Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Melting Streets of Accra

The fiery sun is barbecuing up the sweltering streets of Accra in their own bitumen. I wonder, if a similar sizzle is not sautéing the (delicious?) delicate sauce around the human brain. Might that be why some street Accraians behave like little devils dancing on a bed of flaring coal? We have scythed down all the trees for urban (under)development!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cascading Buildings in the City of Accra

A college girl dies. Her friend is between a rock and a hard place. They were only leaving a hostel as students do. A canopied walkway avalanches on them. The building was erected decades ago. Money is not for maintenance in Ghana. It is for creating, and then creating some more. Already existing infrastructure can take care of itself.

Her parents were expecting a smarter girl back. They are getting a corpse. It happened in school; on school property. Somebody has to pay. Her parents are grieving, I know. But, they should PLEASE not simply leave it to God. Sue somebody. Sue everybody who should have cared. It won't bring Eva back, but do it anyway. Start with university authorities!

God, I did not know her – why am I so upset?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Accra Central All-Ages Nudity-Stupidity Circus

The fetid, frowzy throng makes it even harder to breathe in the sun-baked air of Accra’s bus stations. Yet another hapless mayor is evacuating vendors from one of the bus stations. The vendors, who think they own all public space in the city of Accra, have threatened to strip to the scandalous skin to protest. Fools! Did you pay a tuppence for that real estate? I’m always at phone-camera ready. I’ll record your circus freak show. You’ll make Accra uglier than you already have (than I ever thought you could!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Married at 15

I stray one thousand miles today. A big man in a West African country has alleged nuptials with a fifteen-year-old North African girl. It’s said she cannot be ‘wifed’ off at this nymph age in Pharaohland. So, the ‘dowered’ deed is done in Naija. A ‘mammaried’ minister is asked if anything is being done about the stolen youth. She says consultations will be held. Has a crime been committed or not?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vampires against Mothers in Ghana

We are not developing – we are primitive! Why is it that in 2010, so many women die during childbirth? It is rubbish! Cow dung! I do not think you need state-of-the-effing-art equipment to prevent these thousands of deaths. What you need is competent medical personnel. What you need is caring people. What you need is less negligence. What you need is strong punishment for negligent medical practitioners and establishments. What you need is a jail term or two for a doctor or nurse or midwife or quack. Don’t no doctor feel tres bien in Accra, Bawku or Half Asini for the next year unless maternal deaths nationwide are below 100! Or may you choke on your stethoscope...or sphygmomanometer!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Albert Luthuli Road, Accra

It is a little, arboreal street turning off the Gamal Abdel Naser Avenue at Ridge, in the city of Accra. Luthuli hosts the Ghana Maritime Authority, and a part of the Passport Office, where Accraians, other Ghanaians (and people who sound Nigerian) queue from 5 a.m. for Ghana passports. It also hugs a long wall around a decrepit colonial bungalow. In seven places on the wall, somebody has charcoaled “Don’t urinate here”. It must be that passersby do not know the great South African Chief, so they pee on his 'Nobel' renown. Would they stop if they found out who he was?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ghana’s Lifeless Premier League

... but they have Chelsea and Arsenal!

It is sooo tiring and tired; dull, drab! Artless players, soulless tv coverage, cheating, beating, whatever. And why are there sixteen, sickly, struggling, saturnine clubs? There should be only eight at that level, for starters.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Girl with a Broom in Accra

When the round, clean-edged, yellow sun was just sprouting up with no blinding rays, I drove by a 4-or-5 year old sweeping the ground in front of a shanty shack. It looked like her home; she, like she was sleepwalking. It is not true to say she was sweeping – from the way the broom dominated her in height and size. It was barely 6 a.m. She should have been asleep or rousing for school.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday School

Are parents twice loving God if they dole to their kids to display, first, and then dunk in the Sunday-School blue bowl?

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Chemistry

I drip with It
In mushy molecules.
Like a faulty tap,
It trickles
When It comes.
If You wait a while,
It collects in a pool.
It ripples deep for You.
It’s better than a gush -
It lasts longer-longer.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Grey in the Groin

He spends three stiff-neck hours bent over every Saturday, looking for the solitary grey in his pubic hair. He's disappointed to find that he's all black down there, while his beard shows thirty strands. His head - he's been compelled to shave it all!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Final Piece

we have spent time,
enjoyed each other
and not died from idle boredom.

we had a false start,
raised it new from the ground,
and found mutual addiction.

we’ve even come to trust
that, in any trying moment,
we'll have each other's back.

now we feel each absence;
we scheme and devise ways
to touch and care all day.

the mind is never bare,
the dream, always sweet,
the smile, as ever, warm.

