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10.08.2019 Feature Article

The Underground Man - Part 50

The Underground Man - Part 50
AUG 10, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

"Anna", started Joseph Mensah to count his nations problems, "the problems we have now are caused by us Blacks only. Under our colonial masters corruption was low, destroying the environment unknown, laws were working, so the administration. When Madam Zille, granddaughter of the famous German artist and painter Mister Zille from Berlin said after having been Mayor of Cape Town that roads and water was in better shape back in colonial times than under the ruler ship of the ANC, she was not attacked by saying the truth but to mention the time and system that was responsible for the better situation. BOST in Tema scandal was caused not by any white man, cars we buy as a country but are not used rather rotten behind ministries, the fire at Tema Medication Facility costing us Millions of Dollars was a cover up of stolen medication by our own folks, inflating the numbers of ministers beyond recognition, having too many public holidays, allowing new constructed roads, hospitals, schools and public buildings to be opened by our President or Ministers with an entourage in big V8 Land cruisers wasting precious time and state funds, having airplane for our President that could do also with chartered flights, the inaugurated work force of one hundred people supposed to fight the illegal import of wax print from China taking over our traditional market was shortly after dissolved again as it was unveiled the people instead of checking in Tema Harbour containers and confiscate the goods as a donation to orphanage houses in the country rather collaborated with the criminal Chinese importers...the list is endless. When you as people as God to give you independence, that is great. Such a right always comes with great responsibility...and we have failed on that aspect totally. We have messed our country up very well knowing that you white folks see it and deep in your heart even enjoy it knowing this mentality of ours will keep us below your feet forever. The small token you give to us and call donor funding and aid support is for you worth the situation."

Kwame added: "We all know the story of your former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the nephew of our Otumfo, possibly the next Asantehene, Thomas Akwasi Owusu-Afriye. When ion 1999 the old Otumfo passed on and the new Otumfo, our present one, was asked to come from Henley-on-Thames near London down to Ghana to sit on the Golden Stool, Thomas was working for Mercedes-Benz in their Bremen plant. As young man he had settled in Hamburg Wandsbek, was married with three children, later divorced. When in two thousand in Hanover the World Exhibition opened its gates, many security personal from all over Germany were called to assist at the one time venue. Someone in Chancellor Schröder`s administration identified Thomas as potentially the next king of the Ashanti’s. He asked an enjoy to meet with Thomas. Thomas was asked to come to the Police Headquarters in Hamburg at then Berliner Tor for discussion. He was made the offer Germany would help him to be pushed onto the Golden Stool with the help of the German Government. Thomas had declined the offer as it was against the tradition of his royal family. His uncle Otumfo Osei Tutu II was next in line and so it happened. Chancellor Schröder knew in the days gone by there was, and still is, a need for a German, a man European Leaders can trust, to manage the migration crisis on their behalf and in their interest. Thomas instead became the Private Secretary to the Otumfo with residence in London before re-marrying a Ghanaian lady living in the Bronx of New York throwing away his German passport to be an American citizen working in the maintenance department of one of the Big Apple´s huge hospitals."

"There you have it...we are in a big mess!" said Joseph leading his guest to the gate of the house greeting his neighbors especially the container lady given him food stuff from time to time on credit when money is not with him. After forty years of work his monthly pension was only twenty Euros, impossible to feed his wife and himself or rent an apartment like they did paid for by her daughter and son-in-law. "You see our problem? I mean when our population is growing faster and faster, people that we cannot feed even today, what will eventually happen tomorrow? I hear that Billionaires form America help countries in Africa with vaccination and medication, with expenses research that goes into giving people the chance to survive, live a healthy life and live for long. This in the end causes them to produce more and more children. So, people that live longer will produce lots of children as these rich people do not demand form African countries to establish a functional social system that has a chance to reduce the numbers of children. What these rich people can achieve is reduction of child pregnancy. But the birth of the needed children to protect parents from any financial harm at old age, does not go away. I suspect these rich people do not want to do that or have no idea about the consequences of their so called humanitarian work. Then I also hear again and again, if we do not help, other countries that are in opposition to us will step in and the shift of power will be in their favor, so they step in not to allow these games to go on and be successful. I mean, how stupid can people be in your societies to fall again into such traps of your local politicians. Reality of the matter is, the problem of Africa is simple too big and will get bigger by the coming years. That no political block in this world will ever be able to handle all our problems. Only a joint effort has the chance to bring about a change that we deserve and need so much to us. But...but, mark my words. No one of your countries outside our continent has any true and honest wish that we will ever get out of poverty and up and running. Be it Europeans, Americans, Asians, Arabs, Indians and Russians, they all see us as a place to take our natural resources and dump their products and services onto us indebting our countries making us depending on them for generations to come. They all do not want to see us walking on water, only to see our head above water to breath fresh air. That is the simple truth!"

