Ablotsi – By Fo Fovi
The word Ablotsi I think is losing its mystery and the awe that comes with it among the Ghanaian populace, manifesting the fact that globalization is working around the clock to bring us together except that we are still separated by miles and miles of oceans.
Apparently anybody who went to Ablotsi or returned were highly respected and even revered as if they were gods but it is no more so. Just a look at the person distinguished him or her from the Ghanaman who has not been anywhere beyond the shores of Ghana but lately, you have to either tag yourself as such or introduce yourself to have returned from beyond the shores of Ghana to be noticed and even in some extreme cases, you have to convince the average Ghanaman.
Hitherto, they carried bottled water about, yes because drinking our ‘hard’ water contaminated their system and rendered their stay unpleasant. It instantly made them sick so they frequented the few restaurants we had in town but thankfully to globalization, it is no more so. They even ordered their menu of Fufu, Kenkey, Banku, Atsek3, Agbeli kaklo among others even before enplaning to the motherland.
Apart from the difference in the weather where they constantly have four seasons compared to our one and half season of sunny weather and the rainy season taking the half, and a few other things, I can confidently say we are closing the ranks and the disparity between our family and friends in Ablotsi .
Gone were the days when fashion, music and information in the Diaspora were light years ahead of us but things have changed dramatically. Lately, we even have the privilege to witness the launch of the music or watch them parade in the fashion in vogue. Folks could order whatever they want through the internet or other alternative means available.
One thing I have noticed missing or have not seen in a while is the deportation of the Ghanaman, wow! I remember one guy who was deported from the states when I was growing up. Nobody saw him arrive, he came home under the cover of darkness and stayed indoors for a while until he decided to come out from his comfort zone. I could tell how embarrassing and heartbreaking it was for him with regards to his aspirations, dreams and any other things that motivated him to embark on the journey in the first place coming to an abrupt naught.
Do you remember ashibri shibri kontomire? Am sure, you do and that one too is gone with the wind, can’t even be retrieved from the recycle bin. That was how their accent were perceived to have sounded because we hardly understood what they were saying and am sure some were also playing on our intelligence but now we all speak same and the difference is no more clear-cut. Thank God for advancement in technology.
And the perceived civilization is being bridged with alacrity. Every Ghanaian family can now boast of a family member in Ablotsi unlike some years back when only some members of our society were privileged to have traveled or have the privilege to go beyond the shores of Ghana. Just drive on our streets in the city and you will see imported goods, no I mean ‘deported’ goods being sold in every nook and cranny ranging from plates, chamber pots, mattress, underwear, spoons, bicycles, cardboards and what have you. Is it not a joy when you see all these borla goods being sold in a ploy to bridge the gap between the Ghanaman and the people living in the Diaspora?
The days of communication centres cannot be overlooked because it also played a major role. A friend, Family or an acquaintance will have to notify you days, weeks or months ahead of an impending call which made you ready and waiting. Sometimes you see the whole family at the Comm. Centre waiting for the call of their kin and can you imagine the stampede that ensued when the call finally comes through? Your guess is as good as mine. Sometimes, the receiver has to trek about two miles to the nearest Comm. Centre and it was all good. But now, your phone could be ringing and you are not bothered to even know who is calling because you know you will soon call back after what you were doing, impressive!
Who says we are not getting there? Apart from the information and news we read in the magazines, in the movies, in the newspapers and on the internet, we all have classmates, Kins and other members of society calling us on daily basis and we doing likewise and telling us stories about their experiences in the Diaspora. Some people even travel to and fro about twice in a week and you say wetin?
Do I hear this green paper stuff lately? Maybe blue paper is even making up for the green paper because everyone seems to be at ease once they travel out. Somehow they manage to get one and very soon, the Embassies will even be evacuated on our soil or be streamlined to only be a source of information centre where you could just go and seek for information.
Do you also remember when even family members traveled without your knowledge with the hindsight that a certain witch or wizard might just counter cross them and impede their travel? Well, I just got my Visa and should be traveling out soon; I just pray that when I get there, the weather should be favorable to me and as for the food, they have a lot of Ghanaian foods in the African markets more than we even have here in Ghana so I hope to fit in even before I land at the Airport so if you don’t see me around, I am gone to Ablotsi