Word to the wise, if you see me sitting in the corner playing with my phone and generally not minding anyone, it means I want to be left alone. I don’t need your company, I don’t want to chat, I just want to sip my fanta in peace and when I am done, I will go back to my car alone and drive off alone.
Somehow, even though even the expression on my face should tell you “danger, keep away”, people still try their luck. This morning some guy asked if he could sit by me while I was doing my usual routine of sipping tonic water while playing pyramid solitaire on my phone. At first I politely said I was busy doing something, but then when he asked again 10 minutes later if he could join me now, he got a flat out no.
Yesterday at around the same time a man holding a briefcase came up to me, I knew he was selling something strange by the way he geared himself up to start a presentation. I said “no” even before he let out his breath, I literally have 70 cedis to last me the next 20 days, I didn’t even want to know what he was selling because I know I wasn’t buying.
He made a second attempt to sell his goods, I don’t know why telling me he was a medicine man would make his case any sweeter, but after he realised that it wasn’t getting him anywhere he left me with a copy of his leaflet.
On a badly printed out A4 sheet, I was introduced to Mr Placid from the Benin Association of Herbalist. Located at Lashibi (Accra, by the coastline) or Benin, Mr Placid has a treatment for all. He treats the normal stuff like Malaria, can help those who suffer from tiredness/fatigue, you don’t need antibiotics to take away that Gonorrhea, he has something for that to. He can help with fibroids, sexual satisfaction he can even enlarge a man’s penis. He can bring back a divorced woman, ease headache caused by a person and he offers protection against witchcraft all for a consultation fee of 10.10pws (whatever that is, magic beans or something, I don’t know).
There are a list of 22 problems which he resolves to cure. Then there is “The index accord of mystemain problems” containing another 17 general points. I have no idea what mystemain means and there is nothing on spell-check that comes close to what it could be. He does point out things like like lucky soap, to love somebody and loose affection and toothache, so I guess they are more general points as opposed to things like penis enlargement, asthma, hernia, obesity and “man power” (I guess some form of Viagra).
At the bottom of the paper he writes “with the aim that you believe and know that we are living in Africa & mysterious continent you may ask what ever you problem are”, Mr Placid needs something that will help him with grammar.
This is Africa, “& mysterious continent”, but it is a bit like the fortune teller, if he is that great, then why doesn’t he know the winning lottery numbers. Why didn’t he use the stuff on himself give himself a high retentive memory, pass his exams, become a millionaire and retire with his riches, his wife and his enlarged penis. Instead he sends out a scraggily looking guy who could do with some of the herbs himself touting for customers.
But this is Africa, he will probably get a few, spiritualists, herbalists, pastors, we are in a continent with a lot of poverty and a lot of perceived/real witchcraft, he is the equivalent of Madam Rosa who you would find down Blackpool pier with her crystal ball. Madam Rosa though will not find half the population of gullible people that you would find on this side of the world.
I remember an ex bless him bought home a remedy for my period pain, it was thoughtful of him, I was supposed to put it in my tea. It was mud though, he got played and I still get stomach cramps.
The medicine seller didn’t get any sales from the vicinity I was in yesterday, but it would be interesting to know how many people would have been interested.
Well if you are, let me know, I have his leaflet and I can forward him your number.
Just when I think I have seen it all in Ghana, I meet somebody weird and wonderful to show me that this is just the tip of the iceburg….