"Very impressive indeed," said Princess and pushed Mr. Karl forward. "Today I want to show you something you might have never seen before or even thought of, but something that you also will never forget in your entire life again. So, Mr. Karl, let’s get started for another piece of adventure."
They passed the fishmonger at the track at Sakumono Village crossing Tema-Accra Bach road and looked over to the fisher folks about to return back from Sea. Strong men and women on the beach were pulling the nets while the fisher folks were in their boats in the water slowly making their way back to shore. In the restaurants, waiters and waitresses were cleaning up their places to get ready and welcome new guests later the day. Trucks with water and soft drinks were offloaded while bread sellers tried to sell their last pieces of light brownish bread to the restaurants. A newspaper seller was dangerously standing close to the road for unaware drivers easily a target. The young men looked into the cars trying his very best to convince the passengers to buy one copy of one of the newspapers he had on offer. Only a few cars pulled over as it was too dangerous to stop at this time of the day simply to buy a newspaper. Since the appearance of social media and internet the copies he was able to sell had come down dramatically.
Princess asked Mr. Karl to follow her along the tracks on the dam having nothing to fear as no train would pass around that hour. He looked down the track below him and from rail sleeper to rail sleeper was he seeing that people had used the track as their place of convenience to make their daily toilet. Looking to his right and below he saw garages for cars to be repaired in the open with oil spilled all over the ground and rusty containers standing open possibly for homeless people to find shelter. Seeing white and brownish impressive cows between the repair shops and the track he made the observation that the cows were feeding themselves on plastic, mostly thin rubber bags white with or without print. Goats nearby were doing the same. Mr. Karl stopped for a moment watching the cows feeding themselves on plastic and not healthy grass. Never a farmer’s boy but watching TV at home often he knew that in his country cows would not run around the city all by themselves and when eating grass and a likes, healthy food for healthy people. The question going through his mind how it would ever be possible to get healthy milk and meat from such cows.
Princess saw the surprise in Mr. Karl`s face and said: "I know you have never seen this before, while here it is common practice. And later when you see the end result on your table...you might wonder and might not want to eat again a cow in our country. To slaughter animals and bring them to the table of people...oh, Mr. Karl, that is another story altogether that you will one day see for yourself...but you must close your eyes and nose very well as such scenes are not healthy for a healthy body...I am telling you the truth!"
Mr. Karl smiled and said: "I can imagine the worst is yet to come...but I am strong in my soul, trust me on that!"
"I will put you to the test and keep a big bucket by my side for the moment what you see is too much for you to take!" laughed Princess reaching Sakumono Lagoon, a vast green land between end of Accra and Tema. Sakumono Lagoon was a natural reservement for heavy rainfall not to hit Accra City center but enter the ground right at that spot and being diverted in a regulated fashion into the Gulf of Guinea. Upon the top where the Golf Course was located and left, and right houses were built by encroachers. Even the landowners and landlords have no building permit, and everyone knew about their activities, no one of the authorities intervened and took actions against the illegality. Right before their eyes, in the open. Structures were built uncompleted or ended to make it the home of a family. The space for the water, therefore, got limited by the months a problem known to local authorities and traditional leaders, only a few took action.
"Mr. Karl...be careful..., warned Princess but it was already too late.
"What the hell is this?" was Mr. Karl feeling serious pain on his forehead. He stopped and looked up from where the pain seemed to have come from. "It is paining me!"
"I just wanted to make you aware of it...but too late, Mr Karl. I am sorry for you. Did you get hurt? Anywhere blood runing down your face?" Princess asked him to have a seat on a concrete block to check his head and see whether something serious had happen to him. She smiled at him and said: "Look up there, Mr. Karl...there in the trees. Between two trees there is a bundle of dried bones from animals, I guess. It is hanging right there, can you see?" She pointed into the trees and the bundle of four dried bones of different sizes.
"Yes, I can see!"
"And because you are tall, you did not see them hanging there...so they hit you!"
"Oh, I can see. But Princess, please tell me, which idiot was putting up these bones there in a bundle. I mean to me this seems to be very crazy...bones in a bundle in the air between two trees!"
