Humans are naturally entrepreneurial, innovative and problem solvers – dare not doubt it. Over time, the Human race has proved that indeed darkness doesn’t only mean burial; it could be a place to blossom. I can spare some time to wade in on the narrative of Ghanaian youth being lazy and “not hungry enough” but that could be for another day.
The Covid-19 pandemic ushered in a new era with the influx of creativity and innovative businesses all over the world. Ghana is no exemption to this development with the Ghanaian youth doing well for themselves despite the government’s persistent effort to fade out wealth from the country – dragging us into “the gate of no return”.
It is very much wholesome of me to see fellow Ghanaian youth strive with their businesses and projects – winning lifetime contracts and invading the international scene, especially in the creative industry. For context, let’s focus on the creative space with Ghanaian creatives pushing the “Black Star” project around the world.
Between 2019 and 2022, we have seen Ghanaian curators more emphatic than before, courtesy of what I would describe as the legendary initiative, “Year of Return” and the “Beyond the Return” flagship programmes.
Yet, some of these Ghanaian curators, from event hosts to brands, designs and fashion wear have failed to resonate their brand purpose among the very group of people they associate with.
Surprisingly, every Ghanaian business is doing that mainly for a good course or interest for the wider society. But you know what else is missing in their divine mission, the efforts to be intentional and associative with their brand image to Ghanaians or if not “class market.” Yet they would expect undying loyalty and support from the very people they tag as not their “class market”.
Just because you’re preaching a good course doesn’t mean you automatically get the support you deserve. Religious leaders from ancient times like Jesus Christ, the Great Prophet Mohammed, and Buddha among several others from contemporary times employed the services of disciples to spread their message. So, spare me the narrative of a “one-man soldier” doing it all.
For scenarios, let’s swipe this. First of all, what drove me to some reflection was a day after having an unforgettable experience at the 2022 Global Citizen Festival in Accra, Ghana.
Social media was heavily heated with some sections reliving the experience and giving organizers their flowers. Others also called out Ghanaian event organizers to take cues from the much-patronized event.
What caught my attention was when a member of a Ghanaian youth brand and streetwear, “Free The Youth”, lashed out at Ghanaians for not recognizing “what was uniquely Ghanaian” when Stormzy graced the stage wearing a t-shirt from the brand – paying homage to the Legendary Daddy Lumba.
This is a youth-inspired streetwear brand who has gracefully represented the Ghanaian youth both locally and internationally with its unique designs – for that impressive dream they deserve the respect they require.
But what does not sit well with me is a brand that has only invested solely in pushing its agenda on social media, barely identifying itself with the press yet hitting at the media for not pushing its narrative.
This is a brand that in September toured Europe and the United States yet failed to tell its story to the public, only made posts on social media and expect people to jump on it just because “we’re doing a good thing for the country”.
The brand could have its point but failing to tell your own story only makes your brand prey to the media and ruined reputation. After the comments from the founding member of the group, patrons who have had bad experiences with the brand raided in just to call the brand out for defrauding them.
This could be false, could be true but it all would have been prevented if the brand was intentional in telling its own story. The media is always a brand’s best friend, it’s only how you want to fly through the airwaves that determines your faith.
Being intentional with your brand does not only depend on social media. It rests on building relationships to tell your story to the world. So, it’s either you get intentional or “Fade away in a Wasteland.”
By: Jude Tackie