From the Archives: Wofa Adwo, The Man of the House - Nana Agyemang Ofosu

Wofa Adwo, the man of the house
Wofa Adwo ei
Nipa eregye den
Wofa Adwo the man of the house
Indeed I am

Surrounded by children of no mean ages
He still lives in the dark ages
Of filth, treachery and food shortages
No plan to manage his family
But he is able to afford wine made of barley
Oh poor them
Mobutu the eldest left home
When he found his rhythm
The father had no idea of him
But he muddled through to a foreign land
Years and little was heard of him
Senghor the youngest has started school
But he walks a mile every day
He is tired, but his desire eggs him on
He is sad when he returns home
To no food, no electricity
And another mile to fetch water

Wofa Adwo ei
Nipa eregye den
Wofa Adwo the man of the house
Indeed I am

There is a gloomy shade of horror for the mother
She is at the mercy of slaps and beatings
When she demands money for upkeep of the home
The home is starving but Adwo is partying with friends
Wofa Adwo ei

"Man no be firewood" he says
"I will soon vaporize like camphor
So let me have a good time"
His character due him three of his sons dead
But he cares less
He knows he can marry and bring forth again
The woe of his famiy is no worry
When he is belly full behind closed doors
He walks in flashy shoes and clothes
But his house is wailing
Oh Wofa Adwo
Why this, why bring chaos to your home

Wofa Adwo ei
Nipa eregye den
Wofa Adwo the man of the house
Indeed I am

By virtue of his position as the Abusuapanin
He visits the shrine and consults the oracles
Even here he has stolen the drinks of the spirits
No wonder his six remaining sons
Gang to kill him
And take over his possessions
But he survives with no knowledge
Of the attempt made to terminate his life
Wofa Adwo, in his gluttonous element
Sank into the valley of his family's anger
When he stole the artifacts of the family -
He walks now with nothing
The new Abusuapanin, Peter Dafa
Has said he will inspect
And will take back all the lost family possessions.

Old poems at OGOV don't die, but live on in our archives! Every once in a while we will dust one off for our newer readers to enjoy. "Wofa Adwo, The Man of the House" was orginally published on OGOV on January 30th, 2010.

1 comment:

Dela Bobobee said...

Nana Agyemang Ofosu,

I enjoyed reading your poem especially the aspect of “the Ghanaian family system is no different from politics.” One could agree no less with the vehemence of the parody in your poem when one critically considers the melodramatic nature of mismanagement of scarce resources as prevalent in African politics being the order of the day. Indeed when a man cannot control his family, either nuclear or extended household, how then can he succeed to be at the proper helm of affairs as a political leader of a nation?

"Man no be firewood" he says
"I will soon vaporize like camphor
So let me have a good time"

Just like the extravagant Abusuapanin depicted in the poem, most African leaders see state resources and funds as a national cake, or perhaps their personal assets to be dispensed as they wish. This misbehaviour is in severe conflict with ethics and is indeed the direct opposite of what good governance stands for. Everything in me rejects such aberrations that make the poor masses suffer and wallow in abject poverty while corrupt leaders stash away enormous amounts of state funds and reel in ridiculous opulence. But interestingly, I usually come to think of it that: the heads, sighs and swears of the poor masses transforms into nemesis that usually catches up with such corrupt leaders, and their end stories are very shameful and tragic. Names like Mobutu and Senghor in the poem aptly evoke some stifled sentiments of past dictators but I guess the list is endless and is increasing everyday. Damn!

This poem is indeed a very good example of real satire on the ridiculous nature of African political milieu. Well done, Nana.