Friday, March 27, 2009

The Inside Scoop on Why Ghanaian Men Cheat...Including A Cheater's Response

Why do so many men (and it's increasingly common with women too) have partners on the side (beyond their wives or girlfriends or husbands or boyfriends)? And why is it okay to do it openly?

This is the question that my friend Amarkai’s posed in an email to me. To give you some background, Amarkai has been living outside Ghana for several years and has recently returned home. In his email, these are the words which lead up to the question above: “Been out with a married dude in public multiple times, and he's always got a different girl along - hanging out with his coworkers who all know his wife. When I read his question, I hmm-ed, and would I know? If you, a Ghanaian man cannot fathom why your kind do what they do, then what hope do the rest of us have of understanding you? Mara, Kwame ahe?! But I looked at the question again and attempted to answer it: Why do so many men (and it's increasingly common with women too) have partners on the side (beyond their wives or girlfriends or husbands or boyfriends)? And why is it okay to do it openly?

In response to Amarkai’s question, I was going to do a regular blog post in which I would present my thoughts and ask you to share with us what you reckon accounts for such blatant infidelity in Ghana. Upon further reflection however, I decided against writing it in the regular style of my blog entries. Instead I thought to try a new approach to addressing this question. The approach I took was to pose the same question to three personalities. First, on the list was a cheater, specifically a man who admits to cheating on his girlfriend. Let’s call him Papa Abayie. Next, I interviewed Salimatu, a married woman who believes she has never been cheated on. Finally, I interviewed Korshie, a man who has never cheated on his girlfriend and has no desire to do so in the future. All the personalities interviewed are Ghanaians, in their mid to late twenties and have at least a bachelor’s degree.

There Are No Whys About Cheating

When I asked Papa Abayie (PA) why he cheated, he responded by saying “no whys, I don't even think about it for a second. Basically, I have sex whoever I want to”.

Maameous: so to you, it doesn't matter that you’re committed to someone else. You'll have sex with another person if you feel like it...and not tell your girlfriend.

PA: Bang on!

Maameous: Would your girlfriend feel bad if she found out?

PA: She would feel worse than bad

Maameous: So by not telling her, you save her the pain?

PA: Well maybe…but that's not what I'm thinking. I don't tell because she has no right to know

Maameous: Am I right to guess then that you do not think you have a right to know if she cheats on you?

PA: Yep, who ever has a right to know that his/her partner is cheating? How do they expect to benefit from the info?

Maameous: But some would argue that since there is some risk of passing on a venereal disease to her if you happen to contract one by sleeping with a third person, she has a right to know that you’re putting her at risk by not being faithful.

PA: Sure, but that is a different argument which has nothing with you cheating. I’m not reporting the act of “cheating" but the fact that I may put her at risk. I will only report if I wasn't protected and/or have been diagnosed with a disease. In the process, of course, I will be making it known that I cheated but that will not be the point of the info. Basically this is the premise for my argument: if cheating is bad, it's bad. If it's not, then it's not. Whether it's bad or not should not be premised on what the other party will accept. To me cheating is not bad and therefore I do not expect anyone to demand for me to "report" it.

Men Cheat Because They Have Too Much Power, Are Weak, Or Believe in Tradition

According to Korshie, some Ghanaian men have too much power in their homes, adding that in such homes, women are cowered into accepting it. He also mentions that the acceptance is partly due the fact that traditionally, polygamy is accepted. He said some men also cheat because men are visually weak, which is to say they are easily attracted by what they see. Korshie said if he had his own way, Ghanaian women would be modest in the way they dress. He said there is too much emphasis on being sexy and he sees no reason why being sexy should be part of a woman’s self image or why women feel the need to show off themselves on the streets. He believes the only one who needs to see your sexy side is your significant other.

Korshie groups cheaters into two categories: Those who go out to look for it, and those who do it because the affair blooms from a friendship. He believes that those who go in search of it cannot be helped but that those who find themselves in it because they developed feelings for a friend should be advised to flee whenever they find themselves in a position where there is the potential for romantic interests to be roused. In his experience the guys who don’t cheat are those who take their Christian life seriously, those who are in relationships which mean a lot to them, and those who would like to cheat but don’t have the guts.

