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19.06.2021 Feature Article

Nana, Please I Beg You Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water

Nana, Please I Beg You Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water
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Malapropism, is a literary device where an incorrect word is used in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, sometimes humorous utterance. Our illiterate folks, especially those at the countryside also have their own way of using malapropism. For example, gentian violet becomes injection violet, vulcanizer becomes bokinizer, exhaust pipe becomes ajos pipe, etc.

One interesting story involving such local malapropism is built around the word "chock" which is a wooden wedge usually placed at the back of the tyre of a vehicle to prevent it from moving. Fascinatingly, it is called "chalk" in our local parlance.

So, it happened that Abu, the driver of a cargo truck told his mate, Akoanitiawu that they will be carting some bags of charcoal from a hilly part of a village the next day, and so he should look for a "chalk" for the task.

Akoanitiawu, therefore, went to a shop and bought some pieces of chalk to be used for the assignment the following day.

Early the next day, Abu and his mate set off to load many bags of charcoal. They got to a steep hill which posed much difficulty for the vehicle to climb. The truck stalled at a point, and the loaded truck started moving backwards. It was pretty dangerous! The driver screamed at his mate to use the "chalk", Akoanitiawu put a piece of chalk under one of the back tyres, but it was crashed to dust. An Angry Abu shouted: "Hey, use your head! Why your head no dey?" Akoanitiawu unfortunately, put his head at the back of the tyre, and was crushed to death. Sad, isn't it?

Aba, Ghanaians can talk, I remember somewhere in the 70's when it was not raining during the rainy season, Ghanaians took the then Head of State, General Ignatus Kutu Acheampong on by accusing him of not raining. A helpless I.K. Acheampong almost in tears, lamented in a broadcast whether he is God to make rain!

Ghanaians have started again oo, they are asking questions why it is not raining in June, and accusing fingers have started going towards the direction of Nana, which is not fair because Nana is not God to produce rain. So, those also shouting on rooftops that they will stay in power for a long time should be careful of their pronouncements because they are not God.

Anyway, that is not why I'm writing this article. My worry is that ever since it was reported that Nana has been having his bath in the sky, there has been so much talk in the media oo. So-so, talk-talk. Some people are even saying that we should be careful anytime we want to collect rainwater because it could be Nana's bath water. Even that Tilapia fish has been making funny cartoons with Nana swimming in an airbone jacuzzi bath.

Somebody is whispering into my ears to name the one who made the announcement that Nana has been bathing in the sky, and this is what I don't like about some of my readers. They always want to put me into trouble. Chai, me I don't know oo. You may ask Abu the truck driver oo, I don't want any trouble.

In conclusion, I want to plead with Nana not to mind those talking, but focus on fixing the country, and that anytime he is having his bath thousands of metres above sea level, he should remember not to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Anthony Obeng Afrane.

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