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.

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I am more embarrassed about the current debacle of the sixty Ghanaians posing as journalists who tried to illegally enter Australia for the commonwealth games. Their reason? “I guess our economy is such that you need someone to take care of you”.  Now that is truly embarrassing to Ghana.


I sat staring at ‘Fabio’ for a good minute, taking in everything about him that annoyed me: his pearly white, even teeth, greasy curly hair that looked highly flammable, his speckled white double breasted shirt, black trousers (giving him the look of a chorister gone rogue) and his shiny faux black leather wallabees. I silently did a trinity –  I cursed him, cursed Sandra Doodo and then cursed Kofi.

I looked around the cramped room called K9 as Sandra and her BFF Alice penciled their eyebrows, all the while giggling like little girls and wondered how I ended up in this shitty room in Volta hall, University of Ghana.

‘Fabio’ looked in our direction, Kofi sat next to me looking straight ahead at nothing, like the imbecile he was.

“What do you read?” ‘Fabio’ asked looking at us the way one might curiously observe  some insects.

I got his dumb construction but decided to be a smart ass.

“Read?” I asked quizzically

“What are you studying” he asked slightly impatient. He wasn’t that interested in us, merely trying to make useless conversation to pass the time.

“Science” Kofi blurted out like he a school boy

I glared at him.

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Of Gas Stations, Regulators and Kyikyinga sellers

As a boy I remember listening with dismay and horror about eleven children who had died in an abandoned septic tank at Akoto Lante. To hear of major tragedies like that were few and far between. These days it seems large scale disasters are common-place.

Who can forget the June 3rd disaster of 2015? There was talk, condemnation and more talk and then nothing.

The Ghanaian authorities did what they did best…a reactionary and senseless approach. Structures in a perceived wrong place were demolished. I lost my favourite neighborhood yam seller and shoe repair guy in that eye service purge.

7th October 2017 will also go down in our history as another major, avoidable disaster. Another gas station exploding.  This time at Atomic junction. The inferno was seen in many parts of Accra and people as far as 20 km from the epicenter ran for their dear lives.
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Happily Ever After

So last week I decided to go to Frankie’s with this young chick who fits my magic rule – half my age plus five years.

frankies-pic-nightI wanted to park right in front of Frankie’s because it allowed me to do a quick recon of the place to inform myself about whether to go in or go elsewhere.

I waited patiently for a cretin in a Toyota Corolla to do a six point turn after which I coolly took his slot.

The young girl got out of my car and slammed her door like my car was a Merc…I silently cursed her and her mother.

We climbed the flight of stairs to the restaurant and on the way I got body blocked by an amorphous middle aged woman who for lack of a better description, reminded me of an amoeba.

The ‘thing’ had three kids in tow heading back towards the car park.

To my surprise ‘it’ actually turned round seconds later and called me by my name…it knew me!

I blankly stared at her. I was certain I did not know her…I didn’t know this woman!

She mentioned her name –  Tracy Adjavon. Still didn’t ring a bell.

“I was Tracy Simpson back then” she added,  glancing at the lithe young girl waiting for me with a look of boredom, up the stairs.

“We were in Primary school together…?”

My jaws dropped as I looked for anything on this imposter that had a semblance to a Tracy Simpson I knew a life time ago.

Now about two and half decades ago, I knew this scrawny and beautiful girl called Tracy Simpson. She was a head taller than all the guys and had a sexy, husky voice. She happened to be in my class and I had a mad ass crush on her.

I was not one to keep my feelings and doodle all day on my paper and day dream.

I was quick to let Tracy know how I felt about her in the only way a nine year old boy can tell a girl half a foot taller than him, that he was in love with her….I did her homework and gave her my lunch. She appreciated that gesture and took to me immediately. I remember her quickly gobbling up my paltry lunch offerings. In hindsight I should have realized that with the way  her eyes lit up when she chomped on my food and downed my drinks, that her trim figure would not last forever

Our love session usually ended with her burping up my lunch, playfully pulling my cheeks and saying “Oh, and thanks for helping me out with my homework today”.

Unfortunately for me, Tracy was in love with the class bully, Eric Tetteh.

Eric also happened to be the dumbest kid in class. He was a big galoot who didn’t speak much except with his fists. It was a sick love triangle – I gave her my lunch, she in turn gave half of it to the class bully who subsequently beat me up. Not only that. Since I was quite good at algebra, I ended up doing his homework too, to avoid being used as a punching bag during break time.

I quickly realized I was pretty much the class bully’s bitch.

One day, deciding to add a little spice to my sick love life, I took a bold step and wrote a totally cringe worthy love poem to Tracy, which I slipped into her backpack as she headed home one Friday.

I was too scared to write my name – What if she didn’t like the poem? What if she didn’t like me any more after reading it?

On Monday morning I glanced over at Tracy, who was totally ignoring me. Maybe I should have signed off with my name?

During break time she walked straight to me, took half my lunch and as she munched on my bread and garlic sausage said:  “I really  loved your poem. That was so sweet” and promptly pulled my cheeks hard.

