Sunday, February 17, 2008

The sad saga of Ama Sumani

“Goods are priced the way they are displayed.” – Yoruba proverb

Sometime in January 2008, British immigration officials forcibly removed a terminally ill Ghanaian (she suffers from a form of cancer called multiple myeloma) from the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff and deported her to her native Ghana. There was widespread condemnation. The journal ‘Lancet’ called the action “atrocious barbarism.”

The patient’s name is Ama Sumani. Her age is 39, and she’s among the many Africans who are unable to regularize their stay in Europe – no thanks to European’s bureaucracy energetic efforts to build Fortress Europe.

Whichever we look at it, this action is condemnable. And I am aghast that none of the numerous ‘Human Rights’ organizations in Europe has taken it upon itself to champion Ama’s cause. Of course, they will tell you that it has nothing to do with her being black. But we are all witnesses to the vociferous noises European media made about the same time on the Natalee Holloway lady that got missing in Aruba.

Yours truly have consistently maintained that part of our problem in Africa is that we keep on crediting the other races with our humanism and spirituality. Anyone who has stay for any length of time in Europe will attest to the fact that Europe’s definition of humanity starts and stops with people of white hue. The reaction in the West most certainly would have been different were Ama Sumani to be a white lady. And you can bet your last sinking dollar that the EU and the USA would have called a UN Security council meeting to discuss the matter, were Ama to be a white lady deported from an African country. And we can only imagine the vociferous call for punitive sanctions were that country to be Zimbabwe!

In the 1990s when yours truly was editing the Pan-African journal, ‘The African,’ in the Netherlands, we (not the royal WE) consistently call on Africans to emulate the other racial (a nebulous classification defined by racist European anthropologists) groups and build a Pan African Racial Solidarity as enunciated by the great Marcus Garvey. The strength of the other racial groups is based upon the fact that they see themselves as a unit; a WE against the OTHERS concept. That is why a slight, injury or death of a European outside of Europe is the concern of every European state. And that explains why European forces always evacuate every WHITE person in any trouble spot. And it is the only reason why you will never find an Arab or a Chinese buying from an Africa shop even in our so-called countries.

Alas, in Africa, instead of building a solid Racial Solidarity, we still cling to our tribal and sham national identities. Refusing to learn our history, we continue to see ourselves as ‘Nigerians,’ ‘Gabonese,’ ‘Ghanaians,’ ‘Malians,’ and other identities bequeathed to us by our colonizers and the historic oppressors of our race! And, of course, the other races are exploiting our disunity to further their interests.

Any properly educated African will know that all these are shambolic identities to keep us disunited and fragmented for the benefit of Europe. Apart from Ethiopia and, possibly, Egypt, the rest of nations of African are artificial European constructs that made neither geographical, historical, political, sociological, economic nor logical sense. We thus have the absurdities like the Gambia, a state entirely constructed on a strip of land within another nonsensical state they called Senegal. It is not only tiny Gambia that is eminently folly; large ones like Nigeria suffer from the same abnormality.

Case in point, yours truly is a Yoruba. Pray, should I relate more to the other two hundred and fifty or so or nationalities in Nigeria more than the other Yorubas scattered in Togoland or the Republic of Benin, with whom I share the same language and culture? A few other examples should suffice: The Mandingos (Mande) are found in at least nine West African nations; the Hausas are to be found throughout West Africa; the Akans are the majority in both Ghana and Ivory Coast. Let it not be forgotten that two of Ghana’s major ethnic groups, the Ewes and the Ghana are Yorubas from origin.

Advocates of Pan-Africanism are not talking whimsical nonsense when they ask that Africans look at themselves as one people. People of African descent make up a sizable percentage of the workforce that keeps the British health service going. Were they to be united, the Africans in British health delivery system could have prevented the humiliating deportation of Ama. By downing their tools in solidarity with Ama Sumani, they would have made the British realize how important they are to their health care delivery system and help save their hapless sister. But because they refuse to unite, Africans continue to be humiliated, all across the world. By not standing up for one of our own, the other races can keep on trampling upon ALL of us with virtual IMPUNITY. The Jews are not treated shabbily anywhere simply because they consider a slight against a single Jew an assault on all Jews.

And with the WITHOUT THE WEST WE ARE DOOMED mentality of the Kuffuor’s government, you can safely bet that there will be no official Ghanaian protest at this gross violation of Ama Sumani’s rights.

That’s just by the way; let’s turn our attention to what we are doing to help ourselves. We are all witnesses to the wanton, actually obscene, display of wealth at the congress the ruling party held to select its presidential candidate. The question is thus beggared: why are we Africans lacking when it comes with helping our own folks? Fifty years after we start ruling ourselves, should our folks still be risking their lives to seek greener pastures outside our shores. With our abundant natural resources, Africa certainly has no business being the world’s beggar.

In those countries we look up to, rich people do not strive only to be rich; they also try to enrich their societies. That’s why, after they have amass their wealth, they build schools, libraries, hospitals, set up foundations and make endowments. Many of the greatest universities and medical institutions in the US benefit greatly from Private Foundations and Endowment Funds set up by individuals. Fire up your Google and see the number of private foundations that are helping the famous Harvard University.

Cecil Rhodes made his fortunes plundering Southern Africa, but he went ahead to set the Rhodes scholarship up at Oxford. President Bill Clinton is one of the most famous Rhodes Scholar. When Bill Gates made his billions from software, he set the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations to fight some of the medical and developmental challenges facing the world.

When we come to our dear land Ghana and Africa, what do we have but seriously rich people who have absolutely no sense of community or civic responsibility. It is though the word ‘compassion’ has ceased to exist in our vocabulary. I do not know about you, but I was sick to the pit of my stomach when I saw the obscene display of wealth during congress the ruling party organized to elect its presidential candidate. These fellas have twenty-five thousand dollars to shell out as registration fee, but I do not know a single one among them who have a foundation in his name. Rescue me if I made a mistake, please.

I think that part of the problem we face is that our elite are far too removed from the sad reality their misrule has created for us. In the article, ‘Give the slum a try,’ I advised Ghanaian rulers to spend just a day at Alajo or Sahara in Accra, so that they can have an idea about the level of poverty their policies have consigned us. Not surprisingly, no one has taken up my suggestion. Our rulers no longer even care enough to be apathetic. That could partly explains why they keep dancing around us all these years without doing anything about ameliorating our problems. If a guy who has the means but refused to build a library, park or hospital in his community gets to the pinnacle of power, what is to show that he was not just on ego trip? If I have twenty-five thousand dollars to give to a political party, I certainly would have some to spend in my community on say, a library, a park or a swimming pool.

Ancient travelers like Ibn Batuta wrote effusively about Africa’s traditional hospitality and compassion and essential humanity. In ancient times, our forebears would rather go hungry than allow a stranger to be without food. Food was terribly plenty, but no one starved in our traditional communities. Begging was considered a shameful enterprise in which no family would allow a member to participate in. There were no high walls and electronic gadgets to protect huge mansions, but no one slept rough on the streets of our ancient villages and towns. Families and, society at large, ensured that no single member is left out of the common wealth.

Today, in our mad rush to be ‘civilised,’ we have abandoned all these enviable traditions. In our haste to jettison our own culture, we have embraced avarice, greed and selfishness like a new religion. We no longer look at unfortunate members of our family or society with understanding or compassion. The sight of the homeless, the numerous children begging and prostituting themselves no longer prick our conscience. We no longer measure ourselves on how valuable we are to the societies that produced us; we measure ourselves strictly now on our materialistic worth. My mansion has to be bigger than my neighbour’s. My car must be better than anyone’s elses. It was the wit, Oscar Wilde, who said that America was the first country to move from barbarism to decadence without the benefit of a civilization. Would Ghana be the second? Sankofa, anyone?

Poser: What legacy is Presideny John Kuffuor leaving behind for Ghana? What would we remember him by in say, ten, twenty years? It’s sad that African leaders continue not to see the necessity in leaving their marks on the sand of times! Nuff said.

