Road To Salaga

Dear Nii Kpakpo,

This topic of slavery is really a sore spot for Africans and especially African Americans considering that they are descendants of the people taken from the shores of Africa and carried off into the Caribbean and west Indies to farm the plantations and also work in over areas.

As to the theories that come with this bat I won’t get into that but can only tell you that I’m very certain in conviction that the white man doesn’t give anything with the invention of the good of the blackman but will weigh his interests to check what he’s getting then will decide to help.

Kpakpo, a friend visited me from abrokyire and she came with the intention of seeing the elephants but the driver supposed to take us there had to go out of town so we had to find an alternative. The last time I went to see the elephants I realized that finally the road had been fixed but sadly there were not too many cars plying the road. What this meant for me was that there was a lack of a public transport system to the tourist site and that alone was a limitation.

Tourism is the third highest foreign exchange earner in this country and that is even in it’s natural state not developed. Imagine how much we can earn if the sector is developed.

Nii Kpakpo Thompson, Tamale itself has no tourist sites to boast of and all the tourist places of interest are not less than 3 hours away from the town center and of all of them the quickest and easiest one to get to is Salaga – which was one of the biggest slave centres in Africa during the transatlantic slave trade.

We decided to visit the slave town and after making a few calls I knew I was going to be on an adventure.  Kpakpo I have never been to salaga so for me it was going to be an experience and the calls I’d made had shown the foreboding nature of such a journey. I’d been assured that the road wasn’t good and more or less determined how long the bus will spend on the road. Furthermore since the road was that bad, only Tatar buses of old and the circle -agege kinda Benz buses made the journey.

We get to the station and it’s a rickety Tata bus that’s available and they are loading what looks like the stock of the town’s supermarket on to the roof of the bus. Furthermore, not only are the seats hard but there are wooden middle seats. Every single seat is covered with something to indicate that the seat is taken. Kpakpo you’d be surprised at some of the items used to reserve seat space on these buses. From traveling bags to backpacks, boxes to sacks of foodstuffs, sandals and shoes and some seats had some odd items. One seat had car engine parts, another had a cockerel and one had a half drunk sachet of pure water and a sweaty handkerchief. 

Oh it was fun observing to whom all these items belonged to when the bus was getting full and truly the items said a lot about the personalities.

Suffice it to say that the cockerel belonged to a man who always eating the whole way and the sack of foodstuff belonged to a woman who bought almost one of everything that the roadside sellers brought to the car.  One pretty sassy  fianga gal was the owner of guess what seat – the one with the half drunk pure water. Glad I didn’t cross her but one man did and she was so disrespectful.

When you get a bus like that with such persons you hold your head and start your lamentations whilst trying to find consolations in something. Anything.

Bueii!! My consolation lay in the knowledge that this was the dry season so untarred roads were motorable as compared to when there was rain and either there were puddles in the road or some parts of the road had been eroded making it more dangerous to be on such roads. At some points in the journey the road was so narrow one car had to stop whilst te other carefully meandered past.  I guess they don’t need “No Overtaking” road signs on the road.

But Kpakpo it was very relieving and heartwarming to realize that construction works were going on on parts of the road and for whatever reason whether political or social, roads are very important in our scheme of living. 

With a bus loaded with what I think was the whole stock of the town’s supermarket, any3mi there was no way the bus could have gone any fast so it was therefore not surprising that the bus that loaded after us overtook us along the way. On thing however was obvious that the Tata buses were more stable on the bad part of the road than the Benz buses.

Nii Kpakpo Thompson we are still trudging on after two hours on the road and I wish I could record the rattling of the windows making a racket and raising the noise levels in the bus. Through all this some passengers are sleeping. I only pray my travel companion is alright since this is all new to her and it’s not the comfort she’s used to.

But hey! The people who’s legacy she’s going to see at this slave town had to do the journey on foot and in chains bound hand, foot and at the neck. That significance makes it even more profound.

Lemme end here since I’m I’ll in transit and I’ll tell who what happens next when we get to our destination.

Your Cousin in Law
Savannah Boy


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