Rape? What sort of absurdity was this accusation?
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 Just weeks later, Kwafo was out of jail and the tall girl had withdrawn her complaint.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.