She knew! I was so happy I didn’t protest as she took the other half of my lunch and headed in the direction of Eric Tetteh.

I sat down smiling like a fat kid in a candy store for a good five minutes.

The next day at lunch I overheard Tracy reading my poem to Eric Tetteh. The clueless dumdum had his usual blank expression. This however, was my first lesson in plagiarism and I decided then and there that the love triangle had to end.

Tracy, as usual  did not even attempt to do the next algebra homework we were given.

She came to me with Eric in tow. Without even acknowledging me, the lunkhead growled in my general direction:  “Do my homework or ‘cheecha’ will beat me and I will beat you” He was getting smarter…actually managing to string whole sentences together.

“Please, please do this hard maths for me” Tracy purred.

I nodded like the faithful minion I was and got to work for my wicked bosses. I finished the assignment in record time.

“Wow, you are soooo smart, you didn’t even look on your book” Tracy remarked with admiration.

If she were smarter she would have noticed that was not the usual way I did her homework.

I had written very wrong answers to the maths problems for both of them.

The next time we had maths, Mr. Quist our teacher (God bless his soul) came to the class and gave out our marked maths assignment.

He announced what we all knew, that copying of other people’s homework was forbidden. Mr. Quist was old school and carried a cane which he never hesitated to use.

He called out Tracy and Eric to the front of the class where they were given five exquisite lashes of the cane.

That day at break, Tracy didn’t ask me for my lunch and Eric did not pick on me either.

In one beautiful stroke I had gotten rid of my cheating sweetheart and her bully boyfriend.

That was two decades ago and now I looked at the whale before me…I could vaguely recognize the old Tracy in her.

“You haven’t changed at all” she said

My response to that was silence and a grin. After the awkward pause, I ventured to ask:

“Whatever happened to Eric Tetteh?”

“Eric who?” Tracy asked.

“That big guy who was with us up to class 6” I said

“Oh, right.Him. You haven’t heard? He died in the States five, six years ago. He was mixed up with some gang there and was shot”

“Oh no “ I said, turning to check on the young lithe girl I came with. She was  looking totally bored and irritated with my inadvertent reunion with Tracy.

I quickly said goodbye to Tracy .

“Was that like an aunt of yours?”  the girl  asked as we went into Frankie’s

“uh huh” I said. My mind somewhere else

Tracy: humongous and fugly. Eric: shot and dead. Karma was a cold, cold biatch. I love happily ever after stories.

BE NICE TO FAT PEOPLE – One day they might save your life

I was born in a house full of skinny people. My mother fed my siblings and myself tiny portions of food and subconsciously we were indoctrinated early to see being fat as uncool

My mother says she was brought up by her German grandmother (maybe she was a matron in a Nazi concentration camp), our food portions were always small….so we turned out  skinny or as some of us believe, stunted.

My mother and aunts abhorred fat people…at least that was the impression we had growing up. Man is a product of his environment! And I in turn grew up not being a fan of the fat.

I remember as a kid throwing stones at freckled, red-haired, hunched backs, physically challenged and fat kids.

But then I grew up and realized that I shouldn’t be mean to people who were different. In time I became accepting and even went on to have a bunch of fat friends.
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Ten signs its time to quit your job


  1. When you wake up reluctantly and wonder this would all end

Screen-Shot-2013-11-13-at-12.02.21-AMSometimes you wake up and just wonder, “Do I really have to go through this again?” “Is all the grief and misery that come with this job worth it?” If it was school you would certainly have played hooky. In school it would be your grades that would suffer, in the real world you would get fired. You can’t be sick every week, you cannot ‘kill’ another member of your family each week. Truth is you have run out of excuses and you just are not feeling this job anymore. Last night you watched “Who Wants to be Rich” and wondered whether you should take your chances in front of Kafui Dei. After all, the questions are not difficult and you do have 3 life lines, plus if you won GH¢50,000.00 (damn!) that certainly beat the measly paycheck you got.  The what-if passes so fast but then reality hits you. “Tetteh Quarshie traffic here I come,” you mutter to yourself and head to the bathroom.

  1. When the same song or radio ad plays when you get to the work place (it means you leave home like clockwork. Bad sign!)

d50a99c915a1af8b4b755789ceaf6e55Sometimes I get to the same place or spot everyday and it is the same bloody advert on the radio. I could have sworn Kojo Oppong Nkrumah interviewed this person yesterday. I saw this same girl in the Red Hyundai IX35, and those annoying kids in the Hilux. It probably means you leave home like clockwork, chances are you will die, death knows where to find you at any given time (my opinion). So me I prefer to do late some days!

  1. When you keep looking at the time and you have only been at work for an hour.

hate-my-job-21You get to work and shortly after, you start looking at the time. When you go for a meeting, you get so excited that it took 3 hours and was so long and unproductive. It means you are getting closer and closer to closing time. Sometimes you look at the clock in your office and you are sure it is not working. Does 60 seconds still give you one minute or not? If you experience this everyday and get extra happy on Friday, it is time to say Hasta la Vista Boss!

