-WE ARE GOING TO QATAR BUT E-LEVY AND THE HIGH FUEL PRICES REMAIN HOME
Someone asked me last week why I stopped writing. The truth is actually sad…Ghana is fucking hard! For some of us we can only be creative when we are happy.
This past week has been a mixed bag!
I recently come across Jessica Opare-Saforo’s You Tube channel…and immediately subscribed to it. I always thought she was a fantastic presenter. Our very own Oprah in the making?
But what got my attention was the topic on one of her Vlogs – 32 great questions you want to ask every woman.
I further summed it up into 5 (or a little more) points:
Does she fucking work and how hard?
Would her family and friends be a liability? Also, can she cook? Where and what does she eat (do you need to farm food for her to eat)?
Is she correct? – Be it religious or whatever moral code…?
Is she a freak or not in bed?
What are her interests?
Some of the specific questions resonated with me. “What is your favourite movie?” I asked a girl once as we watched Shrek.
Her answer, two decades later, still haunts me- ”I don’t like movies like this, with toys. My favourite movie is Commando.” SMDH
This is my take on the Good, the Bad and the UGLY for the past week;
Of course, Ghana qualified for Qatar 2022 beating arguably our biggest rival on the continent, Nigeria, to book a place in the World cup…. forget about the jollof wars…. we already won that hands down! Both Presidents of Nigeria and Ghana needed that win, of course to distract the suffering citizens of these accursed nations from problems at home.
Oh, yeah and E-Levy was passed! Our electronic transactions are never going to be the same. But yay, I’m elated though, because it means the Government has the magic wand to solve all our problems, right? Let the V8s and all the decadence that garnishes corruption flow!
As the month ended, I did a quick assessment of my weekly fuel consumption. Since I live on the outskirts of town, I spend a GHc100.00 a day commuting to and from work (food and entertainment must go). My take away? I need to sleep less and look for more side hustles. Maybe I should learn how to flap my wings for errands. If I could muster that I could add in trips for entertainment.
I remember mid-month confidently asking the fuel attendant to fill the tank and then having to scream “Stop!” when he got to GHc500.00. What was he thinking? The nerve! To make me overspend past a family of 5 would on groceries.
But hey, this is Accra-Town; where we are all “managers” so I will still be here, whining about the beautiful presenters in the TV box (how much electricity does the TV use? Find out and lemme know; we may need to just sit under the mango tree for entertainment; but I digress).
The dreaded *170# that we use to send momo will be a bored short code as we navigate around this evil-levy…I mean e-levy. And as far as Qatar goes the boys should stay with us and fix Ghana. That trip smells of expensive oil and expensive jokes (‘cos let’s face it we might not win and all of a sudden our jollof will be sour ☹).
I’m still asking around for flying lessons so if you know anyone willing to teach me, free lessons preferable, I dey.
Sooooo England failed to lift the Euro2020 cup at Wembley. What a missed opportunity! Ah well. The English can be very mouthy when it comes to their football and have a way of extolling their players as if they were gods and their team, the best on Earth. The last time they hosted in 1996, England reached the semi-final but lost to Germany on penalties – with Gareth Sothgate, the current coach also missing his spot kick.
Of course, I was totally against England winning. I could only imagine the obnoxious headlines –
”IT IS HOME…FINALLY!”,
“SUPER ENGLISH BOYS FOIL THE ITALIAN JOB” or “CUP COMES HOME AND MISSES ROME!”
It did not go unnoticed that the three players who missed their penalty kicks were black. And knowing what an unforgiving and speckled with racists lot the English fans can be, all I can say is good-luck to Rashford, Sancho and Saka (they all sucked though!)
In other good football news, Hearts of Oak mathematically won the Ghana Premiership.
I personally had a good weekend, catching up with friends from undergrad days. Those social gatherings are a mixed bag. They can be really good when you connect and reminisce on how great your Uni. days were. They are also at times depressing when it hits you that all this talk of old school music, Nokia 3310s, Motorola Razor phones and extinct nightclubs means you are slowly but surely…dying.
