Friday, October 30, 2009

The Kayayo Crusades

They issue southward into city markets to carry ‘donkey’ burdens. They digest daily disrespect, sleep savagely on shop-front streets, risk rampant rape and robbery, litter ‘loveless’ children, get kidnapped and transported back up north into forced marriages while still spring chicken; all for a daily tip below the subsistence level.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Banking on Bonking

Many good girls are mating with men just for the money. But that’s not the story. Many ‘benign’ boys are bedding big blokes just for the dough. They’d rather be loaded bisexuals than hungry heterosexuals. An older 'friend' introduces them to the unpleasant initiation; salved by the generous post-coital ‘payoff.’ It’s banking on bonking.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wicked Armed Robber

It is not grinding poverty that is your wicked warrant. Your methodical mind and paramilitary planning could have banked you honest money. You are just lecherous, lazy, envious, cruel and, frankly, downright demented. If Poverty is a disease, then I curse your arse with the most virulent form!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Children of Bawaleshie

Eking an existence near Easy Street (that’s excessive East Legon), they gobble gruel of cornmeal for bare breakfast, kenkey and protein-pinched pepper dip for lunch and more cornmeal gruel for dead-man’s dinner. Fish is a fairytale feast! They know what milk means; they’ve never lapped milk.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Prostitute

She stands scantily clad on the sunless streets of candied Cantonments or carnivorous Circle. She supplies live, natural delights for a fatuous fee. She possesses no other sustenance skills, and would have perished waiting on one or other gormless government or on nonchalant neighbours. Through her sensible skin trade, ten or so dependants can eat. Family infants are fed, clothed and schooled.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Let’s talk about poverty, this week. My initial theme was “Poverty is a Crime”. I thought about it again, and since I could not put my finger on the ‘criminal’, I changed it to; to See Poverty, to have the ability to do something about it, but to do nothing, is a crime”. This picture was taken by Kevin Carter (poor man), who saw this and was constrained or tricked into not doing anything. The vulture was waiting for the child to die to pick at its flesh. The child was crawling to a UN food centre 1 kilometre away. It is not known if the child made it. Poverty!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Identity Symbols

There are rainbow recitals of the sundry symbols same-sexual-polarity people flaunt to recognise one another. They have hues and tones, rings in earmarked earlobes, foreknown fabric, etc. I wonder weakly – if they are ordinary people, why do they need special symbols?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Same Script, Different Cast

Jo has been obscurely ogling the delicious, dapper dandy in the pinstriped navy suit for a queer quarter hour. He’s quaffing whisky; whisky-tippling men – Jo’s great weakness. Jo doesn’t feel the faintest guilt for his lurid lust. After all, he’s just having sex with Kwame; they aren’t married; can’t be, right? Jo brings his mind back to the bar. He’s unable to approach the delectable drake. Somehow, one cannot approach the same sex the way one does the opposite sex.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Nana Ama lies wakeful at night. She made loyal love to her handy hubby, Kobby, just 30 minutes ago. He’s fast asleep and basking in some paradise at the back of beyond. But Nana Ama is flushing and longing for her little girlie, Sena. She’s only person who has made her come in her whole life. And Sena creates heaven every time they make love. She looks sadly upon the blissful face of sleeping Kobby. Then, she turns over and reaches for her phone.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Closed Concept of ‘Spouse’

Kwame is completing groundwork ‘government’ forms. At “Marital Status” he smoothly ticks “Married”. At “Beneficiary” he smilingly scribbles “Spouse”, but slowly stops where he must provide a name. Kwame has affectionately cohabited with his Jo for five flourishing years now. They’ve built a life together, but now he cannot put his name down: Spouse: Richard Kojo etc etc.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Two Man-Parents

Jo kisses his son’s little head, amazed, riveted by his penetrating questions. In a weird-but-wonderful way, such waltzing wittiness reminds Jo of his magnificent Kwame. On that touching, tender thought, Kwame floats down the stairs and sails across the living room floor to Jo. Kwame gives Jo a caress on the lips, and involves their son in a long, warm hug. Suddenly, Jo wakes up; it was a taunting dream, and Kwame is still fast asleep beside him. Jo sits up on the bed. He has woken up still in Ghana; there is no child! He and his Kwame cannot adopt.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Same-Sex Relationships

I am sitting here with a gay man sitting across from my office desk. He met me when I went to a radio station to give a talk on defamation. He said I inspired him, and he wanted me to be his mentor. It is clear that he is gay. And somebody who went to college with him (and knows him) has confirmed it. But that’s no problem at all, except he had better concentrate on me mentoring him professionally, only. This week, we will be exploring same-sex relationships from (hopefully) interesting points of view.

