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Okukuseku - Onipa Ho Ye Hu!
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“Your looks betray your thoughts” African Proverb.

As a Muslim and among the leadership of the local “Ummah” (Muslim community), I rarely visit pubs or places where liquor is sold. I stay away from such places to avoid creating any wrong impression in the minds of my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith. Indeed, frequenting such places might cast doubt on my teetotaler status and also cast my religion in a very bad light.

Last Saturday was, however, one of the rare occasions. I visited a pub not too far away from my house to join others to celebrate a close friend who had just graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Education from one of the leading universities in the United Kingdom. From the depth from which he came from, earning a PhD was worth celebrating. It was indeed a joyous occasion!

Amidst the loud music being played, my rabbit-like ears managed to eavesdrop on a conversation by three blokes sitting next to my table. People who minutes ago publicly expressed joy at their friend’s achievement, were privately castigating him for celebrating the feat. One even asked, “Is he the first person to get a PhD?”

It was obvious the trio was jealous of their friend’s achievement. By some design of fate, the late Paapa Yankson’s “Okukuseku” started blaring from the giant speakers. Shame was soon written all over their faces as lyrics of the song pricked their conscience. Some of the lyrics translate as, “My brother, fear humans and not ghosts. Because humans will do you in when they get the opportunity. Humans are very treacherous.”

Later at home, the lyrics sent my mind to wonderland. I could not help wondering if the finger pointing at “Menzgold” is one of the “okukuseku” strategies in this country to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. If the said company is collecting deposits contrary to laid down regulations, we expect the regulatory and monitoring body to bite, and not bark. The constant barking by the Bank of Ghana makes one suspect foul play.

You see, some of us have long memories and have not forgotten how the likes of Appiah Menka (Apino) were pulled down by their own compatriots. So we become nervous when we see a similar scenario being played out. My only consolation is that the current leadership of this country is not anti-private sector.

But one can still not forget the fact that ours is a country with many “phd” holders. Unlike my friend who toiled academically to receive his doctorate, many of my compatriots easily earn their doctorate from “konkonsa university” in “pull him down” (phd). We can be likened to crabs in a bowl, pulling one another down and making sure none climbs to the top.

The Free SHS Programme (FSP) is in full force and we cannot pretend to be oblivious of the fact that many headmasters are unhappy with the programme for selfish reasons. Yes, you heard me right!

Is it not an open secret that the strict auditing process had denied many heads the expected bumper harvest during this year’s admission (cocoa season)? Of course, we saw how they devised cunning ways to line their pockets at the expense of innocent parents. Did we not see how they created artificial boarding vacancy shortage to make it possible for them to extort monies from unsuspecting parents? So when we hear them screaming and naming the ills of the programme, we cannot swallow it hook, line and sinker!

Abusuapanin, we can also not pretend to be oblivious of the fact that many matrons are siphoning the food meant for students and cooking innutritious meals for them. We’ve read in the newspapers and online how the GHANASS matron was caught red-handed diverting food meant for students. We’ve also read how her compatriots in Tolon and Buipe Senior High Schools were caught in the same shameful situation. Only the Bearded Old Man Above knows how many more matrons are stashing away food meant for students.

I laughed the first time I heard the sharp-teethed Member of Parliament (MP) from the Umbrella stock say the FSP would collapse in five years. But knowing how treacherous humans are, and seeing it being manifested in the actions of some headmasters and matrons, I’m tempted to think five years is even too much. Unless Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh and his lieutenants “shine their eyes”, the “okukuseku” spirit in our compatriots will destroy the good programme. I know Napo is not a dead-goat so he is listening!

I leave you with the lyrics of the “Okukuseku” song. Sing along if you please: “Okukuseku ooo, menua. Suro nipa na gyae saman. Onipa, wo nya woa ……..…………”

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo Volente!
Source: Daily Guide

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