Kuffour’s Dollar and Bra Mate

For a frustratingly long while, there have been on and off talks about the nation’s currency and its ever dwindling strength. Many self acclaimed economic analysts have tried to give reason for the heart break that the Ghana Cedi has been causing, most especially in this era of ‘TERPKERNOMICS’. A lot of these problem-identifiers-who-do-not-provide-solutions attribute the seeming failure and threatening collapse of the currency to Gentle Giant’s re-denomination of the cedi.

I am not a very faithful disciple of Adam Smith, but I listen to a few economic beatitudes while I sit on the Hill of Knowledge. For this, I can confidently make my claim- Kuffour’s dollar has caused a lot more trouble to little girls like me, in trotros, than it ever has to the relative value of the currency.

JAK, allow me to tell you why I say that which I say.

One of the many things you told us when you were bringing us your dollar was that we would have faster and easier transactions. Indeed we do, but we have been deprived of the pleasure of counting many ¢5000 notes while standing in a queue somewhere about to make payments of large sums. We do not get that feeling that Dada Boat so perfectly enacted whenever he pulled his glossy leather jacket with his heavily ringed fingers and declared with a lopsided smile that he was ‘)te k)k)) so nana’. This is not even what is troubling; we can do without the airs.

5000 cedis...when were were rich because of the number of notes we had
5000 cedis…when were were rich because of the number of notes we had.

What is truly bothersome is that we have had our wealth, at particular times, our entire wealth in the world, locked up in a single sheet of paper like a GH¢50 note. JAK, that is not a very fine thing to deal with if you happen to find yourself in a trotro that had just moved from the Madina bus station. On many occasions, Bra Mate had expressed his unhappiness subtly, but he must have have enough when he exploded the last we met.

I handed Bra Mate a ¢50 note when he was collecting the fare and he froze. Slowly, he lifted his eyes of the money he was holding and glared at me. If he were a cartoon, his ears would be chimneys because he was fuming with rage.

‘Do mean to insult me?!’ he shouted, much to the surprise of myself and everyone else in the bus. He went on and on about how I should have informed him before the vehicle left the station and how sly nicely dressed girls who did not want to pay their fares were. In fact, JAK, it was a very embarrassing situation. I said not a word back at him but as typical of trotros, I got the free services of passenger-lawyers who defended me quite impressively.

All this while, JAK, I kept asking myself if it was my fault that the ATM machine served me only ¢50 notes that afternoon.

Bra Mate would never know, he did not want to.


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