Thursday, 20 December 2012


The inimitable Malcolm X with Alex Harley(Credit-Facebook) 
This is certainly my last blog for the year 2012. What a year it has been. In my personal, family and professional life the year has been about learning, persisting and growing. The Ananse story about the palm nut and the hole in the ground  has held so much meaning for me. Ananse the great eternal anti-hero and thinker(I thank my very senior friend Nana Nketsia V of Essikado for teaching me the deeper meaning of Kwaku Ananse and the enduring tales span centuries ago about him) was as usual caught up in a drama where the entire village was threatened by famine. He chances upon this hole with strict rules about how many palm nuts to put in the ground to allow access to a bounty of food. Ananse defies the rules in the interest of greed and loses a great chance to cure his hunger and that of his family. The story is about temperance, patience and fortitude. One cannot always force things in life. Sometimes things fall at your feet without you trying. The Orientals call it Tao, the Way( Christianity in its earliest manifestation was also called the Way...well, well, well) . In a year in which  my thirties draw to an end I learnt the ying and yang of effort and effortlessness.

Cranes hug the Dubai skyline(03.09.2005)
I will blog about the elections when the dust finally settles. As a patriot and nationalist the elections is teaching me lessons about this Republic and her people in all their viciousness, cunning , hubris, forbearance, large heartedness and calculating coldness. This story is not about the Dubai you know which oozes with opulence,luxury and all the allure of the consumer's paradise. I have to thank Malcolm X and my compatriot Ayi Kwei Armah for drawing my mind as a youth to the East. These two made me understand that the East was not far after all. And appreciation is due also to my Dad Yaw Adjei who encouraged my then playful interest in heading Eastward. I remember what he said to me then: " Lloyd go East. The pulse of the changing world lies there. Go and see that world with your eyes." Of course he had been to India before I was born. So in my Eastward journeys I have come to know Dubai. The last time I passed through was last month. I watched closely to see if this Gulf state had lost any of its shine after the last global financial bubble left most of its multi-million dollar steel and concrete heaven bound edifices empty. As I snaked through the airport I espied that large advertorial on the wall announcing the Dubai of tomorrow to all who passed through this city. I collected several of the country's free newspapers(we in Ghana do not want anything free; its corrupting!). Reading some of their papers can be tedious; it feels like trying to get your arms round a Baobab tree. Dubai has not lost its glitter yet.The all white queues waiting to buy shimmering gold was there.The glum,sated, snotty sheiks with their flowing white gowns were still there. The wafting scent of perfumes that threatened to excavate all your olfactory members were still present. The markets were alive brimming with luxuries and the gaunt, listless workers from Pakistan, Philippines and   Indonesia were still there seeking their fortune or misfortune. Dubai has become a legend. Like Timbuktu and Djeni and Gao long before the philistines laid siege in our very wretched times. And that is how my Dubai has taken the sobriquet for himself.

I met him at the car wash. I wondered why he wore shorts at all if his prime agenda was to expose all of his boxers and his butts. His mimicked Beckham's hair cut(displayed at his ill fated last world cup). He was energetic and enterprising, full of zest and life. He gave my jalopy a nice shine. We got talking. I have always been interested in all sorts. His name was Dubai. He wanted to go to Dubai and bring stuff back to Ghana to sell. He obviously had heard the tales carried by those restless Ghanaian business men and women who hustled their way across the world to their self engineered prosperity. Dubai loved the Sarkodie blaring away in my car. He was a budding rapper he intoned. He was looking for a producer. He delivered some punchlines to me. Later on Dubai intimated that he was a factory hand too on the Spintex Road on that Lebanese Enclave Stretch. The next time I saw Dubai he was selling an assortment of shoes on the pavement in Sakumono. Dude had taken a portion of the street. I have given up trying to keep this neighbourhood a residential area. Soon it will be an ugly slum with all its open spaces taken over by citizens trying to make a living in a stiflingly unresponsive environment while the MPs and party general secretaries and presidential staffers move to and fro in their "toys". And they say we are lazy; a dubious narrative that even some serious scholars believe in.   Unless policy formation touches the little man and woman its a farce routinized in winding speeches, sod cutting ceremonies and reels of texts and figures.
What next for Dubai???????????  Happy hols to Dubai and to us all!!!                   

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