Bunga-Bunga in Accra – dirtier than homosexuality, sexier than prostitution   

“Sick and perverted always appeal to me” Madonna (Queen of Pop), American singer “Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is power,” Oscar Wilde.   

Sex sells.  That is a truism.  Collect sand from the seashores; pour a handful into translucent plastic bags and label it an aphrodisiac and it will sell.  It will sell quicker if you can afford to buy newspaper space or television air time for advertisement. Find flirtatious and voluptuous ladies to act seductively in the commercial while an Ebony song ‘Sponsor’ plays at the background.  Use profane language to graphically describe the explosive sexual satisfaction that the drug brings.

Your patrons will be doctors, students, civil servants and men of God.  Ours is a society consumed by sex or the appearance of it.  Our TV and radio advertisements are full of sexual innuendos and metaphors.  Who plays the moral umpire and throw the first stone when everybody seems to be enjoying some form of sin and other forbidden things?


Medical doctor prostitute

My office is close to a busy street at East Legon notorious for prostitution, drugs and other illegal activities.  In the day, the street is clean and fertile enough for any religious evangelism.  After 7:00 p.m., a different breed of creatures pours onto the corners of the street from unidentifiable parts of the capital to ply their flesh.  They dress in short and skimpy dresses to reveal their flesh and other seductive regions of their bodies.  A recent swoop by the police in the Togo Embassy area rounded up 22 prostitutes, including a medical doctor and a teenage lactating mother.

The other day, I parked my car in front of one of the most popular pharmacies on the street.  It was 3:00 p.m., so I wasn’t expecting to see the night traders.  On my return, I found a piece of paper tucked under the wipers of my car.  Is the AMA at work here and given me a fine for parking on the wrong spot?  These days, they would clamp your car even if you are seated behind the steering wheel.  But these clampers are very friendly; they give you options: GH¢300 when we go to the office or GH¢150 settlement without receipt.

With ‘negotiable curiosity,’ I retrieved the paper from the windscreen of the car.  I was relieved that it wasn’t a fine but the contents were equally disturbing.  It was an advertisement for a bunga-bunga party in Adjirigano.  Are the Italians in town?  Oh no, these are corporate and professional Ghanaian men and women who meet every Friday evening to replay the evils of Sodom and Gomorrah right here in Accra.


Bunga-Bunga orgies

At the bunga-bunga nights, patrons pay a somewhat dearer gate fee to gain access to a league of respectable corporate gentlemen and educated ladies who come to party and enjoy group sex, swings, or any kinky thing that tickles their depraved sexual fancy.  If you do not know their terms of engagement, you might mistake a bunga-bunga for any corporate hang out, but it is prostitution wrapped in a corporate packaging.

There is wine, meat and food for those who are hungry after a hard day’s work.  Soft, romantic music plays at the background to prepare and fertilise the mind for threesomes, orgies and same sex depravity.  Unsurprisingly, or perhaps most surprisingly, patrons of these parties are the same nice people we see in our churches, offices and on the streets driving beautiful and expensive vehicles.

They are regular hypocritical Ghanaians who would condemn bunga-bunga parties, prostitution and miniskirts with the apostolic might of the Lion of Judah but steal away like Judas for a kiss of betrayal in the night.  Usually, the most vociferous critics of sin are those likely to fall to its allures.  A few men of God have fallen on their own swords in recent times.  Only last week, a young and promising anti-gay politician in the USA was caught in a homosexual sex act in his office.  He resigned.


Sex dens in massage parlours

What do you think happens in massage parlours in Accra?  It is a growing trade that must be checked, policed and stopped immediately.  You get anything else but a decent massage or everything else including a massage.  These are sex dens and it is not done in secret.  Their clients know what is on offer and they are ready to pay big.

The internet has made sex so easy to find.  Whatsapp groups are good for keeping old school mates and church associations in contact, but that is just the good part. There are special bunga-bunga whatsapp groups and websites where sex could be bought on the quiet.  It is even easier on Facebook and Instagram.  Suddenly, all the world is a bunga-bunga and those who know how to do a little bunga are sinning away.

Perhaps, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was prophetic when he gambled away the opportunity to make a definitive and declarative statement about our abhorrence for homosexuality in Ghana.  It is already happening in our midst. Legalisation “is bound to happen” when there is enough advocacy capital and social momentum from the gay lobby.  Like Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible, it will get to a time when you would easily be identified as gay if you pretend you are not one.  The President only spoke into time.


Gay newspaper in Ghana

We may soon have a gay newspaper on our newsstands.  Already, there are gay magazines doing the rounds in Accra and Takoradi.  Those who use them know where to find them.  If you want to buy dildos, artificial vaginas and other sex toys in Ghana, it could be delivered to you discretely from a store in Ghana.  Let’s not pretend; we love it.

A glorious home all nations admire.  That is what Ghana once stood for. This was before the age of the internet.  These days, all manner of men and women have found home here, including homosexuals, bisexuals, lesbians and the queer.  The worst is bound to happen, and when it happens, let’s remember it has always been with us.

The moral decadence is comparable to biblical scale transgression.  We were not surprised when earlier this year a successful entrepreneur devoted the acceptance speech for a coveted award to talk about the decomposing moral standards in Ghana:

“I must confess that my heart is very troubled because I am receiving this award at a time when we Ghanaians are increasingly losing our identity and values.  What we are witnessing in our country presently is a moral crisis, a willful negligence in extremis.”


 Tissues of the Issues

…with Kwesi Tawiah-Benjamin