THE SPLIT

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Excerpt:

The Split by Gregory Ofei Obuobi projects a protagonist by whom the major conflicts that make and that play against the emerging Gold Coast Community as a nation state come defined. The novel defines the basic, teething problems that underscore the underdevelopment and the dependency situation that plagues Ghana today. Crippling corruption; appalling illiteracy and ignorance; deplorable poverty and filth are so endemic they border on the acceptability.

Independence is freedom.

Freedom is purposeful work to provide for the healthy growth and security of the self and the community by a planned economy. Independence is planned, purposeful efforts… It is not by chance Ghana is saddled with befuddled leadership at the Flagstaff House – The Millennium Palace …The bare, hard core facts are that they are not intelligent and courageous enough to answer to the situation…Gregory Ofei Obuobi.

ISBN: 9988-8181-2-2

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THE SPLIT by Gregory Ofei Obuobi projects a protagonist by whom the major conflicts that make and that play against the emerging Gold Coast (the OPHIR) Ghana Community show. They are conflicts pre- and post-independent Ghana that underscore the under-development and corruption problems that beset the present Ghana community: family conflicts, clan conflicts, cultural conflicts, conflicts in religion, economic conflicts, political conflicts and learning conflicts.

This piece is fiction of a rare kind in the genre of contemporary novel. The story of THE SPLIT brings to the fore the conflict fomenting in an Akropong-Akwapem clan by the birth of Yaw Ofei. Young Obuobi takes his Obaasima Asante wife, Afua Nyarko, to Akropong-Akwapem to be delivered of their second child, their first son. The birth of the male babe exposes the presence of a division in the Akropong-Akwapem Obuobi clan of Bangmu. The dissension is of superstition sentiments at the core of which are conflicting idol belief systems and internecine clan hatred. To forestall any predictable harm to the new-born babe, Nana Yaw's grandfather advises that the young couple cut short their holiday stay in Akropong-Akwapem

The young couple departs Akropong-Akwapem for Bibiani. Bibiani is home to Afua Nyarko. Her parents have long established here and are doing well by the colonial Gold Coast standards: their cocoa plantations are thriving; their banana and plantain subsistence farms are doing well. Their trading shops are running most active, making profits by the thousands. Their commercial transport services are most lucrative. Kojo Wusu and Akua Yaa Afriyie welcome home their daughter and the new addition to the clan.

Book Two

From here THE SPLIT spins the story of Afua Nyarko and her son, Yaw Ofei: their ordeal. On the quiet Young Obuobi withdraws from the scene. His marriage to Afua Nyarko ends mysteriously on the rocks. Afua Nyarko becomes a single parent. However, Afua Nyarko's father, Kojo Wusu comes to her rescue. Kojo Wusu resettles his daughter with a finance capital for her petty trading enterprise.

Nyarko works frightfully hard and appears to be succeeding. But her singular industriousness and commitment to work draw after her internecine jealous eyes. Insidiously and invidiously, some clan members sabotage Afua Nyarko's efforts to succeed. Under the cloak of darkness they would steal in while her back is turned and empty Afua Nyarko's drums of selling palm nut oil onto the bare of the dirt yard of Kojo Wusu's clan house where she lived. In the quiet of the day while caught in the thick of her commercial trading work in the Bibiani Old Town market, Afua Nyarko would have her evil Aketegu clansmen and women steal to the Kojo Wusu clan house and demonically overturn full barrels of her selling palm oil onto Kojo Wusu's clan house's dirt floor.

Ironically, as if by some strange gene anomaly, Kojo Wusu, Afua Nyarko's biological father, grows to envy his daughter her trading prowess and ephemeral success. Kojo Wusu finds a reason or reasons powerful enough to impel him to take back, even without prior notice, the finance capital with which he earlier on settled Afua Nyarko. As if this were not bad enough, Kojo Wusu ejects his daughter from his Aketegu-Bomso Bibani clan home.

Afua Nyarko rents a single room out. Relentless, with vigor and rigor, she pursues her commercial trading engagements. Besides active trading, Afua Nyarko engages in subsistence plantain and vegetable farming and small cocoa plantations cultivation. These would supplement her income from her petty commercial trading. She has learnt some farming techniques from Kojo Wusu's cocoa plantations and subsistence farming engagements. Afua Nyarko is that hard working, tenacious of purpose and ambitious. As if by divine intervention, Afua Nyarko's son draws attention. Yaw Ofei's teachers and peers notice him. For his innate intelligence these pull after him as if by a load stone.

The headteacher of Bibiani Roman Catholic Mission School 'adopts' him. Ofei Yaw goes to serve as a house-help in the Sackey house-hold. Close to the end of his middle school education, Yaw Ofei receives an invitation to visit an uncle in Kumasi. Yaw Ofei leaves the Sackey house-hold at the end of his middle school course. He pursues education in a seminary.

