Tag Archives: Takoradi

GHANAIAN TRAFFIC, SOME NIGERIAN DUDE AND OKYEHENE’S CHRISTMAS

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!

Accra traffic
Accra traffic

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.

Winneba Sunset
Winneba Sunset

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!

72 times Sheepish
72 times Sheepish

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…..

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FIGHT THE GOOF FIGHT – PLUS ONE MAN WHO CAN’T STAY AWAKE

Nsɛm pii
Nsɛm pii
Sometimes, I just don’t understand. Ahh…well, let me just keep my mouth shut before someone delivers me two hefty slaps nicely wrapped five long months before Christmas ooo, yoo!!

Believe it or not, plenty fist-fights are making the rounds here paa, and many people are nursing pitiful noses for kingdom come. When the NDC Congress was held last week, some macho guys were said to have gone there so that they can balance the equation just in case a few punches had to be thrown….lol…how they came back disappointed, packing their bags of fists with them all the way to Sunyani!! It wasn’t even funny – no punches to throw after a peaceful Congress, the lady well Konadued in the process. So much for fun.

Ok, so here I was, on my way from town yesterday when we came across a lively scene of people gathered and seemingly beholding a spectacle. Our trotro driver made it seem like he wanted to pick passengers and stopped right near the action. For me, the front seat was perfect spot and I stuck my neck out well to see what the action was. Tscho, I didn’t even stick it out for long!! Right before my very eyes – WHAM!! – then a lean, sad-faced man came stumbling out of the pack, his face twisted to the east and he staggering in the opposite direction, eyes closed and MERCY printed boldly in all manner of font sizes over his face. It wasn’t even funny. TWO DRUNKEN MEN WERE FIGHTING!! And they lacked the composure to stand on their feet and do the thing properly! Of course, the more sober one was winning. For the other one, na ayɛ ka!!

See people, it was late!! Like 7p.m. koraa oo. Responsible men of their type should have been watching GTV news with their children and here they were, testing each other’s cheeks in the twilight. The utterly drunk man couldn’t even speak to defend himself. Me, I will bet my last two pesewas to believe that he was probably even the one who was right. But….ahhh well!!

So our bus, having given us the chance to witness a non-promoted fight, hurried daintily on to bring us to our destination.

Today, in the trotro, I felt like talking on behalf of the mate, who was not even complaining! See, how can you board a bus, be bound for a 30pesewa journey, and then you hand the mate a 50cedi note so he can change it!! His entire day’s savings kraa will not give fetch you change! So some two unscrupulous dudes decided this was what they’ll do. The mate couldn’t find the change, obviously, so he let the driver speed past their junction, Nonsense!! The boys didn’t take it kindly, barking their displeasure all over the bus! The mate waited, made sure we got to a distance where it will be too short to pick another trotro and painfully long to walk back to their original junction, then he dropped them off, giving them their entire 50cedi note back! Ahaa, the mate had his own reason for keeping quiet in the start…lol. And when he dropped them off, quietly cursed a solemn “next time” at them as they walked away. Too cute!

Ok so where did I go? I went to spot accommodation oo, people! My National Service ends in days and since I’m staying here in Takoradi after it’s done, I had to find a place for rent. All the time when I was ranting my head-load of trouble to my landlord-to-be, saa na the man was asleep!! This man who himself was just talking a few minutes ago, chale. Some grumpy old man who didn’t even turn an eye when I walked out quietly like a prodigal son come back home. He was asleep – flat. Oh, so tomorrow I’ll go back and finish the negotiations, but I’ll carry cola nut along so that he’ll chew liveliness into his life while I settle my dues, na adɛn! If he sleeps again, I’ll talk to myself and conclude the deal, Period!!

COME AND SEE CRAB-CATCHING TAKORADI-STYLE

Mehn!! That game was something else. Ghana and England. When we finished, some dude said that based on the away goal rule, Ghana had won! Ei people! But, seriously, the atmosphere was something else. I’d love to be in that Wembley of a stadium one day oo. Hmm…one day one day!

Okay, if you’ve been reading this blog paa, then I don’t need to tell you I’m in Takoradi. And many times after work, I like to stroll at the beach, let the waves come and sweep my feet, write poetry as the tide comes and goes and watch the sunset. Mine, the best place to watch the sunset is at the beach, like seriously. All the elements are present. And I get to have a far-off view at those ships docking at the port at Sekondi too. Hey, last time I decided to take a few shots of the sunset. I was dreamily carried away.

