This article is based on a true story, but luckily, the house girl escaped, and after many years of being destitute and sleeping by the streets, she learnt the trade of dress-making, and is a successful seamstress now. Others may not be as lucky as she was…
Small girl…in her early teens, and already she has three children. The first one is just a year younger than her. The last was just born a month ago. Their birth certificates don’t indicate that she is their mother, but she is, because their biological mother is just that by name. She was sold off by her parents to the highest bidder. Considering that there are so many others like her, that doesn’t say much about her selling price.
She looks at the world with a sparkle in her eye. Looks like she is yearning to know something bigger than her. She loves her children, and they probably love her more than they love the woman who gave birth to them(the term ‘mother’ seized to be her description her the moment her house girl was hired).
She has to respond ‘Yes Madam’, ‘No Madam’ to everything.
Now she has accompanied her madam into the salon, and has had to stand outside to calm her baby on her back down. She re-enters, and is automatically the most poorly dressed person in the room.
Her madam is washing and making her hair all pretty, while the girl looks longingly wondering when her shaved discouraged hair will be allowed to blossom and become her glory too.
Everyone knows she is staring at them…they feel it. But the second they look up, she is looking somewhere else as though she was never looking at you. She hides her eyes as though she doesn’t want to be betrayed. The eyes after all are the windows to the soul, and her soul is suffering under the strong arm io her insufferable madam. Of course, she is not allowed to speak. We all know this…we just don’t say anything as we all laugh at the madam’s jokes in the English language, incomprehensible to the girl. She wouldn’t even want to know, because she knows we are laughing at her.
Like any girl her age she once had dreams too, and was hopeful despite her impoverished state. She wanted to enjoy life, and live every moment to the fullest—she was born with a love and thirst for life. Adventurous soul, this one. Creative and thrill-seeking mind. Her imagination has no bounds…but her physical being has no choice but to comply under the instructions of her rich madam. She is intelligent. was the top of her class back in her village, but all that has been taken from her now. Her parents were told that their daughter would attend a big city school, and be given all the facilities like other city children. It’s been three years now, and she has not even touched a computer… But hey, maybe we are being a bit too harsh on her madam, after all, she was kind enough to leave one of her novels lying around a while back. So her house girl took it and has read it cover to cover so many times that she can recite most of it by rote. And she reads the children’s book too, so yes, technically she has been given something.
But who cares for her education? Who cares if she has dreams? She’s probably going to be cooped up there till her madam dies and one of her children hires her… Unless she is brave enough to escape… But where do you escape to? Your village? Will your parents understand, or will fear of the rich lady cripple their better judgment and make them drag you back to her screaming and kicking? And now her arm on you will be stronger than ever. If you are smart enough not to go back to your ‘loving’ parents, you could find someone else who is kinder to take you in, but how would you know where to look? But please, please do not land into the hands of a pimp, who makes his cedis off vulnerable girls like you. You are far too precious to get into that.
Lets think also about how we pan-Africans can help to reduce the climatic changes in Africa that have made many African countries drag back in terms of economic growth . Change starts with you, a small drop of rain makes a lake .Think about this .
By Joseph Kwesiga. African activist for change in Africa.
Find all your tournament fixtures here and be aware of all your favourite teams’ matches
As the tournament kicks off all eyes will be on the continent.
South Africa has already proved it’s worth as it pulled of an excellent World Cup in 2010.The country showcased the continent’s best and the rest of the world will be looking to one of Africa’s supers,South Africa, to stage yet another amazing tournament.As this tournament attracts sports scouts and journalist from around the world, neighboring countries should only take it as an opportunity for their local businesses and industries to receive attention from the global market.
As our continent is flooded by many sport fanatics during this period,we should endeavor to sell our continent to the rest of the world.As peace currently prevails in most African states,our unity in even this minute tournament would attract people to notice our hospitable nature and prospects of investing in our local businesses will be increased thereafter.
So as the Cup of Nations has officially began,Best of luck to all participating countries,not only in the tournament but in uniting to sell our continent to the rest of the global community.
Watch this space for fixtures,results and fun tips and facts on the tournament and participating countries.
CAUTION: Overdramatised article!
If you cruise around on the streets of Ghana for less than five minutes, you will inevitably spot a bus(locally known as ‘trotro’) or a couple-coloured taxi, and their driver may send you into fit of road rage. It really doesn’t hurt to take public transportation every now and then…at least to do your part in reducing global warming. In Ghana, hitching a five-minute ride can take one through such a spectrum of emotions ranging from terror to utter bliss.
STEP ONE: COME ABOARD
To catch one of these very common rides, one can stand at the side of the road and hail, or go to a nearby vehicle rank to join a queue. Once inside the taxi, passengers exchange greetings, and the women naturally hold on tightly to their belongings if they feel the man beside them has shot one too many looks in their direction. Also, after the few cases of gang rape and abduction involving passengers of taxis, it would be wise for a girl not to join a taxi if she will be the only female. Probably more than 60% of taxis are faulty, so to ensure the smoothest ride possible on pitted and potted Ghanaian roads, you must take note of the number plate of the cab and use general discretion to pick the one with the least maintenance problems. The tricks to getting the best cabs are only known by an esoteric few who have taken pains to notice some patterns and have made deductions. As for buses, they are almost all the same, the only thing you must do is to listen to the mate for yells such as “Kantamanto Kaneshie!!” or “Kasoa Mallam!”to ensure that the car is going past your destination; so there is really not much you could do…sadly.
STEP TWO: FLAWS UNFOLD
Before the taxi hits the road, it is not unusual for the driver to bid his workmates adieu(or rather, ‘Mehu wo’) while hot-wiring the car. This automatically makes some passengers new to the drill antsy, as they begin to imagine all sorts of ways the car they currently sit in was acquired, and if there are other seriously defunct parts. Any passenger who pulls out their seat belt may warrant a snicker from someone in the car or a rearview-mirror-look from the driver because the time he last wiped it is immemorial to him. If you are unlucky, you would reach out in the hope of feeling the buckle, but you would find that it is non-existent. I once questioned why there was no seat belt, and the driver replied by asking me if I was Ghanaian, even when I had asked in Twi.
STEP THREE: WHO KNOWS WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
The actual ride is obviously the whole point of boarding the taxi or ‘trotro’. I can testify that the hit series on Ghanaian television ‘Chorkor Trotro’ featuring the hilarious and beloved Funnyface is no exaggeration of a typical ‘trotro’ experience. It is indeed quite hectic and not a favourite of many despite its affordability. The driver has to make many stops and when the car is overloaded, passengers shift, push and lean so much that one gets off very exhausted and sweaty. When the radio is on and political, social or celebrity issues are being discussed, the Trotro comes to life. People express their views with no instinctive restraint and argue like their lives depend on it. They laugh together and joke about celeb mishaps, like Delores(Delay) ambling and tumbling over wearing four-inch heels at an award ceremony or a huge scandal that the media is blowing out of proportion. When you have reached your destination you simply pass your fee forward to the mate and get off, ensuring that you have all you came onto the vehicle with, and the driver’s ‘mate’ has not withheld your change.
Most people use public transport out of necessity and because they may not own or have access to a private car, but the next time you have to go out, why not take a taxi or a trotro just for the experience and the fun of it?