18 December 2010
It was day of Azambene (local fire festival) and I was asking the lady who cleans the office about when the functions were going to start. She was busy and did not hear me. But the person who had came into the room heard it and called her loudly, “Cleaning, white man is asking you about Azambene.” He got her attention. She did not know the answer but in turn said to him, “Registry, you should know it, you are from Bongo as well. I don't know because I never get to attend that.” He did not know it. He called out loudly the person who was passing by, “Local Government, answer the Solemiya's (white man’s) question.” I got the assurance from 'Local Government' that he would inform me as soon as he got the 'Information'. This is how it gets here in the district assembly of Bongo. By information, he meant the officer from the Department of Information. Though it is government set up, people here are quite lively when it comes to interacting each other but somehow instead of calling the persons name, they like to call by the titles.
Many times when I am seating in the office alone with my boss not around, somebody pops in and asks me, “where is planning”, I have came to understand that the question means “where is planning officer” and I answer, “Planning is not there.”
Once I imagined a situation where following happened. 'Planning' is gone. There is no 'Budget'. 'Finance' is not coming. 'Registry' is stuck on the road. No 'Information' around. 'Accounts' might close. 'Stores' is out of stock. 'Chief' has not been seen for long. 'Local Government' does not know what to do. How the hell 'Community Development' is supposed to work and the 'Local Industries' are likely to get proposals?
Add officer or executive after each ‘title’ please!
That is the District Assembly. But it works somehow. And also gets going 'small small'. It is Ghana. Take it with a pinch of salt.