Book Three

Book Three of THE SPLIT opens with a faith crisis that has hit Yaw Ofei. Yaw Ofei abandons Catholic education and opts for a more engaging and stimulating secular academic pursuits. He leaves the Catholic university with a hope of entering a university in Ghana. Yaw Ofei takes up a teaching appointment in a secondary school while waiting to get admitted to Legon. He needs money in the interim to run his life.

He runs into unexpected shocks from what he sees and experiences transpire in a secondary school in the northern sector of Ghana. Then he discovers his father.

Yaw Ofei traces his father to a lone cottage in the thick of a tropical cocoa jungle plantation. The cottage is called Abisimu. Ohene Akwasi Tenten is terminally ill. The son's hopes are dashed by the depth of unimagined poverty in which he finds his father enmeshed. Pesewaless, Yaw Ofei returns to Bawku where he engages in his beginning teaching assignment. Soon after he departs the Abisimu cottage, Young Obuobi, now called Akwasi Tenten, dies.

The son is unable to bury the father. The news of his father's demise reaches him too late; and, even then, by some uncanny means. Afua Nyarko and Adwoa Baby deliberately refuse to give the message to him. Why should his mother make that decision? He wonders. Ofei Yaw Obuobi takes umbrage. He would elect to visit Ohene Akwasi Obuobi's burial ground and home at the most appropriate time; and on his own terms.

The story comes to a sad conclusion, carrying the budding problems to which the British Ophir Gold Coast colony emerges into an independent nation state to assess and plot solutions. The son is now faced with the harsh reality of charting a future for his personal life.

&*&

THE SPLIT is the first title of a trilogy: THE PATH TO FREEDOM. THE FREAK and SCARS OF A CALABASH MISDEED make the trilogy. All three receive their developing conclusion by the tale and message THE SPLIT ABSOLUTE carries. All four titles are cast in the genre of the contemporary novel. Their author is Gregory Ofei Obuobi.

THE SPLIT is cast in the genre of the novel. It is a fairly long narrative that explores, through a third person narrative voice, the major and most dangerous problems the legendary Ophir, the British colonial Gold Coast, personifies. These problems are all etched solidly in the structure and the run of the Kojo Wusu Aketegu-Bomso clan house proper: illiteracy, ignorance, idol worship, faulty family system, dependency, internecine clan bickering and corruption.

The colonial British colony, the Gold Coast, as Ghana now is, was one conglomeration of sahelian tribes agglutinated into an organic body planted, as it were, in the West Africa Region to pursue common economic goals.

Bibiani, where Books I and II are set, captures the mould, mood and the run of the new nation soon to emerge. It was a happy shadow that pointed to an industrialized, technological Ghana as an emerging nation state on the Dark Continent were the country to be most purposefully and most prudently administered.

The Kojo Wusu Aketegu-Bomso clan home as set up in the Bibiani industrial setting mirrors and holds the most dangerous, sickening native internecine ills and abuses that currently plague the independent nation state of Ghana, for which the country is now struggling to pull through as a nation state on the world map today: abject ignorance, idol belief systems, corruption, dependency and most killing, unscientific customary lores. Ghana is now struggling to emerge from these woes; as if from the doldrums, to become a contemporary science and technology oriented nation state.

The task is whoppingly daunting!

Kwame Nkrumah appears on the scene in precolonial Ophir of West Africa as a politician. Kwame Nkrumah preaches emancipatory fights against what he sees as unwarranted exploitation of the sahelian resources, mineral and organic. Colonization is a bane and anathaema. Independence is freedom.

Freedom is purposeful work to provide for the healthy growth of the self and the community (society). Independence is planned, purposeful development efforts with the Gold Coast citizenry and the Gold Coast territory as its core targets: transforming nature to answer to the needs and tastes of the informed individual.

Capitalist Kojo Wusu, abysmally traditional, illiterate and unread, runs cocoa plantations, commercial transport services and a petty departmental store with little knowledge of the theories of economics. He fails abysmally.

What is independence to the Gold Coast politician? What is independence to the untutored mine labour hands of the 1927 2 Howling Gold Mine Dogs employed purposefully? To the illiterate, idolatrous Kojo Wusu mind what is independence?

The Christopher Columbus Drive theory and the Sibster Philosophy THE SPLIT enunciates proffer suggested solutions.

THE SPLIT announces and defines the basic, teething problems that underscore the underdevelopment situation of the Gold Coast Ophir nation: the idol belief system; the dependency syndrome; entrenched corruption and abject illiteracy.

Gregory Ofei Obuobi.(author)