TROTRO POLITICS

“White lady! England lady!” the Ghanaian call belonged to a perfectly round face that hung out of the open door of a beat up trotro.  The vehicle screeched to a stop at the crowd of waiting passengers. “Move, you sit here!” he pulled a passenger out of the front row by his collar and dusted off the seat.  I was embarrassed as he ushered me into the prime spot.  He turned back to the waiting crowd, scanning their cheeks, where patterned scars usually imitated their tribal membership.  “Nigerians? Nigeria?” One man pushed forward and took his place next to me.  “Ok, Ashanti!” he called, and a handful of people pushed forward. “Ok, and now I don’t care,” he called out, and the remainder of the crowd scrambled for a place to sit or perch in the bus.  I must have exhibited the same shock I felt at the apparent racial sorting process of this man, because he turned to me, smiling wide, and explained “You see, we Ghanaians respect our visitors!”

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