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Asantehene & Co in Potholes: Accra-Kumasi Road

Sat, 7 Jan 2012 Source: Mensema, Akadu N.

*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D.

Ah! Accra-Kumasi road

Fifty years after freedom

Still worse than the British left it

Worse than the colonialists left it

Africanization of ineptitude

Of canonizing incompetence

Of ritualizing fountains of greed

Of cargo-cults of the wretched

Of democratizing corruption

Of putting self before all

Putting self before nation

So we have it all

But still have nothing

Like dead flowers

Dead flowers by the roadside

We fetishize the squalid

The Accra-Kumasi road

Ah! It remains a monstrosity

Ah! Eyesore

Ah! Blemish

Ah! Disgrace

Ah! An abscess like Korle

Fifty-plus years of neglect

The road has seen it all

Presidents swim in potholes

Who can’t see or feel them

Asantehene in a Rolls-Royce

Who laughs at potholes

Okyehene in a Mercedes

Who laughs at potholes

Kwahuhene in a Jaguar

Who laughs at potholes

Ga Manche in a BMW

Who laughs at potholes

The road has seen it all

The Accra-Kumasi road

Fifty-plus years of neglect

The road has seen it all

Accra-Kumasi road

Trucks carting exports

Trucks carting imports

Ah! Gold

Diamond

Bauxite

Timber

Cattle

Goats, sheep

Cocoa, kola

Cassava

Cocoyam, yam

Where does the money go

Into the bellies of graft

The Accra-Kumasi road

Fifty years of our narrative

Of iconic potholes on roads

Of celebrating accidents

Of fetishizing incompetence

Our cognitive incongruities

Affront to merry truth

Our ineptitude

It is not about a phenotype

It is about courage to dream

Accra-Kumasi road

Eternally bruised road

Made labyrinthine

Made tangled

Crossing

Junctions

Intersecting

Primeval forests

Pristine communities

Eternal rivers

Ah! Accra-Kumasi road

After fifty-plus years

Our most significant road

The royal road

To Asante & Asante-Akyem

Kwahu & Akyem Abuakwa

The artery of our economy

Is a like diseased artery

Accra-Kumasi road

Neglected since independence

Our patented failures

The road of mayhem

Of accidents

Of potholes

Of parked disabled trucks

Of dilapidated bridges

Ah! Accra-Kumasi road

Fifty years after freedom

Still worse than the British left it

Worse than the colonialists left it

Africanization of ineptitude

Of canonizing incompetence

Of ritualizing fountains of greed

Of cargo-cults of the wretched

Of democratizing corruption

Of putting self before all

Putting self before nation

So we have it all

But still have nothing

Like dead flowers

Dead flowers by the roadside

We fetishize the squalid

*Akadu N. Mensema, Ph. D., is a nationalist Denkyira beauty. She is a trained oral

historian cum sociologist and Professor in the USA. She lives in Pennsylvania with

her great mentor and teaches Africa-area studies at a college in Maryland. In her

pastime, she writes what critics have called “populist hyperbolic, satirical”

poetry. She can be reached at akadumensema@yahoo.com

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.