Tag Archives: trotro

You just have to love Accra

I spent some stressful day in Accra some days back, eh? Me kraa, I vowed to stay out of the capital for a long time till all the construction work is done.

Accra dey bee
Accra dey bee

Imagine: I set off like 5:45am from home far out in Akuse for a 9am meeting! I missed the meeting time not because of the length of the journey but because when I got into Accra of all places a full hour before the meeting time, I had to snail through unbelievable traffic right from the motorway till I got to the venue. Set that one against the fact that I spent more on transport picking dropping inside the capital than I did in getting into the capital and hwɛ, Accra people should take their Accra, w’ate?? Kai!

On returning, I got to Madina on this eventual day of the destruction of the old station and parts of the market to make way for the new road. Several dudes kept pointing that the station I was looking for was right up ahead, right up ahead, Oh, just keep walking – I almost ended up walking my way right out of the city, ahba! The station had been relocated to some old neglected site and no-one could just tell me!! I kept climbing over the rubble of the morning’s demolition, finding my way through the remaining half of people’s kitchens, shops and around some careless market women who didn’t mind selling their wares on top of the chaos. When I finally found my way to the station a full hour after I started searching, here I was, staring at the mother of all queues!! I kept going in an attempt to find the end of the queue, I almost collapsed. It was already 6:30pm and I had a 2 and a half hour journey ahead! I finally got a ride at 8pm so imagine!

When the bus got full too a, because all the drivers and other passengers were having a hard time finding the station, the transport fare duly got inflated, just like that!! A full extra One Ghana cedi! Oh chale!! When you’re looking for a bus home in Ghana and there are no options, like maybe it’s very late or there are scarce buses or there are chaw people looking to board, be prepared to pay up to fifty per cent increment, wae!! It happened to me that evening.

As usual, people started giving it to the driver’s mate when we set off. Only the devil can sanction such a jump in the transport cost! Aren’t all the drivers on this particular route just plain villagers? They should take this uncivilised behaviour to Nima and we’ll see if they can pay their dentist for a new set of teeth! And a whole lot of unmentionables my Christian self will not even permit me to type, oh chale! One woman even suggested that after charging all that, since the bus had no AC or radio, the mate better sing for us the whole journey or he return our change, no two ways! Some post-kaya man on the bus took that as a call for entertainment and disturbed us thenceforth with some unpalatable music from his loud China phone till we were grateful to have him get off!!

Ok, I’ll be returning to Accra again soon and this time, I hope I bring a better story. Whatever it brings, no place rocks like Ghana. I can’t wait till our 55th Anniversary next two weeks! Dɛdɛɛdɛ!!

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RAMADAN RAZZMATAZZ PLUS A GUY WITH A FEW LOOSE SCREWS

I want to be carried in a kayayo’s basin this month. Oh, why are u laughing? I’m serious!!

Ahaa, it’s Ramadan, the Muslim fast. I have had a couple of experiences with Muslims since they started fasting so let me blurt it all out before their fast ends. Right now, they will spare me if I say something wrong.

All the best waakye in every neighbourhood is sold by a certain Hajia, tell me I’m lying!! All the Hausa kooko u buy on your way to work is sold by a certain other Hajia, bettings!! And then the grilled meat, the best are sold at Nima where almost everybody is a Muslim.

Ok, you see, there was once that I got to the station at Achimota, looking for a bus home. It wasn’t very late too oo but some mate came and said since there was a winding queue, they were going to charge one Ghana cedi flat!!! Instead of sixty pesewas. How they rained unmentionables at him in that queue?? No mercy at all. He was all sorry for himself before the bus got fully boarded even, people swearing at him that they’ll send him back to the village he came from before he gleaned even five extra pesewas from them. It was pathetic. If he had done this at Nima on a normal day, only he will have an abnormal day: kokooko someone will land a blow on his mouth, so help him God. Ahaa, so we boarded that bus and were of before the mate knew what was going on. Sixty pesewas we all paid him, na nneɛma!!

Not exactly a Trotro
Not exactly a Trotro

Ehen…there was a pretty Muslim lady seated beside me on that bus, prettily adorned in their mayafi, who didn’t utter a word when we were busily offending the mate. Holy Ramadan times are not for picking petty squabbles in a trotro when the East is there to be faced, so she was mute as the word all through. I guessed the month called for it or else her voice would have been most welcome in that loud castigating chorus!! And gladly would she have offered it.

Yeah, yeah the other day I was coming from Accra to Achimota again when our bus picked up a heavily rastaed man who had a few loose screws up his head, how would anyone have known?!! I’m sure he’s been making a chimney of his head, those people smoking saa, like it’s a square meal. Immediately the bus set off he started talking out loud, cursing all Ga people till kingdom come, saying that aren’t they all Nigerians who migrated here and are now claiming Accra to be their own?? “‘Ile Ife’ that’s where they came from!!! If they misbehave, we’ll burn all their houses down and gather all of them in one corner before they’ll see yes!! We’ll show them we own the land. And that foolish Rawlings, he thinks we don’t know him!! He and all the Ewes, foolish Togo people!! They are here!! Look, if it wasn’t Boakye-Gyan!! Boakye-Gyan!! like Rawlings is a small boy!! We will sack all of them to their Togo. Foolish people! Even we are not saying anything. We will burn their cars, we will burn their foolish houses and we will show them where power lies.” You see, when people are seriously doing their holy Ramadan, you are here, with no manners whatsoever, spitting nyaa to whom it may concern!! When he got down that bus, wasn’t there a general uproar over how silly some loose-heads can be?? We just drove on!!

Ahaa, on the same day, I felt so sorry for a young, pretty kayayo girl who tripped over the pavement and fell with the heavy load of goods on her head, the poor girl. She looked Muslim too, with the insignia of her religion showing, and I pitied her that she should carry so big a burden while she fasted. Sorry wae!! I felt so much to blame, I don’t even know why?!! Ahh well, I just said my sorry and walked past her too.

Ok, so yeah, my loudest greetings to all the Hajias who make all the good food at the street corners and still have no moral right to taste it to see how good the salt and spice are because it’s Ramadan. The food still maintains the quality too, so yes, I doff my scraggy hat for them. Please, Ramadan, pass fast so that they can eat, wae. And take your hungry self and go and jump into the sea, na adɛn??
Ok, I’m gone. Christmas is coming.

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.