When we ruled the neighbourhood as little kids, Christmas was about mischief. Knock on someone’s door and run, call your friend out and point a water gun in his face or just go stake balloon lotto till you get bored. Try-your-luck: that’s what we called it! I have no idea why I never won any fat balloon on that thing…smh.
So Christmas is here again and come and see Ghanaian children singing all over about their dreams for a white Christmas. Snowy white Christmas! Cracked lips and Harmattan is all they’ll get. I hear some shopping mall at Spintex dressed a host of Father Christmases to give away freebies to taxi drivers….there was a looong queue…lol.
Ok, so enjoy the season. Let 2012 come and let’s get more action as we roam Ghana a little again, catching people to bash.
Today is Boxing Day. Be nice to everyone you meet in the way, lest ye be boxed, Amen!
You know what I‘m going to talk about, right? Yep, me too!!
There are some Oriental-looking kids who seem to have cousins in every city of Ghana that I have visited! They sit with their moms in a small circle and plot till they see a suitable prey and then they strike. When you pass by their little army headquarters and their mothers set them on you, these children will hold you, hug you, tug at you, pull you, follow you, just do anything to turn the world upside down on you till you give them a coin, a note, anything! The thing is, they look poor: dirty, unwashed, unkempt. And to think that their mothers couldn’t look after the first born but went on to have the second and then the third born to increase her little battalion of bandits, make them a real sight to behold from a distance while they fleece it off someone…lol. I have seen these kids at work in Kumasi, and they look exactly like those I saw in Takoradi. Those in the different parts of Accra deɛɛ, sometimes when I see some at Circle and they are able to embarrass me till I squeeze a few pesewas from my pocket, I feel like beating the crap out of those I meet at Achimota right after picking a cab, thinking “aren’t you the kids I just gave money at Circle??” Their mothers may be sisters!
Oh, but some Americans too can be shameful papa! On Black Friday, when all American shops oblige to beat down the prices of all goods on sale, there is usually a fat rush to get previously expensive goods on the cheap. In Ghana, that is what we call a PROMOTION…‘donkomi’, when you get to Makola. They are promoting you, your money, their shop, their goods, just come and buy oo, come and buy. Last week, while people were heckling each other to stay ahead in the queue to get the cheap stuff first, one woman just pulled a can of pepper spray like the apocalypse was here. She blessed, anointed and baptised the rest of her queue-mates with it, no mercy for dessert! Oh, their lives were never the same again. I guess she may have wished each of them a Merry Christmas as well while the security people bundled her away. The height of greed, as if America is not the world’s richest economy! Kindergarten kids koraa have stopped that. So 20th Century!
I was getting home from the mall yesterday when I picked a trotro at Legon. Some dude who kept repeating his name “Michael Acheampong, Michael Acheampong” was standing in this trotro and he told us his whole life’s story in that short period till I alighted. He had been stubborn, disobedient to his parents and had been sent to serve time in Nsawam Prisons for robbery! In the cells, they were served a fist-size of banku as lunch and the soup was a sorry apology to cuisine. In all his stubborn days, he wouldn’t listen. On the day he was thrown into jail, his dad told him he was on his own and shouldn’t expect any visits from him. His mother was more merciful, making sure he had a ration of gari every month! He, Michael, where was he going to keep this gari even? And if it got picked, anybody and everybody was a suspect!! Who was he going to ask if who has seen his gari?? Nsawam is like Ghana’s maximum security detention facility for those who don’t know. People frown at you all day over there like you are the one who read out their prison sentence. He went everywhere, and he means EVERYWHERE, with his gari. And at 4a.m., he would wake up and swap some of his gari with an inmate’s sugar and they would eat! He always gave out his banku, never developing the stomach to eat it. He fasted for days! The government will bring them bags of beans but it never, ever ends up in their food! When it does, it is like five little round ones ground in a cup of water. He lived in hell. But he was able to find pardon and escaped that horrible place, where he says people are gay out of no choice of theirs. That is ‘payment’ for the little pleasantries and semi-luxuries they can afford from each other!! For those who have no gari to pay with!
He survived that place and wants us all to obey our parents oo. He said all this in a trotro and I thought that sharing it here, you people might also hear it and that would give his message meaning!
