Thursday, December 01, 2011

How To Get People All Over The World Visiting Your Blog

Now, that's a mouthful. My longest title (I think) yet.

So, I have a live traffic feed on my blog and I get to see who visits, where they are coming from and what post they viewed. I've realised I've been getting a lot of visitors from around the world, usually arriving from google.com and they come specifically to view my post on "World Trade Center Accra".

Yep, you guessed right. They probably googling World Trade Center and my post comes up. Want more people visiting your blog? Title your next blog post "Al-Qaeda".

Matter of fact, I should have even titled this one "World Trade Center Accra II"

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Drive Through? Not Quite!

My idea of a drive through food joint is simple. You drive through. You drive in, order your food at one point, drive to the next point and pick up the food. All this takes place with you sitting in the car and shouldn't really take long as long as there aren't that many cars driving through as well. Foods served at drive throughs are essentially fast food. Now, I'm not talking about the Ghanaian definition of fast food which takes between 20 mins to 1 hour to be ready but the internationally accepted definition of fast food.

Do we have any drive throughs in Gh? Well, I remember there was Steers on the Oxford Street (doesn't exist any more) but I never tried there so I really can't give my opinion. It really would be difficult to establish a drive through in Gh cos 1. they need space 2. there's nothing like fast food in Gh and 3. Imagine the traffic it'd create. Even KFC kwraa that's not a drive through, look at the numbers that cause traffic on the Oxford Street trying to get some of that chicken.

So, why am I going on and on about drive throughs? Well, turns out there actually is one in Gh somewhere in North Kaneshie. Imagine my surprise when saw the place.

There's even no parking space let alone drive through space!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Big Churcheese, Small Churcheese?

I wonder how the owner(s) of Churcheese in Labone would feel if they knew they inspired the setting up of a smaller branch somewhere in Banana-Inn. Well, for all I know it was the other way round.

Churcheese - Banana Inn Branch
P.S. Ignore the broken mirror. Just a fender bender (totally not my fault)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Beauty with a Purpose

As a Ghanaian, I am indeed excited that Miss Ghana won something at the just ended Miss World event. I just find it curious (I probably shouldn't) that two Miss Ghanas have won the very same event held prior to the Miss World finals. First, Lamisi Mbillah in 2006 and now Stephanie Karikari for 2011.

Since 2005 all winners of the Beauty with a Purpose segment have been propelled to the semi final stage of Miss World with Miss Korea in 2005 making it to the finals and Miss Trinidad and Tobago actually ending up as 2nd runner up in 2008. The rest sadly ended their dreams of becoming Miss World at the semi final stage.

This segment, which was introduced in 2001 has as at its 10th year (2011) had 4 African countries win it with Ghana (big ups Gh) taking it twice. The other countries with the exception of Albania are either in South America or Asia and then Jamaica  and Trinidad & Tobago (where are Jamaica and Trinidad anyways? Caribbean isn't exactly a continent).

I can't say I'm surprised cos the whole idea I guess of Beauty with a Purpose is to reward the contestant with the most relevant and important charity project in her nation. Let's see how Miss America or Miss UK tops the poor kids sleeping on the streets in Sodom and Gomorah in Ghana or Guinea Worm infestation in the upper regions of Ghana. I really do wonder what project Miss USA submitted for the Beauty with a Purpose segment.

Sadly this year, Miss Ghana did not make it to the semi finals. Her co-winner, Miss Indonesia however did and as usual her dream ended at the semi final stage. Is it that these beauty queens just aren't good enough to make it past the semi final stage or do they just put their all into the Beauty with a Purpose segment forgetting that there are other segments to the Pageant which all score them some marks. Isn't Miss World supposed to be all about Beauty with a Purpose?

I just think it's funny that Beauty with a Purpose, which is supposed to be the "heart of Miss World" doesn't seem to get the winners far. Well, maybe the organisers do take it into consideration that if it was all about Beauty with a Purpose, then countries like Ghana would have won Miss World so many times while countries like the US would never win. But really, all these Miss World winners just end up visiting poor countries during their reign doing charity work. Beauty with a Purpose does score higher marks than the other segments but the winners just can't seem to get past the semis.

I would like to see subsequent Miss Ghanas strive to win something else in the Miss World competition. Step out of your comfort zone future Miss Ghanas or at least, win the Beauty with a Purpose but perform good on the other stuff. Move from semi finals (that's if you even make it) to finals and hopefully, bring the crown home.

Congrats Stephanie Karikari!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No Truck Pushers!

I'm loving these new road signs which seem to be made for Ghana by Ghanaians.
Seriously, I'd love to see them all over the place. At the moment, they seem to only be in bougie places where visitors to Gh are likely to pass (well, I get that) but what about the other places I pass eh?

And oh, I'm loving the fact that all "trucks" are getting registered by the AMA as well. I wonder if they have to pay anything cos when they get in my way on the road, I usually scream at them and ask them if they also pay road worthy fees (got that from a friend's mom) like me. Since they don't and I do, they should just get out of my way. Now, what am I gon scream at them eh? I am hoping though that the registration will bring some sanity into the truck pushing business in Gh.

NO TRUCK PUSHERS!
(I hope that's what it means ooo. When I was taking my driving test, this road sign hadn't been invented)

Friday, October 07, 2011

Glo Cards

I have seen a couple of shops that sell phone cards include the Glo logo indicating they selling Glo recharge cards. I'm guessing it's cos they don't want to have new sign boards made when Glo actually starts operating (that's just my guess otherwise I really wonder what they selling).

Maybe next time, I should walk into one such shop and tell them I want to buy a Glo card and see what they say. Well, if they look at me like I'm crazy, I'm going to look at them like they crazy cos they're the ones advertising the sale of cards that don't even exist.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Politics of Begging

There's this gentleman I see usually around Kwaku Doe's spot in a wheelchair. The striking thing about this gentleman is his wheelchair is always decorated with New Patriotic Party (NPP) colours plus he always has the NPP flag flying on his chair.

The question I always ask myself is doesn't he realise he's going to drive away potential donors who do not belong to the NPP or worse yet loathe the party? But then of course he stands the chance of getting huge donations from NPP supporters who will be impressed by his open display of loyalty to the party even in his condition.

I saw him this afternoon but he seemed more interested in staring at the World Trade Centre, Accra than begging for money while Kwaku Doe and this other gentleman in a wheelchair were busy doing their thing. Guess he was taking a break.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What's Glo Changing To?

So, a couple of days ago, I was thinking and something came to mind.

None of the mobile phone companies operating in Ghana is operating under the name they started operations with in Gh. Due to mergers and acquisitions, all the mobile phone companies have different names now.

Mobitel/Buzz is now Tigo
Celtel became Kasapa and is now Expresso
Spacefon became Areeba and is now MTN
Onetouch is now Vodafone
Zain is now Airtel

I guess you can't blame me for wondering who's going to acquire Glo Ghana before they've even started operations.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kwaku Doe: The Betrayal (New Friends)

Apparently, I'm not the only person in Gh that's interested in Kwaku Doe.
Well, I did report earlier that I wasn't too happy with him so I'd chosen not to give him money. Well, this morning, he walks up to my car, asks for money and as has been the norm lately, I shook my head and told him I didn't have any coins. He moves away seemingly unbothered and I'm wondering why, cos he should be wondering why I've chosen not to mind him.

So, he moves on and I spot him two cars behind me spending too much time chit chatting with the driver in that car. As I'm getting real curious cos he's been with that driver too long smiling plenty, I see the driver of that car handing him a note that looked so much like a GH¢5 or GH¢10 and then I see Kwaku Doe go down on his knees and I guess he was saying thank you.

Oh my! That's the second time I've seen him go down on his knees in the middle of the road. No wonder he was not bothered about me not giving him money. And no wonder he said he makes GH¢20 everyday.

