Brobbey had looked in the mirror to see whether his pimple was still alive. He had explored his facial features with curiosity. He moved his hand around his tender face as if he was a blind man searching for his way home. He had remembered five years ago how people used to tell him a lot about himself. The fact that he had grown like a beautiful plant; a handsome teenager, had made him care less for he felt that was not necessary.
He was blessed with that personality that was spectacular, no doubt. Mental powers like being called astute was what he craved for. For him he had preferred to be called an alien, ugly creature rather than been called a fool or even more, a simpleton. That was his weakness.
Beneath that persona there was more to it. He was a chameleon. No one could decipher who he was, not even himself. “If I was a truck I would have fallen apart a long time ago. Sometimes these women don’t understand me. If you were to fetch water and blood was forced into your mouth you would understand my state.” He said after reaching for his brush.
He explored more and more of his face and it became thrice comprehensible why people never said that to him thence. What was wrong? Was the blessing of such a charisma and a godly look finally been upheld. Or perhaps witches had hunted for it. “Witches is only the mind-set of people who want an exit from responsibility.”
He said after hiding the mirror never to look into it. That was a reminder of his past. That exit was barricaded and lost in his world. He knew there was a vast change. That change had led him into an arena. That arena is different to that which he walked on.
He was an African yet everything that run through him belonged to another; the first class world. From his vein right to his brain, to the spinal cord that linked between them was lively as the mountain Afajato. Finding himself in any situation was a probability and not longevity.
Kwaku, his friend was next door. He came in without knocking.
“Ghana is tough a country I have to battle with as a result of my birth. See it’s been three years and no one is willing to employ me. I am in the second phase of my education and it becomes paramount for them to fix me somewhere. They want a degree holder to employ but yet nothing is requited than a talent.” Kwaku said.
“Kwaku we have to do something about it.” Brobbey added.
Kwaku threw himself on the bed with frustration.
“Look at the sun, it’s even perilous to talk of. Look at my glasses broken and no money to replace it. My cousin came to Ghana and their beauty surpasses splendid. They live in good conditions. Look at Adwoa how hideous she was and take a look at her picture currently. Just check her skin out. Kwaku this is the retreat I have always prayed for. Something like a magnet vibrates me a time as I speak of the new land.” Brobbey said.
“What new land this country cannot be. It’s hopeless.” Kwaku said.
“How can I turn into an old man after living some few years in my own country? I am only 22. They say where your umbilical cord is buried is where your heart remains. I am not spending the next decade of my life under the skies and the earth that hides my umbilical cord.” Brobbey added.
It was 3:00 p.m. and he was lingering around and the sun was strolling to its cave. It was obvious the bad market had kept people unhappy. The rain had poured and so the red earth was less of its nature.
“Please can you show me the market,” a stranger asked.
“The market is adjacent the building just go a little further from here.” Brobbey responded.
He saw the back of the man’s T-shirt blur. He turned and all were the same images. He took his step and he went down and down till his knee could touch the floor.
He opened his eyes and found himself surrounded by surprised and unfamiliar faces. What had happened to me? he asked himself.
“Are you alright? You passed out. Let me escort you home. It’s not safe to walk by yourself especially after what happened.” A stranger said.
“I’m fine. I forgot my glasses. I had to bring them along, that’s my other eye in case the natural one fails.” Brobbey said.
“Thief! Thief. That dog has stolen from my store!” A man exclaimed.
A giant, with a scary figure holding an axe, had paced off like a wind. That was 29 minutes ago. He followed, and what looked like fluid was flowing into a gutter like a tap of water flowing into a reservoir. Oh my gosh. How can these people be ruthless! The man’s head was lying helplessly like a ball.
His face looked like he had pleaded for mercy, but the mob had judged him on the spot. His head was separated from his body. “They have caused a grave sin, that man had previous asked me of the market to buy materials for his shoe shop. They mistakenly took him for a thief,” Brobbey said.
“Where were the police?” Kwaku asked.
“The police came to the scene but despite the tirade no one was arrested. Kwaku I will live to tell my story.” Brobbey spoke passionately.
Kwaku was unemployed like Brobbey, he was stuck in the house with his parents; a man of 23 still depended on his mother who was also bloated with poverty. This blight had caused him a lot of pressure. This had led him to working at the Sawmill.
