Suffering Ghanaman Overseas: Prelude to Marriage

Fri, 23 Jul 2010 Source: Mensema, Akadu N.

*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D.

**This is a part of new poems on Ghanaians overseas. Today’s poem is about

Ghanaian men who travel overseas and later return home to marry. Look forward to

a number of sequels. The next one is tentatively entitled, “Ghanaman Goes Home

to Marry His Fate.” Please, note that the perspectives on Ghanaian women,

children, family, etc. overseas will be tackled later.

Ghanaman abroad

Usually travels abroad alone

Struggles like fish on sand

Aburokyire meditations

Invocations of home and kin

Painful moments of truth

Hunts for papers, krataa

Forages for companionship

Surveys all types of women

In search of ME BURONI

The wrinkled ones in polish

The fat white goddess in satin

The fattest prize there is

The one white men “dislike”

Ghanaman BE FA (takes it all)

Ghanaman abroad

Trapped in two abysses

His own “African” corpus

Devalued by self-depreciation

The urge to speak like whites

The wish to “behave” like whites

White supremacy blooms in Ghana

Seeded long before the journey abroad

Ghanaman abroad

Bombarded with images

Kaleidoscopic mirrors

Born out of insidious racism

Coffined by white snow

Accents that betray identities

Choreographed by silly laughter

Silly laughter in place of speech

Laughter that flatters whites

Paternalism, condescension

Assertive, self-assured Ghanaman

Constructed as a black paranoid

Has no place on White Earth

Ghanaman abroad

Suffocated by demands

Demands from home

Paying connection fees

Putting up a house

Buying coffins

Ghanaman abroad

Demands overseas

Suffocating household bills

Car payments

School fees, credit cards

Paper, krataa, immigration fees

Identity crisis, depression, alienation

Accent in a Burger King drive thru

Sudden nostalgia for a Ghanaian chop bar

Ghanaman abroad

Squatters of the night

Watchman as a Security

Taxi driver in a robotic pose

Cleaners of the acidic cold night

Cleaners of wrinkled white behinds

Cleaners of ungrateful dead bodies

Deprived of sleep, rest, respect

Ghanaman abroad

Ringing-phone announces death

Ringing-doorbell is immigration

Ringing-siren is imminent deportation

Oh! Ghanaman abroad

Loneliness and deprivation

Killer of the soul

Assassin of the body

Executioner of food-appetite

Harbingering alcohol, drugs

Assuaging pain, grief

Desolation peers in the window

Across manicured lawns are deserts

Neighbors with radioactive greetings


Back home is adored

Remembered all the time

Happy days, sad days

He bears his pain abroad

Bears it boastfully, gallantly

Picks up the phone and tells it all

Mortuary attendant says he is a doctor

Live-in says he is an RN on loan

Toll-collector is a state accountant

Ghanaman suffers abroad

But worshipped in Ghana

Ghanaian women adore him

Women in love with abroad

Ghanaman is the ticket to abroad

ABLORD or aburokyire

The crucible of crafted divorce

Choreographing divorce dance

Marriage is Ghanaman’s fate abroad

Bolts & knots that make Ghanaman

Like a soothing rain in a dry spell

Bolts & knots that unmake Ghanaman

Like a rampaging tornado at dawn

*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.