By Nii B. Andrews
There are three large, over 20 year old almond trees in our yard.
It is April, and their leaves are yellow; it has never happened before.
I hope that this is not the new normal. Has our climate changed?
Years ago, we arrived at a new normal in many other areas. Let us revisit a few of these.
Loud loose talk, invariably uninformed, and poor behavior – aka “by heart behavior”, and with impunity.
The kiosks that sprung up everywhere; sometimes three deep.
The churches that sprouted in residential neighborhoods and continue to torture us.
The choked, foul smelling open gutters.
The modified tricycles that purport to collect garbage and then end up dumping it carelessly elsewhere, including along the Tema motorway.
But when it comes to yellow leaves in April, it reminds me specifically of the ubiquitous K- gallon that became a new normal and our water crisis.
At least one of our important contemporary artists has managed to record for posterity the impact of the K- gallon on our lives.
He is Jeremiah Quarshie.
The K- gallon is a sad new normal.
In his work, Quarshie has arranged the gallons as seating – or if you like, as thrones for various individuals in our community; nurses, soccer players, the elderly, traders; even for a beauty queen!
The serious question posed by the artwork is how come multiple successive popularly elected governments in a “thriving democracy” can be so spectacular in their consistent failure to provide for the basic needs of the people?
Is it surprising then that over 70% of the population want to emigrate?
Quarshie focuses on water; simple water.
But we all know that the failure is much more deep seated (pun!?) than the K- gallon!
There are so many things that are deemed unpleasant and so we should refrain from talking about them in our country; that the only safe thing to do is stay silent – or decide to care not a toss about what others say and think, and say what needs to be said.
Some of the seed may fall on fertile ground.
I shall stay in my yard and sweep April’s fallen yellow leaves with the new broom that cost 15ghc (just over 3 usd); it provides a terrific workout.
Then I shall retire to my lair and continue to contemplate the