As she prepares to celebrate her 58th birthday, rumor has it that Ghana, the dark skinned African beauty, is secretly planning to divorce her 8th husband – John Dramani Mahama. Before I get into the salacious details of this conscious uncoupling, lets slide into December 2012, when 2 very virile men, John Dramani Mahama and Nana Akufo Addo, were vying for the 55-year-old widow’s hand in marriage. To appreciate the enormity of her dilemma, you must first get to know Ghana.
Touted as the darling of Africa, Ghana shot into the limelight in 1960 when she married her first husband Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, a political activist renowned for his sharp intellect and penchant for thumbing his nose at the West. About 6 years later, their union caved under the pressure of his pan African ideals. After Nkrumah, she had dalliances with lawyers and soldiers alike. But after a tumultuous relationship with JJ Rawlings, Ghana swore off young men and developed a flavour for older men with even temperaments like J. A. Kufuor and J. E. Mills. By all accounts, her marriage to Kufuor was not perfect but, it was good – it ended amicably. Mills on the other hand, was an unassuming sort who sought to appease all and pleased none. In July 2012, he succumbed to cancer which is why his widow once again, had to find a new husband.
On his feet, Mahama is about 6 foot 2. Tall and dark, he approached Ghana with a disarming smile, a gentle voice and an unremarkable career in politics. He courted her with what he romantically called “The better Ghana agenda”. She was enthralled by his Lacoste T-Shirts, his Samsung galaxy phone and the fact that his friends were regular folks who spoke Pidgin English. When he whispered sweet nothings like “E dey be k3ke” into her ears, she all but melted. Nana Addo was the older of the two. Stockily built, he carried an aura of sagesse amassed from an established career in law and politics. Fluent in French and the art of subtle affection, he was always seen with his Ghandi-like spectacles and his sophisticated group of friends who spoke Ivy League English. He courted Ghana with the dry promises of free education and financial stability. She chose Mahama.
The honeymoon was blissful. Mahama was warm, charming, and seduced Ghana with honey-coated promises about a home flowing with sparkling water, high voltage electricity, top-notch security, reliable health insurance and a life that would make her the envy of all her friends. Unfortunately, barely 3 years into the marriage, Ghana has lawyered up. Her grievances are many:
1. Mahama does not spend enough time with Ghana.
2. Their bank account is always in overdraft.
3. Their debt level has skyrocketed to unprecedented levels and creditors are calling.
4. She does not have a steady job.
5. Their children are always hungry.
6. Water has been shutdown.
7. There is no electricity.
8. Morale in her house is so low that her staff is selling her gold pieces to Chinese tourists.
9. Last summer, as their financial condition deteriorated, Mahama had the audacity to airlift $3 million to Brazil to pacify his favourite football team.
10. Last but certainly not the least, there are endless allegations that Mahama and his pidgin-speaking cronies are embezzling money from his work. GYEEDAA, SADA, MASLOC… are just a few of the corrupt schemes that her husband is implicated in.
To stave off the disgrace of bankruptcy, Mahama has now decided to borrow from the International Monetary Fund. Unfortunately, it will take more than a loan to restore his relationship. Ghana’s glistening reputation is in tatters and she is the laughing stock of old friends like Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast. In 3 short years, her youthful glow has been replaced with deep frown lines.
There is an old African saying that no woman worth her salt pursues a man. But according to reliable sources, Ghana is panting after Nana Akufo-Addo. Suddenly, she is drawn to his sagesse, his educated friends and the stability that his Ghandi-like glasses promise. Happy birthday Ghana! You may no longer be the darling of Africa but you are a shining example of how marrying the wrong man can reverse one’s fortune.