Being the curious person that I am, I drove real slow when the lights turned green so that my competitor could pass by me so I could seize up my competition. Turns out my competition is a young man who drives a nicer car than I do and can obviously afford to give notes rather than coins.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Ungrateful

I've not really written much about Kwaku Doe in a while, why? Cos of something I realised about him. He sure is UNGRATEFUL! A couple of weeks ago, I get to his spot and he moves to beg from the cars in the inner lane (I was on the outer lane). He gets to the car right next to me (I'm so watching) and begs. The lady reaches into her purse and hands him a GH¢1 note.

Guess what Kwaku Doe does after receiving the generous contribution? He goes on his knees in the middle of the road and thanks the lady. Now, I'm just sitting there staring at him and wondering why he never went on his knees whenever I gave him my coins? All those coins given on different days put together will amount to more than what the lady gave him.

I happened to pass by his spot with my brother one weekend and my brother asks if that's the Kwaku Doe I'm always writing about. I answer in the affirmative and my brother asks if I don't remember him. A couple of years ago, my brother and I were on that same road but this time somewhere near the TUC traffic light when Kwaku Doe walked up to my brother's car to beg for money. My brother handed him a ¢500 coin now Gp5 coin. Kwaku actually handed it back saying it couldn't even buy kenkey and fish as if he'd never heard the saying "little drops of water".


Goodness! Now I remember him and now I'm not so sure I want to still give him any money (haven't given him anything since the lady with the GH¢1 note) or write about him any more.

Kwaku Doe - Why I love Him

I love his wrist watches. He's got like all these different coloured wrist watches he always wears. He's got a red one and a blue one. The other day, I saw him wearing a Rolex.

He doesn't joke with his watches at all. I hope the same goes for the time shown on the watches.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Death Anniversary - Weird Title

Well, aside "Celebration of Life",  "Anniversary of Death", I couldn't think up any other titles.

It's another September 8
It's another anniversary
I never thought it would be possible
But sometimes life gets in the way and I forget you

That really isn't fair
I feel guilty whenever I realise that happens
Cos I got to live, but you dint
At least we know on this day, I'll always remember you

RIP my dear friend
I should say till we meet again, but that's such a cliché
You know you seeing me again right?
lol (hope you know what that means. became real popular after you left)
xoxoxo ♥

Car Decor - I'm Not Talking About This Again After This Post

Seriously, there should be some law in town about this.
How'd this woman (it was a woman, I checked) expect to use her rearview mirror with all this in the back of her car? I really felt like arresting her or something.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Car Decor


I see a lot of cars around with interesting decorations e.g. flowers and stuffed animals (that's for the private cars). As for the taxis, their decor tend to border more on over eccentric if you ask me, from the paint work on the outside to the assortment of decor options inside.

One thing that always gets to me is, how do drivers of these extremely interior decorated cars see through their rearview mirrors (I mean the mirrors are there for a purpose right?) as most of these decorations sit in the back of the car against the rear windshield.

Funny thing is most of these flower, stuffed animal decorated cars tend to be owned and driven by women. Imagine my surprise when I spotted this car being driven by a man.
 It is of course possible that he was driving his wife's/gf's car or he's the driver driving the madam's car or something. I refuse to believe a guy had that flower arrangement in his car (way too girly).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Controversial Issues: "Thank God We're Not A Nigerians" (A Reply)

So as not to seem one sided, I had to come up with this when I heard about a reply to the FOKN BOIS's song. (Link to "Thank God We're Not A Nigerians" in my previous post, in case you still not heard it).

I'm still so not wanting to start World War III or Africa War I, but seriously, this reply, hmmmm... (the psych ward patient in me thinking).

I look at the first song and I think technically, there's no people in the world referred to as "A Nigerians" but there definitely is a people in the world referred to as "Ghanaians". Seriously, looking at Kubolor asking "A Nigerians" if they can't wear D&G is obviously ridiculous as he walks around barefooted dressed in some sort of an African Kilt.

Me, I think  the song is silly, ridiculous and definitely not serious but it does have an easy to go along with beat and the hook is so easy to sing along to (psych ward patient please, ssshhh). But as for the response (I don't even know who made it, supposed to be anonymous), it's so not easy to sing along to, I could hardly hear the words and I didn't enjoy it kwraaa (not that I enjoyed the one from FOKN BOIS).

But seriously, what have these FOKN BOIS started eh? (non-psych ward patient in me talking). I do hope this is the end of it ooo and there will be no further responses ooo.
Check out the response to the FOKN BOIS Thank God We're Not Ghanaians

Friday, August 19, 2011

Controversial Issues: Not Exactly My Thing

This is a bit (well, more like way) out of my league but people are talking about it plenty so I will too. Music is not really my thing but this song "Thank God We Are Not A Nigerians" by "FOKN BOIS" sure is causing a stir. For good and bad reasons depending on the side of West Africa you from. Some think it's hilarious and just a joke especially since one of the singers (lol. hope that's a word) is married to a Nigerian and others find it offensive and insulting. Now, there are two parties to this second category. Those that love it cos it's insulting and those that hate it cos it's insulting. Again, it all depends on the side of West Africa you from. Me, I have a crazy sense of humour. Some people believe I should be locked up in a psych ward so I'll refrain from giving my opinion. I've heard what some Nigerians have had to say about the song but I'm really wanting to hear what Liberians have to say about it. Cos at the end of the song, we find out that Nigerians should thank God  they are not a Liberians. Btw, the part about Charles Taylor's sis, Ms. Seamstress totally cracked me up (this is just the psych ward patient in me talking). But really what were they thinking making this song? Eh? Are they trying to start World War III or something? (the non psych ward patient in me talking). I should probably put up a link to the song. Ok, check it out if you not heard it at Thank God we are not a Nigerians (let's hope I'm not the one fueling World War III with this post).

Boxing is also totally and completely way out of my league. I'm still yet to come to terms with why two people who have probably never met and don't have anything against each other will decide to beat each other up. Well, there's this issue about some fight that happened recently between Ghanaian Joseph Agbeko and another guy from Mexico (I think). I really am clueless about these things (don't even know the name of the other guy) and it was just yesterday that I took time to find out what the issue is about and I actually think that referee should be fired. Well, I hope my being Ghanaian has not clouded my judgment but I have heard the whole story (I think) and seen some clips of the fight. Me, I'd say there shouldn't be a rematch but the first fight and the decision that was made at that fight should be totally thrown out! (that is of course in my honest clueless opinion).

Great! I have drifted and attempted trying other issues but I believe that's enough drifting to last me a while if not a lifetime. I should just stick to my dear ol' Kwaku Doe (at least I'm not clueless about crazy). Don't I just know how to worm Kwaku Doe into every post of mine!



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Accra: Out & About

It's amazing the things you get to see when you really look, moving around in Accra.
I came across this building a couple of weeks ago.

That order was put up nearly 6 years ago and though the windows are boarded up, the building actually looked occupied.

Now, reading the order, I get the feeling that the building was supposed to be demolished. Well, I took that picture on July 30, 2011 and the building is still very much standing.



Let's move on to the next. Some of the posters and signs I come across in Accra are just so ridiculous. Seriously, I just wish people will get others to proof read their stuff before they put them up. Better yet, there should be some government organisation taking down posters with bad English (I could be head of that organisation. Just a thought).

2 acres of land, buy or least? I'm guessing the writer wanted to say buy or lease. Well, some of them are hilarious though. Makes driving around more fun.

And then what's up with all these advertisements of instant loans? I wonder how they work. Maybe one day I should call up one of the phone numbers and find out (there definitely should be another organisation investigating the authenticity of these instant loan claims. I could head that one too).




