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Opinions of Sunday, 29 May 2011

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.

Autobiography of Corruption-Ghana: Cargo-Cult Pageantry

*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D.

My Surname is Corruption Ghana
Ghanaians make noise
Critique, attack
Cajole, question
Assail me
For now and tomorrow
Tomorrow and the next
The forget it all
I, the elitist pen-robber
I, the state-thief
The killer of the dream
I, the thief, enjoy the loot
The killer of the dream
I, the thief, enjoy the loot
Loot of cars
Loot of lands
Loot of houses
Tomorrow and the next
Ghanaians forget it all
The disease of thievery
The disease of corruption
The disease of cronyism
The disease of nepotism
The disease of “tribalism”

My surname is Corruption-Ghana
I am also John, Newcastle, and Wilberforce
I go to school to shed my local cultures
To shed my Ghanaianess and Africanity
Today I call myself Chang China-Ghana
It is my new sense of belonging
My father is Fama Nyame [Give all to God]
My mother is Enye Hwe [It Does Not Matter]
My parents nurtured my corruption
My community adores corruption
Thieves are my sanitized ancestors
My religion is the Cargo Cult
The followers are a living dead
The materiality of USED all
The symbol of the Cargo Cult
Living and loving it all
Overseas used items
Used cars
Used coffins
Used umbrellas
Used computers
Used chewing sticks
My lyrics are a dearth of inventiveness
My celebration of my eternal inferiority

My Surname is Corruption Ghana
I steal from the state
My parents like it
They are like all Ghanaians
They say their son has made it
I steal from the state
My family will give me a state burial
My community will worship me
All Ghanaians will remember me
Remember and idolize my stolen wealth
Draped in our national corruption flag
I am the cynosure of all thievery eyes
I am the petal on the stalk
Stalk of individual achievements
Stalk of communal approval
Stalk of communal appreciation
Of thievery, graft, pilfering

My Surname is Corruption Ghana
I am the ovary of everyone’s dream
Ovary of familial progress
Ovary of communal expectations
Ovary of mentoring to young ones
I am Corruption-Ghana
Celebrated in church
Celebrated at festivals
Celebrated in Parliament
Celebrated in the Palace
Celebrated in bedrooms

My surname is Corruption Ghana
I thrive on bribes, pen-robbery
State-stealing is my staple food
Graft is my oxygen
I am smooth
I rob with my signature
Throating big words
Swaggering with degrees
Pen in hand is my weapon
I am an elitist armed robber

My Surname is Corruption Ghana
Call me Sakyi-Hughes
Call me Kwamena Bartels
Call me PV Obeng
Call me ET Mensah
Call me Wereko Brobey
Call me Asabee
Call me Albin Bagbin
Call me Asiedu Nketiah

My Surname is Corruption Ghana
And I am all
All you wish to be
I am a Minister of state
I am a bank manager
I am an MP
I am a presidential aide
I am an accountant
I am a medical doctor
I am a top public servant
I am a crony of a top official
I am my “tribe”
Of Rawlings
Of Kufour, Mills

My Surname is Corruption Ghana
I am Corruption Ghana
I am worshipped
I am all you want
To steal from the state
Love of country
Love of stealing
Our moral hierarchy
Hierarchizing thievery
Our pathological culture
Culturizing thievery
Glamorizing thievery
Eternalizing thievery

*Akadu N. 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