Today, I saw God. He was wearing white midi shorts that sagged a bit, with a t-shirt some shade of green. He wore a grey cap too. I didn’t see what footwear he had on. And he walked quickly, with some kind of swagger.
I did not know it was him at first, honestly. He looked too ordinary and very much like someone I would not take seriously. But he was God anyway. Here’s how I know.
Anyone living in Ghana, working in Central Accra can easily picture the madness of the traffic jam you’d have to crawl through to get to work in the mornings. It’s insane, really, when you think about the reality of spending close to 2 hours over a 5km stretch. And this is not an exaggeration.
In such situations, your life in the traffic jam falls largely into one of three routines. The first is that you may surf from one radio station to another, or probably hover on a good one you like ( Citi Fm or BBC for me) to listen to what they call the breakfast show. Here’s where you’d probably hear the newspaper reviews, the business news, the sports news and a jumble of other items. This can be a luxury, because if you find yourself in a trotro, where you can’t change frequencies, you may have to listen to some arrogant lunatic ranting over which MP is more corrupt than he the panelist is.
The second is that you may be writing and reading. I mean, reading social media posts and writing replies to messages or comments under people’s photos, updates or tweets. I really wish I could say reading a book, or writing one, or something in that line. But I think I mentioned Ghana earlier right?
The third is that you may be looking out the window, thinking all sorts of thoughts, or none at all. You may be working yourself up for a heart attack, insulting and criticizing the politicians for how rundown the country has become or plotting ways and means by which you would extricate yourself from the ‘shared woes’.
Or like me today, you may just be staring out the window at a deranged man, looking as if he had just shopped of the shelves of Kanye Wests’s collection of tattered clothes. I mean, he even had the colours right. He sat on a concrete slab, in which had been planted a pole that hoisted an MTN advert. He was bent forward with his elbow on his knee, and his chin in his palm. He was watching the sane people go by insanely, to jobs that drove them bananas. Men in flying ties whizzed passed, and women in slippers hurried along, carrying their black heels in the handbags if they weren’t left under their desks the day before.
Then the watermelon came by. Well, it wasn’t exactly the watermelon that came, but the watermelon hawker came by. It was early in the morning, but she looked tired already. On the pan she carried on her head, she had about 15 arcs of cut watermelons. She had a nicely polished stick serving as a mast around which she wound the plastic wrap that covered her fruits. On her right arm, she wore a small white bucket like the ‘corporate’ women were wearing their handbags. She carried in it the packaging for her fruits, and some change.
As she got to where Silent Observer the mad man sat, he stopped her with a swift motion of his hands. Then he signaled to her that he wanted a slice of her melons. From where I sat in my vehicle, I read Lady Melon’s indecisions quite clearly. First, she was hesitant to stop. But she did, glancing around for some kind of approval or reprimand. She got none. Then Silent Observer asked again, motioning to her head, then to his mouth more frantically this time. He seemed to know that he was not entitled to anything, and his demeanor was plaintive. Lady Melon was now indecisive as to whether to give him what he was asking for. You see, the thing was that Lady Melon was selling watermelons because she needed money. She also knew that the mad man who was sitting in front of her had no money to pay for any watermelons. But she also knew that he was hungry. Lady Melon made as if to bring her pan down, then stopped, then did it again. All this while Silent Observer was watching her, no longer slouched on the concrete slab.
This went on for about 2 minutes. Then God came. As I watched from my vehicle, some guy who would have looked scruffy, but for the whiteness of his shorts arrived at the scene. With the swiftness depicted in the movies by a drug peddler exchanging something illicit, he slipped something into the watermelon seller’s hand, without stopping for a second. He did not even turn back once, but continued on his way. Lady Melon looked into her palm, her mouth agape and finally set down her pan.
Silent Observer would eat. His meal had been paid for by God.
OurNanaYaa (c) 2016.