“I came here because Ghanaians are having difficulties and suffering. It is my responsibility to try and help because if it is a question of counting who votes for me and who doesn’t vote for me, I shouldn’t be here. Because, you don’t vote for me.” — Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, The 5th President of the 4th Republic of Ghana.
Across the Volta lake
a dam empties
like a lactating breast.
Soaking clothes, burying concrete
boxes, it is splitting families
from memory’s fold.
Right here as the white of wall
inclines towards dirty green,
an older sister becomes the woman
her mother has been beating her into—
safeguarding lives, safeguarding
brothers who would rather follow
the way of the water
which is to frolic in school
grounds that can no longer be
the leash to their torment.
A boy wet with joy calls:
Brother, do you remember
when you became the wailing man
under the English teacher’s whip?
Look, the whip has turned
into a dead snake in the water.
The water has crushed its head
as the good Lord promised.
With the breast still purring comes
men with sights on opportunity
for a sucking; a reminder
on wretchedness. That where
there is pain, there is consciousness
on whose pockets poured relief.
Zeros drop like ecstasy
bombs, and a calvary of trucks
heavy with a nation’s milk snake through.
Oh, but as heaviness slants towards jocund
madness in the lands that will no more
know dryness, a woman wet with rage
reminds her kin: here, we do not hail the thief
for donating what s/he stole.
(Written after the events that has unfolded and is still unfolding in some parts of the Volta Region after the Akosombo Dam was opened)
is a Ghanaian-Nigerian writer on a never-ending search of self. He is confident in one thing: He would like to explore the world, realise new cultures, create new conversations and hopefully save the world by saving himself. He tweets on @AyeEcho.