Tamale Chronicles

Dear Nii Kpakpo,
The new year has began in earnest and as usual people have already started breaking thier resolutions that they made whilst they were in church on the night of the last day of the year as they crossed, rolled, jumped and passed over among other overs.

Notice I didn’t add the hangover people oh! Lol

I have been taking a lot of walkabouts lately Nii and it’s not encouraging the stuff I see gong on in Tamale. Truly Inasmuch as it is fun for some of us, some people intend to paint a bad picture of the place. Interestingly these are locals I have met who it seems obviously have a grudge against being posted to a ‘backwater’ like this place or have a general lack of feeling for the life they live in the savannah. They would rather be living in the capital.

Nii Kpakpo, the final straw was this ‘big man’ I went to see in his office and overhead him in a conversation with a colleague obviously from the south and it was obvious the colleague was saying he was hearing good things about the savannah and so wanted to make enquiries if he could find time off his schedule to come visit.

The said ‘big man’ did not have anything good to say about the savannah. Obviously he was peeved he had been posted here and for eleven years he has been in this ‘backwater’ which to my utter dismay he said was more like hell.

Kpakpo! After saying in a community for over a decade, this man wanted to say he hadn’t found anything to love about this community apart from the women. Oh yes! Don’t be shocked Kpakpo, the man is married to a local woman with a couple of children as I could decipher and he hasn’t been faithful to his wife either. He’s done quite a few sampling of the women and he still didn’t dp find the community interesting to live in.

Final shocker Nii Kpakpo. He is a native from this parts who only got the privilege of going down south to get a higher education and work in the south for a while before his company decided to set up in the savannah and sent him to represent them.

Truly he made me wonder what kind of man he really was and as to whether such a person can be a patriotic citizen because as at the time I went to see him, I had to wait for him to finish making his personal calls on office time and the official telephone before attending to my business.

This are the same people who vehemently criticise the government for being corrupt and inefficient when you are part of the rot but won’t take the log out of your eyes but see clearly the spot in another’s eyes.

Wow! I was dumbfounded!

Kpakpo from what I have told you so far of my gallivanting through the savannah, is there anything that points to this place being as bad as this ‘big man’ describes and I would have been on my way back a long time ago with your sister in tow.

Even during the war people stayed and they survived.

The interesting thing I have realised is that there are very few of us trying hard to change the stereotypical thoughts of the people of the south with regards to the north and the savannah. However like i have said in other articles there are some elements that want to keep those stereotypes intact so they make selfish gains from the stereotype.

What this tells me that this new year I got my work cut out for me. Now the focus should not only be on changing perceptions of the southerners to the north but also to point out to the inhabitants the things that exist around them that make them ‘better’ than the people they aspire to be in the south especially the capital. Having lived on both sides of the divide puts me in a unique position to point some of these things out.

Boss, recently there has been the influx of musical artistes to the savannah and I keep hearing that it’s just a homecoming. The musicians are coming back to thrill their fans with popular music and the reason I keep hearing is that they are originally from here in the savannah. These artistes live down south now and they have made it. Cool.

So my question is that if even the music artistes are coming home what are the academics doing down in the capital. They should come up here to the savannah and help build the society that made them who they today. But they would rather sit in comfortable air conditioned offices in the capital and visit their family once in a while giving all sorts of excuses not to be here.

Moreover when they do come they expect to be welcomed as heroes and having been missed. How do you miss somebody who doesn’t really feature in your daily scheme of things yet expect to be treated like a hero every time he’s around?

Well Kpakpo, that’s my food for thought.

I know they are reading this and I hope they do more for this society than me, an outsider.

Nii Kpakpo as for me, I know my work is cut out for me and so help me God I’m going to try to complete the task as much as possible.

Hope the new year is treating you well. Your sister hasn’t been to well but she is still her bossy self and I love her to bits. Won’t have it any other way.

You take care till I write again.

Your Cousin in Law
Savannah Boy

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