Last but not the least (I've always wanted to use that phrase. Finally, I get to. Yay!) I came across some advertisement strategy by one of the mobile telephony companies, Tigo, sometime last week. They had Mobile Billboards somewhere around the Graphic Road. Interesting and ingenious if you ask me. I doubt if it cost them as much as erecting an actual billboard.

They had a bunch of guys literally wearing billboards and walking around. Some of them were also sitting at pretty vantage points. No motorist could definitely miss them. Great marketing strategy, Tigo! I love it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Stiff Competition

I've been quietly observing Kwaku Doe and his spot for a while now and frankly, I'm not surprised he's facing all this competition now. If he's right about earning GH¢20 a day then really, he should have known he wouldn't enjoy the monopoly he has had at his spot for long.

I reported in a previous post that there was this other gentleman (physically disabled) in a wheel chair who's picked out Kwaku's spot to also beg. Well, guess what? There's another gentleman who's joined them, also physically disabled but moves on the ground.

Aside doing his morning rounds, I've noticed Kwaku does evening rounds as well because I see him in the morning on my way to work and in the evening on my way home. As a matter of fact, I strongly believe he does his rounds the whole day (I'm not there the whole day but I wouldn't be surprised if he did). Well, his competition are always with him (in the morning and in the evening).

The advantage Kwaku Doe has over his competition is he gets to his spot real early so on days that I get there very early, his competitors aren't there. They usually get there late morning. Another advantage Kwaku has over his competitors (something I witnessed yesterday) is his speed. Yesterday evening, on my way home, I'm just passing Kwaku's spot and I see him and all his competitors (at that time of day there aren't that many cars moving in their direction). One car pulls up and all three make a move for that car. Kwaku in the lead followed by gentleman 1 in wheelchair and then gentleman 2 on the ground. Obviously, Kwaku gets to the car first, gives his speech, no response. Gentleman 1 also delivers his speech, no response. Finally gentleman 2 gets to the car, delivers his speech and he gets rewarded.

Another advantage Kwaku has over the other two is his height and his ability to get as close to cars as possible. However, the advantage, the other two have over Kwaku is their ability to elicit pity from potential clients (that, I believe is the most important looking at the business they are into). Gentleman 2 especially, moving on the ground without a wheelchair. It's so sad to see him moving around like that.

If these two maintain this spot, I'd say Kwaku is out of business. Maybe he could collaborate with them (if it were me, I'd pick gentleman 2). So he, Kwaku does the moving around, weaving in and out of traffic, get the money and split with the other. Well, picking gentleman 1 would be much easier so he could wheel him around (he can't exactly carry gentleman 2 around) but trust me, seeing gentleman 2 will just touch the heart of any tight fisted man/woman/child.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Gh Forensics!

Was just reading about the riots in the UK on Facebook. One of my friend's had put up a post: "Be mindful of what you innocently touch in and around town. Police forensic team gathering evidence in areas hit with break-ins etc."


Then I was reminded of an incident that happened a couple of years ago. A house I was living in got broken into and some things were stolen. The incident was reported to the police and they showed up dusting for finger prints and all. There are two problems here.
1. Does the Gh police have a database to compare the finger prints retrieved to?
2. They didn't take the finger prints of those of us who live in the house at least to eliminate us since we'd been touching the same areas they dusted for prints.
Well, we never heard from them about the finger print dusting and as far as I'm concerned, the thieves got away (well, the security guy was a suspect since everyone believed he was in on the whole thing).

Maybe I've been watching too much CSI and 24 but really if we had a workable database (computerised would do) I'm sure so many of the unsolved crimes in Gh wouldn't remain so.

A while back, I needed a police clearance form to apply for a visa and guess what? It took me barely a day to get it. I could've sworn that my finger prints weren't checked against any database of criminals to be sure I don't have a criminal record. I wonder if the embassies and high commissions in Gh know this. I wonder if they know they might be issuing visas to potential criminals who have clearance from the Gh police to travel.

Kwaku Doe - Who To Pick!

I'm really late for work today. I'm so late it's almost midday and I'm not yet in the office (I really hope my boss doesn't blog). I'm not too worried because I knew my boss was away and wouldn't show up for work (making me boss so I guess I could show up whenever, no questions asked).

I get to Kwaku Doe's spot and there's two of them. Kwaku and another gentleman. The other gentleman's physically disabled in a wheelchair. Both of them begging. Now, I really was in a giving mood today but really, who was I supposed to give to? I just had one Gp50 coin. The physically disabled guy would have been the obvious choice but then again I've got my own interest in Kwaku Doe plus I didn't want to upset him further as he seemed upset with me for some reason.

I kept my coin and drove away when the light changed.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Kwaku Doe - What'd I Do? Just Trying To Get My Story...

Lately, I've been using this traffic free route to work. I get to see Kwaku Doe all the same but I can't talk to him because I'd be on the other side of the intersection.

Yesterday, I left home a bit early so I used my former route. I get to Kwaku Doe's spot and thankfully the light turned red just as it was my turn to go. Kwaku gets to my car (I guess to do his usual begging), looks in, sees me and walks away without saying or doing anything. Through my rearview mirror, I see him move on to the next car and beg (I could see him making the begging motions with his hands plus he stood there for a while).

What did I do to him? Two things come to mind. He's either mad at me for abandoning him these last couple of weeks or he's tired of my plenty questions.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mobile Number Portability

My mind in overdrive led me to write this post. How does Mobile Number Portability work anyways? Yeah, I know. You get to port your mobile phone number to another network while maintaining your original number including the original code i.e. 024/054, 027/057, 026 or 020. Great! Wonderful! But what happens to all the intra-network promotions?

E.g. MTN has its MTN Zone and most of the other networks have reduced call rates to phone numbers within their network at certain times of the day. Airtel for instance charges a whole lot less after 10pm to calls placed to other Airtel numbers plus there's also 8 free text messages to all other Airtel numbers everyday. My thought process might not make much sense right now to everyone but let me break it down.

Imagine I have Kwaku Doe's MTN number on my phone. Kwaku Doe ports to Airtel and doesn't inform me. I see on my phone that I get to enjoy 1pesewa per minute on MTN Zone to all MTN numbers. So, I call Kwaku Doe who has now ported from MTN to Airtel but then I don't know about him porting. Do I still get to enjoy MTN Zone with Kwaku Doe? Or do I get charged like I was calling an Airtel number? Does the wonderful lady who always comes on to remind you your credit is almost done, come on to tell me the number has been ported to a different network? Do I get notifications informing me when any of my contacts ports their phone number to another network? Or is it up to the other person to let me know they have ported? Some people will genuinely forget or for "mafioso" reasons they won't tell you.

On Airtel. I get 8 free text messages to other Airtel numbers. I decide to text Kwaku Doe's Airtel number. Unknowing to me, Kwaku Doe has ported his Airtel number to Tigo. Is the text message still free or do I pay like I'm texting to a Tigo number? Do I get to find this out after I've made the call or sent the text and realised how much I got charged (that wouldn't be fair though)? Some of us only make certain calls or send certain texts when we know the call/text is virtually free.

I understand this whole Mobile Number Portability thing and I believe its a good thing. At least it will introduce some level of competition to the mobile telephony industry. But there are some issues which I believe the industry should address. Imagine me calling up someone at night thinking the call is virtually free and falling asleep on the phone. I'd wake up with all my call credit done!

I'm not particularly picking on MTN and Airtel as it may seem but those are the two networks I use so I am very aware of most of their promotions.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Journalism & Daily Graphic

I found a new "traffic free" route to work. That and the fact that I've been so busy at work explains why I seem to have neglected Kwaku Doe. I shall resume my old "traffic filled" route next week where I get to interact with Kwaku Doe.

On the front page of the Daily Graphic today, there's a story. Headline reads "Grandma Strangles Baby". Of course I got curious and read the story. Basically, it's about a 14-year old girl who got pregnant, can't identify the father of the baby, gave birth and the girl's mother killed the baby barely 24 hours after the child had been born.

