Ananse in Parliament
(Obolo and Mr. Quainoo are sitting quietly under a tree. Mr. Quainoo is chewing a stick busily).
Obolo: Good morning Mr. Quainoo.
Mr. Quainoo: Why haven’t you greeted me all this while?
Obolo: Oh “Opanyin” is that what l get for a response to my greetings?
Mr Quainoo: No l am just correcting you and you have to accept it in good faith. (Obolorecieves food wrapped in polythene and paper from a boy he had sent)
Obolo: Mr. Quainoo see, see, there comes Old Soldier.
Mr. Quainoo: (Turning to the veiw of Obolo). This must be a wonder. How can he be walking so upright when he was so drunk last night? (Old Soldier enters)
Old Soldier: (As he branches nearby to piss). Who say man no dey? After a tough night struggle man has to get kicking again, and that’s what I am.
Mr. Quainoo: Old’ Soldier, Old’ Soldier, let us have our peace.
Obolo: Old’ Soldier after my meal, I have a fight with you. Yesterday I should have beaten you 10-3.
Old’ Soldier: Look at him. You’ve forgotten I knocked you out first to a 5-3 defeat.
Obolo: That doesn’t matter, it’s about who laughs last…
Mr. Quainoo: Laughs best?.
Old’ Soldier: And who made that rule? I have heard you saying such almost too many times these days. That you’re too known chairman and his bogus laws. As for me l am not among, oh.
Mr. Quainoo: (Having been starring at obolo at the latter part of Old Soldier speech) Eei. So what did you say?
Old Soldier: Hmm twea. I say i know fear whoo.
Obolo: (As he got up from his finished meal of rice) Old Soldier, I bet you are scared to your pants should Brother Ananse hear of this….
Old Soldier: How is he going to hear in the first place?
Ananse: He will know and you will be in trouble.
Obolo: Who will know what?
Ananse: Don’t ask me for trouble. Don’t you think draught is food? You eat like tekyeremahnyiayeh.
Old’ Soldier: You this Spiderman everything you say is too big for your mouth and you won’t even say maybe.
Ananse: (As he takes a draught and sits astride a bench). You too, you this VAG man, anything you say is too small for yourself. Let me tell you, whiles your kind are busy seeing fire in Lebanon you sit here challenging ogogolo.
Obolo: Oh Ananse, i have a match with Old’ Soldier, please.
Ananse: And so?
Old’ Soldier: Ananse just give us the (holding unto one end of the board) board. I know no one can play you here.
Ananse: That is why you have to acknowledge my chairmanship.
Mr. Quainoo: (Who had been starring away gets up and shakes Ananse). Yes Chairman, beat them all.
Obolo: See even Mr. Quainoo knows that Ananse is chairman. (Ananse leave the board, Obolo and Old Soldier sit down to play).
Obolo: Old’ Soldier, so why do they call you so?
Old’ Soldier: If you stop calling me so the rest will also stop.
Ananse: (Pushing a marble on the board to correct a disarrangement) because he is an ex-serviceman.
Obolo: Ahh, air serviceman.
Old Soldier: I am no fucking bodies ex. Let me tell you there are some in the service now i can beat.
Ananse: (Lifting Old’ Soldier’s hand) look, look you, what akpeteshie (palm wine) has left body and soul.
Old Soldier: (Trying to free himself to no avail) Ananse if you could face half the akpeteshiei face a day you wouldn’t be standing on your feet for the rest of your life. (All burst into long laughter)
(Enter Opo man)
Opo Man: Good Morning some of you.
All: (Except Ananse) Good morning Opo Man.
Opo Man: I want Mr. Quainoo to ask Ananse for me why he didn’t answer my greetings.
Mr. Quainoo: I guess he didn’t hear.
Opo Man: I did not ask for a guess Mr…
Ananse: Look Opo Man. I’ll take it myself. Some of you don’t respect my chairmanship, but whether you do or not, one thing is clear, my name is not ‘some of you’, (Mr. Quainoo and Obolo start giggling) I would rather be called all of you than some of you. Twea, you come to meet respectable fellows like Mr. Quainoo here and say some of you. Aren’t you ashamed?
Opo Man: Ananse, don’t drag Mr. Quainoo into this.
Ananse: Then drag him out of here…
Obolo: (Interrupting) now I know who says Ananse is no chairman. Come on play my once and for all. (Lifting three scoring moves on
Ananse: Now see how dazed you are. I could smell it far on my way that Old’ Soldier is planning mutiny.
Obolo: (Redraws his moves for a better view, then takes them again) now see better, I don’t want to cheat.
