Ghanaians are touted as hospitable, and our brother’s keeper the world over. The robbery horrors that befell my family the dawn of 6th Dec, 2017 makes me appreciate the fact that hospitality is not for everyone; it’s dispensed in various denominations based on who you are. The flashbacks still ring fresh in my mind as I picture the robbery at our house.
You wake up to the noise of a sibling and you wonder what is wrong. Then you walk out of your room only to be marched back in, with the rest of the family. Some rowdy boys yielding guns and machetes take over the house and you wonder whether it’s a dream. Your whole house is being ransacked and the only option you have is to either cooperate or lose your life. Eish!
The pain of watching your whole family sprawled on the floor at gunpoint wrenches your heart but there’s nothing you can do. No tear comes to your eyes because your mind hasn’t grasped the reality of what is happening.
It’s sadder when nobody in the neighborhood comes to your rescue or calls for help during the attack; typical television style when police sirens will only be heard around the accident scene hours after the robbers have left. In our case, the police delayed but the sympathizers came first. Sympathizers came in hordes when the robbers left with everything we had. “Eiii, I heard a noise oo but it was short lived so I went back to sleep”, a neighbor recounted. At least this neighbor heard something.
What about the rest? Brother’s keeper ampa (for real).
Brother’s Keeper: The Weightier Matters
You feel more unsafe after an armed robbery attack. Especially when armed robbers pick items and money from crannies only you know about; then you realise people know your whole house better than yourself.
And as for the Ghana Police….! It’s a shame kwraaaaa. They came to the crime scene without a pen or paper. When you tell them you saw the robber’s faces, they do not ask you to describe them. Even when you tell them you know where the robbers live, it all falls on deaf ears.
- What happens when you see perpetrators of such injustice walking freely in the neighbouhood?
- Are you allowed to feel safe afterwards, knowing there’s nothing you can do to them?
- Are we permitted to say our belief in the police is frail?
- Our sleep has been robbed by the agony of not knowing whether these robbers are coming back or not.
- The picture of a gun being pointed at you still lingers in my mind.
- In this country, we have to barricade ourselves in our house as if we are in prison.
- All we can do is to look to God for protection because burglar proof and alarms are not enough.
Let me take inspiration from Oswald Mtshali.
JUST A PASSER By Oswald Mtshali
I saw them clobber him with kieries,
I heard him scream with pain
Like a victim of slaughter;
I smelt fresh blood gush
from his nostrils,
And flow on the street.
I walked into the church
And knelt in the pew
“Lord! I love you.
I also love my neighbor. Amen.”
I came out
My heart as light as an Angela’s kiss
On the cheek of a saintly soul.
Back home I strutted
Past a crowd of onlookers.
Then she came in –
My woman neighbor:
“Have you heard? They’ve killed your brother.”
“O! No! I heard nothing. I’ve been to church.”
CONCLUSION OF THE ROBBERY MATTER
Thankfully, my family is fine; we are all safe and sound.
Frankly speaking, our leaders have failed us and so has institutions and structures set up to protect our interest. Some days I wonder why we even pay taxes in this country.
Lord have mercy.
Then again, this is Ghana, Neighbors never see the robbers approaching yet they see all the visitors (especially of the opposite sex). I’m sad for our value systems and everything that used to make us Ghanaians. SMH.
A true Story By Efe Quayson