Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Burkinabe Day - Première

When I was heading home today, I needed to send some whatsapp messages so I needed to park the car and do so. The only choice on this route was going to be the Burkinabe embassy. The first time I had I stopped there, it was February 6th. I was so saddened by the Black Stars' loss to the Stallions of Burkina Faso that I just had to stop by the embassy and 'pay my respects'. I had told the security guy "look at how your country has made all of Accra sad". I was rooting for the Burkinabe team in addition to our darling Black Stars but if I knew they were going to end Ghana's interest in the Orange African Cup of Nations, I would have refrained from that. Ghanaians were taunting Burkinabes saying "we are going to drink burkina" but after that penalty-shoot out loss, Ghanaians were caught saying "we are going to stop providing electricity for Burkina Faso". Given the current load shedding exercises in Ghana, I am surprised we haven't gone ahead with those threats. Anyway, back to the story of today.

While sending whatsapp messages in front of the Burkinabe Embassy, the security guy came to say whatsup. "Do you remember me?"
"Oui, you were here the day we beat you".
"Yes, allow me to park here small. What's your name?"
"Alhassan Traore".
"Oh, two very common names. Is Traore a Mossi name?"
"No, it is Diula".
"Oh yeah, that's why there are Traores in Ivory Coast too". "Oh, I know what 'I ni che' is". Find out here. Alhassan continued, "I am from Bobo-Dioulasso". That's when I learnt that Bobo Dioulasso is home to the Dioula people in Burkina Faso and that Ouagadougou is home to Mossi people. Mossi is the biggest tribe, followed by Dioula and Fufude (Fulanis). I have some good friends who are San. I said 'barka' and showed off some Mossi I knew. I also said "Maam nonga Burkina Faso" which means "I love Burkina Faso".

I told Alhassan I knew one Burkinabe guy who works at Busy Internet and a lady who studies at OUWA. For some reason, I asked Alhassan what Bobo Dioulasso meant. This is where I wished I knew more French and I wished he knew more English. I unsuccessfully spent over 10 minutes getting him to tell me what Bobo Dioulasso meant in Diula. I even called upon Google Translate to make me speak French but we still didn't make headway. He eventually wrote the word "Sia" on a piece of paper. No, he didn't mean 'kwasia'. His Twi is not even elementary, it's nursery. And it was then that I thought to check out Bobo-Dioulasso on Wikipedia as it might have the meaning of the word. "Sia!" It was there. It meant "home of the Bobo-Dioula". Bobo and Diula are ethnic groups that both speak Diula.

I would have stayed with Alhassan to learn more Diula but I had to rush home to have a meeting. But the freakin #vimride would not spark! I had it parked a little too long so it continued to park and wouldn't generate a spark. There was no one to excuse my French so I yelled many obscenities that would make El Hadj Diouf proud. Alhassan came to see whatsup again but he couldn't help me. A neighbor also came by and after failing to spark the car, stopped the next taxi driver. He tried many things and I unsuccessfully sparked many times. I said a prayer and the car didn't answer. Because I am ridiculous like that, my next prayer was a bunch of jibberish and "Mon Dieu". Vroom vroom vroom! Car sparked! I gave the taxi driver 5 GhC for his time. The neighbour was called Glibert Gilbert and he was a Kasem from Paga. "Where the crocodiles are?" "Yes, very close to Burkina Faso".

I set off for East Legon via Kawukudi junction like I normally do. When I got to Jack And Jill, I thought to myself - "I was just at the Burkinabe embassy, let's go visit the Burkinabe ambassador too". Since his residence was near, I changed my route and went to park at his gate. I parked there so that if he was coming home soon, he will be forced to talk to me. After 2:26 minutes, I blew my car horn. Expectedly, the security man came outside and wondered whatsup. I told him I loved Burkina Faso and I just wanted to come say hi to the ambassador if he was there. No, the security man didn't say "Il est ici", he said "he is here" because he is actually from Ghana. His name was Ismail, from the Busanga tribe and hails from Bawku.

I told him that if I came to meet the ambassador, we'd have to exchange pleasantries, talk about what I know about Burkina Faso, what he thinks of Ghana, etc and that I would be delayed in going to my meeting. I even told him I was a Burkinabe after all and my name was "....." Let me desist from announcing that name before you all start calling me by it. My proper Burkinabe name will come later. I promised to come by again. "I will come with some Burkinabe friends of mine". When I was leaving the area, I saw the Chinese embassy and wondered. why is the Burkinabe's ambassador residence so close to the Chinese embassy? Mere coincidence. I think I already said that Aristide Bancé should go and play in China like Didier Drogba and Seydou Keita did. He will be such a huge star and he shall pound his opposition. Not literally. Figuratively.

Oui, we have part deux. Click ici.

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