Friday, October 16, 2009


In 2009, these are fair statistics:

2 thousand relationships ‘attacked’
0 go unscathed
0 remain unshaken
9 barely survive

Much of Accra is going after other people’s people. That is aggression!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dangerous Games

“Would you please get up? This is the seat number on my ticket.”

First, he ignores you. At the subdued second asking, he stands erect and beats his chest to proclaim his gorilla ruggedness. You make a good choice, and, as you inch your pacific way out of the stadium of sneak thieves, King-Kong kerfuffles erupt all around you over stolen seats.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Downtown Dementia

In the gawky gridlock, your tomfool tailgater will honk a homily at you; a blighted bus on your blind side will edge in without warning; a daredevil driver will cannily convert the dividing line into a Harry-Potteresque Lane 1¾; a police cortege (sorry, convoy) will come screaming through; and you’ll be praying to Gideon’s God to spare your limbs and car from fractures, dents and scratches.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trolley Tussles

The Trotro halts harrowingly in the middle of a major street, and a nursing mother hops out. She drops her shrieking suckling on the pavement, and seizes the reptilian driver’s mate by the scruff of his neck. As the callused captive tries to escape her grasp by aiming kung-fu kicks at her nether notch, another woman gathers up the abandoned nestling. Stranger and foundling are soon enveloped by the madding crowd.

Another Trotro has not even come to a serene stop, when a bawling boor tumbles out. His feelings have been injured by the driver’s mate’s stupefying slap. He rolls until he bangs his head on a concrete pylon. He gets up on his feet swiftly, sees the driver’s mate advancing with insane intent in his eyes, and dives towards the nearest rock. The mate beats it to the other side of the minibus, just before the projectile hurtles in.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Foolish Case

A coconut huckster nicked my main man’s wrist with the macabre machete he was brandishing in order to avoid giving back the change. This senseless impulse erupted in broad daylight. Moments later, a vacuous vixen in the complaints cubicle at the Legon Police Station took one languid look at my friend’s bleeding hand, and barked, “foolish case”.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


This week’s theme will be Aggression. Aggression in urban areas. Who’s to say what the reason is? I’m looking for material beyond aggressive cops at checkpoints, street beggars, vendors etc. I am also looking beyond the scariest spectre of armed robbery. I really don’t know where this will lead. I hope it’s worth your reading.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Bouncing Lights at Yeji

When nightfall swallows the day, and only the valiant venture outdoors, a psychedelic spectacle sweeps across the wooded pathways in yawning Yeji town. In the dark distance, dozens of brilliant, yellow lights bounce hippity hop towards you, past you and away into the night. Witches and wizards on their way!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Elfin Fertility in the Volta

A stony kernel and a hale hen are brought to the festival grounds at 7 a.m. Fetish dances and songs are performed by dreadful spirit-beings in varicoloured clothes, dry grass skirts, naked torsos ‘pastelled’ in chalk and war paint. Around 9 a.m., the kernel is buried in the holy ground, and a cock is intimately introduced to the hen. The yodelling and gambolling continues, but as the fetish demi-gods become possessed, they start displaying some shocking acts; wickedly whipping one another, breaking the sable skin and bleeding badly, but there is no cry of pain. Some are cutting and stabbing their own bulging bellies with knives and daggers, but there are no weeping wounds. By 12 noon, the kiddo kernel has grown into a 20-foot-high palm tree with mature, vermillion fruit. The hen has laid an egg and hurriedly hatched a chick. Now the mystic messengers of the gods are appearing and disappearing with a bellowing ‘poom’ amid wisps of white and yellow smoke. At 2 p.m., the chick has ‘imagoed’ into a big, fat hen, and the mother hen withers and dies. By 3 p.m. the new hen and the palm fruit have been cooked into delicious palm soup. Six short hours it took!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bullet-Proof Verse

