Category Archives: Madness

There is only one person who brings drama and madness into my life, and that is my douche bag baby daddy from a previous relationship, whom I am tasked to deal with, courtesy of the Georgia Judicial system. I hope he DOESN’T get hit by a bus this week…

‘African Soul’ Album Launch: Ambolley in Concert, Featuring Wanlov & M.anifest …I Hate Anyone Who is Going.

The concert tomorrow, May 29th at 8pm at Alliance Française in Accra.

Tsewww. Google the details yourself. I ain’t here to talk about no daggum concert. I’m here to talk about my angsty emotions about missing said concert.

On May 29th, my one and only son turns six years old. But please believe that if I had the opportunity to hop on a plane and jet over to Accra to be a part of this concert, I’d do it. I’d miss Stone’s birthday, leave him with a bottle of Coke and some bubbles, and I’d go see Ambolley in concert rather than spend the evening with him. I’m not saying that I LOVE Gyedu Ambolley more than I love my son…I’m just saying that I love him a lot. Besides, I’ve known Ambolley longer than Stone.

The Simigwa Hene and I have a very strong e-relationship. Okay, fine. We USED to have a strong relationship. I was hoping that it would one day manifest into a full-bloomed Shakespearean love-triangle-tragedy… but it didn’t. I don’t know what happened! One day, all transmission between us stopped. I never stopped loving him, though. And I know deep down inside, he has not forgotten and still loves meeeeee… (Along with his other legions of adoring fans.)

This love I speak of? Me, I have proof o! The Innanets is forever, and even though I will miss seeing him live – AGAIN – I still have the many tweets we exchanged with one another two years ago. I infrequently press them close to my virtual bosom and sigh losing myself in the reverie of what never would have been, interpreting his every innocent word into whatever meaning I desire.

Ambolley tracks my sleeping habits because I’m THAT important to him:

Ambolley Up early

And then there was the time he asked me to move in with him:

Ambolley aske me to move

This one time, he allowed me to do a mini-interview with him, thinking that everything to know about him was already known. Nuh uh! There’s always more than meets the eye with a man such as this. Look at his answers.His favorite color is RED? Everyone knows MY favorite color is red! Ambolley was showing me how kindred we truly are:

Ambolly queAmbolley answers

Ambolley thinks I’m funny. Any proper man knows that the way to a woman’s heart is to tell her she’s funny. Look at how he just snatched the beating muscle out of my chest:

Ambolley thinks im funny

Sighhhh….

ALL my friends and “friends” are going to this concert tomorrow. I feel like the one kid whose mother didn’t allow her to go to the Shabba Ranks concert because it “cost too much money” or “the boys will be too rowdy” and was forced to sit home and mutter midnight prayers instead. It’s not fair. It’s not right!

But guess what, suckas? MY name is on the sleeve notes of The Simigwahene’s re-released album. Mine. Malaka Grant. Open it and see for yourselves. Muahahahaaa!!!

Who am I fooling? It’s not the same as being in the crowd, sweating out my yellow-yellow to my spiritual boo’s signature baritone growl.

I (don’t) hope you all have fun.

How To (Not) Write About Africa When You’re an African

“Who gave you the right to judge who is fit to be a Negro, and who is not?” – Captain Davenport, A Soldier’s Story.

Have you ever seen A Soldier’s Story? I LOVE that movie. It came out in 1984. I saw it when I was on summer holiday in Detroit at my cousin Cookie’s house. Cookie is 15 years or so my senior, and is responsible for introducing me to situations and events that no 7-8 year old should be exposed to. It was Cookie who introduced me to the workings of how roll and share joint. (I never developed a taste or a need for weed, however.) It was at Cookie’s house that my hair learned submission, as she made sure it was always pressed and my edges laid. Cookie is the one who allowed my sister and I to watch Color Purple and Purple Rain – two films that were (and are) a far cry from the permissible G-rated films in my parent’s house. It was at my Cousin Cookie’s house that I learned and earned a measure of “blackness” that has afforded me relatability with other Black Americans…because in 1984, I wasn’t Black/African American: I was just African; at least according to the neighborhood kids who mocked my name and accent.

