Dear Nii Kpakpo,
Sometimes I wish I could post photos here so the pictures can tell you exactly what I mean. But heck! I’ve already told myself I’m gonna use words to paint the pictures hoping to make them as sharp as the pictures from all over Ghana that Unco Bufty or Uncle Yaw Pare capture with their high density camera lenses.
So in this letter I’m gonna talk to you about Clinton.
Kpakpo, following the recent trends in the news and also for the fact that the other day there was a morning show that had the leaders of the Albino Society in Ghana (didn’t know such an organization existed) it is interesting that albinos have been in the society all along and we have treated them as equals. I don’t see the fuss nowadays of them fighting for equal rights when we have always treated them as equals. Maybe we have teased them more than some of our friends but still they are our friends too. Come to think of it we teased them that they couldn’t look at the sun directly and it was only during an eclipse that an albino knows what the sun looks like. But really who can see the sun..
Remember we also teased them that every Friday they disappeared and we still have never seen an albino obituary till date. Chale! We do some oh.
Anyemi with where this story is heading you can guess rightly that Clinton is an albino. Yes he is.
Clinton is the funniest albino I’ve ever met in my life. Dude is pretty hilarious in a quirky way. As if to make him any funnier, dude is a stammerer.
I’d love to be on an adventure with Clinton any day because dude has an easy going nature and he has a comeback for everything you say.
So we got to Kpassa, cramped in a taxi which after every twenty two minute or so drive had to stop to put water in the engine. Yes I timed it. At the filling station the driver parked with his passengers side to the pump and I was wondering if it was one of those Lamborghini cars with the way he yanked the doors open upwards and got the two front passengers out. His fuel tank was a gallon sitting under the dashboard at the passenger side with a rubber tube connected to it from the engine. Driver had a few words with the fuel pump attendant and was talking politics to himself mostly (and to whoever cared to listen) how he could buy 20Ghana worth of fuel and it wont even fill his tank (reference to the four litre gallon under the dashboard).
Sitting four at the back and me holding on to the carrier bars on the roof, driving on a road that could comfortably host a series of oware tournaments, thats how we got to Kpassa.
Nii Kpakpo Thompson it was whilst we were waiting for the Peugeot caravan (like the ones that were used from Circle to North Kaneshie when we were growing up), yes those cars still exist, that Clinton came over to join the car. He was to wait like everybody else for the car to fill up with passengers before we head out.
The Peugeot takes two at the front, four in the middle and three at the back and thus we needed about 4 people more to join the car before it set off or as passengers we share the extra cost and pay. Clinton’s reply to the latter suggestion was for the driver to waive his tax on each of the fares and use it to pay for at least two.
It was an obvious quip to the plenty taxes we pay as Ghanaians and also he teased the driver that with the rickety nature of the car if it even broke down, he wont have to call a tow truck but he’d have us passengers to push him wherever he wants. Kpakpo, is that familiar with any proposed tax?
Chale one of the gals waiting was a mate of his during his junior high days and she started saying how they had teased him in the village school as the only obroni and how per his status he had enjoyed “privileges” as a “whiteman”. Clinton stammered a response that he was sure that is why inasmuch as he wanted to be school perfect he was never selected. He had really wanted to position to boost his “whiteman” status so when he walked through town everybody will say that “there goes the white school prefect of the junior high.” 😂😂
The layover waiting for just four passengers more to board the car lasted four hours and Clinton just kept us going with rib cracking jokes about his everyday life and work.
Once I tried to tease him that he was holding a trunking like a white cane. Being an electrician he had just executed a job and he was carrying around the excess trunking. Clinton just laughed at me and asked me ironically if I was an idiot (if only he knew) and didn’t I realize the sun was up and that whenever the sun is up albinos were partially blind? 😂😂
Kpakpo, the car now got full but when we were ready to move Clinton was nowhere to be found. He’d had a friend pick him up on a motorbike to go find some food and run a last minute errand. His former schoolmate called his line and so did the driver. When he picked up he said we should go on ahead and he’ll join when he could, as explained by the driver.
We had left the station driving five minutes when we saw a group of young men standing by the roadside flagging us down like there was an emergency up ahead and we stopped.
The nature of the road is such that with the rains a gully or ditch might threateningly appear in the middle of the road and as such the people of the community warned drivers on the road when such gullies appear.
A minute later Clinton pops up from across the road and he asks the other passengers to shift so he can sit. He’d been fixing a wiring for a client and the boys were his lookout post for the car. Immediately the door closes he requests for the air conditioning to be put on and also demands for a 50% refund because only one of his butts is on the seat and the other one will get numb after a few minutes of driving so he had to be compensated. We all burst into a laughter.
Kpakpo a few minutes later another band of youth flag us down and when we stop two of them get up on the roof of the car. Clinton calls them our “spotters” to spot where the gullies are even though they are also travelers.
On on we go and the inside of the car is stripped to bare metal scrap and we at the back experience more bumps than anybody. The “spotters” failed to warn the driver early about some speed ramps on the road (who needs speed ramps on a potholed road. Only in Ghana) and when we hit a couple of times, one woman had her forehead swell from the hits on the vehicle’s metal roof. The two women at the back demanded that the driver will take them to hospital when we get to our destination in Damanko and Dr Clinton prescribes first aid to bring the swelling down for which the driver provides a Chinese embrocation liquid to salve the swelling. There norr Clinton says the driver can take his time to get the our destination because even if it gets dark we have torches like mining lamps on two foreheads to guide us on the road. 😂😂
Kpakpo, amidst the potholes that were actually craters and the unnecessary speed ramps we had several conversations on several national and social issues and to each discussion Clinton will always end it with a witty remark that will get everybody cracking up. Considering the time of day as early evening, his engaging nature kept the ride lively till we got to Damanko our destination.
With curfew approaching these was only one car on standby to Bimbila and we all rushed to make sure we got a place on it. Nobody really saw where the whiteman passenger disappeared to.
Anyemi I have met a lot of funny people but Clinton is one who really gets to you and leaves you content with your first meet of him. He’s a one time phenomenal person and I really do wish him well in all he does. Honestly he’s one person I’d like to see his obituary because I wish him a long happy life even as he makes people happy everywhere he goes.
He is pretty popular on that route, I heard, and I hope to meet him again someday.
Nii Kpakpo Thompson so that is the story of the hilarious stammering albino, the whiteman of Kpassa-Damanko, who can turn every sub against him into a joke to make you laugh. Easily the most enthralling person I met on my journey to the north via the eastern veranda.
Till I write to you again I still remain
Your Cousin in Law,