Now, a lot of issues arise out of this story but I will focus on one. My focus is on the reportage of the story by the Daily Graphic. Let me quote the two statements I had a problem with.
"Adwoa Mai, the suspect, was said to have gone into an uncontrollable rage when her 14-year old imbecile daughter, who got pregnant without knowing the man responsible for it..."
I'm still trying to figure out what the imbecile there represents. Is that what everyone in the village calls the girl? Is that how she is described by her mother and everyone else who knows her? Is it a condition the girl suffers from? Or is that how the reporter has chosen to describe the girl taking into consideration her situation? Mind you, the story just said imbecile daughter. It didn't say who calls her imbecile daughter or why she is referred to as that.

"According to the police, the dead baby's mother (name withheld), who is an idiot, was made pregnant by an unknown person while she was staying with the suspect and she was not able to identify who made her pregnant."
Again, I don't know whether the idiot there is supposed to stand for a condition the girl suffers from or if that's just a tribe she's from or maybe it's a belief she subscribes to.

Both words were formerly used in a classification system referring to an individual with an IQ between 25 and 50 or lower and a mental age between three and seven years or lower. The classification system is now dated and these words are currently regarded as offensive and used to insult an individual's intellect.

If all this was put there by the reporter because he felt the need to, looking at how much of an imbecile and idiot the girl looks after getting pregnant and not being able to identify the person that made her pregnant, well, doesn't the girl being 14 years make her under aged? Doesn't that mean she was defiled since she's a minor? Should she be called names because a man chose to defile her and make her pregnant? Even if she knows the identity of the man and is choosing to keep mum about it, couldn't it be because the man had threatened her (so many men, like these same reporters tell us in their stories defile under aged girls and threaten them in order to get them to keep quiet)? Even if she does know the identity of the person, wasn't threatened and is not telling so as to protect the guy for whatever reason, she is still under aged.

Should this girl commit a crime punishable by jail time, will she be treated as an adult and put in a regular women's prison or will she be treated as the minor that she is and be sent where minors are sent when they commit crimes?

Let's watch it my dear journalists, let's watch it. In reporting stories, let's try as much as possible not to take a stance and even if we do, let it not show in the story. In reporting stories, journalists should report the facts and leave the public to make up their minds and decide what to think based on the facts reported.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kwaku Doe - "I Speak English"

Earlier, I drew the conclusion that Kwaku doesn't exactly understand English. Just to be sure, sometime last week I actually asked him and he clearly came out to say he speaks English. Well, I don't particularly believe he's well versed in the language but hey, if he says so, who am I to challenge that?

Last Saturday, I happened to pass by his spot and as usual, he was there. There was no traffic so we spent a good amount of time talking (from when the light turned red to when it turned green). First of all, I had to make sure he'd be interested in the conversation and stay so I got my Gp50 coin out and dangled it right where he couldn't miss.

Kwaku Doe has been begging for the past seven (7) years. On an average, he makes about GH¢20 daily begging on the streets. This last information made me reconsider giving him the Gp50 coin because that would mean he earns so much more than a lot of hard working Ghanaians. Doing the math, it appears Kwaku Doe earns GH¢560 a month (i.e. if he begs everyday of the week). Even if he begs five (5) days a week, that'll give him GH¢400 a month, which is still quite a lot.


Just to be sure he understood me and I understood him, this conversation took place first in English and then in Twi. Honestly, I was inclined to not believe him at first but really, it is very possible. Plus he always looks so decent. Always well clothed and all that. I guess he can afford it. No wonder he doesn't want to abandon this job. He obviously knows what he gets out of it.


I do have a confession though. I'm in the process of trying to get one of the cleaners at my workplace fired so I can recommend Kwaku Doe for the job. Well, don't feel sorry for the guy and think I'm mean because this guy has received a query every other day since 2007, never responds to the queries and just decides to not show up for work or either show up drunk. Why he is still working here, I have no idea. I took this up because Kwaku told me last Saturday that he would like it if I got him a job (well that was after I asked him). At least when we in the same office, I can watch him closer and then maybe determine accurately if he's all there or not.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Only in Gh huh?

I am so used to seeing motorcycle riders whiz past me on their bikes with no helmet on. I just presume these bikers don't have helmets or their helmets aren't available at the time. But really it is only in Gh that a biker's helmet takes a seat while the head of the biker goes unprotected.

"Sit back my dear helmet and enjoy the ride. Don't worry about my head."

Friday, July 01, 2011

18001

On just about every MTN official car, the inscription behind reads "In case of careless driving call 18001".

On my way home from work one evening, I'd just passed the Cal Bank and was headed down the Liberation road (hope that's what it's called) when just out of this MTN yard (don't know what to call it but I always see MTN pick ups coming out from that side plus the walls are all decorated with MTN ads) I saw this MTN pick up stick it's head out. Now since my speed was somewhere around 80 and I was so close, I assumed the driver of the car would not make a move to join the road, but how wrong I was.

The smart driver joined the road and I was going too fast to slow down enough or stop so I had to swerve into the next lane. If there'd been another car in that lane then both of us would have been goners. The usual me would have chased this guy, caught up with him and given him a peace of my mind but I relaxed, took down his car number with the intention of calling 18001 (cos that incident definitely counted as careless driving) and venting.

On my first couple of tries that very evening, I just kept hearing the phone was off or unavailable or something. I tried again a couple of days later and this time the phone rang but no one picked up. What I'd like to know is why does MTN have that number at the back of their cars if the phone is going to be off or if no one's going to pick up? Really? What's the point? Why pretend to be concerned about the driving abilities of their drivers when really they are not?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Conversation & Conclusions

After presenting my peace offering aka motivational coins, I got into a conversation with Kwaku Doe a couple of days ago. Thing is, I'm not quite sure he understood what I was saying or what he was saying. For some reason I chose to have the entire conversation in English. Well, I know I've heard him speak English a couple of times but I doubt if he's well versed in the Queen's language.

Me: "So where do you live?"
Kwaku: (gesticulating in no particular direction) "Around"
Me: "Around where?"
Kwaku: "Around" (still making gestures)
Me: (giving up on that line of questioning) "How far with the job search?"
Kwaku: "This is my job"
Me: "Huh?"

Now how ridiculous is that? How can begging be his job. That has led me to insist on drawing the conclusion that he did not understand what I was saying. I would have probed further in "twi" because I didn't want to believe he understood what I was asking him but the light changed so I had to move on.

Yesterday morning, I passed by him at his supposed work place but I didn't interact with him. Later in the afternoon I passed his work place again (cos I had some stuff doing that side of town) but then surprise surprise, he wasn't there. His usual spot was now overtaken by hawkers plying their wares. What I didn't get was that time of the day would have been perfect for him to make a few pennies cos there was a lot of traffic  but it was just the hawkers that were taking advantage of the traffic build up. That observation led me to draw my 2nd conclusion. Kwaku Doe has another job which he goes to during the day. Early in the morning he comes seeing how much free money he can make first before going to work.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kwaku Doe - What the...? But it's pouring!

This guy really does mean business. It's raining, I mean it's actually pouring and he's still walking up and down his usual spot doing his usual thing. He had absolutely no protection from the rain. All he'd done was to pull his jeans high up so it wouldn't get wet and he had on a thick long sleeved shirt (I guess to protect him from the cold). That shirt would obviously have the opposite effect once it's all wet. I really do wonder who he expected to roll down their windows and get beaten by the rain in order to give him money.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Taking a Break

So this is what he does when he's tired.

I'm getting tired of this job oooo... I need to find something more profitable

The whole time I was at that light, he didn't change his position. Seems he's growing weary of this job or he's plotting a better way to make money.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Thought We Didn't Do Weekends!

