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15.01.2007 Feature Article

“you Reap What You Sow!”

“you Reap What You Sow!”
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When I began writing this piece, I had to struggle with several captions which kept popping out of my skull like Akyem-Apedwa mushrooms on a rotting log or, perhaps, a rotting palm-tree just after the final dregs of “Odoka” wine has been drained out of it. And, talking of the palm-tree and Ghanaian politics reminds me of the Limann-led People's National Party (PNP). Those were my “Salad Days,” as Shakespeare's Cleopatra would say; when I did not know any better and so thoughtlessly chimed in, rhapsodically, with those drunken louts who presumed postcolonial Ghana to have been singularly invented by a blustering political upstart of yesteryear who shall remain nameless.

For now, we prefer to squarely focus on the issue at stake – the cowardly trouncing, literally speaking, of a young, loudmouthed Ghanaian politician by some “revolutionary” journeymen who had sworn to protect and back her up in times of danger. And so in case you were thinking that every Kwadwo Mintim in Ghana who sports a Castro-ized beard and speaks with a faux half-Scottish accent is a man, as the Kyebi-Boys define the term, you might, indeed, be in for a rude awakening.

I kept struggling for a title, a heading, for this article because the theme – or topic – with which we are concerned right now, eerily captured another theme which billowed up and clouded the entire Ghanaian political landscape a half-century ago and whose acrid and fetid smell has yet to be thoroughly exorcised from our clothes – and, needless to say, this grim and morbid state of affairs explains much of the Stygian filth that many a Ghanaian writer, these days, relishes so much in depicting with ineffable abandon. For my part, I usually wear a surgical mask – don't you ask me where I got it – as I walk the principal streets of Bawaleshie, and so I have managed to keep the air in my nostrils relatively disinfected; I couldn't, however, abate its sub-Saharan humidity – the sultriness of it, that is.

Struggling with a title for this article, I came across Dr. Danquah's eternal – or ever-relevant – admonishment to Sir Komla Agbeli Gbedemah: “You reap what you sow.” (The latter had something to do with Agbeli's fatuous support of the infamous Preventive Detention Act and how Agbeli almost hoisted with his own petard, once he almost belatedly realized that the classic “Donne-ian” Bell was also tolling for him, a prime mover and shaker of “The Party”). And true to prophecy, the young woman who impetuously cast her lot with the Dzelukope Cow Boy was to reap the burning barbs of the willow-cane; for as the immortalized Malcolm X mused some four decades ago, sometimes the chickens – and the Afrocentric Black Muslim might just as well have aptly added – and their mother or, perhaps, even their daddy, whoever he is, have nowhere else to go but come home to roost. And coming home to roost may sometimes not entail such fun as might be readily associated with it, after all. For coming home to roost, as Uncle Malcolm was to learn soon and painfully enough, could be inimitably suicidal.

And so the young Achimota-educated woman, for I learned from other sources just the other day that she is almost obstreperously proud of being an Old Achimotan, cast her lot with an ever-scheming terrorist of the garden-variety to perpetually hijack Ghana's democratic ship and, alas, got tossed overboard after her services had been summarily branded otiose as well as obnoxious.

But the fact of the young loudmouthed woman getting trounced by a snot-assed coward who struts about with pistols tucked into his Ghana Air Force-issued jackboots, was less painful – believe it or not – to take than the fact of no man worth his two marbles – you know what I mean – not being around to protect her. For you know, had this young, loudmouthed woman been a Kyebi-Girl, Your Cormorant and Piranha Excellency would have smelt more than Kofi Diawuo's alligator pepper; he would have smelt the dirty slaps of Atiwa Atweredu and, believe you me, the latter would not have dusted up his American passport and landed in New York City, the Busumuru's bully-pulpit!

Today, the young, loudmouthed woman was talking about instituting a permanent forum “to educate the youth and women about the dangers of violence in [Ghanaian] politics.” I hope this is not another calculated pretext for a Second Young Pioneer Movement, knowing what we do know about the Peace and Unity Preachers of Yesterday. In sum, we would rather our young, loudmouthed terrorist's go-fer of yesterday cauterized and exorcised the demonic spirits of her ilk. For our good Nation of Ghana preexisted this reprobate Congress of National Decapitators.

But, perhaps, this young, loudmouthed woman – did I hear someone say – deserved a little bit of what she got: Watery eyes that keenly appreciate the death and pain of Chief Dzelukope's Ghana; and an enlarged heart which has, finally, learned something about the delicate sensibilities of the suckered and oppressed. And she still “limps” when she “walks,” which amounts to not saying much. What of precious adult lives summarily wasted at Bukom Square for a messy plate of “Yor-ke-Garri”?

“The seeds of political vendetta” which witnessed the charred, naked remains of Osofo Asare, as well as the “vindictiveness, malevolence and vituperative attacks which are precursors to political” assassination of Supreme Court Judges, merely because they speak “Me See….” And the “national instability” which our young, loudmouthed woman insists “must not be allowed to gain [a gripping] stronghold in our dear country,” but which our “large-hearted” and “watery-eyed” young, loudmouthed woman helped in no small way to make a staple diet of the Ghanaian political landscape still haunts the ghosts of our foremothers.

And so, at last, the Chickens Came Home to Roost, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah reaped what he had sown, and Chief Dr. Dzelukope became an albatross around our skeleton-bound necks; a perennial culture of silence pervaded the land; and to a man and woman, even one's own shadow was to be mortally feared.

Nana Kwame Kyeretwie, I stand barefooted on the outskirts of Adadientem. A broken egg with yolk in my left hand; the Sword-of-Susubiribi in my right hand. Even the kite, our elders have said, lives by the warrior's credo of “Snatch-and-Show.” In the name of Justice, let scores be settled; in the good name of Justice, the Evil-One Shall Know No Peace!

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., Department of English, Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. E-mail: [email protected]*