Men Cheat Because Society Lets Them

Playing devil’s advocate, I said to Salamatu, we all know that men are attracted by what they see. She acknowledged this, saying that human beings will be attracted to different people at different times and so men with partners may be attracted to certain women, but she takes issue with the fact that many Ghanaian men seem to have no problem with cheating and actually go ahead to do it. In other words, she thinks feeling an attraction towards a member of the opposite sex is acceptable, but acting on it is not, and being blatant about it is a complete no no. She mentions that she knows a lot of men who would openly let it be known that they have mistresses. If you're going to cheat, at least be courteous enough to hide it, says Salimatu. “A couple of my friends' dads had kids with their mistresses and brought the kids to live with them and the wives had to deal and accept it”. She also alludes to a double standard in Ghanaian society which forces women to be faithful: “Ghanaian women are also attracted to other men but for the most part don't cheat because it's considered horrible for a woman to cheat”, meanwhile a lot of Ghanaian men act like it's their right to cheat and give excuses like their wives let themselves go after childbirth or don’t have time for them because of the kids forgetting that they both contributed to bring the pregnancy into being and it's not the wives' fault if they got fatter or less sexy. On whether women sometimes make it difficult for men to remain faithful by the way the dress, she does not agree with Korshie. When I asked her what she thinks a guys ought to do if women dress sexy, she says “keep it in their pants…they're not helpless babies!”

Men Cheat Because They’re Wired that Way

To these I’ll add one argument that has not yet been raised, which is that biologically, humans are not monogamous, therefore remaining faithful goes against our natural tendency. This may explain why you’ll find men chasing after women who are less attractive than their wives. Perhaps this is why Halle Berry and Hillary Clinton would be cheated on or why Solomon, supposedly the wisest man in the bible would have so many concubines.

I hope these responses shed some light on what is a very relevant question with no straightforward answers. I’m sure your comments will help us understand our men even better. So I end by asking you what Amarkai asked me. Why do so many men (and it's increasingly common with women too) have partners on the side (beyond their wives or girlfriends or husbands or boyfriends)? And why is it okay to do it openly?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Announcing The Baobab Prize Winners - 2 Ghanaians Are "Repping"

Last August, I wrote about The Baobab Prize on this blog. 6 months on, the first winners of the Prize have been announced and two Ghanaians writers were shortlisted! They are Vivian Amanor who wrote Abena and the Corn Seed and Michael Anim who wrote the Tortoise and the Thief. Congratulations also to Ivor Hartmann of StoryTime and Zimbabwe whose story Mr. Goop won The Baobab Prize for a work of fiction aimed at readers aged 12-15 years.

See below for the complete list of prize winners :


The Baobab Prize for a work of fiction aimed at readers aged 8-11 years : Lauri Kubuitsile, Botswana. Story: Lorato and her Wire Car

Shortlist for Stories for readers aged 8-11 years:

- Good in the World by Marion Drew, South Africa
- The Story of my Life by Fiona Moolla, South Africa
- Abena and the Corn Seed by Vivian Amanor, Ghana
- Live and Let Live by Jenny Robson, South Africa

The Baobab Prize for a work of fiction aimed at readers aged 12-15 years: Ivor Hartman, Zimbabwe. Story: Mr. Goop.

Shortlist for Stories for readers aged 12-15 years:
- Birthday Wishes by Lauri Kubuitsile, Botswana
- This Ubuntu Thing by Jayne Bauling, South Africa
- Courage like a Lion by Jenny Robson, South Africa
- Whips, Tears and Blood by Mercy Adhiambo, Kenya

The Baobab Prize for a rising writer aged 18 years or younger: Aisha Kibwana, Kenya. Story: Strange Visitors that took her life away.

Shortlist for Rising writer Prize:
- Tortoise and the Thief by Michael Anim, Ghana.

Congratulations to the winners

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What's So Great About Smoking Anyway?

A few days ago, on my way to the US from Ghana, I spent several hours at the Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam, thanks to a 8 hour layover. The experience wasn't as unpleasant as one might imagine. It actually turned out to be quite illuminating. Those readers interested in the sounds, smells, and feel of the airport should check out this travel bloggers account.

I spent my time at Schiphol napping, skimming the Financial Times, roaming the shops, and experimenting with luxury cosmetics. Oh by the way did you know that we're not supposed to use the same cream for our faces as we use for our bodies? I certainly did not know that, so I applied some body lotion to my face and one of the attendants pointed out that I'd applied the wrong cream. So I stand there feeling a little JJC (tr: Johny come lately) and ask, really?! She was as surprised that I didn't know as I was to learn that a person really needs two creams for one body. According to her, the face creams are more gentle, more protective and prevent early wrinkling. Who knew! I mean does anyone who is not a salesperson for Lancome know this kind of stuff?

