Useless Column: Moses Meets Osmosis

There is probably nothing as annoying as you inviting someone to come and eat and he also calls another person to come and eat…your food. E bi your food? That’s why nowadays I do it with some reluctance when I am inviting someone especially when I don’t mean the invite. ‘Charlie, some rice bi o’, with the hope that the person will not come and eat my scarce resources. Koku still went ahead to join me last Wednesday upon the slightest ‘unmeant’ invite; annoyingly he even invited a friend of his to come and join. Kaabli! I carried the bowl away! What’s that! Ah!

Would you believe that during the entertainment segment of the news hour on GVT on Monday August 13, 2018 they showed highlights of a comedy show which took place last weekend with some Ghanaian and Naija rib-crackers? One would have expected the highlights in the news to be on the Ghanaian comedians, Foster Rom*nus and DKB’s performances; however, ‘as to be expected somehow’, GVT rather concentrated on the Naija comedians leaving out these budding GH performers. I don’t think any Naija TV station would have preference for any foreign artiste over their own if the show were to take place there o. GVT is my favorite channel for various reasons but sometimes they just …. hmmmm. I was so disappointed. If we don’t project our own, who should? I have been a strong advocate for the payment of the VT licence fee in the past but now I don’t even know what to say again. Haaba!

I have a big problem; anytime I read the Bible on my phone, it doesn’t really feel real. I feel I am eating waakye in plastic polythene when I can enjoy it better in the traditional waakye leaves biologically known as tomatococus. Doesn’t rice prepared on kropot fire under charcoal taste nicer than gas stove? Leave me alone o! As for me I will always read the hard copy RSV Bible unless I am hard pressed for time to read a scripture on my phone even though last month I went to my hometown and the room in which I slept had a legba (juju statue) right in front! The legba in my family house has its mouth perpetually opened and my folks put food, oil and akpeteshie in its mouth for breakfast, lunch and supper. The area cats come to eat the food and grow fat leaving the poor legba on his own when it is raining. This gives me a feeling as to whether I am a Christian or a jujuman or both which many of us are! True or false? You have no idea what some people maybe practising alongside the early Sunday physical appearance in church. After all I meet some of them in movie houses, to watch what? Jesus film? Hmmm! Let’s keep deceiving ourselves.

My uncle, who is the fetish priest owning this legba is still poor la. He has the spiritual power to tell you what good things or bad things are coming your way but the focus is often on the bad ones!

Ten years ago, when I visited my hometown, he asked me to present some items for him to prevent something bad from happening to me. He asked me for cassava, a fatty male goat, onions, tomatoes, kpakposhitor and maggie cube so that he can do some sacrifices for me so that I can escape that bad omen which was headed my way. I no mind am sef bcos after all ‘what can come can come’.

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He later asked me to bring the front tooth of a live lion, the manhood of a female mosquito, the egg of a cockerel, a pair of scissors (only him knows what he was going to do with that one), the beard of a live leopard, 6pieces of ayilor, gumetaku, bitter cola and a green a ram! Where was I going to get these ‘wild’ items from? Often if you tell these fetish people how impossible it is to obtain these items, they ask you to give them money and they would get them for you. Yea! Some even ask for eye phones and power banks nowadays, I learnt.

I am feeling very guilty right now o; I failed a brother last week and…hmmm! How would you feel if you should wake up at 3.36am and see 71 missed calls from only family members? I am sure you would start thinking something bad might have happened to a close relative, often death or accident of some sort. In fact, before returning one of such calls, I sat down for 5 minutes to analyse which of the callers can break a bad news to me in a ‘nice way’. As for my sister, Lisa Kokonte, if she has to break news of a sick person to you, if you are not strong heart attack can kill you even before the sick person dies so I often avoid her calls on any bad news in the family. She would go like: ‘ei, Daa Minawo has just collapsed and if care is not taken….’. One day I called my Mum after receiving such ‘threatening’ calls from Kokonte, and to my surprise, Daa Minawo herself was surprised to hear that ‘she had collapsed’; she was fine with just some slight headache and drinking malt mpo. My alarmist sister can ‘kill’ you with her often exaggerated reportage! Bro Ishmael on the other hand would present the worst news to you in a very mild way even if someone was at the point of death. So I returned Ishmael’s calls! He hardly calls unless the matter be serious. And here is the news: ‘Korjo, our 39-year old brother has managed himself out sadly to join his ancestors! Oh noooo! I screamed with only me knowing why I screamed louder than normal. Korjo was brought in from Adafienu at the age of 10 to live with us at West Legon after my Auntie, his mum died out of poverty. We lived together as a family and hardly did anyone notice the fact that we were not direct brothers but cousins. Somehow, blood being thicker than water, we looked alike. We affectionately called him ‘Professor Gborgey’ bcos of his beard. (Gborgey meaning ‘Goat beard’).

Yes, Korjo led quite a frustrated life and so when he called me on the evening of last week Tuesday August 7, 2018 that he was on admission at the hospital and needed GHC200 for some medications while being attended to by the paramedics, I ignored him and refused to pick his calls, thereafter. I was sure it was just one of those normal fevers that he would get over with by the next morning. I silenced my phone around 10pm so I could have a sound sleep. ‘To hell with Korjo and family matters’, I angrily chuckled and slept off only to be told a few hours later that Korjo had died! Oh God, forgive me. This is where I feel my most guilt as I am finding it difficult to forgive myself.

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To reduce the level of grief, we decided to bury him almost immediately but heyy police is asking for coroner’s report to be done. Why, papa polisi? It was only last Wednesday August 8, 2018 that I got to know that if a patient dies within 24 hours of his admission to the hospital without him having been diagnosed, it becomes a police case. This often happens when the patient is not a regular attendant to the health facility in question making it impossible to trace his medical history.

The hospital cannot release the body to the bereaved family until the police clears it of any foul play after an autopsy has been conducted. I am told that is done to ensure that there is no future litigations of suspected foul incidents hence the need for the autopsy.

But guess what, I was ready to spend as much to have the autopsy done, and to give him a befitting burial. The moral of this ‘useless’ story is that, no matter how ‘useless’ a family member or relative may be, once he / she needs medical support, please help if you can. It was with some high degree of guilt and tears in my eyes seeing this brother of mine lying in state looking very morbor-morbor as we wailed around his mortal remains. He became ‘more valuable’ to me than when he was alive and asking for only GHC200 to save himself.

Never ignore the liabilities your families may present – they are ultimately your responsibilities whether you like it or not, especially in our part of the world. Korjo left behind 3 children and was taking care of all these 3 children all by himself at the time of his passing on…without life insurance. Whose responsibilities are these children now if we really care? Your guess is as good as mine!

The mat says: ‘It doesn’t concern me but when there is death, they send for the mat’.

We bade Korjo goodbye in a tearful manner especially when we remembered his popular expression during his science-student days at Presecc: ‘Moses Meets Osmosis’. This he often said to describe a situation where ‘just when everything seems to be going well for you, a storm rears its ugly head in your life’

Korjo, ‘Prof Gborgey’, babanawo esia, xede nyuie!

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