​Nsempiisms: We need new funerals

I saw a WhatsApp post on the accident in Tema where boulders from a truck fell on a BMW saloon car and killed two of the passengers. The post called the accident ‘bizarre’.

This was my response:

“Not bizarre. Accident waiting to happen. Will happen again soon. When we act as if safety is in God’s hands only.”

As a people, we don’t operate with failure in mind. In our factory in Nigeria, a worker working at height, when reminded that someone had fallen at the same site whilst working without fastening his safety harness and reprimanded on why he wasn’t in his harness even though he had it around his waist, did the ‘tofiaka’ sign over his head and said his Chi (guardian angel) wasn’t asleep!

When you sit in a trotro next time, take a moment and reflect on what will happen if there is an emergency in the car and passengers need to escape. Many of the passengers will die or get injured getting out. The root cause of the exit won’t cause much wahala.

I go back to my favourite model of Ghana: the Tema motorway, which in all practical terms has become a street. We have vehicles making unauthorised U-turns again, cutting right into the fast lanes. I have seen about two such areas. We are watching on. When (not if) an accident happens tomorrow due to such unsafe acts, we will cry “Buei!”

But that is a situation that is waiting to fall like boulders and smash lives.

Perhaps we are just a people that doesn’t value lives. As Kofi Akpabli writes in his essay “This is how we say goodbye”, our funerals are so colourful that sometimes we look forward to them.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we desire more funerals.

Nsempiisms. My mouth has fallen.


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