  1. When you know who is hiring every week.

service_with_a_frown-resized-600I know this friend who is a walking almanac on who is hiring. When you know what positions are up for grabs each week in your industry, chances are that you are very restless and yes, you need to make that switch. I have another friend who has his CV on the phone all the time, he has applied to the Ghana Army, GIPC, GNPC, Foreign Affairs and every known bank in Ghana. As soon as he sees a job ad, he sends in his CV. In fact he is one of the “usual suspects,” he is at every job interview in his field.

  1. When your boss regularly makes “the I have a dream speech” and you are totally not moved.

MjAxMy0wMTY2ZjgxMzI4YjdlZDVjI remember my first job. The Boss gave us this speech that was a cross between one of Obama’s best speeches and Martin Luther’s “I have a dream speech”. I saw the most hardened have tears in their eyes, and foolishly I did too. Fast forward 3 years later, I see interns and newbies with tears welling in their eyes each time the boss makes this speech (meanwhile he has put on 20 kilos due to my hard work, changed his car a couple of times and bought his wife a new Santa Fe), and I see what this job has done to me, I couldn’t be bothered if fire gutted the entire work place. In fact it might be the highlight of my day. These newbie suckers fall for the “I have a dream speech” every time. Me? I mime as the boss speaks, heard it so many times, whilst looking at the watch. I mutter under my breath as he wraps up….in five, four, three, two, one….Thank God, that ordeal is over!”

  1. When at the end of the month you have saved… zilch

hate-my-job-262-i-hate-my-job-28-photos-29a81bc0-sz500x343-animateYou slave and slave away like a b*tch n*gger, and at the end of the month your salary can do three things – pay for food, utilities and transport (to work again) and not much else really. Things will not get any better. It is time to weigh your options and move on. Just when you are thinking whether you should quit your job, you see you pot bellied boss siddle into his E-class on his way to the gym.What are you waiting for?. Just quit already!

  1. When lunch time is the highlight of your day

a78ceceb14934b360c99eb2dd0e3b898Some people are happiest at lunch time because it means they can get some much needed fresh air, get some sunlight,  gallivant around for a bit, stretch their legs for a few minutes before getting back to the office and getting closer to that closing hour. I have had a colleague unconsciously grab my hands as we made our way back to work when lunch was over…like he wanted me to save him from something. Poor sod!

  1. When you get an offer that makes your present salary look like pocket change, it’s time to bounce. (Actually anything more than what you presently earn, means you gots to bounce)

f23530efcb9363b14dad3e73520d224bI got an offer once and the fuel allowance alone was as much as my current salary. I almost told my would be bosses that I could sweep, mop and do hand stands for them if they so wished. I got back to work and felt like I was being raped every time I was given work. That last month was one of the most difficult in my career. In fact the interview for the new job was my epiphany.

  1. When you leave the very second you are officially supposed to go home.

567bac6b2cffb91866660a5aae446499Some people like me do not believe in overtime. I have a simple philosophy “Do not do today what you can do tomorrow”. I remember, once upon a time, I actually had a career plan. I wanted to be a partner one day. Some people leave at 8pm or 10pm, me,5pm works just fine for me. The loser newbies enjoy leaving at 8pm. What idiot works for half the day anyways? I ignore the look of my bosses as I pack up and leave. Do they think that the paltry sum I take home entitles them to work me till I drop dead? They look at me like I broke some secret code as I march gallantly out. 8pm in the office on a Tuesday means I may miss part of the champions league and forfeit a cold beer with the boys. Let me see is my work really worth it… I don’t think so.

  1. When you hear that they are interviewing someone for your position.

im-quitting-to-pursue-my-dream-of-not-working-here--97d0fSome of us are slackers. Simple. We don’t grow in the job. I came into my job when it was cool to know DOS and word. I haven’t upgraded my computer skills since. Some people are dinosaurs, they are extinct but they do not know it yet. If you see your boss interviewing people for your post or a post you secretly covet, time is up!


Have you ever had the dubious pleasure of spending an entire day with the Nouveau rich or a self proclaimed bourgeoisie? Had to endure going shopping with them and all? Kwaasi the Cunning Linguist finds that with many of his “friends” now working for the banks and oil companies, hanging out with them now means trying to keep up with a schedule of activities designed to let the world know who just joined the Joneses.

Money Swine-/muhn-ee swahyn /n/(derog offensive) – Nouveau Riche, a man or woman previously belonging to a lower social or economic class but due to the (often sudden and unexpected) acquisition of new money, has moved up in status and now wishes to announce his or her arrival by splashing that new money waa waa.

Credit: The Official Ghanaian Haters Dictionary


I don’t plan to have kids any time soon, but even I know education ranks supreme (Just ask Nana Addo and President Mahama). preschool3I was with a friend the other day at an overpriced café and he was going on and on about how he had moved his kids from Christ the King to Galaxy International, to give them the needed quality education. I thought Christ the King, where he and all his siblings had gone to, was a pretty good school. Indeed I hoped, if I ever had any rugrats of my own, to send them there. He then told me how much the move was going to cost him –  to me, it was like the English Premiership football transfer – crazy expensive. I almost choked on my cappuccino and made a firm resolve to definitely not have kids any time soon. Most of the so-called “good primary schools’ that I knew when I was growing up seemed to be on the decline – at least so my friends with kids would like me to believe.