Ok, just like those little kids who heckle you for money, EVERY town or city in Ghana has a joint where some young dudes sell you the items in the title. And they seem to be on a January-to-December promotion!! You can hear loud speakers blurting it from every corner you turn; “Original Nokia battery, pen-drive, memory card, card-reader, promotion” as if the ‘promotion’ is also an item for sale! And they may not even have all the items oo. It seems someone just recorded the thing and they play it saa, like music. Even orange sellers koraa will be playing…ok, ok, I’ve stopped!!
I’m going for Barcamp Ho today. I hope you will attend Barcamp Ghana on the 17th of December in Accra if you can make it. Between now and then you deɛɛ, just obey your parents, eh? And stay off the streets! The Christmas rush-drivers are back!
Christmas is coming and Ghana is getting fidgety about it all again. Children are pestering their parents for toys and what-nots and big people too are planning parties and the like, looking for a chance to spare Christmas no forgiveness. In Ghana, we only know if Christmas is around the corner when traffic rises like some old woodcutter’s blood pressure. It’s happening again!
I went to Winneba last week, relishing the chance to run away from Accra traffic. Look at me, forgetting that it’s November and everyone has started doing their own Christmas shopping. Winneba too oo, in the middle of November, I went to sit in some traffic eh, me naa I wanted to come back to Accra and come and sleep. Oh forgerrabourit!! Winneba is way cooler then Accra kraa when it comes to traffic. I enjoyed the place and gave my sister’s neighbour an early Christmas gift, teaching her to drive.
I run to Takoradi on my last day at Winneba to pick up some stuff and look around, and when I sat down to eat some nice jollof bi at some joint around where that huge City Lights billboard is, here comes some Nigerian dude who sits across from me in the restaurant. I smiled at him, welcomed him to the table and the conversation began.
As we talked, I kept the innocent schoolboy smile. In all manner of bossy tones, this guy derided Ghana just like that, oh chale! Ghanaians will sit here and Nigerians, like him, will come and take all our oil money away. Nigerians are big! When they do stuff, they do it HUGE! For Ghanaians, small is cute and we like it like that! Not Nigeria. “See, wona good pastors don good well well! Di bad wons too no get shame. Our bad businessmen too fi chop your money better. Simple simple people for Nigeria fi show you money wey your eyes never see before. Wona population too make um easy say whether good tin or bad tin wey Nigerian person dey do, everybody go know say na Naija man be dat.” Then he went on to lecture me about how Swedru is the Yahoo capital of Ghana, when I told him I would leave our table and then just hop unto a bus for Winneba, the next town from Swedru. He actually laughed at me for not knowing how terrible Swedru is when it comes to yahoo boys. Oh, that is how Nigerians call fraudulent internet Sakawa boys oo. And he knew because some of his boys hang out over there. Then switching from pidgin now, “And all those pirate CDs that they sell on the streets in Accra and over here, I know where they even bring them all from in Nigeria. That one is just child’s play for the people who do it? They don’t even see anything wrong with it again, ah ah.”
Sam was a nice young man oo, but to boast about Nigeria and mention many negatives instead made me shake my head ankasa, when I was riding back to Winneba. We exchanged contacts for the fact that we were all interested in each other’s countries and then parted ways, maybe never to meet again.
One thing that Sam doesn’t know is that slowly slowly, it is Ghanaians who are chopping Nigerian people’s money!! It’s even laughable. The amount of money that Nigerians spend in schooling in Ghana every year is more than the money they budget for education in their country.
Yeah, so I was talking about Christmas in Accra. Go to the mall now and see the silly things they have hung over there. Ghanaians celebrated the American Thanksgiving Day here even more than Americans themselves koraa mpo. I’m sure some Ghanaians even had the famous Thanksgiving turkey koraa to top it! And why must it be turkeys alone that get slaughtered at Thanksgiving at all? I can guess it was a lack of turkey money that made me see those people on the next street slaughter a chicken on the day!! Hehe…na Thanksgiving too, is it by force? Some man went to insult the Okyehene and got summoned last week to the palace to come and clear his name. After a fruitless defense, he was asked to pay compensation with 72 snow-white sheep…loool. After all, Okyehene too deserves to eat Christmas meat…na nneɛma!
Okay, enjoy December and make sure you stay safe oo. No accidents and the like. Let’s see 2012 together and find more people to bash! It’s ok, your ears itch you too much, ahba…..