No oo! It’s not even what you’re thinking. Granted, this year is action year, ok.
Over here in Ghana, we greet ourselves so much every time of the day and that’s good. Before the Christmas break, I met a pretty African-American lady who insisted her name is Yenbere. It’s not Jamaican. It’s Akan for “Our time.” I think it was influenced by the World Cup. Very nice lady who kept going on and on about how Ghana is a nice place with nice people and we don’t even know it. I walked beside her listening to all her goings-on, smiling to myself. We don’t know it?? She hasn’t even been to Nima before to warrant what she’s saying. I just think those people love Ghana more than any other people alive.
Over the holidays, my little cousin was poking his new toy into the cell phone mouthpiece in order to show it to his gran on the other side. Oh, forgive him…he’s only two. But that’s the beauty of innocence. He couldn’t believe that the phone doesn’t see. And when everyone tried to explain it to him, here he goes bawling so loud you’ll think we ought to be taking instructions from him instead.
I was going to the café the last time when I overheard two people barking at each other on the top of their voices. Ok, I don’t speak Ga very well so I had little idea what they were talking about but the man was holding a huge spade and at every word, he will wave it threateningly at the woman standing across the street on the other end of the conversation. I mean, this is serious!! Why isn’t there a crowd?? Somebody should stop them before it gets any worse. But I decided to mind my own business like everyone else and probably watch from a safe distance. So there I go.
After a few more minutes of supposedly heated exchange, the two burst into laughter. No, true!! How could they just make up so easy? I was confused. That was when I realised that all along, they weren’t arguing. Not at all!! I had experienced the proverbial weight of the Ga language in all its majesty and I didn’t even have to pay for it, thank you very much. I felt foolish but I was amused too. For free.
Two weeks ago, fuel prices went up. That was a beautiful showpiece there at all trotro stations. See drivers immediately jump at the chance to double their charges and make good banter among them about how business is booming. But in Ghana, we have rules with fuel increases and they usually go like this: Increase fuel prices, transport fares go up, drivers and their mates exchange a few blows for dear life with confused passengers and then some kind of consensus is reached. Then everybody is happy.
So, last week, we got to the “exchange blows” part when some taxi driver dropped his passenger friend off at Kanda beside TV3. Oh, did I say friend?? It wasn’t funny at all. Come and see grown men heckling each other over 10pesewas!! Screams of “You will pay” and “I won’t pay” were spread all over listening eardrums, enough to make newspaper headlines embarrassed and look incompetent. Two grown men!! It took the counsel of onlookers to plead the two men apart and that wasn’t done after chapters and chapters of cursing too. They hadn’t had enough. I bet you, if that young man needs a taxi for an interview he is late for, he better walk if that driver is the only he can find. Period. After all, what did it mean when the driver screamed his last “Neeext time” as the crowd dispersed??
Ok, over the last two weeks, I started this new blog on African poetry and boy, am I loving it!! So check that one out too and leave a comment for me, eh?? Oh, stop kidding and be kind. We’ll keep poking our noses into Ghanaian people’s cooking pots over here and be doing serious things on that other page, or?? Thank you, thank you.