The other day, I was literally dragged to watch a friend’s child from Ghana International School (the original GIS) perform in a musical at the National Theater, called “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor dreamcoat” . It was superbly produced and took me back to my primary school days when we acted the same play almost every year – either “the birth of Christ“or one particular Ananse story.

Check list one: I’m so taking my kids to GIS when I get rich and not so famous.


(These gyms are joined not for the equipment or quality of workouts, but to see and be seen by other social climbers and prominent figures)

I have a friend who works at a bank. She was with me the other day when she randomly announced that she was going to check her BMI (body mass index), to know whether or not she was overweight. I smiled to myself because, I could have saved her a trip. She was astonished to find out she was considered obese. I feigned shock. “What? How?That’s impossible?” The truth is, when she sits in my car and my hands keep brushing against her amorphous legs, I wonder whether she thinks it’s deliberate and that I remotely enjoy the contact? For Christ sake, she virtually sits on my hand brake. She and a group of her rotund friends, making way more money than I do, and thus eating far more than they really ought to, decided to stop the cheaper way of exercising  like, jogging and brisk walking and opted  for hitting  the gym.. When my friends told me the prices some of these wicked gyms charge you to sweat, I couldn’t believe it. I mean, with the dum-sor (power cuts) in my office every other day, I sweat for free. She mentioned a popular gym and sang it’s praises, whilst dropping names  of a  host of celebrities who visit it, to drive home her point about how awesome the gym was. I dropped her off the other day at said gym and saw this super fine girl on the treadmill;

Check list 2: I’m so hitting this gym at Ringway estates, when I get rich


(2nd hand Mercedes is @ 200,000km next week)

mercedes-cls350 cdi-coupe-d-32b6d4fe119aMy friend asked me to drop him at Silver Star, his car had hit 200,000km and he had to service it. I almost fainted when I saw the bill – the equivalent of servicing my jalopy for the entire year. I had always secretly coveted his Silver Warb but now I looked at him with a mixture of pity and respect. I don’t even remember the mileage on my car, all I know is when I started driving it some commuter of the sort had driven it on every major road in the USA and when it was finally rear ended, it came to me here in Ghana. I bought it “home used” (the Commuter dog am but me I spec am) and loved it forever. The mileage said 80,000, only for my mechanic to tell me it was miles not Km. My friend is always fretting about his mileage and the next appointment to the “mechanics”. I call mine “fitters” and they are good at what they do, save for the occasional bolts which find themselves dancing aimlessly on my car seats instead of holding or fastening something in the car.

My friend thanked me profusely, for taking time off my low paying job and driving him to his mechanic. He promised me drinks at a bar in Osu and we agreed to meet there in a few hours. My friend called me 3 hours later, by then I was sweating, my sleeves rolled up, my bonnet opened and trying to understand (not for the first time) why my car was overheating. I need to ditch this car and buy a showroom car soon so that I can go to the mechanic when my car hits 10,000km, when I’m rich of course.

Checklist 3: Buy a showroom car soonest or better still get my own Silver Merc from abroad.


My friend Kwame told me I am not making much progress in life! I keep wondering whether I left my pay slip in his car and he realized that I don’t earn so much or it just randomly came up. “Kwaasi, you need to rebrand yourself”, I nodded sheepishly (after all he was buying drinks, if he said I was Mother Theresa who was I to complain?) Kwame went on: “you need to hang out at cool places where you can connect socially”. The list of cool places naturally featured places I could not afford. Didn’t the idiot see how much I was making? Kwame and I went to the same schools,we used to be very close  until he landed a good job a few years ago. Now he earns a shite load of money and is apparently a lot smarter too (school records say otherwise). According to Kwame my fortunes could drastically change if I ate at X or Y place where I could run into  Mr. A or Mr. B who was “a big man”. By now my Green Label was almost all gone; I wouldn’t take this crap from anyone!

“By the way what are you doing Thursday lunch time?” Kwame asked, I wanted to scream “the same thing I do every lunch time: Eat my hot Kofi brokeman in my office and flip through the dailies”  but instead I said, “nothing concrete, Kwame.” “Let’s do lunch, say 1pm” he suggested.

fancy-schmancyThursday Kwame and I metup at this fancy shmancy place, he was with the kids of some big men. They wanted property in Labone, apparently for an office.  I told them that I could hook them up. Out came the expensive looking business cards from leather case holders. I had half a dozen of my cheap looking cards, which looked like printed them out myself,  in my pockets. I lied that I had left my cards in the office. I saw Kwame look at me like I had broken a sacred code. Three months later I made a sale thanks to that meeting. Was down to my last GhC200.000 and by then lunching on Kofi (plantain) without the Brokeman (groundnuts), that huge check was extremely timely and I have to say, begrudgingly, that I was grateful to my snotty friend for that meeting.

