|A billy goat|
Source: Ghana Ministry for Agriculture
Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that goats seem to feature quite a bit in our lives in Ghana? They are like the devil in that Rolling Stones' song Sympathy For the Devil - goats are everywhere!
Not only does goat light soup feature prominently in menus across the country, but there are countless other instances that this popular animal makes meat un-related headlines.
Here are just a few examples that come to mind:
1. The goat Serum HIV cure debacle
|HIV virus attacking a human cell|
Source: Science magazine
Back in the mid-00s, a huge storm brewed in Ghana over a supposed HIV cure derived from goat serum. An eminent local scientist was at the centre of the storm. There was hope, there were headlines, there were press conferences, there were accusations, there was anger and then there was nothing. Sadly, the curative powers of goat serum were later put in doubt. This was not after an escalation in the sales of goat light soup at chop bars across the nation.
2. The curious presidential case of Dead Goat Syndrome:
Fast-forward a decade later to the "DGS" episode. Talk about an analogy gone awry. President Mahama, our esteemed Commander in Chief, attempted to use a metaphor (?) to describe his imperviousness to strikes and demonstrations across the nation. This analogy was made during an encounter with Ghanaians in Botswana:
"I have seen more demonstrations and strikes in my first two years. I don't think it can get worse. It is said that when you kill a goat and you frighten it with a knife, it doesn't fear the knife because it is dead already.
"I have a dead goat syndrome"
|President John Dramani Mahama|
Source: Ghana Daily Graphic Newspaper
3. A gentleman prefers goats...
Ghana is currently in the midst of startling revelations related to alleged massive corruption of judges and judicial services workers.
This is all thanks to the intrepid report Anas Aremeyaw Anas and his fearless team of crusaders. They are like the much-needed heroes in Gotham City. The judicial scandal stories are damning, shocking and in some cases a tad bizarre. Apparently, all sorts of goodies were proffered to sway judges. These gifts ranged from money, yams, goats and even "a massage". Perhaps the most curious revelation was that one judge allegedly rejected the offer of a sheep in favour of [Ghana's most beloved animal] the humble goat. Do you blame him? We love our goats.
4. The other goat judge before the new goat judge
What is it about judges and goats? Even before the judicial scandal, there was another case involving a judge ordering a goat thief to be marched through the streets of Akyem Swedru for his crime. The supposed goat thief was also ordered to hang the stolen animal around his neck with a placard that said “I am a goat thief”. Unfortunately for the goat judge, the sentence was deemed a tad questionable and he was asked to proceed on leave while a judicial review delved into the case. Looks like someone went too far.
Well, these are just a few examples. Hope you can see that we are a nation entranced by this humble animal. Sounds to me like much ado about goats.