Samira’s Awra, Manasseh’s Wahala, Marwako Blues Et Al!

The Beautifully Clad Second Lady of Ghana, Samira Bawumia

Exactly a week ago the whole country was gripped with the anniversary fever. The day marked the sixtieth (60th) milestone of the country’s emancipation from its colonial master. The anniversary parade at the Independence Square was a spectacle to behold!

As President Nana Akufo-Addo read his inspiring speech, I couldn’t help but wonder if fate had a hand in his historic feat at the December 2016 polls. The man who happens to be the president during the diamond jubilee celebrations is related to three of the “Big Six” who toiled to make this country an independent one. Indeed, the magical hands of fate had a role to play in making Nana Addo President at this very moment!

Yes, the President has his biases so he might have embellished the independence story to add a little spice to it. But nobody can deny the contributions of Dr J.B. Danquah and the others to the independence struggle. To seek to give Dr Kwame Okro all the glory and make him look like a saint would definitely irk those who suffered or lost their loved ones under his rule. Dr Okro was a great freedom fighter and a wise leader. But he is a far cry from the saint many want us to believe he is. I would leave this discussion for another day.

Comparatively, the 60th anniversary celebration was far better than the previous. After the programme, I heard a politically-neutral cousin of mine say, “Change is indeed here.” When I asked what necessitated that remark, he said at least the country was this time spared the embarrassment of seeing journalists being packed in tipper trucks and a brochure fiasco. I couldn’t help but agree with him.

Not having anything significant to criticize, “yaanom” resorted to clutching at straws as they took refuge in religious matters. They sought to create the impression that Samira Bawumia’s dressing was provocative and un-Islamic. How she was tongue-lashed by them!

I’ve watched the dress over a thousand times and I’m yet to see anything un-Islamic about Samira’s dress code that day. Her “awra” (nakedness) Islamic-wise was covered.  I was so much in love with the style that I’ve bought a cloth for my lovely wife to go the Samira way. I’m a proud Muslim and I can say without any fear that those criticizing Samira have wives and sisters whose dressing is no better than the Samira dress code. Why the hypocrisy, then? Or is it “skin pain”?

Talking about Islamic dressings brings to mind the controversy over Manasseh Azure Awuni’s “Behind the veil”. I have read the story three times and I must confess I enjoy reading it each time.  Unlike some of my Muslim compatriots, I did not feel insulted. The story is a fiction but it is a representation of the reality. Is it not true that “Religion is just a veil we use to cover our wrongdoing in society”?

It is worth noting that many seem to be overly obsessed with the Islamic angle of the story. Perhaps it is because of its link to the veil. Many have deliberately forgotten or ignored the church leader, Mr Oppong, who sits in judgment over people committing lesser sins than he does. After all, is Mr Oppong not having an affair with a girl who could pass as his daughter?

I do agree with the argument that the story would have been better if Manasseh had also hammered on the Christianity angle in equal measure. But by and large, I think it is a beautiful fiction with lots of lessons for us to learn.

It must, however, be noted that a veil worn by a Muslim woman signifies her determination to strive to show modesty in dressing. The use of the veil does not in any way mean the veiled woman is pious and incapable of committing sin. She is human and bound to err; so erring while wearing the veil does not make her a hypocrite.

From the anniversary parade at the Independence Square, I decided to visit my folks at Nima- where I grew up. Immediately I alighted from a taxi at the Nima overheard bridge, I witnessed pandemonium on the other side of the road. Curiosity led me to the action spot.

My gosh, what I witnessed was an eyesore! Two beautiful ladies were virtually engaged in clothes-tearing competition. Both ladies were almost naked as they continued to outdo each other in the battle of nakedness.

Did I hear you ask who won? The Marwako lady won. In my mind’s eye I see you asking who the Marwako lady is. Well, wonder no more for I’m about to clear the fogs in your medulla.

In the course of the fight, one of the ladies spotted a “kelewele” seller. She rushed to the spot, picked a bowl containing pepper spices and virtually bathed her opponent with it. You can imagine the lady’s scream, while the cheering crowd shouted, “Marwako lady.”

So you see, it is not only Marwako employees that spray pepper on people. The only difference is that the Marwako employee is paying for his actions, while the “Marwako lady” in Nima is walking free. What an unjust world!

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!