On Sunday, I was on air with Phillippa Yaa de Villiers and some other artistes on Citi fm 97.3fm in Ghana, reading two poems. I wrote this response to the first and only Caribbean poem I have posted on this blog and I want to share it with you. Roger Bonair-Agard’s original poem How Do We Spell Freedom posted here and my Nigerian blogger acquaintance Ibiene’s How Do We Spell Nigeria, posted here, are exciting predates to this one that you should read if you want more after this.
How Do We Spell Ghana?
(for Roger Bonair-Agard)
We began to spell Ghana in 1957. In Two thousand and fifteen, this is where we’re at!
A is for Answers
B is for Black Star in the middle of a half mast
C is for cut, cut, cut! Cut the drama and the lights.
Who dared us dream of utopias?
Unrepeatable dreams dreamt only yesteryears
By a generation before us?
They were ready to manage their own affairs
We, are not!
So D is not for dreams.
D is for Deception.
D is for ‘Do you believe it’s the same Ghana?’
D is for Dumsor
And this is where we’re at!
A could have been for Akosombo
But A is for Answers cos we need answers now
Or even for Aboadze, Asogli or Akuse
But just give us Answers now.
Elite and De-light were two innocent pieces of grammar
But today you’re e-lite if you have not been Dee-lighted
And if you still don’t get it,
A is for Answers!
E is for ECG
E because, that’s just enough said
F is for FPSO
This one makes me laugh!
There was another Ghana nobody told you about
So G is not for Ghana, or which one do we mean?
G is for governments
And the chameleon-skin-type-two-sides-of-the-same-coin-none-better-than-the-other-whichever-one-you-have governments!
H is for Hospitality
Because you don’t want to know the state of the hospital.
I is for Independence
At the same time J is for Just a little dependence
Are we getting anywhere with this?
Because I just don’t know!
K is for Kwame Nkrumah, Osagyefo Emeritus
But let a man’s name rest
K is for Kofi Annan, Busummuru and a few other things
But please let a man’s name rest
L is for Lamentations
M is for morning off, till tomorrow morning, on!
And if you still don’t get it, remember
A is for Answers!
O used to be for Opportunity
But after we wasted it,
O is for Opinion
O is for the Circle we’re caught in, like a circus of name-calling and pointing fingers
P is for pointing fingers.
We could have the other Ghana back if we work for it
Q is for Questions, remember? Those questions for which A is for Answers!
R is for Rise and rise and rise
S is for the sorrow of all that could have been.
But there is a T for which
T is for tomorrow
And maybe because of tomorrow
D is back on for Dream!
In 1957 we learnt to say our alphabets
In Two Thousand and fifteen, this is where we’re at!