Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Even in God's house, Ghanaian men rule

When you're homesick for Ghana, there's nothing more heartwarming than visiting a Ghanaian church. I took to doing that a few months ago. You enter the church and suddenly, you're in Ghana. Everyone is dressed in traditional wear. The music is Ghanaian and loud. The people are dancing, laughing, including the pastor and children. After church, and I kid you not, you come out to find people selling homemade Ghanaian snacks like 'sweet bad', fried, crunchy chips, and beoflot (Ghanaian doughnuts) and groundnut cake. The Ghanaian worshiper is pragmatic. People get hungry after singing and dancing, so why not make a little money as well as worship? But this past Sunday, I saw something that was tragically funny.

The pastor announced that a couple had a testimony to share about the goodness of the Lord. Said family lined up in front of the stage and the pastor handed the microphone to the husband. The husband talked and it was about how his wife entered some sweepstakes or something and won a car. I mean the wife WON. Then the pastor gave the mic to the wife because she had something to say. She had received a call that armed robbers were in her parents' house. She talked about how helpless and frightened she was, how she knelt to pray, how her father had no weapon but grabbed the Bible and said to the robbers that he would use it as a weapon, how the robbers, typical of Ghanaian criminals, decided to leave him alone and left without hurting him. While the woman was still talking, her husband just reached over and grabbed the phone from her and talked about the goodness of the Lord. He was a bore. The woman had no other reaction than to smile and start dancing. I'm glad there was no conflict, but I wondered if she would even consider telling her husband later not to disrespect her in public. Did she even know it was disrespect? I doubted it. If someone like me mentioned it, I would only be told I was a trouble-maker by my fellow women. Women have made some strides, but we still have a long way to go.


  1. One day I'm gonna make a list of things and ask you if people from Ghana do that stuff. We have a woman at our church who sells Gizzadas after church, never mind the fact that the church provides snacks after Mass.

    One look and I'd cut him dead if my husband tried that. Not that he would, he's not that kind of man. I tell people that men get away with the stuff that we women allow them to.

  2. Oh, it would have been hard for me not to step in. I get angry when I see that sort of disrespect. How humiliating--or perhaps not, if she's accustomed to it?

    Great to see you posting, Bisi!

  3. Thanks, Jayda. Yep, In Ghana, it's worse. Apart from the one or two chuch-goers who bring homemade bread, cake and doughnuts to sell, you find hawkers waiting with bananas and groundnuts, ice cream, meat pies, sausage rolls, even iced water in little plastic sachets that they call 'pure' water.

  4. Ann, you won't believe it, it's usually the woman who will tell you you're being too arrogant! C'est la vie.