Drunkeness versus Infidelity

What would you do if you get home drunk and met madam co-habitating seriously with a stranger? Before you hasten to make a declaration, read my story.

Yours truly job makes him a virtual nomad. Hardly a month passes without my attending one conference or the other. You know about conferences, don’t you? Meeting, talking, jibing, jiving, plenty more talks, agendas, addendum, addenda, minutes, plenty food, abundant wine (not domestic, mind you), lovely hotels, lovelier hoteliers, part-time girlfriends and the all important per diem (strictly in dollars, thank you).

This one was about Poverty Reduction (another one, you might yawn). Yep. It was sponsored by the World Bank and you can be sure it’d be well attended as all WB conferences are. I worked hard (depending on your point of view) on my paper. To tell the truth it was basically a cut and paste job. I use the latest Dell Dual-Processor Pentium IV Notebook. It is so thin and puny you will think that you are imagining things: it certainly weigh less than your old mobile phone. The speed, mama miya: a true speedmonster!

My notebook, naturally, came with all the bells, all the whistles plus all the uniforms and everything in between. I logged into my private network and hacked into my old files, plagiarized those of other colleagues, and checked the Internet to give it a more polished, international and sophisticated look. I ran the lot through my trusty word-processor (not forgetting to search and replace conflicting names, dates and places), milled it through my reliable spreadsheet program and by the time it passed through my faithful (it never lets me down) Presentation program and, wow, you will never believe that I was capable of producing such a masterpiece. Such is the power of modern technology. After saving my latest magnum opus on the hard and pen drive, I burned it into a CD-RW and, for added security, ftped it to my website. Think I am paranoia? Just old silly carefulness, I’d say.

Mein Frau crowned my toil with a gargantuan meal – a masterpiece on its own. Describing it will only make you salivate like a starved dobberman, so why bother?

Kotoka airport was, as usual, bustling with activities. There were plain men milling around and beautiful women were everywhere; sauntering the way only African women know how to saunter.

“Good afternoon.” I said, and handed my ticket to the beautiful, petit woman wo-manning (I cooked that word up for this piece) the counter.

She gave me a sterile look, beamed a no-nothing smile in my direction and proceeded to tapped into her keyboards. After which rituals she peeled a boarding pass from the printer and gave it to me. I thanked her and she replied with another so-so smile.

You surely know how very easy it is to locate the bar in any airport, don’t you now? Next time you are traveling, try to check out the place that has the highest concentration of human per square foot or whatever measurement you are using. For some psychopathological reason I am yet to fathom, airport bars are always easily the most densely spot. I hope that the CIA and the other terrorist organizations do not figure that out soon

I, very naturally, gravitated to the bar. There were plenty of good-looking nibbles around. I said hello to the bar tender and he said hello to me, and I ordered a mini banquet with two jugs of criminally cold Bubra. I lugged my feast (it has enough calories and cholesterol to give a dietician heart attack) and established myself at a comfortable corner. I settled down and started doing justice to my calorific jumbo snack.

Many people were openly gaping at me the way you gape at creepy creatures that crept out of some rocks. I never knew why some people couldn’t mind their own business, do you? Some skeletal girls, their apushkeleke dresses revealing as much as it covers, were actually giggling and pointing in my direction. A youngish girl went as far as dragooning her hapless mother to come and witness my mammoth meal. The woman tried vainly not to look too flabbergasted.

I ignored one and all and stuffed myself with my princely snack down to the last morsel. I gulped the cold beer to help sluice it down the guts. I downed two more jugs of Bubra before I felt my body was sufficiently nourished to join the rest of humanity. I strolled to the bar and down some XP Cognac to smoother the rough edges of the beer taste. The brandy had a twangy taste, but I had no problem losing it. You don’t know what a twangy taste is, do you? Never mind, neither do I.

I lumbered to the hall where a giant TV was showing some American movie. Plenty guns, plenty car-chasing and I actually saw a sex scene. I swear to it. But I was too discombobulated to pay attention to any movie. I made myself comfortable and before long yours truly was sleeping happily. It couldn’t have been happy for my fellow travelers because when I opened my eyes, the nearest fellow to me was sitting about twenty meters away. My snoring and vibration must have sent all and sundry ascatter.

An announcement was made and from what I could gather from the false Yankee accent of the announcer, my flight has been delayed. The plane is expected to land in two hours. Give or take a turn-around time of one hour; that means I have another three hours to kill. What is a man to do, and women and children too? Gravity took me to, where else(?), the bar. I lost more (who is counting) beer in my mouth and polished the taste off with more XP Cognac.

Fighting both alcohol and gravity, I wobbled back to my seat. If you have never wobbled in your life you will not have an inkling of what I am saying. But I managed it, thank ye gods for small mercies. Fellow passengers who apparently did not want to get to their destinations with punctured eardrums gave me wide berth. I was soon slumbering away like there is not tomorrow.

Another announcer from the same processed voice informed to the effect that according to the latest info, the plane has again been delayed for another two hours. Holy smoke! How many hours are actually in a day? Twenty-four, right? So, if the airline loses four (five, counting the turn around time) on every flight, how on earth could they expect to make a profit? Are you not glad that you are not in the airline business, I know that I am.

I tottered to the counter; my petit friend has been replaced by a more formidable, very massive woman with the bosom and the countenance that can rival that of a Makola Mammy. I struggled to remain vertical and gazed into her pretty face.

“I bought my ticket…” I began my story but she was too exasperated to be interest in stories, especially inebriated ones.

“Sorry, sir (the sir part drips with disgust), what did you say we could do for you?”

I lunged forward unsteadily and had to grab the sturdy counter in order to steady myself. “I was telling you that I bought my ticket…”

Again she cut me short rudely, “I thought every passenger was supposed to buy their tickets. They do it everyday, sir (added as an afterthought).

“I paid for it.” I said and belched contentedly. Enough of ethanol must have invaded her nostril for she had to sneeze hard. She gave me a look that spelt murder.

“Wonders of wonders,” she yawned. “And what made you believe that the other passengers didn’t pay for theirs?”

“I paid for it.” I ruminated and gazed at her computer screen as though seeking divination from the flickering characters. “Would you be a good lass and try to wake up a decent something for a hungry man? I am famished.”

Her large eyes roamed over my large belly and she stifled a chuckle.” Not by the look of things.” Her tone bridled with sarcasm

“We are not being sassy, or sardonic with me, are we now?” I lamented.

“No, sir (this time it sounded genuine). I am not on diet myself. But by the look of things, I will not advise for the ingestion anything lest we burst an artery or two. We certainly will not like that, would we now?”

“I am not asking for advice, but for something to bite into. Do you really believe that we can still travel today?” I inquired.

“It depends on a lot of imponderables like for instance: atmospheric conditions, the state of the elements, the vagaries of nature, the countenances of the gods, the Sahel cross-winds, the ocean currents billowing from the Atlantic Ocean and a host of other mysterious and mystical powers that determine such things like our flying or not. It really is beyond our control, as you can well see.”

“Yeah, I can well see. But how do the other airlines manage to keep flying. Don’t they have their own imponderables to grapple with?”

“I am not their spokeswoman!” She deadpanned.

“Do we get vouchers for hotels?” I asked.

“What,” she cried, “do you want to bankrupt us?”

“Where do you expect us to sleep?”

“We always advise passengers to make their own sleeping arrangements.”

“Good advice. Only no one remember to tell me.”

“You didn’t ask.” She said without blinking.

“Another imponderable! How could I ask when I didn’t know that you were going to jettison me at Kotoka? Anyhow, how about that drink?”

“Care for a Diet Cola? That corpulent carcass you chariot around can definitely use it” She said this with a mighty laugh. She is really sassy.

“Get out of there.” I shouted and put my legs into motion - direction BAR. I have babbled enough already: time to give some nourishment to the body, especially in the drink department.

