"I appreciate your company´s great work and would not like to see you moving from here to establish somewhere else a new factory. I do understand your situation but...as I told you many times before, the traditional council of Tema said this land is vital to them and not for sale. Trust me, I have done my very best and used many arguments so that they would eventually change their mind and sell the land to you. But I have spoken with so many people involved, sat down with the elders...but in the end, I was not successful to work on your behave," was all Mr Karl was able to tell Mr Jerome Cutter from New Jersey in America. Both had a very good working relationship and sometimes cleared issues over lunch to the benefit of his company and the locals alike. But in this case, was he not able to find a positive solution for the American company. He saw that Mr Jerome Cutter moved closer to him with a certain look in his eyes that scared Mr Karl.
Mr Cutter looked and looked closer and closer into the eyes of Mr Karl holding something hidden behind his back. He stopped moving, watched, and watched. He holds his breath, only looking like a panther ready to jump and strike, to kill the Impala starring into its direction but unable to see the predator in the high grass of the savannah. He licked his lips knowing he had one shot to strike and even that attempt could bring him into big trouble. He moved one step closer to Mr Karl not leaving him out of sight; not too close not to disturb his comfort zone and said in a magnificent convincing and quiet tone: "Here, I have some notes for you, Mr Karl." He showed Mr Karl what he had hidden all the time behind his back, two envelops filled with money. "Even if you are not successful with the negotiations...this is any way for your kind work on our behave and only a small token of gratitude."
Little did Jerome Cutter know that Mr Karl did not only wear glasses for anything. Between the glasses was a micro-camera hidden with a Bluetooth sensor in his pocket to activate it and a recording device in his other pocket. He looked down onto the money and the hands of Mr Cutter saying: "This is very, very nice of you. So, I see all this money, so many banknotes in your hands...how much?"
"More than ten thousand for the start with of course for a man like you, more to come...as I said whether or not we will get the land in the end or not. We have decided to deepen our good working relationship and show you as a company how much we appreciate all that you have done for us so far and what you will continue to do for us. Mr Karl, we are so, so grateful to all your cooperation...and here...yes, just take it, the money is not poisoned as we are not Russians or from North-Korea...this are clean and straight forward US Dollars right here, right now at your disposal. When you take the money...you do whatever pleases you...simply enjoy and have a good time."
Mr Karl looked and looked at the money before lifting up his glasses to look closer into the face of Jerome Cutter to catch him clearly on his recording device. He asked for a few minutes of patients and pressed a certain button on his phone. Not touching the money Mr Karl made sure Jerome Cutter did not realize he was playing for time. Ten minutes passed and two Police Cars drove up to them. The six Police Officers surrounded Jerome Cutter much to his surprise looking at Mr Karl wanting to get some answers: "Sorry, Mr Karl...but what is going on here? I do not understand, I do not get it!" "He got scared before he got angry and added: "I thought we both...we all have a good relationship...and work together hand in hand...and now these Officers are here staring at me with grim and threatening faces."
The Police Officers were not moving to wait for Mr Karl`s instructions to strike. Mr Karl looked at Jerome Cutter and did not move a muscle in his face. He was silent, did not breath, not in, not out. Even his eyebrows did not move an inch. He looked for the recording device in his pocket, found it, hold it into the face of his American counterpart, looked Jerome Cutter deep down in his heart, searched his soul and said: "You cannot bribe me. I have recorded everything you said and did. These gentlemen here standing around you are now going to arrest you, put you into a Police Cell where you will wait for your court hearing. after your prosecution, you will be kicked out of the country and banned for life from ever entering Ghana again. As a detergent to all other foreigners trying to bribe anyone of us, we will nationalize your operation here and sell it at the appropriate time to the highest bidder among which your company can be one of them."
"You cannot do that, Mr Karl...I mean, you cannot nationalize our factory here."
"What do you mean...I cannot?" laughed Mr Karl his head off from side to side for a few minutes unable to stop laughing. After he had found his composure again and looked into the eyes of Jerome Cutter he said: "We are here the rulers and we go accordingly to our rules and regulations...our laws apply here whether or not you agree with them or not. Before your company came to Ghana and my district, you knew about the rules and regulations very well. You knew when you try to bribe any official like me you will be prosecuted in court, kicked out of Ghana and what you own here on the ground will be taken away from you as compensation and lesson for what you have tried to do. We rule here...you no more!" Mr Karl looked over to the Police Officers, knotted his head for them to handcuff Jerome Cutter and take him away in one of their Police Cars. He was hearing Mr Cutter shouting and crying: "One day...Mr Karl...one day...you will terribly regret what you have just done."
"We all must die one day," was the only response Mr Karl gave seeing the police cars driving off.
