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Opinions Sat, 9 Feb 2013

In The Mind Of A “Deviant”

Nana Abena Afriyie abenaafriyiekwarkye@yahoo.com

If there is one thing I can never forget, it is how my Sociology lecturer defined the concept of deviants in our society. A deviant is simply a person who departs from the accepted norms. Let’s get real people; society is such that we can’t have everyone to be a conformist. I’m sure if there were no deviants in our society there wouldn’t be Heaven nor Hell. If I remember correctly, my lecturer emphasized the importance of deviants in every society. He noted that deviants can be traced from the time of Adam. Let me not bore you with too much sociology.

Every human being looks out for improved infrastructure that makes life better and worth living and Ghanaians are no exclusion. When the George Walker Bush High Way was completed, it came as a great relieve to many motorists. Little did we anticipate that it was going to be a death haven. I have actually lost count of the number of accidents that has been recorded on the popular N1 High Way. As for the death toll, the least talked about it the better.

I have heard so many reports about the foot bridges built on that road. The indication I got was that pedestrians mostly ignore the use of the foot bridges but instead cross the road from any corner by jumping the concrete blocks. I almost immediately came to the conclusion that they were the black sheep in the society. Not so long ago I saw that there have been metal barricades mounted to prevent the deviants from crossing using the unauthorized route. This leaves them no choice than to use the foot bridges.The Sociology in me, prompted me to conduct a research so that I can better appreciate the reason behind their actions. So I set out on a “fact finding” journey.

Surprisingly, I discovered that not all the culprits can be classified as deviants. Most of the pedestrians are not deviants but suffer from Acrophobia; fear of height. For such people, the fear that greets them when they are introduced to heights of any kind is enough to kill them. I also climbed the food bridge, and I couldn’t agree with them more. Just looking at the speeding cars beneath the bridge is frightening enough.

I came to the conclusion that, these acrophobias are justified to some extent. After being in their shoes, and getting into the mind of a “deviant” I now appreciate the reason some people ignore the foot bridges, apart from the fact that the bridges are built too far apart from each other and also not disability friendly. Next time before you pass judgment, try and get into the mind of a deviant.

Columnist: Kwarkye, Nana Abena Afriyie