The bar was manned by a kind looking elderly man with a friendly Ewe face. I smiled at him and he smiled at me and I ordered more Bubra. He left his chore of polishing glasses and strolled up to me. “Don’t you think that we have had enough for today?” He winked conspiratorially and regarded me as you’d a mentally disadvantaged relative.

“You motto there says, ‘we serve to please,’ why don’t you put that into practice and get a thirsty man something for a parched throat?”

“Parched throat,” he groaned. “Take the advice of an elderly brotherly and go home to your woman.”

“I missed my plane!” I moaned mournfully.

“Definitely not the end of the civilized world as we know it. You can catch another plane tomorrow.”

“Ok, just one for the road.”

He laughed. “For the road? Not on your life. Another ounce and you will be airborne. You have already put enough ethanol away to fly a Concorde. Another drop of liquor and you are bound to self-combust. We don’t want that on my conscience, do we now?”

“I want to see the manager.” I demanded.

“I am the manager.”


You will never believe how enterprising you could get if you really needed a booster the way I did. I located another bar where the tenders do not preach ethic, philosophy and morality. I plastered myself with lubricants and shoved a wad of currency into the hands of the bartenders and asked for him to get a taxi for me. His tip must have had a sudden liftoff for he shot out like a bullet and bulldozed his way to carry out my command. He helped parked me into the car and thanked me profusely. I felt asleep before the car door was closed. I awoke to the sound of bonnet being slammed.

“Are we there?” I inquired.

“No, sir. Car stopped. But we for almost there.” He replied ungrammatically.

“What is wrong with the car? I asked as my eyes roamed around my surrounding. Everything looks familiar. Silly burger, that’s me. I was on my street. The car had stopped right in the middle of my street and you said you didn’t believe in miracles.

I asked the driver to try and start the car and from the sound I could deduced that the engine is just not getting enough juice to roll.

“One gallon.” I said and paid him his fare.

“Thank you master.”

I ambled to my house and let myself in. I noticed a white car parked at the driveway. Who’s missus entertaining at this late hour? The moaning of a coupling couple assailed my ears as I got nearer my manse. A flicker of Technicolor lights informed me that the TV was still on. Mayhap missus cannot sleep and is trying to induce it by watching a film. But the audio was positively pornographic. So also was the video as I learnt when I pried the door open. A skinning girl, bent at an impossible angle was servicing five men. And on the bed my wife was servicing a beefy man with a very hairy chest. Both of them were oblivious to the world and didn’t hear my entrance. I watched the disgusting (what word to use) scene before I interrupted with a cough. My wife (she was the rider) shot up like a launched rocket and crash-landed against the TV which in turn tumbled, taking the video and the very costly sound systems with it. If a ghost had appeared the man could not have looked more petrified.

I swayed, trying hard to maintain both balance and momentum. I tottered to the bed and the man got up. The weapon of mass destruction with which he has been pummeling my (assenting) wife has shrunk back in fear. My vision clouded and nasty thoughts paraded my brain. I threw a savage roundhouse which missed the adulterer by a kilometer. The weight of the blow caused me to lose my balance. The effort sapped my smashed power. I fell like a downed log and didn’t wake up until several hours later.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Don't blame the bottle!

The first thing I noticed was an overpowering stench. Initially I couldn't place it. It was way way out of this world. Then I saw them. Mosquitoes. There were zillions of them, with their abdomen red with my blood. They were buzzing all around me. I lifted my tired right hand to drive them away. It was then I felt the sharp pain on my thumb. I gazed in amazement at the festering wound - it was a teeth bite. A vicious hammer was wickedly pounding a fist-size hump on my forehead.

It was a dark room with only tiny streaks of light stealing into the room from a high window with protective grill. My body ached and my head throbbed with pain. Like a nocturnal animal, I tried focusing around me. A large man with a head like bullet was huddled up at a corner - sleeping. He was built like a prizefighter and he gave the appearance of a fell giant. He was sleeping on his back and his massive arms spread out like the limbs of a huge tree. I watch as his large stomach rise and fall as if in rhythm to some ancient music. His thick-lipped and large mouth hung ajar and saliva was pouring out onto the bare floor he has made his bed. The horrible smell emanating from him was like that of a dead animal. With is vast body heaving up and down, the giant was emitting harsh snores.

A plume of despond enveloped me. Was I in a nightmlarish dream? I sat down to interrogate my brain.

Gradually, the veil lifted and like a Polaroid film, the images of the past hours came back to me.

It started on Friday. It was in the early evening - say, four-thirtish. My wife, Dela, was bustling around the house as housewives usually do. Our little daughter, Oluwakemi, was sleeping peacefully on her back.

She is beautiful, my wife is. No. That's not correct. My wife is a work of pure art: a Masterpiece. Describing her here would make you as erotic as a stallion. I won't begin to describe her beauties, lest you started masturbating on these pages. And we won't want that here now, would we, now? Just imagine the perfect African lady with plenty of good news in her body, multiply that a hundredfold and you can start to get an idea how beautiful my wife is. My wife’s backyard gives new meaning to the word ‘BLACK POWER!’ Not even the most ascetic of monks can watch those jiggling rear-engines without having carnal desires. We married three years ago after her mother threatened to put an end to our 'hanky-panky' (such grammar!) if we do not make up our minds about marriage fast.

"What are you doing with my daughter?" My (is she in-law, or in-law-to-be? This English language, self!) - Let's stick with Dela's mother. Dela's mother wanted to know.

How do you answer a woman who asked you what you are doing with her daughter you have been dating for over two years, tell me? I had the mind to tell her that I do with her daughter only the things that a healthy, young twenty-something male would do with a young, energetic and willing twenty-something female, but why bother? But I can assure you that we certainly have not been engaged solely in Bible studies, if you get the drift of my gist.

So, folks I succumbed and married Dela. I would have married her, though - I love her so much and her great beauty is just the least of her admirable assets: You will get fat just by reading the type of muscular dishes my wife cook for me. But the thought of her mother putting a stop to our (I am quoting her) 'hanky panky,' kind of hastened things up, don't you agree?

I am a professional mason. To folks that just came from Mars, that means that I am a mortar and brick guy: I put buildings together. Money is not fighting in my pocket but, by the standards that I have set for myself, I am OK. Some of my colleagues are better off and some of them are in worse shape than me. That is life, won't you agree?

As I was saying, trouble came that Friday. I was busy doing what I usually do on Friday evenings when I am not throwing cement and blocks; checking the status of my lotto affairs. Like many poor folks, I also harbour the dream of making it big. Since I do not carry a pen weighty enough to inflate contracts and lack the courage to rob a bank, I dream my dream of riches in sweepstakes.

I am not trying to apportion blame here, but I could locate the origins of my troubles in the sudden appearance in the tiny room I share with my family of Appiah. To those that didn't know, Appiah is a pal I hang around with. According to those that make it their business to know about such things, a pal is a friend you don't mind getting drunk with. I have gotten drunk on countless occasions with Appiah and that makes him my pal, won't you say?

Naturally, my wife hated his guts. I didn't expect my wife to be the cheerleader of the guy that gets drunk with her hubby, but I didn't expect her to hate my friend, even my enemy, with such venomous passion. Very few things get Dela worked up - the sight of Appiah is one of them. Many people would fake it and would be all smiles to their greatest enemies, but not my wife. She is as straight as (you don't expect me to use that worn cliche, do you?) bullet and hypocrisy is certainly not her greatest forte.

"That bastard will get you into trouble one of these days." She told me that day, right in the presence of my friend, Appiah. Her disgust of him would not even permit her to refer to him in the second-person pronoun. My no-nonsense wife cleanly demoted my friend to third-person.

"Bastard?" I feigned ignorance.

"That bastard standing there with his foolish smiles." She spat, pointing at my friend's chest.

