Dear Mzbel, No One Else Will Say It, So I Will: I’m So Sorry

Mzbel:

I am not one of your fans. I can’t name a single song you’ve performed and up until yesterday I have been mispronouncing your name, referring to you as “Mmm-zee-bell” instead of “Mizz Bell”. I only have a passing familiarity with your person and your brand.

I only mention all this to let you know that what I am about to write does not come from a place of bias or fealty, but from compassion as a woman and fellow Ghanaian. And because I am a woman and a Ghanaian, I hurt for you. As a mother of 4 myself, I hurt WITH you. What I’ve seen you endure these previous days has been unconscionable. It is beneath the dignity of our humanity and every Ghanaian who condones this behavior must hang their head in shame and ask whatever deity they serve to cleanse and forgive them.

A friend sent me the audio clip of an interview you did after a mob showed up at your house and camped out for one hour, shouting for you to come out. It immediately triggered images of the Ku Klux Klan assembling outside of the homes and businesses of their quarry, hell-bent on a lynching that evening. I imagine the very “tough” men who stood outside of your wall would have been proud and satisfied with their display of ruthless violence. Like Klanners who collected bones and body parts of the lynched as trophies, they too will surely sit around with their friends over beers and gleefully admit that they too were there.

“I went to Mzbel’s house and shook her! Hahahahaa! God is good.”

Fine group of men. What valor they displayed. Surely their ancestors and all of Heaven are clapping for them for this display. Surely the people who have maligned you online for showing vulnerability in the face of this intimidation are equally proud of their viciousness.

The people responsible for these atrocities will never say it, so it’s left to me to stand in the gap: I am sorry. I am so sorry that you had to go through such terrifying intimidation and that your children were present as it happened. That your precious kids had to witness this beastly behavior in their countrymen, to whom they are supposed to show respect and deference after this.

I’m sorry that the voices of women’s groups and advocates are eerily silent in the face of this assault. One can only guess why the women who were scrambling behind the scenes formulating hashtags like #TheyThreatenedRapeAndMurder to defend one women are quiet when a woman who was actually sexually assaulted and robbed finds herself barricaded behind her doors years later. The cynic in me believes that this is their partisan bias fueling their silence, and my inner cynic is rarely wrong.

I’m sorry that we both come from a country where some women’s lives and right to safety are worth more than others because of age, political affiliation, class and ethnicity…

I’m sorry we come from a country where women are not believed about their assaults unless they are the perfect victim. Why would anyone believe YOU, Mzbel? You’re brash, sexually liberated and an unwed mother. You are not worthy in the eyes of our average pious citizen.

I’m sorry that your chosen profession – an entertainer – automatically makes you a celebrity, and therefore precludes you from participating in the political process by campaigning for the candidate you believed in.

I’m sorry scientists are not considered celebrities in Ghana and that the burden to excite the populace about the political engagement falls on artists alone.

I’m sorry Ghanaians in opposition are not mature enough to allow you the freedom to campaign for a candidate you believe(d) in without threatening physical harm in the wake of their fresh victory.

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I’m sorry that Ghanaian politics is so immature that you felt like you had to say and do the things you said in order to connect with the voting population.

I’m sorry you didn’t feel like you could elevate the discourse and still be heard, because honestly, our people’s frequency isn’t tuned into Reason, and the only pitch they seem to understand is Insults. If we are not shouting at, insulting and now assaulting each other, our voices are deemed to somehow lack strength. And as MPs and pastors show us every day, there is no better way to demonstrate your strength than my intimidating, denigrating and beating women.

I’m sorry that the same party that ousted the one you support – who called NDC hooligans and thugs – have exhibited the same hooliganism and thuggery both online and off. I’m sickened by their hypocrisy.

I’m sorry our people have lost compassion and decency. I don’t know how a person could listen to your narration and still find it within their spirit to call you an ashawo who deserves everything she’s getting because you made a parody of their preferred candidate.

I’m sorry Ghanaians are not mature enough to understand the use of parody.

I’m sorry Ghanaians can’t discern between fake news and real media outlets, and that real media outlets accept soli and end up distributing fake news. I hear some factions are expelling you to Burkina Faso based on a satirical fabrication.

I’m sorry satire – indigestible by our poorly educated population – has poisoned reason and killed the ability to engage in discourse.

But most of all, I’m sorry that in this new era, we are not Ghanaians first. That as this new dawn rises, it becomes clearer that Ghana is for some and not for all.

I’m sorry you had to find out this way.

mzbel-otanfo

 

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8 thoughts on “Dear Mzbel, No One Else Will Say It, So I Will: I’m So Sorry

  1. Ama

    It was sickening to hear women say ‘she brought it on herself’. Ghana is on a fast trip to inhumanity!

  2. efplange

    “Mmm-zee-bell” hahahaha! (On a much lighter note.)
    I cringed at the voice on the other end when I listened to the audio. He sounded so callous so I am not that surprised the intimate conversation was actually recorded and leaked. For her to have been that vulnerable with him, she obviously regarded this dude as a “safe space” and I am actually disappointed in whomever it was she confided in. Who are we to trust now?

    1. Malaka Post author

      There’s plenty of disappointment to distribute. I’m particularly disappointed in women.

      Or a particular segment of women, I should say. I’ve seen them all, and I will never put my trust in them should I fall victim to the same sorts of attacks the Mzbel, Lydia Forson and co have fallen to. Pit of vicious vipers.

  3. African Futurist

    Demoncrazy brings out the worst in people, and I still cannot accept that the best way to unite a country is to divide it into multiple teams and get them to fight each other every 4 years… to my horror, some women were most vociferous in their justification of mobs intimidating mzBel and the children in her house… you are so right, politics is doing a fantastic job of dehumanizing us into accepting that hell is good punishment for anybody who does not belong to their party…. hold on, it sounds like I am talking about religion!!! Can we see the similarity between these two evil imports that will continue to divide, rape and rule us until we wake up…

  4. Owusua

    I’m sorry that Mzbel is going through this, I truly am but people need to understand that their actions come with consequences. I refuse to see gender in this situation just just like I did in the Hannah Tetteh George Andah fight. As women we can’t hide behind our feminity. The nonsense she spewed in a video during elections was bound to come to haunt her. A lot of female celebrities publicly supported the NDC, why is she the only one being attacked? I like Mzbel, I don’t listen to her music but after the abuse she suffered many years ago, I developed a soft spot for her. I hope she is alright.

    1. Malaka Post author

      These results overstep the bounds of any consequences of the initial action. Intimidating someone at their house is terrorism, plain and simple. There is NOTHING she did or said that warrants this type of zealous retaliation. No matter what she said, she does not deserve to have her civil rights trampled on. If we are Ghanaians are to live in a democracy, all have to learn to accept their responsibilities while they push for their rights.

      Your other question: Other celebs have said worse than Mzbel and have been left alone because Ghanaians know who they can bully and get away with. We are essentially a nation of cowards.

      And as for Hannah and George, the dude played himself. I don’t care for Hannah, but I stand for truth. Turns out he was reacting to hearsay and he was forced to admit that. Let’s not ever use him or his behavior as an example to justify any notion, please.

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