Reverse the fourth dimension to 1998. A masterly motif of a caravan of industries is spinning at great speed on the same spot: Tema, Industrial town, first cousin of Accra. Drastically dissimilar to any other Ghanaian commonwealth for its considerately-named streets; numbered homes; well-laid, clean and snazzy streets; small, engaging buildings; first-rate factories and swift-coming traffic.
The twenty-something-kilometre motorway, unfurled long ago, seemed a lonely, eternal cross. It was surrounded by vast, virtuous flatlands teeming with spry swamps, wholesome woods and motley hues of tall savannah grass.
In 2008, the virgin is gone out of the land between Accra and Tema. The formerly detached first cousins are now hideously holding hands on either side of motorway. A monstrous megapolis has stealthily sprawled its sinewy tentacles from Accra to Tema. The woods are ruefully replaced by sorry sprinklings of shrubs on tiny tracts of un-reclaimed swampland.
Unsightly blotches of massive houses, tiny houses and whole recumbent estates have sprouted on the diced land. Totally ugly buildings they are, not for the architects’ philistine flair (for the schematics are quite scenic) but what is a trophy tattoo of a black widow spider doing on the face of a beauty queen? Her looks are now limp, as is the dainty art.