Women are said to possess great intuitions. Could they see what we male species, with all our macho pretensions, cannot fathom? Sitting in the dark room (I later discover that it was police cell) and ruminating about my tragedy, I wished that I had listened to my wife. But then such is life. We are all the wiser after the event. But you could also look at it another way: Had I listened to her, you won't be reading this tale, would you? Do you see what I mean that nothing is as easy or as complicated as it first appeared?

Embarrassed beyond words by my wife's outburst against my friend, I did what appeared to me the best thing. I hustled Appiah to Burkina Faso. No, silly, I don't mean BF, the country - 'Land of the Upright.' with Ouagadougou as its capital. Our Burkina Faso is the new akpeteshi spot that opened recently with all the bells, whistles, pomp and pageantry. It is a neat establishment, I tell you. The owners must have read a thing or two about business management. Instead of the usual 'one-million-cedis' shack, it was housed in solid walls. The walls were painted and fine 'home-used' Persian rugs adorned the floor. There were easy chairs and low stools.

On the walls were giant posters of revolutionaries. There was a fierce looking Malcolm X, a finger stabbing at the oppressors of his race. Bob Marley, a giant spliff hanging from a corner his mouth, smiles a knowing, romantic and prophetic smile from a poster. The legend 'One Love' was boldly imprinted across his chest. Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah gazed down sagely from another poster. His calm, philosopher's face radiates an aura of indestructibility. From another poster, Thomas Sankara, an eternally youthful smile pasted on his handsome face, shouted curses at all imperialists of all ages. A large sign over the bar in gothic lettering demanded to know: "How long shall they killed our prophets while we stand aside and look?"

From small wall-mounted speakers, Peter Tosh was singing 'Mystery Babylon,' demanding the return of Africa's stolen gold, ruby and diamonds.

The ambiance was cozy. I ordered a bottle of the best hooch. A massively hipped lady in body-hugging outfit, with half of her incredibly large breast hanging out, served it. As she left, I watched her twin rear engines vibrating, with fascination. I gulped down two-fingers worth of the fine spirits. It coursed down nicely and I felt the fire in my belly. Appiah did they same. His face was calm and I could see that my wife's insult were distant memories lost in the fog of drink. We settled down into an executive session with our drink, all the while debating and philosophizing about the world's ills. You know how it goes when you are feeling just irie, don't you? So, you don't know, eh? Go and get yourself plastered with enough hard liquor and you'll have some ideas what I am talking about.

Appiah and I discussed the state of Ghana's football - great, we agreed. We got into American politics and agreed that Madam Rice is just a figurehead at the State Department. She, we agreed, is just an house Negress put there to appease the eternally gullible blacks. She carries no weight at all, and if she had any monkey sense at all, she would resign soon. Appiah and I agreed that African leaders have no business changing their countries' constitution just to garner for themselves unconstitutional terms of office. We condemned the hypocrisy of the West and railed against the impotence of Russia. We threw insults at African leaders stealing their people's wealth, bank them in Western banks and then go hat in hand to beg for loans, handouts and HIPCs. Yes, of course, we discussed women and solemnly pledged never to go for fat women. We pledged to one another that from now till eternity, it is the slim ones with plenty backyard for us. Such friendship!

In 'Soul on Ice,' Eldridge Cleaver said that too many agreements kill a chat. He didn't know what he was talking about. I could only guess that our man was too busy revolutionizing to get into a bar and see healthy deliberations and solemn agreements especially with the one with the fat pocket paying for the hooch as I was doing.

Over-, or is it under -whelmed, by all booze and all the chitchats, my head sagged and fell on the table. I was snoring before my head hit the table - so I was told later.

The first inkling of trouble I felt was when a faint echo of a familiar voice penetrated my inebriated brain to register recognition. It was Dela's (my wife) voice. I shook my head in an effort to clear the fog. It was my wife's voice all right and she was slugging it out hard with Appiah - his was slurred, hers high-pitched. A fool, my friend was. Never try to partake in a shouting match with a woman; you can't win. There she was, my wife, screeching insults at my friend, hundred a yard.

The fog in my brain hasn't totally cleared but there were enough good patches here and there to take in what she was saying to my pal. They were not pleasant, I tell you. I cannot repeat them here without insulting some folks' sensibilities. You do understand, don't you? Worse of all, my wife has included me in her insults. I have become, (and I am telling you what my brain gathered from what she said) a useless, good-for-nothing, impotent, shell of a husband. Okay, I agree that I like the bottle a little bit (more than a little bit, let's be honest) more than necessary, but that doesn't make me useless (I still bring the bacon home, as the Americans are wont to say). I do get drunk now and then (which man born of woman doesn't?), but I still perform my conjugal duties - I assure you. I won't claim to be the most virile hunk this side of the Atlantic, but I still know a trick or two that could send a woman moaning with ecstasy.

So, that makes what makes what my wife was saying blasphemous. Patent falsehoods. A woman to whom I am legally married (yes, I paid the dowry - a part of my inebriated brain tried but failed to recollect what the dowry was, but never mind) has no right to come and disgrace me in the full glare of my friends and foes. And to questioned my manhood? That stole all the thunders.

Something exploded someplace in my fogged brain and my feet obeyed some dangerous signals transmitted by some errant neurons. I staggered to my feet and tottered to where my brain told me my wife was standing. Her mouth was still working like well-oiled pistons. Instead of my beautiful wife, what I saw was a monster with horns and fangs and things. I saw her arms flailed (perhaps to emphasise a point) and I thought I was under attack and went into action.

I should mention that although I am no Bruce Lee, I knew some bits and pieces of Kung Fu.

It was later established that drunk as I was, I gave a pretty good account of myself. The only problem was that my opponent was my own wife whom I swore to protect. I have, in a drunken fit, battered the mother of my daughter! I was later told that I cried like a banshee when she bit my thumb. It was further established that the owner called the police on his mobile phone (chic, won't you agree?) and that the men in black came with full force. Witnesses agreed that I gave as much as I received and the battle was not ended until a coward (enterprising, some might say) of a policeman took a combat stand and swung his Mark-IV rifle and the butt made impact with my skull, and my legs gave way and I fell down like a cut tree.

When they brought the charges, it was longer than your arm - I don't know how long your arm is, but it was longer than mine. Among what I was charged with are: affray; insulting and attacking policemen conducting official duties; threatening misbehavior; destruction of private and public property; general incitement; incitement to riot; constituting general public nuisance; breach of public; first-degree assault; assault with intent to commit murder; public drunkenness; wife battering; assault and battery; second-degree riotous behavior.

They forgot to throw in arson and treason. We have to thank Him for small blessings, don't you say?

Forgive us not our debt

Reports that Ghana’s debt has climbed above the seven billion dollars range is both worrisome and disheartening. Yours truly was among many who, few years back, wrote angry polemics against the onerous debt burden Africa was forced to carry.

Believing that our woes are finally over, we heaved sigh of relief when the movers and shapers of the world finally agreed to write off some of these debt. Meeting in Gleneagles in 2005, the conscience of the G8 leaders were sufficiently pricked for them to agree to write off 80 per cent of Ghana’s debts. Believing that we shall finally begin to use our resources to develop our economy, many of us danced with joy. Alas, our rulers are made from a different genetic pool from you and me.

That few years later, we are back to square one is very sad, indeed. So, those that charged themselves with managing our affairs have apparently learnt nothing! They kept on mis-managing our resources and keep on spin-doctoring the mess they are creating! Are we, in a few years time, to begin going around the world with our begging bowl pleading for our debts to be forgiven once again? Money doesn’t grow on tree as our leaders, who keep living beyond their means, obviously are unaware of. One way or the other, these debts have to be repaid. And with our country on the verge of joining oil-producing nations, no one will listen to us if we ask for debt forgiveness. So, we have actually mortgaged the nation’s posterity with our fiscal irresponsibilities.

Many economists argue that borrowing money in itself is not such a bad idea, if the borrowed money is invested properly to yield enough dividends to pay back the debt and get something more in return. Rescue me if I am wrong, but I do not see any enterprise our rulers set up that will enable us to pay back these debts.