I have always known my weekends are for rest both from regular work (which pays the bills) and not so regular work (borne mostly out of curiosity). How wrong I was.

It's Saturday, I'm heading to the hair salon and out of habit I use my Kwaku Doe route (there are like a 1001 other routes I could have used all traffic free on a weekend). Out of habit again, I look out for Kwaku Doe but he's not there (not surprising).

I'm done with my hair, I'm looking all fly and loving it (that's just by the way especially since this is all about Kwaku Doe, not me) and once again, I use my Kwaku Doe route. Surprise, surprise! There he is, gloomily staring at the like one or two cars waiting for the red light to change. What else did he expect on a weekend? Well, me, I was on the other side of the road plus I was looking way too fly to get into investigative mode. He'll just have to wait till Monday.

Now, that would have been the end of this post except, something else happened today, Sunday. I'm driving somewhere around Laterbiokorshie, not far from the Bishop Bowers school and I see this boy (actually, he looked like 19 or 20) kneeling on the ground, hands on head with a pan beside him. The pan looked like it once contained a full load of smoked fish. Now all that was left was one. The boy/man was wailing. It took tremendous effort but I ignored him. On my way back, about 30 minutes later, this boy/man was still at the same spot, in the same position and still wailing. Now I knew he was waiting for someone to ask what was wrong (especially since he was kneeling right on the road) and then he could tell his sad story of how all his fish got stolen or fell into some gutter and how his madam would beat him or how he had lost all his money, but I just wasn't interested.

The only thought that came into my head was how to get a picture of this boy/man doing what he was doing. I however decided against it and drove away. Ei! what people will do in Gh now for money! (I could do a whole show on this one. Someone please sponsor me. I could make your TV station real popular).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mixed Bag

It's been an interesting morning. Given up trying to be a model employee and I'm now back to showing up at work at my usual later-than-my-boss-time (can't blame me. He never noticed when I was getting there before the cleaner decided to start cleaning).

So, what happened on my way to work? Let's start with when I saw Kwaku Doe's twin brother. Yep, somewhere on the Russia road (that's actually in Ghana) I saw this guy, same stature, same jeans (sort of), same kinda t-shirt (I'm sure I've seen Kwaku Doe wear a similar thing). I could have sworn it was Kwaku, but the location caused me to take a second look (almost bumping into the car in front of me) and that's when I realised although this guy looks so much like Mr. Doe, he's not him. Makes me wonder if I just discovered one of Kwaku Doe's relatives.

I believe the whole idea about advertising and marketing is to get to your target audience i.e. people who are most likely to buy your goods for one reason or another. I thought hawkers on the street employed the same tactics by looking at the drivers and occupants in their cars and deciding who best needs whatever they are hawking. Now, what I don't seem to understand is why them stomach belt carrying, tummy trimmer sellers have decided to target me. Eh? Some guy came to stand by my window this morning trying to convince me that I needed a stomach belt and wouldn't leave until I rolled up my window. What's up with that?

This guy had just about messed up my morning when something else happened. I'm driving behind this car that's going awfully slow, I'm thinking of honking but decide not to cos this car's a pick up (pretty high up off the ground than I am) so I can't see ahead of him. I thus can't tell if there's actually traffic so I just drive slow (very uncharacteristic of me) and then this pick up guy switches lanes. That's when I see why he was driving slow. There was this other pick up in front of him that was going at a snail's pace. Now, as soon as this pick up guy switches lanes, the guy he was trying to avoid also switches lanes ending up in front of him (back in the same boat). Me, I just sped up past them laughing and shaking my head (you should have seen the annoyed look on the face of the pick up guy who tried to do the avoiding).

So, my morning drive ended on a lighter note but I still can't forget about that tummy belt. Seriously! This is like the fifth time. The last time it was some guy selling a tummy trimmer. Who says I need it anyways? Even if I did, how'd he know? I'm sitting in a car. He can't possibly tell if I'd need his merchandise or not.

Oh! I almost forgot the other thing that happened. Was so engrossed in venting about that hawker, that I nearly forgot noticing what Nana Yaw was talking about in his post about Cheating Nature in the City of Accra. Ei! For this woman I saw, I don't know what the deal was but the kid was crying like he hadn't eaten in a week. Ghollywood is way too small for these people. They'd do real good in Hollywood.

More updates coming up real soon on Kwaku Doe. I've been tied down a lil bit with other stuff. Will be getting to my investigative, too much time on my hands mode in a bit.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Kwaku Doe - All Fly!

Never seen in a white shirt before so he totally caught my eye today.

I'm fly cos I'm hot, you ain't cos you not!

Doesn't he just know how to take care of himself? Maybe he's suffering from that thing where people are so obsessed with being clean and keeping themselves clean, what's it called? heard it on Oprah once, yeah Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I'm sure being so obsessed with keeping clean can drive you crazy and leave you jobless begging on the streets. 

But he has changed my stereotype about beggars though. I used to think they were all unkempt. Bra Kwaku has raised the bar. At least I know if I'm giving him money he's putting it to good use by taking care of himself.

Friday, June 03, 2011

What's in a Name?

In Ghana, a lot goes into naming a child. Parents believe the name given to a child and it's meaning might have an impact on the child's life. Is all this true or are we just overly superstitious?

Now, that said, would you or a loved one attend this driving school?

FORMULAR (they didn't even get the spelling right) "1" DRIVING SCHOOL
Makes you wonder if they training race car drivers up in there.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Kwaku Doe - At Work & Up Close

So, Kwaku Doe has been consistently showing up for work every single morning for the past couple of weeks regardless of the time I get to his spot. I am proud to say that for like 2 weeks, I too have arrived at work very early (about 7:30am) every single day. Doubt if my boss notices though. I'm sure the one day I show up late he'll so notice.

I managed to get a shot of Kwaku Doe in action (I wonder if this whole picture taking thing without permission is illegal).
Some pennies please...
If you ask me I'd say he should stay off the air conditioned cars with their windows all rolled up (they are not very giving) and stick to cars like mine with broken air conditioners or none at all.

I managed to get one of him while he was heading towards me. Again I told him I have no coins and I'd make it up to him tomorrow (huge lie). I'm just putting together my sack of coins and then we'll see what I'm able to get him to cough up.
Yeah, I see you. The generous lady with plenty questions. Why's your phone up though?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Not Far Gone

The main reason I didn't exactly think Kwaku Doe was mentally challenged was because he doesn't act it plus he doesn't speak like he is. Well, since he says he has mental issues and I've seen him exhibit some not so there characteristics but at the same time acts quite sane then I'd say he's not far gone or he was or is getting treatment for his condition.

Just look at him with his jeans all rolled up trying to prevent it from getting wet and muddy after the rain fell.


this rain "kwraa", it's gon mess up my jeans but I got to work too

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Album and Revelations

On a usual day just minding my business where all the cars at?... coins on my mind
I should probably create an album for Kwaku Doe to put all the snap shots I get of him. Took this picture a while ago. It's still not very clear but I'll just keep taking them and putting them up until I get a good one.

Just getting back from the bathroom. What you looking at?
This one I took sometime last week. I got to the traffic light and just about the same time Kwaku Doe dashes across the road to the other side to use the bathroom. Yeah, the bathroom he's created for himself amongst the shrubs just at the wall of the M√∂venpick Hotel. Same shrubs I saw him eat leaves from a couple of weeks ago.


A friend of mine on Facebook recognised Kwaku Doe from the first picture I put up. Apparently she'd also 
noticed him and was curious about him (seems I'm not the only curious woman with time on her hands in 
Accra). This is what she had to say


"Efua are you talking about the guy who pretends to be mad and plies his trade around the traffic light at the National Theatre? Is he Kwaku Doe? Then I guess my name is Mrs. Monalisa Doe. Fill me in pleeeease."
"Efua, you should see the guy after his " working" hours. He dresses well and normally boards trotro at Tema station. Try conversing with him and he is very intelligent. I used to believe he was mentally ill until I saw him at T.S one evening (about 4 yrs ago) on his way home. Before then, he never responded to my queries, but when I confronted him at TS, he became my friend and anytime I drive past his "office" we managed to catch a chat before the traffic turned green. If he knows you will not expose him, he will relax and talk."


