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Opinions of Sunday, 22 June 2014

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu Ntiriwa

Gold-plated Gutters in Accra, Ghana

*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, PhD

**This and subsequent poems in the next few weeks are based on observations and experiences during my short stay in Ghana in May-June, 2014).

I saw them all! Ah! In Accra

Mosquito-colonized gutters

Accra’s obsessive grace with filth, decay

Huge palatial-like gutters

Flowing with graceful aplomb

Gracefully overflowing their banks





Like the first rain at the end of the dry season

Like expected rain-water on the eaves of the house

Guttered-filth is all over

Proud gutters

Where mosquitoes rule

Where their music

Serenade filth

Praise filth

Nationalize filth

Normalize filth

Bank filth

Celebrate filth

Massive filth

In huge gutters

In open gutters

Time-honored gutters

Gutters of gilded postcolonial age

Supervised by postcolonial elites

Destroyers of colonial-era built gutters

Destroyers with a dearth of inventiveness

Massive gutters of filth

The pride of postcolonial Ghana

Gutters that swirl with putrid pride

Alloyed with plastic bags

Pampered waste-matter

Cascading all over with grace

From mortuaries

From palatial homes

From Parliament House

From the Supreme Court Building

From cottage industries

Ah! These gutters of grace

Great gutters

Massive gutters

Catchment areas of plastic, debris, excreta

Gutters valley-ing homes

Gutters province-ing homeless kids

Gutters colonized by brilliant mosquitoes

Massive gutters

Full of manicured filth

Massive gutters

Nursing mosquitoes

Deploying armed mosquitoes

Gutters normalized

Brimming with excreta, garbage, trash

Gutters normalized

Gutters full of gold

Full of Gold

Putrid gold

Decomposing gold

Putrescent gutters

Ghana’s effervescent perfume

Ah! These gilded gutters

*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 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.