Historically, Ghana has had female drummers, and they are still drumming and sounding good. I gave my extra bananas to Nancy, and she put her arm around me and escorted me down a hill to a crowd from where I watched her push the drummer off his drum and play for me. A local proverb according to the local newspaper: “He who cannot dance, will say, ‘The drum is bad.” The papers also reported tension in Krachi following a recent ban on drumming there.
Aside from some drumming, women seemed to do much hard labor. I only saw men sitting about playing mancala, but the men seemed to do hard labor too. Signs deplored child labor. Young boys selling wares were quizzing me on theories of democracy. While getting a pedicure, I watched a gripping soap opera set in war torn Sierra Leone with explanations and commentary in English by the beauticians during the commercial breaks.
In a market area, I barely kept up with the woman who was walking with a tray of about 50 carrots on her head; each long carrot jutted out in its own direction, creating a chaotic illustration, perhaps one of orange fission. (Why didn’t the carrots fall off the tray?) A posted sign said: “DO NOT URINATE HERE. Use the Washroom.” (The world could use more of those. I wonder if the sign had been a woman’s idea.)
Oranges, frequently for sale, were mostly peeled and either stacked or suspended in hoops on a standing steel frame. If the backyard had a rubber tree, you might just make a rubber ball to play catch. Ghana offers plenty of opportunity for exploration, with much of it through happenstance. Just when I was thinking, “this looks like more of the same,” I somehow recognized I had stumbled onto something new and interesting. And I’m still pondering the “Jesus Never Fails Cosmetics Ent.” sign.
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