We All Bleed Red
23. September 2018 at 17:14
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, time applies equally to all. The rich, the poor, the young, the old, the smart, even the young lady in the mini skirt who just roped her neck to a branch of the Iroko tree in her father's farm, has her fair share of time. Only that she wants to end her clock right about now. The newspapers stare silently from a telescope distance.Girl, 24, hangs herself to a baobab tree one front page reads the next day. Another spells A 24 yearbold irl hung herself to a fig tree they didn't even bother asking what type of tree it was, but who cares. As long as the story sold and the cedis flowed, it was game on.
I witnessed the inauguration ceremony of the Kempinski Hotel in the Gold Coast City, Accra and was wowed into many wishes; I just hope this was on a full moon so they may have a chance to surface, I don't quite remember; the brights were way too mouth opening. Of course I wasn't invited to the ceremony, neither was I an Uber driver nor a passer-by. Who would just pass by a view of such royal demeanor? Not me. I was a friendly neighborhood stroller who is rather obsessed with looking at buildings and sceneries his pockets are too shy to say Hi, so he would speak to the walls and add an Amen for dessert. The buildings stood tall and exuded elegance, with luxurious cars spilled all over like paints to a board. The Range Rovers and G-Wagens were blowing their golden trumpets while others just stuck to their humble whistles. I just looked on, mute. I was being blessed by the moment, I felt honoured; even as a fellow on the other side of the road, I felt honoured. The tree stamp I sat on became softer, the security men watched in wonder.
I didn't mind, my thoughts were left with me. These people too are Ghanaian. They are Africans, they are humans like I am; like every Ghanaian is. But while some strolled, some drove and others rode on our streets. I thank God that it was men who built these humongous structures, cultivated these ideas, nurtured these innovations, and all of these spectacles of awe, and not gods or goddesses; that would have been one hopeless template to catch-up on. How dumbfounding it is to behold the avatar of a single idea, a spec of a thought; just a byte of neural relays and receptions. The idea of Facebook, the Skype video calls, not to mention the micros of a second it takes to send an email to millions of people you never have met and might not even meet in an entire lifetime or two; these personifiers prove that race, background and colour without second thoughts, are disqualified from the archives of success. You only have to be human to be eligible. A pair of ears, a nose, a head crowned to a neck, two sets of limbs, you just have to bleed red.
'How much does Bill Gates earn in a second' I asked Google. The reply got me off my chair, to scratching my head as if it were a rash. His idea, once bounced and ousted, is now more popular than the toaster and the grater on the kitchen benches combined. A second just flew past my moustache, and his account is USD 114.16 richer. All that is required of him is to breathe; not nitrogen, but oxygen, just as I do. Just as we all do. These truths don't scare me, they dare me. They tell me that upon awakening every morning, the clock ticks to the knowledge I feed myself with. They tell me that my ideas should scare me, and wear me out; scratching me cold and bruising my brain folds, because that is exactly what progress smells like on the griller. They tell me that failure means I am working on something that needs constant editing and nourishment, and that it will turn out beautiful (if I keep at it) at the long run, just like the Kempinski Hotel, or the Villagio Primavera. The menu looks obese for some, for others, it is footable. They lunch everyday with not less than a GH¢ 140.00 footing; that is approximately GH¢ 700.00 weekly exclusive of weekends. Call that waste, call that squandrous, call that extravagant living and I'll tell you this, they don't care.
There are a throng of people who will keep depending on the government for their livelihood and sit aloof with arms between their legs and complain bitterly about how fallen the economy is, yet do not even understand the baseline statistics and economics behind such informations. They are those who curse everyone in an SUV, mistakening them for politicians. There are others that sit snuggling comfortably with their 'expertise'. They seem to know about politics even more than the members of parliament, terming every decision taken by the governing body as incompetent and out of line, yet have no clue what it takes to be shoulder-burdened with the weight of an organisation, talk less of a whole nation. Copious talks, yet dormant in thought and action. Same persons who harbour choked gutters in front of their houses or refuse dumps somewhere around their vicinities yet wait for the district assembly to send cleaners their way. And there are others, who notice the ticks of time, who understand that time poisoned by gossip and worry is congruent to waste and that something needs to be done within the spaces between life and death- a sacrifice of sleep, a sacrifice of self, a sacrifice of unpromising relationships, a sacrifice of comfort, just so one day others may live off of their many deaths. Just so others may have clean and potable water to drink and access to quality medical healthcare services.
Every night on my usual evening strolls, I stop by this building- a 6 storey height. Uncompleted and under construction. I tell myself that one day, scenes of such caliber will be my normal, just like the Kempinski lunchers. I tell myself that I too, will be honoured with the main speaker portfolio in an august gathering- not once, not twice, not thrice, no. 'Why?' you should know the answer by now.. We all bleed red.