The Sunset I witnessed. Pretty.
The Sunset I witnessed. Pretty.
Just before sunset
Just before sunset

Ei, and look at me at the beach watching the sunset again when this man comes with a piece of a barrel that he has cut in two. He walked past me and continued to go. None of my business but I continued to look at him go. No suspicions though but if you see somebody with a barrel on his head at the beach, tell me it’s not weird and let me keep my mouth shut! So I keep looking until he stops in the sand at a safe distance and starts to scoop the sand out where he’s standing, making a hole. Curious me, I hurriedly approached him for a sight of the whole thing. And guess what, he was setting a crab-trap.

Okay, so this is it. He dug a deep enough hole and put the half barrel inside it. I was like, Ah! Any sensible crab will see that! And before I could say Jack, he covered the barrel with a slit rubber sheet and put sand all over the side to hide it. Then he put those husky fibres that we all throw away after the palmnut soup has been made, all around his trap and put a rudimentary flag on it. Trap complete. Tomorrow morning, we will come and find crabs, he told me.

Hiding the barrel
Hiding the barrel
Finished Trap. And husk to dope.
Finished Trap. And husk to dope.

Ah, is that all? Apparently, these crabs will come and eat the husk, try to reach what is in the barrel, fall inside through the slits on the rubber and will never be the same again. Ahaaa, I was now getting it. So I told him to save some of the soup for me when it’s ready and just imagine a broad smile with two missing front teeth. Yes, that’s exactly what he flashed at me, thank you very much.

I want so bad to go into photoblogging huh! I have a feeling there are too many nice sites in Ghana to miss sights on. So, keep your fingers crossed for me, eh? When I do, I’ll keep the biggest shouts for you people who have been reading my blog even when I’m not updating it. What sense do I write anyway?? Some guy met me in town the other day and his friend, my friend as well, told him I was the guy who wrote that funny article they read that day ago, and see this dude just burst into uncontrollable laughter. Ah!! I mean, me too I have feelings oo. Letting the whole town turn their attention to me like that!! What’s my crime??

Too many nice things are happening in Ghana right now, I can’t even keep up with them all. But I’m sure that before I leave Takoradi, I would have set my own trap and caught the crabs some. Maybe koraa I will start a crab farm. And export. And stop getting funny people laughing at me in town. So help me God.

OSEIKROM EXPEDITION – AWAY TO AMERICA!

Did I tell you that I love poetry? You people have not been reading my poetry blog here. Shame on you all!

Ei people, I went to Oseikrom last weekend for a Christian gathering of all universities in Ghana. Yes, it’s called Intellecto. And I had to minister a poem too. It was breath-taking. I had spent the weeks before trying the lines out at the beach with the waves sweeping my feet. Mehn! That was something!!

Ahaa so we are in Oseikrom. Kumasi. And on the Monday before I’d leave, I had to take a trotro from town to campus and have lunch with some very good friends I had left since last year. So, see me, an unassuming young man looking for a ride and here comes a huge bus. No way, not your ordinary trotro come calling. Just look at the picture here.

America. AWAY!!
America. AWAY!!

And the mate and driver were shouting all over the neighbourhood – Adum, Kejetia and so on. Only that, they were so excited about the abnormal trotro they had brought into town that, they affected everyone with their exuberance. Come see this driver screaming America, America, America on top of his lungs!! Yɛrekɔ America. And the heat caught on! Women who had market wares, and pleased that they had a big bus to carry all their stuff, literally run over each other just to get their tickets to supposed America. It was a happy scene, I tell you. And to make matters worse, both the mate and his driver were wearing neat white singlets and blinks around their necks, making them look typically Siano and moderately Yanki! No size kraa. So come and see! The market women joined the chorus once the bus set off, screaming their own America, America, America through the windows of this huge bus that turned heads with all the noise that we were now making on the bus, calling other people to come join us on this once-in-a-life-time journey to America. Adum! Grown men and women like that oo. It was not easy.

