of peculiar flowers/like sound of laughter/fluid in words you could spell/only after lettering down/libations on territories/virgin with mystic bites/of your footsteps/creating gardens/of hope beyond tales

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The 7th December Palm wine

Natural valleys appear like mountains
for party men who reach to greet feet of busy hands
when thumps are the flags that move out, in, or onward

Our memories leap in the air as indelible liberty
wanes in the space from one to four
but the right to lie, to deny and to beg is again ingrained

We forget daughters and sons who balloted with a modest proposal to count
in matters of bills and policies and cake— from the national bakery

Our thumps may have fractured the future,
nudged aspirations into despair,
voted here instead of there
but we will not break our bones,
disregard the signs or forget to pray

We brew the December palm wine!
we’ll waits to savor the strength
what we taste, we shall spit or sip some more
and we will hear no songs louder than our heart beat

Friday, November 9, 2012

Charley! —A word with a thousand meanings

“Charley” commonly spelt as “Chale” is a complete statement, you don’t agree? Charley basically means buddy/friend, right, but it also means “I know what you mean”. Charley, means “stop it.” Charley could mean “let’s go.” Charley charley charley could be decoded as, “can you believe this?”, “I’m not feeling this” or “I’m feeling this”, “you know?” So Charley, like “I’m off this”. Charley!, “I am happy”. Charley, “shocked.” Charleeey can be “I know what you are up to” or “I’m in trouble!” oh Charley!, “I’m disappointed,” “I empathized.”

It all depends on when and how you say it. Most indigenous Ghanaian languages are tonal; like in twi “papa”- fun “papa” -father “papa” -good and there is my favorite Ga sentence, “l3 l3 l3l3 l333” which means, it’s true the ship is large. You need the perfect pitch and charley you are in!

So how the hell do we belittle such ingenuity and music in a language that we have made, inherited, will leave behind for future generations.
Charley, I shock sef! We for go more local, you no dey see? You d3r I go catch you laRRa kraa wai. ;)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

“Wild Ghana?” Anas, Joy FM, Multi TV Rape 52 Women twice, hurray!!!

I used to have respect for Anas Aremeyaw Anas. It is sad he has become a rapist. Most Ghanaian media houses, particularly the Twi speaking stations make a circus of rape cases. Size of the penis, intensity of hump, nature of moans, everything else matters more than the story itself; that a human being has been abused and thus needs support and justice. We choose sensationalism over duty, but somehow in my Wild dreams I expected a little more from Joy FM and Multi TV.

If a bottle of poison is left on a table unlabeled and I know it is poison though I didn’t put it there, then I watch on as a young man pick up the bottle and drink its content, I killed the man. I am a killer.

How can anyone watch over 52 women get raped and wait to be called a hero some three months later? How come one woman was not enough to have Anas jump in and kick the ass of that monster of a Doctor? Why did we need 51 more women to be captured on camera to get us (interested?) excited?

Dear Anas, you have become a huge monster like the Rapist. Over 52 women? And you just watched? You wanted a big story, didn’t you? Oh but do you think 52 is big enough? Why didn’t we wait till we got to a thousand women? That would have been biiiiig! I hope you are happy now that some irresponsible media houses like Joy FM and Multi TV as well as some idle Ghanaians are calling your condoning act a “Must Watch.” Congratulations.

“Wild Ghana?” I agree! We are so recklessly wild that an award winning investigative journalist forgets the need to fight for justice, protect the vulnerable, and inform the people who trust him in a timely manner without needless sensationalism.

We are so effing wild that a reputable media house like Joy FM, would put such a shitty story on their website:

Ghana is soooo god damn wild that we wait to watch one man rape over 52 women, before he pulls their babies out of them and then talk about it casually like a soccer game.

We are wild! We want to see blood! Woman blood! 52 and more!

We forget that an abortion is a private affair and one who decides to go through with it needs medical and emotional support and not such exposure to Wild Ghana’s need for a blockbuster series.

The abused Women do not need an audience, they don’t need our dear Wild Ghana to sit behind screens and discuss their ordeal with judgmental tongues.

Joy FM, Multi TV, Anas, since we want to go wild and we don’t understand civility, good judgment, justice and privacy anymore; I say go fuck yourselves at the Freedom and Justice Arch.

