Friday, June 23, 2017

Damaged Goods

Roverman Productions in partnership with Vodafone, National Theatre & Joy FM present:

DAMAGED GOODS



An Ebo Whyte play

The Arkursts agree to participate in a television interview about their marriage with the hope that they can set an example for other marriages.

There, on live television, cameras rolling, to the full glare of millions of viewers, a stress event occurs; one which could potentially result in a full blown out family crisis depending on the management of this stressor and the coping mechanisms the Arkursts employ.

What happens? Does this event result in the Arkurts being thrown into a state of family crisis?

Find out at the National Theatre on 24th, 25th June, 1st & 2nd July at 4pm and 8pm each day. Tickets cost GH¢80.00  at Joy FM; Shell Shops at Airport, Dansoman, Sakaman, Achimota & Tema Comm. 11; Baatsona & Haatso Total; Quick and Fine Supermarket opposite UPS; Goil Shops at 37, Mile 7 & Sakaman; Frankies, Osu.

Alternatively, tickets can be paid for via Vodafone Cash at a 10% discount
1. Dial *110#
2. Select 5 (Pay Bill)
3. Select 2 (Other)
4. Enter short code - 110110
5. Enter bill number - i.e. time and date of play e.g. 4pm 24th June
6. Enter amount (multiples of GH¢72)
7. Enter PIN to confirm

Someway, somehow, we all have been damaged at a point. How are we moving past that? How are the people in our lives dealing and helping us deal with that?

DAMAGED GOODS - a fun play with a plethora of lessons to learn.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mob Justice, Mob Injustice: Where is the Police?

A crime is committed, the perpetrator suspect is caught. The next logical step would be to call the police / report the incident to the police / send the suspect to the police. More often than not, this next logical step is ignored, omitted and a rather illogical step is adopted. The suspect is lynched. Mob justice? Where is the police?

Some 10 odd years ago, a robber attacked me. I lived, injured, but I lived. My brother rushes me to the hospital after the attack but was told to pass by the police station to pick up a hospital form first. We get to the police station, the police take a look at my bruised self, my brother reports the incident, obtains the hospital form, we are about to head on out to the hospital when one of the police officers stops us. He tells my brother the vehicle at the station has been taken out by another officer and he would be grateful if my brother could take the police to the location of the incident. My brother tells him his priority at that moment is to get me to a hospital since the extent of my injuries are unknown. Then we leave.

Thankfully my injuries weren't life threatening.
My brother and I leave the hospital after about an hour and head home. We are almost home when some guys in my neighbourhood stop the car. They ask me to come and identify the body of the robber (seriously). They'd chased him down after I left to the hospital, caught him, inflicted machete wounds on him and stoned him. Mob justice, mob injustice? Where was the police? Turns out a police officer from the station my brother made the report to arrived at the scene moments after the robber took his last breath. All he could say was if only he had been there earlier, the robber would not have been killed.
Where is the police? The police are inadequately resourced and lack access to logistics (a car) needed to perform their duties.
In situations where civilians chase a robber and catch the robber, what are they to do? Hold on to the robber until the police arrive? Transport the robber to the police station?

One morning sometime in the 90's, I heard a loud bang while sweeping outside. Later in the morning, I was sweeping inside the house when I found a bullet. I screamed, I shouted, my mum came running asking what was going on. I showed her the bullet. We looked up, and there in the ceiling was a bullet hole. How was that even possible? A report was made to the police and two police officers arrived at my house later. They stood marveling at the bullet hole while staring disbelievingly at the bullet, and joined everyone around in writing the incident off as a spiritual attack. Me, I was standing there thinking of stray bullets and trying to remember if I'd heard a chopper or a plane flying around before I heard the loud bang. I also remember trying to figure out if it was possible the shot had been fired from a storey building, and I remember wondering why the police weren't on the roof measuring, calculating, and looking for the nearest storey buildings. I was 11 years old. The police took the bullet away with them and we never saw them again. The investigation, if there was any, was closed (I guess).
Where is the police? Well, turns out the police are a tad bit too spiritual to think about investigating a crime scene. We're in Africa. How about writing off potential criminal activity as a spiritual attack.

