Monday, April 16, 2018

Kwaku Doe - The Comeback

It's been a little over 7 years since I started writing about Kwaku Doe. From first talking about him in my Plight of a Hungry Man series to finally naming him and continuing the series as Kwaku Doe, I'd say I've spent a little over 2 years writing about him. The last time I wrote anything on Kwaku Doe was in 2013.

The main reason I stopped is I changed the route I use to work, so I wasn't encountering him anymore. The other reason is I sort of lost interest in him.

Well, last Friday, I was driving when some guy with locks came to my car at this traffic light asking for money. I shook my head and was about to look away when I thought there was something familiar about the guy. He had locks and a goatee (almost all grey), but there was no mistaking this person.
And he was begging at a traffic light on the other side of town, far from where I used to see him.

So, if I started writing about him 7 years ago, my brother and I encountered him 4 years before I started writing about him, that means he has been begging for 11 years. Of course it would be well over 11 years (I'm sure the day my brother and I encountered him 11 years ago wasn't day 1 on the job for him).

There are people in Ghana who live solely on alms? Like forever? They never work? Able bodied people?

He was true to the Kwaku Doe I got to know 7 years ago though. His locks were neat, his goatee was well trimmed and shaped and as usual his clothes were tidy.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Making a Difference!

There's a certain quirkiness about me that could be cute or annoying depending on how you look at it, but bottom-line, it is downright frustrating (especially for me).
It is very frustrating when I won't leave the house unless I've laid my bed (regardless how late I am). It is very frustrating when I'm running late, but the hair brush is out of place and it just has to be in its place before I can leave. It is extremely frustrating when I walk by a mat (it could be anywhere; in my house, in someone's house, in my office, in someone's office, in a restaurant, at any random place) that's out of place and I just have to straighten it before I walk by. The few times I tell myself I'm being ridiculous (especially when the mat is in a place that's totally none of my business) and I walk on by, just when I'm about to go, "whoopee! I did it! I didn't do me", I turn around, walk back to the mat, straighten it, and slink away with an, 'oh-boy!-I-did-it-again' look on my face. Oh yes! I do get curious stares every now and then, but it's me! I explain it away to myself (and anyone who'll listen) as very (extremely very) mild OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I don't know about the disorder part, but I do know about the obsessive bit. And all that is not even half of it! I wash my hands minimum 30 times a day, I clean anything and every space I come in contact with before touching, breathing (seriously), and the list goes on and on. I won't get started on my use of hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes. Suffice to say my room is so clean you could eat off the floor? But who does that (eat off the floor)? Sometimes, I do rebel and I'm the complete opposite of me! (not often enough though)

Sometime about 2 weeks ago, I was driving around James Town when my car started to overheat. I got off the main road and parked on this football-like field, got out of the car and got some sachets of water from a nearby shop. I opened the hood and waited for the engine to cool. I then opened the radiator and emptied the water into it. With each sachet I used, I folded and put the empty sachet next to the windshield of my car. The sachets were done but the radiator wasn't full. Realising I needed more water, I removed the empty sachets, and was about to place them inside my car so that I drop them into the bin at home (I didn't see one around), when I heard, "sister, sister". I looked up and saw 2 women sitting at the other end of the field. They were both motioning with their hands, pointing to the ground. I was confused and didn't get what they were saying. I walked over, and one said I should drop the empty sachets on the ground, that the kids would come for them. I do know some people collect used  plastic (especially empty water sachets) for the purposes of recycling (I believe they are paid for the plastic they turn in; the more plastic, the greater the payment), and I was willing to help, but I did not see how I could litter in the name of helping (or in the name of anything). I walked back to my car, picked up all the empty sachets, locked the car and handed them to one of the women. She thanked me and I moved to the shop to get more water. This time, the lady selling the water placed all the sachets I bought into a plastic bag.

I emptied the water into my radiator. When it started to overflow, I poured the rest into the coolant tank. I put the empty sachets into the plastic bag, and delivered the bag and its contents to the ladies. I noticed the lady still held on to the initial stash I'd given her. She took the bag and added the first batch of sachets to it, thanked me while I said goodbye and left. I got into my car and drove off noticing that the lady still had the plastic bag in her hand. I won't be surprised though if she dropped everything as soon as I was out of sight, but at least, she was a good citizen for about 10 minutes because of me (or maybe she didn't drop it all when I was out of sight; I like to believe in the goodness of people; maybe, in those 10 minutes, she got to understand the folly of littering).
Well, all I know is, that's how to make a difference (one empty sachet at a time); by putting up exemplar behaviours others can (have no choice but to) copy and make the world a better place!

Yeah, I almost die every harmattan; the dust!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Messing with God's Plan

There is a way which seemeth right onto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12 KJV

I honestly don't know why there are times when a bright idea comes along, it's bright, but it can't be a good idea because carrying it out involves changing, touching, messing up something already in existence, something we had nothing to do with its creation, but it's a bright idea, so we go ahead with it.