Photo credit:

Friday, August 17, 2012

For the wife who cries

I have picked up your struggles of disbelieve/ made it mine/ And now we in love/ flirt with insecurity/ Cum with doubt/ Moan disappointments/ Stay on hard with hurt/ We hold each other tight and let our hearts run/ Run into memories that still hurt us/ What (s)he did last/ month, year, week-/ End. I struggle…/ cos you want reason to be sad/ …to make you see that I love you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

If you educate a woman, you educate a woman

No disrespect to Dr. James Emmanuel Kwegyir Aggrey who said, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” The preeminent Ghanaian scholar, educator and missionary as I highly suspect must have been well intended with his words. I disagree however with the good Doctor. Practically, when you educate a girl you educate a girl and that is how it should be seen. The role education plays in the life of women should not be seen [only] in light of how the nation benefits. Women/girls should be educated for the simple reason that they are people.

In conversation with Rita Nketiah, a Pan-African feminist activist and a friend, she makes a salient point, “so much of the mainstream discourse on women's human rights in Africa/Global South centres on this notion that "a healthy women = a healthy nation" or that when we empower the girl-child, we empower the nation...I’m bothered by this”, she adds, “This line of thinking still reduces womyn and girls' values to that of reproducers of the nation-state. Can’t you just empower me because I am a human being? Why does my empowerment have to be tied to how useful my womb is for the nation? I feel that the healthy womon/healthy nation argument is meant to get a mainstream buy-in but still relies on traditional gender norms”, Rita Nketiah (Skype chat February 12, 2012).

Why do women need an added reason beyond humanness to be educated? I am certainly not belittling the role women play in development of a nation, neither will I condone any dubious interpretation of what I infer was a well intended speech by Dr. Aggrey. To be fair, I ask a friend and a graduate student from the Centre of African Studies of the University of Copenhage about his thoughts on Dr. Aggrey’s statement, he says, “often in a patriarchy, the man is out working, but it is the woman who takes care of the children. She spends the most time with them. If the man is somewhat educated he will send his boys to school, while the girls will perhaps join the basic [school] but drop out when reaching higher level like JHS [Junior High School]. She [the girl-child] is needed elsewhere and she is not going to be the prime-provider anyhow. However, if the mother is somewhat educated the chance the girl will continue school enhances. This can lead the way for more equality. Why would men allow for more competition that can affect their position negatively? This is not [just in] Africa; across the world the men are still having the good positions. Very few countries have had or have a female head of state. My country [Demark] has had one and she got elected four months ago. Perhaps the quote simply underlines the importance in educating women; women affect society greatest since women are the ones raising the children while the men spend time working or in worse situation drinking”. Mathias Søgaard (Facebook chat February 12, 2012).

The thoughts of my good friend Mr. Søgaard are noble, he believes as do I that we need to create a platform for equality. But my somewhat twisted interpretation of his explanation of Dr. Aggrey quote is, “Dear woman, we are going to give you breakfast everyday because we want your breast to develop so we can suck them. If per any chance you derive benefits from your developed breast that is fine, but remember, that your breast were developed to be sucked, that is the whole point here. Thank you, with love and believe in equality, signed, Breastless humans”. This is not a personal attack on Mathias’s analysis. Unquestionably, the popular notion is, to create a platform for equality we must emphasize the important role women play in a thing we have come to depend on like a nation. Nonetheless, consciously or unconsciously what we are really saying is ‘the develop your breast let me suck them’ analogy.

Why must there be the need for philosophical innuendos when it comes to educating womankind? Like Ms Nketah said, why must it be pegged against the survival of the nation? Will we only educate a woman because the nation needs her? Or must we educate womankind for the same reason we educate men? When we engage in overstatements, oversimplification, and obfuscation, we endanger the very cause we are fighting for, EQUALITY.

I see the logic in dramatizing the need in educating women, particularly to diehard believers in patriarchy. Nevertheless, such dramatization (however well intended) puts a needless burden on the already over burdened woman. So now, if the nation fails is it women who have failed? Will educating women and leaving men out still keep the nation in the balance we need it to be? Education, Gender and Nation Building are mutually exclusive with none less significant. If our goal is equity in education then that is what we should point to.

My argument is, women are important because they are people. Women should be encouraged to reach their highest not because of the nation, but for their own sakes. Without formal education and without our asking them to, many women have lighted so many paths to development. Women will continue to do what women will do. Women think about and act towards national/global development because they are people. Yaa Asantewaa, did without any formal education. Many women are developing the nation with or without formal education. Education is education for its own sake, the nation is the nation for its own sake and women are women, shall be women for our own sakes.