I am not going to lie, but seeing more and more salt and pepper hair or fast receding hairlines on friends who once had full heads of jet black hair and rocked serious afros keeps reminding me of our frail mortality.
Of course, there are always the one or two frigging vampires who never seem to age and actually look younger each time we meet. Now they just ruin it for everyone. I usually sidle over to those Dorian Grey types and nonchalantly ask them about their diet or exercise routine. Honestly, I think they are just blessed with good genes.
Some of us are fighting a losing battle. I curse my fat, balding uncles and my progenitors for the bad genes they bestowed onto me. We usually end up deleting pictures so many times at these reunions, as people keep whining about how fat they look or that it is their wrong side (whatever that means). I usually start shortly after on a fad diet or some half assed workout regime, before I inevitably fall off the wagon. “Chale you can’t fight age. Embrace it” a wise friend once told me.
Right now I am looking at the gym bag on the floor and thinking of the salad I have ordered for lunch waiting in the fridge and wonder whether I am going to win or lose this time around.
Traffic was insane this weekend! And Accra traffic on a regular day is already no joke.But with Ghana hosting the 59th Heads of States Meeting, I should not have been surprised. I had not bothered to read what those potbellied, half-senile old farts were meeting about this time. Covid? The Single currency for Ecowas? Mali ? Who cares. Really? How does that help me any of us? Especially since they haven’t even been able to manage their own problems back home.
Many parts of Accra had come to a complete standstill as promised by the communiqué sent out by the Ghana Police earlier. Motorists were advised to find alternate routes. Thank goodness for Google maps and the meandering bypasses led by trotro drivers whenever there was traffic…. I have learnt a few of these over the years.
I find it terribly sad that our lives are always inconvenienced because of mismanagement, corruption, disorganization, just blatant incompetence and we are left on our own to figure out alternatives. This sums up a lot of our problems as a nation. No electricity? That’s on us to find an alternative solution like generators AKA “I Better PassMy Neighbour”, inverters, rechargeable lamps. Bad roads? Those that can, invest in a 4×4, look for land where there is a decent road and pray a big man moves into the neighbourhood so it’s maintained. No water? Get a borehole, harvest rainwater, pay for water to be delivered weekly etc. The list is endless and tiring! Our politicians don’t seem to care! And we are sadly being run and have always been by a bunch of kleptocrats who are part of a Kakistocracy. I totally understand why people want to marry for papers or give birth to kids at all cost out of this cursed land. A meeting of heads of state from many failed nations in Accra to discuss how to solve regional problems. That’s a hoot! Since they are all doing so well in their fiefdoms.
Let’s forget the half-senile old farts and get back to my weekend, shall we? I have no idea what demon possessed me to go meet friends this Saturday morning, but I did. I was late for the meeting as was pretty much everyone else because we were stuck in traffic and in my case, for a good couple of hours. On my way back home around the palace mall area, a motor rider, whom I had seen in my rearview mirror earlier, drove in between my car and a small van. The space was obviously not big enough for even a bicycle to squeeze through but this smart ass decided to wish his motor bike between my car and the small van. I heard the saddest sound ever as my front bumper was ripped off! The rider looked back, as my mouth opened in horror, confused and still processing the most stupid move I had ever witnessed on the road. The rider just shrugged, weaved through two cars and rode off happy with himself to have escaped invectives and no doubt some hefty slaps, if I’d had my way. I felt so crestfallen not to have been able to unleash the kraken within, on him. I mulled later, on what I could have done differently. As for the rider, from my experience save for the slaps, and possibly confiscating his worn-out Boxer bike, there would still have been no joy when it came to righting the wrong he had done. I parked on the side of the road, adjusted the bumper to try and keep it from dragging on the street as I continued heading home, thinking of the money that I had to suddenly cough up on Monday morning to fix this mess. On the way, I saw motorists narrowly avoiding pedestrians and those accursed riders coming from the left, the right, overtaking from both sides in the full glare of the police. I thought earlier this month of the statements by both the the Minister of Interior and the IGP after the bullion robbery.
“What we should know is that the criminals continue to change the modules and we have to be changing with them and the police is doing all it can. We have not lost control. I always want to emphasise that, we need to go to neighbouring countries to see what is happening there, but we are not in the same league with them.
