Opinions Tue, 4 Dec 2018

In the darkness of life

Maxwell…oh, what are you doing here?“

“They brought me here, Kwame,” was Maxwell stretching out his arms between the bars of the prison cell. His dark skin looked like a mystery before the black light of the cell. It was sweating hot. Human waste was in the air. From behind Kantamanto Market Police station located close to the railway track, from where five times a day an old run down commuter train connected Accra with Tema, the open toilets blasted out their urine over the compound, a grave for rusty confiscated motor bikes and cars having never seen the good in their times.

The Police Officers tired of not sufficient enough equipment to do their job, sometimes having to ask citizens filing a report of theft in their houses to give them money for fuel to come to the crime scene, looked at Kwame and Kojo ensuring no secret information was handed over.

Kojo eating his plantain chips out from a thin rubber complained while seated on an old wooden bench waiting patiently for their term:” In Ghana, we have great laws, laws for everything…but we all know…”

“Nobody cares and they are not working...law enforcement in our country is a joke or depending on money and status. I know big men supposed to be sitting in jail, yet they walk out for free,” was Kwame adding his observation while feeling scared in his heart knowing a Police Officer only needs 6 months training before allowed to carry a machine gun and the power to arrest people and take their freedom. “Our prisons are full, people in the heat of Ghana have to sleep like sardines on the naked floor, 30 or 40 of them in a small cell…no international NGO is working on that situation and no human rights advocates take Ghana and other African countries to any international court for Human Rights violation because of that…they simply ignore this inhuman conditions.”

Kojo started to laugh when another man in handcuffs was brought in and pushed into the cell lecturing: “The world believes we Ghanaians are so peaceful, have a stable democracy and impressive growth rate…this always makes me laugh as it is not at all close to reality.”

Kwame looked at him with weary eyes whispering: “In the North of Ghana Military is stationed to ensure villagers do no kill each other. See the people killed in Volta Region because of tribalism…and growth rate…funny…so laughable…is based on the fact that we have the mentality to solve a problem by creating a problem but not by inventing and doing something that moves us ahead from level….”

“…to level…from good to better and best,” interrupted Kojo his old time friend. “Foreigners do not understand and realize, Ghanaians aboard mostly go for simple jobs, have no drive for higher things unlike other Nations. Inventing? What a disgusting word it is we seem to believe.”

Kwame added in an upright position: “Ghana is located among French speaking, small and Muslim countries…all around us. If we would start a civil war in Ghana…we have no country we can run to. We know this and for this very reason, unlike other African Nations, we try as much as possible to stay peaceful. To achieve that, we lie to each other all the time fearing when we tell him the naked truth, he would attack us. This characteristic of our people has created a very bizarre atmosphere hanging over our country only people can understand and sense that have come closer to the African mind….”

“White people are too stupid for that, they think of us in a way we are not as African mind is something else for which reason they always interact with us in a way that makes them happy, their conscious happy…but it will never drive us forward into a progressively positive future, rather keep us in bondage of darkness.” Kojo looked outside the open door seeing buyers from the market with their used clothing’s passing by. “The difference between freedom and imprisonment is so close, so near, is there for all of us…here darkness and despair, hopelessness and out there the light and walking peacefully in freedom….”

Kwame got up standing by Kojo lecturing:” We in Ghana live in a consensus society created by fears of unleashing the anger in as that would create civil unrest and war, fighting each other on the media and in brought light, while in the darkness we are hugging our opponents very well reassuring him of our peaceful mind and Christian love for him. We do not understand…and are not matured for it…that only in conflict societies that use clear words, fight for their ideas and see opponents as people to be pushed aside for the good things to rule and the better to germinate; progressive development can happen, innovations can be formed and matured to change societies and the entire world. Volcanos ashes destroy the earth and 7 years later the new soil formed and created is the most fruitful soils the earth has ever seen. With us humans it is the same…but we in Ghana do not know the beauty there is in an honest fight for the best there is in us to flee the darkness of our soul…and let the world rejoice in glory of a new creation….”

“A new Nation Ghana.”

Kwame stepped out from the Police Station, turned around a last time, took a deep breath with his eyes fixed on the blue Ghana Police Force logo declaring confidently: “A New Nation Ghana…how sweet the sound.”

Columnist: Karl-Heinz Heerde