Within the last few years, Ghana’s internally-generated revenues have increased to historic highs. Our people have been saddled with every description of taxation. Talking is no longer free in our dear land as our brilliant rulers have decided to impose air time tax on our mobile calls. Makes me wonder why they have not dreamt up the idea of taxing the very air that we breathe! Yet, with all these money accruing to the government’s purse, our debt has risen to historic proportions?

The saddest thing is that we have utilized all these funds apparently for recurrent expenditures, as there is still no visible industrialization taking place in our land. We certainly must be the only species of humanity that has absolutely no qualms whatever about borrowing money to build a presidential palace! A better idea would have been to borrow the money and build, say, a rail line from Accra to Kasoa. The generated revenue from such a project would have been sufficient to pay the loan back, build our presidential palace and we would still have our rail line – win, win situation all the way. Makes you wonder whether not our over-compensated elite are doing any thinking at all!

Ours is a poor nation, yet our elite continue to treat our treasury like war booty to be devoured at great speed. We have managed to turn our Executive Presidency into an Imperial one. The expensive cars in our President’s motorcade are among the most numerous in the world. And why on earth should a HIPCed country such as ours be giving cars loans to our parliamentarians remains a great mystery to yours truly? Come on, these fellows are already rich before they got there! And our Ministers are a class unto themselves. We are not only paying them salaries and other emoluments, we give them cars and we are helping to pay their housekeep! I repeat what I’ve written elsewhere here: The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands travel without pomp or pageantry, and he lives in HIS OWN HOUSE. Not even the Monarch of Holland, a rich country by all the standards known to statisticians, travel around in expensive motorcades.

Those nation that we today look up to as ‘advanced’ didn’t get their by pure chance. They were led there by leaders who see their offices as a call for national services. They were leaders who put their nation’s advancement above their personal aggrandizement. We learned from their biographies that they were leaders who prepared and equipped themselves intellectually before putting themselves forth. In his book ‘Why Not the best?,’ President Jimmy Carter tells us about the preparations he took before embarking on his journey to the White House.

And with all that they are collecting from the state’s kitty, our elite still continue to loot the little that’s left in the pot. Corruption in today’s Ghana is at all time high, despite all the presidential pontifications against corruption. The alleged misappropriation of 443 billion old Ghana Cedis (over $46 million) in 2007 is just the latest in a long string of malfeasances at high places. Nowadays, we no longer mention corruptions in the millions, it’s now strictly multi-billion. As Ben Ephson once put it: “In many cases, the unwritten rule of corruption in Ghana is chop, but chop big. For the uninitiated, chop is pidgin English for “eat,” so if you’re going to be corrupt, the thinking goes, take huge sums of money.” And how low our lots have sunk as a nation can been seen in the fact Ghana is now routinely mentioned among drug trafficking nation.

All these would not be a problem if our rulers are solving our developmental challenges, and making the quality of our lives better. I don’t know about you, but I, for one, do not think that things are better in today’s Ghana than they were eight years ago. The cost of living is literally and figuratively killing us. And gallingly, amidst the general impoverishment in the land, our elite continue to spend money as though it’s going out of fashion. With the exception of Tema, no city in our dear land has a decent public toilet. Our elite cannot, in their collective wisdom, think of building public libraries, parks and swimming pools where ordinary folks can chill down some of the stress of their impoverished lives!

It’s still my contention that until we Africans become passionate and agitated enough, our errant rulers will continue to take us for sweet rides and continue to treat us like colonial subjects. Election is coming up next year and what do we have but the same cabal of rotating politician making the same obstreperous noises. Or would one point to me where to locate Professor Mills detailed plan for Ghana on education, or Nana Akufo Addo’s detailed thoughts on how to revamp Ghana’s Agriculture, or the other candidates’ thoughtful ideas on regional integration, health, defense and the grinding poverty in our dear land. All that we are saddled with are more than useless party manifestoes – apparently copied and pasted with little alterations here and there.

We citizens should all strive to leave our society better than we met it; it is a responsibility we owe to posterity. And I believe that our civic responsibilities go well beyond casting votes on election days. It should involved letting those that are mis-ruling us and wasting our resources realize that we are angry, very angry. It involves those of us who can write to keep writing; those whose abilities lay in music to keep singing- we all should get involved. Ghana does not belong to the political class alone; it’s our patrimony. It also involves our demanding transparency at every level of governance. The yearly budget speeches are too obtuse even for the most educated among us. We should compel our rulers to publish our income and expenditure in PLAIN LANGUAGE and to put it on the internet. We can then inform ourselves where the leakages are. Details of every contract awarded by any department should also be made public, so that we can see the hanky-panky that’s going on. And these should be done at all levels of government – from District Assembly to Regional and National. Our rulers pretend to hold power in our behalf, I do not see why the records of our resources are not in the public domain.

Another thing we should seriously look at is our vast expenditure on our rulers. If, as they pretend, our rulers are really servant of the people why should they use the state’s resources to live at levels that are stratospherically higher than the rest of us? No Master would give his servant a car and house when he sleeps on the street and transport himself in the jalopies we call tro-tro. It shouldn’t the responsibility of the poor tax payer to give car loans to Parliamentarian or pay the telephone bill of Ministers.

It’s unconscionable for our rulers to keep asking us for sacrifices they are unprepared and unwilling to make for their nation. With our God-given resources, we have absolutely no business being hungry, being without decent shelter, without electricity and we need not be HIPC.

“Any economy theory that impoverishes people is doomed to failure.” Professor Adebayo Adedeji

Kuffuor's last budget

Permit space in your esteemed magazine for this reaction to your story: ‘ Kuffuor’s last budget’ NA, December 2007, p98.

I am a witness to the Kuffuor’s government spewing meaningless macro-economic gibberish for seven years running, while the lots of Ghanaians sank under his tutelage. An African saying has it that: “ye gods, if you cannot cure me, leave me the way you met me.” It is difficult to find areas to score the administration of President Kuffuor high.

Not satisfied with imposing a ‘Jurassic economy’ on his people, President Kuffuor went ahead and made his proud country embraced the insulting Highly Indebted and Poor Country (HIPC) programmes of the Bretton Wood institutions. He then turned around to refurbish his presidential cavalcade with expensive 4-wheel jeeps. It remains unfathomable to me why the leader of a HIPC country doesn’t see the irony in begging\borrowing money to live like an imperial president. And to crown his insensitivity to the plight of his compatriots, the President went ahead and borrowed money for a new Presidential Palace (of all things!) whilst the nation is plunged into darkness, due to electricity failure!

Under President Kuffuor’s watch, the once highly efficient and well disciplined Ghana Security Services (Immigration, Police and Customs) have been reduced to shameless bribe-takers like their counterparts in West Africa. It was also under Kuffuor’s watch that Ghana became a major hard drug transit nation. And it was also under him that scandals involving billions of cedis become almost a norm. As the Kuffuor government and its quangos continue to celebrate themselves, the number of Ghanaians selling junks in the traffic of Accra and other Ghanaian cities keep swelling. Electricity and water supplies are certainly in worse shape today than they were before the Kuffuor’s administration. It’s sad, really.

Now let’s take the very fraudulent claim that inflation has been reduced. Below are some figures we can use to contest the dubious claim:

ITEM PRICE (2000) PRICE (2007)

Candle 250 1,200

Gari (per Olonka) 2,500 12,000

Maize (per bag) 50,000 250,000

Kerosene (per gallon) 5,000 28,900

Ga Kenkey 500 2,000

Satchet (‘pure’) Water 100 500

Whilst in opposition the President led a demonstration against the price of petroleum which was then six thousand cedis a gallon. Today, it is priced at forty-six thousand cedis!

It is possible that President Kuffuor and his Ministers have their own special market, since they appeared so thoroughly cushioned against the hardship that is the lot of the ordinary Ghanaian. What’s most galling is that amidst the indescribable hardship, the elite have introduced a culture of shameless wealth-flaunting: the number of siren-blaring cars on Ghana’s road today is simply beyond belief.

