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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Emergency Treatment Needed

I've had a couple of things up in my head I know I have to blog about. But this is an emergency, and even this is two days late. Can you imagine? Treating an emergency two whole days later. But then if you are in Ghana or grew up here like me, that's not much of a surprise. Taking into consideration how (well) utility companies (serve) their customers. But we're not talking about utilities today.

Two nights ago around 11:30pm, I was in my bed browsing and listening to ESPNradio online (to catch up on all the discussions about the NBA finals) after a very tiring Tuesday at the workshop at home. That's no news. The news? I heard arguments and shouting from the next house right behind mine. That compound houses two two bedroom apartments, rented out;the one on the my right side to a family of four and the other to some single dude in his thirties(hope am right). This dude often has friends coming over and they disturb my peace most of the night because I can hear all that they talk about. He occasionally has female visitors too, I've no idea who's the madam proper though. The noise was coming from the left side of the house; the young fella's part of the building.

On this night he probably had the madam proper around. There was a lot of exchange of words mostly in Akan then occasionally in English. Allegations of infidelity and cheating being thrown by both sides against each other. The talking got louder with time and then the unimaginable(for me) occurred. Dude started hitting/beating/battering (or whatever fancy word the law will use) the lady. Those might have been some hard hits if I was hearing a cool 30 feet away and through at least three different walls. The family on the other side was of course alarmed and came out to help solve the issue. But even in their presence I could still here the dude beating the woman. Utter disrespect!

I was sort of horrified because I've never been close to any woman-beating man. I only saw in movies and could never imagine because it didn't happen anywhere close to where I grew up; not in our home!

I was disgusted, disappointed, ashamed, shocked, confused. I felt sick at once and had goosebumps. Because the whole time I was holding on to my phone and wondering if there's emergency number to call in such a situation, unless there's one I don't know about. I'm very sure many women and children suffer violence at home that no one knows about. The country must protect the weak. We must protect our weak and helpless. Let's just stop wasting time arguing about useless things every time. We have a long way to go as a country, oh Ghana! We better sit up.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

What are We?

What are Ghanaians? Accommodating or hospitable. I'm asking this question as a result of a few rather interesting things that happend in a couple of trotros I took yesterday.  However you look at it, being an Accraian (shout outs to @AntiRhythm for that word that describes someone who lives in Accra), I am a very experienced troski customer. They've been my main source of transport for a good amount of my life, from my basic school days right till now as I try to make some sense out of this life and some money along the way.
the long bus I boarded on my way to the Chale Wote street festival
A young drunk man happened to join the first bus I boarded at Kaneshie to Odorkor. Chale, the guy was mad drunk and was literally melting down his seat. The troski was full of funny comments about how drunk he was on a work night and if he could find his way home. nobody really seemed to insult him or say anything bad about him; just funny 'ol comments about drunks in local languages.

Then I get to Mallam to pick the last bus to my hood, Gbawe. A lot happened in this one. I wonder if I have the dexterity with words to be able to  paint a good picture of them all. First, the troski mate was as funny as hell, even from the way he welcomed passengers into the bus et al, one would know this was going to be an interesting ride. Then the journey begun. Even before the bus moved there was this chic sitting in the corner seat behind me. 

A few minutes into the journey the driver stopped by a popular drive-by bakery along the Mallam - Gbawe road to get some bread. You should have seen how much murmuring and ''what-kind-of-service-is-this-?'' chants he earned himslef from the passengers. The driver seemed a nice guy as he didn't respond to any of the ''blastings'' from the passengers. Back to the chic, she might probably have been returning from some mid-week church service of sorts. She was singing slow gospel songs as spiritually as one could sing them. Not quietly ooo, loud enough for the driver and the others in the front seat to hear her.  But nobody complained, even though it was clear that everybody didn't like her disturbing the peace in the troski. So why didn't anybody just ask her to STFU? Is it because we like people to feel comfortable at our expense or we are afraid to stand for what's ours? why did the driver get the bad treatment in this case?

But then like a few minutes more than half way through the journey, the singing chic got down. You should have been there to hear the comments and humor created out of her sing-aloud-troski-venture. People were clearly not happy with what she was doing and yet allowed her to continue...hmm..Ghana!

Things like this confuse me daily about who and what Ghanaians are and what they really stand for and believe in.

And I'm pretty sure this piece could have been written far better and have been made more interesting by a better writer..I just hope you get the message I was trying to put across though.
Have a great day!