Curses used to be limited to people with esoteric inclinations. Not anymore as the pastime finds itself among both rural and urban dwellers, regardless of their educational achievements or religious beliefs, our charged politicized environment providing a special need for them.
One of the top National Democratic Congress (NDC) personalities once used a bottle of the famous Schnapps and some eggs to curse anybody who tackled him unfairly. Ohene Agyekum it was. It was so interesting seeing that man clutching a bottle of the famous alcoholic beverage at the time of the esoteric rite. Eggs were so popularized by his show that cynics in Kumasi replaced the name of eggs with his.
Curses have therefore been in the political realm for some time now, providing comical yet mind-boggling side attractions to the serious business of politics. For those who exclaimed, and many did, when custodians of our rich Ghanaian culture were spotted cursing former New Patriotic Party (NPP) General Secretary, Sir John, as they hurled eggs to the ground with bottles of alcoholic beverages splashed to match, they were following a modern trend in local politics.
Although their standing in the traditional setting has been questioned, we nonetheless consider their choreographed cursing rituals worrying, more so since those sponsoring the nonsense are supposed to be part of the political turf. Perhaps the real custodians of our heritage should call them to book for dragging the name of their forebears into disrepute.
Really when money is introduced into the art of cursing, favours from the political establishment being the motive, the age-old method of extracting the truth or ensuring traditional discipline loses its value and perhaps its potency. The river god, Antoa Nyama, is yet to strike the person who robbed it of some gold last year.
We might see more of such curses as the political season gathers momentum.
NDC National Organiser, Kofi Adams, had his share of the curses when his former colleagues in the National Democratic Party (NDP) alleging treachery, broke Schnapps over his head; he has not shown any signs of debilitation.
Thankfully the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) assemblymen who cursed their colleagues for breaching an agreement have gone through the drill of reversing the Luciferic ritual.
A linguist of the Tepahene in the Ashanti Region was hauled before the traditional council for showering curses on those who stood in the way of President John Mahama and a second term. He could have won a car or even more but for the disapproval of his boss, the Tepahene.
In Akyem land the Abontedomhene of Okyeman is reported to have cursed whoever seeks to sabotage Nana Akufo-Addo’s bid to lead this country.
It would appear that curses these days have escaped from the traditional domain into the political sphere.
The reason is not far-fetched. When an economy shrinks and the repercussions manifest in the deteriorated living standards of the people, some would be ready to engage in such choreographed cursing sessions to catch the eyes of the political establishment for a pittance. This is Ghana.