We want to do better than we are doing now, but believe me, Ghana is safe; that is why all the other countries are running to Ghana.”
The Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery
I’ve already forgotten the details of the IGP’s statement just that it was an equally useless one where he basically compared Ghana to other countries and said the only place that does not have crime is heaven.
Of course, In any right-thinking country both officials would have resigned for such stupid comments but here in Ghana we will find an alternative route, keep them, and manage the problem…. until we go to another country and see or to heaven!
And how was your weekend….mine was sucky through and through!
This weekend promised to be exciting and it was! Thanks to Auntie Coro, I haven’t been out as much as I used to. I have sadly, become hooked to tv shows that are of no value to my hungry life in Accra. Binge watching Lucifer, Hemlock Grove and other mindless series have yet to put food on my table.
I had decided years ago, not to listen to an old man who implored me not to go into farming. According to him, farming was tough and with my day job it would be near impossible to be a successful farmer.
Thanks to this bad combo of Covid and Netflix I have found myriads of excuses not to go to my farm and this Saturday a surprise visit revealed what I feared would happen. My farm was on the brink of collapse. The Moringa crops had still not germinated and the factotum who served as my farm manager’s excuse was lack of rains. He essentially blamed God for our failure.
I patiently waited for the eejit to explain the major and minor rainy seasons to me for the umpteenth time and calmly reminded him that his excuse was 2 months old – I had since ‘borrowed’ an 18 feet water hose from my parent’s place and brought it to the farm. I pointed out where the said water hose was stored plus the overhead water storage tank, I’d had installed. According to him the water hose had been in storage for so long, that it was irreversibly knotted. I then proceeded to spend the next half hour with him and two other farm hands to unknot the labyrinth-like water hose. All the while, I made a mental note to do better. I had been warned that the worst thing I could do was to be an absentee farmer…but hey that’s me. I just love rediscovering the fucking wheel.
I felt so down with the situation on the farm I ended up Netflixing and chilling with some comfort food I bought on my way home to drown my sorrows.
Man, this grownup thing called life sucks, big time!
The next day I had a seventy-year old’s birthday to attend at a small catholic church in Weija. I had not been to church in a while, was fashionably late and had to sit outside.
The money from the Catholic coffers had obviously not reached this church. I was later told by a staunch catholic that these days it was every church for himself. I did enjoy the service tremendously and was really glad about the camaraderie extended to me as a first time worshipper there. As is wont of me, I made an empty promise to donate something to this church when I was one-day rich and famous. I took several pictures with the seventy-year-old birthday girl on my pretentious I-phone 12 Pro Max that had put a dent in my farm budget.
From there it was off to Serenity Beach at Kokrobite for a sumptuous meal. I stuffed myself silly and was positive I had gained 5 kilos by the end of that debauchery. Eating and drinking with friends and family made me happy and depressed at the same time. I thought of life and seventy years. Would I finally have a Moringa Plantation by then? Would I be obese with nothing but broken promises and empty dreams – I drank a few shots of WoodFord reserve (Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey) to drown such sad thoughts.
And for only the third time in my life, I hijacked that bottle of whiskey from the party and went home to continue drowning my sorrows.
I had a call from my farm manager to tell me in an annoyingly happy voice, as if he was the rainmaker, that it was now raining at the farm, and yes he will continue planting the Moringa seeds the very next day. I silently thanked God for rain and drank to the health of my seventy year old aunt plus other good things life had to offer.
Don’t you really hate those weekends where the Universe is obviously sending some deep message but your head is clouded by whiskey and not able to make sense of it? No? Just me then?
So, those who know me know I like all things hot – be it a woman or waakye (I know, I know, in these days of wokeness, I probably shouldn’t be saying this)
For a Champions League Final weekend, it was pretty slow.
I am quickly noticing that many people do not wear facemasks anymore.
A young man who came over this weekend to do some odd jobs for me sans mask – told me decisively and with the authority of an ignoramus who has never had to be under oxygen or knows anyone who has, that “Covid-19 did not exist anymore”. Mask wearing doesn’t seem to be a requirement for boarding trotros anymore apparently. Everything seems to be back to normal as my experience over the weekend showed me.