Mr. Quainoo: I have a feeling Old’ Soldier will concede raw five this morning.
Obolo: See how I have silenced him.
Ananse: He must be in hang over.
Old’ Soldier: Hang over for where? Ma fran chop, chop (raises his hand at Obolo then back to the board) chop make I chop. Yee Old’ Soldier why do I have so many against like that? My only sin is I like akpeteshie(palm wine), but look (as he continues playing). Jesus own first miracle was to turn water into akpeteshie(wine).
Opo Man: Where were you?
Old’ Soldier: See what he is asking me? I was in the blue store. (All burst into laughter)
(A rice and stew seller has arrived and is serving Opo Man. Old’ Soldier is now playing Aboabo Champion, he latter is very excited).
Aboabo Champion: (Holds and pulls Old’ Soldier’s hand). Play fast, is that how you shoot your enemies in wars? Bad Soldier, you say champion remains.
Ananse: Won’t you preach him, Aboabo Champion?
Aboabo Champion: Oh yes. (Turning to shake Ananse) Thank you. When Jesus saw the multitudes.
Ananse: Mmere a Yesuhunu se mmoa no re tutuno(when Jesus saw the animals).
Aboabo Champion: He began to preach (still playing)
Ananse: Na opimpinenkyi.
Aboabo Champion: And he went to Galilee.
Ananse: (Dancing now) Na oko dii gari(and he ate gari).
Aboabo Champion: Amen.
Ananse: Na omen ye(and he was satisfied)
Obolo: (Eating from a big bowl) wakye seller today you have crucified me.
Ananse: Ei Obolo, I have seen you eating twice this morning alone. You like food very much.
Obolo: (Still eating) and you, you like stones very much.
Ananse: Obolo is it me you are talking to like that?
Obolo: (Raising his head as if to verify), Oh sorry Chairman, I thought it was Aboabo Champion.
Aboabo Champion: A-haa, so it is me you have less regard for. Let me tell you…
Obolo: EiAboabo, sorry, i thought it was “erheh…” (he raises his head to stare around again, all the others stop to stare back at him. He becomes po-faced. He finds no one to transfer his cheek to and the rest burst into laughter)
Obolo: You see Ananse, I thought it was one of those who opposed your chair. You said yesterday that you would tell us about Adjoku’s wife.
Mr. Quainoo: Aha, come up with that one Ananse, i have heard some rumours.
Ananse: It wouldn’t have been a conspicuous thing though. It was Abele who was troubling her mother as usual, she had refused to attend to her call… (Two players Aboabo Champion and Mr. Quainoo sit at the draught, sit listening to Ananse) The woman started a chase but her daughter seemed smarter. Soon she started shouting to Rasta who happened to be standing nearby “will you please catch that imp for me?” Rasta got hold of her with ease. Mr Adjoku’s said “Thrash her well, she is the most troublesome little thing I have ever come across in my life”. Then Rasta started beating the girl, but as I stood at the corner, I observed that the beatings was becoming overdose. You know, it appears he had just visited the bush behind Mr. Nkasaee’s backyard.
Mr. Quainoo: Aah Jamaica, (Still playing)
Aboabo Champion: Yes, Jamaica, that is what they call the base. Even they Jamaicans themselves will be scared to see how much cigar them smoke there. The first time l passed there, I nearly called the fire service thinking there was house on fire.
Obolo:Oh Ananse but you haven’t finished.
Ananse: AboaboChampion seems to know the rest that is why he is continuing. Let’s listen to him, two orators cannot prattle at the same time.
Aboabo Champion: Oh Ananse continue, we are all ears.
(Ananse scurries beside Obolo and tweaks his ear)
Ananse: So the woman rushes in and starts tweaking Abele’s ear shouting, “You pug, only if you had listened to me, would this wee smoker have got you for his punching bag? See how he has vented his madness on you, asif you were the one who made him unemployed”. You know something?
(By now some had already burst into laughter)
Ananse: Meanwhile, Rasta was jogging and still punching the air in readiness for a second round.
Opo Man: If Adjoku had come to meet him.
Ananse: It would have been hell. You know Adjoku has been a boxer before.
(Exit Mr Quainoo)
Obolo: Hei Mr. Quainoo, Mr. Quainoo please wait for me.
Mr Quainoo: (Shout back from off the scene). But do you know where I am going?
Obolo: Of course, down there to eat banku(food in Ghana), you know I love that food.
Ananse: And as for you which food don’t you love? (Some break into laughter)
(Exit Obolo, followed silently by Old’ Soldier)
Ananse: Aha, see them, Zion train.