Check list 4: Must do lunch at that expensive restaurant again… ASAP


(Must put distance between myself and ‘By the Grace of God Fitting’, Opera Square where my Dad used to have his suits made in his hey days)

I met a guy the other day, he said he was a prophet looking for a place to build a church, “The Church of the Disciples of the Holy One” or something along those lines. He acted and spoke as if he was Moses and had just come down from Mount Sinai with his own version of the Ten Commandments. He mentioned his name three times every minute; I realized he was supposed to be well known. He is in the same league with some of the, well very (in)famous pastors we often hear on radio. His suit was very unique! Very flashy… Very shiny and it looked bullet proof as well as water proof. His shoes were in their own right, mirrors in which slightly distorted images of myself frowned back at me. I saw him off to his Nissan Armada which had taken up my entire car park. I decided that day that I needed new suits, not bullet proof ones like the pastor/prophet but definitely decent new ones.

I called a few friends to get some opinions. “Get them from China they are cheaper,” “No, you want to go to Quarshie Taylors, Dan Morton etc…

I made a few rounds and cancelled about half of those from my list. I wanted new suits not to die of a heart attack. All my friends led me from one expensive tailor to another (or designers as they like to refer to themselves). Forget about the material, it’s the sewing that kills it. They don’t even care that you have your own material!

I ended up calling my dad, a real practical man, who worked hard to make his money (definitely not in Monnie Swine fashion!) but who was a real dandy in his days. He had no number for his tailor; didn’t need to in those days.

I ended up in front of a small shop at Opera Square that should certainly have collapsed by now if it was as big as the infamous Melcom building (that once stood at Achimota), and ordered about three very affordable suits. I kept wondering why people didn’t come to this humble, good and cheap tailor. I loved his old-fashioned triangular chalk he used to mark up the material; his place smelt like a tailor’s shop. I almost hugged him when he told me the price of all three suits. I saw the shiny material that I had previously seen on the Prophet and wondered if he came here, too. As I looked at it my tailor asked, “do you want a fusion suit?” Ah, so that’s what they called them.

I run into a friend 3 weeks later, wearing my bespoke suit from “By the Grace of God fitting” and feeling good (save for the turn-ups I didn’t want). “Nice suit,” he said, feeling them up in way that made me feel a tad uncomfortable. “Where did you sew them, Dan Morton’s?”

I hate to say it I but I’m human and sometimes I can’t help but want to be part of that Money Swine Class, so I smiled like I had been found out.

He shook his head. “Don’t like them anymore. Ghana designers can’t get things right and who does 3 buttons these days? (I secretly rejoiced that he did not comment about the large turn-ups.) Sarah is off to London in 2 weeks let me have your measurement, I usually get mine from Saville Row.’
saville-row“How much that would cost me,” I croaked in very real fear.

He told me the price.

“The equivalent of 50 suits,” I mumbled to myself as I shuffled back to my car.


(They have to be prodigies even though Akua is flat footed and fat like a hippo)

Okay, I don’t have kids but that does not make me insensitive to their plights. After all, I treat the kids of all my friends as my nieces and nephews. So imagine my dismay, when I saw my friend taking her daughter who, forgive me, is rather on the high end of chubby, for ballet lessons! The kid is flat footed and can’t even turn 90 degrees without falling.

“Why not shot put?” I proffered.

“What is the relevance of shot put?” my friend asked testily. What is ballet to a baby hippo I wondered, in the deep recess of my ever wicked mind.

Her daughter was in the backseat looking miserable, I guess the ballet lessons were a torture session for her, but my friend was using her own rose tinted glasses and bent on  giving her daughter all the opportunities in life, probably after watching the movie  Black Swan (did she not see the frame of Natalie Portman?)

The following week, another friend was taking his two sons for soccer practice.

‘It reminds you of our soccer days, no? We should have gone pro” he said excitedly in a way that just irked me.

It reminded me of nothing like my soccer days. Those days it was Chilensa. (that hard plastic football) How many of us had Case 5s and certainly not Adidas Jabulani plus my dad NEVER EVER took me for soccer practice. What is that animal? It was gutter to gutter, abatay, small poles and playing on any available space you could find. I looked at the two boys wearing their jerseys with their names and numbers on their backs and their soccer boots. Couldn’t their dad remember it took us 3 years to get a soccer boot (and we saved for it forfeiting poki, skippy, alewa, zoee , adunley and other unhealthy foods that will kill the small brats where they stood), and I used one boot and gave the other to a left legged player. I kicked the ball very hard to one of my “nephews” who instinctively kicked the ball back, going in an awry angle to the great dismay of my friend and my even greater delight. “He isn’t going to be an Essien,” I muttered to my friend as if I was a world-class football scout.

In fact Nouveau Riche parents should look at their kids objectively and stop taking them from one class to the other, in their bid to make them supermen and wonder women of the future. Let the kids wake up, take a walk in the park and figure out what they want to do. Two days ago I heard my friend’s daughter play a rendition of Mozart on the piano. She was so good, even I clapped. Maybe the idea of people paying for things I did for free puts me off. After that Mozart I heard, I’m so taking my future unborn daughter to that expensive piano school. If she ends up years later in the Julliard School in New York, all the best and if she doesn’t, she can always play the organ at my Presby Church.

