Opinion

The riddle with the thousand clues

The riddle with the thousand clues

First off, I come housed in a pod, swimming in a sweet creamy pulpy mass. To get to me and get your stomach filled with butterflies, one must treat me like a gentleman would a difficult lady he pursues.

When I was discovered centuries ago, far far away in the Amazonian woods, only emperors, social elites, the wealthy and a limited group could have me. In fact, because of my value, I was once used as a currency for trade. Yes, like physical money.

As a currency, 10 pieces of me could get you a slave, and a 100 pieces of me one rabbit. Some think of me so highly that I become their world. They believe I do not only boost their immune system by making them healthier and grow older, but also and especially for men, I assist them to make women happy, if you know what I mean. So much so that sometimes they abuse me. Abuse I abhor!

In my other life, only a limited number of operations could transform me into something more edible, and even that I was still very bitter. Fast forward to present times, several technological advances and the uncomfortable processes I am subjected to, together with a combination of other raw materials turn me into arguably the one thing in the world everybody enjoys which unlike in the past, people irrespective of economic and social class now have easy access to.

Even though I am not happy they haven’t found a way to make the most out of me, I am still proud to have thrived very well in the West African region, serving as a principal economic asset to these areas with a whopping 73% of total global production coming from this area alone, for the very least. I wish they understood why I chose them and not the other areas.

Because of me, very powerful economies in the world most especially those in the European, North Americas and Asian regions are friends with the likes of Ghana and Ivory Coast. What’s more, quite an encouraging number of multinational companies have made these African regions their homes for the very obvious reasons.

But because they always have their cups in their hand hunting for grants, they have limited control over my economic value on the global stock market, even though they produce the most of me. It is heart breaking that a lot of me, about 70% leaves outside Africa as a single unit and return as a dozen unit for a comparable lot. It is only just recently that the leaders of the top two leading producers of me in the world, Ghana and Cote d’ivoire have decided on a journey to squeeze out the juice in me and enjoy my divine gift to them. We will see how that goes.

All that aside, I inspire a lot of love, happiness and wealth. So much so that I have been linked to a love date and celebrated like a God.

I inspire love and happiness because;
• As a gift I am accepted wholeheartedly and enjoyed very much
• I spark up a chain of unexplained internal joy
• I am turned to when one suffers broken heart
• I make men contented even when I’m bitter to them
• Those who make me make me with love
• The very mention of my name drives joy

And wealth because;
• I have supported economies and made them strong
• In Ghana alone I offer about 6 million people job opportunities
• My consumption alone averages approximately $101 billion/annually

There is a whole lot more to me than could be contained in this riddle. Know however that I am more than one item.

What am I?

The writer, Mr Rexford Obeng is a Mphil Food Science student at the University of Ghana.