Most of the time – or at least more often than not – the New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Adansi-Asokwa, in the Asante Region, is smack on point when he makes judgment calls vis-à-vis what may be termed as the “kinky absurdities” of Ghanaian political grammar, such as the noetic insistence on having our national legal tender, the Cedi, fatuously accoladed as “The Ghana Cedi,” as if there were any other country or countries around the world that used or were using a currency called the Cedi. In that memorable instance, not very long ago, yours truly staunchly backed the Trade and Industry Minister-Designate and remains fully convinced that Mr. Hammond was and is smack on the money, as New Yorkers are wont to say.
In the present instance, however, it appears that K T, as he is popularly known and affectionately called, has picked on a subject of whose task he may not be really up to or equal to, whichever the idiomatic or standard grammatical case may be. And it regards the recent revelation that the Government of Ghana spent approximately $164 million (USD) for the importation of animal guts, bladders, stomachs and other entrails for the fiscal year of 2021-2022, presumably, as this is not clearly stated in the headline news story captioned “I’m Scandalized Over US $164 Million Used to Import Guts, Bladders, Stomachs of Animals – KT Hammond” Modernghana.com 2/20/23).
On this occasion, however, I decided not to jump the gun by joining KT in his “scandal-size” embarrassment, without having conducted the necessary legwork or background research routinely expected of any serious journalist or writer who would have the general Ghanaian public take his literary fare or output seriously. Well, it took me less than three minutes to arrive at the surefire conclusion that, in fact, there was absolutely nothing “embarrassing” or “scandalous” about the government’s importing millions of dollars’ worth of the guts, bladders and stomachs of animals on a yearly basis.
It is almost needless to note the patently pedestrian fact that an overwhelming majority of Ghanaian meat eaters and patrons of restaurants and chop bars and bistros are avid eaters of the innards, the term used in Elizabethan and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Shakespearean parlance. And this has been known for decades and generations, if not centuries. That is, for as long as traditional Ghanaian society, as we presently know the same, has been in existence. Now, let’s face the truth and the factual reality. And it is the fact that what is unquestionably embarrassing is clearly the fact that our beloved country, Ghana, does not seem to produce enough of the precious guts and bladders and livers and, for that matter, the entrails of livestock for domestic consumption, much less to think of making commercial export out of these choicest meat parts, not meat pies, by the way, for the lucrative export market, as is being done by the Sovereign Southern African Democratic Republic of Namibia.
My quick and casual Google search brought up the name of the former German and Boer-Afrikaner Colony of Southwest Africa as a major producer and exporter of Ghana’s most favorite choice of meat. And guess what, Dear Reader? Contrary to what Big Brother KT would have the rest of us, his countrymen and women, believe, among the major importers of the guts or innards of animals from Namibia are China, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Ukraine and India – yes, India, the vast subcontinent of a nation that many Ghanaians are being hoodwinked around the clock by some religious Johnnies-Come-Lately “Beentos” to believe hook, line and sinker is wholly composed of Hindu-speaking cow- and oxen-worshipping vegetarians!
And, by the way, on the same preceding list appear the names of the Democratic Republic of Congo, my favorite land of authentic and groovy and rhythmic African music, perhaps only second to Azania or Post-Apartheid South Africa; Lithuania, the native homeland of Mr. William “Billy” Adama’s most beloved wife, Neringa – the pair are good friends of my brother-in-law Frederick Kwadwo Henaku, of SAFTTEC Company Limited, Accra. The list is rounded up by the names of Botswana and South Africa. I may very well have left out several other equally significant national importers of “Yemuadie,” as guts and bladders are known in Ghana by the Akan-speaking ethnic majority population. Now, about the only shame and/or embarrassment here is the fact that as a predominantly agricultural country and economy, Ghana has yet to become self-sufficient in the production of livestock, much less become a major exporter of livestock like the much less densely populated Namibia and many of the industrially advanced countries.
Now, not to unduly politicize matters here, but it would be strategically savvy, nonetheless, if the presumptive 2024 Presidential Nominee of the ruling New Patriotic Party, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, makes a resonant major electioneering-campaign plank out of the economically genocidal deindustrialization of Ghana by the clinically unconscionable kleptocratic leaders of the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress as a very significant reason for the overwhelming majority of Ghanaian voters to keep the grossly and criminally incompetent Candidate John “European Airbus Payola” Dramani Mahama and the political party that the latter has so scandalously and megalomaniacally cannibalized in opposition for the foreseeable future. Enough of Dumsor and Cash-and-Carry Darwinian dog-eat-dog politics.
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
March 21, 2023
E-mail: [email protected]