Episode Title: Corporal Tiiiiinga
Kofi walks on rubbery legs to the car and leans against it wearily, his head thrown back to stem the tears in his eyes.
He feels faint, and it feels as if sound is coming to him from a very far off.
He feels a great sense of helplessness, and it begins to dawn on him that increasingly he will have to be with Sajili forever if he wants to slush some tonga.
Otherwise he will forever spend his life as a completely impotent man. More than ever it is sinking in that he cannot marry Akweley.
It takes him a moment for him to realize that Ato is speaking to him.
He forces himself to concentrate.
He looks unseeingly at his friend.
What are we going to do now, bro? Situation looks real bad!
I don’t know, Ato, I don’t know! I’ll be married soon, and if I don’t get this sorted out I’ll lose Akweley! I’m going mad, man! I’m going outta my mind!
Ato leans against the car too and purses his lips, and then he nods as if something is working in his mind.
Let’s kidnap Sajili and beat the f–k outta her to reverse the curse!
Yes, yes, yes! Let’s put a gang together and kidnap Sajili! That girl does not respect herself, and we’ll not respect her! We can kidnap her, take her somewhere, and beat her mercilessly until she unties your p—k.
That’s barbaric, bro!
Barbaric? Barbaric you say? You want to follow her to India so that they change your name to Dharam Veer Kuntu and put a turban on your head? Do you know that in their wedding ceremony she will hold the tail of your robe and you two will go around a fire, round round round? What will you do in India anyway? Play flutes for cobras? Sing songs like the way Amar, Akbar, Anthony, Jimmy and Shakar do in their movies? You’ll be singing songs like Jaaaaguuuu, mena mena chaka bufa no papaaa! D–n it, boy! We need to get you well before that girl sends you to India! We need to kidnap Sajili and beat this boshit out of her!
Kofi is looking at his friend in helpless horror when he notices a policeman approaching them.
It is the corporal behind the counter, the one with the horrible tribal marks on his face who had not laughed when all the others were laughing.
They look at him warily, and he stops and regards them coldly.
What do you want now, please?
I’m Corporal Seidu Tinga.
You’re Seidu Atinga and so what?
I said Tinga, Tiiiiinga, not Atinga. Listen, I believe you guys. But I couldn’t say it in there. We can’t arrest the lady. It’ll be like using petrol to fight fire. You need a fetish priest to remove the evil curse of the Indian, to enter the astral fields and meet her spirit in supernatural acrobatics and defeat her. You need a powerful Mallam. I know a powerful man of the spirits who can help you and get rid of this Indian in a second.
Ato and Kofi look at each other, their hopes up.
Kofi can barely believe his ears. He wipes his face with a trembling hand and almost hugs the policeman.
Oh, really, Mr. Atinga? Sorry, Sorry, Mr. Tiiiinga! Mr. Tinga! You’ll help me? This man can help me?
Ahhhh. Koko koraa! He’ll bloskoto this Indian girl juju like the way the most cataclysmic flatulence disappears in clean air!
Oh, thank you, thank Mr. Atin ei, no, Tiiiinga! Thank you Mr. Tinga! You don’t know just how relieved I am! Please, please, when can you take us to see this mallam?
Don’t worry, my friend. I can take you tomorrow if you can make the time!
Oh, I’ve taken a week off my schedule to help me resolve this issue. My friend here is also on a week’s leave. We can go with you tomorrow.
Atigya! Okay, let’s find somewhere to sit and plan.
And where is this mystic man of yours, Corporal Tiiiinnnnnga? Don’t tell me he’s in Burkina Faso, or Jerusalem! And how much will it cost us?
Ato! Come on! Don’t come and mess things up!!
That’s okay, really. He asked intelligent questions. Actually the mallam is in the Eastern Region. And he will not charge you a pesewa until the treatment is done, and then you’ll be asked to pay a token, something small!
Yooo! Yooo!! Agreed, Corporal Tinga!
You can call me Seidu.
As agreed, Ato Sey sleeps over at Kofi’s place for the night, and they set off at dawn around three o’clock in the morning to go and see the mallam.
Ato is driving, and they pick up Corporal Seidu Tinga at the Atomic junction.
He sits in the back and sighs.
If day breaks and you see some Hausa Koko, let me buy some, okay? Man is hungry.
Yes, sir. Definitely.
They listen to gospel music and preaching from an FM station.
They stop to buy the porridge for the policeman two hours later when they get to Koforidua.
The policeman directs them through the suburbs, and soon they leave the town behind and travel along a gutted, untarred road.
Eventually the Ato stops the car and looks around with trepidation.
They’re deep inside some woods, and the track has ended, no longer passable.
It seems we have come to the end of the road, sir.
Ooooooooooh! I told you to call me Seidu. What sir sir is that? Yes, get out and lock the car. We walk from here.
They all get out of the car and Ato locks it.
The corporal then walks to the side of the road and a moment later takes a narrow path on the side of the road.
Ato and Kofi follow him quickly.
The path is wet and slippery, filled with tree roots that can snare a man’s leg and break it. They walk in silence for a long time.
The path seems to be meandering downward, and they had to be careful not to fall and plummet down the precarious descent.
Kofi and Ato are panting and gasping for breath by the time they come to a level ground.
The trees are thicker here, and so is the shrubbery.
There is a wooden sign board nailed to the bark of a tree with an arrow pointing to the left and the inscription:
TO MALLAM BUSANGA’S SHRINE
There is a long wooden shed in a cleared area, and Corporal Atinga heads for the shed and enters, beckoning to them to follow.
Ato and Kofi enter the shed and then they come to a complete halt with surprise.
The floor of the shed is covered with footwear.
Shoes, slippers, high heels and all sorts of footwear.
Folded on some crude benches and tables are clothes, also ranging from formal suits, skirts and blouses to jeans, shorts and simple shirts and dresses.
There are purses, handbags and wallets lying on top of most of the bundles of clothing.
Ato looks incredulous and strangely scared as he raises questioning eyes.
And what does this mean, Seidu?
We’re now entering the shrine. You can’t enter the shrine with your clothing. You have to leave them here. We will walk naked to the shrine.
What? No, no, no, no! No, can’t do. We can’t do that!
Then you have to return to Accra. You can’t enter the shrine with clothes.
But what kind of boshit is that one too? I have to take off my clothes and with my penis hanging in front of me like a dead snake, walk into some mallam’s shrine? What at all is this?