Ghanaian playwright and motivational speaker James Ebo Whyte, also known as Uncle Ebo Whyte, has said playing safe in life can hinder one’s progress and that this is the reason why the whites colonised Africa.
According to him, the only way one can break boundaries in life is to explore and take risks.
“You play safe [in life] when you are poor,” he told George Quaye on Joy FM this week. “What you do is that you look for professions that are safe. What you are going to do with being a lawyer is to play safe. Being a doctor is safe. Being an engineer is safe. Accountant, which I gave up, is safe. People do those safe things so that, at least, they will not go begging, be poor or have something to eat. That is what poverty does to you.”
Uncle Ebo Whyte said society defines ‘safe’ based on one’s success in a field of profession
“Safe is defined as ‘we know people who have done this and prospered.’ If we do not know anybody who has done it and prospered, then it is not safe. So people will not do it.”
He said Africa was colonised because we refused to take risks, but the whites are developed because they refused to play safe.
“We need to get to the point to realise that life is not about playing it safe. The developed countries are not developed because they played it safe. The reason why we were colonised was because we played it safe. If they [colonisers] were playing it safe, none of them would have sat in a boat and sail to Africa to come and colonise us. We must understand as a nation that the concept of playing it safe is one of the reasons why we are where we are.”
He advised parents to allow their children to explore and do whatever they like in life.
“I would like a Ghana where parents are prepared to give children a chance to explore and do whatever they want to do – whether we know somebody who has done it before or not. I am old enough to know that there was a time where if you said you were going to be a media presenter, society would discourage you. You can’t go to school and become a DJ. But now, look at us,” he concluded.