Yesterday marked a significant date in my life. I believe everyone was very much aware of the date: 09.09.09. It's a date, I consider "Unique". Unique in the sense that, it won't happen again and there's no possible way its ever recurring. Like the previous ones; 12.34.56, 07.08.09, 060606, 070707 and 080808; they are all unique.
My facebook status read: Mac-Jordan is counting down to 09:09:09 - 09:09:09. Where you gonna be..?? What would you be doing..?? Share your thoughts...!!! I got the following comments from my friends and you would be surprised to know, where I was and what actually went on at that time.
Sam Kessie: "grrr... i'm gonna be working.. So hopefully it means more projects from here on out ;)" Tornam Tbone Anku: "Its not too strange but its unique." Adjoa Johnson: "am gonna be in Africa where no one is interested in bombing us out.. lol !!!!!!!!" Kajsa Hallberg Adu: "I was on facebook :-)"
Now to my ordeal:
As it is the norm in Ghana and most major cities in Africa, if you don't have a car to use for your personal and other work-related issues, you gotta be on the troskie always or when need be, taxies . Even though, they [tro-tro mates'] waste too much time looking for passengers and more, you'll finally get to your destination if only there's enough fuel in it. The driver's mates are always interesting and trust me, they've been no single day without a drama in any tro-tro I've boarded.
While sitting in this tro-tro heading to the Kwame Nkrumah [check my post on this great man later] circle. A drama started again. The bus conductor popularly known as "mate" took a GHC5.00 from a passenger and was to return a "change" of GHC4.45, he didn't want to do it. Only heaven knows, why he would do a thing like that.
Did someone say; it might be due to forgetfulness...??? "I beg, don't bring in that at all", was the cold remark I got for trying to save the day.
Apparently, the driver's mate have intentionally refused to balance the passenger thinking, he's got a free GHC5.00 for his already bright Vodafone Red-Day. Before he could say jack; my co-passenger friend [let's call him Efo Atsu, because he's got this Ewe accent in his spoken twi] shouted from the backseat; "Bro mate - My change; I gave you five cedis".
The mate sensing danger also replied in some harsh but tricky manner, "are you sure, you gave me five cedis?" Efo Atsu nearly gave him a dirty slap if he was close to him but that didn't happen so let's box on.
On reaching the Akuafo Interchange porpularly known as "37", Efo Atsu requested to alight there. Still no change from the driver's mate, he asked angrily; "hey bro mate - where's my change". The mate still insisted, Efo Atsu didn't give him five cedis but rather, one cedi. I had to save the situation by clarifying and cooling it down.
By this time, angry workers who were already late, started shouting; "Papa driver, we are late for work ooo", "Let's go before the traffic starts again" and a couple more comments..
The driver's mate finally gave in and returned Efo Atsu's balance of GHC4.45. As my time approached 09:09am; I started to look at significant things happening. At exactly 09:09:09; a police officer stopped the already late, traffic-pruned tro-tro. Everyone in the tro-tro shouted, haaaabaaa.. !!!
Seeing us coming from a distance, he raised his hands whiles holding onto a clip-board and shouted; "pack, pack, pack".. Everyone in the car including a Fire Service Officer, just chuckled. A young lady from the front-row exclaimed; "[ma nu one-cedi, na yen kor: give him one-cedi and let's get going]"
The driver got down, placed the one-cedi in what looked like his insurance booklet and walked towards the Officer who at this time was behind the tro-tro. In no time, the driver was back at his cock-pit, started the rickety tro-tro's engine and off we went.
So basically, my 09.09.09 - 09:09:09am didn't go as it should have but trust me, I am very happy sharing this with you. The part I didn't and don't like is; the bribe part. We shouldn't encourage this in our society at all. When would the Ghana Police Officers stationed on our roads to do just what they've been asked to do than taking bribe from tro-tro drivers even if their documents are in good standing...??
This tro-tro driver's documents were in good order but because he wasn't prepared to be delayed, he gave the bribe.. Ooooo Ghana.. Where are we going? Are we really moving forward??
For your information; I was born on the 9th of April; mine reads 0904.. !!!