In February, 2015, the entire internet world found itself spellbound by one burning question: Was the dress blue and black or white and gold?
Think pieces ensued. Twitter wars erupted. Event the scientific community got involved in an attempt to settle the debate. Remember that? Well, not one to be left out of a viral cultural skirmish, Ghanaians had their own #TheDress moment on the waning of the Best Black History Month that ever was… Except for this part of the world, it was like Black Excellence in reverse.
We all wanted to know: Was this bed made in Ghana? And more importantly, where could one purchase it?
I first saw this image and the accompanying text on a friend’s page. I was impressed – completely skeptical about the verascity of the claims that this was a Made in Ghana item – but impressed nevertheless.
Josh did not share my optimism and was quick to share his doubts.
“But to be honest I doubt it was made there (Kumasi) oooo.”
“You think it was just assembled in Kumasi?” I asked.
He confirmed that the latter was most likely the case, at least in his mind. Well 5,500+ shares, 12K likes and 1600+ comments later, Ghanaians are still trying to figure out where to buy this bed – and more importantly – if it’s even possible to for our manufacturers to produce something of this apparent quality. Suddenly, the bunk bed became a symbol and a judgment of our abilities as a nation.
First, there was admiration; which was only natural. It IS a pretty stunning bed:
This was immediately followed up by an admonishment to the metal workers who ply their trade on roadsides and barren wastelands by someone who has probably never built so much as a butter tin in his life.
Naturally, like a shark sniffing blood, this 419 scammer came out of the woodwork and began posting the same message again and again (and again!) in reply to any query concerning where to purchase the purported Kumasi-made bed. Ironically, you could only get it in Accra.
Ever on the look out for the immortal soul of our neighbor, this young man prayed in earnest that any success that the Kumasi manufacturers might experience would not go to their heads. (The worst sin a Ghanaian could ever commit is to be proud of his/her work and SHOW it.)
Not far behind came the KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) guys, who have blessed the country with inventions such as locally manufactured generators, car batteries and light bulbs.
Let me stop lying. I don’t think a KNUST invention has ever gone to market; or at least, I’ve never heard of one.
WHOEVER this company was, they must be reputable! But why wouldn’t they reveal their name? This was maddening!
Of course came the call on the government to provide these types of beds in the country’s overcrowded dorm rooms and boarding schools. This I know will never happen, unless Dr. Bawumia goes on a tour of the country and promises to fulfill the orders himself. It seems this is the only way to get the ruling NDC to fulfill their obligations…
Right on cue, the naysayers raised their voices. Things in made in Ghana are too expensive (and they are), so it’s better we continue to import more affordable items, rather then supporting local industries.
BUT! Before we can do that, we have to ascertain if this bed was made in Ghana in the first place! Why, as sister Cornelia asks, would anyone doubt that?
Somehow, this became a race issue…
But what is a cultural debate and self-interrogation without bringing our Naija frenemies into the foray? I don’t know what this girl was yammering about, but she was pretty passionate about.
Finally, someone asked the obvious question:
As it turns out, and as you may have suspected by now, the bed is neither made nor sold in Ghana at all. It’s available at SEARS for close to $600. Given how much interest there is in the item, any importer could pick up 4-5 of them, triple the price and make a killing in the Ghanaian market. I hope someone does.
You ever hear the phrase “I just came for the comments”? I couldn’t help but come back every few days since the post was originally put up to see what people were saying next. It was like a moth being drawn to a flame or like watching a train wreck unfold before your very eyes…and just as sad. Ghanaians are so desperate for a win, to prove that we can excel at something beyond fashion and music, that we’d go to these lengths to congratulate ourselves on an item that doesn’t exist in an industry that doesn’t have the means to support its creation.
The ancestors must be rolling in their graves.