“How dare you?” Greta Thunberg’s young red face was still etched in my memory and the response of French President Macron accusing the young lad of pitting the world against each other kept me laughing. These young girls are fond of saying Tweaa. Talk of Young women who spoke to authority during the women deliver conference which left our President almost clueless with many saying the girls were disrespectful to an older man. How dare them?! Maybe advocate groups have seen the power of using young women to advance their cause. From kitchen issues to farm issues-Climate change.Yesterday, the courthouse was heated. No time for recess. No time for adjournment of case. It was a battle of the sexes. This debate even saw the judge and clerk of the court jump to defences of the warring parties.It was no common court. The play: Man Talk Woman Talk borders on issues of gender stereotypes and ever green topics such as rape, bleaching where there was a Fanta face coca cola body and sprite lips, corruption in schools (Sex for grades, stealing of questions), and career women. Even before the court asked the jury to declare winners, the parties broke into victorious songs, the women singing a lively high life gospel and the men who were joined by the audiences broke into Nsaman bo- Jama songs.
The thought provoking play by one of Nigerian’s finest playwrights highlights the growing gender discussions that have being allowed in the Ghanaian public sphere. It bothers on how women are being lashed out at every day but not given the enabling environment to reach their outmost potential.On issues of bleaching, the female defendant accepted that African women are blessed with vast arrays of skin colour from the Ethiopian olive skin to the Sudanese ebony black, African women are forced to bleach due to the value men put on fair women as opposed to the darker counterparts. They site Shatta Wale’s song Melissa which has the lines: Obroni Melissa”.However, I suggest women loose the chains of pleasing the men folks as risking their lives because like in the play, most men don’t see the sense in roasting under a dryer for several hours. Whether it is pretense or not, they say it doesn’t make sense. Let us hang on that and stop being men pleasers.
Ola Rotimi’s hilarious comedy is not only rib cracking, but calls for moments of sober reflections. Are women willing to pay the price? Are they willing to say no and mean no when a man offers to pay their transport fares as well as the no they mean when a man offers sex?
Why should the women be quoting more from Shakespeare while the Men reference from Oxbridge Law sources? The pervading stereotype again?
It is a laudable initiative for the national Theatre of Ghana to stage this gender based play as part of their weeklong Festival. What is worth noting also is that, the play is directed by a woman which is rare in the industry.Madam Esinam who has a degree in directing from the University of Legon said : I will be doing more of plays based on such gender themes.