The Gang of Boys

Dear Nii Kpakpo,

I remember when I first came to town and I was very lonely not having any social connections and not really knowing anybody in town. Every day meant that I was at home if your sister went to work, it meant that I had to find ways of making myself excited and that was when I started writing the Tamale Chronicles of the events that I encountered and my daily interaction with the local people and residents of Tamale. This kept me busy and it was exciting to read the comments off social media especially since it was giving people a whole new perspective about the north not being a backwater.

Kpakpo it was this same social media that first got me into the group of volunteers who later formed the Swag Volunteers my first social group apart from church here in the savanna. But then I decided to explore and I met Jake online.

Jake is your typical laid back macho man (dude loves to go to the gym) who can whip up a culinary delight to rival any your sister (not your mother) will cook in the kitchen. With his dimpled smiles and very affable nature the women think he’s a man mountain. For some their first impression is that of “don’t cross this man” but later realize he’s just a lamb who looks like a lion and built like a bullion van. We started playing Scrabble at the club house and gradually it has become the circle for a social network that cuts across various facets of society and with connections to almost everything that goes on in Tamale.

Nii Kpakpo, several people joined the Scrabble club because it has become like the hangout for the elitist especially for people who have lived most of their lives in the south and have come to the savanna to either work or stay both temporarily or permanently.

Meet Obed the soft spoken banker whose work schedules keep him busy all week but at weekends when he’s not snoring “oh (my) bed” finds time to hang with the boys. Congratulations on adding another member to the family and the uncles are waiting to meet our niece.

Meet Ken. The first time we met Ken was when a housing agent brought him to see Jake (whilst we were playing Scrabble) about sharing an apartment and after the first two minutes of interactions we just hit it off. Ken is Jake’s house mate and they are two peas in a pod.

Meet Midas the local database for the circle of boys. Having grown up north, this dude is the main go to guy for whatever you need up in the savanna. A marketing professional he has branded himself forming a social network for himself that connects like a spider web to almost every activity and social groups up north. A team player through and through to have in your corner.

Chairman Marvin relocated to the savanna almost a decade ago and works in one of the foremost tertiary institutions. His work connects him with a lot of academic stuff but is down to earth and can easily be approached for advise and consultancy on any topic.

His twin is Dr Dan an optometrist. These are not twins by blood relation but like I said earlier, you need company in thee savanna and they have become fast friends when they came up here and as such have done almost everything together as brothers in arms. Dr Dan is one of the topmost people to see literally when you have eye problems. 😂😂

Mayeso! Mayeso! Mayeso! The Malawian expatriate consultant. We all love him with his happy go lucky attitude and how much he works hard and plays harder. Dude loves his chess and with a couple of friends actually sponsor the Malawian national chess tournament and hosts chess events back in his home country.

Should I call it an accent but you know how we Ghanaians can go all Brit on a person and sometimes we find his pronunciation funny. Heck! We even find his name funny. Kpakpo, mention his name again and try to see what it means in Akan. Let’s just say he really lives up to it on a good day. 😂

Kwame George we call him the sniper. Dude will create his own fun and enjoy it in his own way and even though a late addition to the group he’s proven the mantra “Paul amba ntem” to be true. Another man who works hard at making the world a better place and plays harder at creating fun to deal with the stressful moments.

Kpakpo they say you always save the best for last but unfortunately for security reasons I cant tell you about the patron for the Scrabble club we affectionately call The General. Whenever we shout thank slogan his response is “Don’t Tell Anybody” so lemme just shuush and wait till the day you get here to meet him in person. Sincerely hope he’d still be here when you come. Apart from seeing him on weekdays in his uniform and official car, you’d just pass him by any other day because he’s that down to earth and mum to hang around talking to young people about how to live life to the fullest.

Nii Kpakpo Thompson these are the brethren I have come to take as family and it’s not only them. The group has grown since we started playing and hanging out but the network keeps expanding with tentacles spreading pretty fast. Meet any of these guys when you come to the savanna and there’s nothing like boredom as we each experienced it when we first got here.

Just get here.

Well until I write another missive I still remain

Your Cousin In-law

Savanna Boy.