Ghana: When a young woman gets married to a dog

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This strange affair did not make much noise in the media, but it is symptomatic of the current African crisis. While Ghana was busily preparing towards the visit of Barack Obama, early July, a 29 year–old woman, Emily Mabou, was getting married to an 18 month-old dog before a traditional priest in Aburi.

According to the bride, the animal has all her father’s qualities; “kind, faithful, and loyal to my mum, and he never let her down”. She no longer believes in men, those “skirt-chasers and cheaters”. Her family stayed away from the ceremony.

This marriage poses a number of existential questions: will the animal assume the role of a husband… sexually? Will the woman bear her husband’s name? Is the male sex so bad as to encourage a woman to opt for the love a beast?… Whatever the question, this young woman and her priest are undoubtedly of dubious mental health. Unless, of course, it was a practical joke. That being the case, they have been successful in making their point go down in history.

Africa does not love anymore

Le commencement des douleurs (the beginning of pains/troubles), a posthumous novel by the late Sony Labou Tansi (one of the greatest Congolese writers), raises a major issue: … can set rules be broken in a society without consequences? Sony Labou Tansi’s story is about Hoscar Hana, an inventor and a respected elder of his community. Now, this respected elder violates age old customs when he is ensnared after a “lingering kiss” from a nine year-old girl. A host of disasters besiege his community.

As much as the story of Emily Mabou and her husband sounds like a metaphor:, everything is from now on based on zero values. For example, politicians of both sexes duly represent such anti-values. One sees how bereft of love they are, just like this Ghanaian woman (it is an important analysis to prove the depths of moral, cultural, political vacuity that Africa has fallen prey to). Hatred for one’s own body, hatred for the poor animal; hate for the environment.

Yet, the African society in its entirety is founded on one essential quality: harmony between life and our surroundings. Modernity and globalisation has announced the death of the Sacred African (not to be confused wtih anything that has to do with gods), including, the ancestral cult of the mane – the custodian of the society, a tower of strength, courage and love. So said, Africa needs to return to it roots, which is to say; “the love of self”.

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The Ghanaian story was previously published by Cape Times and IOL News on July 08, 2009.

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