I spent the whole football season, watching the fortnightly Tuesday and Wednesday games at establishments close to my office. On rare weekends I occasionally found my way to a friend’s house and watched some EPL matches if I was not attending my numerous weekend functions.
This weekend, I found myself wondering if it was worth checking out the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City, knowing full well how dull it most likely would be. I decided, against my better judgement, to go see for myself at a local football pub in my area.
As is my nature, I did not get there before the match started. Strolling casually instead into the place, well into the match, like I owned the joint, only to find what looked like all able bodied males between sixteen and sixty from my neighbourhood there.
The unmistaken cost of Five Ghana Cedis to watch the FINALS was emblazoned on a board. The owner’s younger brother, a scrawny kid with a disproportionately large stomach doubled as a bouncer. I slipped him a twenty and entered the small shack that doubled as a covid-19 super spreader. The place was so packed I had to grind my way between people to move to the rickety table that served as a bar. I ordered a cold club, politely refusing the dirty plastic cup offered to me by the bar lady and chugged from the bottle – hopefully extending my life by year by that decision. I found myself standing between a guy with a blue wife beater and another guy who was obviously a Manchester City fan, judging from his never-ending commentary and stream of expletives whenever the team missed what he deemed to be a chance to get ahead. The owner seemed to know me, but I had no recollection of us having met. He yanked a small looking kid, barely sixteen years off his seat for me, telling the kid that if he wanted to remain seated he should buy drinks. I must exude some air of importance, because I have no idea why he did that. I waved the kid to sit back down. With the odor of armpits and unchanged boxers permeating the space, I had no intention of being there long.
Havertz scored for Chelsea before the break and I slipped away from the noxious fumes shortly after.
I promised myself to renew my DSTV subscription to be able to watch the finals next time. In the meantime, I called a friend I had beef with and humbly asked to use his DSTV account – yes I can be shameless like that – and downloaded the DSTV Now App. Turned out the rest of the match was a dud with the only goal being Havertz’s goal. Was it worth mending that fence for this match? In hindsight perhaps not.
Although Chelsea, my favored EPL team lifted the cup after 9 years…that certainly made my weekend.
Oh, yes and then on Sunday I had my first taste of that famous waakye at Spintex Community 18 that everybody had been raving about – yes, I have been under a rock. I am always skeptical about over hyped waakye. I do not claim to be an expert on the dish. But seriously how good can waakye really be right? Well, this Alhaji’s waakye was aight. Will I go out of my way to drive there or even order it to have it delivered to me, um no. If I happen to be in the area and feel for waakye I might get it. Please do not tear me apart for this. I have heard so much about this waakye, but it was just ok…It wasn’t horrible. I really do not expect much from overhyped places or football teams for that matter.
I woke up with a start on Friday, had one of those ablution type baths, rushed into the car, holding a piece of a week old bread and an expired Yomi yogurt. I had received a cryptic message from VaccineUpp a couple of days earlier that read – “A second dose of coronavirus vaccine is available for you. Come with your vaccination card to Achimota Hospital on 2021-05-21” .
I won’t be joining the army of the walking dead…yay!
I got to the Achimota Hospital at 6.30am only to realize, everyone had the same idea and I was about the twentieth in line to a fast growing queue. As usual people would come up and ask who the last person was, move to the person and indicate they were after them. I quickly made a note to myself, that I was after the old lady with the red scarf.
We waited patiently till half past 8, when a guy who looked like he had survived covid-19 a few times came over to check cards, using his phone to make sure that our names were indeed in the database. A nurse with a high-pitched voice reminded people who had not eaten to do so.
I remembered the questionable bread and expired yoghurt. I rushed to the car wolfed down my horrible victuals and got back to the line. I could not locate the old woman with the red scarf or the guy with the blue oversized shirt…My place in the line was now uncertain. As the line became more orderly, I gave up my chair occasionally to a few of the Septuagenarians and Octogenarians that kept showing up as the line moved ever so slowly along…thanks to the idiot savant checking names on his phone! An older looking man sidled up just as I made myself comfortable on a plastic chair.
