Friday, May 6, 2011

Moonlight in Boxes for Sale in the City of Accra

There are two classes of cheap charlatans creeping and crawling in Accra these days. First,the ‘locals’ who pretend to possess skills they really don’t have. Second, the ‘returnees’ who profess expertise they only saw others do back in the West, and think they can return to Africa and do the same (after all, the standards are low and nobody would find them out).

I hate both groups of people. I’ve heard one call himself a designer and call a local furniture maker with tasteful proficient finishing a carpenter. I've seen the work of both, and the carpenter trumps the artificer.

I am tired – and I’m sure I’m not alone – of so many so-called professionals in (or returning to) Ghana who remind me of an elephant trying to pick up a coin from the floor – bungling fools. It’s more painful to have a professional mess a job than a dabbler-struggler to admit from the start that they are only ‘trying their hands at it.’


  1. Anonymous06 May, 2011

    Harsh, ouch! Felt that one.
    Do you think there might be more to the story than meets the eye here?

    Maybe it's not so simple as 'Coniving Incompetence' and 'Ignorant Delusion'...

  2. What about those who pass off the work of the carpenter as their own? I know someone like that and the person pays such a low amount for the stuff, which is sold way above the price it is bought for. Oh, and the person professes to be a 'designer' hmmph

  3. I doubt it's unique to Accra, but I also know that Accra has its fair share of uncanny brilliance within both groups...

    ps. creative title, which is why you can't stop blogging... what would you do with all that verbal dexterity and eloquence?

  4. Loved the title and after reading, I have to say it's a brilliant coinage.

  5. I think it was 2Pac or Mother Theresa that said "Don't hate the playa. Hate the game". Or was it Iron Boy?
    Blame capitalism.
    It is what drives people to reach for their goals by any means.
    The west grooms us to prey on the weak.
    Unfortunately for the Pretenders, people have gotten better faster in Gh than those outside Gh know. Gh is not the Land of the Weak it used to be yesterday.

  6. Kwame Mensa-Bonsu08 May, 2011

    Some aburokyire security men return and are made ministers of state. Even more dangerous and annoying!

  7. Interesting article...but MOONLIGHT IN BOXES...perfect title!!!

  8. Spot on bro. It is easy for people to come in and tell you of so many opportunities in Ghana but are unable to capture even one. It's so sad. You know the problem? Some enter into these way-side Univ., pick up some way-side degrees and enter the country, brandishing some sheets calling it expertise.

  9. @ Anon 1:

    I cannot pretend to know whether I have told the whole story or not. You may well be right. I just wanted to show a snippet and start a discussion.

  10. @ Tetekai:

    If the man passes off the work of the carpenter as his, it is bad in itself. But it is not half as bad if the carpenter is damn good. It is better than the man who pretends to do it himself and bungles it.

  11. @ Yeh:

    Thank you very much for your very kind words.

  12. @ Myne Whitman:

    Thank you very much, Myne. It is always a uplifter to receive kind words from a winner like you.

  13. @ Think-About-It:

    You put a lot of wisdom in few words. Loves it.

  14. @ Kwame Mensa-Bonsu:

    Yep, and that is a home truth.

  15. @ altheakale:

    Why, thanks a million.

  16. @ Nana Fredua:

    So true. And even worse, people returning have an easier time getting credit (as in money) for their projects/dreams. But I am not hating.


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