The taxi was waiting to take Kwame and Anna back to VIP Station with a short stop at the world famous artisan shopping mall in which local artist presented their works carved in good or painted in the most bizarre colors imaginable.

"It takes a really mad man to lift us out of our misery and make us walk on water...a man many countries want to assassinate but over time will come to understand, the only solution to the trouble maker number one in this world, Africa, is a joint intervention to manage Ghana with an outsider that has only his own agenda in mind and not being the representative of a particular nation or block of nations."

"That is madness!" laughed Anna entering the taxi and saying good-bye to their host. After the driver to his instructions she added: "That is suicide...simply madness! Who would ever be so stupid to do that?"

Close to reaching Accra near Nswam Prison, Kwame turned right pointing to a car testing facility latest model. He explained to her the facility was a joint venture between a Ghanaian and a Turkish businessman from Gelsenkirchen in Germany. He was maneuvered wrongly into believing business in Ghana can only be accomplished in a partnership with a local person. When that was done, the Ghanaian partner and his family forced the Turkish businessman out of the company. The case had been in court for more than nine years with thirteen judges sitting on the case. Opposite the street was a piece of land bought four years before by a Turkish coal miner turning into business from Gelsenkirchen. The landowner refused to give him the title deed making it impossible for the man from Germany to invest in machinery to make his dream of a farm come to pass. It took the intervention of a Pastor from Glorious Wave Church International and another German that he finally got his papers from the local chief. So, you see, we like to cheat on people from outside and ourselves. We see white people not as humans in its deepest sense, but as cash cows to make money out of them...so sad, so sad!"

"But is this not the case in any society?" wanted Anna to know while looking over her left shoulder to see the famous prison north of Accra. Kwame explained her that the prisoners in all prisons of the country live in inhuman conditions like sardines side by side causing illnesses. He told her, when someone as a murderer enters any prison it is most likely he will end as a dead man in prison too. People are jailed under very suspicious circumstances that are far from legal standards. But the international community, especially human right organizations, do not take African countries to court to end their inhuman conditions set for their inmates.

"These human right organizations could have stopped the violation of human dignity long time ago if they really had wished so!" complaint Kwame with anger.

After embarking from the bus they had to cross the railway track, trains running five times daily between Accra and Tema. Anna locked to her immediate right seeing Indian cows mighty and powerful in structure grazing between factory walls and the railway tracks.

"I am wondering, why do these cows eat also plastic bags besides green grass? And also the small goats do the same!" was Anna asking her Ghanaian friend.

"Oh, that is part of life in this country over two generations after independence", laughed Kwame hoping she would not see the small bending wooden houses behind which bear, snaps and sex was sold at cheap prices. "This is not an area for tourists, even we locals do not like to come here, especially not at nights. But for the cows", tried Kwame all his best to confuse the mind of his German friend not to see too much of the misery his country was in, "they do not understand anything about life at all. They have an instinct and that piece of their body tells them when to eat...simple as that...so also plastics end up in their bodies and later go down our digestion system."

Anna was laughing imagining the tragedy poor people have to face in this part of the world. She wanted to find out about the why and asked: "But tell me Kwame, who dumped these plastics here in the first place? Is there anyone forcing you people to do that or what is the situation?"

Kwame answered while trying to push Anna away from the place: "No...we simply dump plastics ourselves into nature as it pleases us. Look over there", was he pointing into the near distance to men and ladies alike easing themselves using the side of the track as their toilet, "what they do. They have no toilets at home and even here in the city are no public toilet that you can use. At the Circle AMA has put up a toilet but to use it makes anyone sick, so I never go there, rather look for a safe and hopefully hidden place in nature to do whatever my body wants me to do...that is the sad fact of life here."

"In Germany...impossible...and if, you have to pay a heavy fine and shame will come over you!"

"In Ghana...nobody cares. Professionals in suites and dresses stand over open gutters, open their sippers or dresses and the water is heavily flowing...simple like that...and no none cares. Of course people always talk about it that is should end...but no one really cares. We are busy bodies talking and talking the whole day long about...nothing that really matters!"