I mean, that was supposed to be enough, right? Wrong! It got worse when we got into trotro district where other buses came by-passing us to pick passengers along the way when we stopped ourselves. The women left the America calls to the driver and focused on the small buses. Insulting these other drivers they were, accusing them of not having any respect for women who have market wares to carry, with the silly excuse that their buses are too small to put up with such nonsense!! The women heaped thousands of unmentionables on them, saying that they will forever drive small buses all the days of their lives until they learn to respect unsuspecting market women who mean them no harm even. I didn’t have time to hold myself back. I was laughing it all away as we drove on. And did I even hear one woman scream from the back that our driver hurry it up so that our big bus can pick all the passengers on the way before the small buses get there? So that they can drive their small buses home empty and drink water on their hungry arrogance, who cares?? Oh my, Kumasi gave the fun! I was sweating with laughter.

Ok, so I’m back in Takoradi and two days ago, BBC started transmission here in the city on 104.7fm. I love their reportage so I’ll tune in when I’m in town and I’m not on twitter. One lady was granting an interview on yesterday’s transmission and she told the journalist that she walked into Tullow Oil and told them she wanted a job. Plain as that! They said to her, “but you are still in the polytechnic?” and she says, “I want to be sure that when I finish I will have a job so I have come to settle matters!” That’s what I call VIM made in Ghana. So if the oil people have come around thinking they are going to get things cheap cheap and walk away, they’ve got one more thing coming! We are ready to take charge of our oil and make sure it works in our proper interest, who is asking for qualification? In Ghana, everyone is qualified to do every job, tell them.

And so we are here. Let’s keep loving Ghana. And happy belated 54th Independence Day to everyone. Ghana Rocks.

HANNAH UNTO WHOM HANNAH IS DUE

Herh!! You think I typed the title wrong, eh? Be there and be wasting your own time. If you haven’t been to Ghana and heard us speak, shut up and suffer!! Too Known!! Honour roll.

Ahaa, as I was saying, I’m a two-week old Takoradi-born, thank you very much for the applause. And as you know, me dierr I won’t be there and hear people say crap in Ghanaian language and leave them scot-free, no way!! So the first thing I hear when I get here is some guy emceeing a show and goes like, “Yes, so let’s give Hannah to whom Hannah is due”. Please read that again and make sure that this time, the H is very heavy. Hhannah!! Ahaa, that’s right. I clapped the loudest for him in that place, eaven (for Heaven) knows best!! Oops, there the guy goes again. After the programme, someone screamed his name out and I realized that ahh, he was Ga. That settled it for me!!!

Ok so we hall know that some Gas ave a beef with their H. It goes beyond words, mehn! They miss the H where it should be and use it when they don’t need it! So we were in church the other day when, just before offertory, I had taken my wallet and taken out a crisp note as my offering to the Lord, after all, He has been faithful. So, in the pious midst of holy brethren, all faces lit up like sanctimonious angels, imagine my utter shame when I got up and loudly dropped a 5pesewa coin..it just rolled out of my pocket…. I was like “Shoot!!, that was not me, I promise. That’s not what I was going to give. I never…” But who will hear?? The coin had done its business, lying there on the floor right next to me, accusing me loudly of ingratitude!!! Certainly, I could give more than that…and God was worth more, you see! It robbed me of the confidence to pick it up, even. After church, I looked in the place where it had fallen and lo and behold, it was gone. Mysteries.

That reminds me…some pretty little girl came to give her testimony and said hasn’t the Good Lord done so much for her? Hey lady, He has done for us all, okay? And she went on about how just a week ago, she had a headache, and hadn’t it been the devil and his co-workers who had come to take her head away? “They were pulling my head while my body was sitting there!” Hey, no laughing!! This is serious business! So she made frantic calls to her Christian friends and they all came to pull against the devil, a mighty tug of war it was until her head was finally let free. Halleluyah! Amen. One dude was so excited about this apparent victory that he said from now on, no one should listen to the devil when he speaks because lying is his mother tongue and that we all will be missing the truth if we go playing with the devil. Acknowledged very much!

There is an old school Twi praise song that translates that If the devil worries me I’ll give him canes, hiding behind the Lord, I’ll give him canes. Crrrrap!! After the testimony time, come see young people on fire for the Lord, giving the devil his worse beating with careless abandon, uncaring what the circumstances be. Oh, I love these young people.
So, I’m settling into Takoradi very well and happy that far away on this coast we can still find Ga kenkey straddled along the best boutiques in town. We are enjoying Ghana here with the best Ga accent you can find…somebody say a mighty aalleluyah…uh erm…cough..cough.