Brobbey had had a bite in his heart. This had made him more upset and this anguish feeling he felt at the aftermath of that brutal incident made his minds lens clearer.
“I could be the next victim.” Brobbey’s fears were now verbalised. “What if I end up at any place and I find myself eating what does not belong to me? I would be a corps and my fate will be decided. I could be a victim.”
“Mother, I have had it in this country. How long will I starve and put my burden on you. I have planned of going to Algeria, maybe my destiny could be altered. I wouldn’t have to worry about starvation anymore.” Kwaku talked to his mother.
“Think of it critically,” his mother advised. “I hear people die on those desserts. Others who make it become miserable more than they were in their countries. Stay here son, I can’t afford to lose you. You know you have a duty as an elder brother and a first son you must stay alive.”
Brobbey was on the phone with his cousin Linda.
“You people prefer it abroad. Make your ear as swift as the rat, it’s it complicated. I have always hidden this. I have to work 5 times a day to make thing easy. I pay rent every week and I have to meet other obligations or I risk been a vagabond. I woke up early on a cold winter because I have to. And do you know the job I do? I’m a cleaner.” Linda confessed. Brobbey was confused on the phone and hung it up.
“Brobbey I have left,” Kwaku informed him later one day.
“What do you mean?” Brobbey snapped.
“Someone has lost his limb as a result of the Sawmill. This useless job is not worthy of buying any part of my body. I have quit. I am leaving for North Africa all I ever need is my passport.” Kwaku had decided.
“Kwaku, I have thought of compromising my decision. I have to work in my country, I can make it.” Brobbey was trying to convince Kwaku. “Kwaku, these white are not giving me this job because they think I’m black despite my splendid CV. They are so racist they don’t experience it in our country. We revere them whiles they treat us disdainfully in their land. I am coming to Ghana.”
This made Kwaku laugh like he was insane. He didn’t understand diaspora was like the burning furnace.
He had been called to take an interview and in the bus he found a lot he wished to change. There was everything bizarre about this country. The police were not right, the drainage systems were choked with plastic waste. Everything was imported, no recreational centres. The mad man was left on the streets. There was dirt all over.
Just like every preacher does, he started education about “a new land” people needed it They loved his bravery but it was their choice to change, it wasn’t too late.
“I will live to tell my story. In the new land police will do their job without fear or favour. In the new land the corrupt police on the street will be convicted. In the new land people would not worry about seeking greener pastures from other countries. In the new land schools will train proper citizens where they will be proud of themselves. In the new land they will build machines like aircrafts, ships, and automobiles. In the new land great engineers will pop up.
“In the new land we would build sky crappers to live in. We wouldn’t worry about importing in abundance but we will rather export our goods. In the new land we would lower shedding, it will be a thing of the past. In the new land we lived on the legacy of our great African leaders like Dr Kwame Nkrumah. We will build our own nation but that is a fiction unless we all fight for a common goal. No white will employ us to take their big job but we employ to build our road at the expense of our own people. Let’s work together for our nation.”
Brobbey woke up with a different spirit after a dream he had to stay in his country, probably God had spoken to him.
On the radio…
“A boat capsized drowning over 900 in the sea. Out of these no casualties were found. As the day pass people attempt to travel to travel over this menace to Europe. A new form of slavery reborn. Before colonialism people were forced to leave their shores to the diaspora to work. And now no one is reluctant to migrate to the diaspora anymore, they do so with their free will. White rule had ended in the in the black man’s world yet a new form of rulership germinates.”
“Kwaku, we should build our country for the black man’s betterment. I have dreamt of professor working at grocery stores.” Brobbey snapped later that day.
“What is there in this land is not worthy to lock my leg from my journey to the west. I am leaving for Libya. And soon you will see the son of man seated at the north side of Africa. I can’t wait to depart from this slum.” Kwaku decided.
Brobbey started his Fufu pounding machine idea and in three years’ time. It became a reality and people were purchasing out in numbers. He established his business in Europe. Africans and whites who loved the fufu delicacy invited him to establish his business abroad. At the age of 29 he was a CEO and a millionaire. Going abroad became a norm like going to the bathroom.
He wrote books and people became interested in his ideas and what he preached about. Africa had hope. Meanwhile his friend was stuck in Libya doing menial jobs…
“Ghana is not independent unless the total liberation of Africa” – Dr Kwame Nkrumah.