It is that time of the year again. Vacation is over and boarding students are returning to school—actually to what they perceive as prisons. Yes, let them call it whatever they want jaare! It is not as if they have a say in the matter. We are Ghanaians everywhere.
I enter a minibus at the Mankoadze roundabout bus station heading for Cape Coast – the Fanteland. You may have heard about the humorous antics of the Fantes, haven’t you; well, let’s not dwell on that today.
I can see a National girl in her fitting A-shape skirt, the Mfantsiman girls and erm the Botwe boys. Wow that’s rare! You hardly find ‘these peeps’ in these kinds of vehicles; D-bees as they are, they usually do the STCs and the VVIPs. (My crush though-actually no- I am a disappointed Geyhey girl…yeah that’s just about that…do you get the connection now?) And my own people from AggreyMo, erm it looked like there’s only me. Come to think of it, I hardly meet my mates on board.
Well let’s find me a seat.
I see the mate… oh sorry the conductor packing some cartons of fish at the back; wait, did I say see? No o o, I smell it rather. And I think I can hear the complaints from the passengers at the back right now. Apparently, the owners of the cartons are comfortably seated at the front row. Um, one of them, a woman, is looking behind her at this point and I guess she is wondering what on earth these people are almost throwing tantrums about. Ah isn’t it fish? (I just read that from her face) Easy to say huh? When she does not get to sit there, anticipate the moment the ice melts and the water begins to seep beneath their soles.
One of the men seeing the look on the woman’s face interprets it as that of concern and is about expressing his misgivings properly- You know like making a case in a law court.
But….’ebeei o brother, aadze na erikyir3 yi? (Ah my brother, why all this disturbance).
Aadze nti na hwom nso oya w0kyer3 wonho dei? (What is it with you people and attitude?)
The other man realises where this is headed and girds his loins. He responds (in English) on how unfair it is that people bring such load aboard and they don’t get anyone to put them in their place; “I KNOW MY RIGHTS!” he bellows. From his passionate submission and intonation I think he passes for a “number nine”.
The woman is about to retaliate but is stopped by someone at the front. She glares one last time at the man profusely ranting about his rights and takes her seat. Whatever that lady told her settled the matter. Peace reigns now.
I’m still trying to find a seat. Great, I have just spotted one at the second row. OMG! It’s occupied, well yes by two fat women though it’s meant for three. Well this is what that means. I will have to squeeze into whatever space is left. The other option is to sit beside a mother with two children, a baby she is about to unstrap from her back and a toddler.
See, the thing is this mother knows very well she cannot carry the children but she will be counting on the hospitality of Ghanaians and I on my part have to play that role-yes it is a role- a civic duty even. We can never change as Ghanaians everywhere. Having done that before, I would opt for being sandwiched instead. At least I get to save myself from kicks from some naughty kid and unannounced wee wees on my most cherished senior high school property-‘my outing’.
Fast forward, we are on our way to Cape Coast. Apart from the students like myself there are the ‘real’ travellers majority being Fantes of course. Most of these people in this bus are on it for various ‘typical Ghanaian’ reasons. Yes, your guess is as good as mine! Family meetings, outdooring ceremonies, and Almighty FUNERALS! We are Ghanaians everywhere.
Did you just ask how I know that? From their chitchats o; they talk about anything and everything as though they are in the privacy of their homes. There are the family members who will continue unfinished conversations, and the strangers who hit up so well as though they have long known each other. As for me I am listening to every one of them with relish and stifling my outbursts too. (I long realised how boring my trips to school could be after my first one so I have decided to pass the time this way.)
It was always so entertaining, listening to the real travellers chatter as we travelled; the arguments, the partisan debates and my favourite -dramas like the one you witnessed before we set off. That was just a short scene, there were scenes that lasted the whole journey, and ones that could add up to an Act. Indeed there were a lot of activities featuring tribesmen from various parts of the country.
O yeah I was only recounting one of the many trip experiences I had during my senior high school days. I still recall them with fondness.
I enjoyed the conversations and picked up some useful tips from them. My mother always says ‘oson efie nyansa na oson sukuul nyansa’- meaning there is a distinct difference between wisdom exercised at home and that which is taught in school.
Conclusion: We are Ghanaians Everywhere
So the next time you sit in a trotro to travel a distance as mine, relax, be expectant of some activity of a sort – at least a one scene drama. If not for anything at all, you may learn a thing or two from an ethnic group other than yours.
We are Ghanaians everywhere.