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02.04.2020 Feature Article

Kayayei (Head Potters) Menace Is Something All Elites/Leaders From The North Must NOT Be Proud Of

Kayayei (Head Potters) Menace Is Something All Elites/Leaders From The North Must NOT Be Proud Of
LISTEN APR 2, 2020

Last night, I watched a news item which was reported by Vivian Kai Lokko a journalist with Citi FM which was aired on Citi TV news and I terribly felt ashamed as a son of the north. I am sure many people felt same after watching it.

About 4 days ago, I am sure most of us watched on various social platforms the unacceptable humiliation and embarrassment 30 of our young sisters (Kayeyei) from the north precisely from Walewale went through in the hands of a combined team of police and military at Ejisu in Kumasi upon the directives of one Beatrice, MCE for Ejisu. These young girls were treated like 'animals' or as if they were 'criminals'.

All our northern politicians and leaders, past and present, NDC, NPP, CPP, PNC et al, do you feel proud as sons and daughters of the north when you see your younger brothers and sisters who live in this humiliating conditions in Accra and Kumasi?

Both NPP and NDC politicians from the north, you have all failed these youngsters and the earlier something is done about this humiliating practice called Kayayei, the better for your own image.

These Kayayei or head potters come from districts and constituencies in the north, thus Northern Region, Savannah Region, North-East Region, Upper East and Upper West. This Kayayei menace has been in existence for the past 25 years and counting. And it appears to be getting worse by each passing year. Why can't all our leaders from the north as listed above come together as sons and daughters to address this issue?

With just two weeks partial lockdown, many of these young girls say they cannot survive because there's no food. It took Senyo Hosse and his fellow One Ghana Movement to supply packed foods for them as shown in the screenshots. According to him, they will provide 6000 takeaways every day for the the lockdown period just to ensure that they have something to feed on. Why must it take Senyo Hosse & co to mobilize foods for these people when there hundreds of well to do elites from the north in Accra? If the govt is not doing what it ought to do for this youngsters? why can't those of you our leaders from the north, help your own younger siblings whether they are your biological relatives or not?

Let me give a practical example, about three days ago, I read a post by Hon. Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa MP for north tongu in the Volta Region, who provided contacts numbers on his Facebook post, and indicated that anyone from his constituency who is affected by the lockdown in any of the areas could reach out through the numbers provided for necessary assistance.

How many of our leaders from the 5 regions in the north have thought about something like that?

Where are our leaders, MPs, Ministers, MMDCEs etc from the north? If this was elections time, politicians would have sent buses there to Agbogbloshie and its environs bring most of our brothers and sisters up north to vote.

But when it's lockdown, these youngsters are abandoned and left to their fates. Lock at the ridicule and embarrassment the Ejisu MCE Beatrice meted to the young ladies who were traveling in the cargo truck to Walewale on Monday.

My follow northerners in leadership, positions be it political or not, what future are you going to bequeath to the younger generation and those yet unborn with the alarming influx of minors from the north to southern Ghana in the name of Kayayei? Many of these young girls and boys are of school going ages.

Some of them are young as 7, 8, 9, 10, years and so on.

Ghana govt does not allow child labour in our cocoa farms because the world would blacklist our cocoa product for using children and minors in the cocoa farms. Shamefully, our governments since 1992 have gleefully watch these menace to continue. What's the difference between child labour in the cocoa farms and child labour in the streets of Accra in the name of Kayayei?

I challenging all our leaders from the north, there's no pride or dignity in what our own youngsters go through in the hands of their exploiters or masters. Indeed some people liken Kayayei to modern form of slavery. Let's all look sharp and come together and find a lasting solution or alternative for these young girls. Many of these young girls are sexually abused by predatory guys and end up us teenage mothers.

To my fellow citizens from the north, politicians, businessmen and women, the elites, etc for how long should this dehumanizing practice continue? For those who think this is work, would you allow your own children to go through this kind of activities? Our fathers and grandfathers many of whom never went to school decided to send you and all of us to school so that , the things they could not do, with the benefit of education, we should be able to do that not just for own ourselves and families but they hoped that with our education we

could build a better society not just for ourselves alone but for the betterment the present generation as well as those yet unborn.

It's about time, we all come together as people from the north, whether you're NDC, NPP, CPP, PNC, etc and see to it that better alternative livelihoods are created for these people to stay in the north. The Gender Minister Cynthia Morrison said, there about 15,000 Kayayei in Accra, most of these young girls are from the north. Let's give ourselves timelines to work harder to end this humiliating menace.

God bless Ghana
Baba Musah
Son of the north
[email protected]

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Baba Musah
Baba Musah, © 2020

The author has 31 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: BabaMusah

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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