Most of my life has been spent existing as a “social chameleon”, something commonly referred to as “code switching” today. If I found myself in Black American company, my accent and mannerisms were altered so as not to draw too much attention to how different I might be. The same goes for when I am in presence of Ghanaians or other Africans. It’s not intentional, but my speech becomes slightly more accented so much so that the listener is inclined to ask “Where are you from?”

“Ghana,” I reply. I don’t typically feel like going into the nuances of my mixed heritage, hybrid birth, or a childhood spent existing on two continents simultaneously. For better or not, I have opted to identify as “Ghanaian”.

Self-identification is a powerful choice. The decision to select who or what you call yourself is the epitome of self-actualization. It is for that reason that institutions and thought Nazis spend a great deal of effort stripping individuals and groups of that choice and right. Africans are not exempt from the propensity to police the choices of others.

Last night I had a conversation with a good friend of mine that kept me up for a greater portion of the evening. She lives in Ghana is on assignment in another part of Africa for a conference on writing. There is a possibility that this conference may be moved to Ghana next year, and she told me that I need to make plans to participate. I was humbled and thrilled that she would think to include me on a panel discussion on African writers. We were leaving voice notes on What’sApp, and later in the evening, I get this message from her:

“Malaka. I just thought I should give you this feedback. I mentioned your name to one of the organizers at the conference, and he balked at the mention of it. He said ‘Malaka? The one who wrote the Kony article? You want her to participate?’ He said he used to read your blog, but you put him off with that article.”

I was stunned.

“Joseph Kony? Wasn’t that like 5 or 6 years ago?”

I wracked my brains to determine what I would have written that was so awful that it would put off another African! We all agreed that Joseph Kony was/is a horrible human being who committed the worst kind of atrocities. What did I say? And why is this dude still mad x years later?

“Well, he said that you wrote about the story in the way that a typical white person would have,” she replied. “He said you don’t even live on the continent and have no first-hand knowledge of the situation.”

It was insinuated that I confine myself to writing about topics that I am an expert in. There has been much ado in both social and traditional media in the past few years about how Africa is covered, with much criticism levied at the West for the lens it employs. Komla Dumor gave an excellent TEDx Talk on the topic as well. So to be told I was talking about Africa in the way a typical white person would…ouch.

In light of that, I asked her to give the unnamed man my apologies and thought about what he said all night. Finally, I came to the following conclusion:

NAW PLAYA

I am SO SICK of this silencing tactic Africans employ to cut other Africans out of the conversation. We are always finding ways to separate ourselves, not just on the continent, but as a race. Some of the most profound and enduring musings on Africa have come from “non-Africans”, like Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey. Are we to discount and rubbish those because neither of these gentlemen ‘lived on the continent’? I’m not putting myself in the same intellectual league as Malcolm X, but what I AM saying is that geography is irrelevant.

I was born at Korle Bu.

My school fees helped to build and expand several campuses in Accra.

I too have known the pain of malaria and felt the sting of a cane.

I can point to a town where the Larteh hene will welcome me ‘home’ and tell me how my great-grandfather was instrumental in developing the area.

I’m a Ghanaian, and in 2015, I live in Atlanta. I have just as much right to comment on the goings on on the Continent as the slum kid who lives at Agbogbloshie. But let’s drill that all the way back, so we can all see how incredibly condescending at short sighted this line of thinking is. Keep in mind that this train of thought is something numerous Blacks and Africans are guilty of, not just the gentleman in question who I offended.

Argument: You don’t even live on the continent! You can’t talk.

Solution: I move to Togo. Now I can talk.

Scenario: A skirmish breaks out in Ivory Coast. I talk.

Argument: You don’t live IN Ivory Coast. You can’t talk.

Solution: I pack up and move to Ivory Coast. I talk.

Argument: But you are not FROM Ivory Coast. You can’t talk.

Solution: I forge relationships with native Ivoirians, read a few articles where I can (I still have 4 kids and a family to look after, don’t I?), formulate my views, and I talk.

Argument: But you have never lived IN the exact area where the skirmish has taken place. You are just talking as an outsider. You have no right to talk!

 

O_o

At this point, it’s obvious that the problem isn’t where I pay my rent or my taxes, it’s my view that it so bothersome. If the objector would admit that, I can respect that. But to propose that my view as an African about African events is somehow invalidated by virtue of where I lay my head at night is…preposterous. It always will be. So now the Lost Boys of Sudan can’t have an opinion about Xenophobia in South Africa because they are living on Minnesota? Ahhnba!

