Every single day, I used to hear roosters before six morning. At 7 morning it was normally the time I woken up in Pokuase, a neighborhood located at the outskirts of Accra, Ghana. At that time, every single place I look around it was already moving, alive, full of energy going and coming. Children taken their hands from brothers and sisters were on the verge of going to school. Women, those brave African souls started to open their small street business at the verge of the road. Trucks, bikes, cars and other public transports crossed each other with the purpose of going to Accra center, where almost all economic activity was going on.
Pokuase neighborhood is a humble place, prepaid electricity is a headache for many people there. Mainly because in many cases they have financial problems so cannot pay for it. Therefore, they cannot afford the service.
Over 15 days I was living with Rapheal and his brother Osman. Rapheal was a kind young guy, always ready to give you a hand. He would love to become professional football player. In one of our conversations, I suggest him to have a plan B, just in case plan A did not properly worked. I suggest him from total respect. We all know how football sport and business work. We all know its rivalry. In all countries I have visited in Africa, young people are in love with football. They just dream to become professional footballers and earn lots of money. I still remember that small hairdresser in Calaba Town neighborhood, Sierra Leone. There, I witnessed a particular poster where it showed in live color girlfriends, luxury cars and houses and, of course, all millions from the best professional football players Christiano Ronaldo, Messi…With this spectacle and with no thinking education, thousands of youngsters are caught with the craziness of football.
The three of them, Raphael, Osman and me, shared a little room. They always allowed me to sleep in the only mattress available. Meanwhile, Osman slept in a blanket with pillow or Raphael did it in a quite rigid sofa.
Osman put into words a different way to see reality. Presently, he worked as a teacher in a private school. I have great memories from our conversations and for sure I will see them again once I am back to Accra. One day he told me, – I can recite from A to Z a different kind of church for every single letter. Ghans is told to be the most religious country on Earth. They have churches from all kind of shapes, sizes and types. Osman, like other Africans ( few, unfortunately) I have been meeting around, do not approve that much such “massive” reality. All of them, as well as me, were able to witness a big business here, but not working at the same level with quality, free public education, health, social services….All of them basic.
Besides education, Osman liked singing, expressing feelings and emotions based on different melodies. He suggested if AFRICAHUGS might record a video of the song he had composed, his best hit. With no doubts about it, I took my camera and we went to visit all possible symbolic corners in Pokuase. A quarry, a little street coco business, a humble house where everything started, some children who helped us to record the chorus… Wubotom song and video was getting into shape, and different angles were taking on life.
Africa has talent, I have seen that in every single corner of my educational journey, in every single village and city visited. Wherever AFRICAHUGS was, we will be more than ready to spread, to give voice successful stories, other narratives of Africa that The West must know. Africa is not and has never been the dark continent, never has been the one where many westerners have written, and still do, genuine nonsense about their citizens. In 1561, John Locke, an english merchant wrote in his diary in Africa that his citizens were “beasts with no house” and “had no head, with eyes and mouth in their breasts”.
I assure you that Osman, Raphael or Mirror, the three heroes of the music video, are talented youngsters with head, ears and mouth, waiting for this opportunity to be recognized. Talented youngsters who are taking, with any responsibility, the most horrible consequences from the wild capitalism. AFRICAHUGS is and will always be next to them, spreading their story. It would be a total illusion for them to have the opportunity to properly record and sell their song, spread and having concerts. Would you give them a hand?