Thursday, March 26, 2009
Ponko Huri Ta in the City of Accra
I am not a big fan of picturesque proverbs. I like daily “direktspeak”. This scatological saying in Akan, however, fascinates me to fits; a pithy line which translates lengthily into English as “The Ass should not even think of jumping over an obstacle, when the sheer effort makes the Horse fart”. Last night, sliding along the N2 to Aburi, which goes through tranquil, lambent Legon, cars were ambling over the rugged reach from Okponglo almost up to the dark-tile monument at the entrance to the university. I was pacing myself in Marion, behind this pristine, leonine Landcruiser. Suddenly I saw high headlamps rise up behind me as an SUV appeared like a tidal wave from nowhere. It scrimmaged over the rocky, torn-away terra, past me, past the Toyota Landcruiser, narrowly avoided kissing a compact bank of red earth on the shoulder, hobbled through potholes, and was out of sight, all in a chauvinist trice. It was a Toyota Rav 4. I lol’ed, as, false to customary character, the Akan proverb leapt to mind: Ponko koraa huri ta, na wo ofui!