Checklist 5: Taking my future daughter for piano lessons!!!


(Cake tastes like crap but smile, Mrs Morton bought one for her mom)

The inability of the Nouveau Riche to think is sickening. Araba bought a cake from X and so I also need to buy a cake from X, even though my aunt is a baker and makes great cakes we used to eat as kids. spiderman-birthday-cakeOk true, Aunt Jane cannot make a Spiderman cake, granted, but why go buy a random cake that tastes like crap just because all the people you hobnob with buy from there. At a friend’s one year old kid’s party, I was drinking some cold beers and in the middle of a group of chirping mothers and the hostess. I was a little bit irritated at them for crowding my space, and not allowing me to be the bushman that I am and burp to my heart’s content. The conversation went something like this;

“So where did you get the cake?’

“ The bouncy castle?”

“Who is doing the kids painting?”

“The photographer?”

“I will get the numbers”

I just couldn’t relate, can’t they bake, can’t they paint (get the right paint and do it) and don’t they all own phones with cameras. Christ help us!!!

I knew I was going to get sick when I moved to the table of men and there they were, drinking coke and talking about the same thing – unfugging believable!

Did I leave? Hell no, I’m too polite, I drunk three more Guinness stouts, burped and scrambled for the door.


(FYI – Principal=Headmaster without the cane)

These days my friends have an annoying habit of going to see the principal or the class mistress (I forget the exact fancy name) to sit and plan their kid’s life forever.  Look, PTA meetings are vital, but this one on one meeting with the principal is alien to me. The headmaster’s office, when I was a kid, was a place you went to when you got into trouble. He lashed you and that was it. These days this Parent Principal Arrangement (PPA) makes me sick… lash the kid already. The rod is spared, Mom and Principal make an appointment, and the talk starts about how the kid has a promising future then the bombshell about the bad things come…You call it ADHD, I call it an unruly kid. This candy coated treatment is time-wasting and unproductive. I am all for discipline (not necessarily caning mind you). The Mother’s blast the kids on the way home, but before they reach their destination they pull in to KFC for treats and buy a burger or some chicken nuggets for the little pip squeaks. I miss the good old days when we were less sophisticated and a whole lot smarter.


(Last week I even sat next to…)

Many of my friends, all now hoity toity, are recently going to these “fancy” places of worship. They never tell me what the word was, that is, what they learnt. It is all about who drove what, who they sat next to, who had a new Prada bag and a host of things far removed from developing spiritually. I love my church by the way, my Ga is not top-notch, but in my Presby Church I follow the sermon and the men’s fellowship is great. Till date no one has laughed at my Jalopy and many men scramble into the back for a lift including the rotund women who come for choir practice (hmm that could be why I am having problems with my shocks lately). Last week I was invited to one of those high and mighty Churches. I was feeling a little rich having recently come into some little money.  I sat on a pew and got angry stares from some ladies.. I figured I must have usurped their positions. I looked frantically for my friend to no avail. After communion, I found myself seatless! I stared at the good Christian ladies who had found an artful way of displacing me, like a game of musical chairs. I stared at them perplexed and a little confused. They looked intently into their hymn books as they sung, without so much as a glance in my direction. I was grateful to find a space next to a little boy who kept “booting” me and laughing throughout the sermon. After Church I made my protestations known to my friend. Without blinking an eye, she said “next time come sit on the left side of the organist. That is my sitting place, a few seats behind Harry.”

“Harry?” I asked

“Yes, Harry Zakour”

The next week I went back to my old church.


I recently moved to Dansoman to be close to my office and invited two of my old friends for banku at Dela’s. One of my friends now a manager at a prominent bank, looked at his exquisite Patek Phillipe watch, shook his head and said “sorry, mate but Mandy is having a house-warming party at West Land Boulevard.” The other talked of a prior commitment for that same housewarming. I knew Mandy and since she had not invited me because she had lost my number (so Kofi and Ato said) I decided to come along. I had the sinking feeling on the way there that my friends had crossed that dark side and were now officially money swines. I wondered what they had to do to join that class. Parallel parking my smoking Toyota Corolla 2002 model, between Mandy’s Toyota Venza and Kofi’s Mercedes benz C230, that night at West Land Boulevard, I made a strong resolve: Must move out of my flood prone ghetto ass neighbourhood.

BOGA DON DROP (And 10 things I hate about ‘em):

Most people have a ‘boga’ friend or relative whose occasional pilgrimage back to the ‘motherland’ disrupts their schedule. For many, this trip from these friends can be a bit of a pain in the behind. Kwaasi the Cunning Linguist, for one, has had it up to here and shares his painful reasons why.

