When Men Become Women

It is good for a misfortune like this to happen once a while so that we can know the thoughts of our friends and neighbours. Unless the wind blows, we do not see the fowl’s rump. (Chinua Achebe, Arrow of God).

I originally wanted the headline of this article to be ‘The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born’, a book authored by Ayi Kwei Armah and first published in 1968. But I had to change it because that title has been over flogged in the literary world. One of the reasons why I love this book is the fact that it is based on life in my beloved Takoradi.

I therefore decided to choose the above headline, even though it can also generate some litigation in this era of gender equality and agitations which have necessitated the creation of a Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. Some women from FIDA, GYEEDA, SUBAH, and perhaps SADA, may consider it as derogatory to them. I mean no such harm, my mums, sisters and sweethearts. I hope I have been forgiven? In these difficult times of cholera, Ebola and economic difficulties, the least I would want to have is a battle with our women.

Chinua Achebe says again that ‘living fire begets cold, impotent ash.’ The people of this country are ‘living on the bank of a river but are washing their hands with spittle.’ Why? Licensed criminals have taken control of the machinery of governance in this country.

So many things have happened in this country under the leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC); a repetition of them may be a waste of time and space. But as I wrote last week, as long as the boil remains on a part of the body, the hands would not cease massaging that part. Over the past few weeks, I have been on leave as far as my usual mahogany bitters is concerned.

However, ongoing events at the Commission of Enquiry that is probing happenings at the last World Cup Tournament in Brazil, as far as Ghana’s participation is concerned, have necessitated my early return from my leave. In fact on returning, I had, for the first time, gulped down five tots at a go but did not feel anything.

I initially thought that because of the long leave, the body had run out of the chemical ingredients of the bitters such that all the veins were struggling to fill their empty spaces. Unfortunately, no amount of replenishing would solve the problem until I had gone the full hog. I am not angry but the whole body is livid about one thing, and that is, that President Mahama is the worst leader this country has ever had. He has no ideas other than enriching himself and those very close to him. Even in that enterprise, he is not intelligent enough to do that with finesse.

Not a day goes by without one form of scandal bordering on plain thievery of the nation’s resources involving very close people to the presidency or officially appointed agents of state or the other. Not once in the history of this country has official stealing become a pastime, with the booty openly and opulently flaunted in such despicable manner to the chagrin of the citizens, than we have experienced under the youthful President Mahama who looks on with glee while the citizenry moan in pain and pine, as the criminals in government dine and wine with insatiable appetite for more.

Mahama and his cohorts in government behave like the proverbial hunter who does not have pity on a sick animal; all the hunter wants is to come home with a game. Well, maybe the outbreak of Ebola will serve as a check on the hunter. But what will serve as a check on the bulldogged acrid of a government which inflicts such physical and psychological pain on its people and dehydrates them of their spiritual belief in a supernatural being, who in the not too distant future will come to their aid, and still dances to the tune of ‘yentie obiara’? Where is our salvation coming from as we struggle to survive the onslaught of this shameful vulgarity clothed in governance?

In the midst of the overwhelming and unprecedented indebtedness the Mahama administration has committed this country to, and the seemingly unstoppable downslide of the economy and its glaring negative repercussion on our social and economic lives, the least we expect from such an incompetent and headless administration is to deepen our woes, nay, new gashes being added unto our wounds on a daily basis.

The ongoing probe by the Commission of Enquiry into the scandalous occurrences in Brazil, by not only the Black Stars but so-called officials who accompanied the team, has revealed not just a pungent smell of the acts of a disorganised group of people working in the name of Ghana, but also how the government machinery generally works under Mahama: contracts for the delivery of critical services are not documented and signed, whilst phone calls instead of official written communications are the basis of getting people to work for the state.

What is most disgusting is the fact that discussions regarding state contracts are held at petrol filling stations, and the most applauded and commended contractors at interviews end up losing the jobs to those who could not convince the panel about their capabilities to deliver the services. And when such people are invited to account for their stewardship, they cry. Yes, as human beings, once in a while we collapse under the weight of emotions; we cry and get relieved. But you see, when an European cries over something he or she has done wrong, it is a genuine repentance for the act. She or he apologises, no matter what the consequences thereafter might be. Sincerity and honesty emerge out of the tears.

Conversely, when the black man or the Ghanaian cries over what has gone wrong, it is meant to attract sympathy from other members of the society; it has nothing to do with remorse. So it came to pass that the ex-Minister for Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, shed tears at the commission. Mr Kwadwo Adu-Asare, the swagger daddy, a man so strong in his speech, particularly when on the political platform, all of a sudden developed some itches whilst sitting before the commission and subsequently wept, virtually calling on his late mum to come to his aid.

These are men who attack previous political leaders with venom more poisonous than that of the cobra, without any shred of evidence of wrong-doing by those they voraciously attack and destroy. Adu-Asare says he sacrificed and worked for Ghana but he is being treated like a criminal? He should go back and listen to himself in the past. Yes, we want and need people who offer sacrifices for mother Ghana; but we will be better off without such sacrifices that plunge us into reckless, unmeritorious expenses that have no value for money other than further enriching a few rogues at the inner chambers of power, led by a swagger President who is either oblivious of the hyenas around him or relishes in the acrid smell of the blood money so devoured by his assigns and agents at the expense of the nation.

Yes, there is a proverb in Akan which literally translates that ‘the feathers of the fowl indeed contribute to its size, but the fowl will be better off without very poor feathers.’ Ghana will be better off if we should dispense with the sacrifices of the ilks of Adu-Asare who are so negligent in the basic administration of public events. Budget for feeding supporters, agreed upon in Ghana in Ghana cedis, metamorphosed into US dollars with the same digits as it were. The crude, rude and ruthless insensitive manner in which the Mahama administration is running this country makes a mockery of the ruthlessness of the hungry tiger towards its prey.

Ghana has fallen into the hands of a group of people who have no inkling in what to do to move this nation forward; they are simply bent on destroying this country for us and the next generation.

The most amazing thing, in the midst of all these, is the level of patience exhibited by the people of this country. A white South African once said that he was amazed at the patience of the black man, which he said was just next to the patience of a camel. It may seem insulting, but is it true or not?