A smooth-talking craftsman piously promised one month ago to forge metal furniture for me in one week. His sample pictures were old, scratchy and fading, but the works of art in them were clear enough to melt the heart of the dimmest philistine. And so was mine. I paid a famine price in golden Ghana Cedis, and, there, the story ends... or, does it?
Adroit artisans and cunning craftsmen pockmark the face of the city of Accra. They like us to prize their importance in our daily lives, for necessity or art. They usually turn out evidence of raw talent, but flawless finishing is still a distant dream in the city of Accra.
These self-employed Accraians choose their working when-and-how. They elect not to work weekends and public holidays. They’d rather take the family out or sit under the alcohol tree with friends, spending the money they have earned, asking clients to come back the next day!
When the dallying Bluecollar shakes off the narco-stupor, and opens his crammed work shed, at eleven a.m. (early by him) he professes shock that some naughty elves have spent a busy night undoing the maestro’s masterpiece(but he only worked in his mind). Because you have a nine-to-five, he tries to renegotiate the price because the work is more complex than his simple mind calculated. Glorified begging from you who plan and budget your pesewas and pins.
Yesterday he darkened my doorstep with his oily self and the metal work; almost as nice as in the faded tableau. But the soft furnishing, that he didn’t bring with him! Between basely blaming another of his ilk in trade and re-haggling compensation we both discovered that the flaming beauties were each one leg short :(
Semi-retired millionaires; working when they like; naming their price; taking many holidays; not caring what other people want.