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18.11.2008 Feature Article

VooDoo CHild: The Golden Stool Of Accra, Ghana (Second Half)

VooDoo CHild: The Golden Stool Of Accra, Ghana (Second Half)

We even inserted the Castle into our coat of arms

Most national executive or official buildings have stories to tell. The Union buildings of South Africa are seen as a masterpiece. It was where pale faces planned and executed some of the most nefarious acts against humans especially soot faces. We know how the story ended and how soot faces now head those buildings, the first being Nelson Mandela. Number 10 Downing street, the official residence of the British Prime Minster has a history of backroom deals and machinations behind its construction.

Our own Christianborg Castle, or the Castle may have the richest history of any official residence yet. That castle was the center stage of the first successful coup in Ghana and arguably Africa when an adventurer named Asamani took over the castle and its operations from its Danish owners who first constructed it and used it as a slave trading post. The British took over and did extensive repairs to it based on the original plans and it served as a post against slave trading and as the seat of government. Then the proud black nation of Ghana took over the castle peacefully and also made it into our seat of government. We even inserted the Castle into our coat of arms.

Today, some astute pragmatic people with great foresight and judgment have imposed on the people, a 45 million dollar plus stool like structure to represent the people of Ghana and named it The Golden Jubilee House. It is difficult not to take a moment off writing to have a hearty laugh. Off course the people up north did not really matter. Wasn't there a time when we referred to a part of the north as overseas? And what is all that noise about animal skin anyways. Still in the north; the Labanga mosque, built and designed by Africans from African materials and by Allah in the 15th century. It is still standing no?. Maybe it is too old to base the design of the stool house on it; just a wild idea.

Foreigners building the seat of our sovereign power

We just have to thank those who executed the project for reinforcing our determination as black people by taking money from foreign lands, employing foreign brains to design it and using Africans as laborers. Take a moment off to clap and say ayeekoo and then you realize the sickening part of it; foreigners building the seat of our sovereign power, the ultimate dream of the any espionage guru of that foreign country. Remember the Entebe raid and how it succeeded becasue Israelis actually built the building housing the hostages and Britain built that airport , and they kept the blue print?

So the bulk of the Accra Golden Stool loan actuall y went back to the country of origin. But it would have been nice to hear the views of the great patriots Amon Kotei, Philip Gheho, Theodosia Okoh, and Ephaim Amu who all gave us national symbols. Maybey the views of their descendants. It would also be interesting to hear the views of the Ghana Institute of Engineers. Ghana Institute of Architects, GhIE and the Association of Building & Civil Engineering Contractors of Ghana. Members of the afore mentioned organizations should be holding their heads proud for their contribution to the golden stool of Accra.

Lets conclude with an idea. Tell the people of Ghana about the project and solicit their views, ask people to submit designs. This should also be a project assignment for students of all the allied courses like engineering, planning, construction, and architecture in all tertiary institutions. Each region or geographical significance of Ghana would have to be represented and or a symbol that unites the people of Ghana should be incorporated in the design. Finally, consideration must be given to the black star in the middle of Ghana's flag and or Ghana being the home of pan Africanism. A short list of the best proposals would be made and voted on by the people. Each region would be asked to contribute volunteers for the project and asked to donate something significant for the building and to furnish it. Wild imaginations but we believe so save that for that proposal by the Ghana Institute of Architects. For now, we have a golden stool to sit on.

Right now, VooDoo Child is practicing; "the Castle, Golden Jubilee House, the Castle, Golden Jubilee House, the Castle, the Stool." Nice Stool Mr. President

Richard Dzifah Hiatsi
Richard Dzifah Hiatsi, © 2008

This author has authored 26 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: RichardDzifahHiatsi

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