I had finished what I had to do in the UK. And then I finished what had to be done in Ghana. I came home. The Government of National Unity was a few months old. There was hope. Everyone seemed to be smiling. There was bread on the table. We had milk for breakfast. There was fuel at petrol stations. The sun was shining. And then our leaders began throwing dirt at each other. The harmony started sliding away. Pockets of violence emerged, albeit mildly. We all thought it was a passing phase. My friend Kobbler began to wonder. He would sit at his street corner where he has mended our dirty shoes for decades staring blankly at the decaying sun. He would ask what it is that politicians really wanted? Was it money, was it power, was it control, was it peace, was it development? We all could not answer him. He would also ask what it is that the population had done wrong? What had we done for God to punish us this much? Could it not be appeased? Or was it our ancestors that were angry with us? What was it? He would then take a deep sip from his opaque scud beer. Deeper sips as each day passed. Deeper than what I had ever seen him take. I could not dare ask him why. His eyes were now strange red balls of fire. He looked like he was on fire inside. Some friends told me he would sometimes cry. Crying so deeply like a pained child. Some said he was drinking too much. Some said he was losing it. How does one lose it? I wondered. His questions left us with other questions. Deeper questions. Where were we going as a country? Would this ever end? When? Where? How? Who would end it? How? When?
Then last week, a call came. Kobbler asked for me. I ran to his house. He was breathing high. He had lost strength. He looked wasted. He looked at me for a long time. He cluthched my hand weakly and said, "You must stop asking questions to yourself". I was beside myself with wonder. What had gotten into him? "You must demand what you want!" And then he violently died!
Doing 'La-pour' in the City of Accra - When I was a curious, capering child street-sauntering at Achimota School, there was an obliging, octogenarian gardener with no known name. People called h...
7 months ago