Princess stood before Mr. Karl, her hands in her hips and lectured him about Africa: "Over there along the low walls of these structures there...you can see a writing. The traditional council of Tema is warning people not to build on their land. Can you see?"
"Yes, I can see what they were writing there!" confirmed Mr. Karl and got up to examine the bones closer. They were ordinary bones of small animals, not like a chicken, rather like goats or pigs.
"With these bones the Traditional Council of Tema wants to tell the people here not to build on their land or the evil spirits will inflict great harm on them or even end their lives. Before they hang such bones a wizard or a witch comes here, sees the situation, and performs certain rituals. Then the people trust evil spirits will come and destroy the people that encroach on their lands. They do not know the name of the people building their houses here illegally, therefore I turn to the masters of the dark side of life and ask them to help. They pay them and the rest is supposed to be dark history."
"Are you serious?" was Mr. Karl not believing thinking the dark middle ages would have come back to life.
"No, no...Mr. Karl," tried Princess to correct his thinking, "we are still living in the times that have seen the end in your society hundreds of years ago already, while here in Ghana as we speak we very much believe in evil forces and the protection of God. For us it is all about that, the fight of good and bad against each other...but you will learn more of it as times flies by...so that for now you only must understand and know, this bones have a meaning and we believe in their powers."
"I am now cursed?" wanted Mr. Karl to understand.
"You are not cursed...even as your head had touched the bones. The bones alone have n power, but the words spoken over and to them in a ritual...yes, they have power...that is what we people here believe in."
"Does it really work?"
"We believe it works!"
"Oh, my God...I have so much more to learn, things that I have never seen or heard about before yet touched and felt in my body. The more I know the less I know...it seems!" started Mr. Karl to follow Princess to a yellow house standing idle in the middle of the Lagoon.
They got closer and closer to the yellow house with a wide-open paved veranda on which a big wooden table with four chairs was places above it a stand and shield to protect people from the sun. As they got closer to the table a man stepped out of the house, greeted them with a firm handshake and asked them to have a seat, please. He looked into the face of Mr. Karl saying nothing. Then he looked into the face of Princess and smiled at her. Tension filled the air even fresh air was surrounding the scenery. some birds were flying overhead to land in the high grass behind them. Cows were grazing in the far distance. Builders in the background were going about their daily labour. Cars came out of nowhere to offload concrete blocks for us as a wall that should be a clear sign of ownership. As it was in the land when someone buys a land and does not build any form of structure on it this land can be bought by anyone else that would see the situation or even take it for free, anything was possible.
"I wonder, that this here around us is possible," started Mr. Karl to say looking around and behind him. "In my country of Germany, you buy a land, it gets registered with the court and then it stays yours as long as you want it!"
"Here we have a different tradition," mentioned Mallam Gholam and offered them chilled mineral water in plastic bottles. "Even we often do not know who the real owner of the land is. It can happen you think you buy from the right owner only to find out years later the land belongs to someone else. It is true, long ago we could have made the decision to make a cut and forget about all the exact issues of the past, to say what is there today in terms of landownership is supposed to be carried forward from that particular time on, making some very happy and others cry in tears...but that should have been done. In fact, when you look around, here we build a lot without building permit and everyone knows it. every now and then as Media needs some nice pictures structures are pulled down to give the people here the feeling of good and caring leadership. But trust me, the same people that take down your illegal structures have friends that have erected illegal structures and would never take them down also, rather protect them from any attack from wherever. That is the reality of Ghana for you. I mean, we have many beautiful laws in this country, really beautiful...but no one really cares...that is the sad reality of our country and it has nothing to do with the fact that we are a developing country. I mean developing for the past six years or so...when is it every going to end? Another one generation before something fundamental will change. I have my doubts as the same old people are born in this country, go out to improve their education and once back als matured men repeat the same old mistakes their forefathers already made. As long as this is the case, how will you expect change? Change is first in the mind of people before it reflects in their decision making and action-taking. Simple facts for sure!"
