Olivia looked around as she walked through the Kotoka International Airport. She’d expected something worse. The place wasn’t as bad as the rumors said. Well, there were two reasons for that though. It had recently gone through some renovations. And Olivia wasn’t the average British black girl.
She’d spent time in Congo, Nigeria and many other places where others would feel ‘insecure’.
Olivia was a national security expert. She’d consulted for several countries worldwide. And this took her to all sorts of places. She was comfortable in the air conditioned airport, but she could have been just as comfortable in a remote village terrorized by child soldiers.
Her friend had called her in because of a special case. Ghana was facing its first terrorist attack. And everyone was woefully unprepared.
The psychological damage could be, would be, immense.
So Olivia was here, 24 hours after the attack, to bring order to the chaos. She got to the gate and the security guard rubbed his fingers together. Most people would have been annoyed. Olivia had observed that some Ghanaians had pretended not to notice his signal. A signal for a tip. Olivia just smiled and placed a few dollar bills in his hands.
The people were all easy going. Very different from New York and Lagos, Nigeria. Nigeria was…busy. Ghana was laidback. And whilst Nigerians broke rules because of the survival of the fittest mentality, Ghanaians did it because they generally couldn’t be bothered.
She didn’t need to pass through the Togo border to know. That border security would be as porous as a sieve.
She gathered her bags and left the airport. The cab driver packed her things into the trunk.
“Where to, madam?” he asked.
“The BNI headquarters”, she said.
He froze for a second and then drove away from the airport.
“So, Ghana hasn’t been doing so well lately has it?” she asked.
“Eh?” he said.
She repeated the question, and added, “The whole terrorist incident. It’s unfortunate.”
“It’s probably the opposition”, the driver said.
“The opposition? What do you mean?” she asked.
“In this country, everything is about politics. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re trying to sabotage the ruling government”, the driver said.
“At the cost of human lives?” Olivia asked.
“Why not? As if these politicians care about anyone but themselves”, the driver said.
“What’s your name?” Olivia asked.
“Emmanuel”, he said.
“Emmanuel. That’s nice. That’s my nephew’s name. If you’re so cynical why do you vote?” Olivia asked.
“Because we have to vote. It’s the only way we can hold them accountable. It may not be the most effective, but it’s better than nothing at all”, Emmanuel said.
“That’s the exact opposite attitude of my people. Over there more people know the name of Kid Kardashian, than they do the prime minister”, she said.
“Who’s Kim Kardashian?” Emmanuel asked.
Olivia smiled. “No one you need to know. That’s the point”, she said.
They talked a bit more about political issues. Olivia found out which party was in power and which was in opposition. She found out the general temperament of each party and she found out which stations held polarized opinions for which party; Tv and radio.
She knew some of these things already of course. But learning them from a native was much more enlightening.
“So what would you do about these terrorists if you were the Vice President, Emmanuel?” Olivia asked.
“Declare an immediate state of emergency, introduce a curfew-”
“-How long have you been driving a taxi?” Olivia asked.
“Me? Five years”, he said.
“And before that?”
“I lost my job as a former CEO”, Emmanuel said.
“Emmanuel, you’re very smart. For a second I almost believed you”, Olivia said.
“What are you talking about?” Emmanuel said.
“You’re not really a taxi driver, are you?” Olivia said.
Emmanuel frowned. He reached for the glove compartment and pulled out a gun.
“How did you know?” he asked, pointing it at her head.