Thursday, October 30, 2008

Morning Palaver!!

I had gone to a nearby internet hub this morning to update our website. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you at all; in fact we‘ve been able to build newsafrican without a regular internet facility in our “home office” by often perching on unsecured wireless internet technology around town.

Be sure to find me in an uncomfortable position right opposite to Papaye (Ghana’s #1 junk food joint) in front of the well-known drinkables base –The Container, on the Oxford Street at Osu in Accra, a nest for the seemingly almost sometimes elitist class in Ghana.

From the hub, I joined an express rickety trotro (transport-locale mini van) on the 8-lane Winneba-Kaneshie stretch to my workplace, mind you I’m running 2hrs late, where I’m currently about ending my one-year national service obligation after intellectually romanticizing in one of the world’s rare ocean-view universities located at Cape-coast in the central region. The “mate” (the trotro driver’s assistant as we call them in Ghana) offered me the front seat to squeeze my bottom.

Don’t think I would refuse, because to sit at the front and in fact close to the door, you can comfortably rest your right arm, we call this posture, 7, in Ghana. It’s a privilege, but not for those behind you in the main cabin. You have the opportunity to be mistaken for being the “car owner” while you sheepishly smile and wave to familiar pedestrians whom you spot in a spate of milliseconds if you were having laser eyes.

I beckoned to the conductor that I would alight in front of the somewhat-famous cellular network house, MTN (Most Troublesome Network) so I can majestically ply my favorite catwalk route to work thinking of how I was going to balance that financial account I’ve been preparing for the past 2 months, don’t envy anyone who works in an audit firm . This account has given me sleepless nights this whole month; I dared not even to occasion my birthday. The account would simply not balance.

Once, I had to rush out of the bathroom with soap all over me to go post a figure which had eluded me. Apparently I had to jump out of the shower before it evaporates from my mind again.

Charlie (and Nigerians wonder why Ghanaians always use this expression to refer to each other either male or female), what actually gave me my uttermost shock this morning was to find the “mate” busily engrossed with a newspaper, he was so much concentrated in his reading that he didn’t hear me screaming, “I’ll alight here.” It was indeed a spectacle to behold.

A “mate” reading a newspaper on duty! Wow!

They’re usually not known for such an act by Ghanaians and anybody who’s ever lived and joined trotro in this West African country and probably wherever this transport system exists on the African continent. To tell you the truth their personality, character and attitude is nothing to write home about. That can be a discussion on another day.

Perhaps they’re turning a new a leaf, even if its one out of the whole lot, I pray it becomes a craze amongst them. It will surely change the face of transport business in Ghana. Passengers should also stop branding them negatively because of the pesewa. Of course I agree with you, they must also be polite to the people who put bread on their table.

One love to all “trotro mates” in Ghana.

1 comment:

Ezekiel Adokwei Johnson said...

I just love to watch "Trotro" mates do their thing, and oh, yes! I would love to see more of them reading but certainly not on duty because even without a newspaper in their hands, their ears almost always seem to be blocked to the cry of passengers.
But honestly, you are calling these guys "Mates" uh? I bet you with the fact that they are now inclined to reading, I would not be surprised they might soon bring a writ to the fast track court against you. They are now "Driver's Assistance". Just make them feel good, you know. Like the Linesmen are now wallowing in pride just after being upgraded to "Referee's Assistant". Anyway, please don't ask me what assistance they give though.
But seriously, I would prefer them to be called "Aplanke" as it sounds much more exotic and at least can explain their popular "good conducts"..
Diz is ma piece of cake.