Whether you are a Ghanaian football fanatic or not, in the past weeks, there have been two names in the trends of both mainstream and social media – Anas and Kwesi Nyantekyi. The former is an investigative journalist while the latter tripled as the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Vice President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Council Member of FIFA. For the purposes of those who do not know these two, Anas conducted an investigation into football administration in Ghana and came out with evidence that indeed there are corrupt officials who were ‘spoiling’ the beautiful game including the latter. After the documentary was aired, one of the questions people kept asking was why the former GFA President, in particular, allowed himself to be caught in such a compromising situation. Before you try and pass any judgements, please read three key lessons we have compiled from the above expose:
Lesson #1 If You do not stand for something, you will fall for anything
During an Ethics class back in school, our lecturer kept hammering on the importance of culling personal statements. In short sentences, these statements should include everything we stood for as individuals and should have the ability to govern every area of our lives, especially, when we are caught up in difficult situations. If you are Christian in any institution, perhaps, what should guide your personal statements are some of the prescriptions in the Bible. For instance, the Bible says we should obey those in authority so you can go with that. The Bible also says we should love our neighbours as ourselves, therefore, the last thing you’d ever do is to consciously hurt anyone. Practically, even when you are caught up in a queue at the bank, you wouldn’t cross the line while ignoring all those who have been in the hall. Before you take a bribe to influence a football match decision, as an official, you’d probably think of all the people seated in the stadium who are passionately supporting their teams. There are several biblical principles which we can adapt to guide our lives. Even if you not a fan of the Bible, adopt some good life philosophies (normative ethics) and let them shape your decisions. Yes, some institutions have Code of Ethics designed to define what constitutes right and wrong, but as an individual, allow some personal principles to guide the decisions you take.
Lesson #2 Whoever loves money never has enough – Ecclesiastes 4:10
We are living in a society where people are abandoning their purpose/passions and chasing after money and power because that is the new definition of success. We say ‘people are making it big’ when they are driving the latest cars and living in big houses. We give people respect when they are able to give fat tips or are dressed in the most fashionable clothes. No wonder we hardly get satisfied with what God provides for us and will go to all levels to enrich ourselves. After the documentary was aired, most people were shocked at the former GFA President in his pursuit to become rich despite all his credentials. Perhaps, if society shifts its focus off money and physical possessions as being the measure of success, individuals will be more patient, more content with the little they have and spend more time seeking and proudly running with their purpose, and that will ultimately eschew corruption in all its forms.
Lesson #3 Do not judge, or you too will be judged – Matthew 7:1
Put yourself to the test, before you cast a stone at Kwesi Nyantekyi or any of the officials who were caught on tape in compromising situations, ask yourself if you are an angel. Conceivably, you are seeing yourself as ‘holy’ because you haven’t been tested at that level. Personally, when I cast my mind back, there were positions I have held where I had to compromise a little bit to make the people around me ‘comfortable.’ It was a difficult decision and my conscience was severely pricked but I did that. Probably, you have not been presented with a huge ‘deal’ that when you pocket a small amount, nobody would notice. That pending contract which has the potential of changing your fortunes forever has not presented to you so we are unsure if you’d pass the test. Thus, let us be more circumspect in the words we use on the people who have been caught on camera while we pray we aren’t presented with such a test.
Have you seen the documentary? Are there any lessons you picked? What are your general views on corruption? You’d definitely love to hear from you.