We All Gotta Taste Butter Bread – Redistributing Ghana’s Prosperity To All
I took my usual 30 kilometers walk to the dark skinned woman who sells my fav butter bread in the wooden shop near the Kasoa traffic light. She smiles anytime I get there as though she relished my presence or so. As I drew closer, I realized that activities around have been brought to a standstill. The place was fully armed with police and military men – an unusual scenery. No one was moving except me or it looks that way.
The cars from the four ends of the road have been stopped. The phone repairers, market sellers, and children selling pure water, rushed to the road in an expectant mood throwing furtive glances anywhere. I saw a lady tossed the question: ‘who?’ on her lips as she chew her gum which look whitish than she first bought it. She bubbled it with the help of her tongue. It produced a ‘ta’ sound and she giggled locking my eyes into hers.
I monitored my steps as I drew closer to my favorite seller. She smiles. I saw her right hand reached for her left ear to adjust the headset she had on. I shoveled GHC5.00 out of my pocket to her and called out: ‘3 cedis butter bread. I want the soft one’. She nodded as though responding to me, but I realized her response was a consequence of what she was listening over her phone. I was not excited with the bread she gave me, at least she saw that herself. It was not the kind she gives me. I felt anger begin to gather in my head for this woman who had no clue what was about to happen to her. I clashed my teeth as she hands the change to me. ‘Thank you’, she said.
As I moved onto the road I saw motor riders’ sped toward where I stood heading for Accra. The riders were soon to be followed by seven – as I took the count – black V8 cars burying the president’s car in the middle with the Ghana flag and the flag of the presidency sitting on the front tips of the car. I saw the excitement on the faces of onlookers - beamed and tossed to others the way an infection spreads.
The police men and women were not left in the excitement. They each froze their right hand midair saluting the Commander-In-Chief of the nation, while holding their legs together until the president’s car sped past them. A boy shouted: ‘respect the old man’.
A man who was then seconds away from me took a step closer to me. ‘Occupying a leadership position in Ghana is sweet’, he said. I turned to his direction in acknowledgement of his unsolicited opinion. He smiled. I replied with a smile. He looked at me. He felt he’s found a friend in me or something like that. ‘This is our country, but the poor are left out in the prosperity of the nation’, he continued.
He went on to give me some solid analysis to stress his points. As he talked, my mind went back to the butter bread seller. The pile of bread she had arranged today looked enticing like the sunny thighs of a woman. Who wouldn’t want a bite?
In same fashion, building prosperity in this country must be socially engineered to benefit everyone – the poor, socially disadvantaged persons, physically challenged persons, and the rich alike. We cannot turn to the poor anytime we need their mandate only to abandon them on the way.
This is our country. We all deserve a bite. The cake, when shared with justice, care, humanness, love, patriotism and future-mindedness would be enough to satisfy the greed of all of us and not some of us. The whole is better and active than the sum of all of us. This country is our heritage, like the traditional butter bread, we all have to taste it.
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