Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Short Story

The Party

by Kwame Boakye

It was a bright, sunny day - not the warm sweet-smelling climate of home, but warm enough to feel comfortable sitting on the veranda drinking beer. Some people were dressed for the funeral later in the day. Some were dressed to lounge about. A child had just had his first communion and the bourgeosie, ever ready to party no matter what the excuse, were celebrating.

The view from the veranda was crossed by electric and telephone wires. The sight of the wires turned the discussion to thoughts of home.

Kwaku, in a breezy voice, said: "This is just like back in Ghana where we see the wires hanging from the poles to the house. Are you going home this year?"

"Well, you know we went home last year and I was so shocked at the widespread brutality. I never saw that in Ghana before."


Kwaku's wife added: "I'm going next month and am worried about what to take with me."

"We took ten cases full of all the food-stuffs and things we would need. I was laughing when my wife packed - until I saw that we really needed to take everything with us. But what bothers me is the violence. I saw the queues at the passport office and one of the guys at the head of the line was beaten to the ground with a gun butt, his ear bloodied."

With the spirit of evangelism, I needed to tell people what I had seen and experienced. I needed to warn them, to awaken them. Eyes of friends I had often partied with turned towards me as if to say: "What is this man saying! I never thought of him as one of those."

"So, it's not the hardship that bothers me, that's been there before and with money and provisions one can survive."

"That's right; we always have a good time. And I want to see my mother, she's been sick."

"Honest to God, the best thing you can do for your mother is to bring her over here to stay for a while."

"No, she doesn't really like to travel and there are the others in my family to see."

"I am not going to take my family into such a dangerous situation. Anything can happen. No explanation. They can say it was a traffic accident."

"I think they are serving the food."

Why do we avoid political discussion? Why do we not believe first-hand stories? Why do we pretend everything is all right? Nyame Bekyere will not improve life at home.

Kwaku had the last word, as he was leaving for the funeral. He was telling the story of a journalist who asked Rawlings a question. Kwaku quoted J.J. as replying: "Ghana not for sale-O."

Get in accord with a picnic!

A celebration on the South Bank on August 23 wil give a boost to Lambeth ACCORD, the European-backed ex perimental project to help disabled people in the Borough. ACCORD hope the event will enable local people to find out more about their plans to promote the involvement of disabled people in the community and especially in employment.

There will be a full programme of entertainment including dance, drama and music.

The Mayor of Lambeth, Councillor Pat Williams, who is herself disabled and a keen supporter of ACCORD, will be attending. The picnic takes place in the Jubilee Gardens from 2.30-5.30 on Thursday August 23. Admission is free.

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