golden Jubilees for the dead. Spending beyond our means only fuels corruption!
Fellow Ghanaians, WAKE UP!
The writer is a Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association, Nairobi, Kenya and Council Chairman, Family Health University College, Accra