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'Stomach collateral'

Mawuli Zogbenu 1212.jpeg Mawuli Zogbenu is the author

Fri, 11 Mar 2022 Source: Mawuli Zogbenu

One of the biggest problems I have with some chemical shops or ‘draw stores’ is that when you go there to buy a particular brand of medicine, they would tell you that the one you want is not there but there is another one that does the same thing and so you should go for that.

And mostly, for me, the substitute doesn’t work. Waakye prepared by an Amelia is different from the same waakye prepared by just any other person o, yooo. Mr and Mrs MCA, if you don’t have it, you don’t have it, period!

That is why I keep blaming you, Korku Tofiq. I have told you to stop eating in the night. Your stomach is still growing by the day in the night like my own! You would eat beef, wele, crab and banku after 7pm, what do you expect? Or you have not heard of diabetes or hypertension or kidney problem? Are you breathing well with that your stomach?

Next time come and tell me it helps you in securing big loans from the bank because the moment the bankers see your stomach they think it is a good collateral for a loan.

Keep deceiving yourself. A tablet of Norvask 10 is more than ten Ghana cedis and if you are put on it, it means every day, you have to take one. You see how much money you intend to spend on medications if you continue such lifestyle? You naaa, you don’t even exercise! Ah!

Ei, last week, the President’s Cup sweet me roff! Hearts of Oak won and the red porcupines tried to water it down. We have won whether you like it or not, my friend Gizo. Hahaaaa! E pain you oo. Honestly the biggest headache any Kotoko fan has to contend with is just the Hearts of Oak jama song(s).

They have done everything possible but still…I am sure some of you have seen Kotoko supporters singing and dancing to Phobia songs before realising their ‘mistake’. This year’s league is not sweet because the gap between Hearts and Kotoko in terms of points is too wide.

The two clubs make Ghana soccer sweet. I want to ‘encourage’ Kotoko to consciously lose some of their matches so that we close the gap just to add spices to the league. Some 2 or 3 points difference should be okay but more than 10 points clear difference no make the thing sweet kraaa, anaa meboa!

Don’t remind me of the sad moment some 21 years ago o. The line-up was activated. Sammy Adjei, Amankwa Mireku, Jacob Nettey, Stephen Tetteh, Adjah Tetteh, Charles Allotey, Edmund Copson, Emmanuel Osei Kufuor, Charles Taylor, Ishmael Addo, Dan Quaye, with substitutes Bernard Dong Bortey, Eben Dida, Kwame Ali, Joe Ansah, Kenneth Sarpong, Dan Oppong made the Hearts squad with Coach Attuquayefio as their coach.

The Kotoko lineup comprised Osei Boateng, Kwaku Duah Cashbola, Godfred Yeboah, Dan Aquah, Joe Hendricks, Stephen Oduro, Lawrence Adjei, Godwin Ablordey, Shilla Alhassan, Nana Frimpong, Frank Asoah with substitutes Eric Nii Baah, Kwaku Kyere aka Puma, Anas Mohammed, Francis Akwafo, Angelo Dedon, Abedi Sarfo and Joe Okyere made the Kotoko squad with Ernst Middendorp as their coach. The match was supposed to be competitive and fun as well but Lord God have mercy!

Moments after the match, the commentary was not that which celebrated the winner nor the loser. There was disaster! Oh how? Could it be a dream? I called Kojo Akwetey, my nephew who I was sure would be at the stadium.

His phone was off. He was one of the few guys using mobile phones at the time. I became uncomfortable. I called my sister, Kojo’s mum, they were all worried bcos Kojo had gone to the stadium that day but his phone had gone off. Those days, there were no smart phones and it was not common for phones to run on low battery.

I called my then best friend, Delali Atipui of blessed memory. To God be the glory, he responded as he’d escaped unhurt and alive! So soon, it’s been 21 years! It’s a day not to be remembered but this is just to beg the Lord God that this should never happen to us again in Jesus’ name I pray…Amen!

Once again, you are welcome to the ‘useless column’ where the write-up is not in any particular order but remember not to read!

This weekend if you want the work done very well within a short time at cheap cost, please don’t hire a ‘leaves’ smoker. Some of them have been adding ‘other things’ o. They can work till ‘the this thing’ evaporates from their system. I needed to do some work on my manhole. I hired Yaw, a mason.

The job needed two days at least to finish. 4 bags of cement were provided – 2 per day. One mason, one labourer per the rule. Yaw was expected to look for a labourer to help him.

‘They’ were expected to start work on Friday and finish on Saturday. I visited the site in the evening and saw Yaw working, alone. He was already working on the 4th cement bag. The work was almost completed. Asked where the other mason and labourers were, Yaw just smiled. I had assumed that Yaw had hired another mason and two labourers to finish the work once and for all on one day instead of the two clear days.

I asked him again where the others were. His response shocked me. He did everything by himself because he ‘hired’ himself. He later explained to me that until ‘the thing’ evaporated, he had to continue working till the following morning.

Up till now, I don’t know what the thing is o, I can only suspect ‘that plant! But I asked him what his secret was and he mentioned ‘gban gban’. I didn’t understand until recently when I got to know ‘gban gban’ is the nickname for trammadol. Then I remembered my trammadol experience.

I thought Yaw was a very hardworking person who has helped me to save money until last month when I was driving and got to the Adabraka Cathedral intersection of the road and guess who I saw – Yaw! He was half naked, holding a bowl with different types of cooked food items in it including sand – he has gone bonkers! With only one chale worte on, I wept! Look, we have a problem o.

Until the clampdown is strong enough, the youth are destroying themselves. These drugs may serve their ‘purpose’ now but destroy them in the long run, guaranteed!

In my own case I was just feeling a migraine. I complained about it on board a public transport in another West African country from my hotel to the airport. One of the commuters who heard me complain of headache, gave me an ‘abombelet’ he indicated was a pain killer. He gave me two and asked me to take only one and my headache and pains would vanish.

Indeed, it vanished in no time after taking one. I misplaced the other one. I started feeling very light and with some good ‘feelings’. I had concluded this medicine is good. But when I returned to Accra, I was feeling a bit drowsy and hyper at the same time. I was not sure whether I wanted to sleep or not.

When I slept that night, I slept quite well but felt I was dreaming about lions and tigers. I woke up very fine but with severe headache at the back of my head. I could feel the veins at the back of my neck stretched and elastic. But I desired for more even though I did not know the name of the medicine till I returned to that same country the following year.

In my hotel, I gave the description of the medicine to one of the guys I was watching a UEFA league match with and he said from the description of that ‘good medicine’ I was talking about, he thinks it is trammadol. Trama what? He said ‘dol’! Wow! Trust me, immediately, he gave me one as he had it in his pocket. The medicine dey biii waaa. It took me a lonnnng time to ‘land’ when I was with my wife. Looks like I’ve found a remedy to my 2 minutes wahala!

That was it. I returned to Ghana and asked for trammadol and to my surprise, it was available.

Fortunately, or unfortunately the pharmacist insisted on a prescription. I begged her bcos I needed it just to feel good. She turned me down as I was neither in pain nor wanted it for someone in pain. I hated the pharmacist as I saw her as being wicked to me. That was what saved me. I would have become an addict of this dangerous pain killer by now.

Abeg, lets fight it harder and watch our children especially those whose classmates may be coming from some other countries. Its effect may be difficult to detect at the onset as the main ‘symptom’ is that it makes a hitherto lazy child become more active. Let us open our eyes before our eyes open us to a junky youth o, yoo!

And remember, before you take a medication, first ask yourself whether you are sick.

Columnist: Mawuli Zogbenu