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.

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...