"I understand, Sir, you are a form of tradition also, a relic of the past that is still very much alive, as I can see you sitting right before me with your powerful eyes. So, please Sir, tell me more about yourself and why people come here like us are sitting here," wanted Mr. Karl to understand more about a man dressed in, for him, fancy clothes.
Mallam Gholam laughed his head off and looked around the area with wide open arms: "You make me laugh, my good friend...really laugh! We are not alike, we are very much the owner, I mean the true owner, of this land that you see around us and beyond reaching into all corners of our country and well connected to all other Mallams in our region. When you see all the misfortune of the people, their downfall and rising up and downfall again, the blood that is lost in our country for no obvious rasons...than it is because of the powers that we Mallams have. Let’s face it, since humans were inhabiting the earth, there was good and there was evil. Good is nice...really nice and beautity...no doubt about it. People love to be nice, they love to be loved by others and be flattered for their achievements, for what they are. They are nice and return favour with kindness, no problem. But there is one thing that is missing...."
"And that one thing is?"
"Mallam Gholam...please, what do you mean by power?" asked Mr. Karl not letting Mallam Gholam slipp his eyesight at any moment.
"Nice is not powerful...it is only one thing...nice!" smiled Mallam Gholam while his wife stepped out of the house right behind him. The sun was shiting, so she shifted the protective shield to make their guest more comfortable. "You see...my wife is nice to you...but she is not powerful. When you want to sit above your other nice people, yu must have power. Power is in money; money comes to you trhough ideas and they need power to be converted into money. Without power you cannot make it to the top in society, be it in business or even so in politics. Politics without power, without Police Forces and Army, without Government Officials that can make laws and have a right to implement it with punishment and fines...that is all power. So, when you are weak but want to make it to the top, even when you are not a really qualified person to be at the top where your mind sees you...here in Africa you go for a Mallam. A Mallam is the servant of the evil forces as evil forces are not love but power. We take money for our service before we render services. Pastors, most of them but not all, they pray for you and when you are successful exect their share form your success. No, we are not like that, not that nice. We stand on money only and you must pay us upfront. So, the people that need power to make it in politics come to us and we perform our blood rituals as power at the top always needs blood. In serious cases we ask for human sacrifices even!"
"Sorry, I do not understand...human sacrifices?" was Mr. Karl astonished unable to trust his ears.
"To you this seems to be out of this world...I do understand. But here in our society this is normal. Sometimes we ask for body parts that we can pray over to make someone of our clients great and strong...it all depends. So, people come here, when we ask them, from mortuaries where they have taken organs from dead bodies or in extreme cases also kill people and use them for rituals to be empowered. It all depends very much to which extend our clients want to take themselves."
"Does anyone outside Africa really know about it and understand it?" was Mr. Karl shocked that no voices in his own society had ever been raised about what was going on in a society their own tax payers support with money worked for by hard labour.
"If your people would really know about it...I guess your Officials in the country are well aware of it but prefer to close their eyes and see this tradition as a kind of traditional entertainment, something not to be taken too serious...but we people here we know the reality of the powers that is behind what we do...do not be mistaken about that!" looked Mallam Gholam around his house and was satisfied. He stopped talking for few moments. "When you think people in power are ruling the nation, do not be mistaken as we behind the scenes are doing our job for our clients...you White People might never understand. You see us for what you see at the outside but never take your time to smell and feel us, to get into our brain, our soul, our spirit, and mind. As long, let me tell you the simple truth, as long as you White People do not understand us Blacks of who we are...everything you do, you talk...will never make an impact. As for now I have not met any White Man able to understand our culture, our soul and our spirit...so you constantly through time missed the point...and we mised our point also...in a way!" added Mallam Gholam taking his time observing the reaction of Mr. Karl in all its form very well. He knew as the spirit of a White Man is far different from his own people to influence his life would be very, very difficult if not impossible. Like in hypnosis only when the channel of influence and messing up is available and open spiritual powers of evil forces can enter the spirit of a person. Whites, it was going through his mind, are really stubborn and resistant to his powers. But why should he not try and see how far he would come, was his idea.