I looked up the offending article last night to see what could cause this gentleman so much angst that my name would turn to ash in his mouth. It was written in 2012 (not 5-6 years ago). There were 102 comments. There were many people who agreed with my sentiments, and just as many who didn’t. Most of us are “Africans”…and that means we are not a monolith with one singular view. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a word. Not a syllable. It is the same sentiment I shared on the Chibok Kidnappings or #BringBackOurGirls. All I wanted to know – what I STILL want to know – is why we as Africans aren’t doing more to demand accountability from our leadership and from ourselves. Why aren’t we championing our own causes with extreme vigor? Why aren’t we looking inward for our own solutions?

This difference between 2012 and 2015 is the Africans’ use of social media to connect and contribute to the development of the Continent; and despite the push back from those who are so comfortable with the status quo we in the Diaspora and at home have seen the needle move by our collective efforts. I’m not going to let anyone take that from me.

Who gave you the right to judge who is an African and who is not?

The Foreboding Message in Walov’s Revolutionary Song, ‘Never Go Change’

When Michael Kwame Gbordzoe composed the lyrics to our national anthem,  ‘God Bless Our Homeland, Ghana’ culminating the first stanza with the refrain:

And help us to resist oppressor’s rule, with all our will and might forevermore

I wonder if he ever imagined that the government elected by the people, for the people, would eventually morph into the oppressor of the people.

There is no doubt that citizens are feeling burdened and hopeless in the country right now, and that is directly as a result of the way the country is being governed. From the executive office of the president, to the religious leaders that sway the emotions of the people, to our municipal mayors and educators, there is a frenzied – almost primal need to subjugate those who find themselves under the authority of anyone in these groups. Ghana has long been considered a hard place to live, but it is only recently that it has become near impossible for the native Ghanaian to thrive in his/her own homeland. Ghana is very kind to the expatriate corps, who navigate the system with ease thanks to the privilege that being paid in dollars/pounds sterling. Ghanaians themselves will go out of their way to show a foreigner that their lives and desires are preferred above their own. This has contributed to the climate and attitude that the native Ghanaian is not worth serving to one’s best. It is an attitude that Ghana’s political elite display with wanton flagrance, insulting the population and then offering half-hearted apologies for political expediency, if any at all.

It is in this bleak climate that Wanlov the Kubolor has penned what many consider the song of the soon coming revolution, ‘Never Go Change’. (The video released was online two days ago). The melody is haunting, the message a warning. The single black and whaite shot of what appears to be a homeless, but hardworking man sweating in his toil is a portent and reflection of life for the average Ghanaian today. I asked Kubolor to talk about his motivation for the arrangement and lyrics of the song.

wanlov-kubolor-resized

MOM: Musically, I think it’s a BIT of a departure from your usual subject matter. You usually tackle sexual attitudes and religion (this has earned you the moniker “controversial”)…so why politics now?

Wanlov: Musically it is because I am known for rapping/singing on beats, but I started listening to Sixto Rodriguez over 2 years now and have been learning acoustic guitar from Kyekyeku & Tumi Ansah (M3NSA’s dad). Also dumsor is to blame for me learning guitar…but I think you meant topic-wise. I have always rapped/sung about politics from jump. The first song on my first album “Green Card” was called 50th Dependence and sadly all the lyrics from then are even more relevant now. 

MOM: Have you been meaning to do this song for a while, or was it spontaneous considering the political climate Ghana is in now?

Wanlov: I wrote this song a few months ago and debuted it at the Lauryn Hill concert in Accra. The crowd response gave me goosebumps. This is the song of the revolution.

MOM: ‘Never Go Change’ reminds me of Lauryn Hill’s I Find it Hard to Say (Rebel) in which she calls out authority figures for diminishing the value of Black life and oppressed people. She rhetorically asks “Why don’t you rebel”. It’s apropos that you would open for her with this!

Wanlov: [It] was not a conscious decision, but it crossed my mind to ask her to do (record) the song with me. However she was in a bad space because she had just lost her band leader so I shunned. Maybe if the song goes worldwide will ask her to revisit it with me ;)

MOM: You’re one of the few celebrities who has used his voice to address social ills. Do you take on this mandate BECAUSE of your celebrity, or does your fame give you the platform to advocate for causes you would be engaging in regardless?