This Kwaku Doe situation is getting more complicated. So he's sane? Why'd he tell me he had mental issues? I really never thought he did but since he said he did, I just took his word for it. I should probably just take my friend's advice, get to know him better establish some kind of a rapport and probably, that will get him talking. So far I feel he's just told me a bunch of lies. But then why was he eating the leaves? That's something sane people just don't do. I obviously need a sack of coins.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Say Cheese? Not Ready...



I tried real hard and I managed to get a picture but it isn't that good. Took it while driving (very dangerous. My car isn't even automatic) because the light was green and I've got all these spots from the rain that fell last night on my windshield.

I will get a better one though. Hopefully soon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Make Over!

Did I say the case was closed? How can the case be closed when I still see him every morning and there seems to be something to say about him? Kwaku Doe's had a make-over!

This morning, I saw Kwaku Doe with a fresh hair cut and he was clean shaven as well. He's always sported this afro-like hair but it's always been neatly combed (no dreads) and his beard has always been bushy as well. I'm starting to think he's trying to impress me because he rushed over to my car (to show off his new look) by-passing three other cars in the process and asked for some coins with his usual smile. Told him I didn't have any and will probably make it up to him tomorrow.

Except for the bad teeth, he did look good. I got a picture but it's not good enough because he had his back to me. I'll do better next time.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Case Closed

I'm almost at Kwaku Doe's spot and I'm very irritated for a number of reasons. It's almost 9am and I'm not in the office yet. The sun is out and the air conditioning in my car is not working. There's a smart a** taxi driver behind me who's been following me and honking (it's been a couple of hours but I'm still hearing that honking in my ear) all the way from Graphic road because the traffic light was green and I wasn't moving. Why wasn't I moving? Well, the police officers think it's more fun to make us move when the light is red and stop when it's green (they were directing traffic at a very functioning traffic light. Sometimes it does help and eases traffic but other times it just causes more traffic. Today, it eased traffic at one end and caused a helluva traffic at the other end which happened to be where I was).

So, where was I? Yes, I'm irritated and not even thinking about my favourite guinea pig (sorry Kwaku but fact is you were just a part of some experiment going on in my mind). I'm at the light. About the third or forth car and I see Kwaku Doe and for the first time since all this started, I'm actually hoping he doesn't make his way to my car because I really wasn't in the mood. Unfortunately he does and I guess my curiosity plus my desire to see this whole thing through over rode my irritation. This is what followed in English and Twi but mostly Twi...

Kwaku Doe: "Please some coins" (smile on face)
Me: "Today too you are here again? Why are you always here begging for money" (sounds harsh but I was still in a bad mood)
Kwaku Doe: "To get money to buy food"
Me: "Why don't you work like the rest of us?" (that irritation was seriously working on my mood)
Kwaku Doe: "I will very soon"
Me: "Why not now? What's stopping you?"
Kwaku Doe: "I am not really of sound mind"
Me: (stunned into silence and thinking "at least accepting your situation is the first step to getting help")
Kwaku Doe: (smile continues)
Me: (thinking of asking him what exactly his problem is, how he knows he's not all there)

At that moment the light changes and I'm scrambling in my car looking for something to give him (I was totally unprepared for him that morning). I finally find a Gp50 coin and hand it over to him (thankfully before the honking resumes behind me).

So there it is. Kwabena Bonnah aka Kwaku Doe is not all there aka he's mentally challenged according to him (I did see him exhibit some not there attributes yesterday morning but I was really in a hurry to get to work so I didn't really pay that much attention plus he was exhibiting away from the road somewhere near the wall of the new hotel next to cedi house). Let me just say what he was doing. He was chewing leaves off of a tree inside the compound of the hotel. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me but a second look showed I wasn't wrong.

Again I ask. Who's responsibility is it to take care of the mentally challenged people on our streets? Feed them? Clothe them? so that they don't end up begging in traffic or chewing leaves from a tree when their begging yields no results. Or worse yet, walk around in their birthday suits!

I haven't forgotten about the picture. I will get it just in case someone recognises him or something.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kwaku Doe is...

Yes, I found out Kwaku Doe's name.

Let me give you the prelude to this. I'm approaching his usual spot and I got my incentive (Gp50) ready just in case. As I approach the traffic light, I realise I'm the only car on the road at the time. All the lanes were empty. My heart sinks thinking he didn't come to work and then I spot him standing close to the light.

I make a very conscious effort to stop right next to him leaving some space in front of me. I look back and there's no car behind me. Good, at least I'd be spared the unnecessary honking. I look at him and he bends down but before he could say a word, I initiate a conversation. This is the conversation that ensued (all in Twi).

Me: "how are you doing?"
Kwaku Doe: "I'm fine" (puzzled expression on face)
Me: "I see you here everyday"
Kwaku Doe: "yes please"
Me: "what is your name?"
Kwaku Doe: "please my name is Kwabena Bonnah"
Me: "ok"

Throughout the conversation, I had the incentive in sight and at this point I hand it over to him. He thanks me and just about the same time, the light changes so I move on. Yes Kwaku Doe is Kwabena Bonnah but I have grown so used to and fond of Kwaku Doe that I will probably maintain it when referring to him.

The picture will come soon. He had a smile on his face the whole time I was talking to him. I'm going to take that as a positive sign and hopefully he'll keep that smile on when I'm taking his picture.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Kwaku Does?

Apparently, there are so many more Kwaku Does in Accra than I thought. Yesterday, on my way home from work, I saw one just at the TUC traffic light. Again, he had no visible disability, he looked and acted sane and was moving from car to car begging for money to buy food.

Now if not for the motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic, I could have sworn this guy was ready to go down on his knees and beg especially since no one seemed to pay him no mind. Me, I still had only GHc10 notes on me so I just looked at him and shook my head (I doubt if I’d have given him anything though if I had coins. He's not the subject of my experiment).

Naturally as humans, our survival instincts tell us to do any and everything in order to survive including hawking in the middle of traffic (very dangerous), begging (very demeaning) and even stealing (extremely dangerous). Some have come up with interesting ways to make money though. They beg but they try to provide a service so it doesn’t seem so obvious. There’s this gentleman (actually, now there are two of them) who has taken it upon himself to direct traffic somewhere near the Odorna Clinic heading towards the Graphic road. I see him every evening doing his thing. Unfortunately these days there isn’t much traffic but he still stands there (he’s probably just about the only one who prays for traffic. Well, him and the hawkers. For us motorists, we pray the opposite prayer). There’s another gentleman who also directs traffic near the entrance to ICGC (Christ Temple) on the road leading from Agbobloshie market to Abossey Okai. 

Then there’s also the young women with twins who sit by the roadside to beg (I guess they weren’t exactly expecting twins when they got pregnant). There’s also these kids and their parents (I don’t know what country they are from. Some say Chad some say Niger. Well, they are from one African country or another) that also beg on the streets (some of those kids are so cute but boy are they persistent).

Whose responsibility really is it to ensure the citizenry (and of course visitors as the situation is now in Ghana) of a country have jobs, can fend for themselves or at least can get food to eat to survive? Again I say driving them off the streets will not solve the problem. They will either come back or find other (maybe disturbing) ways to make money. Hey, they do got to survive too.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Breakthrough? Not Quite...

I had a very horrible morning today. I was late as usual and then I have car trouble. My car over heats and there's all this vapour coming out of the bonnet somewhere close to the Graphic road. Some guys help me out, I get my car back on the road after a long break and I head for work.

