Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Man Who Wanted Minerals

He's a cool-looking dude. I can almost see the silver spoon in his mouth. I can see the 'uppity' in his face and all, except he needs the 7-minute workout. He plonks on the seat next to me in business class and kicks off his shoes. Strike one. When the stewardess shuffles over to us, she sounds genuinely like she's from Southern Africa. She asks if I'd like some tea, hot chocolate, coffee or juice. I say juice. She says she has pineapple, apple and 'mengo'. I choose 'mengo'. Seat-mate has already snoozed off. She wakes him up and repeats the 'mengo' speech. Then he asks, 'Don't you have minerals?' Strike two. She's lost; I'm shocked. Were we in 1985? He goes on, 'Like Coke, Mirinda...' That's strike three. She shakes her head. He whines, 'I don't like those hot things.' So he picks pineapple.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Poor Mother of Poor Twins

The sex was unlawful - sixteen year olds can't have legal sex in Ghana - and poorly executed (unprotected). I guess she didn't feel like a child then. The twins are lovely bundles of joy as children should be, except they're just one bundle! Suddenly their mother is a child; not mature enough to accept other children (her children) as they are. Then, again, I wonder if I'd be different.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Early Early Birds in the City of Accra

Is there still such a thing as stirring early at 7 am in Accra? The traffic has wrought wise owls of us all. We've had to push forward leave-nest time by 15 minutes every 6 months for the past 10 years. Now I wake up at silly-goose hour. The city flies the coop when a subway is suggested, and we're all chicken-livered at the idea of bicycles. But why should we ride and be a sitting duck for the trotro-bus to peck our limbs off? They swoop around the city as the crow flies. By the time the city authorities get their ducks in one row, the early-bird worm will wriggle out at 2 am.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

How the Military Assaulted, Non-Assaulted, then Un-Assaulted a Journo

When you blow a cloud of dust on my face, or spill a cup of water down my back, tickle my pits, dribble your forefinger down my cheek, or trickle melted chocolate on my chest while I’m asleep, without my consent, you have assaulted me in law. So when videos went viral of Ghanaian G.I.s (hyperbole alert!) choke-holding, hammer-locking, strong-shoving and face-tossing a pussycat journo on Independence Day, I joined to shout the ‘shame’ refrain. And when the military opened Ostrich investigations, called as many as zero witnesses and played possum with the raw, stripped, naked truth, I dog-pissed on their decency. What did they go and do? They went to say sorry. I accept; I hope the victim does too.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kantamanto - A Reason for a Fire

I recently favourited a tweet by @Be_Wisdom: “Surburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them ~ Bill Vaughan”. Some developer or interloper whooshed a flame through a tin-and-wood Central-Accra market that's crowded thick as fleas. The police won’t find the arsonist. I suspect strongly that the cinders are intended to make way for the construction of a capitalist, concrete-architectural crime-scene (how else to describe the explosive sprout of sterile office and apartment blocks in the least-green city that I know?). These traders are squatters in most of these settlements – we all know that; but usually squatters on governmental no-man’s land; permitted to settle for a decade or two or three. After the cinders, the riots, the cracked skulls, the lies, the justifications and the public loss of interest, a hideous and humongous habitat will hulk over the land that was known as Kantamanto.

Friday, May 3, 2013