On Hope City, and Hopelessness in General

When I saw the news article about the Hope City Project from RLG, I was excited, and a little annoyed by the fact that I, Kuukuwa, did not know which Ghanaian architects were involved in the project. So, I got out my phone and started sending out text messages and emails to the usual suspects.

Imagine my surprise when one by one, all the usual suspects dropped out of the suspects list! It wasn’t Ralph Sutherland, David Adjaye and no, nobody thought Joe Addo had anything to do with it either. S.M. Quartey’s office was a no, Mobius Group hadn’t touched it either. Perhaps, (I thought) one of the younger ‘shark’ firms had snapped up the juicy deal, but again, this was another no no… Confusion started “has-comng” in my mind because I knew the Department of Architecture, KNUST wasn’t approached (We worked on the STX project, you see). Who was this mystery architect who would be at least 800 million cedis richer in the next 5 years?

So I searched for the news report, the one about President Mahama launching the project. I read it, and as usual, the name of the architect/ firm was at the tail end of the story. OBR. OBR? “What is this OBR? and why don’t I know about them? Is it a new firm, do I know any of the partners?”, I asked myself as I typed ‘OBR Architects, Hope City’ into the Google search bar.
Open Building Research (OBR) is a proudly Italian Architecture firm, designing the Hope City, an ICT Park in Accra for RLG Communication Ghana Limited, a proudly Ghanaian firm.

I discussed the issue with friends, and after 30 minutes or so of bashing Roland Agambire and RLG in general.. swearing never to use an RLG phone or an Uhubu or Ukuro or Umuku or whatever tab, I sat down a wrote a very sarcastic list of

Reasons why RLG, is proudly yours, dear Ghana
RLG is proudly Ghanaian, because we pride ourselves on our exquisite taste. We only want the best, which every idiot in Ghana knows comes from the West.

1. No Ghanaian architect can be trusted with the design of Hope City, because you see, things made in Ghana are simply not good enough.

2. No Ghanaian musician is worth a million dollars. No, we would rather pay a violent man who beat up his girlfriend to come and thrust his pelvis in our children’s faces and teach them to smoke things.

3. We will do all this with the help of your government, who will do all this with the help of the West, which is the best.

4. Your government will help us build the tallest building in Africa, even though your government doesn’t really know what to do about your electricity and water problems.

RLG, Proudly Yours, (well, most of the time)