I get to the TUC traffic light and the blind woman with the little kid I saw a while ago is there begging for money (this time no AMA guys in sight). Now, I had put out some coins (Gp30) to give Kwaku Doe but gave it out to this woman because I figured that would be putting it to better use and besides, I would probably not even see him. Well, I was wrong. I got to his usual spot and there he was. This time I was the 3rd car from the light. He approached my car from the passenger side and I could have kicked myself for giving the coins I had on me out (I did have GHc10 but hell no was I giving that to him. I'm not at that point yet). So he gets to my car and this time speaks Twi. He asks for some coins and I'm like "I'm so sorry but I don't have coins on me today maybe tomorrow". He stays at my window for while I guess thinking I'd change my mind. He then goes like "please just to buy some kenkey" (still in twi). I said "so sorry" and then he walks away.

I don't know but he doesn't sound mentally challenged at all. I wanted to ask him some questions but I didn't feel right wasting his time especially since I didn't give him any incentive.

Kwaku Doe - Celeb?

I got a call yesterday morning from a friend and he tells me he's spotted someone he thinks is Kwaku Doe at the spot I've been describing (he's been following my Kwaku Doe series on Facebook). I tell him what Kwaku Doe was wearing when I saw him earlier in the morning and he says it's him.

Turns out my paranoia yesterday was not unfounded. He actually said he was going to talk to him so they come up with a plan to rip me off lol. Well, since he told me and since he offered to get me a picture of Kwaku Doe, I guess he was kidding. Unfortunately, the traffic light turned green before he could get the picture. Nice try though. And great to know people are starting to look out for and notice Kwaku Doe when they get to that traffic light.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Cat and Mouse

On this cold rainy morning, I'm extremely late for work and driving as fast as I can. I'm almost at Kwaku Doe's spot and the traffic light is amber. This time I step on it because I'd concluded the AMA  had got to him so there was no way he'd come do his usual thing. And then I spot him. I come to an abrupt stop, ignore the honking directed at me and reach for my purse (I wasn't prepared for him today so I didn't have my money ready).

I'm getting all excited and thinking up questions to ask him when I look through my rear view mirror and see that he's started his rounds from the car behind me. Again! This is the second time he's done that. What's going on? I'm sure I'm just about the only person that has ever given him money there so what's his problem? I'm beginning to suspect he's either been reading my blog or someone reading my blog has told him about the plans I have for him and he doesn't particularly like them or I'm just being paranoid. Whatever it is, my resolve is to keep my future plans to myself until I execute them and then I will report the outcome.

Looks like I've got to restrategise and come up with a new plan which of course I'll keep to myself. Y'all get to read about it after I've carried it out.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Beggars Included

Looks like beggars are included in AMA's drive to rid the streets of Accra of hawkers. I witnessed two of the AMA's officials driving (well, more like asking) a blind woman and her helper (a little boy) off the street just at the TUC traffic light. I don't know but for some reason my heart just went out to this woman. She is very old and I'm sure she wouldn't be on the street if she had another means of surviving.

Are we as a country ready to do this? Can we cater for the less privileged in society? Are we ready to take care of persons with disabilities who have no means of livelihood? What about the hawkers on the street who are being driven away? I doubt if they enjoy selling on the streets but they do it just so they can make some money. Selling in the market might not bring them as much revenue as selling on the streets. Are we prepared to set them up so they can be independent? Yes, most of them have left the rural areas to seek greener pastures in Accra. Of course there are issues with that but hey, they are already here and there's not much we can do about that.

Let's just hope by this we do not end up worsening the armed robbery situation in Gh. Sometimes I see some young men (let me add young women too) selling in traffic and I am impressed. Why? Because they could have been armed robbers (or any other kind of social deviant) but instead they choose to sweat and toil to make an honest living. I wonder if they really make anything out of what they sell (how many people buy tummy trimmers in a day?) but they are making the effort anyways.

Once again, Kwaku Doe was not at his usual spot and I can't say I'm surprised. Looking at what's going on now, I wonder if I'll see him again.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Police Officer? Ruined Plans!

I make sure I leave the house at a time when I wouldn't be too late for work and I wouldn't miss Kwaku Doe. I make sure I have my motivator (Ghs1 note) ready to either get him to answer my questions or pose for a picture. I approach his usual spot with bated breath and relaxed a bit only when I saw him. But something was terribly wrong!

Kwaku Doe was on the other side of the road leaning against the outer wall of Cedi House. The first thought that came to my head was to blow my horn and motion for him to move towards me but just as I was about to do that, I saw the reason he wasn't making his usual rounds.

There was a police officer standing just at the traffic light together with this AMA guy. My Word! I guess they are serious this time about getting hawkers off the streets. But really are beggars included? Argh! They totally ruined everything for me. Well, I just hope that like all other times they've tried to do this, this time will also be a nine day wonder.

I didn't give up at once though. I still slowed down when the light turned amber and again was the first car at the light. I kept looking backwards at Kwaku Doe trying to figure out what to do but all I ended up getting was a conversation with the police officer. That of course is another post altogether.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cutting My Nose

I'm on my way to work this morning, I'm not quite happy and just at the Danquah Circle, I do the right thing by giving way to traffic on my left when a taxi driver behind me starts honking at me. Now, just as he did, I could have moved but out of anger, I just stayed put and allowed all the cars to go.

I was almost an hour late to work and of course I was in a hurry and didn't see why this taxi driver (I was probably in more of a hurry than he was) should be honking at me when I was doing the right thing. I stayed where I was until this driver in a 4x4 thinking I was a damsel in distress stopped and motioned for me to move. I still didn't move until the good Samaritan started causing traffic in his lane and everyone was just honking (why aren't people patient in the morning?). That's when I took off. At this point the taxi driver behind me had switched lanes and was getting ready to over take me but I showed him just how much more powerful my car was over his.

So, I got to the office extra late because I decided to cut my nose to spite my face.

Morale of the story: never fail to teach an annoying taxi driver a good lesson even if it means hurting yourself.

Kwaku Doe - Almost

It has been a while since my last update on the Kwaku Doe situation and I was hoping my update would include a picture but unfortunately I couldn't make that happen.

Turns out I was right about the time. Kwaku Doe comes later in the morning now. I saw him today because I was very late for work. Again I didn't speed up at the sight of the amber light but came to a complete stop making me the first car at the traffic light. For some reason, Kwaku Doe ignored my car and started his usual rounds from the car behind me. I tried to turn around to get a picture of him with my phone but I couldn't get a clear shot.

I lost out on the picture and I lost out on the Q & A too. I am not a happy person this morning.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kwaku Doe - Lucky Day

Yesterday must have been my lucky day. Not only did I see Kwaku Doe in the morning, but I saw him again in the evening on my way home from work. He must have been in dire need of money to appear twice in a single day (I'm saying twice because I saw him twice. for all I know he was just there all day).

I got a suggestion from a friend on facebook that I should get a picture of Kwaku Doe. I was tempted to do that when I saw him in the evening but that wasn't possible. I was on the other side of the road for one thing and I couldn't possibly stop.

Maybe next week. I didn't get to see him this morning but that might be because I left for work real early today. I got to his spot at about 7am and got to the office very earlyy. My boss should be happy with me today (wonder if he noticed though). I didn't put my plan of leaving for work extra late just so I can catch a glimpse of him. I'm still trying to figure out how to get a picture of him.

It's going to be an extra long weekend with two additional days added. I've got a lot of time to plan my next move. I would have to do this in stealth mode because I don't exactly know what his reaction would be like if he sees me taking a picture of him.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Return of Kwaku Doe

Kwaku Doe is back! And yours truly had the opportunity to see him up close and hear him talk. But boy did he piss me off.

