Dear Ma, Prof A Atia Apusigah,
[Your wealth and your children are but a trial [to you], and Allah has with Him a great reward (Quran 64vrs15)]
I request your kind assistance to make this observation better. For in your hands, I learned virtues and the real essence of living. I am aware you do not need to open the Quran or Bible reminders to the above reflection but Prof, we need your mild, lovely, generous cold-hearted voice to put this in perspective.
Ask a Wo/Man why S/he is in a hurry to make returns [sometimes steal] as rewards from work (position of trust and faith), S/he would say "I have to build a good or comfortable life/future for my family". I am aware you observe alot and this would normally engage your repudiations about the future of our sorry world.
In this three-part piece, I submit two experiences I have lived for starters; once I ran slightly behind check-in and one of my students was hurriedly dropping me off at the Tamale airport with his car (bought him by his father). As expected of most forwarding looking students from Lecturers, I made him an offer. "Hey one of my friends in an NGO is looking for field officers to collect data for a project in Damongo. The allowance is good and there is a Samsung Tablet with unlimited internet data for use in the course of the exercise". Good me Ma'am, he vaingloriously responded. Whether it was the confidence or folly that struck me or both, I can’t tell but He said; "oh sir, you know I don’t need money to pay fees or fuel my car or accommodation? So why don’t I suggest one of my friends either?......."
The second was encountered here in the UK. I visited a brother (on the request of his Ghanaian rich father), an undergraduate student he is but completed Galaxy International School in Accra, driven to school in a Mercedes, sometimes even with the almighty V8 by a dedicated driver assigned by his father. None of the above "shockprises" me much as his life in the UK. Ma, I saw brand new Apple TV, brand new Apple Mac, latest PS4 gaming decoder and a brand new iPhone 10 and old Samsung S9 that hosts his Ghana number.
Evidence of these was advertised by the boxes he was yet to discard. Am also far older than him and his father calls me "my brother" even though I would normally respond "Daddy" in this boy's presence because you counselled me not to feel big when a big man effaces with me.
Ma, you are aware that in Europe there is class in everything, at least in drinking water but unnoticeable as in Ghana. I learnt this from Germany in 2016 when you generously secured the DAAD scholarship for me. As I was asking for where I could get “PureWater” to buy, one of my class mates for obvious reasons told me that she knows their country is crazy (I wondered if BBC and CNN broadcasts Africa in Germany so she wouldn’t say crazy to a crazy boy from Ghana) but she can bet her life on the quality of the tap water so I should feel free to drink from the tap in my "studio apartment" just as "you can see every one of us doing here" (I never told you this but who denies a blessed child like me a fully furnished studio apartment?). So we drank free tap water from the restaurant, drew free tap into our reusable water bottles when outdoors and freely from taps at lectures and everywhere else. Even when we had lunch at the BMZ (Germans Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation) in Bonn, the Honorable Minister’s (I supposed not the type of Honorable in Ghana) presence failed to underwrite any water than the normal tap water and glass jars.
So when this my Ghana lil Bro in the UK offered me bottled water on my request for "normal" water, I thought I was being generous with my Germany knowledge of drinking water in Europe until he even "shockprised" me more. "Yh they told us but I just buy [in the kind of way Nollywood mimics Okana yo Okana yo when he enjoys spoils of ritual sacrifice]. Daddy even say I can buy!" He added. Not even my request for a glass will let my lil bro get the drift. He said "Oh you just take it, it costs like one pound". Mama, eventhough the Ghana cedi is responding to “Indian pain killers”, do the maths, please. I wish to visit again so that when I see his new iPad or car, you know right? I will invoke my troubles and then ask you why you never gave me such a “responsible” enjoyment father?
Now these young guys without ever knowing how to make money, sweat for it or create economic value, started life by only learning enjoying “someone else’s” money. For such kind, wherever they find themselves, by hook or crook they must enjoy money! Ma, are you surprised that the politicians who attend all the big schools and steals our monies are children of former politicians? Are you also surprised that drug addicts, poor students’ output, social misfits are fairly children of former rich men or politicians? No, don’t get me wrong! I mean are you surprised that “Imamship” or “Pastorship” are no longer by calling but learned SKILLS and ART to manipulate? Are you surprised why BP, stroke and hypertension were traditionally privileged ends for big rich men? I mean are you just sure you are surprised strange things can be possible nowadays? Na who cause am? My little Bro had to throw away our cherish virtue of customarily welcoming visitors with water because for him, its money and he needs more of it for spends so why give out "money-water" as visitation courtesy when it’s not requested?
Ma, as am socialised from the ghettos of Wa, we offer free non creamy tea wherever we are so as you can see I am not worried. The smile is still on, even brighter than the above picture captured because the Frafra Cameraman who took it had divided attention when all he saw in focus and mind was dog meat for his brethren solidarity. Yet I also continue to spread the “tea” love you brewed and brained washed your children with.
But this is not even what I intend to write to you about. I will do that in your next call. I know you will find it in you that I had only observed two out of the many mysteries of our world in my trial to distil interesting reflections in the world I am growing into which you will soon be retiring from if only the ancestors are fair; for its our lore that a virtuous woman like you should not live to bury her own children. Not even a troublesome one like me.
I wish I could still stress you with long reads but how would I when I had already given your cold over worked hands twins on eve of your retirement? I wonder how you are coping anyways. Because with me alone, there were times you confused handsome with troublesome yet when you blessed me to make responsible gestures to a BEAUTIFUL LASS, God gave you a 2 in 1 version (Mphil and Msc) of real troublesome in my first try as your retirement package. Haha, return me to "Handsome" least my second try after the Phd, may get you a 3 in 1 of me. Then you know what real deal of troublesome you hatched!
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