Wanlov: I do not consider myself a celebrity…just an unpopular popular citizen who knows better and wants that better to be a basic Ghanaian right.

MOM: Do you expect any backlash for releasing this song, particularly for the call to “cut off their heads and splatter blood all over the walls”?

Wanlov: It would surprise me…they do not take the entire country seriously…why would they take me seriously? Besides they kill people every day through their lack of action or abundance of greedy or uninformed decisions. 

MOM: Why did you choose to use such a calm, melodic beat instead of something more angry and edgy?

Wanlov: I am past angry…I am now in the calm & calculated zone waiting for my people to arrive.

MOM: The song is a jeremiad about the flagrant display of greed in the face of so much suffering in the nation. Our political and social elite seem to be able to get away with the most heinous crimes with absolute impunity, and because they can, they do. And they will never change. But at the end of the song, you ask the listener: “Like you, you go change?” Do you think we ALL have the potential for corruption at the levels we’re seeing? And if so, is there really any hope for Ghana? It doesn’t seem to matter who we vote into power, the question keeps coming back: “Like you, you go change?” After all, these guys went to our schools and live in our communities. They are a part of us. What keeps this cycle of crap going, in your opinion?

Wanlov: The only reason something radical has not been done yet about corruption is because we are all waiting for our turn to get into a position and exploit it selfishly. We admire successful corruption stories. For example, Woyome is a hero to many. Ministers implicated in corruption are hailed and called honorable.

There is no hope for Ghana to change peacefully in the next 2 generations. My youngest sister who finished high school 2 years ago paid for a school sweater her first year. She and her mates did not get the sweater they paid for in the 3 years they attended that school till today. They were punished if they wore “non-prescribed” sweaters which they needed to because the school is in the mountains and it gets very cold when the sun sets. Upon all the maths and science and whatever they studied, the biggest practical lesson they learnt was behavioral. The teachers/staff they looked up to taught them that when you are in power you are not accountable.

Also our generation did not grow up seeing our parents bribing police by the roadside or tipping the ECG worker to not cut the illegal connection, but our children are growing up seeing this as normal…so imagine the next century…

This cycle keeps going because of the fine balance of colonial legacy, capitalism, religion, shortsightedness, nepotism, patriarchy, pretend patriotism & cultural/spiritual poverty. It has been set up nicely and will keep repeating till the pipes burst in the ever depraved marginalized slums who can’t even afford to follow a religion to sedate them. They will ravage everything shiny and attack anyone above their level of livelihood. Then Ghana will start from its ashes instead of continuing from the tree tops.

Ma bre (Translation: I’m tired)

 

Watch ‘Never Go Change’ here:

*NB: A day after this interview, news broke that Adams Mahama, the Upper East Chairman for the new Patriotic Party (NPP), had been the victim of an acid attack by two unnamed assailants. His injuries were deemed critical, and sadly cost him his life. He was part of political dispute and the victim of his own party’s in-fighting.

Politicians cannot continue to rely on the goodwill and pseudo spirituality/piety of the Ghanaian public. People are angry. People are frustrated. People are losing their capacity to tap into their compassion and humanity.

No right thinking person would condone these attacks, but ALL right thinking people must ask what sort of desperation would lead a person to resort to this kind of violence and address it at the root. The roots are obvious and exposed, but it is up to us as Ghanaians to admit that they are rotten and tend to them accordingly. It’s not as simple as “because Africans are savages”. To rely on that as an explanation is to willfully dismiss the many obvious and reoccurring wrongs in our society today.

The Make Up Tutorial That Changed My Life

Sweet shegge! Every once in a while in the barrage of perpetual angst, vitriol and anger, Facebook delivers a nugget so precious that you grab a hold of it and flee. You never want to lose the light and joy this precious thing has delivered unto you. Yesterday, one such gem filtered onto my newsfeed and I am eternally grateful!

