Archive for May, 2016

Oseikrom Conversations

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 31, 2016 by kola

It’s always interesting conversations with all sorts of people when I’m in Kumasi. Granted the best place to hear the latest gossip is riding the trotro or in a taxi with the taxi driver.

So on this morning when Johnny Depp is in the news for wife battery I’m taking an adventure trip with the cutest missy  Abena Peprah doing a “Yewo Krom Adventures”, had this interesting conversation with a taxi driver on the state of social development in Ghana especially Ksi:

On taking a bypass

Me:  Oh nice! So they made a bypass to the cultural centre so you can avoid all the Kejetia traffic.

Taxi Driver:  Apuu! Which bypass? They just blocked te road and you don’t know what they’re doing there. As for this government it is the only one we wont understand ever. They keep increasing petrol when prices are down, looks like government officials are just greedy and chopping government money nyafu nyafu.

Me: But pro government people say they’re doing well oh. They got a green book outlining projects and are even doing adverts to show their achievements..

Taxi Driver: Apuu! As for that Mahama even urinal if he gets he’d cut the tape (literal translation), taking over jobs of even assembly men.  Wonder if we even have a vice president and what does he do everyday?

Me: (trying to move away from the politics) so you mean you don’t like this bypass? But I think its very necessary.

Taxi Driver: Oh nonsense! Boss, is it tarred? Yet they take money and you wonder whose pockets the money is going into. You’ll see them when we get ahead taking one Ghana from every car that passes here like a toll and still nothing

Me: Oh really?

Taxi Driver: Boss! See here. They’ve blocked the road and taking money yet nothing. As for this our mayor and his party they’re doing it too much and too blatantly. He’s outlined two projects and when they mentioned the cost you wonder if they take us for fools.

There was a siren in Adum near the post office that he says he wants to replace and the total cost of the project is 8 billion old Ghana cedis. Why? When the siren sounds is it going to sound for the whole Ghana to hear or just Kumasi here.

Me: Oh wow! That much?

Taxi Driver:  you think thats small he says he’s gonna refurbish the Prempeh Hall, thats just do some new external body works and the total cost is over 15 billion.
Masa why? Do we wash our faces upwards.
It is all a money grabbing venture..

Me: Hmmm

Taxi Driver: (going back to politics) And as for our president they say he’s a good communicator but how can he say that as for us Kumasi people even if he paves our streets with gold we wont ever be pleased with him. And he says Ghanaians have short memories so we’ll vote for him again. Indeed he’s a dead goat. How could he  say that?

Me:  (uncomfortable about the politics) So lets wait and see at the end of this year what happens..

Then we got off to go see the other symbol of Asante unity,  the buried sword of Komfo Anokye.

(Oh! The taxi driver mentioned that the mayor wants to glass it for 4 billion cedis)

The rest of the conversation is more social and I’d feel uncomfortable transcribing it here..



Giant Bullying Continues

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 13, 2016 by kola

So now we had been divided into our various classrooms from  A to D with the shortest in front method. The smallest freshmen have ended up in the A class and interestingly we were the most boisterous.
It didn’t take long for the seniors who reported to school later and the school authorities to realize that.
In the dormitories we were to discover and learn to sleep for the most minimum of hours.  The days of comfort, which was the week we had stayed for orientation were over. The seniors who were to act as “school fathers” had finally arrived and for some of us who didn’t know any such seniors we were the victims of constant molestation.

The freshmen who had school fathers were “protected” from some of the unnecessary harassment and the more “powerful” your school father was the more you were exempt from frivolous activities that went on on campus. If you had a school father who was not only popular in one dorm but was known all over campus then we say “you had chopped lotto” and those were had to come by. It involved a lot of giving away tinned fish and milk.

In this group of most feared seniors were The Bloody Cult led by Rev Bob Satan and they had the names of members etched on the walls and in every space where you couldn’t miss it. With names like Skido Ray, Shanton, Ofege and some other feared names which of those other seniors could touch you if you mentioned their names when caught by even the sixth formers.

Oh! They were all in Form 5 but they run the school.

Apart from this feared seniors there were the baby faced seniors who were the silent killers. These usually included the respective prefects of the various halls of residence. A senior on duty could terrorize freshmen so much that we didn’t dare go sleep in the dormitory  but ended up either in the dining hall or the general assembly hall with the mosquitos having a field day.

There were some seniors that we freshmen prayed will never come on duty because when they did it was uncomfortable for our existence. A senior on duty had oversight duty of every aspect of cleanliness and the smooth running of the dormitory. Some seniors extended this to even the freshmen food cabinets known as chop boxes in which we kept most of our food.

A chop box could determine what kind of family a freshman came from whether rich, average or poor. The rich chop box had a lot of tins usually sardine and milk, corn flakes and several items for a typical British breakfast plus local stuff like gari etc. So when a senior on duty took charge of the chop boxes then we were dead as freshmen.

Moreover if you didn’t have a school father who kept the items in your chop boxes in his care, then you were already on empty by midterm which was quite serious.
There were other immediate seniors who saw the freshmen as means of alleviating some of their burdens from the seniors and acted as secondary bullies. A senior sends them on an outrageous errand(to go fetch water from the school well about ten minutes walk away with a small cup to fill a large bucket) and they send you instead.

So apart from being bullied out of the dorms and sleeping in the assembly and dining halls, we also had to learn how to dodge seniors and be invisible even whilst  we walked on a campus which was oval in shape and one could be spotted everywhere. It was this trait that gave us some of us our nicknames that was to last for the rest of our stay on campus.  One dude learnt how to hide behind the nearest pillar or wall just to swerve the seniors from which he earned the nickname Artful Dodger from the book Oliver Twist which was the first book treated in the literature syllabus.

Freshmen were always being chased around by one senior or the other for some offence committed and sometimes when we heard that a senior was off campus it spelt a bit of a respite. We were made to understand the popular slogan “form one is a disease.. ”

From the menial jobs on campus to dorm duties, the first people to call by teachers and students alike was “FORM ONE BOYS!! ”

However if you neither had a protective school father or a loaded chop box with tins, there was always a way to find an exception from getting bullied. But that’s another story for another time.