May 2, 2021
Ghanaians take to social media to protest high cost of living, slow rates of development, and government corruption, under the hashtag #FixTheCountry. In the last few decades, despite successive governments, not much has changed in the circumstances of the average Ghanaian. Fuel prices are ridiculously high, rent is expensive, human rights are being abused, the Government overspends and misappropriates taxpayer money with impunity, and people are finding it hard to make a living.
May 4, 2021
#FixTheCountry conveners notify Ghana Police of a demonstration slated for May 9, 2021. The plan is to hold the demonstration as the culmination of an online protest that has run for days. Ghanaian youth are tired of living in a country run by an uncaring government.
May 6, 2021
The Ghana Police get an injunction from a court to prevent the #FixTheCountry demonstrations. Protests and demonstrations are a matter of human rights.
May 10, 2021
The idea for A Voice is a Voice is born.
In the seven weeks it took to compile this protest anthology, Ghana has seen many abuses of human rights. Twenty-one Ghanaians were arrested and detained for three weeks for organising a workshop on LGBTQ issues, despite not being in contravention to any Ghanaian laws. The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has thrown his support to a Private Members’ Bill that seeks not only to label LGBTQ+ Ghanaians as criminals, but also to make it illegal to advocate for their human rights. A #FixTheCountry protester and social media activist, Ibrahim Kaaka Mohammed, was attacked by a mob and killed. When members of the Ejura community took to the streets to protest the cold-blooded murder of their friend, officers of the Ghanaian Military appeared on the scene and fired ‘warning’ shots into the crowd. They killed Murtala Mohammed and Abdul Nassir Yussif, and injured more.
“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” – Nina Simone
As artists, we cannot be silent; we refuse to. A Voice is a Voice is a message of solidarity to every Ghanaian. It is a manifesto of the tears and heartache of young Ghanaians. It is a documentation of pain; a memorandum of anger. We do not believe in being silenced, and we refuse to remain oppressed. Here, a voice is a voice.
This is why we have compiled these works to be distributed for free, in the hopes that they inspire you to protest, to resist, to fight.