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Feature Article of Saturday, 12 February 2011

Columnist: Sakyi, Kwesi Atta

A Poem-Akwaaba

Akwaaba



Welcome home, great traveller, Akwaaba.

Welcome home to the erstwhile Gold Coast,

Akwaaba to the shimmering sandy beaches in Accra,

The scorching heat makes you cry,

And you want to have a dip

In the expansive blue waters of the nearby Atlantic Ocean,

Akwaaba to the city that never sleeps,

It throbs with a racy and unbeatable beat,

Rhythmic of its restless and vivacious people,

Traveller, well travelled. Welcome to hospitality,

Never feel troubled nor estranged

In the country of the Golden Stool,

Yeah, the land of the golden cocoa pods and chocolate,

Akwaaba once again to the

Land of Freedom and Justice,



Unwind your weary soul,

Refresh yourself and

Down some kegs of fresh frothy palm wine,

Or titilate your palate to

A plethora of beer brands on offer-

Star, Club, Guilder, Guinness, Pilsner, ABC-

You name the lagers and

Get the quintessential beer flavours.

If you are a teetotaller,

Try the many tantalizing rich

Chocolate-coloured malt drinks,

Of course, as you do justice to the lagers,

They mercurially course their intoxicating way

Into your nervous system,

Making your eyes begin to dilate and glow,

And your head begins to spin a bit

With your heart throbbing at a pounding beat,

Suddenly you begin to reflect and soliloquize,

Then something clicks and it dawns on you,

1s this land of

Akwaaba?

Yes, you are right. You will always go and come

And be welcomed, ‘Akwaaba’.

That is the real import of Akwaaba.



While it lasts, enjoy the pacy highlife tunes,

And peppery cuisines,

But don’t forget to savour the

Devastatingly delicious Adodi (shell fish)

From the Volta, or the countless fried

Seafood all over the dingy alleys in the

Suburbs and CBD of Accra,

Don’t forget also to taste the Kebabs,

Goat-soup specialities and the delectable

‘Black Star’ with fried ripe plantain,

Black-eyed beans, cocoyam leaf sauce

Laced in rich red palm oil,

Oh, Akwaaba, come again.



Never mind too much the Ghanaian ways,

They do some of the things their own style,

Proud of their culture and ancestral heritage,

Traced to the Niger bend and Ancient Egypt and Sudan,

They love their apposite trends,

Sometimes, parallel or opposite to

Western rigmarole etiquette and Victorian flourish.

On your return home, traveller,

Take with you the warmth of the people of Ghana,

The rememberances of the Ogyakrom scorching sun,

The memorabilia of small gifts of Kente stoles,

Daintly carved wooden statuettes,

Fertility dolls from the Larteh Akonedi shrine,

They can bring you luck of children,

If you lack them,

Only workable if you are as superstitious

As the Ghanaian!

Take away also the Ananse fables, replete with

Fun, pun and wisdom,

Come again and again. But if you don’t,

The ineluctable and inimitable Ghanaian dishes

Will beckon you to

Return.







5



MY HOMETOWN

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