Ghana from North to South is dripping literally with gold and other mineral resources, how do we then account for the vast poverty in the land! Instead of President Kuffuor listening to his ‘friends in the West,’ he could have listened to one Ghanaian – Cameron Duodu who suggested in one of his write-up that commodity producing countries should form cartels to fix the prices of their produces. Ghana and her neighbor, Cote d’Ivoire, together accounts for 59% of world’s cocoa production. If we throw in Nigeria’s 5% (source:, West African nations can easily form an OPEC-like organization to start the eminently sensible idea of setting the prices of the produce of their labour. Alas, President Kuffuor apparently firmly subscribe to the ‘without the West, Africa is lost’ doctrine.

If President Kuffuor’s domestic policies stinks, his foreign policy really sucks! Under his watch, the birthplace of Kwame Nkrumah has been turned into a virtual vassal state of Western imperialism. Ghana is today littered with every description of Western NGOs. Nothing better illustrates President Kuffuor’s discontent from those whom he governs than his sartorial faux pas on Ghana 50th anniversary celebration. On the greatest occasion to showcase the Black star of Africa, out came President Kuffuor dressed like a London banker in a three-piece suit. A pathetic, even nauseating sight! It reminds one of Fanon ‘Black skin, white mask’. And to his eternal discredit, President Kuffuor will go down in history as one of those who betrayed Africa’s interests by signing the notorious EPA which many African nations have condemned.

After twenty or so years of so-called democracy, it is time African leaders start delivering on the economic front. We have no business living in the paradoxical world whereby we sit on vast God-given resources, while our people continue to live like the wretched of the earth. Given leaders with vision and care, we can lift our people from abject poverty in a short time as others have done.

Fanciful macro economic statistics might look good on budgetary speeches, but as Franklin D. Roosevelt succinctly put it, “But while they prate of economic laws, men and women are starving. We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings.”

Let me end this piece with a quotation from Professor Adebayo Adedeji which every African leader should take to heart: “Any economy theory that impoverishes people is doomed to failure.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2008



Do not be ashamed of your poverty unless you got it dishonestly.” - Anon.

According to those who should know, humanity began in Africa about five point five million years ago when varieties of Australopithecus separated from their monkey cousins. Through gradual gradation, we moved from that lowly beginning to what we call ourselves today - Homo sapiens, (supposedly thinking beings). A new species of the human genus has evolved. Future researchers will again place its birthplace in Africa and time at circa the late 20th and early 21st century.

Morphologically, physically, genetically, mentally and intellectually the IMF-SAPIEN is the equal of the HOMO-SAPIEN. In fact, future anthropologists will have big-time difficulties distinguishing the two species.

What, then, are the characteristics of the IMF-SAPIEN that made it a distinct species? We have to go beyond the physical sciences in order to recognize an IMF-SAPIEN. Neither biology, nor geology, nor anthropology, nor archaeology, nor chemistry will help us. Only in behavior does an IMF-SAPIEN differ from a HOMO-SAPIEN. Only by studying their behaviors can we make a distinction between the two species. We thus move away from the domain of physiology and enter the province of psychology.

How, then, do we properly recognize an IMF-SAPIEN? Many features distinguish the IMF-SAPIENS from other species of the human genus. Below we list some of the easily recognizable traits of IMF-SAPIENism, though not necessarily in any specific order:

The most significant trait is that the IMF-SAPIEN is a colonial being. A colonial would be an adequate description of one under colonial domination, but an IMF-SAPIEN goes way-way beyond that. For starters, a colonial subject always harbors the HOPE of gaining his (we are not being sexist here) freedom. IMF-SAPIENS on the other hand has abandoned all hope of salvation. Our unfortunate cousin does not believe himself capable of self-redemption. In fact, an IMF-SAPIEN appears satisfied with his lowly, colonial, lot. With child-like helplessness, he’s waiting for others to come and rescue him.

Your average Homo Sapien knows that it’s stupid to be nice to those who do not know how to appreciate the gesture, never mind to reciprocate it, not so with an IMF-SAPIEN. He keeps giving even when his generosity is used to lampoon him. He would rather starve than allow a stranger to go hungry. Centuries of ingratitude has not dulled his sense of mis-guided altruism

An IMF-SAPIEN sits on vast wealth whilst living in wretched poverty. Few will contest the fact that Africa is the world’s most resources-rich continent. How then do we explain the strange phenomena of our continent being the worlds’ beggar and the world’s basket case? How do we explain why Africans are the world’s most malnourished, the worst clothed and the most poorly housed people on earth? We need not mention the simple truth that we are the worst educated and the most badly informed. How do we explain the strange phenomenon that makes Africans the lowliest of the world’s lowly wherever we live? Why are our pictures always adorning UN pamphlets on hunger and starvation?

The IMF-SAPIEN has long stopped thinking. He has long abandoned efforts to solve his own problem. He has left his salvation and redemption to others. He has folded up his arms in abandonment and has left it for others to analyze and proffer solutions to his problems. This can be the only explanation we have for the uncountable NGOs, institutions and Think Tanks Westerners have set up to maintain their stranglehold on our lives. Or where is it possible to breath nowadays in Africa without a Western NGO telling us how to do it?

The IMF-SAPIEN is ravaged by poverty to the point of intellectual inertia. He accepts without protest when others insulted him with their mis-analyses of his problems. He believes when told that his problems are lack of democracy (he should have questioned why his situation hasn’t improved after over two decades of democratic experimentation). He accepted without murmur that his problem stemmed from the corruption of his government (he should have asked how the Americans’, Italians’, Chinese, and Japanese’ economies are booming in spite of their frequent corruption scandals). He receives it solemnly when told that ‘bad governance’ is his major palaver; it never occurred to our unlucky cousin to ask what the nebulous term is supposed to infer?

Our IMF-SAPIEN cousin believes that over-population is at the root cause of his destitution (he should have questioned why that is not a problem in say, Holland, where about nineteen million human beings crammed themselves into a real-estate of forty-thousand square kilometers versus Sudan where a land-mass of two point five million square kilometers is populated by only about twenty-two million people. And that Angolans eleven million people have over one million square kilometers in contrast to the almost eighty million Germans who share about three-hundred and fifty-six thousand square kilometers.)

Oh yes, an IMF-SAPIEN loves titles and nothing pleases him more than to hold political office. Whether or not it is a political office totally bereft of any real power or authority, the IMF-SAPIEN is contented to hold his sham office. He loves aplomb and pageantry to no end. To make his day, give him a small piece of real estate, throw in a flag, an anthem, and equip some rag-tag band of ruffians with museum pieces and call it a national army, our strange cousin will find nothing ironic in celebrating his sham independence. Adorning himself with all the brass and epaulets money can buy, he will be seen vibrating with joy on ‘Liberation day!’

Everyone the IMF-SAPIEN invites to his house is having the best time of their lives, whilst he continues to exist in grinding poverty and mendicancy: This is among the most obvious signs of IMF-SAPIENism. Any society largely populated by IMF-SAPIEN is immediately recognizable by the fact that the aboriginals are always at the bottom rung of the economic ladder.

As pointed to, supra, the IMF-SAPIEN sits on vast natural wealth but does not benefit from them in any tangible way. It is thus left for foreigners to exploit these resources for their own benefits. The IMF-SAPIEN lives in rat-infested, mosquito overwhelmed and vermin-plagued hovels in slum and ghost towns (a ghost town is a ghetto inside a ghetto); the foreigners live in walled mansions in ‘exclusive’ suburbs. The IMF-SAPIEN crammed himself (44 sitting, 99 standing - apologies to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti), into ancient jalopies (trotro in Ghana; molue in Nigeria) whilst the foreigner tool around his towns in the latest designer high-tech cars.

What is also easily apparent to visitors is the fact that almost all the foreigners are having the best times of their lives, whilst the IMF-SAPIENS wallow in abject poverty. Or has anyone ever seen a European, Arab or Asia living in any of our numerous shantytowns, ghettoes and ghost towns?

