"God is on our side!" answered Seth not keeping his eyes off the laptop. "He will make us great and strong!"
"You cannot just rely on praying...you must do something by which God helps you and is by your side!" was Mr Karl always angry when people put their trust and hope into God`s hands without accepting and performing on their very own responsibilities in life.
"God would never have made Ghana if he would forsake us!" was Seth not in any way moved by Mr Karl`s remarks. "God will see us through and one day, one good day," he looked up and straight into the eyes of Mr Karl with serious looks, "we will be set free. What is going on here in our country, everyone wants to leave, this cannot go on forever. He has to send someone to us who can break the chain...the chain of going round in round in mental and physical slavery...self-inflicted onto us! I want to see good in my life....and I will!"
"I trust you," smiled Mr Karl and took the bofruz from Princess's hand. "Look when you have natural resources as you have them here you are the owner of them and these days no one comes here puts a pistol to your head and forces you to sell them at a certain price. You are supposed to play the master role, not anyone else. So, when you get a price offer for your gold, diamonds, oil, bauxite, cocoa, cassava etc. which does not make you happy, simply do not sell them. For that reason, you must change your economy step by step and have enough money at the side to make the transformation possible. When you miss machinery, buy them, copy them, and build them yourself or invent machines...simple as that. When you lack understanding of processes...send your people to a foreign land, make them study what they need to know and what they need to know to avoid... then they do it here and even do it better than their teachers as their can jump over bars other`s had seen before them while taking time and resources to invent certain things. The White Man has invented things from nothing to something...you can do just the same if not even more!"
"Mindset...Mr. Karl...it all comes down to the right mindset!" smiled Princess finishing her bofruz while Seth had not even started to eat his.
"That is our biggest problem, Mr Karl. We have a brain...but we do not use it in the right way. And indeed, that is only for us to blame ourselves and not making excuses because of wrong and dark history and the challenges you people might cause us by closing your markets for our products."
"Are your products to our standards?"
"Mostly not," confessed Seth and started to eat his bofruz. "I know what you want to say that all requirements are available in black and white wrote all over the place. But we often do not match the needed criteria for which reason we find it problematic to export to you. And we are also not clever enough to close our own borders and protect our industry until sectors have grown very well, are great and strong before facing the international competition and come out as a winner. Other countries they do that like in Europe the price for sugar was well regulated to protect your farmers. Only now it is no longer protected but free and free to face fears international competition."
"To close your borders for certain products will be difficult as you are too highly indebted with these countries that want to sell their products onto your market. They will squeeze you on that aspect, so you better keep the market open."
Seth looked at Mr Karl with anger in his face: "Sir...Mr. Karl...does it means we are in a trap?"
"Yes, you are!"
"A trap you people laid out for us...or we laid out for ourselves?" wanted Seth to know and get a clear-cut answer.
"You laid the trap for yourself and played your country back into our hands", answered Mr Karl with crystal clear voice.
"You own us?"
"Most certainly!" responded Mr Karl and looked around. "We own all this here. Without our support, our loan, our half-open markets...you are finished. Soldiers are no longer needed to show and demonstrate power. Intelligence, brain...ideas and with-it money...that is all it takes to buy a country and make it ours...hard but simple truth."
"Are we doomed?"
"You can change your mind by yourself...or it will be changed by force!" smiled Mr Karl at Seth who heads finished repairing the laptop, closed the back cover, tested the machine and was pleased with his work.
"I am telling you the truth, Mr Karl," started Seth to explain and open his mind to his German friend, "Democracy is not made for us...at least not for now. When have proven to us again and again that we need the Strong Man again? When we are left alone by ourselves with our own mind...we are doomed. This is not working, Mr Karl. Only working for people at the top of our society...most certainly...but not for the majority of us. And these people up there should stop claiming that Democracy was never made in one day or one generation but a long and often painful process. Such people always forget the material these developed Democracies were working with. When have bad flour, your bread will never turn out great. When your cocoa is of poor quality, your chocolate can never be great. So, when we look around as of our people for now and the foreseeable future...how can you ever claim that it takes time for a change...it simply cannot. Such people, to be honest to you Mr. Karl...they are mad people, sick in their head. They do not know anything at all."
