Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Accra, It’s All Right to be Middle Class

When the stuffy colonialists guffawed their way out of here with their poniard noses in the hot air, they caved a vaginate vacuum behind. The locals clambered harum-scarum into the gaping hole, and strained their monkey best to mimic the egressing Europeans. And the clerical clique opened its eyes, delighted to find a little space in the formerly out-of-reach middle class.

Now, Accra is a city of the really ridiculously rich. Haute Couture clothes, dazzling jewellery, big, shiny cars and many-peopled malls are her defining character. A Little America is radiating out of the simian circus in sound and sight and wispy wishes. The seeming phiz has two low levels: an artificially oiled and funded upper class and a raw-nerved, resentful lower class. Old money and aristocratic name stand jaded and one-upped in the fringes jaundiced at anyone who (like them) dares to breathe or give a happy, life-savouring smile.

The numbers are staggering. The upper class is stiflingly stacked with true and pretend wealth. The modest middle class is shrivelled and shrunken to the sheer shower of cold, daily ridicule. “Why are you so old fashioned?” “Why are you so uncool?” “Why are you so quietly dressed?” “Why are you hiding so much skin?” “Haven’t you noticed that everybody goes to shop there?” “Why are you still driving that car?”

My favourite has got to be the well-designed website of a hugely popular radio station. They love to post pictures of the ‘happening’ places and events in the City of Accra. Every palsied pretender poses like a superstar. So, who’s signing autographs? Who is going where to see whose programme?

My dear Accra, it’s really all right to be middle class.

11 comments:

  1. Anonymous12 June, 2008

    Soooooooooo true! Accra is rearranging herself into a two-class society! Rich and Not Rich.

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  2. Indeed, last Sunday a nouveau pretend richie rich asked me in church why I was still driving a Toyota Matrix and not say, a Range Rover Sport. As if I could afford that Rover model - as if you have to change your car every 8 months.
    And talking about the pix posts on the webbie of that hugely popular radio station, Nana do you remember the ladies who asked us to sue the station cos their boob-job had been overly exposed in the pix, when indeed they literally had no covering?

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  3. Kiz,

    about the misplaced richie rich, he's either pretending he does not know that things cost money or he is arrogantly assuming you knows your income.

    i remember the girls who wanted blood.

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  4. just had to say this, lovely blog.
    The nicest part of this is that it is so true!
    Why are we pretending to be what we are?

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  5. Anita, it's long been Ghanaian to keep up appearances, no?

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  6. Anonymous12 June, 2008

    I'm stalking your blog on a daily basis!You truly have a style of writing which makes me itch for more.I miss Accra and all its pregnant men and carbo-abdominal maidens!lol..As for the pics on that radio station, I have no comment..I get a good laugh at the Accraian celebrities so im not complaining.;-).....Serwah

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  7. Awwww, thanks, Serwah. Welcome to my blog, and thanks for your comments. They are so very important to me! By all means, criticise me when you must! Thanks again.

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  8. Anonymous14 June, 2008

    i agree with everyone that this piece is so so true. Kissi you should av asked that.....gentleman whether it was any of his business.in fact the more i think about what to write next the angrier i get.let me just go. Kordai.

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  9. Anonymous14 June, 2008

    i just had to say this. Kissi the next time somesome asks you such a silly question, just tell me that you will give them a call the next time you need advise as to how to spend your money. Kordai

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  10. Kordai to the defence of living in truth. Many a time, a person born in the middle class and brought up well is quite confident in what they are and will fabricate no facade.

    A person born "below" that or on the borderline feels the need to impress.

    Enough said!

    ReplyDelete

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