An IMF-SAPIEN does not grow what he eats: Present-day keen observers and future archeologists will notice this unique feature of the IMF-SAPIENS immediately. This being is easily recognizable by his eating habits. His foods consist of imported items: British mad cow beef, expired Australian poultry products, European foot and mouth diseased pig feet (yuk!), expired Dutch and Swiss milk products have become staple food of our unfortunate cousin. Our strange cousin believes himself civilized by the numbers of ‘Fast (junk) Food’ outlets in his land! Strangely our cousin, who has absolutely no conception of time, likes to eat at fast food joints!

IMF-SAPIEN does not eat what he grows: Like almost all other colonial-subjects, the labor of the IMF-SAPIEN is not employed in producing food for himself and his family. No. His heavy muscles are engaged in producing what they tell him is cash crop. (If IMF-SAPIEN is capable of asking questions, he should have asked where the cash is, that he had employed his labor in producing over the years).

Our weird cousin hates his culture: As Apostle Paul said in his Epistle to the Ghanaians 20:05, ‘By their taste for foreign culture, ye shall know them.’ A society populated by IMF-SAPIENS must be a miniature (actually a caricature) of the metropolitan (dominating) power. The IMF-SAPIEN has lost touch with his roots and most of his energies are employed in running away as fast as possible from his cultural roots. Not only would an IMF-SAPIEN not speak his language but also, in speaking a foreign language, he must use foreign tones, mannerisms, inflections etc, etc.

A properly evolved IMF-SAPIEN would rather die than bear his traditional name. The IMF-Sapiens’s mannerism consists entirely of mimicking other cultures. Anything foreign is OK for the IMF-SAPIEN as long as it does not remind him of his own culture or traditions. You can easily know when you get to a society of properly-evolved IMF-SAPIENS - Just listen to the leader talking to his people. A well evolved IMF-SAPIEN society is the only place on earth where the rulers are addressing the ruled in a foreign language! In these societies, no one sees anything wrong or ironic in societies where leaders are talking to the led in a foreign language!

Let us now consider the structures of the society inhabited by IMF-SAPIENS, albeit briefly. The most notable feature of this society are structures (political, economic, social, sociological and psychological) erected that have no traditional or cultural base. The political and economic institutions of IMF-Sapiens’s society are based on alien, imported structures. IMF-SAPIENS has long abandoned their traditional systems of governance and economic activities. Their system of social organization is imported in its entirety.

What’s baffling is that the IMF-SAPIEN failed to grasp why these structures, which he badly-misunderstood, are failing him. As mentioned supra, the IMF-SAPIEN is running away from his roots as fast as possible, we find him junketing from one foreign country to the other seeking solutions to his local problem. Those who pretend to be helping him are swarming his land with their unemployed and unemployable youth, thereby solving their own unemployment problems at the expense of our unfortunate cousin. We thus find the peculiar situation whereby those who created the problems are proffering the solutions. This happens only in a thoroughly evolved IMF-SOCIETY.

In the sphere of spirituality, the IMF-SAPIEN is a lost soul. Religion has been properly defined as the deification of the ancestors. Every society creates its own religion and creates its own gods in its own image. Not so for our peculiar and wonderful cousin. As Apostle Paul warned in his Epistle to the Nigerians 20:05, “By their worship of foreign gods, ye shall know them.” With alacrity, our strange cousin made a bonfire of the images of his gods. With stunning speed, he adorned his temples with the images of other people’s gods. How else to explain the burning by Africans of the wooden images of their own gods, only to replace them with the plastic images of a blond, blue-eyed European nailed to a cross in obvious agony? No properly-evolved IMF-Sapien finds anything ironic in adorning his walls with the picture of a Caucasian Jesus the Christ! Nothing makes our cousin giddier than imitating the religious rituals of other people. Our cousin is at his best elements when he can recite off his head the ‘holy books’ of other people religions.

The leaders of IMF-SAPIEN societies love titles, ceremonies and speech making, though not necessarily in that order. The sight of the maximum leader spewing rhetorical verbiage on the television and the radios and the newspapers daily confronts a visitor to any IMF-SAPIEN’s society. In these societies, the leader is the state and the state is the leader. The only other personage competing with the maximum leader for coverage is invariably the numero uno’s wife. Go and ask Mevrouw Kibaki in Kenya.

Leaders of IMF-SAPIEN societies are simply beyond irony. The opulent live-styles enjoyed by these leaders bear no relationship whatsoever to the poverty suffer by the masses of the people they are leading. This is the only explanation we can adduce for the nauseating sight of well-fed African leaders, resplendent in the best attires money can buy, annually meeting and pontificating about their people’s suffering.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


I am probably an incurable optimist when it concerns Africa. But the truth is that Africa is simply too enchanting and so adorable - as has been chronicled by every objective traveler to the ancient birthplace of humans.

The unvarnished truth is that Africa is magnificently beautiful and fabulously blessed. Do not take it from me, just shed your preconceptions and your prejudices and take a trip to the original home of human. The natural beautiful of Africa is simply dazzling, as you shall find out. And Africans are just awesomely beautiful and so full of life – with very wide and beautiful smiles all over the place, no matter what the situation. It is difficult to imagine a Garden of Eden without thinking Africa. As I tell whoever will listen, were Africa to belong to Europeans, no non-European would be allowed in, no matter how long one’s visa is!

Of course the imperialists and their fawning, vile and racist media, are forever touting our wonderful continent as a ‘hopeless’ place engulfed only by famine and wars and AIDS. But is this really so? Is hunger, famine, wars and AIDS the reality one sees in Africa? I don’t think so, but why bother to tell the racist white supremacists masquerading as journalists! But you can as well ask them why all the airlines to Africa are always fully booked, and why it’s difficult to walk on any street in Africa nowadays without stepping on a white toe!

So what is there to make one wax lyrical about Africa? I will tell you. The sheer beauty of the place is just breath-taking, take it from me. In July\August 2007, I took time to explore the southern part of the extraordinarily beautiful country of Ghana. And believe me; I have never so thoroughly enjoyed myself. When I saw the Wli Waterfalls in the Volta Region of Ghana, I thought I’d died and gone to heavens. It is difficult to imagine a more relaxing and beautiful paradise! And as I stroll around the Wli village (cozily enveloped by gigantic mountains) and watch, admire and envy the local citizens of Wli, going about their daily chores with majestic gait – as though with no palaver in the world, I can thank my stars for bringing me to that wonderful village. I surely will go back to Wli, you can bet your last sinking dollar on it. At Wli, I saw human beings living as human beings were created to live. It might appear rustic to some, but for me I would never trade it for the anxiety-laden lives I see ‘civilised’ people living in Europe.

And from the summit of the Mount Afadjato (also in the Volta Region), reputed to be the highest in Ghana, I saw stunning views of the surrounding villages and the Volta Lake. I also saw parts of the Republic of Togo – just on the other side of the mountain. The view was simply awesome! The first climb didn’t seem adequate; I went back another day! See my stub on Afadjato on the Wikipedia. At the Monkey Sanctuary village of Tafo Atome (also in the Volta Region), I follow in the footsteps of the locals as they cohabitate peaceful with our Monkey cousins.

At Axim, in the Western region, under a night shimmering with stars, I lolled on the Atlantic Beach and contemplate nature’s great mysteries. At nearby Nkroful, I was humbled by the village and the house that was the birthplace of the great Africanist, Kwame Nkrumah. The Kakum National Park in the Central Region didn’t disappoint either. Walking on that canopy strung up high in the trees is an experience no one is going to forget in a hurry.

