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

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Death of a woman at church and the nonsense thereafter

A 30 year old woman dies at church. The media reports it. End of story. No further questions asked and then some of the comments going around:

“She will end up in heaven because she died at church,” “Oh at least she crossed over to 2014 before she died,” “it is better that she died in a church and not a night club…”etc

Really, what in god’s name is wrong with us?

Everybody knows that watch-night services are huge ‘shows’ in Ghana. Religious events in general, for examples, crusades, all night prayers services, and gospel ‘explosions’ can attract an excessive number of people including the infirm. Yet, does nobody take emergency preparedness for crowd-intensive events seriously in Ghana. People who are ill often attend religious programs because in a country where miracles can be bought, you just want to try your luck. The downside to this is that, the potential for health/medical related emergencies on-site increases. But who cares? ‘God will save us if something happens and if God doesn’t save us, God knows best.’ “Give the person sitting close to you a hi-five and say…” We were in this country when the want for ‘anointed TB Joshua water” caused a stampede and killed four people alongside injuring 15 other persons but hey, that was all in God’s big plan for us.

Where do First Aid boxes belong? From getting a headache to passing out; these are things that can happen to anyone on any day at any place. And when you an organizer of events like watch-night services, political rallies, entertainment shows, carnivals, demonstrations… etc. You must have a risk management plan which should cater for emergency health issues. If you are planning a crowd–intensive event and you can’t afford a first aid box/room, professional health care givers, and in some cases, an ambulance, located at a clearly marked out area where the crowd can get help from if there is an emergency, you are not yet ready to be an event organizer. It doesn’t matter if you have organized 3 million events and nothing has ever happened. The same way we think to provide pastors, politicians and the whatnots with bodyguards and police escorts at events even though no one ever tries to slap them ( oh why not ah? ), we should prioritize the health care and security of the crowd. Obia ny3 obia, defused.

I don’t want to ‘take my lack of faith come spoil azonto-for-kristo,’ but is it not just common sense to take precautions and prioritize the health and safety of the masses? Okay, will you do it if I say it is the holy spirit who directed me to say this? Uhm, yeah, the holy spirit asked me, so please, when planning your next crusade, political rally, entertainment show etc, don’t only think about bodyguards and police personnel to protect the ‘big shots.’ Think about the safety of the crowd after all it is their offering you use to feed your family. It is their votes that get you the job, and it is their patronage of your music that gets you the fake bling-bling. Amen.

I am not a health care professional. I am not a risk management expert of any sort. I am just a depressed writer who thinks Ghana should start importing some common sense alongside the tooth picks we import from china despite the many bamboo trees growing in our forests.

Patience Tetteh, who knows if the church was well ventilated? May your soul Rest in Peace.

Monday, January 6, 2014

September, 2053

Like cats lick
their dead kittens
we gather by
your lifeless body
and make promises
with our tongues
brushing against our teeth
We cry for ourselves
knowing you will let
your body smell nasty for once
in the insides of our red sand
and we can not turn the shower on
and tell you ‘it is not too cold’

Your bones will be useless even to dogs
six feet too deep
yet too shallow
to hold up the memories
you created with us
every morning
you shake me awake,
point out the wrinkles on my dress
remove the dirt in my nails
yell at everything
Breakfast will be cold,
I walk too slow,
My hair needs oiling,
do I not see that
my hair needs oiling?

Six feet too shallow
to hold our conversations
on how I need Christ,
how you need me to have money for me,
and then I tell you about my dreams
and you send smiles and say
‘ok, hurry before I get too old’
You yell at me some more
for drinking the milk you left
for the cats whom you understood better than me

You did everything for me
didn’t you?
Now I have to learn to cry
for myself
Because you are not here to do it,
like you did every night
after I told you
that my dreams were not mine.