The rains Accra experienced recently showed our kɔkɔsakyian ways. Our topmost city leaked so badly after just 10 hours (not even continuous) of rain. It was not just the marauding water that maimed, killed and destroyed but crucially the stuff it easily marshaled along with it: electricity poles, walls, garbage etc. Sure signs of urban blight, disrepair and utter neglect. I have been pondering this ever since: could Accra have survived even for a week the chain of strafing infernos of death that NATO unleashed on Tripoli? If this is what rains can do to us what about cluster bombs tele-guided by fresh faced youths (considered patriots by their puppet masters) for whom mass killing(morphed by some linguistic chicanery into a harmless term ‘sorties’) unleashes a certain techno-porn high?
How long Accra and other cities can survive the most severe blitzkrieg and march on for the next millennia? Is that not how our leaders are supposed to think? Wuhan University my beloved alma mater in China has secret locations where the faculty can be kept safely in case of a catastrophe human or natural. The urbanscape in many ways betrays for me the architectural construct of the thinking of its elites; whether or not they are thinking in millennia or simply one rain after the other terms. And this brings me to some of the arguments brought forward to rationalize our nakedness after the rains. A typical convoluted one was that citizens who had built on waterways were the culprits to be excoriated. Sloppy thinking!!!! One needs a permit to build and other arcane, serpentine, labyrinthine processes. Who offers that? The authorities of course!!! So who should hold the can? Those who run the bureaucracies and their political masters. Not the citizens who have to deal with decapitating rents(frontloaded into advance payments); landlords who play God and rotten infrastructure(water, power, roads etc.).
Let us return to our kɔkɔsakyi. If the idea of the unity of opposites is anything to go by this bird can teach our leaders a useful lesson after all. As a scavenger it is extremely diligent. If only we could even do that well Accra will be on to something.