I came into contact with (by my estimation), the most hideous woman ever yesterday. While she spoke to me, I looked everywhere but at her. The thing was, I'd got myself into a bit of a jam and she was offering help (which I so terribly needed), but because looking at her was so painful, I looked everywhere but at her, and if she was offended, well, next time she has a bright idea, she should think it through before carrying it out.

Rewind some 20, 15, 30 or maybe 40 years ago (her bright idea was so bad it makes figuring out when she had it that difficult), this woman, then a beautiful, young lady with a rich melanic skin; the kind that would make a curious child rub off on it and when the colour stayed put, they'd rub harder thinking whatever it was, was stuck too hard to the skin, and when it still wouldn't come off, the child would take a step back and look, really look, then and only then would they appreciate the beauty of what stood before them. Anyways, so this young woman had a light bulb moment. It was too much of a bother to have people go through the motions of wanting to rub off whatever they thought was on her skin, to finally stepping back and taking in the beauty, her beauty. She decided she'd just help them get to the appreciating her beauty quicker; who cares if they're acting like a curious child?

Fast forward some 20, 15, 30 or maybe 40 years later, and here I stood before this woman. A woman who looked 100 years old, but she spoke with such verve, I knew she couldn't be a day over 40. Her willingness to help made me understand that though there are bad people in this world, there also are good people and it behove me to find those good people, but I couldn't get past her partly cooked, partly overdone and mostly burnt skin to appreciate that she is a woman who didn't know me, but was going out of her way to assist. With a grimace, I mumbled a "thank you" and hurried along hoping and praying I never, ever saw something (someone) as ghastly looking as this woman.

When has bleaching ever been a good idea?

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Festival of Plays

This Christmas...

Roverman Productions Festival of Plays.

Featuring 5 of Ebo Whyte's finest plays.

Saturday, December 23, 2017 - Damaged Goods

Sunday, December 24, 2017 - Blackmail

Monday, December 25, 2017 - The Comeback

Monday, January 1, 2018 - Nicholas

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 - Everyone Has a Secret

4 plays from 2017 and 1 play from 2012 will show at the National Theatre on 23rd, 24th, 25th December, 1st & 2nd January at 4pm and 8pm  each day. Tickets can be purchased from Joy FM; Shell Shops at Airport, Dansoman, Sakaman, Achimota & Tema Comm. 11; Baatsona & Haatso Total; Quick and Fine Supermarket opposite UPSA; Goil Shops at 37, Mile 7 & Sakaman; Frankies, Osu; Kpogas, Odorkor at GH¢80.00 for a Single Ticket and GH¢300.00 for a Festival Pack.

Alternatively, tickets can be purchased via flexiPAY at a 10% Discount.
1. Search for flexiPAY on Google Play Store for Android and Apple App Store for IOS
2. Download and install flexiPAY
3. Signup with your details
4. Login and buy tickets using Mobile Money, Visa or MasterCARD

Hotline: 0505546010

This year, let's try this. Rather than the usual gift hampers filled mostly with consumables, which are consumed and long forgotten, how about getting a festival pack for loved ones, friends and clients? They'll thank you for it!
Whenever a line from any of the plays is remembered, you'll definitely come to mind!

I can't think of a better Christmas present than Roverman Productions Festival of Plays!

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Roverman Productions in partnership with National Theatre & Joy FM presents:


An Ebo Whyte play.

Who is he that escapes the fire, refuses to drown, learns to read after entering college and defeats death at the very beginning?

James Ebo Whyte, tells the incredible story of one remarkable Ghanaian in a way that will have patrons gripping their seats in suspense, falling out of their seats with laughter and hiding under their seats in fear! Is that possible from watching one play?
Oh yes it is!

You will experience these emotions and more while watching NICHOLAS! at the National Theatre on 25th & 26th November, 2nd & 3rd December at 4pm and 8pm each day. Tickets can be purchased from Joy FM; Shell Shops at Airport, Dansoman, Sakaman, Achimota & Tema Comm. 11; Baatsona & Haatso Total; Quick and Fine Supermarket opposite UPSA; Goil Shops at 37, Mile 7 & Sakaman; Frankies, Osu; Kpogas, Odorkor at GH¢80.00.

When you were not supposed to be born, don't seem to be going anywhere in life, have been written off by everyone including yourself, is redemption even possible? How does a stark illiterate make it into and through college?

True story!

Saturday, September 02, 2017

The ComeBack

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

The ComeBack

An Ebo Whyte Play.

Jojo, a seasoned international football player is forced into early retirement after a series of injuries render him unfit to continue playing for his football club in Italy. He comes back to Ghana knowing he has lost a lot, but also knowing he has so much waiting for him, or so he thought.

The house and the business, he had thought he had, all turned out to be non existent. But how? He had sent money to his brother to see to the establishment of all this. How could his brother have built his house and set up his business on a waterway or water road as Jojo refers to it, and also have built a house for himself and set up the very same business for himself? Resigned to accept his fate, thinking he had a girlfriend to lean on and start over with, well, that too was taken away from him by this same brother.