A few weeks ago, I went to church and my priest shared the story of a similar incident that happened in his office. A bullet was shot through the roof. A police officer arrived after a report was made and he reeked of alcohol.
Where is the police? Indulging in extra curricular activities while on the job.

I've heard a number of cases where reports have been made to the police, suspects have been arrested and then released by the police without an investigation.

I heard a story in the news where a possibly mentally deranged man went on rampage injuring people and destroying property. A report was made to the police. A police officer gave pepper spray to those that made the report. He said he was the only one at the station and he couldn't leave since some people were being held for criminal offences at the station. The officer asked them to use the pepper spray on the man, subdue him and bring him to the station.
Where is the police? The police would like to think civilians with no police training whatsoever should perform the duties for which the same civilians pay taxes to ensure police offices get trained to perform.

Is it therefore a wonder that rather than send suspects to the police station, rather than wait for the police to obtain a vehicle and show up, rather than wait for the police who will rather engage in spirituality than do their job, rather than deal with a drunk police officer, rather than send a suspect to the police station who will only be released after no investigation, rather than have to transport a dangerous person to the police station, mobs would rather mete out instant justice?

In the case where I was attacked by a robber, after he was subjected to mob justice/injustice, his lifeless body was left in the middle of the road until the next morning when the police had it removed. The police also asked that I write a statement that morning and that was it. No investigation.
Is it a wonder mob justice/injustice keeps happening when the situation is not investigated, when the mob know they will go scot free?
Why mob justice/injustice? Where is the police?

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Girl Who Lived

The first time I read a Harry Potter book was some time in 1999, and I remember being so enthralled by the book; it was literally un-put-downable for me. I was in my early teens, and at that age, not much could hold my attention for the length of time this book could. I had no time for anyone or anything, and all I did was marvel at J. K. Rowlings' creativity, and I remember wanting to write as good as her when I grow up, and for my writing to captivate as many people over the world as her's does.
No, this post is not about Harry Potter.

There's this phrase used to describe Harry Potter in the books as, 'the boy who lived'. I thought it interesting. Little did I know years down the line after reading my first Harry Potter book, that phrase could be used to describe me.

Fast forward, November 2007 and I'm attacked by a robber. A robber drove up to me and tried to snatch my hand bag. That 'I-don't-even-know-how-to-describe-it', but possibly that penchant for bravado, could be stupidity too, you develop over the years after reading all the Enid Blyton books, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books and thinking you can do 0.000000000001 of what the heroes and heroines do kicked in, and I fought back. Stupidest thing I've done to date (that could have so got me killed). I didn't die. I walked away with minor bruises, my assailant, well, he wasn't so fortunate. He was killed. Not by me, but by a mob.
So now I like to walk around and think of myself as 'the girl who lived'. Well, I could have died, but I didn't, the guy who could have killed me rather died as a result of what he tried to do to me. Come to think of it, If I'd just given the guy my hand bag, he'd have walked driven away that day. He died as a result of my actions.

As 'the girl who lived', after so many years of thinking of myself that way, it makes sense that I should do something, make an impact, otherwise, what's the point? Harry Potter did a lot being 'the boy who lived'. He made it count by fighting evil. I'm so making my self conferred status of 'the girl who lived' count. I don't know what I'll do yet though. There are a number of possibilities; become president, save the world, feed the hungry - related to that, I'm giving my cake to the cleaner in my office right now and then I'll think up ways of making my existence count.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Adventures of Hadassah - The Bus Ride 1

