Monday, March 25, 2013

A Francophone (French) weekend in Accra

You might have read about my previous blog post about watching the popular Ivorian movie "Le Mec Ideal".  The Accra Francophone Film Festival ended today and I saw 3 full-length movies and a short film as part of it. Apparently, the last week has also seen the Festival de la Francophonie happen in Accra courtesy of Alliance Francaise. But if I didn't know this particular weekend was going to be a French weekend. It just kinda happened. Allow me to explain :-)

When I showed up to get my social media teacher hat on at the West Legon location, the friend who had invited me told me the students were mostly Francophone. "Be careful of what you say so they might understand you well". After greeting the class with "Bonjour" and going through some Facebook tips, I asked the students if I had spoken too fast. They had followed my speech and teaching well so that would not be a problem. But that made me wonder, do Francophones hear Anglophones speak English a fast pace? Because I feel when I hear Francophone speak French, they speak it faster. Or it might just be the case of "If you don't understand this language as well as you should, you would think it's being spoken faster than it should".

I started making inferences about Francophone friends I had and things I knew about Francophone West Africa. Thanks to Museke, I have Francophone music down pat. The first idea that came to mind in creating A Facebook group was to do one for "Coupe Decale in Ghana". I once went to Kahuna bar near Circle and I discovered where most Francophonies hang in Accra. But then, I am really wondering if there is a Facebook group for Francophonies in Accra, cos I will like to join.

After blogcamp13 happened and I wrote a blog post about it, I heard that my friend was having a house party with "French women". House party sounds great, party with French women sounds greater. When I finally arrived in the AU village (how appropriate a location eh, the only other better location would have been the house of the most connected Francophonie in Accra, do we even know who that is?), I greeted a few people and went straight for a drink. After not finding any juice or minerals, I filled a glass of Baileys. That was when I saw Vimto! I had to have some vimto. Because it has vim in it, literally and figuratively. Not that vim, or that vim, but this vim. That inspired this tweet.

I sat down next to a lady who had to be French. At some point during the conversation, I asked where she was from but because of her tiredness or her I-partied-so-hard-yesterday-so-are-we-doing-the-same-tonight-or-what-why-are-we-talking-plenty wants or her Je-veux-aller-à-la-maison thoughts, she wasn't saying. So I took a guess and said "Are you from Gabon?" "How did you know?" Yeap, the MIghTy African guessed her country on the first try. Well, I met a Gabonese girl in Accra earlier this year who looks like you. "What is her name?" ..... (why you want know lol?) .... After mentioning her full name she said, "Oh, I know her and her sister, they are small girls". Interesting huh? I took her number and whatsapped her later.

On Sunday, I was at the Lords Arm Christian and Foster Care Home to support Nehemiah Attigah's birthday donation. And these happened.
As yesterday was Palm Sunday, I really wanted to eat fufu and palm nut soup and drink palm wine. That didn't happen. As we were making our way from the Foster Home, I received a text from one of the small Gabonese girls like she had promised the night before. She fine brutal! Elle est très belle! At some point during the conversation she wrote, "Tu ecris mieux francais que tu ne le parle". That's so true! I'd save you a trip to Google translate it, but it means "You write French better than you speak it". She does the same for English.

I ended up at Nehemiah's house with those we went to the foster care home with and had a kenkey party. I hope Francophones in Accra love kenkey a lot. Besides, most of them live in Accra where kenkey calls home. After watching the Black Stars almost spell Sudan in Kumasi, I headed for the Accra Francophone Film Festival to catch a documentary on the Ghanaian film industry and a surprise French movie. I was late because of kenkey, so I missed the documentary but I was early enough to watch "Untouchable aka Intouchables". I live-tweeted it a bit with Victoria who tweeted this. :-) The movie featured Francophone Africans too, or well Africans of French descent or erm, French people of African descent, paramount of which was Omar Sy.

Later that night, I got into a conversation with some friends about French women. That reminded me of a lady I saw at the A&C Mall car park on Saturday night. She had "tremendous" shape. Since I love the letter V (V for vim), let's say she was tres voluptuous. Thinking about it, I am confident she was Francophone too. Not because Ghanaian women are not blessed with great backs, behinds or buttocks, but because they don't do tattoos and piercings like Francophone women do. My Togolese friend who lives in Burkina Faso (hehe, yeah) confirmed this while we were discussing the Ivorian movie, "Le Mec Ideal". In fact, Emma Lohoues is the reason this conversation happened. Funny thing is when I was talking to the Francophones in the social media class, there was a point where I thought of Coupe Decale songs and popular words. The first word that came to mind was "Bobaraba". Some of them started giggling. For the benefit of the Ghanaians in that room and you who are reading and everyone else who doesn't know what "Bobaraba" is, I said, "It means behind. As in back. Okay, as in buttocks". I'll leave it here. A bien tot :-)
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