Simpa Panyin Is Back; Winneba Is King!

It has been a few months of being away from Simpa Panyin, and already many have given their own interpretations to the reason behind my absence. Some say I have stopped writing because my party – New Patriotic Party (NPP) – is in power, for which reason I don’t have the motivation to write.

I would like you to ignore every interpretation anyone gives you, except to say that I went in search of greener pastures. It is not because the NPP is in power, for I kept writing more than 15 months even after the NPP had won power.

Honestly, Simpa Panyin regrets taking a break from the pen. There was hardly a week without the temptation to call my editors to announce my return. Ghana was getting hotter and hotter, and a lot of my readers were putting pressure on me to ascertain what I would write if I were still alive.

For instance, the Dollar kept rising, while the Cedi kept falling, and we kept on blaming the situation on Bawumia! And I watched helplessly as Bawumia and John Mahama traded words.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw pictures of many laptops, sewing machines, and many other different items at the NDC women and youth congress. Brokers of the votes and the monies kept themselves busy making the roll call of those who had received the equipment and the monies the candidates had provided as seeds of votes, making sure that George Opare Addo gave more than ‘Osimesi’ and ‘Obenten’.

Honestly, my perception of how to fight corruption in Ghana has changed. I am gradually realizing that corruption is thicker than blood. It is the most rooted industry in Ghana, and it is complicated with political tactics, with many complicated interests so much so that the phenomenon is now as unyielding as sex and death!

I am not going to comment on any of the above. This being my resumption article, I would like to rather tell you about the magic of the day I was born, the magic of faith, a never ending romance that glows and flows into its orbit beautifully and restfully.

You should know by now that my perspective in life is rooted in one thing – the soul of Winneba. I have seen, and continue to see Winneba as spirit – the only town that has its own capital; its capital being deeply rooted in our souls. Winneba is the most beautiful music in the ears of men.

People used to say there were Koforidua flowers (that Koforidua women were beautiful). I have been to Koforidua several times – more than a decade. I am yet to see the flowers as ‘flowering’ as the angels at Winneba. At Winneba, we call ours angels, and we have proudly kept them in their angelic forms, and updated them till now. They are beautiful not because we say so, but because our women know by themselves that they are proudly beautiful.

I look forward to a day when Winneba will rise beyond the world; a day when the world will know why we are a proud people and why we created our own hearts. I look forward to a period in our posterity when men and women will troop to witness how we dance with the gods and how we make music with our blood.

Sometimes people hardly understand me with regard to my obsession with Winneba. You see, when God was depositing gold in your land somewhere in the Western, Ashanti and Eastern regions, he did not do same for us. You turned your gold into galamsey pits, and destroyed your land. You have cocoa, rubber, cotton, timber and oil. Besides, you grow yam, plantain, and fruits of all kinds. We have none of these.

All we have at Winneba are our wind, and salty land. What we have is our enduring pride that never goes away. And you don’t want us to let you know of what we have? Sit there…

It is the only town to have captured live lions to climax its annual Aboakyere Festival in the past, before it started capturing deer. Winneba became the first town in the world to have produced a black President at the UN General Assembly in the person of Dr. Alex Quayson Sackey. The only town to have produced a Vice-President (Ekow Nkensen Arkaah) who was slapped!

In the whole world, we are the only people who know that regardless of the circumstances, it will never rain at Winneba on the first Saturday of May. That is how powerful we are; we are in tune with our gods. We are who we are because we are connected souls.

We are just one hour away to the West of Accra. Visit and find things out yourself. Let the children educate you on our beautiful ‘fancy dress festival’ (January 1). Let men and women talk to you about our pride in the Aboakyere Festival (first Saturday of May).

In saying so, I have not said Winneba is the cleanest town in Ghana. Winneba, perhaps, is one of the poorest towns in Ghana. Undoubtedly some rich souls have ever lived there! If you want to know us, don’t identify us by the number of broken houses you might see. Don’t measure us by the lack of what we should have had. A true ‘Winnebarian’ is measured by his inner man, his inner reflective peace. He has faith, and he is beautiful inside out any day.

But it took some people, who, in their thinking of posterity, to leave the town with pride in such a manner that profusely awes me to turn it into that which I’m in love with every day of my life. How do I leave this my beautiful world in the hands of posterity?

The thought of posterity is the reason that inspires me, for there are still more beautiful souls being born into the world, who deserve to be part of our world. But it is also the reason I try to avoid reality. It is scary to think that our souls are declining, and we are inviting in our wake disconnected souls that forget posterity, for the sake of immediate corrupted self-gratification – that suddenly is frightening!

Still, Winneba is king!

By James Kofi Annan