Aboabo Champion: A.B.C, Area Banku Committee.
Ananse: Birds of the same feather…
Old Soldier: (laughing) Flock together.
Old Soldier: I don’t understand why our chairman is refusing to comment on the long absence of the oware.
Ananse: I am not non-chalant. It is only because the marbles belong to him, how else could he have dared seized the oware.
Old Soldier: But the Chairman has to collect money in form of dues for the purchase of a new one, instead all you know is pork meat.
Mr. Quainoo: I’ll bring the oware, but you must also speak good English. What is pork meat?
Ananse: Pork is the meat of pig, so pork, not pork meat, aba.
Old Soldier: Alright! It’s all right.
Ananse: Now Mr.Quainoo…
Mr. Quainoo: Ananse don’t take me on for this. I seized it because some members had been gambling with it.
Ananse: No gambling here. Mr. Quainoo you are right then.
(Exit Opo Man).
Ananse: Ebenim ne wura (everyone knows is master). Have you seen he is running away?
Obolo: Let him run away, maybe he can’t repent. I have repented, I am now born again.
Old Soldier: Born again my foot. Born again and we all still eat down there.
Aboabo Champion: Old’ Soldier, but what has that got to do with down there, asforyou Ghanaians, that is why we remain so poor oh. You have to patronize made in Ghana goods.
Old Soldier: Hey, heyAboabo Champion, let me ask you, when they do the trade forum on T.V parading made in Ghana goods, do you see banku in it?
Aboabo Champion: What about apeteshie(wine)? (All the giggles culminate into a spontaneous laughter)
Mr Quainoo: knock, knock, I want someone to ask Obolo for me when he became born again, because just yesterday i saw him gambling Opo Man with the oware. That was when i seized it.
Obolo: I became born again immediately you seized the oware. (All burst into laughter)
Ananse: So Obolo you think we play he fool for you, you want the oware to returnso that you can go back to your gambling and say it is backsliding. This is not the first time.
Mr. Quainoo: He is a chronic gambler, he just can’t stop.
Ananse: Only he has many Christian jargons to defend himself. (Enter Opo Man)
Opo Man: Obolo, if you have become born again, what about Ceci?
Ananse: Hei, hei don’t take it there it will affect some big shots. (Enter Aboabo Champion)
Aboabo Champion: What will affect big men?
Obolo: He says it is a sin to have a girlfriend. Is that in the bible?
Opo Man: So is Ceci in the bible? Let me hear yes to that one too. (All break into laughter) Tell me again, is Ceci also in the bible?
Obolo: The bible says concubines.
Old Soldier: Yes and ever cucumber is a cucumber.
Ananse: See I have heard the evangelist preach about it before, he said concubine. And by the way that dawn evangelist he married my own nieces, before the formal ceremony they were carnal partners. It’s a wonder he never preached about such those times.
Obolo: Maybe he had not grown it the bible yet.
Ananse: He started talking about it only after he performed the rites.
Old Soldiers: The engagement?
Ananse: You again, what engagement. It’s a wedding, a traditional wedding. Why do you keep misusing words?
Old Soldier: You have understood all the same. (Laughter from the rest) See there come the wire, Ananse, I’ll mill you today.
Ananse: If you Mills me, I will Kuffouryou,let it come.
Obolo: Yei, we shall see today, Malam meet Malam.
(All are present,they are in a mood after having played a dawn football among themselves, their dirty jerseys on them)
Ananse: Obolo, did you realises the implication of what you did?
Obolo: (In an impetuous mood). What?
Ananse: You nearly spoiled the game by holding my neck.
Mr. Quainoo: Yes, anything then you bring your macho into it, do you think this gambling?
Obolo: Don’t bring that in, I have already told I’ve stopped.
Old’ Soldier: Stop for where, ma friend, I say you lie. You can’t stop the thing.
Obolo: So will you bet me 10cedis, 10cedis to that? You think that it ispalm wine, or you no know say you too for stop drinking palm wine. It is only since she went to her hometown that you have stopped. (Drawing out two five cedi notes).
Old’ Soldier: Oh but as for that IpreferAdiza’spalms to any other, that’s why I am on leave.
Mr. Quainoo: So Obolo this is your new born again way of gambling? (All break into laughter).
Obolo: I am already very hungry.
1st Woman: Obolo! Please Obolo.
Obolo: Ye…s but why should you shout at me like that?
Ananse: Obolo is that not you elder sister?
Obolo: Oh she is, but she like calling me too much. (As he gets up to her, after a short chat with her, Obolo comes back to sit again)
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