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Asenso Boakye, the Son of a Kokonte Seller – Kwesi Yankah Writes

The very nicknames of 'konkonte' should caution offending tongues not to mess with that meal. 'Face the Wall' is what l best remember from student days: the only meal you were advised to battle with your back turned to spectators.

The forthcoming Valentine’s Day, imposed by our kids, may be good after all. It tells adults to ‘beloved let us laugh’ putting behind us grievances nursed between children of ‘konkonte’ sellers and their political rivals.

The very nicknames of ‘konkonte’ should caution offending tongues not to mess with that meal. ‘Face the Wall’ is what l best remember from student days: the only meal you were advised to battle with your back turned to spectators. That was not taken as a sign of disrespect; it was to allow you enough privacy to wrestle and floor the meal, walking away with no evidence of rough play.

Other nicknames like ‘abetee, ‘okpolatse, and the rest are meaningless, and do not prescribe ideal eating postures in their manuals. Students prefer ‘Face the Wall; a cassava-based meal with groundnut soup, which big men pretend they despise, but in whispers send their drivers to buy at Adjiringanor or Bantama (and not tell anybody who sent them).

Since the recent NPP parliamentary primaries, Face the Wall has earned extra respect, and many politicians who lost the polls, have regretted not changing the vocation of their mother, to ‘konkonte seller’ on candidate application forms. This compels me to flatter Dan Kweku Yeboah, my nephew whose political ambitions in Agona could be bolstered with a big secret I am about to reveal. Our beloved Nana Ekua, mother of celebrated broadcaster Dan Kweku Yeboah, was a renowned ‘bofrot’ seller at Power House in Agona Duakwa, a modest vocation that transformed the fortunes of her talented son.

I hereby salute all wayside food vendors, retailers, traffic light traders, konkonte and omo tuo sellers, whose modest efforts have produced graduates, maverick politicians and big business executives. These should include our beloved Kennedy Agyapong and my own ‘Daavi, whose mother was a ‘waakye’ seller, nicknamed Mama Waakye.

That derogatory reference to ‘son of a konkonte seller’ at a political rally, must have turned on the appetite of Bantama delegates who picked ballot papers and voted heavily for Asenso. Francis gleefully extended the joke, and organized a big party a day after his victory.

Call it the Bantama Konkonte Banquet that saw delegates wrestling konkonte with tilted necks and soup dripping at elbows. It’s not known whether Asenso Boakye at the banquet provided enough wall space for celebrants to face that day. At the end of the day, however, a record had been set at the Bantama Constituency in Ashanti. For the first time an MP in Bantama had got the mandate to extend his term beyond four years; and this feat stands in the name of son of a konkonte seller.

Indeed my heroes at the entire parliamentary primaries were Asenso Boakye and his rival, Ralph Agyapong. These two are a great sport. After results had been announced, there was no love lost. Ralph despite the bitter contest, plucked love and courage, and walked to Asenso lifting his hand in congratulation. It was such a moving spectacle. No victors, no losers.

Their Party had won, and Ghana was the greatest beneficiary. The best part of the show was when Francis and Ralph during voting, chose to dissipate tension not with blows, but through a peaceful song-dialogue (akutia) as spectators cheered. Congratulations, Ralph and Francis!

I hereby request Ken to do likewise, and in the name of Valentine extend a warm hand to Asenso, putting behind them a bitter campaign trail that needlessly sapped energies; then work towards further victories for democracy.

Politics can indeed be a sport and also give us lessons about the Black Stars, who with heads bowed, returned from Cote D’Ivoire but need our love.

Beloved let us smile at the Stars, particularly Inaki Williams who committed a fatal defensive blunder allowing Egypt to equalize. At home in Accra, Inaki would have been advised after the game, to hang on at the dressing room until further notice. Phobia supporters would be waiting to greet him with a few parting words.

But don’t forget our beloved Kudus who made our day during the match with Egypt. For those who delay meals till Black Stars have finished a match, you may have worsened your stomach ulcers by now. Please advise yourself next time.

Where unsure of the Black Stars, simply take advantage of goals scored by Kudus to quickly eat your dinner before opponents pull even. By the time Kudus’ goal is equalized and you start mourning, you would be grieving at least on a full stomach!

Please enjoy your meals while Green Eagles, Elephants, Bafana Bafana and DR Congo battle it out towards Afcon finals; it enables you to transfer all heart attacks across the border, to whom it may concern.

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