Deconstructing the ‘Susu biribi’ Motto behind Abuakwa State College

By | July 20, 2015

Feature Article of Monday, 20 July 2015

Columnist: Brako-Powers, Kwabena


It appears simple. Local. Alien. ‘Unattractive’ to the ears. However, the concept ‘Susu biribi’ has shared light on some of the attributes of what appears one of the glorious kingdoms and people in the history of modern Ghana. The Akyem Kingdom has for its symbol the leopard and legends have it that, it guards the kingdom from outside negative influences. Natives of the kingdom are renowned for their intellectual prowess, patriotism, strategic military might and valor, community love, warmth welcome, respect for processes, and openness to new ideas. And though oft ignored and treated with pinch of salt, the Akyem Kingdom is the only kingdom to have defeated the all-powerful Asante Kingdom apart from the British. It’s little wonder that, the many celebrated achievements of persons of this origin were inspired by the ‘anciently’ and carefully crafted credo, ‘Susu biribi’.
As a first year student of Abuakwa State College – the pride of the Akyem Kingdom, I was taught the school’s anthem ‘Susu biribi’ that extols names of its visioneers. We played with the song. Never understood its message. However, when I finally got the concept ingrained in my mind, I never stopped thinking about it and how to apply it to my life. In an age and time when many schools’ motto was everything but inspiring that of Abuakwa State College still holds sway and has the voice of an oracle – Susu biribi.
Literarily translated to mean ‘think about something’, ‘consider something’, ‘come up with something extra-ordinary’, ‘have a dream’, ‘imagine the breakthrough’, and ‘plan your ways’ ‘Susu biribi’ continues to inspire many persons who were neither former students of the school nor natives of the land but chanced on the concept and sought to apply it in their lives and organization. The theory ‘Susu biribi’ as leadership and management model has the force of the concept behind many great books in the world. Rick Warren’s ‘The Purpose Driven Life’, Napoleon Hills’ ‘Think and Grow Rich’, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt’s ‘The Powers of Focus’ and many more writings have the thread of the theory of ‘Susu biribi’ woven through them though not conscious. That man must think is Biblical and ancient as concept of ‘Susu biribi’. Scripture has it that, ‘As he thinks in his so is he’ (Proverbs 23:7).
Aspiring for a fulfilled life calls for such a quality as thinking about an idea to make one’s country and world better. It also means that, you move out of your shell to be creative. It’s easy to settle for mediocrity especially when one is surrounded by such caliber of persons. And equally easy to stop thinking and settle for cheaper means. According to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, to think is ‘to use your mind to consider something, to form connected ideas, to try to solve problems’. The art of thinking goes beyond coming up with just ideas. These ideas must have the unique quality that has been the miracle of many great empires – they must help solve problems. And before your idea will have that problem solving attribute, it must have gone through the Dream Cycle theory I have devised. Your idea should go through the idea/dream stage (raw form of the idea), analysis stage (deciding if that’s the idea you want), clarity stage (Does it have any link to your better future?), activity stage (Aligning sets of attitudes and actions to get it going), and the accomplishment stage (the strength of patience and action bring success). In the same fashion water is purified before drinking, so should man purify his thoughts. The brain has a force around it which must be directed. Remember that ideas do not have legs so you’ve got to carry them.
Before you set out for work in the morning, ask yourself this, that if there’s one thing you can do differently to help better yourself and situation what would it be? To be able to focus the full strength of the force that comes from thoughts, spend at least an hour or more for this exercise. Have by you a pen and journal and record the mind responses. I wake up at 4:00am each day to practice and you will not imagine the joy that bath me in the course of the day. When you concentrate the force of the mind on any one idea you quicken its achievement by 50%. The mind is sharper during this time and your thoughts become clearer and focused. You achieve about 80% concentration power when you learn to take critical decisions during this time. Many options hitherto hidden would be open to you like in a vision.
This concept is applicable to the corporate world. It questions the non-involvement of some workers towards the performance achievement of their employers. In today’s labor market, workers get frustrated and irritated by elements that have no right to do so. And since they ‘cannot fight’ those elements, they have resolved to ‘do what they can’ and not their best towards bettering the companies fortune. The law of nature states that, whatever you fail to use, you lose. Guess what, if you fail to use the brain it gets rusted. Ideas shared is ideas multiplied. Organizations desirous of breaking new grounds in their industry could fall on the concept to unsettle the market through quality thoughts invested in the processing and manufacturing of products. It explains how employers can achieve corporate patriotism through multi-layered approach to decision making and organizational leadership. It’s generally understood that, corporations can get the full participation of employees if the latter is involved in strategic decision processes in the organization. Strategic decision process involves sampling concerns of employees ahead of critical decision making meetings. Sometimes it helps to allow their concerns dictate the agenda for such meetings.
Any nation can whip the sentiment of nationalism and patriotism through the use of this concept – Susu biribi. Unfortunately we’re in an era where citizens blame their leaders for every inconceivable challenges; economic, political, environmental and social. Leadership of many nations have been left in the hands of political men who are motivated not by economic but the sheer lack to remain in office. It’s about time we left the rule for the economic men who see farther than the former. They are motivated by the economic wealth of the country without which the nation becomes another homeless shelter. ‘Susu biribi’ reminds citizens of their ‘first love’ thereby inspiring them to come up with both tangible and intangible solutions to solving a country’s many challenges. It helps shift patriotic power from the hand of the few-some to the all-many. Patriotic power is that force that jerks you from your seat to take action even when that means sacrificing your life when someone bleeds your country through acts such as bribery, corruption, mass murder, misappropriation, maladministration, and economic short-sightedness. Patriotic power is infectious so can spread from any direction. It’s multi-directional. It could start from the rural areas to the urban or vice versa. This power if well applied will see the rule of many leaders whose first thought would be about the economic, social, political and environmental health of their country in that order.
You’ll be surprised how much more you can get done if you imbibe the concept of ‘Susu biribi’ and weave it into the fabrics of your life. It’s ‘Susu biribi’ or not at all. It may sound simple as I said in the beginning yet learning to deconstruct the theory has a multi-benefits for life’s improvement and bolstering corporate profit.