i’ve found the fulfilling piece,
you hold it all together,
with you, life's now complete.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Liquid Fire

Liquid fire
Burning desire
Men and boys love to admire
Sleek red wire
Sweet like a lyre
Blaze hot and higher
Fancy flier
Blood red attire
Liquid fire
How do I aspire!
Liquid fire
You’re mine to acquire!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wonderful You

How I live my life for you
I know you'll never know
The way I feel warm to your touch
The pleasure only your name brings
How I fear to sleep too deep
As dreams are so unreal
The little lies I tell myself
The big smiles that light up my eyes
The things that I'd like us to do
How I’d kill not to lose you
I want to tell your face softly
How wonderful you are!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kindred Spirits

Give me a day
To catch my breath
To still my heart

Cut me a sliver
Of your sugary soul
To fill my heart with sweetness

Plant me a kiss
From your lovely lips
To catch my youth forever

Hold me to you
Tenderly in your arms
A hug to call me yours

Smile me some gold
And silver in your eyes
Bathe my house in sunlight

Tell me a tale
Of love and long ago
Of laughter and of glee

Sing me a song
Sing deep and deeper still
And bring tears to my eyes

Spare me a thought
Of absence, hearts and fondness
For I’m always missing you

Lock me in a look
The power of your eyes
My feelings freeze for all time

This universe we share
Is quite a pretty thing
Because you and I are 'natural'

Stretch your arms and touch me
Whisper your answer to my wish
The truth I’ve always known.

For: The Woman I know was made just for me! I believe. Please Believe!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Back-Stabbing – The Anlo Experience

In 1783, warriors from Akyem, Ada, Akwapem and Ga ganged up with Denmark (yes, Danes!) to fight a war with the great and proud people of Anlo. What had the Anlos done? Oh, they’d only pillaged a Danish trade caravan and killed its leader (just one man) of whose names only Thessen appears to have survived history.

Against the force of such an overwhelming conspiracy, the great Anlos lost to the Danes and the back-stabbers, and were ruled and controlled by Denmark until 1850 when they suffered the ignominy of being passed along to Great Britain along with other ‘possessions’ of Denmark, which had lost interest(?) in what is present-day Ghana.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

One Million Paths to Love

Time and Attraction
soon lure love to themselves;
Wit and Humour
fetch a fertile fondness;
Smiles and Kindness
will coax cascading affection;
Loneliness and Presence
bind unlikely souls together;
Risk and Adventure
ravish reason with seduction -
One million paths to Love.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Kwahu Easter Fiesta

Obo, Obomeng, Atibie, Mpraeso: they attract revelling crowds from the 4 corners of Ghana and lands beyond. Rarefied-air-on-mountaintop, music and barbecue tightly hugging the narrow, eroding-bitumen streets on either side, wealthy chateaux holding hands with old, 1970s homes.

At Atibie: paragliding for foreigners (because it costs GH¢50 a glide), at Mpraeso: Music Music by TV3, at Obomeng: founts of drink and mounts of food. But, this year, somebody directed that no women should wear miniskirts, hot shorts or short dresses. Next year, they’ll lose numbers.

Friday, April 2, 2010


While exiting a white-goods shop with Lil Girl, a bloke pulls up and waves at her, so we figure they’re familiar. I’m stowing a bag in the boot, when bloke accosts Lil Girl and whispers that she’s beautiful and he wants her number. Lil Girl calmly gestures towards me and says that her husband would not like that. Oaf-bloke turns around and ‘penguins’ into the shop. He’s fat, and his boxers are oozing out of his sagging jeans.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Ghana Music Awards

A regular commerce-driven company organises the Ghana Music Awards. It was a master stroke of business genius for them to create the event which attracts more suspense, intrigue and excitement than almost any other in Ghana. I don’t think many events have been more crazily followed in Ghana in the past 10 years than the Ghana Music Awards, apart from the General Elections, the Africa Cup of Nations 2008 and Barack Obama’s pit stop in Accra.

In its time, I’ve seen the Ghana Music Awards criticised by musicians almost every year. Now, criticism itself is not a bad thing, is it? But if so many are so variously angered, dismayed or repulsed by nominations and awards at the event, why is it still so inexorably popular? Cannot the musicians and their associations set up their own glitzy-ritzy awards event? And since they will be the organisers and the eligible at the same time, the popularity of their programme will mean a necessary waning of the star quality of the Ghana Music Awards.

You can support the Ghana Music Awards and make it better, or you can cull its clout by setting up a ‘self-awarding’ musicians’ event. Whatever you do, do not accept nominations every year and turn around to criticise if the “Most Popular Song of the Year”, by your estimation, is no more popular than cricket in Ghana.