I don’t know who this woman is. Her profile looks like it’s written in Amharic, but her accent is Kenyan. She may be a Kenyan living in Ethiopia. I don’t know. All I know is that her make up video gave me SO much life that I had to try it for myself. And it wasn’t just about the make-up: It was the life affirming words she was sharing. It was the socio-political dynamics of femininity she explored. It was the way she popped her gum between every syllable! I have to tell you MOM Squad: I have never felt so powerful and alive in my whole life! It WORKS. I felt like a local celebrity when I was through. I highly recommend you try this at home.

Please watch her video and share. If you know her name, add it to the comments section so that we can send her our gratitude in the spirit.

Who is this Empress?

Click here to watch

makeup

 

I must be like her

Are They Sellin’ Tickets to Negrotown? Get me 6!

Blogging rules dictate the I say something witty and pithy prior to advising you to click on the video below, but I don’t want to rob you of the opportunity of discovering the magic of Negrotown for yourself.

I will tell you that I’d love to move to Negrotown for the following reasons:

  • So I can welcome Spring without the fear (and foreknowledge) that the warm weather will invariably usher the violent death of an unarmed Black teen at the hands of police and cop wannabes
  • So we can wear a hoodie or bright colors without worry
  • No longer having to grapple with the scourge of colorism as a feeder into white supremacy!
  • Everyone looks so happy. ALL the time. I want to be in a place where everyone is happy – and more importantly – just human, and not a problem that the world has convinced itself it needs to fix.

CAUTION: Intermittent strong language. Hilarity will ensue.

Patriarchal Entitlement and the Delusions it Breeds

I wasn’t going to tell this story because it didn’t become relevant until I got hit on by a crackhead in Midtown last night.

samjack-gator

I met my boo Obaa Boni for a farewell dinner last night. Yes, my fair atheist, feminist maiden is leaving the Georgia’s hinterland for other shores and I wanted to fete her properly. We had a great (pricey) dinner and fabulous conversation which lingered on until the staff began to sweep and mop up around us. We talked until the restaurant shut down. It was like a scene from a 90’s romantic comedy.

After we apologized to the restaurant workers for forgetting the time, we took our conversation to the parking lot and talked for another 30 minutes where we obnoxiously let our voices carry as though it were noon, when it was in fact close to midnight. Piedmont Avenue is an interesting place. The process of gentrification has completed its metamorphosis, so there is an eclectic – and troubling – mix of Sperry sporting yuppies, the insane, and the drug addicted. The yuppies ignored us buxom African women whose conversation was sprinkled with phrases including “activism” and “liberation theology”. (Black) Men who had either fallen upon hard times or had always lived in this condition nodded politely at us, hesitating to interrupt our conversation beyond the acknowledging of our presence. I am always mindful to nod back in recognition of theirs. And then HE showed up.

The crackhead. Or meth addict. Or wino. Or whatever substance he was on that made him think he had the right to insert himself into our discourse in such a vile manner. I was captivated by the number of missing teeth behind his cracked lips, and aware of the shaking of his right hand. I never broke contact with his eyes though. You can’t be scared in these streets. His voice was low and raspy when he spoke. He interrupted Obaa in mid sentence.

“Good evening ladies, how y’all doin’?”

“Fine, how about yourself?”

“Yeah, yeah. I ain’t wanna trouble you. I just wanna (something unintelligible) and could you help a brotha out?”

Was this dude asking for money? That wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. Atlanta is overrun with panhandler. I looked at Obaa. She did not look at me. Like I said, we had just spent a small fortune in the restaurant that was our backdrop. I wasn’t in a generous mood in the least.

I answered his incomprehensible query with “We’re talking now, so you have a blessed evening now, okay bruh?”

Then he looked at me, right hand now shaking violently and responded with:

“Yeah…ok. Thank you. Bless too…I know (muttering something) and I think you’ll feel much better if you let me put this d*ck in you.”

Cool as a cucumber. No stammering, no stuttering. Surely I misheard him.

As I stood there trying to work out the words, their meaning and desperately attempting to banish the mental image of this 6’2” crackhead adorned with a painter’s cap putting his d*ck in me, I heard Obaa snap:

“Okay. That’s it! It’s time to go.”

Her lips were curled in distain.

We headed for our respective vehicles and just before I got into my car, I heard Obaa scream “Do NOT follow me!” and saw the lanky crackhead bolt down the street.

