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


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.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Plight of a Hungry Man - Part Six

I've given up on Kwaku Doe. It's been a whole week and I haven't set eyes on him. He obviously has moved on and I believe so should I. He's either found a more profitable spot or maybe he's got a job. Whatever it is, I guess I'll just leave it to my imagination.

I'm not done though... Today I saw something, well more like someone who totally got my attention. Just at the TUC traffic light, there was this man who I thought to be mentally challenged because he had dreadlocks and though he wasn't too shabbily dressed, he was standing in front of one of the cars and appeared to be talking. Now, I saw his lips move and all but he was looking to the sky. What struck me as odd was the driver of the car didn't make an attempt to move (well, there really was no where for him to go because the traffic light  was red) and he didn't even bother to roll up his windows. Honestly, I was scared for the driver of the car. Any which ways, when the driver paid him no mind, this man moved away and I was just hoping and praying that he wouldn't make his way to my car (but if he did, I was prepared to turn on my hazard lights and honk my way through the red light). Well he didn't come to my car but it was when he moved away that I saw what got my attention.

The dreadlocked (hope that's a word in the English Dictionary), not so shabbily dressed man had a stick which he used to guide himself! Now, for all of y'all that are slow and didn't get that, the man is blind. OMG! The blind man knows what's up. He got swag. He got dreads.

Well of course my ever so suspicious mind started wondering if he really is blind or if that was just an attempt to make a little something something for himself. But if he really is blind, that is something. Maybe he had the dreads before he went blind and decided to keep it or maybe it's the kind of dreads that mentally challenged people on the streets develop because they don't take care of their hair. Whatever it is, that guy totally and completely caught my eye this morning and put a smile on my face (actually, he got me laughing).

So, I'm out. I've put Kwaku Doe to bed and will get at something else next week. I do hope he doesn't decide to turn up next week because I've like seriously lost interest. He should stay where ever he's at and leave me alone (still sounding absurdly crazy).

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Plight of a Hungry Man - Part Five

What's up with Kwaku Doe anyways? Ah! He seems to have disappeared. I know I was late today as well (didn't take yesterday's mental note into consideration) but really he got a job to go to at 8am or something? I got there just about 8am and he wasn't there. Where could he possibly have going at that time? I was actually considering giving him some money so  I could see him up close and then maybe determine if he got mental issues or something. He really is messing everything up or maybe I am messing things up with my lateness.

Come to think of it, he just might have moved on and found a better spot. Business wasn't exactly booming at the spot I'm used to seeing him at. I really hope he hasn't. I do want a chance to see him up close though. I will not be late for the rest of this week. If by Friday I still haven't seen him, I'll just give up and move on with my life (ok, now that just sounds crazy but he's really holding things up for me). He better show up real soon or I'm finding a new interest.

Next update: Friday. Hopefully I'll have something to report by then. 

In the mean time, has anyone ever wondered why it is that at the start of most relationships (from what I've heard and experienced and seen) the guy is all smitten doing all the chasing, the girl doing all the running, ignoring, avoiding etc. and then when the two do land together after approximately 3 months everything changes? It's the girl that's smitten and doing all the chasing and the guy doing all the running, ignoring, avoiding etc.

Watch this space. New Series coming up soon! Kwaku Doe is getting tired and old. Besides he's being uncooperative by not showing up at his usual spot.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Plight of a Hungry Man - Part Four

After my pledge to leave the house early every morning for work, I tried to make that “dream” a reality. I woke up early, did all I got to do and then what happened? I had a wardrobe emergency! (Mental note: pick out what you going to wear, try it on to see if it still fits and iron it the night before).

As I drove towards work, I knew I’d miss Kwaku Doe and as if my being late wasn’t enough, the rain comes down. Hmmmmm... yeah, I did miss him. Either I was too late or the rain drove him away or he just didn’t show up. Whatever it was, I’ll just have to wait till tomorrow.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Plight of a Hungry Man - Part Three

I didn`t see Kwaku Doe this morning and I found myself worrying about him. Really don`t know why I`m so affected by him. Maybe it was the look on his face. Well, whatever it was, I`ll just have to wait till Monday. I was late this morning. He probably has a particular time he stands at the traffic light. I probably just missed him.

At least now I got motivation to leave home early for work.

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...