Dagnaggit! Fuck the book “Courtesy For Boys and Girls!”
I justified my resolve to sit in the chair by surmising he was around my age and had just not taken very good care of himself….alcohol and drugs will do that to you.
After five minutes of explaining to an older gentleman that I most certainly was not jumping the queue and was indeed at my rightful place in line and when I thought all hope was lost the old woman with the red scarf came and saved my life, she had stepped away and was back and remembered that I was right behind her. Thank God for not afflicting her with Alzheimer’s or any of those memory loss diseases that old people are wont to get. I flashed her a smile of gratitude….underneath my face mask.
After my shot I went to finally look for proper food – waakye! And then it was off to buy a black and white shirt for a funeral of an Octogenarian in Kumasi, the next day.
People say the 2nd shot does a number on you. Not me! I was like superman miles away from Kryptonite. I did all the rounds a person could do in a day especially with my resolve to not step in the office. In my opinion, there are some days where one is entitled to do this – Weekends, holidays, election day, the day after election and the day you take your covid shot.
I went to bed at 10pm because I had a plane to catch at 6.40 am the next morning.
I jumped out of bed at 5.30am. How did I miss my 4:45am alarm!?
So for the second time in two days, I did that 5 minutes express bath and sped to the airport in a record time that would have made Hamilton envious. Or perhaps Verstappen. He did win Monaco this weekend. I got in 5 minutes after check-in was closed and none of my charm worked on those AWA cretins. I was denied boarding and was on standby for the 8am and then 9am flights. It dawned on me that perhaps Kumasi was not in the cards this weekend. I went home super tired. Seemed like the 2nd shot was in fact doing a number on me.
Greetings from one of your own. I have borne certain grievances for a while and it is mentally liberating to let loose on a couple.. For me, the most significant are the mental prisons we have been socialized to commit ourselves to. One letter alone will not suffice to communicate the entirety of my complaint, I will therefore be guided by the principles of brevity to as much an extent as I can.
For your ease of reference tribe, I tabulate as follows:
Marriage is NOT a standard, I repeat marriage is NOT a standard. Marriage is an optional social, or if you will, spiritual union. It does not define any level and it is no measure of success in life. Can you stop ingraining in women this unrealistic need? Can you stop measuring women against this ruler? Yes, women have also begun to conform to these norms but it must stop! And it must start with you. Aunties, stop asking when young women will get married? Pastors, stop pushing them into unions that mar who they are and erode the very fibre of their existence. Even the bible says: “and the two shall become one”, it does not say “…and the woman shall melt away and all that shall be left is the man”. Hello? Can you hear me? Mothers, stop shying away from church because your daughter(s) are not married. You are all to blame for the thousands of women out there, languishing in emotional and mental torture because they are not married. Geez, can they be themselves? Can you stop providing men with such lethal ammunition against women?
Let me offer a mental model to assist your process of penance and hopeful conversion; We are all going to die one day. This earth has been entrusted to us to use, but also keep well for generations to come. Amidst all the accountabilities this imposes on us, environmental and otherwise, is marriage REALLY what we should be focusing on?? How about being a good person? Ensuring you are making the world a better place by your social interactions, by how you maintain your environment ……. Do these not sound like higher orders? standards which far outlive us? I am not against marriage. Some would argue that it is important for procreation, that is all well and good. My angle simply is this…. Do not force women and do not make it a standard against which you (and them) measure their self worth. And stop saying they have a choice, you leave them with none considering the way you have socialized them (our women)!
Ever heard of the phrase, “children are a gift from God”? Ok, so why the darn pressure? Are gifts “by force”? Yes, think deeply about this. Do women owe you? How can they owe what they don’t even own, what they themselves are not even entitled to? You measure them against this standard, knowing full well biologically it takes 2 to birth a being. It is in fact extremely idiotic to me that you know this, yet stare them down in the face for a baby! Zero logic. Women don’t own the rights to this thing, they can’t manufacture this thing all by themselves, yet they must “produce the body”! Take a deep breath, see how unfairly you are treating women? I hope you do. There are many ways they can mother if they choose to, stop judging and taking away their option to choose.
