Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Ride with me, don't be scared, I'm a good guy

Today, I gave a few people free rides like I've done many times this year. There was nothing really special about today that made me do so. It wasn't because today is a Waakye Wednesday or that I bought waakye for someone. It wasn't exactly because we had a great Mobile Monday (led by +Nana Fosu) end of year get-together which oozed a lot of positive spirit talking about and celebrating major developments in the Ghanaian tech scene this year. Maybe the actual reason was because I had given +yorm ackuaku a ride to the Republic Bar in Osu as I wanted to swing by La Villa Boutique Hotel for the Ghana Professionals Network event after +Donald Ward had reminded me about it. I saw +Samuel Ekem & +Elvina Quaison there. I was driving back from this venue and the passenger seat was empty. Yorm had filled it the last two times I drove and I felt I needed to have someone in it. So yeah, I think it's the reason why I decided to pick up folks.

That's not the reason I wrote this blog post though but I will get to that at some point. Bear with me. Bare your chest with me. If you're in private. I could backspace the last 2 sentences but who are you to take an issue with those 2 sentences? (space bar... continue typing) Anyway, I passed by the trotro stop facing the Police Hospital and packed as I saw 2 ladies. "Anyone need a ride to 37?" The first lady said no, the second lady obliged. During the ride, as I listened to Lira's music, the lady offered some of her Alvaro drink to me. It was a colourless polythene bag and she was drinking from a straw. "Thanks, but no thanks". We struck a convo. She works at a snack bar at Burma Camp but had gone to Osu to give an account of sales to her madam. I dropped her off at 37 and headed to the next trotro stop to pick more folks.

I packed at the trotro stop right after MaxMart and said "Anyone want a ride to East Legon?" 2 ladies approached the car, one saying "Bawaleshie". Another guy joined them. I drove off. As we passed the GOIL and were getting to the Silver Star Tower, the lady in the back seat asked me to stop. I was a bit surprised. I drove the #vimride past the traffic light and parked at the trotro stop right by the Silver Star Tower. I didn't have to ask why she wanted me to stop. She just said "I'm scared". Scared of what? Scared that I might go do something to her I suppose. So I looked back at her and said, "My name is Ato, what's yours?" "Nana Akua". I asked the guy beside him. "TT". The lady beside me. "Evelyn". Blog post idea was born. The lady was scared of me o! This is surely a first.

I asked Nana Akua where she was coming from. "Church in North Kaneshie- Qodesh". Lighthouse Chapel things. Evelyn and TT were coming from work. So the church girl is scared and the others are just enjoying the ride home and thanking the heavens for the few Ghanaian cedis they are saving. Nana Akua continued to explain that she was scared because a cousin of hers was picked by a gentleman who then picked another guy along the way. The two guys raped her cousin. She thought that "hey, this guy and this other guy who joined the car have enough strength to rape me and this lady so I better get out of this situation". She didn't just think this, she told us. I told her I understood her fear but she needn't worry. Evelyn was a bit surprised, so was TT. Interestingly, Evelyn knew TT from picking the same trotro with him multiple times.

When I took the Shiashie road instead of Lagos Avenue, Nana Akua got scared again. "Oh, the back routes are faster". As we approached Bawaleshie, I told Nana Akua who was the only way headed there that she could alight at the Abedi Pele junction and walk. "That route is scary". Yes, it is. It's a short cut through a neighbourhood which is dark. So I went through Banku junction so I could drop her off at the La Bawaleshie school. The one +Ela Asare led to paint on National Volunteer Day with the participation of folks like +Seyram Freddy Ahiabor +Edmund Laryea +Cecil Dadzie and co. As we were arriving, Nana Akua asked for my number. I gave it to her and she flashed right then. She alighted. "God bless you". I told her "God bless you" right back. She also took TT's number. TT wasn't able to ally her fears earlier before she asked me to stop shortly after we'd left.

I dropped off Evelyn and TT at American House and they both took my number and flashed me. Not like 'flash' the things under their tops o! Like called me so I could get their numbers. I could have gone to Adjiringanor to drop them off but that's a bit too far. I told them I had passed my house long ago when Evelyn asked. I had already told them I do this to help fellow people out and make Ghana better. #IMGBT. I Made Ghana Better Today.
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