All she saw and felt was sand, sand and more sand; a couple of stones too, but mostly sand. Hadassah couldn't believe it. How was this happening to her? Bad things happen to bad people doing bad stuff. Here she was, not exactly a bad person, trying to do something extremely good (by her estimation), but staring death in the face. And the worst part of it all (from her perspective) was for someone who would not walk into her bedroom with shoes that have walked on sand; sand that could have come from some gutter, sand that others might have spat in, sneezed in, blown their nose in, a variety of wild life (actually just domesticated animals) have emptied their bowels in; and here she was literally face to face with this same sand. Life as she knew it was over.
"Ouch! Ewwwww! HELP!!! Dear God! NO!!!!", she tried to scream above the din of the engine, but either she wasn't screaming loud enough, the engine was drowning out her screams, or nobody could/would help her.
The end was definitely here.

Hadassah was born into privilege. She wanting anything would be akin to a drowning man wanting a bath. There was this quirkiness about her; that coupled with her lack of want and need ensured she did not fit in. Try as she could (and how she did) she really wasn't cut out to be like the masses. Life in Hadassah's opinion wasn't fair. How she was excluded from living, from participating, from experiencing because of her origin was no more rational than excluding people for their gender, height or skin colour.

Rather than sit around and await a reincarnation into the right social class (the one that would ensure she got to be like everybody else), Hadassah decided to make the most of the life she has. On this day, she parked her car at home and took the bus.

Taking the bus meant walking a bit of a distance from her home to the bus stop, but she was determined to experience a bus ride at least once in her life. Armed with a sanitizer gel, antibacterial wipes and spray, she begun her journey.

After an uneventful 10 minute walk laden with curious stares from neighbours, Hadassah made it to the bus stop just as a bus heading in the direction she had decided to travel arrived. Hadassah got on board and carefully made her way to the back where there were empty seats. She'd just made it to an empty seat, emptied a tidy amount of antibacterial spray onto it, was just about to wipe it off with an antibacterial wipe when the bus took off, and with a plop, she hit the floor of the bus.
That was the mildest fall yet of the day for Hadassah.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blackmail

Roverman Productions & Vodafone in partnership with Joy FM present:

BLACKMAIL



An Ebo Whyte Play

The strength of a woman is undeniably a force to be reckoned with.
Even when you cannot accept her for who she is, will not accept what she does as a part of her, and especially when you find it so easy to judge her knowing you have skeletons (of the worst kind) in your closet. Once she's made up her mind to be there for you, she'll do exactly that.

On the eve of his consecration to the office of a bishop, Reverend Elisha receives shocking news that his wife has been cheating with a member of their church. Before he could deal with this heart-breaking news, an even darker secret that was left buried in the USA rears its ugly head. It threatens to destroy his marriage further, and end his career as a renowned preacher in one of the biggest churches in Ghana.

Within 24 hours, he has to take a decision; one that has the potential to make him lose either his wife or his ministry or both.

BLACKMAIL shows at the National Theatre on 25th, 26th March & 1st , 2nd April at 4pm and 8pm each day. Tickets go for GH¢80.00 at Joy FM; Shell Shops at Airport, Dansoman, Sakaman, Achimota, Tema Comm. 11; Baatsona & Haatso Total; Quick and Fine Supermarket opposite UPS; Goil Shops at 37, Mile 7 & Sakaman; Frankies, Osu.

Alternatively tickets can be paid for via Vodafone Cash at a 10% discount
1. Dial *110#
2. Select "Buy Goods"
3. Enter Till Number - this will be 100100
4. Enter Amount (multiples of GH¢72)
5. Enter PIN to confirm

As is characteristic of every Ebo Whyte play, there's a lot of humour, fun, music, dance and a myriad of lessons to be learnt.
BLACKMAIL is the play to see!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

My Dream Road Sign!