How does one come back, get back from such a betrayal?

Find out on 2nd, 3rd, 9th & 10th September, 2017 at the National Theatre, 4pm and 8pm each day. Tickets can be purchased from 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; Kpogas, Odorkor at GH¢80.00.

Our elders have said a lot. As Africans, we pride ourselves and live our lives by what our elders have had to say. #thecomebackplay will enlighten us on so many other things our elders have said, which no one knows about except Jojo. He'll also tell us about how "God is a coffin" and how to "eat a plane on a flight".

There are no seat belts attached to the seats at the National Theatre. How unfortunate, because you will fall out of your seats! In addition to cracked ribs, you will walk away knowing there is another option, a better one aside revenge after a betrayal.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

I Am Because We Are - Ubuntu

The story is told of an anthropologist who proposed a game to some South African tribal children.

He placed a basket of sweets near a tree and made the children stand 100 metres away from the tree. He then announced that whoever is first to get to the basket would get all the sweets in it. At the sound of the whistle, all the children held hands and ran together towards the tree. They shared the sweets equally among themselves and happily ate them.
Why did the children do this?
"Ubuntu" - 'How can one be happy when the others are sad?' 'I am because we are.'

Should I live to the biblically stated age of 3 score and 10, then in all my almost half life on God's green earth, I have not experienced anything of the sort.
I would say someone point me in the direction of this place; I would so want to spend the other half of my life there, but first, let's replay the story.

An anthropologist proposed a game to some adults.

He placed a sack full of a couple of millions of US Dollars near a tree and made the adults stand 100 metres away from the tree. He then announced that whoever is first to get to the sack would get all the US Dollars in it. At the sound of the whistle, the adults took off, some pulling others down, some tripping others, those with weapons tried killing the others until finally, one, all bloodied, bruised and half limping made it to the tree.

It's not the place. It's the subjects; children.

Children inherently are wired to live according to the "ubuntu" philosophy. They play together, have fun together, are happy together; what's the point if the happiness is not shared? And then the adult factor takes over. The competitive adult. The adult who will play favourites. The adult who will pit one child against the other and let them feel the most important thing in the world is to be first. First in class, first in sports, first in everything.
Of course, for the first position to exist, there has to be a last position. So basically, children are taught to succeed at the expense of others. Children are taught to be happy when others are sad.

This anthropologist did the exact same thing. He tried to pit the children against each other by asking them to race to the tree; the first would get the basket of sweets. The children resisted and rebelled.

When I was in high school, we wrote an exam at the end of each term. In the examination room, we were seated according to our positions in the previous exams. From the back of the exam room we sat, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, to the last in the front row. I honestly have no idea what that was meant to achieve, but in all my 3 years in high school, no one moved from the first row (last position) to the last row (first position). The only movements were to the left or right. These were no more than two steps. No one wanted to sit in the first row. Why should I help you when we are all fighting to not sit in the first row? I'd much rather help myself and myself only to remain in the last row (or closer to the last row).

Thankfully, in the university, the system of ranking students did not exist. It was in the university that I experienced students helping each other out and forming study groups. If we all get a First Class, great; I do not have to fight you and make sure you don't get a First Class to ensure my First Class in ranked higher than yours.
But, by this time, it really is already too late. Children, now young adults, have the spirit of competition and succeeding at the expense of the other person ingrained in them.

'I am because we are.'
It is difficult, next to impossible to write a paragraph illustrating this statement. I doubt I know what it looks like.

But I could write a whole encyclopaedia filled with examples of, 'I am because I am', 'animal farm', 'when pull him down is the way to go', 'it's a good idea to be corrupt and line my pockets with taxpayers' money', 'when I love you is just words', 'when cheating has made me the happiest person alive', 'why worry about your happiness when all that matters is mine', 'swindling - that's the name of the game', 'so I deceived you, so I led you on and so what', and the list goes on and on and on.

Imagine the near utopian world we could live in if "ubuntu" meant something to all of us.
Our politicians would be looking out for our best interests and not looking out for just theirs. Our roads would get constructed properly because the contractor, wanting you to be happy as well, would not cut corners, doing a shoddy job just so he can line his pockets. Our psychiatric hospitals wouldn't be as full as they are because 'I love you' is more than just words. Suicide rates would decrease because people would not feel the need to lead others on and drop them when they feel like it. Crime would be non existent. There wouldn't be a need to steal, kill or destroy. No one would think about outwitting the other person. There would never be the need to lynch anyone, robber or not, accidentally or intentionally. Why?
Because, how can one be happy when the others are sad?

I once saw an inscription on the wall of a South African airport, and it read: 'if you want to walk fast, walk alone; but if you want to walk far, walk together'. I later found out it is an African proverb. It's amazing the great ideas we have here in Africa. I say ideas, why?
Do we practise them? Ever?

Kwaku Doe - The Comeback

It's been a little over 7 years since I started writing about Kwaku Doe. From first talking about him in my  Plight of a Hungry Man  ser...