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Drug Exporters in Kumasi Promote Local Sales

by John Powell

posted in Reference and Education

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Kwame Mainu suspected that the Lebanese drugs traders in Kumasi in the mid-1990s might not only be exporting to the UK by also planning to sell their wares on the local market. He thought that they might begin by introducing them first at their parties where they could initiate addiction and recruit young women as dealers. Kwame had met one young woman who had told him about the parties but he knew that she had stopped attending some time ago so he didn't expect to see her again. However, one morning alone at his favourite breakfast of gari, groundnuts and condensed milk, he heard someone knocking on his chalet door.
Wiping his mouth, he rose to find an attractive young woman on the doorstep. Her face and figure were indelibly imprinted on his memory but he searched in vain for an identity. 'Do you remember me, Janet Dery?' said the visitor, 'Comfort sent me to you last year. You asked me about the Lebanese parties and drugs and you gave me twenty pounds.'
'Of course,' Kwame said, 'It's good to see you again; come in.'
Kwame asked if she would like to share his breakfast, an offer that was eagerly accepted. So they sat in silence broken only by the inevitable slurping sounds until both were satisfied. 'Shall I prepare some hot chocolate?' Kwame asked, but Janet said that she preferred water, and so did he. As so often happens, Kwame wasn't sure how to discover the reason for the visit. It wasn't polite to ask too directly. 'Do you want to hear more about the drugs?' Janet asked abruptly. 'Yes,' he replied, 'What more can you tell me?'
'I told you that I stopped going to the Lebanese parties when I had enough money to start trading.'
'I remember, Comfort helped you to start selling shoes.'
'That's right.'
'So how have you got on?'
'Comfort showed me how not to spoil the trading money. She's a good woman.'
'You're right, but what did you come to tell me?'
'The Hanabis people asked me to go to a special party. They offered me a lot of money.'
'How was the party special?'
'Cecilia Obeng-Mensah, she's Suleiman Hannah's girlfriend, said that some of their Lebanese brothers were coming from a country in South America.'
'I think that was the name.'
'Did you go?'
'Yes, I wanted the money for my business.'
'Do you want to tell me what happened?'
'Only about the drugs, they wanted to give us the new ones you asked me about.'
'Did they call it cocaine or coke?'
'That might have been the name.'
'Did you take any?'
'No, I remembered what you said, so I refused.'
'You did the right thing, well done!'
About the Author: John Powell
John Powell weaves a tale of tension and intrigue into the lives and loves of Kwame Mainu and his family and friends, against the rich social, cultural, economic and political background of the first four decades of Ghana's independence, in his two novels: The Colonial Gentleman's Son and Return to the Garden City.
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