It’s okay to laugh at this point if you are. We laughed about it before we said our final goodbyes to each other. The cheek of it! This isn’t just a problem with crackheads though. This is a problem with daily interactions between men and women of a certain stature. What I am about to say may sound classist/elitist, but there’s the rub. There is no escaping it.

I am rarely out on the town without my kids, but on the rare days that I am, I prepare myself for a pass or inappropriate remark from men. It’s always been that way. I’ve accepted my truth. My kids are harassment repellent, however, and I don’t know what I’m going to do when they grow up and leave me. I’d hope that by the time I’m 50, I would no longer be subject to this reality, but a friend of mine in her late 50’s just shared how she was harangued by some dude who tried to swindle her for money while simultaneously confessing that she was a “glittering orb” or some such BS.

Anyway.

Last week I had the opportunity to get my brows done and my car washed. As I approached the salon, a dark skinned man sporting starter dreads, a faded striped Polo shirt, tinted sunglasses and 3 missing teeth asked me if I would support his artist by taking a mix-tape for a donation. Hustling mix-tapes from the trunk of the car only happens in “the hood”, and I was excited to be a part of hood culture up in Roswell. We’re finally getting some diversity! I gave him a dollar as he gabbed on about support, and making it, and blah blah blah.

“Hey sistah. You kinda beautiful. You married?”

“Yes,” I smiled. “With FOUR kids.”

(I always make it a point to emphasis the number of children I have, after some guy told me that he didn’t care that I was married. He wasn’t looking to get with my husband, after all.)

The man with the missing teeth then whooped his surprise, peppered me with more personal questions about my hair and nail regimen, called me an African Queen and let me go on my way. When I got to the car wash, the attendant took my money, complimented my hair, and followed my “thank you” with:

“So what do you do in your spare time?”

I guffaw, sending spit flying all over the dashboard. “I have no spare time. I have FOUR kids.”

Deflated, the attendant drops his shoulders and hands me back my card, telling me he hopes to see me around again.

“I’m sure you will. I have been coming here for 5 years.”

I enter the car wash tunnel and chuckle in amusement.

These people. Aba. How do you think you are qualified to talk to me in this manner? How do you see me? Haram!

Imagine if I go to Google today-today for a job. I don’t have an appointment. I have never sent my resume. I have just showed up at the door, wearing my Wednesday Worst. Somehow, I make it past the gatekeepers and score a 2 minute audience with Sergei Brin and Larry Page.

“Sergei! Larry! I have come to apply!” I shout.

“Okay…never heard of you before, but it’s cool. Can you code?”

“No.”

“Can you write an algorithm?”

“No.”

“Can you repair or design hardware?”

“No.”

“Any sales experience maybe? Good at admin work perhaps?”

“I sold shoes part time once, but no. No high level sales.”

“Did you go to a top flight school? We only accept applicants from top flight schools…”

“Well, I went to community college for a year. Got kicked out for possession though. But yeah, I been to school.”

Sergei, Larry and I all stare at each other in silence. I break the silence with:

“Look, all I know is, I want this job, and you’ll feel much better if you let me put this d*ck in you.”

 

Sergey and Larry be like "What? What she say??"

Sergey and Larry be like “What? What she say??”

Should I be surprised when they have security roughly escort me out? Men have been told their whole lives that they have to “hunt” for women. Even that’s true (and it’s garbage), you can’t show up to the chase with toothpicks and napkins. You didn’t put in the work to chop some of the spoils. You are not qualified. Why are you here?

So please, gentlemen. Advise yourselves. Despite what patriarchal customs and norms have informed you, you are not all qualified to enter. Look at the woman/girl you are approaching and then look at yourself. Evaluate the data. Face the facts. Don’t let chauvinism delude you oooo! You are not automatically entitled to a woman’s time, attention or a response.

Google!
 

The Prowler: Part 2

Rape? What sort of absurdity was this accusation?

Rape

The word swirled around in Kwafo Danso’s consciousness like a sour note…a bad tune. The tall girl had accused him of rape! How dare she…she who made no fight to push him off. If she didn’t fight, it meant she was willing. Everyone knows that Ghanaian girls say “no” when what they really mean is “try a little harder.”

Kwafo rubbed his temples and sucked on his lower lip. It was dry and cracked. The air at the Airport jail cell was decidedly different. This air stank of despair, human excrement and forgotten souls. He did not like this air at all. But at least he had his friends and supporters who never wavered in their devotion.