BOGA-/borger /n/(derog. offensive)- A not too sophisticated Ghanaian with an idealistic and simplistic view of life who has managed by dint of his/her perseverance to go to a country usually in Europe, toils there and decides to revert to his/her country of origin for a few days usually for a funeral, a marriage ceremony or has been deported (and is working on going back)….
  1. Airport – I think this is where my problem with the Boga starts. The fact that they have like a hundred relatives here, but you have somehow become the “Chosen one”. You are chosen, not because you are the closest relative or friend but because you own a car or have a house to yourself. Luckily it is not
    too difficult to spot the quintessential Boga from Yankee, Babylon, Germano or Holland (YBGH) with their humongous, whilst a couple of porters lug along about three more bags….each! (you take a deep breath – lights, camera, action ….”give a weak smile and wave -it’s go time )
  2. The Voyage Home  You might be thinking, “ah being a chauffeur is that bad”, until the Boga opens his mouth: “Wow, Ghana has changed, its getting developed” (usually expressed when you get to the Accra shopping mall).Ghana has changed because of a mall? Negro please, this is standard fare the world over. The more blunt ones, depending on where they are coming from or the level of exposure they had before they left simply say “ In YBGH everything is different” (yep it certainly would be considering it is another frigging country.)
  3. The Ultimate Gift This is the part I love! Not because I am going to get a gift from this Boga,  I just love surprises. Last time it was a useless toothpick holder, another time I got a $1.00 shirt that said “I’m too Cool for you”, I wore it exactly one time because as soon it was washed it faded and the letters disappeared.   So like a Magician, the Boga dips his/her hand into his magic bag of tricks and hands you yet another completely useless item, guess what it was…….. a poster of Barack Obama (yay, this is exactly what I have always wanted to put up on my wall, awesome!)
  4. The Perfect Sleep –  Ok, to be fair this does not happen all the time but the Boga is ready to tell you all the fantabolous tales of YBGH like it was on another planet…mostly its 12am …I “needs” to sleep…wake up and work (that is how we do in GH)..but no this Boga won’t write his/her autobiography and
    let me read it later, he just wants to go on and on  about all these “interesting tales featuring the Boga and other future Bogas…and  then I hear “sorry I can’t sleep my (f$$$$$$) biological clock” or whatever…something about a clock. Not sure why I have to be punished for that. But in a nutshell, Boga cannot sleep so neither can you.
  5. The Next Three Days -Expect your quintessential Boga to continue yapping and have an opinion about every single thing he/she knows nothing about. In case you didn’t know, staying in YBGH makes you a lot smarter than the average Ghanaian and much more sophisticated. Fashion? Don’t go there! Technology? Nigga please the Boga owns an I-phone 5!  Food? Yes, he worked at Burger King for 2 months…not sure how that make him a connoisseur
    on red wine, but he sure thinks it does. Expect to hear “oh my God, is this what they call Chinese food here? You should come to YBGH and taste proper Chinese food…Want to get back at them? Take them out to the club on Friday and do the Azonto dance. I guess they didn’t see that coming!
  6. Cars – The quintessential Boga is going to ask about…your car, where he can get a car or harangue you about the transport system. More often than not the truth is- The Boga never owned a car before the exodus did not own a car in YBGH but now wants a car. A party?…”Sorry I don’t have a car”, “how do I get there…do cars go there?” (No people in GH, the country you were born in before you left barely 2 years ago,  trek everywhere!) What happened to taxis if you don’t want to use a trotro or Metro mass!!!… I get… it they
    are expensive beside “it is 10 bucks, OMG….that is ridiculous!”
  7. Cash – When it comes to cash the Boga has the irritating ability to convert everything into Dollars, Pounds or Euros. The Boga is shopping with you and you’re about to pick a pair of trainers, hair cream or new plasma tv…PING!! Conversion Alert!. ”This is a hundred bucks… ridiculous! in YBGH it is only 10 bucks…..”  “oh, things are so expensive here, next time tell me and I would bring this down it is only 2 bucks there” (great idea, it will sure beat the Barack Obama poster you gave me). Sadly in spite of all this conversion the Boga, due
    to grabby relatives, higher standards like “Evian” mineral water, and higher taste in the necessities of life means they run out of money before they depart. Some end up borrowing from you by asking straight up  “can I have fifty dollars or indirectly, “can I use my credit card here” (eyes rolling to the back of
    my big skull)
  8. The King’s Speech – I usually have a knack for figuring out accents, even the difficult ones like Australians, New Zealanders, but the Bogas I know, mostly have accents I can’t quite place; They drawl, they are nasal and they talk like they have saliva in their mouth. Their accent is  not Yankee (north, midwest or south), not from anywhere in London (north or South) and not from Germano or Holland….some call these accents LAFA…I don’t know how they perfect it but when they speak Ga, Twi or Ewe all trace of this accent disappears and for a brief while they almost sound like my long lost friend.
  9. Wall Street and Higher Learning – These Bogas also come back after being abducted with higher business acumen- they want to sell coffee and latte, ice cream and frozen yogurt, get into real estate (buy hectares of land in places like Cantonments, Labone and Airport). Wow, why didn’t I think of all that, and recently some want to  get into oil and gas. Many don’t finish a first degree but proffer advice on things I majored in, because…. “Gad Bless Americar!
  10. Green Card – By the time the Boga is going (and trust me by this time you can’t wait), she/he drops this line,  “I have finally gotten my papers/my stay/my green card” or whatever legal document that allows them to stay in YBGH
    “forever”. It usually takes me a few seconds to comprehend the enormity of this (Does that mean they would not actually be coming back again???…yay!)  You promise to call each other more regularly and  to come visit next summer or winter (you said December and she said winter)….you look at your childhood friend disappear into the airport and breathe a sigh of relief. Thank God, that’s finally over…you wish him/her a safe journey,  and hope they stay in YBGH and never step on the shores of the Gold Coast (I mean Ghana) again!

