Pretty Girl down the street

pretty girl

Art: Creo Concepts

I was talking to a friend last week about racial issues…the ups and downs and mainly stereotypes that were proven right about different races. While talking about a white girl he worked with at one time, he remarked that Ghanaian girls were just plain rude. And that they we were so focused on being stuck up that we were rarely experienced in anything and were low-key boring. I stammered before finally asking if I was included. We drew the conclusion that it definitely did not apply to every Ghanaian girl but to the few he had met.

But if there was anything I remember doing, it was being defensive. Because he had no idea what the pretty girl down the street faced on a daily basis. I am convinced that no one is innately terrible. There usually is a starting point, a root cause, a hidden scene that makes people the way they are. And that pretty girl down the street is no exception.

I’ve seen far too many cases of ‘area boys’ who hurl insults at ladies they attempt stopping for a chat because they ignored them and walk away.  A careful look at their pretty faces will reveal one emotion in most cases: indifference. Indifference even though the boys who were starting a conversation with endearments of ‘Ohemaa” and ‘Empress’ are the very ones screaming that they are now disgusted by their ugliness. Indifference even though they will have to deal with the girls-who think-they-are-superior tag. Indifference even though they will be the subject of the boys’ bet and an object of ridicule if they are won over.

Surprisingly, this post isn’t in defense of my pretty girl down the street. Because no matter how often all the males that stop you look like they are about to waste your time repeating things your mama already told you, it doesn’t merit the extreme reactions you show sometimes. Say you insult him and call him a fool when all he wanted to tell you was that there was a grasshopper on your shoulder.

I was walking with my sister in Sunyani when a car pulled over and the driver signaled us. I was appalled. Wasn’t he even going to make an attempt to step out of the car? I just walked away amidst my sister’s whispers that he could have missed his way. Being the better-natured one, she went back to hear what he had to say. He was my father’s childhood friend and wanted to know if my father was close by because we looked exactly like my dad. I couldn’t go and say hello because I was totally mortified. I was glad my sister didn’t stress on why she had been right the first time. I would just have pulled out my hair (sike, I never will!).

Bottom line of this is that even though most attitudes we may have developed do have a basis and may not entirely be our faults, we’re still not justified. When in one bible study class, this verse was mentioned…

“Stop being mean, bad-tempered, and angry. Quarreling, harsh words, and dislike of others should have no place in Your lives” Ephesians 4:31 (TLB)

…I knew I had to pay extra attention because I was usually told teasingly that I was mean. And that’s just by the way.

Dear pretty girl down the street,

When people tell you you are pretty, even though it may be the umpteenth time you’re hearing it and you are so not in the mood for that, it’s still a compliment.

When cars do stop (do use your discretion nevertheless), you can listen first before rolling your eyes and blurting out an insulting reply.

It’s usually a nice feeling to see nice things. Please be forgiving, when they can’t help but rudely stare.

Sometimes, a look at you just makes people’s day and they appreciate God for that. Please don’t get too tired of being appreciated. Others get none.

With you in mind,

Maame Fowaa.

PS. All this applies to me too.




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