Looks like I was wrong about the timing. Seems he rather comes later now that's why I don't see him. I got to his spot way after 8am (when I was supposed to be in the office) and there he was. Unfortunately the traffic light just turned green but instead of moving fast, I slowed down until I was the first car (my apologies to the cars behind me but your honking just went through one ear and out the other) and then the light changed amber. For the first time in my driving life, I didn't speed up past the amber light. I came to a complete stop, looked behind and saw he was making his way to my car.

Now, I usually have some coins lying around in my car so I searched for them and I got a couple of Gp10 totaling to about Gp40. Satisfied with my find thinking it was a respectable amount to give to someone begging for money, I turned around (at this time he was at my window) and he said something I found very curious. He was like "sister please a few pennies". I know we don't spend pennies in Ghana so either he's an old timer who was living in the Gold Coast era when we were spending the British currency (mind you, he doesn't look that old. maybe late 40's or mid 50's) or he was living outside Ghana, has returned and fallen on hard times (or he just fell on hard times and returned). Whichever it was, Kwaku Doe doesn't seem mentally challenged. Well, I'm not a professional but he seemed pretty sane to me.

So, what pissed me off? I handed him my good find (Gp40) and what does he do? Kwaku Doe looks into his palm and I can see him count the coins and then satisfied, he looks at my face and says thank you. My goodness! So what? He wouldn't have thanked me if he wasn't satisfied with what I gave him? Humph! Classic case of a beggar with a choice. I remember my brother once gave a beggar (I'm saying beggar because this guy like Kwaku Doe didn't have any disability but he did look a bit not quite there though) around the same area Gp20 and he gave it back saying it wasn't enough to buy kenkey and fish.

I was prepared to get to know Kwaku Doe a little more maybe start a conversation with him. But he pissed me off! Besides, I'm still not 100% sure that he's all there. Who knows? I might ask him something like "why are you on the streets begging for money" and he'll just whack me on the head, pull me out of my car and drive away. Not yet quite ready for that. I'll study him a little bit more but that means I have to get to work very late everyday. I hope my boss doesn't mind. It's for research purposes and once again I hope he doesn't read this blog just in case.

I've got to now stack up on the coins so I can satisfy my dear (I didn't just say that. Now I'm wondering if I'm all there) Kwaku Doe.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Wave

I used a different route to work this morning not because I'm avoiding the World Trade Center but because I went with a friend and she works just after Circle. So here I am heading towards Kwame Nkrumah Circle from the Obetsebi Lamptey Circle when I see this man that looks awfully familiar in the lane next to me.

Now, I would have just ignored him and the whole situation if he hadn't also been staring at me but he was. My lane went a little ahead of his and then his caught up so my car and his were right next to each other. The man was still looking (more like staring) so I gave a little wave and he smiled back. Then I tell my friend to look because it was this man we had worked with some time last year. She looks at him and is like it's not him.

Oh my goodness. I had just waved a complete stranger who happened to be a man (he'll think I was scoping him out). That wasn't even the worst part. My friend then goes like look, his wife is looking. I take a closer look and see there's a woman sitting next to him. That was when I just wished the ground would open up and swallow me. For some reason right after that, my lane and his moved at the same pace. Ei! I don't believe I have sweated (I hope that's a word) that much in my life early in the morning before. My lane went ahead a bit and my friend suggested I switch lanes. Right after I did guess what? The man switched lanes as well. Now I was convinced they wanted to catch up with me so the wife could pour acid on me. Well eventually they made a U-turn (that's why he switched lanes).

Start of a horrible day. I get to the office and my boss (I hope he doesn't read this blog) pisses me off. It's going to be one heck of a long day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

World Trade Center Accra?

My goodness! There's a World Trade Center in Gh.

A couple of days ago, I was driving home when one of my passengers (I usually give a ride to some of my colleagues after work) asked me what some building was. I looked at it and passed a very uninterested remark like it's probably for one of the bank's or it's just going to house some offices or something. Now, this building is real huge and right next to the British Council.

So, I forget about it until this morning. I'm driving to work and I do what everyone else does when they see the amber light (I guess it officially now means speed up and beat the red light) but unfortunately I'm not successful. So here I am patiently waiting for the light to change green (it's the traffic light right after the British Council coming from the TUC traffic light) and thinking about Kwaku Doe because that used to be his spot when I just look to my left and there it was. A banner hanging from this building saying "World Trade Center Accra". Then it goes on to say office space and shops to rent or something like that.

How original can you be! Let's just hope it doesn't suffer the same fate as its name sake in the US. Matter of fact I should probably start changing my route (same route I use to and from work) just in case.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

WOMANIZER???

On my way to work this morning, I'm listening to the radio and I hear this hip life song playing about "why do women like womanizers". Now, I wasn't particularly blown away by the song but the lyrics got my attention.

Why do women like womanizers, players, whatever you want to call them anyways? Could it be that somewhere inside of us we secretly love the drama they bring? Imagine being with a "good" guy who never brings any drama your way. Snooping through his cell phone would be a useless venture because all you'll see are text messages to and from his mama and pastor. The last ten outgoing and received calls will probably be to and from his boss, his mama and again his pastor. He calls you all the time (you probably have to never call him because he does that always). Picking an argument with him is an even more useless venture because he won't even start, he'll just let you win (where is the fun in that?). What on earth would you get to nag and b**** about? And then again there's the whole appeal that "bad" boys seem to have (whatever the reason is, I honestly have no idea).

I know I love drama, I thrive on it sometimes and I'm sure a whole lot of ladies do too (even if you may not admit it and profess to be looking for your "good" guy blah blah blah... Thing is you can't have drama when you feel like it and then expect it to go away when you don't want it. You are either sticking with your drama free "good" guy or settling for your "bad" boy and expect drama even when you are not in the mood.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The "Green Phone"

Looks like the “Green Phone” will start working real soon. I see they are digging all over the place and laying cables and they’ve even started painting people’s shops in their names (what’s up with that anyways? It makes the whole city look like a mobile telephony circus and it really is confusing sometimes. I walked into a shop that was painted in the colours of one of the mobile telephone service provider’s colours to buy airtime only to realise it was a hair salon and they did not sell mobile phone credits).

I honestly do love the competition we have here in Ghana in the mobile telephony industry. It keeps the service providers on their toes trying to outdo each other in order to impress us. Some countries do not enjoy this and have to make do with whatever service (most of which is way too expensive) they get. Unfortunately, (I believe I speak for myself and a whole lot of people) we all seem be stuck in a very bad relationship we just cannot get out of. You know how people are stuck in abusive relationships which they may complain about over and over again but despite all the ass whooping they get, they just can’t seem to leave.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about the relationship quite a number of us seem to have with the “Yellow Phone”. Complain as much as we want to, we still just can’t seem to get out of this relationship. The most we’ve been able to do is cheat on the “Yellow Phone” with other partners. Here I am, saddled with my abusive “Yellow Phone”, the “Blue Phone” and the other “Red Phone”. Hmmmmmmm... it’s not easy at all trying to maintain three partners. Sometimes I wonder why I just don’t throw my “Yellow Phone” away and stick with just one partner. I’ve asked myself that so many times that now, I don’t even bother anymore. So far, all the other phones have been able to do is make me cheat on the “Yellow Phone” but not completely leave it. And if anyone were to ask who my main partner is, I would say the “Yellow Phone” because on days when I just do not have the strength to deal with all my partners, I just leave the others at home and carry my “Yellow Phone” with me.

Hopefully, the “Green Phone” will come and swoop me off my feet and then it will be adieu to this abusive partner of mine and yeah, then I’ll get rid of my stand in partners too. I do long for the day when I will be able to live in this world without having to cheat and stay faithful to just one phone.

And oh, “Green Phone” the others have given us cash, cars and now houses, I hope you will be bringing along my husband and kids. If you do that, you will be my one and only for life.

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...