By Nii B. Andrews.
We were taught in primary school that there were no frogs in Ghana; what we have are toads.
We were also informed that in some parts of the world, frogs were a delicacy; we wondered how that was possible. It was emphasized to us that to each his own.
So it was a pleasant surprise to find out that there are frogs in Ghana’s forests and some of them are unique.
Two years ago, a Ghanaian scientist discovered a new species of frog; but the news made it into our newspapers just over a week ago.
That tells you how much premium we place on science.
If it had been a poliTRIKcian…..well, never mind.
The announcement of the discovery brought several unfortunate and unenlightened….yes, unenlightened remarks on social media.
We certainly shall not repeat them here. In the recent past, we have noticed that a formal invitation to the trolls keeps them from broadcasting their unhelpful and derisive comments; it is most interesting.
Certainly, we are elated to make our formal acquaintance with PHRYNOBATRACHUS AFIABIRAGO (named after Madam Afia Birago -the mother of the lead scientist, Dr.Caleb Ofori-Boateng).
As art lovers we noticed almost at once that Phrynobatrachus Afiabirago (PA) is colored in shades of brown and black.
That immediately reminded us of the possibilities inherent in juxtaposing the two colors in our clothing.
Shades of brown are particularly important at this time of the year; summer is the time for linen or cotton in shades of brown.
A white shirt and black tie make for high contrast, particularly against a suit in either tobacco or cream.
The darker shades in a suit partner well with black shoes or dark brown shoes. Remember of course that the guideline is that your shoes must be darker than your trousers.
A black tie goes well with a brown suit; best is a knitted silk or grenadine; avoid plain woven or printed silk particularly satin.
But a black suit only goes with black shoes, period. The black trousers that are de rigeur for formal or semi formal evening wear also render black shoes mandatory.
And of course, a brown smoking jacket provides for additional interest.
Now yet again, all this inspiration comes from the book of nature; a frog from our forest; our patrimony.
Should we not treasure and protect PA from all those who want to destroy its forest habitat for twelve pieces of silver?
Who knows, PA may yield a cancer cure or life saving antibiotic.
Where are the chest thumping, biceps contracting, vociferous patriots and uber-nationalists of all genders?
It is strange that they appear to have become mute when a watershed location that provides drinking water for millions of Ghanaians and other critical eco-resources are under threat.
The zeitgeist is to nurture and preserve eco-systems; to utilize them in a sustainable and balanced manner as custodians for the BEAUTY FULL ones not yet born.
Is that not the true and glorious African tradition?
Or all of a sudden, we have forgotten only to remember the drumming and dancing and the laborious three day funerals preceeded by a whole day one week celebration.
This important discovery of a new frog species highlights that the biodiversity of West Africa’s forests is still incompletely known and that the few remaining forests need urgent protection.