The Old Randy Daddy and His 'Wolosso' Daughter

by SOC Okenwa

Something of international dimension and significance is happening in Bouake, Cote D’Ivoire Monday. Monday July 30th the Burkinabe, South African and Ghanaian Presidents are joining President Gbagbo and his Prime Minister Soro Guillaume to celebrate re-unification of the French-speaking country and re-conciliation of her peoples. And achievement of lasting peace in Bouake. Ever since the rebellion began five years ago the Ivorian President has never visited that part of his country under the MPCI forces.

Coming a week before the 47th independence anniversary of Cote D’Ivoire (7th of August) the nation is wearing a republican look. Looking around one sees happy people everywhere and happiness in the air. Air of freedom, of patriotism and of pride and hope in the future. The future which the rebellion had sought to compromise. Alas a compromise ‘deal’ in form of a peace accord has been struck in Ouagadougou among the belligerents.

Presidents Mbeki, Kuffour and Compaore and five other heads of state are therefore flying in to join Ivorians to say goodbye to war and welcome peace. It has not been easy reaching an agreement for a comprehensive peace package that has accommodation for all and has the interest of all parties to the conflict taken care of. Rebellion in Africa has done incalculable damage to communal socio-economic dreams and aspirations.

Since September 19th 2002 when the ‘Force Nouvelles’ struck the renegade military elements succeded in ‘breaking up’ the country into two parts with them administering the western and northern parts. All conventional administrative apparatus and paraphernalia of power and authority were desecrated with the Soro forces imposing their unconventional ruling style forcing millions to quit their homes in frustration and headed south-ward.

The build-up to the Bouake historic celebration of peace tagged ‘La Flamme de la Paix’ (the flame of peace) have everybody participating one way or the other. The military hierachy from the two divides, civil society groups, top members of government and whoever is somebody are billed to be in Bouake‘s city stadium to practically put an end to hostilities.

It is holiday time again and one observes with interest as babes paint the city red with their provocative dresses and events. During long vacations here students in the city engage in all sorts of things from the mundane to the promiscuous; the academically rejuvenating to the spiritual. It is very interesting socially as the young boys and girls use optimal times to refresh for another academic term and season in October.

Those in neighbouring and satelite colleges and higher institutions and even from afar descend on Abidjan in search of fun and good times. They organise escortions, gigs and parties and take part in interesting vacation programmes on TV2 called ‘couleurs vacances’. Before October’s resumption of classes a lot of ‘wolossos’ among the students must have been impregnated with some dropping out of school and others going to school with early stages of pregnancy. ‘Wolosso’ is a non-French term here for wayward girls, care-free fun-loving girls who practise prostitution without knowing it.

Last weekend, on a Friday night, a good Ivorian friend invited me over to a bar downtown. While there chatting and drinking his friend called him and demanded an audience urgently. The man, an old randy daddy in his early fifties, was having a family problem which he had wanted to share with my friend for a solution. My friend invited him over and before long he joined us and caught the picture of a restless man hit by a bad sad news. He guzzled a bottle of beer in seconds and asked for more!

Breathlessly the old man began by saying: “Monsieur Kouame, je suis mort!” (Mr Kouame I am dead!) And Mr Kouame my friend fired back: “J’espere que tout le monde va bien chez vous?” (I hope everybody is well in your household?) And the confused man continued: “Oui ca va mais y’a un sale scandal autour de moi presentement” (Yes it’s well but there is a dirty scandal around me presently)”‘Alors deballe tous sans aucun crainte”, (then say it all without any worry) my friend exhorted him introducing me at this juncture as an old friend.

Mr Kouame’s friend had visited his usual joint away from his matrimonial home to keep a date with his concubine. A quarrel ensued between them over money allowance and before the old man could have her for the night having announced at home to his wife that he was going for an all-night prayer meeting in the church the woman walked away angrily.

Faced with sleeping alone in the hotel room he had booked or losing his money and going home he decided to have a go on another young fresh girl. He invited one of the hotel workers and demanded that he be supplied a girl to pass the night with. The hotel worker obliged him for a fee which he paid upfront.

The randy old man had happily ‘sharpened’ his short third leg in-between his long legs waiting romantically for another ‘discovery’ in his streak of sexual conquests when an hour later the hotel ‘contractor’ knocked on his door and announced to him cheerfully that he had managed to ‘catch’ a young girl ready for action for a fee. He told him that the girl in the reception waiting to be ushered in normally serviced responsible customers on demand in collaboration with the hotel staff.

With feeling of delivering on his assignment the hotel worker went back to fetch the girl for the night duty. And lo and behold the randy old man was shocked beyond belief to discover that the advertised girl was his ‘wolosso’ daughter he had left at home for his night vigil assignment in the church! With his mouth trembling he called out the name of his daughter in amazement to which the daughter responded by shouting ‘oui’ papa, (yes papa!)

“Edvige, tu faire quoi ici a l’heure la?” (Edvige what are you doing here at this time?) “Mais papa es que ici c’est l’eglise?” (But daddy is here the church?) Edvige answered with question. Before the man could raise his bowed head Edvige hurriedly left the hotel. The man confronted the young man that brought the girl and bombarded him with questions like: how did you know her? How many times has she slept here with men? How did you get her tonight, by phone or you went to her house?

The old stupefied man smarting from shame never considered it wise going home so he decided to call my friend that night to explain what transpired and how he could explain to his wife at home. What if by the time he got home, he reasoned, Edvige must have told her mother the truth! How does he accuse her of promiscuity when she ‘caught’ him also in the act? Who is more guilty in this scandal? Questions galore as my friend and I sipped our bottles of beer and puffed away our marlboro lights cigarretes to be able to come to terms with what the man had just narrated — which could pass away as the scandal of the year.

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