And so what if a woman cannot cook? Why does it matter really? If she and her husband can cater to their culinary needs just fine, what is your own? You train men irresponsibly to expect a chef in a woman, how about you begin to focus on teaching them to fend for themselves? Remember the mental model? How does that impact our legacy in this world?
So my ask of you is this: You have had women mentally bound for too long, LET THEM GO!!!!!
So, when the old man announced a partial lockdown on 27th March 2020, I knew it was going to be an issue. At least a week before the partial lockdown social media was ablaze with proponents of a “full lockdown” and those who argued that a full lockdown was impossible and unfair. Those in favour of a partial lockdown argue, with good reason, that the majority who live from hand to mouth would be adversely affected by a full restriction on movement.
The lockdown has been extended by a week with many people getting more and more restless whilst others are happy for this extended office holiday depending on their work schedule.
As we spend almost three weeks in lockdown and possibly a few more, here are some tips to my “f(r)iends out there:
LIFE AS A HOUSE
A lot of people stockpiled food and other essentials for the uncertain times ahead. Unfortunately bulk food and being idle can be a disastrous combo, especially with little physical activity. Please guys, the directive was to be in the house. Do not turn into the house.
Yes, some wicked vendors are organizing pizza and other junk food at the cheapest prices ever, with promotions and free delivery…But be strong!
CHARIOTS OF FIRE
On the flip side, there are a whole bunch of normally inactive people who suddenly want to hit the road and do 5ks daily. Abeg, professional athletes all around the world are chilling at home, the Olympic sef have been postponed. Relax do not be a covidiot. Tell you what. Close your eyes…and dream of running.
Some are determined to watch the entire catalog of shows on Netflix during this time. Yes, do watch all your favorite shows but after Auntie Coro kicks the bucket life will go on.
So come out of this with other skills instead of knowing all the characters in Money Heist. Those guys robbed a bank and have cash. Do you have a stash somewhere?
Please do call even though three weeks is not forever. However, I do not need to see you on video every time we are on the phone. I still remember how you look like (I see your airbrushed face on your DP). The incessant video calls are getting creepy….especially those from my boss!
I see people doing fun challenges and I watch, and I like. If you do not have any fun challenge to do, do not be pressured. Be like me. Watch and like…Not all of us have talents.
Please and thank you. This one is important! 5G has nothing to do with Covid-19. The fact that it is coming from a developmentally challenged pastor who could predict everything but could not see Auntie Coro’s visit in 2020 does not make it more credible. I will block you one time if you send me such nonsense.
12 YEARS A SLAVE
For those of you also saying Africans are immune. Um, no we are not. We are not that special. lf we were, some of us would not have been shipped like sardines years ago and others left behind but still suffering in Africa. Before Auntie Coro came to town we were queueing at every embassy to run away since the slave ships do not take us anymore. I heard of some of you that even took your passports to church to have your lying pastors “pray visa” onto it. Just follow the directives….stay at home and hopefully in Ghana after this mess.
THE BIG BOSS
After Auntie Coro leaves town, many bosses will start wondering who to axe and who is indeed essential. This situation has hit businesses hard. For those fortunate enough to work at home, have a good turnaround time with your deadlines, attend zoom meetings on time and be creative under the circumstances. Also,pick work calls (even from that annoying boss). These actions might save your job in the near future.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Enough with the unnecessary props to teachers. When I pay for takeout fried rice, I expect exactly that: fried rice. Not rice water. If you are teaching your kids and they are not getting it, thank God, you found out early……. the teachers could not get it right either and guess what? You were paying them all this time for nothing. You are doing a good job teaching them at home and they will be all the better for it.
Despite my jab at the overzealous wannabe athletes, we really do need to keep fit. Please do a few sit ups, jumping jacks, skipping rope etc every day if you can. You really want to stay healthy throughout all this. You do not want to run away from Auntie Coro and develop other conditions due to inactivity.