That feeling when what you've been missing arrives, then you realise just how much you needed it, and you can't believe you've lived life without it (how did you even do it). That's how I felt when I saw my dream road sign.
And then I researched and found out that my dream road sign already exists, except it doesn't seem to be in use in Ghana, where I'd say it's very much needed. It wasn't included in the signs I had to learn and was tested on for my driving test (DVLA, really!!!). Unless it wasn't in existence at that time.

You know how it is like when you use a particular road so much that you could practically draw it in your sleep. You know where all the potholes are, or so you thought. And then one day you use this road knowing there's a pothole at a particular spot you can't avoid, but since you know this road so well, you know the speed with which you should go over the pothole, only for you to pass over this pothole and realise just how wrong you were. The rains and drivers with need for speed plying this road frequently, have resulted in that pothole metamorphosing into a pit.

You weren't supposed to drive over that pothole! You were supposed to stop, get out of the car, and push it over the hole! Too late, your car is most likely already damaged.
It really would be helpful if some warning was given as soon as you got onto that road. In other parts of the world, they're nice enough to give you this warning.


Not in Ghana.
But all's not lost, because I discovered this one right here in Accra.
No need to design new road signs. Roads and Highways, you know what to do!
The thing I don't get is there isn't a single pothole on that stretch of road, so why the sign?

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Christmas Story of "What ifs"

What if?
What if Mary had told Angel Gabriel to get lost?
What did he mean telling her she would get pregnant by the Holy Spirit? That couldn't even be possible. Even if it was, after she'd saved herself and found the perfect man, and was about to get married, what did Angel Gabriel mean, what would her family say, what would the man think of her, what would his family say? She would surely lose him.
What if Mary had said no way, thus ending the Christmas story even before it had begun.

What if?
What if Joseph had said no way!
What if he had said there was no way he was going to marry a woman already pregnant. And how does a person get impregnated by the Holy Spirit? That certainly must be a load of hogwash! What would society think of him and that whole situation?
What if Joseph had said he would do what any man in his position would do, leave Mary, tell everyone what Mary had done, resulting most likely in Mary being stoned to death, thus the death of baby Jesus even before He was born.

What if?
What if King Herod had embraced the idea of another king!
Baby Jesus would have most likely had a totally different upbringing. He would have lived in a palace, had all the finer things in life, lived life to the utmost!
What if baby Jesus had lived like the king He is? How would life be today? Would salvation have come to the world? Would He have been crucified? How would our sins have been atoned for? 

What if?
What if the Magi (wise men) had ignored the dream and returned to give baby Jesus' location to King Herod? He obviously had no intention of going to worship Jesus like he had told the Magi.
What if the Magi had led Herod right to baby Jesus?
Herod would most likely have killed baby Jesus, killing him before His time.

What if?
What if the Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law who obviously knew the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (they did tell Herod about it when he asked), had gone to look for the Messiah. What if they, based on the information they already had, had gone looking for baby Jesus, acknowledging who He is?
Would they have persecuted Jesus as they did? Would they have schemed to have Jesus arrested, and crucified? Would Jesus have died for our sins?

But, salvation has come to the world.
Mary received Angel Gabriel, and with all humility, accepted what God had destined her for.
Joseph took already pregnant Mary as his wife and Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph.
King Herod did not embrace the idea of another king, and did all he could to eliminate Jesus.
The Magi did not ignore the dream. They did not return to Herod.
The Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law did not act on what they knew. They persecuted, schemed, had Jesus arrested and crucified.
All these unfortunate circumstances had to happen, so we could receive the marvelous gift of Jesus.

Going through something not so exciting, and asking where God is?
What can I say? Same place He was when His one and only begotten son, the Messiah, was being born in a stable and laid in a manger.
Sometimes, the not so exciting has to happen to pave way for the marvelous to happen!

Let's remember, Christmas begins what Easter completes!
Merry Christmas!

Damaged Goods

Roverman Productions in partnership with Vodafone, National Theatre & Joy FM present: DAMAGED GOODS An Ebo Whyte play The Ark...