In the end, if you educate a man you educate an individual, if you educate a woman you educate and individual, and because all individuals are important why would you leave anyone out?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

On the eighth day God made love

He rested on the seventh day. After making fishes and diamonds and the tiny little fly caught in-between shut louver blades and a dirty mosquito net, he rested. Naked, the lord laid on an earth brown mat interlaced with green cotton threads, his feet stretched out, occasionally he lifted them up and down; he was pleased with what he had done― what he could do. He turned his body over; sleeping on his stomach, God wondered what to make for dinner.

The lord could not fall asleep, there were mosquitoes in heaven. He clapped his right thigh but missed the stinging insect. Heaven was quiet, the drummer angel boy had a headache, he sat by his drums not playing a tune the whole day. God began to fantasize, he thought about all he had made and wanted to make more.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Soon it became boring because there was no light in his neighbourhood. So God created light and separated the light from the darkness, calling light day and darkness night. God named his pet night, a grey fluffy cat that liked to rest on the lord’s laps.

He patted night and began to talk to himself, God wanted more― more space to stretch his arms while yawning. So the lord created an expanse to separate the waters and called it sky.

God got into his boxer shorts, and thought it should be a good day to swim; so he created the dry ground and gathered the waters, calling the dry ground land, and the gathered waters seas. He realized he wasn’t a good a swimmer so he created vegetation (plants and trees). Up a coconut tree the lord climbed and thought that was all the fun he needed.

On the fourth day God sneezed. Night, the grey fluffy cat, had his fur in God’s nose. The mucus fell on the sky. God took out his handkerchief to wipe the mucus creating the sun, moon, and the stars to give light to the earth and to govern and separate the day and the night.
Night was on heat and started to bite on God’s feet. God knew night was not going to leave his toe alone so, God created every living creature of the seas and every winged bird, blessing them to multiply and fill the waters and the sky with life.

God said that was it― there is nothing more to be created; but he looked in the mirror and thought, if I could keep some company, with what would it be? Then God created ants and the animals to fill the earth. He wondered which animal he should make to run fastest. To help him decide God created woman and man (Eve and Adam) in his own image― only making their hands smaller.

Woman and man had eyes, nose and chin but no mouth. God knew he had forgotten something. God created laughter and put a little in woman and man’s eyes, heart, and stomach. But there was so much more laughter left in God’s hands; then he made teeth and mouth on man and woman and put the rest of laughter in it. He blessed woman and man and gave them every creature and the whole earth to rule over, care for, and cultivate.

God had a lot of free time on the seventh day; he watched man and woman do the azonto dance for a while. He knew he had to learn the azonto too. God rested, woke up, blessed the day and made it holy. He was pretty bored the rest of the day. Adam was watching Eve play football. God thought sports was just a bore. He went back to sleep and had a dream with night on his laps. In the dream God was talking to his mother, she looked just like him. God was really confused in the dream. He asked his mother where she had been all this while; she said she lived in him and then she disappeared. Good woke up screaming “Maa!”

After the seventh day, God noticed his finger nails had grown. Just as he was about to bite them he thought there was one more thing he could make. He looked around him and said ― ‘this shouldn’t be about me’.

Mid morning of the eighth day, god created sex. He examined and then added orgasm — it pleased him that he did. Now God thought he had really out done himself. He hoped his mother would be proud of him.

On the eighth day, God thought something was yet missing in all the beautiful things he had created. He thought of what he could create to make all creation meaningful—from morning through to afternoon of the eighth day God was restless. All the things he had created suddenly felt intangible. Good rubbed his palm on his forehead. He didn’t understand his anguish. “I need something, something made of everything, something to hold everything”, God repeated to himself.

God decided to go for jog with hope the eighth day will pass a lot quicker. He didn’t like the way he felt that whole day. The faster he run, the more anguish he felt. God was now convinced he had one more thing to create. He was taking a shower when he started yelling “yes yes yes!!!” He took his towel and wrapped it around his waist. Stepping away from the waterfall where he took his evening showers the lord thought about all of his creation. His heart raced frantically.

He gathered all he had created and announced “we are going to make love”.
On the night of the eighth day God made love and he said "It was very good."