Coronavirus – This word is here to stay for the foreseeable future and has woken many Ghanaians from their slumber, including myself. After a couple of years of not blogging, this situation actually got me to put out a new post. SARS-COV-2 and the disease it causes – covid-19, is in Ghana!
It is a pandemic. And that should have clued us in that it was just a matter of time before Auntie Corona came a-knocking in Ghana. About a week before the first case arrived in Ghana, (and I have heard people chirp merrily away that the cases so far have been imported…do we even make anything here?) we were happily discussing the National Cathedral – That monumental monstrosity to be built, that will save us all like Noah’s ark.
Let us look at some of the countries worldwide that have been hit with the covid-19 outbreak.
China – We have been bombarded with images and videos showing Chinese people eating live animals and Ghanaians are quick to call them dirty. Not sure if we should be the ones pointing fingers when it comes to being dirty.
Italy – they have an older population that is apparently more prone to the virus with tight-knit family units. In many many Ghanaian households, there are generations of family members staying under one small roof. I can only hazard a guess on what could happen in areas like Madina, Nima and Ashaiman where family members and non family members are stacked on top of each other in congested living conditions.
South Korea – I imagine a combination of their close proximity to China and the numerous religious zealots residing there must have been the greatest catalyst for the spread of the virus.
Fortunately, Korea seems to have a handle on the outbreak and the rest of the world can learn a thing or two from them.
Ghana has all the prevailing combo of filth, overcrowding and religious fanatics to make the situation a tinder box waiting for a match to explode. In each country where covid-19 struck, it proliferated rapidly without detection and herein lies my greatest fear about this pandemic.
I am glad the Ghanaian President put the measures he did in place. Better late than never, I say. I only wish he had been more visionary a leader and tried to get ahead of the situation by announcing those measures before the 1st case was even reported.
What were the measures put in place, you ask ?
1. SOCIAL DISTANCING AT BUSINESSES & OTHER WORKPLACES BETWEEN PATRONS & STAFF
In my humble opinion, It would have been very helpful to explain to the average Ghanaian what social distancing meant exactly. At a time like this we should not just throw out never-heard-before terms and expect people to know exactly what they meant.
2. THE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT SHOULD WORK WITH THE TRANSPORT UNIONS AND PRIVATE AND PUBLIC OPERATORS TO ENSURE ENHANCED HYGIENIC CONDITIONS IN ALL VEHICLES AND TERMINALS BY PROVIDING AMONGST OTHERS, HAND SANITIZERS, RUNNING WATER AND SOAP FOR WASHING HANDS
I don’t want to sound overly critical but the implementation here is key. Running water is not a thing we see at these terminals and sadly when covid-19 hit, poor infrastructures were greatly exposed. I did see Veronica buckets at some stations a few days later but from the way they were being used I would certainly put social distancing between myself and those buckets.
3. TRACING (IDENTIFYING PERSONS WHO HAVE COME INTO CONTACT WITH INFECTED PERSONS)
Tracing comes at a high human and economic cost. How thorough these tracings are done can change the game in how the virus spreads. One of the 7 reported cases of Covid-19 (at the time of writing this article) was a University student at Legon. Having studied at University of Ghana Legon, I know how crowded these lecture halls can get, then there are the roommates and hall mates, the restaurants, canteens, night market and many other places a student can visit in a day or two. The tracing here is very key because the virus may take an average of a week before symptoms start to show. Knowing how things are done here I shudder when I think of the most likely limited personnel tasked to do the job with possibly limited vehicles to move around.That is if there are vehicles. And fuel.
4. PERSONAL HYGIENE
Observing personal hygiene is not taught overnight. Just take a look at some of our surroundings, the filth and the people who live in said filth,I think one has to be incredibly pessimistic that the President’s announcement will act like a magic wand and teach anyone who does not practice personal hygiene, hygiene 101. I was not surprised the day after the President’s announcement to see many hawkers wearing masks and gloves, all the while still practicing their normal unhygienic habits. But, hey they have gloves and masks, so it should be fine, right?
