Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tro tro Wahala –Curbing All Forms of Violence in our own Small Way

by Sharon Daplah

I was on a Trotro (public transport) home after a typical hard day’s work. I was truly at peace with my thoughts as I stared through the windows to have a good view of the beautiful lit streets of Accra. Suddenly the silence on the Trotro was broken. How interesting, I said to myself as I tried to make sense of out the pandemonium before me.

There was a quarrel between two adults; one was a macho man who was obviously in haste to pounce on anything and the other a loud smart mouthed woman who was in no mood to hold back her tongue. I watched on and deduced out of the confusion that the man had a terrible stench which the woman could not bear for a second more.

As they exchanged words some people on the bus tried to calm tempers but only succeeded in worsening the situation. The man in his quest to shut the woman up said, ‘young woman, I’ll give you a sound beating on this bus if you don’t shut that mouth of yours, how come women these days don’t have any respect for men. If you were my wife, I would teach you a lesson you’ll never forget.’

An older man on the bus astonished by those comment, said to the man, ‘these days, young man you cannot beat a woman up and get away with it. You’ll have to be careful if that’s the life you lead especially if that’s the way you treat your wife.’ The younger man, obviously angered by the old man’s comment retorted, ‘there’s nothing anyone can do to me if I beat her up, men like you encourage women to disrespect men!’

The comments by the older man generated an intelligent discussion. I listened carefully as the men in the bus took dominion over the discussion and intelligently discussed violence in all forms and especially domestic violence. They obviously were not in favour of it but believed strongly that violence in any form was not the ultimate solution to a problem but rather
constructive dialoguing.

All my life I have never seen or heard any such topic intelligently discussed by men, especially considering the fact that most of these men were semi-literates and illiterates alike. But again as much as most of these men were abreast with the consequences of violating the domestic violence law, there certainly exists the likes of our macho man.

Much has been done on sensitizing the public on the situation at hand but I still believe more has to be done. This canker kills, tortures and maims – physically, psychologically, sexually and economically and obviously denies our women and children their right to enjoy fundamental freedom.

Governments certainly have a bigger role to play in curbing this societal evil. Deeds such as that of the older man are honourable and should be emulated to ensure that our women and children enjoy their fundamental right to freedom.


Anonymous said...

O how i miss taking the good old trotro

Anonymous said...

very interesting. A couple of times I have also encountered similar debates in the trosky and come off impresed by the quality of the social wisdom. Keep sharing your tosky stories!!!

Anonymous said...

Věry interesting.:-)