Neither is the visit to the Elmina and the Cape Coast castles (both of them also in the Central region). Please, let no one come and keep on insulting me about the Nazi atrocities being ‘greatest crime against humanity.’ That, to me, is pure racist bunkum. If Africans are considered part of humanity, the enslavement of some one hundred million of them, and the death of about thirty million, surely rank, at least statistically, higher than the death of six millions Jews in the Nazi concentration camps, however horrendous that was. See, I still cannot figure the Germans out. How could anyone ever think and plan and construct gigantic industries, dedicated only to the killing of human beings, and the processing of their cadavers? If you ever figure the Germans out, kindly let me know. And the Germans (so-called Aryans) are supposed to be the ideal of a superior race!

The most beautiful sights I saw in my travels were those of ordinary Ghanaian folks doing ordinary things with joy and happiness. Everywhere we went; there were always wide smiles and loud music and varied colors. And the dressings? Mama mia! Among the most memorable images I saw were those of ordinary Ghanaian families sitting around at night, having their supper. Nothing impresses me more than the delightful sights of husband and wife pounding their fufu, (a West African staple) whilst their children go about their plays with carefree abandon. And I cannot help but contrast this with Europe, where life has become so ‘civilised,’ that humans no longer have time to enjoy meals with their family!

When I see the natural beauty of this immensely blessed continent, and see how the beautiful people are willing to welcome one and all (including the historic oppressors of their race) and I compare it with the situation that obtains in Europe, I can only shake my head in wonderment. I also have to give thanks and praises to my creator for making me an AFRICAN! When I see the fuss the Dutch are making about immigrants into their difficult-to-find-on-map real estate, with absolutely no worthy natural beauty of any description, I can only imagine how ferociously the Dutch would fight to deter any visitor were Ghana to belong to them. When I see how a people, whose history would put a society of savages to shame, continue behaving like their barbaric progenitors, I say it’s great to be an African.

Excuse me, but there are also wars and killings in Africa! Yes, we do have wars and certainly, but I did not see Africans going on into the streets maiming and killing people solely on account of the pigmentation of their skin colour like they do in Europe. Oh, they cannot hang us anymore, so it’s only the beatings, the arsons and the tying of the symbolic noose that we have to endure. And these are the masterpieces they holding out to us at the Master Race!

Now, for the reasons that give solid grounds for my optimism about the future of Africa. The most potent argument is the development of consciousness among Africans. The most potent weapon in the hands of oppressor, as Steve Bantu Biko rightly pointed out, is the minds of the oppressed. Gladly, many Africans are waking up to the realization that their destinies are in their hands, and no one is going to fix things for them. Europeans have intruded into our lives and negatively impacted on us by claiming to be our friends. They took sides in our family disputes and unremittingly and remorselessly prolong our agonies. Gladly we now know better. We are no longer as ignorant as our fathers who credited Europeans with a humanity that Europeans neither understood nor deserved.

On The Security Front:

Few years ago, the ever pessimistic scholars of the West were concocting fabulous statistics about how we Africans are going to disappear from the earth – wipe out by wars, famine and AIDS. One of them even imagined the so-called ‘civil wars’ they launched against us spreading throughout West Africa. Gladly, our ancestors were not asleep. ECOWAS leaders saw through the imperialist tricks, and brought the raging wars ravaging Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to an end. Today, we have peace in the West-African sub region. And what did we have but for the BBC, the mouthpiece of British Imperialism, to decide in June 2007 to credit their barbaric warmonger of a Prime Minister, Tony Blair, with the achievement of ending the war in Sierra Leone. It is this type of historical distortion and falsification that enable Europeans (a people who should hang their collective heads in shame) to go around the world strutting with the arrogance of a peacock.

Angola is at peace after surviving the CIA-instigated war (hey, don’t hang me, please. Just go and read John Stockwell’s book: “In search of Enemies,” for reasons Angola bled so severely for so many years). Angola economy is now booming; let’s hope that the leaders of Angola will learn from the mistakes of their neighbours in Nigeria on how not to mismanage their country’s economy. Mozambique has managed to survive the apartheid regime-inspired ‘civil’ war and it’s doing Ok, thank you very much.

Sadly, DR Congo, the potentially most powerful country in Africa (given her size and vast natural wealth) still bleeds profusely from the many gnashes of wounds inflicted by foreign corporations seeking her wealth with no intention of paying for it. And the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea are still stupidly rattling their sabers. We hope that they learn from the futility of their previous nasty engagements.

The compelling question Western analysts failed to answer in their numerous comments on the continent is: “Why is it that wherever and whenever there is conflict in Africa, there is suddenly a profusion of arms?” The answer is provided by Bob Marley who wailed in one of his songs: “When you gonna get some food, your brother got to be your enemy.”

And those deriding us as perennial under-achievers always manage not to configure the effect of slavery (let’s forget colonialism for a while) on our psyches. How on earth do you enslave a people for over four centuries without screwing up their minds? Are we also outside psychology the way some Westerners suggested that we are outside history?

The Asians were colonized, Western analysts smugly tell us, but they fail to tell us that Asian societies were not as devastated as Africa was. More importantly, the Asian personality was not consciously wiped out like the barbaric intruders did in Africa. If we Africans are guilty, it is in the failure of our leaders in recreating the African Personality. The job of every liberated African is to help in the onerous battle of the total decolonization of the still lost African minds, and in helping to create the New African - confident and self-conscious, who does not believe in his being an appendage of Europe. In the words of Professor John Henrik Clarke (may the ancestors grant him eternal rest): “Each one, teach one!”

Despite the dire predictions of racist scholars, Africa population continues to grow and they stay healthy, as witnessed by this writer during his travels around Ghana. And incredibly, they are imbued with the same optimism that is the hallmark of the African personality. African Cosmogony thrives on the optimism, and it gladdens my heart immensely that the youth of Africa are blessed with the same optimistic spirit. Do not believe the racist press of the western world, no village or town that I saw in Ghana was dying of AIDS or famine or war. Don’t take my word for it. Just ask the thousands of European tourists having the best times of their lives in that wonderful country. Or, better still, do yourself a great favour and take a trip to the country and enjoy the fabled Ghanaian hospitality.

On the Economic front, Africa is doing incredibly well. Many African nations are registering 7% economic growths – and we are using the western indices here. Nigeria is registering the fastest mobile telephony growth in the world. Ghana has just discovered oil in commercial quantity and many other African nations are also discovering natural resources at breath-taking pace. According to those who should know, the return on investment in Africa is the highest in the world. The Chinese have discovered this, and they are doing serious business in Africa, whilst the children of slavers and rapists and continent-stealers are still, through their media, haughtily denigrating the continent their forebears helped in destroying.

Politically, most of Africa is doing very well as far as democratic reconstruction is concern. Unlike some years back when military mis-adventurists, backed by their western sponsors, were running riot across the continent, today we can count the number of non-democratic states in Africa on one hand.

What then, I repeat, is our problem in Africa? Why do Africans still continue to listen to the negatives vibes of the imperialists’ media – CNN, BBC, FOX (ah!) etc? Only the seriously vision-impaired can fail to see the pace of positive development that is taking place in Africa.

On the last evening of my travel which ended at the fishing village of Kokrobite in the Greater Accra Region, I saw a German girl shedding serious tears on the beach. She was being consoled by two of her friends. On asking, she told me that she’d fallen in love with Ghana. Having spent three weeks, the poor girl cannot envisage going back to the stressful, totally boring, categorically uninteresting and completely anxiety-laden life in Europe. I console her by saying that Africa will still be there should she decide to come back. She shook her head vigorously; vowing to come back ASAP. Of course, the folks at the BBC, DEUTCH WELLE or the CNN (Constant Negative News) will never let you see such scenes.

They come to our beautiful land, enjoy all the hospitalities our marvelous folks can provide, eat and wine to their heart contents only to return to their wretched countries, where people need chemical assistance in order to enjoy life, and start pouring invectives on us. And they do not understand why some of us are firing some salvos back!

Africa has nowhere to go but up. Nkosikele Africa!

PS: Fire your browser up and check out:

And see what the barbarians are doing in their ‘civilizing mission’ in our land!

Wise saying:

" Never use both feet to test the depth of the sea." - African proverb