5. All PUBLIC GATHERINGS, INCLUDING CONFERENCES, WORKSHOPS, FUNERALS, FESTIVALS, POLITICAL RALLIES, SPORTING EVENTS AND RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES, SUCH AS SERVICES IN CHURCHES AND MOSQUES, HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED FOR THE NEXT (4) WEEKS.PRIVATE BURIALS ARE PERMITTED, BUT WITH LIMITED NUMBERS NOT EXCEEDING TWENTY-FIVE (25) IN ATTENDANCE
Interestingly enough this was announced Sunday evening at 10pm by the President after a weekend of church activities, funerals and sporting events.
So we inadvertently lost a whole weekend here to prevent the spread. Nonetheless, this is a great measure and not overly drastic. I have already heard many religious buffoons in Ghana claim they can cure the Covid-19. Good luck to them and their gullible members who are still congregating together to pray the virus away, despite the suggestion not to gather.
People, please pray over Skype or the phone but do not get together in person. I know people would postpone weddings and funerals because a lot of them, including the church want the numbers and the monies that come with that to these occasions.
IN THE END WE CAN STILL USE PRAYERS. WE NEED THEM
I have always been amused when it comes to soccer games and Ghanaians pray for victory. People with poor mathematical skills spend hours doing permutations and combinations of how we would qualify to another round or stage during football games, when it’s obvious we played badly, were inadequately prepared and should be out of the competition. This is a time to follow the measures by our President and not to think we are special. Countries with way superior health facilities are running out of ventilators. It would be catastrophic if we have even a 100 cases here. We pray there will be no recorded deaths here and the virus will be curbed by the sheer will and commitment of the average Ghanaian to protect themselves and their neighbor. God bless Ghana!
As a kid, one of my favourite aunts was auntie Agatha. I loved that woman to bits…..God bless her soul.
She smelt luxurious, was always well dressed, well coiffed and the most impressionable part for a six year old, was the way she magically produced lollipops (which we fondly called Agatha) from her beautiful handbags. I used to tell my mum all the time that I wanted to grow up and be rich like auntie Agatha. What was lost on me was why my mum’s face always fell or why other family members snickered when I said that. Eventually, I found out years later that auntie Agatha was a kept woman.
I was amazed at the indignation many Ghanaians felt when Moesha Boduong ( is that even her real name?) told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that she dated married men to take care of her because the economy was not good.
That ‘revelation’ didn’t surprise me one bit.
I have heard Moesha say something along the same vein on the Delay show. And yes, she got bashed for a minute on social media but it was not this vicious because I suppose Delay is not Christiane Amanpour.
I am a child of the world now and no longer the naïve six year old who thought auntie Agatha was more successful than my mother because she drove a nice 2-Door S-Class Mercedes Benz compared to my mum’s old Datsun Bluebird. There are many a kept women in Ghana. I know lots of women who earn less than a thousand Ghana Cedis and spend three times that amount monthly, easily. They are well kept.
I do not judge them. For whatever reason, that is the path they took – it could be poverty, lack of ambition, over ambition, laziness or greed. Who know and who cares.
Years ago I knew a girl who was a student and came from a really humble background. She was dating a very rich married man, who gave her a brand new phone, a nice car and had her hostel fees paid for. I remember wondering for a minute how she managed to take the car home, when her mother was a petty trader and her father a low paid salaried worker. Her parents obviously never questioned her or perhaps she didn’t park the car at home. Who knew and who cared?
The outrage against Moesha is not because of the truth…it is the platform. People’s beef seems to be about the fact that she is painting Ghanaian women in a bad light on an international stage. I noticed how women (many kept women) wrote loads of invectives and spewed so much nonsense on social media about this issue. Ghanaians seem to love illusions…..Pretend something doesn’t exist and somehow hope it will go away. Notice how some Ghanaians don’t pick up their calls from someone waiting for them, when they are running late – instead of picking up and apologising or better still call when they realise they are running late? Their aim is to somehow show up and hopefully the person waiting would have forgotten how late they were? I can never understand that. But similarly, we like to hide our head in the sand like ostriches…
Is Moesha someone to celebrate or be proud of?…certainly not. There are hardworking Ghanaian women who are not kept women and who have overcome numerous obstacles including a vicious male chauvinistic culture to get to where they are at now.