"You want to tell me that Democracy in Africa is the constitutional right of the elite to rob their nations from their national assets?" asked Mr Karl fearing for the wrong answer to hear. Wrong in his German sense and mind.
"Yes, that is it...on point!" answered Seth and got up from his plastic chair to assist a buyer to choose the right phone for himself. After a few minutes working he sat down again with a smile on his face knowing that evening he would not go hungry and sleep with an empty stomach. "You know.... life here is very, very touch. I guess you will find compared to your own country here you will have to work three times more to achieve the same results as people cannot be trusted, they are not disciplined, honesty is not what they understand as essential tool in life, to observe time is what is not in their blood. It is not that our terrible traffic makes it so difficult not to waste time with our people rather the mindset, the ignorance of us that makes life overall so complicated. I can imagine things in your country are just easy going. You know what must be done and when. You also trust each other and can work as a team. Here teamwork is a foreign language. I mean even our Pastors that call themselves Men of God...look how much they disgrace the name of God and themselves. Hear in churches, in the streets, in Trotros, in Shopping Malls and on social media how Pastors lambast about other Pastors in the country. They drag their names in the mud. Pastors instead of preaching revelations from the bible, healing the sick, helping the needy...all they do it to spend most of their time calling other Pastors names, say this and that one is fake, this and that one sleeps with his church members and is a fake Prophet. I am fed up with all these nonsenses, with all this stupid noise around. They should focus on their mandate and shut up...simply shut up. If a Pastor is behaving like this or that it is only for the Pastor`s own congregation to make up its mind about a certain Pastor and if the differences are too big the church members have every right to leave the Pastor alone and go. No church member is forced by any Pastor or his own mind to stay with a Pastor and in a certain church. I mean many complain about rich Pastors that use the offerings and donations to buy expensive cars, live in big mansions and fly their own planes. I know in your country Pastors are not rich just okay. Here yet they make always big noise about such Pastors. Now as for me I say clearly no Pastor can force me to attend his church and when attending I decided how much I give as offering. If the Pastor thinks I give to less I leave the church, stay away from church, or look for another church. I mean let's all clear church is not by force and to follow a Man of God is not by force. My mind decides whether or not I am for a certain man of God or not and in the course of membership I decide whether or not I see it as being right what my own Pastors do. If I get the feeling what he is doing is no longer in line with my own inner belief of the word of God I am free to go and leave that church. When I give, I give to God via a Man of God. After giving whatever the Man of God is doing with my offering is not of my business but his decision making...simple as that. And, as I said, I decide whether or not I think I can continue to support my Pastor or have to leave. But here we are in a very different world, I am telling you. Church members make big noise about Pastors always and Pastors themselves do not always follow what is written in the bible." Seth took a break as he saw a man that looked over to his phones. He approached him to sell his products, was able to make the man touch three of the phone but had to allow the man to walk away with having sold nothing only left behind with the promise once decided he would most definitely buy from him. Seth sat down again on his light blue Plastic chair he had bought few weeks ago from a small truck that runs around town selling Plastic chairs of different shapes, sizes, and colours right from the truck. "We have one Man of God that went with his wife to Spain. There the wife underwent surgery. Her behind got enlarged, really big...but most certainly never attractive. Anyway, people here talked about it for weeks. They asked the question of how on earth can a Pastor allow his own wife to change the size of her body with the help of a Surgeon. Only God has created human bodies and humans have no business in it. That Pastors even shot a video to demonstrate the beauty of the newly formed ass of his wife and that everything is real and honest. I mean, he slapped several times in that video on the bottom of his wife and enjoyed the bigger size. He was looking a bit like a mad man going wild and crazy. I mean how can someone in his position do that and show himself in a video like the way he did. He might be doing great things in his ministry, possible as I cannot speak to it, but such strange staged performances in a video...this shows he is a real African Man and not a Pastor all the way in any circumstances."
