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Nana Ampadu's pastor so - and - so and Rawlings' Kweku Ananse story

04.11.06 RawlingsFormer President John Rawlings

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 Source: Kwarteng, Francis

We cannot be sure here if the story we are about to tell directly comes from Nana Ampadu’s rich repertoire or told to us by someone whose name and the entirety of the anecdotal location of the said story, itself, are beyond our immediate recall.

What we are rather certain of is our ability to recall pertinent aspects of the anecdote in some detail. What we shall do, however, is to present our own twist of the story to our readership.

Here it goes:

A certain pastor is traveling from Accra, the capital of Ghana, to another undisclosed location somewhere within the country…outside of Accra of course…but near a border region.

Halfway through the journey he runs into a stranger, a hitchhiker, and offers him a free ride to his destination, incidentally the same destination as his, the pastor’s. They have this dialogue:

Pastor: “Gentleman, may I know your name?...I am Pastor So-and-So!”

Stranger: “”I am Peter Paul.”

Pastor So-and-So clears his throat, and continues:

“I am a pastor…I do the Lord’s work…What do you do for a living?”

Stranger looks at Pastor So-and-So and with a wry face set in concrete and with waves of smile radiating from the corners of his wide mouth and outer canthi, he replies almost hesitantly:

“I am armed robber!”

“What!” Pastor So-and-So panics and nearly chokes on his saliva and claustrophobic fear, whereby he accidentally steps on his break and comes to a screeching halt in the middle of the road.

Then he descends into a deep pit of emotional sermonizing. “Thou shall not steal, saith the Lord…That should not be your portion…stealing…my brother…tofiakwa…an able-bodied man like you should work and not be stealing and robbing others!”

Just then Max Romeo’s “Stealing in the Name of Jah” begins to play on the car’s radio:

“Stealing, stealing, stealing…

“Stealing, stealing…

“Stealing in the name of the Lord…

“My father's house of worship…

“Has become a den of thieves…

“Stealing in the name of the Lord…

Pastor So-and-So quickly switches the radio station, but by then Paul Kelly’s “Stealing in the Name of the Lord” replaces Max Romeo’s:

“There's a man…

“On the corner…

“Raisin' a congregation…

“Sayin' that he's the one…

“Brothers and sisters…

“That's gonna bring us all salvation…

“That man is...Stealin' in the name of the lord…

“Sayin' God's gonna mess ya...Stealin' in the name of the lord…

“Oh, oh, oh…

“It's happenin' every day…

“This man, he'll walk…

“Up to ya…

“And look ya in the eye…

“Put his hand…

“On your shoulder…

“And tell ya…

“A big fat lie…

“Step!

“In the line!

“Can you spare a dime?

“I heard him say,

“Step!

“Right on up, good people…

“Drop a buck…

Pastor So-and-So turns off the radio with trembling hands. In contrast, stranger will not allow the dialogue to die off just like that and so continues from where the two had left off.

Pastor So-and-So is now visibly drenched in beads of profuse sweat as he is not certain if he is going to be Stranger’s next target, a lingering thought Stranger cuts short. He, the latter, says matter-of-factl:

“But I work…Pastor So-and-So!”

M.anifest’s “W’ani Aba” (featuring Bisa Kdei) blasts in the car…“I don’t need Peter to pay Paul…” Pastor So-and-So remembers Peter…Paul…and stranger’s other name…Peter Paul!

And then John Lennon’s “Imagine” follows as if on a predictable cue ….By this time they reach a border where an assembly of immigration and police officers redirects them to a designated spot by the roadside. Two or three of these border public officials peel out of the assembly and approach them. They ask for some documents and Pastor So-and-So hands them a couple.

The documents in question are Pastor So-and-So’s driving documents. The border officials soon discover that the documents, his driver’s license and car registration, are expired. They subsequently confiscate the documents and summon him to appear in court the following week.

Nevertheless they allow him to go…to continue his road trip. He jumps into the car with a defeated laughter and speeds away in a vibrant hurricane of dust. Then he looks around him in shock…utter emptiness. Stranger is nowhere in the car. He is gone…disappeared into thin air.

He panics and prays for his agitated nerves to calm down. Already, he is at the other side of the border post when he notices a striking resemblance…a spitting image of Stranger in the distance.

Yes, it is Stranger!

Pastor So-and-So pulls up by him then pulls down his front passenger window, and addresses him under suppressed apprehension and in a hushed tone:

“Will you join me again for the next phase of the ride?”

“Yes.” He jumps into the car, like an excited kangaroo.

Then Pastor So-and-So notices a strange brown envelop sitting on Stranger’s lap. “What is that?”

“Oh that!”

Stranger hands him the envelop and asks him to look at its contents. Pastor So-and-So obeys with and with trembling hands unseals it, and lo and behold, the contents are his confiscated documents…and some hard cash!

“How did you get back these confiscated documents?”

“I stole them from the border immigration and police officers!”

“And the money?”

“Same…I stole the money too from them…Take them as my tithe and offertory…”

Pastor So-and-So looks at him in utter disbelief, while still holding on firmly to his documents and the stolen money. He smiles the famous Vatican-smile of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and authoritatively pronounces the following words on his stranger-passenger:

“May the Good Lord bless and protect you for the rest of your remaining life on earth!”

Kweku Ananse suddenly appears on the windshield from nowhere. He looks closely at stranger and directs the following question to him: “Who is this stranger sitting by you?”

“Rawlings.”

“But I am the only Rawlings on this planet and in human history!”

Stranger turns to look at Pastor So-and-So and notices that he has been changing from or turning into Abacha, to Kweku Ananse, to Rawlings…Then back to Rawlings, to Kweku Ananse, to Abacha…Then…into the chichidodo bird…Then back into a chameleon…Then…Then…Then!

And so Pastor So-and-So…Rawlings…Armed robber Stranger…Peter Paul…Sani Abacha…

End of three-part series… “Rawlings Shatters his Glasshouse with Abacha’s stone”!

Columnist: Kwarteng, Francis