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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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The weatherman could not have known what hit him: Great peels of thunder rocked the national capital with such shattering intensity shortly after dawn, yesterday, that it shook buildings and trees and probably things unseen...

I do not recall any thunder storm of that magnitude and scale lasting for as long as this one did. For much of the early morning, thunder roared relentlessly from east to west and then northward and back to east again with a detonating ferocity. With every great flash across the sky, you instinctively braced up for the frightening clap that must come, and it went on and on and on non-stop.

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…and listen to Dr Akwasi Osei when he speaks!

 

Our Chief Psychiatrist, Dr Akwasi Osei has repeatedly confirmed what I had myself suspected all along: Most of us, (about 40 per cent of Ghana’s population) are either psychologically unbalanced, very creaky upstairs, psychiatrically challenged or gone all the way round the far bend.

In varying degrees,  the entire population OF Kwame Nkrumah’s republic has gone cuckoo, loony, brainsick, demented, disordered, dotty, badly cracked, maniacal, moonstruck and all said and done, completely tuned off from sanity. Oh yes, we are bound for the nuthouse, Jomo.

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“Read the consumer information on every product you buy off the shelves before use.” This headline is quoting none other than me, Jomo. Here is why I am sharing my great wisdom liberally with consumers: I mentioned to someone the other day, how the unruly mountain of grey with a few streaks of black hairs sitting on my skull, seem to be getting kinkier by the day.

Run off to the nearest shop and get yourself a small jar of Morgan’s ointment. That is what the bloke suggested. To the nearest shop I went, and got myself a jar of Morgan’s, see? On the first day, it appeared to soften the unruly mass alright. It was on the second day of use, that I realized I had forgotten to read the consumer information on the jar.

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Let us launch straight away into the day’s hollering headlines with scant ceremony, Jomo: “Mother cooks son’s hands over one Ghana cedi.” This tale comes with a photograph of the poor child with both hands heavily swathed in bandages. He had spent GHc 1 meant for the payment of house refuse disposal services on food. It is a most heart-rending tale about parental cruelty carried to the far fringes of the extreme, but hey, it is also a pathetic tale about the incredible levels of poverty in our country.

For a parent to be so angered to the extent of maiming a child for life on account of one cedi spent by a famished child on food, can only mean that one cedi is quite a fortune to her. That being the case, it is really a story drawing urgent attention to the need to quicken the pace of all poverty reduction and social intervention projects and programmes in progress around the country. Next screamer…

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The controversial republic on Africa’s west coast called Ghana is one country where a soothsayer’s apprentice will deem himself fit to give a public lecture at the University of Ghana’s Department of philosophy, on the origins of existentialism.

So, unsurprisingly, the chronic and never-yielding national electricity generation and supply crisis has  revealed what an incredibly huge number of energy experts Ghana is generously blessed with.

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The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority announced the other time that applicants for drivers’ licenses who cannot read and write would no longer be issued with driving licenses. Licenses held by illiterate individuals would not be renewed on expiry. That was the last time we heard of the policy.

 

Has the policy been implemented and its impact on road safety assessed? The DVLA and the police have not told us a darned thing by way of a public update. I suspect that there are still  thousands of non-literate maniacs behind wheels on our roads and highways who cannot recite the English alphabet, let alone read and comprehend our country’s highway code, any more than a rabbit can decipher equations in quantum mathematics written in hieroglyphics.

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Ghanaians sang an enduring chorus with the rest of the world throughout last and this week, urging Nigerians to ensure that peace prevails in Nigeria after the elections. You can only hope that when it comes to Ghana’s turn next year, this controversial republic which is  worse than notorious for threatening Armageddon every election year will remember that another name for peace is “peace, precious peace.”

Every election year in Ghana is a real pain in the neck: There are always threats to blow up Kwame Nkurmah’s good old country on the west coast of Africa to fragments if the poll does not swing this or that political party’s way or that happens or does not happen.

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