AT THE OPD IN GHANAMAN‘S ASPITI

I imagine four middle-aged Ghanaian women meeting up at a hospital to ostensibly see a doctor over one thing or another. The conversations are usually varied whenever Ghanaian women meet. It will vary amongst groups and may change because one controlling, loud woman wants it changed; or perhaps by some stroke of luck, be it bad or good, all of them find the topic on board stale or have a yearning for that new one. These four women met at an Out-Patient Department and of course they had to have a conversation. It could have been about Agya Atta’secomini, sorry economy, the mayhem on our roads, the noise on our FM stations, NATO and the West’s bullying tactics in Wofa Gadhafi’s backyard (who knows how the man spells his own name anyways? I have lost count of how many versions there are!). Oh and they could very well have been talking culinary but instead they chose to discuss men; not just men, their men too.

‘Mewura die33 oyeadeaye papa…he is so hardworking’, an obese 30-something year old woman was loudly bragging to three other patients she run into at the Out-Patient Department of the Government Hospital. “I don’t even have to ask before he provides.” She was the most blinged of the four. She is clad in a brand new kaba and slit made with Holland ntoma beautifully christened sikawontaban. Her fingers are adorned with what seems like bright gold-platted rings on almost every finger including the thumb. Then there are bangles, and chains and even anklets too. I am sure she had a gold-platted waist chain too. And she smelled great too. I think she was wearing Christian Dior scent.

Woman with ‘so hardworking’ man actually has a lazy but handsome dog for a husband who does nothing except milking his somewhat rich woman dry; and spreading the milk on shapely and curvy Legon girls whose crave for Chinese Foods, trips to the Accra Mall, desire for designer labels and addiction to carrying fat purses know no bounds. ‘Mewuraaoye adie33 papa’ actually ye adeaye papa ampa. Just that it isn’t our dear madam who benefits. You should hear his countless girls brag about his prowess. ‘Who cares that he’s married? I have not said I want to marry him. He makes me comfortable and ‘nyameanimniotumiwoso me papa! Ei, onye easy woempa sokraaa’. So why on earth is our 30-something obese woman not only sticking with him, but heralding his praise to the nations across the seas and over the hills and valleys? Good question. The dude is being kept as a ‘trophy husband’ and he is not complaining about it. Actually he has not complained about it before nor will he ever. Why should he when he gets to live just like an African dictator with a stranglehold of his country; until the West finds another to oust him that is.

‘Hmmmm…then you, you are lucky. Mine is the complete definition of a lazy man who provides almost nothing to his family…anihafo) biaransen no’, quipped another woman, also 30-something and fast pushing towards obesity. She is wearing a GTP sewed in what appears to be the latest design from NyameNti Fashions. Her cloth is called anibre ns) gya.

He is relatively ‘well to-do’ in today’s Ghanaman ecomini___sorry, economy. He has a decent job; pays all the bills in the house; settles the school fees of his children in the L.A. Primary School a few blocks away; puts the daily chop money on the centre table in the hall before leaving for work; to cap it all up, he is putting up a three-bedroom house which has actually reached the lintel level. So why is our lady fast pushing towards obesity describing this obviously hardworking man ‘anihafo) biaransen no’? Oh! He refuses to give her extra money to go shopping as often as Auntie Akosua, the woman down the street whose husband owns a chain of stores at the Central Market does. It is not as if she walks about with tattered clothes too. But in her mind back, she must meet Auntie Akosua and her class boot-for-boot in the dressing world. She too she does not want to use her own money ooo. According to her, ‘jewelry is not cheap at all these days, and the lace from Nigeria and the Italian shoes too are costly so why should he not give me some of his money?’ You look at me well well….wont I look beautiful in a Louis Vuitton or Dolce &Gabbana, Versace, Victoria Secrets, and all the rest?”. Did I say her cloth is called anibre ns) gya?

Eye asemooo. Why are the men of these days like that? Nsempii’. Skinny, late-twenties 3rd woman just had to say something, so she did. She is unmarried but has a steady man who takes care of most of her needs. She is dressed in a kaba and slit with the slit very well slit too; right in the middle too. So well slit her intentions are not hidden except that there was not much flesh to show off. The name of her GTP cloth is effieabosea.

She loves to share what she knows, and does not know. I think she’s the type we used to call gossiper when we were kids. I grew up and was told the correct word is gossip. They had barely left the OPD before she made her first call. “Have you heard that Sister Serwaa’s husband…”.Typical of her type, she sometimes forgets what she’s said before and can sometimes say just the opposite thing to the same person. Oh and by the way, effieabosea means ‘home gravel’, and it means that when the gravel at home hurts you, it is most painful indeed. Feel me?

The fourth woman cannot be more than forty.Her contribution to the conversation thus far have been a series of ‘hmmmm’, ‘saaaa…is that so?’, ‘really’, ‘oh ohohoh’. All these went along with an aggressive nodding of the head or a desperate shaking of it. She is moderately dressed, nothing outstanding. Her cloth is called koomkoom (silence)

She knows better than wash her dirty linen in public. She’s been there; seen that; heard that; felt that. She is too experienced to engage in such OPD chit chat.But her experience will not stop her from encouraging others from babbling and nattering.

As they watch the queue ahead not thinning at all, Christian Dior scented woman with lover-of-Legon girls-husband says ‘I should have called Dr. Serebour. He could have seen to us instead of sitting in this long queue’.

‘Yes ooo. We have been here too long. May be we should go and come back tomorrow. So why don’t you call him so he know we will be here tomorrow’, NyameNti Fashions’ latest model then suggested.

‘Hmmmm….I agree’, said our skinny woman added. She has thus far supported everything she’s heard.

‘Okay then I will see you all later. I need to wait still because my back aches too much’, our experienced Koomkoom woman is the only one who remains. Apparently she is the only one with a need to see a doctor.

So what on earth did the rest dress up and came to the hospital for? Could it be the need to show off a new style; or to show off one’s jewelry; or was it the hospital’s turn for someone to scout for a new lover?

How the hell will I know!

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