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A literary critique

Letter to Jomo is a socio-politico-cultural mine of information which I recommend for aficionados of literary writing, and serious journalists who can learn from a style that takes their profession away from the mundane to a higher plane.

Many more will find pleasure in reading the letters for the beauty of language and matter in them as well as the accuracy of information that they provide. Generations to come will find them readable, enjoyable and a repository of information on Ghanaian social history.

Professor A. B. K. Dadzie

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George Sydney Abugri is a prolific, multi-award winning, Ghanaian newspaper journalist. He trained as a science and mathematics teacher, but migrated to journalism after a decade of teaching. 

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I have been bee-busy rehearsing my assumed role as the perfect, brand new pensioner, complete with a thoroughly grey skull, facial wrinkles, creaky joints and a discernibly emerging grumpiness to match.

I had anticipated heading straight for the Savannah on retirement and lazing under a shade tree in the village market square drinking pito and eating cooked dog meat with spices. Not a very bad idea at all if you are a poet and a native of the Savannah seeking the perfect setting in traditional time and space in which to dream.

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I never ever say I told you so whenever my incoherent rumbling hits the bull's eye with prophetic accuracy as it often does, do I ever?

This time around I do, Jomo: I told you the bizarre and complex meteorological changes raging on across the globe had hit our region and were threatening to render the meteorologist and his weather forecasting accoutrements redundant, didn't I?

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...and the phantom’s blood feast on the highways

By the time the ruling party and the largest opposition party are done with their frantic obsession with political power, there wont be a single voter left in Ghana to cast a ballot for either of them, because by then, the 25 million of us would have been very dead, Jomo, killed one and all by armed robbers and gory road accidents.

Going by the official statistics which appear to be very gross underestimates, an average of six people are killed in road accidents in Ghana everyday but then, once every so often, the casualties in a single accident range between 20 and 50.

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but the president got a palace in the sky

Spinning an occasional yarn about my humble self wont do modesty any harm, will it? While boxing referee Russel Mora was busy robbing Joseph Agbeko of victory in the Ghanaian’s IBF bantamweight bout with Abner Mares in Las Vegas, the United States Department of State in Washington was also busy brandishing the red card at an opportunity the US Embassy in Accra was extending to me to be Ghana’s 2011 ambassador to the United Nations of Literature

Here is the story: The US embassy recently nominated me to attend the famous International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in the US subject to approval by the US Department of state. UNESCO has designated Iowa City the UN center for world Literature and it is not an exaggeration to say that for any writer anywhere in the world, an award to participate in this program is a Nobel Prize in its own right.

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and blackmailing the president for a fair wage

There is apparently more to the meteorological complications of climate change than the attendant extreme conditions of heat and cold and drought and floods, Jomo: Imagine great and mighty torrents suddenly cascading from the heavens over Accra and Kumasi in the middle of October and wreaking havoc on property, but never mind, for we have a more urgent task at hand: 

Lend your imagination free rein with paint and brush to paint this picture, Jomo: It is one of a busty, full-bodied female with a shock of blond hair and in tight jeans rolled back to the knee from the heel, cowboy riding boots, tight-fitting designer blouse and sunglasses resting on her hair above the forehead:

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I watched a cat terrorize a fishmonger in my neighbourhood a couple of days ago. The monger hawked fresh fish from door to door, meticulously descaling the fish with a knife before handing the household orders to her customers. 

As the monger went about her task, the cat was all over her with bared teeth and a menacing meow. The monger would wave her off with the knife but the little terrorist of a feline would be back in seconds, her meow assuming the pitch of a shriek.

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I am beginning to dislike my job Jomo: Shopping for abusive enemies to feed an agitated conscience is not a pleasant task but hey, it is the only job I have got in a land of fairly massive unemployment. Besides, every tradesman ought to stick to his calling no matter how unpleasant, don’t you think?

Cobblers should mend shoes, fishermen venture out across turbulent seas and bring back fresh tilapia out of the ocean depths for us to grill and eat, the cops catch every thief in town and pastors show us the way to God and Heaven, yah?

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