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.

1 comment:

  1. It is a good thing that he is hopeful about becoming a productive citizen soon.
    He probably strolls to that spot, from the psych hospital. Maybe he knows what meds he needs but can't get them.


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