"You are telling me stories...oh my gosh...that does not sound good at all," mentioned Mr Karl while calling another borfuz seller over that was about to sell her last four pieces of the day glad to see someone had called for her. When Mr Karl handed over the money to her, she was so, so happy, especially honoured that a White Man wanted her borfruz and thanked her for selling them to him. From their own people Ghanaians, they never heard any words of appreciation, no compliments; not please, no thanks...taking other people`s labour for granted.
"We, Mr Karl I am telling you the truth.... we Blacks have a serious issue with our own thinking. Just the other day someone made a big fuss about bride price that was not paid...on social media," contributed Princess to the discussion having eaten her bofruz halfway through. She smiled while looking around. Her eyes fell on young kids having finished school for the day standing at the traffic light at the Estate Junction selling sachet water, Kingsbite chocolate, green apples, and plantain chips in their typical thin rubber bags. They did not wear any shoes. Well-dressed Hotel Guests from Coconut Hotel behind them next to former GN Bank branch were off-loading their Hilux trucks getting ready for business the next day in Accra and Tema before heading back to Takoradi for work.
"Bride price...," was Mr Karl stretching the two words to make sense of it all and understand what that possibly could mean. "Bride...price. You mean," was an idea coming to his mind, "you seriously mean in our modern age that we fly to moon and mars...here in Ghana you pay what you call a Bride price...so a price for a bride? Is that what you want to tell me?" His face turned sour and angry. He did not want to hear what he was thinking it was.
"We have an old tradition accordingly to which a future husband has done to the knocking at the door and ask the parents of the bride for her hand in marriage. After that all sit down, the groom, the bride and the extended family and they all discuss what we call the bride price," explained Princess still watching over the young sellers at the Estate Junction standing right in the middle of the traffic with all exhausts and poisonous air coming out of them.
"You want to tell me...they sell their own daughter to a man? I mean...selling?" got Mr Karl angrier and more confused.
"It is a tradition that we have in Ghana. And I guess also in many other African countries. For us, it is a tradition and sometimes also great fun," tried Princess to justify their habits seeing clearly Mr Karl would never accept nor understand what she and the rest of Ghanaians thought nothing special bad about rather took it as a living tradition that should be carried on into the future.
"I mean, how can every someone o sound mind, a Christian, someone living in the twenty-first century, a person with common sense, a person that sees any form of slavery...and this is in my view a mild form of slavery...as inhuman come to the idea that such a tradition can be in any form justified and still practised today?" got Mr Karl loud and angry. He got up and stood by the roadside moving forward and backwards. "Now, to hear that makes me furious...so, so angry!"
"But Mr Karl," got Seth up and tried to cool Mr Karl down stopping him from falling over an open black cable someone left abandoned on the dusty pavement. "You should not see this with your white eyes. Here we see this as our tradition and not as an offence against anyone or anybody. No, this is not a big issue for us...simply a tradition we must follow when we want to get married."
"When I hear that rich big man in your society calling themselves Christians have more than one wife and so many kids and everyone does not condemn them even in church Pastors know about this and bless them...I mean that is madness...against Christianity and Humanity...against any form of sense, against modern times...against... ."
"Mr Karl...please Sir," begged Princess getting up and closer to Mr Karl, "I beg of you, Sir. please do not get angry about us and our bide price. Yes, rich men that can feed many wives they most certainly disobey the bible and, in your society, should be kicked out of church and no Pastor should ever bless them. But please Sir, here in Ghana, this is Africa...and we have our own traditions and we respect your traditions also. So, we trust and hope you will also be able to respect our tradition, please Sir...I beg."
"When tradition makes you people poor people...," was it difficult for Mr Karl not to get loud and shout out his anger, "then enjoy your poverty very well and make sure that no economic migrant will ever again set foot into our territory. Bride price to pay...what utter nonsense, what a bad idea to treat people and to build a great and strong nation in our days...in the twenty-first century when we fly to Moon and Mars. We think forward and never backwards. We have also traditions in Germany, lots of them, but as you can see they all benefit us and have made us move forward...Germany a country with no natural resources, managed two world wars, Millions of Migrants, expensive Re-Unification, independence only short while ago thirty-three years after your one... ."
"Please, Sir...Mr. Karl....," tried Princess of her best to ease the anger that mounted up inside Mr Karl about the idea to pay money for a bride.