I thought moving to Ghana would improve my appearance. I imagined closer proximity to the sun kissing my honey-brown face with kindness, bringing out the natural coppery tones of my fiery complexion, dulled to a pasty, doughy-yellow from too many years of living in England where the sun never shines.
As a “Big Man” in Ghanaian society, the trick is to marry early. Give your wife at least two children sharp. After the firstborn, and certainly by age thirty or so, on a diet of oily, starchy foods and sweet cakes with no exercise, she should have already turned into “Big Mama.” You know, grossly overweight with everything hanging out. You may have already seen the American caricature on screen; huge sagging breasts, big belly, giant thighs and an even bigger behind.
I was having a discussion with one of my regular taxi drivers the other day. We were on the subject of a depreciating Cedi and other social wrongs in Ghana, when he suddenly pointed to a man walking on the dirt road ahead and says, “Look at that man and the way he walks.” I looked and saw a slightly overweight man walking up a hill, and said, what about him?
“Look at the way he walks,” repeated the driver, scornfully. “He’s a homosexual. I hate those people.”