Time-Neutral Greeting ‘Yaa-Mahama’

Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh

Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh

My compatriots, in this our motherland, greeting in our many tongues is usually time related. In our same motherland, various symbols and signs have come to be tags of achievements and failures along styles of governance. Lately, the act of greeting has emerged among the governance style ridiculers.

We have had Rawlings chain (negative), Kufuor gallon (negative), but also Kufuor bus (positive). Mills mobile phone (negative) and now there is even Mahamaakɔnfℇm (negative).

But what about this greeting thing? Dagbani greeting includes Dasiba (good morning), Antire (good afternoon), and Zanɔrℇ (good evening); all three have the response as Naaa. In Gurenne, good morning is Bulika; good afternoon is Wuntℇnga; and good evening is Zanɔrℇ. Like Dagbani and other Gur group of languages, the responses are the same,Naaa.

If you speak Dagaaba, your greetings and their responses are as follows: Fɔzaame (good morning). Its response is Zaameno. In the afternoon, it is Fɔmwena with the response Nwenatℇ. The evening greeting would be Fɔzaanuɔ, with the response Zaanuɔrtℇ. The Gonja greet An Su Maain the morning, An Tℇrea in the afternoon and Anuula in the evening.

My Gayobi children greet ɔdzekooin the morning, ɔshwee (afternoon) and imaawɔkoo; the responses being ɔdzemla (morning), ɔshwemla (afternoon).

Twi greetings include, Maakye good morning, truncated from Me Ma WoAkye), Maaha (good afternoon) and Maadwo (good evening). To each of these, the greeted responds, Yaaℇna (female), YaaAgya (male) or by clan, such as Yaasɔn, Yaapeafo or Yaaokudɔntɔ to an Asona greeting. The three greetings are according to day part.

In these times of darkness without light, all of a sudden, a Twi greeting has surfaced. It goes like this: Eno (female) or Agya (male), or Awura (lady) or Krakye (gentleman) or Nana (chief, queenmother, elder, grandparent) Me ma wodum sɔ. It is without regard to time. The response in all cases is, Yaa Mahama, the chief driver of the motherland’s give or take lighting affairs. He giveth light and also taketh light.

The root of this greeting that is regardless of time or time-neutral is in my compatriots’ expectation of light twenty-four seven. They know light is God given during the day and human made when daylight disappears. It has been the responsibility of the state since British colonialism, and especially Kwame Nkrumah’s Akosombo deed, and John Agyekum Kufuor’s Bui deed.

The Mahama chief driver of the motherland, like his predecessors, is expected to provide human made light all the time to power industry and livelihood chores during the day. A Mahama human made light is, also, particularly to enable my compatriots to see their way about.

Consequentially, if he who is expected to make light available does not light up what my compatriots expect to shine, then he cancels the difference between light and no light conditions. In effect, any greeting that is conditioned by light, how much light is available in the twenty-four hour cycle disappears with the disappearance of light by Mahama action or inaction.

Indirectly, my compatriots seem to be hoping that with the name of the chief of state mentioned so many times in a day as darkness, he would be encouraged to pay more attention to fast-forwarding the re-activation of the West African gas pipeline, upgrading TICO from akwadaa to abasiriwa and activate the Bui turbines within weeks and not months.

In other words, associating his name with dum sɔ is a wake-up call that all is not well with the lighting of the motherland. The motherland deserves to be lit up twenty-four seven. It has been known and planned for, throughout her existence, by creation or through evolution.

Imperialist Guggisberg planned it, socialist Nkrumah had his own most progressive plan, BlaaKutu planned and implemented Kpong, Jerry Kwasivi introduced TICO and Kufuor revived the planning of Bui and actually built it.

No one knows about any joint Atta-Dramani let there be light plan. Yet they wouldn’t conscientiously execute any of the Kufour initiatives. The West African gas pipeline is moribund and Bui is dragging on at snail pace. The mosquito infested board would rather concentrate on laying eggs in blocks.

The no-light deficit has reached levels so high today that almost five years after the duo took over from Kufuor, the chief driver has revealed compatriots of the motherland have addeddum-sɔ to his name which is now Dum-dum-dum-sɔMahama. The tagging is because he is always taking more light than he gives.

As for my compatriots, no matter what you do when you lead them, they would find ways of letting you know what pleases them and what doesn’t please them. Just make sure you do the right thing, such as give them light always (not darkness, the wrong thing), and your regime shall accordingly be positively tagged.

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