“Kofi, did you bring the croissants like I asked?”

Kwafo’s sidekick handed him a parchment bag through the bars. Then he handed him a cup of Nescafe.

“How are you bearing up, boss?”

“Chale, it’s positively wretched in here,” Kwafo spat. “I can’t believe this foolish girl took me to the police for rape!”

Kofi curled his lip and said, “They all want the sex, but when you give to them, they act like they regret. Don’t worry, boss. God is on your side.”

God. Yes…yes! That was the answer. Kwafo furrowed his brow and gave Kofi a hard stare.

“Send the lawyers to visit the family. Send them to her church too. She was a virgin, which means definitely she’s under some church leadership. Get them to tell her she must forgive me for Christ’s own sake. Tell them how I am suffering!”

“Yes, boss,” Kofi nodded.

“Remember: She must forgive me for Christ’s sake!”

It worked. Just weeks later, Kwafo was out of jail and the tall girl had withdrawn her complaint. He was a free man! And not a moment too soon. He had not had a decent shower or eaten from decent dinner wear in ages. The first thing to do was to find his best suit, his cane and show everyone in town that the law in Ghana works as it should. Even though this child-turned woman had harmed him, he would show benevolence and pen a letter on her behalf. His friends in the media would happily disseminate it.

“Afi and I gave in to our mutual lusts and for that we have sinned. I humbly ask the public to respect the privacy of both her family and mine in this difficult time…”

Heh heh heh… Prince Charles himself couldn’t have written that better. Hmmm… He wondered if Oswald Boateng would consider making him a new bespoke suit? Ah! Now what? What was this news that his lawyer was bringing him?

“What do you mean, the Attorney General is bringing a case against me?”

“They say they still have a duty and a right to prosecute the crime, Kwafo,” the lawyer replied.

Kwafo Danso was enraged. “This is nonsense! The girl’s church and parents got her to back off. Now what does the State want here again?”

He flung his teacup against the wall. The crash brought his nineteen year old daughter rushing into the room.

“Daddy! Is everything ok?”

“Nothing to worry about, pumpkin. I’m just a little frustrated, is all.”

“Don’t worry, Daddy,” she grinned. “It will be okay.”

Kwafo Danso stared into his daughter’s eyes. She was so young, so innocent, so trusting…

 

*****

 

The battle for his freedom went on for four months, but at long last on April 22, 2015, Kwafo Danso was acquitted of the crime of rape. The Church had pleaded heavily on his behalf. The public had made it clear that this pursuit was a waste of taxpayer money. News had reached him that Afi was on suicide watch, but she was a Ghanaian girl. She was strong. She could handle it. What was he to do now, now that his image was in tatters? He would have to rebuild. But it was okay. All great men have to rebuild at some point.

His daughter breezed into the foyer where he was straightening his tie. She brought him his favorite cane and his white fedora.

She was gushing, and she was a vision in white. “Ready to celebrate, Papa?”

“Absolutely! Everyone is going to be there, you know. It will be such a fun time.”

“I hope the chef makes those salmon croquettes I love so much,” she grinned. “Come on! Everyone is waiting!”

“You know I would do anything to protect you… don’t you, pumpkin?”

The child laughed heartily. “Yes, Papa. I know. Now come on!”

Father and daughter pulled up to the African Regent, where the air was heavy with exotic cologne spritzed on Accra’s elite and transient residents. They were there to celebrate his acquittal.  As the double doors loomed, Kwafo felt a stirring in his pants…excitement in his loins. A waitress with a slim waist and long legs brought him a warm croissant and cup of tea soon after he was seated. She looked at him with stars in her eyes and a warm grin. As she leaned in to set his food before him, he whispered how beautiful he thought her legs were.

“Thank you, Mr. Danso! I grew up listening to you on the radio. I’m one of your biggest fans. Would you be kind enough to autograph this napkin for me?”

“Of course! Tell me…do you know if suite 202 is vacant?”

She shook her head. “I don’t know, but I can certainly find out for you.”

Kwafo Danso barred his teeth in a wide, secretive grin.

“Thanks love. Don’t stray too far. I may need you later.”

Yes: life in Ghana is good for some men. God bless the system. God bless Ghana.