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Feature Article of Thursday, 30 August 2012

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.

Violent “Northern” Elites & Free Mis-education

*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, PhD

“The beleaguered Deputy Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Hajia Hawawu Boya
Gariba, has dragged the Minister of Communications Haruna Iddrisu and Presidential
Spokesperson John Jinapor into the shameful fracas that occurred in Tamale last
Sunday, prior to President John Mahama’s visit to the area. Hajia Boya, now
nicknamed “De La Hoya” … attacked 54-year-old Rahinatu Zakaria alias Mma Kande, a
banku seller in Tamale, on Sunday afternoon. The victim is currently on admission at
the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Hospital in Tamale, nursing various degrees of
injury, following the severe beatings she allegedly received from the minister and
her goons” (Ghanaweb, August 28, 2012).

Free education for “Northerners”
Is free mis-education in violence
Konkomba-Nanumba war
The educated elites caused it
The beheading of Ya Na
The educated elites caused it
Thousand warring seasons
The educated elites cause them

Massa: Boy we meet again
Boy: Oga, how the go dey go
Massa: You hear the new fight
Boy: Where? Ah in the North
Massa: Where else you for think
Boy: Another Konkomba & Ya Na
Massa: This one be Madam Minister
Boy: They put am for witch hut
Massa: No be so she dey fight patapata
Boy: Wetin koraa dey for the North
Massa: Hmm! Northerners go tell us

The People of the North
In the savannah heat
Dust on their heads
Drought on their minds
They fight all the time
Fight in the morning
Fight in the afternoon
Fight in the night
In the day
During the week
In the month
During the year
They have normalized violence
They have acculturated fighting
Bloodshed is like pito in calabash
Bludgeoned limbs is like tuo safi

The People of the North
Turn stereotypes into science
Stereotypes about them
Into incontrovertible science
Of mutual violence
Of fratricidal combats
Of divorcing amicability
Of ethnic incompatibility
Of posing with arrows
Like flowers of the savanna
Of poising wooden spears
As their incandescent sun
Dancing to the beat of violence
Sweating in the heat of violence

The People of the North
Ah! Have come a long way
Unique free education
Unique social formation
Unique social mobility
They have great men
They have great women
Ah! Free free Education
Education never freed them
From communalized violence
Oh! Free free education
From the sweat of farmers
The sweat of cocoa farmers
Cocoa in the South
Gold in the South
Diamond in the South
Timber in the South
Oil in the South
Their elites misuse it all
Misuse free education
Their elites study violence
Their elites theorize violence
Their elites apply violence
Violence is their lifeblood
Of social mobility
Of political affiliation
Of marginalizing the masses
Ah! Konkonmba-Nanumba war
Ah! The slaughtering of Ya Na
Ah! Murder of Ya Na’s forty men
Ah! The thousand warring years

People of the North
With free education
Fight for NDC, NPP
Fight to impoverish the North
Fight to migrate to the South
They fight over tuo safi
The fight over pito
They fight of over fowls
They fight over bows
They fight over widows
They fight over latrines
They fight over cow skins
Everyday fight fight
With bows & arrows
Swords, cutlasses
Ayariga/Bagbin tractors

Massa: Boy we meet again
Boy: How the go dey go
Massa: You hear the new fight
Boy: Where? Ah in the North
Massa: Where else you for think
Boy: Another Konkomba & Ya Na
Massa: This one be Madam Minister
Boy: They put am for witch hut
Massa: No be so she dey fight patapata
Boy: Wetin koraa dey for the North
Massa: Hmm! Northerners go tell us

*Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D., is a nationalist Denkyira beauty. She is a trained
oral historian cum sociologist and Professor in the USA. She lives in Pennsylvania
with her great mentor and teaches Africa-area studies at a college in Maryland. In
her pastime, she writes what critics have called “populist hyperbolic, satirical”
poetry. She can be reached at akadumensema@yahoo.com My poems and essays on Ghanaweb
and elsewhere must not be reproduced in full or in part for any academic or
scholarly work without my written permission. Top of Form

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