I wish to bring to the attention of the world community that with effect from September 1, 2020, I have launched a world’s first, namely a Ministry of Poverty Affairs of the Global Village.
Furthermore, I wish to make it known to the Global Village that I have appointed myself to fill the cabinet portfolio for the Ministry thus created. Put another way, from henceforth, I wish to be referred to as Minister for Poverty Affairs of our Global Village.
“That guy has without doubt gone bananas, a real case for the psychiatrist!” I hear someone who has just got wind of my statement shouting across the street.
“Hey, how dare you make that assertion!” I shout back.
“How should I otherwise describe a person who just gets up and out of the blue makes such a ridiculous declaration?” the itinerant voice persists. “In the first place there is no common world government! Even if there were one, you cannot just get up and out of the blue declare yourself a minister! You surely cannot behave as if you were in Africa! It is your leaders who are known for their dictatorial tendencies, not so the rest of the world, at least not in the Western world where you have sought ‘asylum’ from the perennial problems of your native Africa!”
It goes against the grain for me to respond to every provocation directed at me. Since some of the issues raised by the bystander touches on issues bordering on my sanity and also seems to enforce some of the negative stereotyping Africa is subjected to on a regular basis, I feel justified in launching a counter-attack!
Concerning the issue of my mind not being ‘all there’, I really do think my mind ‘is still here’! I accept that my brain cells having dutifully served me over the last sixty or so years have of late been experiencing what I think boils down to inefficient, or should I say inadequate, processing of the information fed into it, leading to increasing forgetfulness; nevertheless, as far as reasoning and going about my daily activities go, I believe my brain cells are performing fairly well.
Even so the individual who levelled the accusation that gave rise to this discourse might insist I provide an independent confirmation of the matter.
No worries, I am prepared to go the extra mile! It is superfluous to mention here that when it comes to medical records, there is confidentiality between doctors and their patients. To get the matter sorted once and for all, however, I am prepared to waive my patient confidentiality to permit whoever still harbours doubts on the soundness of my mind to contact my doctor in this connection.
Apart from my doctor, there are many individuals, not family members I must stress, the likes of Charles my editor, Burghard my good German doctor friend, and my working colleagues who, I have no doubt, will be prepared to bear witness to the fact that at least as of today I am talking sense!
Of course, I have no idea what tomorrow holds in store for me. As far as today, the 1st of September is concerned, I can say with all certainty that I am still in control of my faculties.
Having said that, I turn my attention now to the broad belief that Africans are inclined to be dictators. To that I want to put the record straight, that I vehemently oppose such negative stereotyping of the sunshine continent of my birth.
This is not to say that I dispute the fact that there have been leaders of Africa who in assuming office, try to do all they can to hang on to power. Even on their deathbeds, yes even when death is staring them in the face, many a leader of an Africa country would beg permission from awful death itself to be granted leave to attend the last cabinet meeting of their earthly life!
But is that tendency unique to the sunshine continent? Dear friends, let us cast an honest look around—to the north, south, east and west of our common planet! May I suggest that we dare even to cast a look at the Western World? Leaders here have been going round for years proclaiming to all and sundry the fact that their countries are the quintessential type of democracy, the Mecca of democracy, as it were! Yet now concerns are being voiced all over the place concerning the dictatorial tendencies of some within their ranks!
Well, I better return to the issue at stake before I get completely blown off course!
So, from henceforth, I have assumed the position of Minister of Poverty Affairs of the Global Village!
Get ready friends, for I will with all my strength fight for the rights of the poor of this world. We are not going to use force or threats to draw the attention of the world to our plight. Force has no place in our poverty-alleviation strategy. Instead we shall resort to what can aptly be described as strategy laced with satire, irony, parody and in some cases banter, mere banter.
For example, the other day I read that the boss of a leading global conglomerate was worth 200 billion USD—two hundred billion United States dollars!
“Congratulations, good fellow!” The spokesperson of the Kibera slum has urged me to pass on a message from their poor to your ears. They are pleading with you to donate 10 million dollars of your huge fortune to help build a block of flats to provide them some decent living. They want you to desist from thinking that their own government will ever, ever deem it necessary to build such a facility to accommodate them! They want you to know that their government actually prefers to invest sums in embassies and consulates all over the world to keep their national presence all over the globe rather than invest money in building homes for them.
Indeed, they want you to know that should they wait for their government to reveres their pitiful plight, it would take hundreds if not thousands of years.
So, the freshly sworn-in Minister of Poverty affairs of the global village, the poor fellow who arrived in this world in a dilapidated, makeshift bathroom under unsterile conditions, forcing him to fight with trillions of bacteria, viruses and what-have-you right from the word go, is ready to take the world by storm—for the sake of the impoverished millions.
Oh dear! Just as I was about to drop my pen and retire to bed, I heard someone yelling in a shrill voice: “Your credentials, you babbler! Show the world proof that you are qualified for the position you have created for yourself!”
No worries, I am happy to do just that. For now, however, I shall put down my pen—it’s late at night here in the U.K. Aware that due to the nature of the planet we call our home that not everyone is retiring to bed right now, I shall wish those in the section of the world population that are going to bed a sincere goodnight and a pleasant refreshing sleep!
Copyright Robert Peprah-Gyamfi, 2020. All rights reserved