The night had fallen, darkness all around, cold from all corners of the cemetery. Gates a long time closed. He sat under a huge tree as he had done so often. Left and right stones over graves as far as his eyes could see. Behind him, at the junction of two ways, a mighty stone was erected with a bird on top looking far into the skies above matching the name of the deceased `Craw`. No sound to be heard, no breath to notice, all people around dead as a person could be when resting in perfect peace. His torchlight was pointing to a bright brown sandstone with name Heinrich and Irma written on it with their dates of birth and death below each name unforgotten by their loved once. The bench he sat on stood just over one meter apart from the well-kept grave that was also the resting place of his father, but his name was not mentioned on the stone. Only the family knew that he was buried there alongside his father and his mother, hidden from the eyes of the general public due to what he had done in life, nothing really good.
While Mr Karl was dreaming himself away into worlds unseen but wished for, he closed his eyes and looked into his soul and spirit. His whole life passed by his eyes, his childhood with dependency on others and their judgements over him, their view of the world to make him believe what they knew, and saw was the true and factual reality of life. His teenager years to discover his own body, to feel the desire to experience the opposite sex and its effect it had on him, the hormones pushing Akne into his face and at astonishing parts of his body. While his classmates experimented with illegal drugs to so how far they could stretch their luck and happiness in life, he instead sat at home day in and day out thinking and thinking, writing, and writing his soul out. His world was never in the world around him nor the world that is alive in other people. His world was the world in what his spirit saw for himself and for the rest of mankind. While others were moved by what others thought about them and started to love or hate such comrades, for him this was never a point in life. He took notice of what others talked about him and thought of him, but it never changed his mind and never diverted him from the path he had to follow. Others called him a courageous and brave man for such an inner strength able to stand all alone in the world. He was never able to understand why they thought such an attitude would be something special, something to admire and hope to follow one day. It was normal to him to have trust in his very, very own life and his very, very own destiny that is not from any human but from God only and as from God only gives clear direction, a clear cut mandate and the guidance needed to pursue life as it is meant to be for only one person. What he took from other people`s compliments or complaints and comments about him was a lesson to learn to see his own destiny even coming closer and closer, to be empowered to push and push forward always. He was never shaken, never in doubts. If someone tried to attack him and put his view of the world into his head, all he did is to close his eyes and look into his soul to regain momentum again and move on in his very own direction. To think this needs a courageous character and is not for anybody was always a belief that he had rejected. No one is born as a courageous person; all are born the same as little vulnerable babies and have all the same capacity to stand up for themselves and be themselves just as they were made. Most certainly some are more advantaged than others to live their lives as mandated to them. Such people are disadvantaged on one side and privileged on another as difficult circumstances help us, humans, to find the momentum to come out even greater than when born into a comfortable zone as life`s issues and challenges are more crystal clear in soul and emotions to overcome with might and inner force.
Mr Karl opened his eyes again and looked to his left. He was not shocked to see his grandfather sitting by his side smiling with tender eyes onto him. Heinrich took his hand. even the hand was not made of flesh anymore, yet Mr Karl felt deep in his heart the comfort his grandfather had always given to him, the love he felt upon him from the old slightly overweight man that used to be a self-employed accountant with an assistant, even older than his grandfather, smoking heavy cigars always during office hours, Mr Dietz by name. While Irma in the large old three-bedroom apartment in Hamburg Barmbek-Nord looked after the household and took great care of the family around the office, his focus was on numbers and after work on his grandchildren of which he had three before his untimely early death being in his late fifties.
Mr Karl was overwhelmed to have his grandfather by his side, a man of great knowledge and wisdom, a man his mother loved so much calling him the best grandfather anyone could ever wish and hope for. Heinrich looked at his grandson even with no touchable body shape anymore and expressed his deepest inner feelings towards him: "You know Karl, I have missed you all those years. I wish you could be here more with me...but I understand you are now living in Ghana doing your job there. When I look into your eyes, I can see myself in you. When I look down at you and see down at me...only the age makes us different, the bodies are nearly the same. While your body is still young and in good shape I can also see that when you reach my age you will finally look just like me...the nose is the nose of our family, that is for sure. Even I am here, dead and gone, still, I am with you always and you are a decent from my, the son of my son and for that, I keep always a close watch over you. You are far in a foreign land, all the way down in Ghana...that I find funny somehow but that is not for me to decide but for life only and for that matter for God. But still, I wish to see you with living eyes what you have achieved so far for the good people of Ghana and help you with the little that I know. You need in these difficult times that people honour you for your great projects and other that hate you at the same time for doing something good, something vital, something important and significant, something other African countries can follow as a raw model for a positive change of their countries and a better life for their own people...in these difficult times you need your family around you, the strength and encouragement we all can give you...and most of all to save you from the evil spirits that want to end your life as they hate it to see how successful you are while they have failed their own people all those years back so, so much. Now when I think of our country, a country with no natural resources only coal for our own heavy industry and for heating, a country that not long ago was under an Emporer divided into many independent states that even hated each other with Prussia at the top level, fights here and there with our neighbours mounting in the first and later the