City Dwellers

Ga people

From OSU Clottey to Danfa, from Kasoa Nyanyanor to Afienya

From the Nkrumah overhead bridge to Sodom and Gommorah

Under makeshift canopies, sleeping on carton-made beds

You will find them, tattered, hungry, desolate and abused

The street is their home, protecting their territories like a pack of lions

Some are innocent, dragged into this harsh life by circumstances

Their fate is sealed, destiny derailed, the once glimmer of hope shattered

Subject to the harsh realities of life, some have become brigands

Petty traders by day, machete and AK 47 wielding robbers by night

The street has taught them, made them immune to emotions

Survival instincts heightened, evil thoughts run amok in frenzy

“Man must survive”, that is their motto, “f$$k the law”, they always say

They once had hope, false hope induced by thieving politicians

Some were foot soldiers, promised a better life once their party came to power

They were rejected, paper qualifications were demanded, their hopes shattered

In their own little world, they felt rejected by society, they felt betrayed

Their women could be seen at night, in skimpy clothes, awaiting clients

From Soldier Bar to Kwame Nkrumah Circle, from Cantonments to Achimota

You will find them hiding in dark corners, making sexual suggestive moves

All in attempts to waylay men with loose morals, men with huge libidos

Cheap Abidjan perfume can be smelt on them, chewing on gum like a regurgitation sheep

The hassle over price begins, the customer is always right; against their wish they have to comply

At least, it will enable her make a saving to her “susu” account; she has hungry mouths to feed

From the obscure location at Nima, a young boy with hopes and dreams sit in a cyber café

Throwing baits at the thieving and greedy “Mugus”, plans well crafted, plan known as THE FORMAT

He has hope of making it big, riding in Toyota Corollas with his hommies

Life is too short, “all die be die”, refuse to be broke, that is what keeps them going

To him, education is just a fairy tale; he must survive no matter what

From the noisy Kaneshie bus station, bus conductors can be heard hollering

“More passengers more chobo”, he always says to fellow bus conductors

Stuffy “trotros”, acrid and pungent stench from some passengers’ armpits

Pastors with loud speakers on full blast, assuring the populace of salvation

Offertory bowls bigger than deep freezers; the Lord loves a cheerful giver

Speaking of prosperity, breakthroughs, evil spirits, visas and marriage

“Accra stay by plan”, the hopes they had to remit home once they made a decent living shatters

From another end, in plush restaurants and pubs, the elites party their hearts out

Bottles of expensive Moet, Hennessey, Courvoisier and Champagnes are adored

Life is lived in the fast lane; poverty never exists in their dictionary

Gold digger women are their friends, love never existed, and it’s all about the kwacha

Pride and arrogance are their banes, talking big, with swagger like hip-hop artistes

Osu Oxford Street is their second home, the place where the rich party and dine like heaven

Licking on ice creams and chewing dead chickens, sign of good living they always say

These are the city dwellers, some fortunate, others unfortunate

Life has never been fair, life has never been equal, life has no mercy

At night we all go to bed, to be awakened by the morning’s light

The struggle continues, the hustle begins, it’s a repetitive vicious cycle

It never ends, it never reduces, it stays the same, life of a city dweller.

Where do you belong? Where do you stand, in life’s untamed waves where does your ship sail?

via Quophy Appiah Obirikorang

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