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Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Hunger Game

We sat in the living room in Dansoman 
A suburb of Accra, curtains all drawn down
To keep the uninvited happy sunny face, locked out 
This was no a time for jokes or playful games 

Us young and worrying 
If we worried as kids 
Then mother must have had heavy 
The weight of the world on her shoulders 

To carry the love and protection 
Of her four kids like mother hen 
With no corn harvest to pick on 
Cracked dry was the land, infested with hunger 

Rationing was an art work 
No one was above size ten to flaunt 
And ten would have been fat with affluence 
Or privileged with mystery of gain, mystery of gain 

Early sleep, to wake early at 4 am on queue lines 
Long for the water that cooked the kenkey 
To have the kenkey was a privilege so few
Could afford, if luck had them reach there in time 

Rawlings chain was the jewelry of the neck bone exposed 
Both the young and old wore to show and tell 
As statements of the state of affairs in the country 
Yellow corn and wheat was what was known 

Gari should be made a national treasure in Ghana 
Beans was all the protein one could get 
We hunted the fruit trees to make up the difference 
Hunger always asked his stomach to be belly fully paid 

We became expert tree climbers 
Hanging on the last branch a stretch 
To harvest and pull the bounty it held 
There are tricks to these things 

Ways of getting around climb 
If you know how to throw on targets 
And be quick to get your harvest 
Before eagle eyes that hover gains ground 

This was the hunger game, not Hollywood  
Script with fancy actors pretending to starve
With luxury trailer caravans to return to 
After the director shouts, cut! its a wrap 

We lived in the pulled down curtain era 
Of the 80's where the sun came out 
But for energy preservation of the little food ate 
The kids were not seen out playing 

We played the hunger game in the 80's 
Before today's fast food joints and wasted resources 
I wonder with the world population inflating so fast 
Would we be playing the hunger game again 

In this generation or the next, who is to tell 
Global village it seems brings global consumerism 
And global warming follows suit, global troubles 
Will we be playing the hunger game again so soon 

Who holds the keys to the farmhouse door 
Will it stay opened or locked by the owner to privilege a few 
Is there enough food in storage for tomorrow's demand 
Who holds the keys to the farmhouse, is this the hunger game 

The hunger game.


  1. Wow, excellent social commentary. I was in Ghana last year, and even then saw some real hunger games. Also, so lavash living in some places. It's an amazing place you come from. Cheers.

  2. Oh I really like this, (although not hunger) and I had some when I was young- what is kenkey ? thanks

  3. Powerful and emotive piece. I especially like this line:

    Hanging on the last branch a stretch

  4. Very powerful words - who holds the key indeed?

  5. Wow mate, this oozes feeling, something so real is so alien to us, fat and cozy here in the waste of the west, though we too, are starving and dying , a slow agonising spiritual death, most hungry ghosts just sont realise it yet. Curiously our obesity is inversely proportional to the starving in africa, perhaps we are gorging and starving together, like Dantes Inferno, the guilt and shame perhaps eating us alive...... Cheers mate .

  6. Wow this is a powerful powerful piece and you have created a strong visual impression with your words as well. Remarkable work

  7. I fear the farmhouse door will remain locked...

    Anna :o]


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