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.