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ree Education under Trees: Northern Elites’ Toxic Ways

Sun, 5 Sep 2010 Source: Mensema, Akadu N.

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*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D.

“DESPITE SO much talk by successive governments on what they claimed was massive

provision of infrastructural facilities for schools in the country, the pupils

of 185 basic schools, out of 636, are still being exposed to the harsh weather

conditions in the Upper East Region” (Ghanaweb Sept 4, 2010).

I. TOXIC NORTHENERN MPS/ELITES

Pupils: Atinga, Bukari, Memuna & all

Yes Teacher Abu Adamu

Are the Andanis’ kids under trees?

No Sir

Aliu Mahama’s

No Sir

Bagbin’s

No Sir

Ayariga’s

No Sir

Amidu’s

No Sir

John Mahama’s

No Sir

So what are we doing here?

We don’t know Sir!

We are unraveling illusions

The hollow sounds of our MPs

Of following AFRC, PNDC, NDC

Our raucous chants

Our anti-Akan renditions

That rage still has a selling point

II. TEACHER & STUDENTS UNDER A TREE

Pupils: Atinga, Bukari, Memuna & all

Yes Teacher Abu Adamu

Where are we?

We are under a dying tree

What kind of tree?

COCOA tree

Students can’t learn under trees!

I say what kind of tree?

Teacher, it is a BAOBAB tree

Where exactly are we?

Near our tractor-MPs’ plantations

Where exactly students?

Bagbin in the northeast

Ayariga in the southwest

Pupils: Atinga, Bukari, Memuna & all

Yes Teacher Abu Adamu

What is the source of the noise?

Tractors, Sir: Bagbin’s & Ayariga’s

Tutu tutu tuuu tu tutuu tractor

Oh noise-makers; class is over

Thank you, Teacher Adamu

III. HAIL NKRUMAH & CPP

Hall Osagyefo Nkrumah

Hall the CPP

That nursed schools in the North

Free education for all Northerners

IV. DECAYING “AFFIRMATIVE” ACTION

Free education

Fifty plus years and counting

Big Alhajis/ias, MPs, Dokitas

Cloaked in tuo safi bodies

Ideologues of P/NDC chaos

Northerners who hate the North

Northerners who nest in the South

Instead of the North

After free education

Warranted from cocoa farmers

Southern cocoa farmers

Southerners who pay school fees

Have built their own schools

Northerners take to self-help

V. OUR MISPLACED PRIORITIES

Cars, cars, cars, cars

Tractors, tractors, tractors

Instead of schools

Materialism of the thievery elites

Cargo-cult mentality of the masses

Killers of the dream

VI. FROM TREE TOP TO UNDER IT

Ghanaians, Africans

Savagely parodied in the past

In the Western imaginings

Of immemorial Africa

Savage rendition even today

In the homes of the West

In the streets of Beijing

Of Africans living in trees

In the Dark somber forests

Forests shared with chimps

Guarded by baboons

Where monkeys play along

Where lions rule

Our Africanized “Darwinism”

Today we tell the world

Boldly Africanizing poverty

That we came down the tree

We don’t live on tree-tops

We came down from the trees

That we live under trees

185 “basic schools” out of 636

Free schooling under trees

Open to the elements & noise

Oh! Killers of the dream

Of Nkrumah’s dream

*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.