Old Evil Dwarfs


Very few people have any recollection or any knowledge of what happened at the NDC rally in the Volta region. All we can say is that the ex-President gave one of his cryptic proverbs.

Ex-President JJ Rawlings is an interesting and a very colourful character. For Ghanaians above 35 years, JJ invokes really strong passion of either loyalty or hate. People younger than 30, usually are  not sure what to make of him. Most of the time, when he makes a speech, you do not really understand what he says, but it is so impressive you want to clap. His speeches are filled with anecdotes, jokes and proverbs of the strangest kind. At this particular rally, he warned the current President to be careful of “Old Evil Dwarfs”.

There has been lots of discussions on the radio and television about what exactly JJ meant by “Old Evil Dwarfs”. Unfortunately, JJ never explains these things. He leaves them hanging and the rest of the nation spends days and weeks deciphering these codes. I am going to attempt to decipher and understand what our dear ex-President was talking about.

Seven Dwarfs. Photo credit: media.photobucket

I do not know anyone who has ever seen a Ghanaian dwarf. Everyone claims they know someone, who claims he knows someone who has seen a dwarf. From what I have heard and read about Ghanaian dwarfs, they are nothing like their European and American cousins.

European dwarfs are these really short, nice, old guys with cute names that follow beautiful ladies in groups of seven. From all the educational cartoons and movies I watched as a child, European dwarfs are basically benign, vertically challenged magicians.

What every Ghanaian child is taught about dwarfs is that they are short, scary, body-snatchers who have their feet turned back to front. You would often hear mom’s screaming at their children “If you play in the bush, dwarfs will take you away”. Another thing we are taught about dwarfs is that they all have beards. I do not remember anyone saying anything nice about Ghanaian dwarfs.

If by default all dwarfs are old, what exactly did the ex-President mean? Was he being literal or metaphorical? Is he referring to some new, formerly unknown species of dwarfs that are older than the dwarfs we already know? Are these really old dwarfs more evil than the already evil dwarfs we have in Ghana? That would be very disturbing.

If he was being metaphorical then we need to start looking at the members of the NDC. First we have to find the really short people in the President’s cabinet, and then sort them out according to age. I’m not sure what age counts as old, but let’s peg it at around 50 years. So we find all the short ministers above 50 and do a survey to find out which of them looks really evil. When this is done, we would probably have found which people exactly the ex-President was talking about.

Then again, we probably would not. History has taught us that the ex-President, who is quasi-law unto himself, does not bother to explain and give answers to questions regarding any proverb or parable he ever makes.

One thing is for sure though; this is not the last we have heard from him. There are more cryptic proverbs to be heard in the near future and we, mere mortals, will scratch our heads endlessly trying to understand the enigma that is Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings.


The author, Efo Alonte Hunter, is a career Ghanaian and a geneticist.

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