Meet Ema Darko, 47, professional taxi driver located in Accra, Ghana. At least, in my opinion, 23 years experience renders you a professional. Ema says 23 years is too long, I say good things take time, like our ability to converse comprehensively.
January 1, 2017, Accra, Ghana
Dayna: If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be?
Ema: Superpower? As a country?
D: No, just as yourself. If you could have any superpower, what would your superpower be?
E: Oh! Superpowerrrr, for me as a person?
E: So, you want to ask me what I would use my power to do?
D: What would your superpower be and what would you do with it?
E: You have to love each other, so I don’t have to be soooo deep. I don’t have to be so autocratic. No, nononono, I have to love a group, I have to love everybody.
D: You have to love everybody?
D: So that is your superpower?
E: Ya! I wouldn’t use it on people harshly. Ah heehhhh.
D: Okay. But do you know what it would be? What specific thing?
E: Ooohhhhhh… specific thing… Like what?
D: It could be mind reading, it could be flying, it could be… ahh… You know Spider-Man and Superman, they can fly–
E: Ah heh heh heh heh.
D: What kind of superpower would you like?
E: Ohh, that’s what you meant! That’s what you meant!
D: Yeah. What would your superpower be?
E: Uh, haha. Superman.
D: Oh, well, what power would you have?
D: If you could have a superpower, like to fly, to be invisible, or read minds.
E: Oh!! Mind reading. That’s it, that’s it, that’s it.
D: Okay. What would you want to find out about people?
E: Oh, the way they behave. The way they behave and the way they act.
D: On the inside.
E: Uh heehhhh.
D: Okay, what would you do with that information once you found out? How would it make you react?
E: Oh… the information that, what? I don’t understand the question.
D: It’s a weird question. When you find out what people are actually thinking and acting like, how would that affect you in responding to them?
E: Ohhhhhh… When I see they are not on the right track, I guess I’ll advise them to be on the right track. ‘Cause, I’ve seen a lot in life, heh? At the age of 47 years, I’ve seen a lot in life. So when I talk to them and read their minds and I see that maybe they are not on the right track, I just correct them with my experience in life.
D: Okay. Wow. So you would use it to help people.
E: Yeah. That’s right. Humanity.
D: What wakes you up in the morning?
E: Eeehhh… what? In fact I’m a family man, so far as I’m a family man, I have to cater for them. Yeah. I have two children at university level, so you pay school fees at the higher rate. So, in fact, when you sleep a little, the high cost of living has to wake you up and work to cater for the children!
D: Ahh, okay, ’cause you pay for your children’s schooling.
E: I have two sons at the university. One at the University of Ghana, and one at the University of Education Winneba. So I have to work hard to cater for them and pay their school fees.
D: You pay them all by yourself?
E: Yeah, by myself.
D: Do you have a wife?
E: Yeah, I have a wife.
D: Does she work as well?
E: Ahh, she’s a market woman, so the little that she gets, she earns, she uses to support the family.
D: So you all support each other.
E: Ya ya ya ya.
D: Do your sons work?
E: My sons? Oh, they don’t work now, they are all students. They are schooling now.
D: Full time students.
E: Yes, full time students. ‘Cause at least, when your child work outside university he cannot concentrate on education. So you just have to allow them to do full time, to be at school for them to concentrate on their education. So when they come out, they come out successfully, and they will have done a good job.
D: What is the most beautiful place that you have either ever been, or have ever heard of, or know of?
E: Where I have seen or I have visited?
D: It could be someplace that you have only ever heard of but never been, or it could be somewhere that you’ve been. But the most beautiful place that you can think of.
E: Eeeehhhh, I’ve seen New York City in magazines you see, the pictures of the university. I always imagined that New York City would be very beautiful. So I told myself one day one day, in life, I would like to visit there one day.
D: Would you like to visit it or live there?
E: New York? Oh, just visit! For holidays! Yeah. When my children… after school, when they are all grown up and I don’t have much school fees to pay, I just save some money, to go and just visit New York. [bursts into laughter] That is the city I want to visit!! [laughter]
D: Do you like partying? Do you like going out? Or you just like city life?
E: Oh, I like city life. Well, but sometimes, I’ve stayed at a village before when I was young. At the countryside.
D: You grew up in the village?
E: Ya, when I was young. That is where I was brought up.
D: Okay, but now you enjoy the city more?
E: Oh, but at least, normally, I tell myself, after 38, I would like to go and party there, countryside, and stay there. In that place, the weather, everything… you get fresh food, fresh air, everything better there than the city. So, I always tell myself, after 38 I will leave the city and go stay at the countryside. Especially my hometown.
D: But you’re still here.
E: Ah, I have stayed in Accra for almost 25 years now. In the city.
D: Once you got to New York, what is the thing you would be most excited to see?
E: Especially the tall tall towers. I learned they have about 120 storey buildings over there. That is what I want to see!! [laughter]
E: That’s right, that’s right, yes, skyscrapers! You have some in Canada?
D: Yeah, we do, we do. You don’t have any here, really. There is nothing very high. In Ghana there is nothing very high.
E: Cost of living?
D: No, no. The buildings.
E: Oh, no no no no no. So so short. Have you seen some of the high buildings? Have you seen some? Have you been to airport area before?
E: That is the tallest building here. You have been to Accra too?
E: You have seen the tall buildings there?
D: The unfinished ones.
E: Uh hehhhh. We have some finished, uh heh. But they are not taller than what they have in New York, eh?
D: No, nothing like that.
E: They are tall, so tall.
D: So tall.
D: Like, hurting your neck to look up.
E: EY! Too much!!! [laughter] The World Trade Center? Are they gonna build it again? Where Osama bin Laden bombed. They build it again.
D: They built it again?
E: That’s what I’m asking.
D: Did they?
E: I don’t know.
D: They call it Ground Zero now.
E: Ground Zero Now? [laughter] EY! I feel it’s so, so sad. For a fellow human being to do this to his fellow human being.
D: It’s insanity, not humanity. It’s insanity.
E: Insanity. Hahah. Serious. He’s dead now.
D: Osama? Oh yeah.
E: Osama. That’s right. You have killed before, and you want to live. Osama, you killed so many people, and you want to live! Can that be possible?
[Laughter from both sides.]
D: That’s asking a lot.