The never-ending obligation to attend (extended) family functions in Ghana is taking me away from my home in Accra for a few days. Somebody please let me know if there are benefits to being an only child in my country. The extended family thing is one of the hallmarks of African culture, I know. Believe me, I know. But shoot me already; I’m ready to go all nuclear. This time, I’m to attend the funeral of the father of a close cousin. Well actually, the funeral of the husband of my grandmother’s sister’s daughter. Yeah, extended. All this in kinship reciprocity, because said cousin was really helpful during my planning and execution of my grandmother’s funeral. Yep, I used the words “planning” and “execution”. One day, I will post about the insanity of Ghanaian funerals.
To top it off, I will not have adequate access to the internet in Enyan Denkyira in the Central Region of Ghana. Broadband service is not available and connecting through the mobile providers is such a hassle and is very slow when you do get on the internet. Oh, another issue I don’t get. Whenever there is a conference on IT in Ghana, the theme is something like: “Harnessing ICT for development and …(take your pick of education, tourism, agriculture or my mother calling me to ask me if I’ve called the Electricity Company of Ghana to report that her lights are off)”. How can we harness (you’d be mistaken if you thought the planners read Cowboy literature) whatever when access is not prevalent. How about talking about increasing access and IT infrastructural development? You know, there are certain words that one uses, and uses often, only when you live and work in Africa. But that is another post entirely.
Meanwhile, my mother and I will be walking into major drama at this funeral since ‘poor widow’ and her children have escalated a minor argument into a major conflict that might just require the intervention of the unwanted US military African Command (AFRICOM). This feud has been raging while the patriarch lies in the mortuary. In the mortuary for seven months. The sheer madness of funerals in Ghana.
There is only one benefit to this trip; my five year old will get to play with lots and lots of children his age. Which translates into freedom, generous moments of silence and peace for me. I can’t sneeze at that. By the way, I just want to say that my people in the Central Region of Ghana are contributing handsomely to the growth in global population. Because putting contraception into the hands of women simply does not work if your country is weak in the development of women thing. Apparently, Ghana’s economy is among the fastest growing in the world. But you would not know it by the number of children that we are birthing in the Central Region. Mind you, we also have a raging maternal mortality epidemic so I hope you can appreciate how hard we are working to help the world reach the next 8 billion. To be pregnant, to have lots of children is fashionable. No, no. It’s actually employment. Because there are few options for most girls after they inevitably fail their final secondary school examinations. Inevitable because education in the rural areas of Ghana just sucks. The government schools basically babysit children. But that’s another post.
So see you on Sunday. There might be a pre-scheduled post or two. If not, then I was dreaming and imagining a more efficient Kinna as usual. A reminder that Ghanaian Literature Week begins on Monday, November 14th.
Enjoy your reading!