Dear Nii Kpakpo,
The ‘aircrips’ (eclipse) has come and gone with its ‘hullaballoon’ and as usual Ghanaians hyped it out of proportion. Like the usual doomsayers that we are we were told not to watch it with our eyes or we go blind because of one thing or the other that is never spelt out.
Oh yes! As Nana Awere Damoah says in his book I Speak of Ghana, the Ghanaman’s gullibility is legendary. “Gullibility will take us only to Golgotha or even a worse place.” We just do without asking.
We see the sun all the time but no explanation is given as to why on the day of the eclipse alone, when you take a look at the sun directly you will go blind.
Is it not the same as in all adverts when we hear of Terms and Conditions but we are never told what those terms and conditions are?
Nii Kpakpo, I intentionally stayed off all social media so that I don’t really get to hear all the explanations for the eclipse but what I couldn’t avoid was the television news and studio discussions on the effects and perceptions of the eclipse.
Here are a few I have heard and compiled that I thought I should share with you;
The Chinese people said that when the eclipse is happening, the dragon gods are eating the sun. This means that a new dragon was taking over in the kingdom and spiritual realms.
The medieval English believed that the eclipse was a time when the wizards and druids had their meetings and evil magic was about to take over.
But it was the Ghana version of explaining the eclipse that bowled me over. Social media has been rife with political and economic explanations to the eclipse and some are pretty funny and interesting.
Politically, Ghanaians are saying that the NPP (previous government) gave us a total eclipse where there was total darkness and the NDC (current government) only managed to give us a partial eclipse mainly because the money for the full eclipse has been ‘chopped’.
The hardships are in 5th gear whilst the performance is in first gear thus making the engine very hot. The debate now is whether to change the driver or change the gears whilst maintaining the driver.
Socially, Professor Amamoo-Otchere, on the GTV forum, interpreted the eclipse to mean that, “our society is becoming too negative”, adding that “the eclipse was a sign that Ghanaians must emerge from pessimism and think positively.”
Ghanaians are saying that the Electricity Company of Ghana has extended its lights off to the Heavens but apparently they failed since they couldn’t cause a total darkness so they had to do load shedding/sharing even with the sun.
Somebody’s view on the issue when invited to see a program on a television station at the same time as the eclipse: “abeg we will be watching the Partial eclipse . Due to high tariffs we are only getting a partial one and so we would not miss it for anything wai.”
Nii Kpakpo, listen to this conversation I read on social media;
ogyam: kwata you ready for the eclipse?
kwata: ready how?
Ogyam: with your glasses and things…
Kwata: to do what?
Ogyam: haba… to watch it!! why? won’t you see it?
Kwata: see eclipse for what? ibi him go make Mahama stop chop money? or make Woyome pay back the money? if eclipse cannot reduce the price of petrol or electricity, I beg leave me out!! Why should I spend more money watching something which won’t change anything?
Ogyam: infact you get case…
Don’t we just love our country Ghana, Kpakpo!
Somebody also made this statement on another social media site:
“Knowing Ghanaians, I won’t be surprised to see a delegation going to the Flagstaff House to thank the President for giving us the eclipse”.
Finally the icing on the cake was applying the Ghanaian gullibility to the ‘airclips’ involving the Telcos:
“If da eclipse did not happen in your area, it is due to network problem. Text Eclipse to the short code 203875646564426 on all networks. Thank you!”
Is that a short code Kpakpo? Looks more like a recharge code.
Nii Kpakpo as for us in the savannah, they are saying that the ‘airclips’ was only 60% here whilst it was 80% in Accra. Even in ‘airclips’ matters the southerners have more than us in the savannah regions. This is even attributed to developmental gaps so much so that even eclipse is not distributed equally.
Oh I love my motherland Ghana!
Well Nii Kpakpo, whatever the ‘aircrips’ means to you, it has come and gone. The lessons we have learnt are there and I am sure there is more to be learnt. As for the interpretations, you know our people will always be ingenious with coming up with funny stories.
Let me end here and till we talk again, enjoy living in this country.
Your Cousin in law