second world war, with a short period of something small called the Weimarer Republic with its weak and fragile democratic constitution being replaced by a brutal dictator plunging Germany and the rest of the world into chaos and total destruction. But when the end of the world was two had finally come to stay and give us long-lasting peace and close collaboration and unity in Europe on an economic and political level, Germany was reviving itself again even being at the forefront of communism and for that reason under pressure from outside to protect capitalism against the East Bloc. I remember so well when I lost one of my nephews in the last war somewhere in Russia. As Hamburg was heavily bombarded the house, we used to live in was completely destroyed so one of many of our neighbours. But we never complained about the hardship we were facing. There was little to eat, so we had to take a train to the countryside and the pick was leftover illegally from the fields. Thanks to the farmers who never chased us away knowing only when we all stand united in solidarity over time, we Germans will finally make it and overcome the hardship the past had caused us. And that is something I honour about us Germans a lot, we make mistakes, even evil things from time to time, bring ourselves into misery, but we never complain later about the mistakes we have made but get our sleeves up and our work up and running to rebuild a country in ruin. Germany was down and below...factories not working any longer, farms destroyed, houses destroyed, the political system destroyed, and shame put on us by others for having caused so much hardship in Europe and beyond. But we were given the helping hand by others, even by our former enemies that wanted to see Germany stable again and standing strong. We took that chance, worked hard as German people, all together. We laboured day and night. Our women cleaned stones from the rubble and used them to build their new houses. A whole generation was unable to attend school during the war times leaving still many people in our society as people unable to read and write. But our spirit was with us all the way so that only in a period of fifteen years became out of shame and disgrace into grace and happiness for even workers to have enough income and buy Mercedes-Benz cars or others. Having nothing but our own mind, our hard-working attitude, our honestly, our time consciousness, our discipline, our will and absolute determination to make it to the top once again...all that brought us only fifteen years after the end of world war two back into the position to be the richest country in Europe and numbers four in the world. What an amazing achievement that is, Karl...how great that is as it shows what people really need. Natural resources as a great plus for a country, no doubt about that...but when the right spirit is not in the people that are blessed that way, success is not given. The right mindset is worth a Million...as money is only printed paper and useless when not touched by a great spirit to transform printed paper into something truly to be called a miracle. On that note I say to you, my grandson, as much blessed Africa truly is with Gold, Diamonds, oil, gas, bauxite, manganese and cocoa...as long as the mind of the people on the ground is not changed, they will never ever make it in this world. Never, I am telling you the simple truth. But as I am a very optimistic person as such when we hope one day, one day the Africans will finally wake up by themselves and rise to the occasion, they truly can achieve greatness in this world and hopefully also break the cycle of good leaders coming and better the lives for their own people after which bad leaders emerge to bring the same people down again by poor leadership...as often seen on the black continent. As I lay down here always in my grave, I know the importance of time, something Africans is not focused and not aware of. I know very well for myself when your time is up, it is up, and others take over. So, when Africa is missing its time and not using the current momentum to rise to glory the door gets closed and others will again sit above them for generations after generations to come. So, the window of opportunities is wide open right now and the overpopulation of Africa helps Africans to push their own agenda forward into reality and history book. When they, by their own weakness of mind, miss this time frame, this open door gave, they open door will close once more...and more and more African generations will live in poverty under the feet of the white man. It is now or never!"
"Mr Karl...Mr Karl" was George the driver trying to wake up his boss. "Please Mr Karl...is something wrong with you?"
Mr Karl opened up his eyes and looked at George standing above his head saying: "With me something wrong? Not with me...but something is wrong."
"I think, Mr Karl, as you were laying here on your couch you were just dreaming yourself away...to a better land?"
"George...indeed I was in a faraway land and dreaming myself away as much as I wish to dream myself away into a better future for motherland Ghana!"
"That would be a great dream...indeed, Mr Karl. We all must stop living in the here and now but dream and dream so that one day the dream will be turned by our own hands into reality and give us all in this country a much better life," agreed George helping Mr Karl to get up, packing his papers and suitcase to go on a tour of neighbouring countries and lecture them what he had achieved in his districts of responsibility as they had invited him to hear how he had achieved the better life for thousands of Ghanaians in the greater Accra region while the central government was still manned by the old guard of the old mindset dwelling in jealousy about white man`s words spoken and performed on. "We have to rush, Mr Karl, as at KIA today there will be along the queue in the departure hall as the new terminal is at the stage for being handed over to the Turkish company that is supposed to manage it on a long lease contract...of course in exchange for big money no one will ever know where that money is heading to and whether that money has some nice tokens attached to it for our leaders."
"Do not be so mean to your leaders," laughed Mr Karl his head off enjoying jokes like that. "Some Politicians might even be honest!"
"Which one? I mean, offer any money besides a contract to a Ghanaians Politicians, give me names that would refuse such offers but rather report such bribery attempts to the Police for prosecution?" challenged George opening the car door for Mr Karl while putting his luggage into the trunk. "It is not poverty that makes a poor man corrupt, Mr Karl, it is a poor mindset which makes a poor man poor!"
"In the end, the collective results count based on individual results and mindsets. Only such a combination in its big numbers will, in the end, make or break society and its fortune," added Mr Karl while George was speeding down Spintex Road to make it on time for Mr Karl`s flight.