    are on”)

Trotro signs

Ghanaians are quite religious and creative with words and a  look at the numerous messages emblazoned behind taxis and trotros  is proof of that.


It is also ironic how those statements can be weighty but most often forgotten when we have to get our hustle on or keep to the tenets of the Kpakpakpa movement.

These are a few signs that really got my attention for various reasons:

  1. EXTRA GOOD NEWS-This was the message on an old Opel Vectra taxi that  rear ended a woman’s Mercedes C180
  2. FEAR WOMAN– on a taxi parked around the Togo Embassy at night. For those who do know that red light district…well. His passenger was soliciting a  call girl who looked strikingly close to the gorgon Medusa from clash of the Titans.
  3. I SHALL RETURN– this I spotted on the most run down troski I’d ever seen at Tema Station, loading passengers and headed for Togo. I watched incredulously as it chugged out of the station with a sputter and disappear, leaving a cloud of exhaust fumes in its wake.
  4. GOOD MASTER– on a nice looking Nissan Almera taxi. The current owner had apparently stolen a lot of money from it’s previous owner (my uncle) when he was his driver. At least he was good enough and remembered his master was good.
  5. YOU ARE PLAYING WITH THE THING – on a trotro, whose driver bullied me off the road and let me drive on the shoulder for a couple of minutes.
  6. GOOD NAME IS BETTER THAN RICHES– on a taxi in front of Golden Tulip Hotel, Accra  as the poor taxi driver begged and forced a ten Ghana Cedi note on a policeman who wanted to process him for court
  7. EAT YOUR HOME CASE– on a trotro which had a passenger looking right into my car and eyeballing the thighs of my pretty passenger
  8. GETTABLE IS DOABLE– this I saw on  the back of a trotro on the way to write a difficult exam. The words were cryptic to me at the time, as were the questions on my exam
  9. REDEEMER BLESS – this I found on a waiting taxi in front of the EP church Adenta. Sooo number 9. 😛
  10. GARGANTUAN– this was at the back of a TICO that kept weaving in and out of traffic and loudly playing Celine Dion from the most messed up car stereo ever.
  11. 3Y3 AWURADE (The driver of this taxi yelled out at me “wo y3 kwasea”)


Originally published in 2012 on pulsemag

  1. LIKERS: People who like all your statuses such as “I feel Sick”, “I want to puke”, “I am hungry” “ I need a shag”( I bet they don’t know the World would end in 2012…..LIKE!)
  2. SERIAL REQUESTERS: People you do NOT know and who do NOT know you but send you “friend requests”, especially those wankers who want to reach the 10,000 friend mark before 2012.
  3. ONE TO(O) MANY FRIENDS: People You accept because you have say “100 friends in common” but then when you ask around those”100 friends” accepted them because they simply wanted to be nice….
  4. ONE (TO ONE) FRIENDS: You accept this guy because you think you may know him….you decide to check your common friends…turns out you have exactly one friend in common who happens to be this other guy you accepted  last week and weren’t even sure you knew him.
  5. ASS KISSERS: These are friends but they seem to only address their comments to one person in a thread.. They mostly like and/or then comment regarding this one person  (send a private message for Christ’s sake)
  6. EGOTISTS: They like their own f$$$$$ comments e.g. “ I am hungry”….LIKE! “Leaving work”…LIKE! (They probably check themselves out in their mirrors several times a day and may have narcissistic personality disorders….IMHO)
  7. EGOISTS: Someone starts a conversation…in enters the Egoist and take over the entire topic with little regards to others’ contributions . They obviously do not read other comments! (In real life they probably skim books or read forever!)
  8. TROLLS: Totally avoid these people!!! Say there is a nice conversation going on,  they are the equivalent of the school bully on FB, these mentally challenged, insecure misfits mostly pick on the wittiest or coolest comments and tear them apart (I bet in real life they have small dicks….just saying)
  9. ‘BLONDES’: Have you ever kicked a friend under the table to shut him up and he shouts “Why did you kick me?” These people do not know the difference between your wall and your inbox. A ‘blonde’ may write on your wall “Cha you manage chop Abigail?”…meaning you lose three people in your life..your girl, Abigail and the ‘Blonde’
  10. THIEVES: These people steal you idea and advertise it on FB. Say you tell this friend “I I want to write 10 classes of people to note on FB”, before you can say “ Uncle Atta is dying”……..your idea is already on FB.