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Opinions of Sunday, 5 September 2010

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.

ree Education under Trees: Northern Elites’ Toxic Ways

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*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D.

“DESPITE SO much talk by successive governments on what they claimed was massive
provision of infrastructural facilities for schools in the country, the pupils
of 185 basic schools, out of 636, are still being exposed to the harsh weather
conditions in the Upper East Region” (Ghanaweb Sept 4, 2010).

I. TOXIC NORTHENERN MPS/ELITES
Pupils: Atinga, Bukari, Memuna & all
Yes Teacher Abu Adamu
Are the Andanis’ kids under trees?
No Sir
Aliu Mahama’s
No Sir
Bagbin’s
No Sir
Ayariga’s
No Sir
Amidu’s
No Sir
John Mahama’s
No Sir
So what are we doing here?
We don’t know Sir!
We are unraveling illusions
The hollow sounds of our MPs
Of following AFRC, PNDC, NDC
Our raucous chants
Our anti-Akan renditions
That rage still has a selling point

II. TEACHER & STUDENTS UNDER A TREE
Pupils: Atinga, Bukari, Memuna & all
Yes Teacher Abu Adamu
Where are we?
We are under a dying tree
What kind of tree?
COCOA tree
Students can’t learn under trees!
I say what kind of tree?
Teacher, it is a BAOBAB tree
Where exactly are we?
Near our tractor-MPs’ plantations
Where exactly students?
Bagbin in the northeast
Ayariga in the southwest

Pupils: Atinga, Bukari, Memuna & all
Yes Teacher Abu Adamu
What is the source of the noise?
Tractors, Sir: Bagbin’s & Ayariga’s
Tutu tutu tuuu tu tutuu tractor


Oh noise-makers; class is over
Thank you, Teacher Adamu

III. HAIL NKRUMAH & CPP
Hall Osagyefo Nkrumah
Hall the CPP
That nursed schools in the North
Free education for all Northerners

IV. DECAYING “AFFIRMATIVE” ACTION
Free education
Fifty plus years and counting
Big Alhajis/ias, MPs, Dokitas
Cloaked in tuo safi bodies
Ideologues of P/NDC chaos
Northerners who hate the North
Northerners who nest in the South
Instead of the North
After free education
Warranted from cocoa farmers
Southern cocoa farmers
Southerners who pay school fees
Have built their own schools
Northerners take to self-help

V. OUR MISPLACED PRIORITIES
Cars, cars, cars, cars
Tractors, tractors, tractors
Instead of schools
Materialism of the thievery elites
Cargo-cult mentality of the masses
Killers of the dream

VI. FROM TREE TOP TO UNDER IT
Ghanaians, Africans
Savagely parodied in the past
In the Western imaginings
Of immemorial Africa
Savage rendition even today
In the homes of the West
In the streets of Beijing
Of Africans living in trees
In the Dark somber forests
Forests shared with chimps
Guarded by baboons
Where monkeys play along
Where lions rule
Our Africanized “Darwinism”

Today we tell the world
Boldly Africanizing poverty
That we came down the tree
We don’t live on tree-tops
We came down from the trees
That we live under trees
185 “basic schools” out of 636
Free schooling under trees
Open to the elements & noise
Oh! Killers of the dream
Of Nkrumah’s dream

*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 akadumensema@yahoo.com