Growing up in Ghana, you come into contact with beliefs that will forever baffle you. These beliefs cut across all spheres of life and are spewed forth as facts. Its no respecter of persons, you find yourself believing them more often than not. A classic example is the idea that cashew nut, eaten right after drinking milk will kill you. I tried it people, and I’m still here. Some of you might say I’m still here because I may have a rather strong constitution. But that’s not the only example…
In secondary school for instance, wanting to grow a beard, boys resorted to all kinds of remedies. Hair growing concoctions were suggested; from coca cola to “Okpo” feces. All these were proposed by individuals who believed what they were saying wholeheartedly. One fellow did a whole lot better even. He suggested the dredges left in a coca cola bottle. He was like: ” Kofi, if you wan make the beard come a, take coke ihn under den add small Robb”. Sad to say I tried it. In case you are wondering, it didn’t work. Some of you might attribute this to young boys playing pranks. But some you just can’t explain. They were proposed by adults in possession of all their mental faculties. Anywhere anytime, they will propose.
I used to workout at this “local gym”, the kind where the weights are made from car spare parts and concrete. In these gyms, you never really know the weight of the weight you are working out with. The theories I heard there will put Einstein to shame. I’m going to list a few;
1. “Hairy girls have it difficult getting pregnant because they look like men.” The theorist went on to give examples and even cited his own sister as an example. He (the theorist ) is very hairy.
2. “Working out with music is not good, your muscles don’t like that.” This theorist backed what he said by adding; ” you see macho man he dey sing or know boogie before”.. He obviously hadn’t heard Tyrese sing or seen Terry Crews sing and dance.
3. Before you work out you have to pee. This no one challenged, all present believed it wholeheartedly. Me included. Its just not the same without peeing first.
4. Michael Jackson does really have “Powers”. After his death when “Thriller” and “Remember the time” were all over the place. No matter what explanation I gave, they countered with that story (will tell you that story some time) about Michael having learnt Moon walking from demons in hell . If he’s been to hell and back, he’s got to have powers, right?
5. “If human beings carry babies for nine (9) months, there is no way an elephant’s gestation period will be longer.” Even arguing that elephants are bigger didn’t help. Human beings are smarter they countered.
6. “Mosquitoes don’t give malaria.” The theorist said he’s been bitten numerous times by mosquitoes and he is healthy. Telling him its the female anopheles mosquito made his view even more entrenched. How is the female stronger than the male? You can’t beat that.
Gym and Beard tales are harmless enough. But when people begin to apply these tales, that’s where the problem lies. Take abortion for instance. Who proposed Guinness as an abortion drug? Whenever you hear about any abortion saga gone wrong– Guinness is involved. Is the Guinness to get the foetus drunk and lure it out or what? Some go to the extent of grinding the Guinness bottle to swallow. Its an abortion people, not a dare devil stunt. Even with all the incidents that keep occurring, people keep trying it. It beats my imagination chale, as a kid I couldn’t even take paracetamol that had been grounded.
People will believe all these absurd tales, but the ones that matter they won’t. What scares me most is young people’s perception about HIV. It scares them none. They have the silliest beliefs regarding AIDS. Heard a guy say, “AIDS ebi mindset”. How in hell do you come up with that. One also goes like: ” AIDS, when e come the system inside, wey e wan come take Ghana women personal”. His idea is to get to the women before AIDS does. Some guys will tell you they wear condoms because they are scared of getting someone pregnant not because of contracting anything. I mean how…?
But what do you expect when, you actually believe DUMSOR is over.
You have pastors telling someone during a quarrel, “M3 b) wo dua”. To wit I’ll curse you.
Lesser gods known for finding lost goods making reports to the police about their lost fetishes.
Mothers insulting their kids with the phrase; “your mother”.
Looking back on it all, everything is just as it should be.