Ghana’s Erotic Val’s Day 20 Years Ago

It is important to recoil into a flashback that takes us to 2003 and recollect what happened in Ghana on Valentine’s day. The day was characterized by festivities all over Accra and at La Pleasure Beach, revelers from all walks of life gathered to take their pounds of flesh from the occasion. Crowded, colorful, cheerful, and contented, the holiday-makers dabbled in all manner of gaiety. Sunbathing, gymnastics, horse-riding, partying, running, and others rekindled the past by playing the game of ludo. The last of the aforementioned activities is a traditional game that engendered and built a competitive spirit in those in the formative year’s bracket and highlighted the culture of a bygone generation. I savored the creative scenes by random sampling and acted as a Roman since it was the only means to be acceptable to the revelers who were more or less the landlords or permanent tenants on the basis of familiarity and consistency. The crowd at the beach was milling as to render the identification of individuals a very tall order. Thus, one would have considered any attempt to search for anything that motioned around, as an episode of the needle in a haystack.

Well, man vigorously mingled and like all individuals in that arena, mindsets were varied, and the mission of being around was the sole preserve of the individual. Mine was exploratory and it was to find a new angle to a template discovered in 1997 when moonlight parties on Thursdays and Saturdays betrayed a rather hard-to-perceive practice within the crowds. Homosexuals and lesbians got an unshakeable foothold in beach fiestas, and at the time HIV/AIDS was on the front burner, this discovery led to a dive into the underworld to have ocular proof of that which blotted social conscience. It was misleading to jump to conclusions on appearances. As the Bible says, the mind of a person is as deep as water that lay at the bottom of a well, but a person with insight can draw it out. Socializing with caution, I plowed into the space where I stumbled on match-making, at least this was not the frightening same-sex relationships that were uncommon in the nineties. Once I was acquainted with the place with graphic details in a recording, the report found an outlet within the mass media. This earned me the best television feature award for the impact was great. The report tore through the convoluted web and threw the arena in disarray.

My return to La beach in 2003 was done in a very cunning manner. Per the experience of 1997, the beach was awakened to the possible presence of undercover agents nosing around to fish out something. So, it also mounted guards and observers whose interest was not just about laying hands on the invisible investigators in their midst but also ensuring that revelers were safe and complied with regulations. It was still a speak-easy place but on account of measures put in place to forestall happenings such as drowning and debauchery, 2003 was an improvement at a cursory glance. The next day, that is, on 15 February, I was at the beach for evidence. My visit was as early as 5 am, to the slumbering security at the time. By some magic, I managed to enter the beach and frantically started my search for facts that would put flesh on a figment of imagination. It was to delineate between mere holiday-making in swim costumes and actual moral laxity.

I did find used, contaminated cotton wool that could not be white-washed by tidal waves. I found used condoms and their cases scattered along the beach. When this revelation was made on television, some in the audience said, it had discouraged them from eating fish, as if the 3km beachfront represents the natural aquarium of the ocean. That exclamation gave the lighter side of a matter that cannot be downplayed in the annals of Valentine’s days in Ghana. The story weakened the romantic aspect of the occasion, and the title Valentine’s Day was replaced with Chocolate day.






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