The ultimate exhibition of spiritual strength is the will to repel bullets with the mortal body. It’s been the Holy Grail of the African warrior since the sky separated from the Earth. Bullet-proof status is sealed by skin slicing, inoculating the incisions with spiritual salve, boozy bounds over midnight fires while mumbling mediaeval mantras. And there’s only one way to experiment whether a warrior or warlock has divined an anti-ballistic body; that is live, public demonstration. Props required: shotgun, trusted friend/marksman, delirious crowd, newsman and bullet-proof verse. News item the next morning: A self-proclaimed wizard dropped dead instantly when he was shot by his friend... As the town fool walks by the lifeless body of the pretender, he’s heard saying Kwasea!*


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Supernatural Mischief

In the malevolent military days, in the hoodoo-haggard Afram Plains, a soldier cuffs a little old man, and sends him sprawling in the dust. The fouled elder has done nothing wrong. He utters not a word beyond his whimpers and tears. He picks up his scrawny body and crawls pitifully out of sight with a hideous, haunted look. Minutes later, the gloating gladiator starts shrieking and shivering. Before scores of irreligious eyes, the wailing warrior’s own shoulder is swallowing up his affronting arm. The shoulder-socket sucks in the muscled limb until only a forefinger and thumb are left hanging out.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Love Potion #1

Douche juice. A sleazy legend in swaths of Ghana, (or was it in ancient times?) A woman longs to lure a man’s heart for love or gold? No problem. She cooks for him with water she’s used to irrigate her ‘fertile fields’. Guaranteed to make him her toke* to the end of time.

*Also toke bele – a man who is under a spell and is a fool for a woman.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Nogokpo – White Magic Shrine

The Nogokpo Shrine divines white magic on the southern Volta coastline. A super-specialist in thief-catching spells, it also dabbles in other martial mystics. Example: Anonymous steals your cell phone. You traipse to Nogokpo with the details. Nogokpo offers 2 options. Nogokpo can pay you the market price for your phone (which also amounts to buying the soul of Anonymous). Then, Nogokpo will visit indescribably excruciating afflictions on Anonymous. In one case, a thief who stole a chicken (and cooked and ate it) had it crowing out of his stomach until he surrendered to Nogokpo. Alternatively, Nogokpo will issue a spiritual summons to Anonymous, who cannot refuse to answer. The result is always the same: incantations invoked; property (or its value) recovered; or else Anonymous and their family lie buried in caskets!

The Other Side

This week I’m thinking about exploring the paranormal from a neutral ‘punto de vista’. What, really, is the other side? Well, for practitioners, taggers-along and hypocrites of the ‘modern’ religions, it is the parallel dimension which claims to be able to tap into all the unimaginably mighty power that we all know the Universe possesses (but some of us frown upon). We shall prospect for tales from around Ghana, from a purely light-entertainment vantage; that's if I summon the strength to do it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fan Ice

It is the shoe-shine scene playing all over again. But up the street, the shrill, short bugle blasts float faster. Paaaaa-na, paaaaa-na. The Fan-Ice boy goes bicycling by. He has frozen strawberry yoghurt, frozen chocolate, and a frozen, sorbet-like vanilla delight.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Shoe Shine

You’re indoors, keeping house, just lounging or kitting up for work (regretting that there’s no time to lick-n-buff your shoes). Tat-tat, rat-tat. Silence. Rat-tat, rat-tat. Yes, you heard it! A shoe-shine boy (bless him twice) is drumming up the street to burnish your kickers. But before the hour is surely saved, you have to insure that the polish is “Kiwi”, unless you don’t mind “Lude”.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Ayigbe Toffee

Sweetened condensed milk; fraction-frizzled in a pan, on a hot flame, into a tempting tan; window-silled to cool to a pliant plasticine. Rolled or moulded into fanciful figures – cylinders and snakes, squares and triangles; finger-licking good.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Roasted corn and groundnuts; milled and melded into a jellified mush; left to stand for a while to catch and cast off the groundnut grease; blended with ginger, sugar and Wisa seeds; kneaded into delightful, doughy, sienna globules.