War is something that no one has to dream of. The effects of war are devastating and shattering. Its ramifications enormous and worrisome: loss of human life and property, displacement of people, the destruction of the environment, just to name a few.
Even after a war, post traumatic stress disorder is one of the most common and serious psychological conditions diagnosed amongst post-war victims: the wounded, the tortured, the raped, the maimed, the beaten, or the shocked person experiencing or witnessing the worst horrors that human beings can perpetrate.
In many conflicts, children account for the majority of the casualties, and most of them do not die from weapons, but from preventable diseases because of the broken down of health systems. Over 2.7 million children died in the conflict in D.R. Congo.
Let me tell you an interesting story by digressing a little bit. Many people who lived at Bubuashie between the 70’s and 80’s knew Auntie Koshie as a very cantankerous woman, but no one ever thought she could be as callous as punishing an entire community.
Sometime ago, at Bubuashie a suburb of Accra, the serene wee hours of one of the days was broken by a sound from a mangled saucepan accompanied by a shrill voice of a woman.
Auntie Koshie, beat a mangled saucepan with a stick, “kone, kone, kone” and said, “People of Bubuashie, my big cat has not returned home since yesterday. It is my prayer that it hasn’t been killed and eaten.” She continued, “You people don’t know me well, if what I’m suspecting is true, tweaakai, you will know what Koshie is made up of.”
The people of Bubuashie were apprehensive about Auntie Koshie’s outbursts and threats. They knew Auntie Koshie too well, therefore, for her to say people don’t know her well was a source of concern to them; and they braced themselves for the unthinkable. And the unthinkable happened.
“Kone, kone, kone, if I don’t see my cat by noon, I’m going to put a spell on not only those who killed and ate it, but anyone who smelt the aroma coming from the soup prepared with my cat,” she screamed.
The jaws of many dropped and they tagged Auntie Koshie as a wicked and inconsiderate woman. As much as the people had a point in having those impressions about her, I think circumstances can push people to act the way she did: and I have been compelled to do something about the way some people are planning to make this peaceful country of ours ungovernable.
So, it happened that I found myself in Auntie Koshi’s house to give her a contract. After briefing her of the consequences of war, and how some people are desiring to plunge our country into a state of chaos, she frowned and shook her head; and immediately, I knew some people were in big trouble.
Auntie Koshi went into her room and came out with a mangled saucepan and a stick. “Kone, kone, kone, anybody, who has planned or thinking of; or desiring….” My eyes opened. I was dreaming.