"Behind Abaraka Artisan Shop not far away from Okeyhene palace I have come across a newly erected covered market that looks really nice to me with build in stalls for many vendors giving them shadow with a good roofing, but I see it empty. Instead before the market the vendors along the small road under the hot sun sell their tomatoes and cassava. Why is that so?"

"We have no sense of planning. This market was done by the will of the AMA not including any consultation with the people involved. Our people are stubborn, they do not want really change, get up their asses and more forward. Many of them prefer to stay in the same old lane as their ancestors did generations before. They know what is better, they have seen it on TV, seen it on the internet, they talk and talk about a better life...but in the end most of our folks are simply to reluctant, too lazy to change! They keep saying the government needs to do something about their misery...but to get up themselves, do the proper thing, being ready to accept being insult by stupid people....oh, oh that becomes a problem. We have the mentality so much in our mind that we want to please people too much, we always try to avoid being insulted. To be insulted to us is a big, big problem. You in Germany do not care whether or not someone is insulting you....be it justified or not. You speak your mind and if someone insults you, you have a good laugh and move on in life. Here we take it so serious, a do or die event. And believe me, when it happens, we have no shame and discuss a simply small issue until it becomes a big elephant that enters Parliament...how stupid we are most times!"

At the end of the Railway tracks just before Accra Station Anna got aware of old carriages standing abundant on the trucks as if not used for years. She wanted to know the reason why and got to hear from Kwame, the governments of the past did not keep up the railway system of their colonial masters and that the wagons are used by young Northerners having made all the way from Tamale and WA down to Accra in search for jobs. They would sleep in the run down carriage with the tendency when falling hungry with no chance to find money to steal from vendors by the night. She was told that at Tema Station in Accra when TroTros had ended their night services, young mothers with their babies would unfold sheets to sleep on the hard concrete of the place to cover themselves from mosquitos after a long and hard work carrying fifty five kilos bales of used clothing’s on their heads with their children tied to their back, day in and day out.

"But how on earth can you allow this to happen in our times?" was Anna shocked to hear such sad news. "In Germany any woman with a child gets accommodation even before a man does...from the social security office. No way that our society would ever allow such things to happen...no way at all."

Kwame took her by her hands and looked her deep into her eyes: "Here..trust me...no one cares!"

"You mean...you are a society fundamentally based on the mindset...everyone for himself?"

"Everyone for himself and words of change spoken with no effect on society but for improvement of personal life of the busy body speaking!"

Anna fell in depression, her eyes darkened. Clouds of sadness covered her head. She looked up into the sunny sky of a late afternoon in Accra and read the words written between the light of the sun `No one cares...everyone for himself`

"Unlike in your society in Germany, here we have many private churches. The pastors and prophets, real or fake once, fight each other. Everyone claiming to be the right messenger of God. They do not stand in solidarity only in cases when it benefits their own pockets for certain periods. They often behave like vouchers to take money away from people making sure other pastors do not benefit from believers. Thy call other pastors occultist and are successful to manipulate their followers to go in a fight against other pastors. In your society you are matured minds. When a pastor speaks his mind, you ignore it, laugh about it or take it easy and see it as his own personal view, while in Ghana it is a do or die situation...very terrible that in our behavior we mix Christian attitude with witchcraft mentality thinking this is how the world is supposed to be...we are not correct. An also, many pastors in our societies here are rich people, have private jets and live in mansions. This is often heavily criticized by people. My point is simple. There is no Man of God in this world that can force me to come to his church. There is absolutely no Man of God that can force me to give tithes or offerings if I do not want it even when he should be angry about what I give, I do not care. I am a free man, a believer not in Men of God but God alone. If I cannot agree with the Man of God that I joined I am at any moment free to leave his church and move on in life. When they over times buys himself things like Rolls-Royce and a big mansion and I cannot support such ideas...I am free to go. There is no need to condemn such Men of God as they have to justify what they do not towards me but towards God...that is all. I give as my inner voice tells me and not as my Man of God asks me...and what after giving does with my money is not of my business to think or talk about...and I am free to go anyway. So why should I be a busy body to talk about such Men of God? Nonsense! I mean, we here are not matured minds, I am telling you!" said Kwame looking at Anna.

Karl-Heinz Heerde
Karl-Heinz Heerde, © 2019

This author has authored 330 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KarlHeinzHeerde

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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