As I was saying, I window shopped a little. Mostly I was appalled at the prices of the items for sale and wondered if I'd ever move over to the dark side and begin acquiring foreign products with money I'd earned in Ghana. Time will tell, I guess. How am I to spend half of my monthly salary on say a versace bag when I could buy the lovely handwoven Ghana-made bag I've been oggling at the Accra mall for a tenth that price? Yes, I know. I just don't get it. Or I'm trying hard not to get it:)

Anyway, of the things I did and saw, only one was interesting enough to compel me to whip out my notebook (The Ecobank diary I received in their attempt to placate the irate customer). What was so interesting as to warrant note-taking? The warnings I saw on the cigarette packs:

1. Smoking kills
2. Your doctor or your pharmacist can help you stop smoking
3. Smoking seriously harms you and others around you
4. Stopping smoking reduces the risk of fatal heart and lung diseases
5. Smoking when pregnant harms your baby
6. Smoking clogs the arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes
7. Smoke contains benzene, nitrosamines, formaldehyde and nitrogen cyanide
8. Smoking causes fatal lung cancer
9. Smoking may reduce the blood flow and causes impotence
10. Smokers die younger
11. Smoking is highly addictive, don't start.
12. Smoking can cause a slow and painful death
13. Get help to stop smoking: consult your doctor or pharmacist
14. Protect children: don't make them breathe your smoke

Being a non-smoker, I'd never paid much attention to cigarette warnings so it surprised me to see that they were so bold and ominous. Further, it shocked me that smokers constantly ignore these warnings. They really must be crazy. I wonder why they do it. I can understand why a person would smoke the first time. To experiment, to see what all the hype is about, but the second time, the third, the hundredth? Why do smokers do it? How are cigarette makers still able to sell in spite of these health warnings? Some ingenious marketing tactic the rest of us aren't privy to? Really, when you're selling a cigarette, all you're really selling is pleasure...right? Would say sex-toys sell if they had similar warnings on 'em? Okay, maybe you're also selling a lifestyle with cigarettes in which case, sex-toys don't compare? Any smokers here? Please clue us in.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

America is to Opportunities as Ghana is to What?

Last Friday the 6th of March marked fifty-two years since Ghana gained its independence from the British. The day being a national holiday, I got to sleep in. But later when I tottered out of bed, showered and had half of a mfantse dokon and okra stew with crabs and fish and meat for breakfast – god, this blog is degenerating into a personal diary yikes! – then showered, Ghana style with a bucket (I live at Ashale-Botwe where our taps don’t flow), it was time to dress up. I wore my red, gold, green necklace and fashioned a headband out of a scarf coloured red, yellow and green with a black star in the middle, just like the Ghana flag. I was feeling very jiggy:) but when I got to town, I felt a little overdressed. It was as if no one else got the memo that it was Independence Day. I wondered if this was another case of the returnee trying to be more Ghanaian than everyone else as Mammie from motherhood: learning on the job says but I really felt like it wasn’t that I was being more Ghanaian than everyone else, but dammit, why did everyone else have to be so nonchalant?

Maybe Ghanaians don’t have to wear the colours of the country to show that they value what the day represents. Wasn’t I the same person who thought it unnecessary for Gey Hey Alumnae to display stickers on their cars? But it’s not the same thing. Or is it? I was a tad disappointed because It seemed to me that even though there would be discussions, and marching, and patriotic songs on tv, for the ordinary wo(man) on the streets, life was going on as usual. The street-sellers were selling, what did the day mean for them? When I start thinking like this, my thoughts go in so many different directions. Eventually I settle on a big idea, a question, usually philosophical.

Who are we as a people?

Yes, what makes a Ghanaian a Ghanaian, What makes Ghana Ghana? What can we claim? How would a person advertise Ghana? What is its unique value proposition? It’s all the same question. Essentially, what’s it we got that no one else has got? What the heck are we about?

When I think of America, I think...Land of Immigrants, Land of Opportunity. Whether these descriptors are accurate or not, at least something tangible comes to mind. Germany is known to have produced some of the finest thinkers, writers, philosophers and scientists. When I think of Germany, I think of Mann, Nietzsche, Kant, Einstein and order:) When I think of Brazil, I think of Football and Capoeira.

What do Ghanaians have? What do our children have to identify with? What would a person who is not Ghanaian think of assuming they were to think of Ghana? Man, even I who is fiercely Ghanaian cannot name a thing. This is fast leading me to the conclusion that Ghanaians don't have any obvious common values, ideals or spirit that binds us. We don’t even know the words of our National Pledge. Watch this simultaneously funny and sad you tube video that my friend sent me in which the Ghanaians interviewed could not say the national pledge.

I watched Oprah tell her life story once and she said America is great because "this couldn't have happened anywhere else in the world". I wanted to challenge that but the truth is, I can't say anything like that about Ghana. Even when I look at our heroes, I'm tempted to think they could have been greater elsewhere. Unlike Oprah who was made by America, sometimes I think being from Ghana takes away from us.

I'm positive about Ghana and want to rep it but that's near impossible to do when it seems there is so little to rep. Can we hope for change? If so, based on what would we hope? It's promise? As one of my friends noted, "it's been promising since 1957" but if I may quote Paa Kwesi Nduom, "we're still where we are". As we attempt to celebrate Ghana on this blog, i'm sometimes tempted to agree with one of my friends who said "all that holds us together is the heavy food that we keep assigning positivity to as we try and claim superiority from our history" which if I may add, we do not know. Where we are is not good enough.

Since I can’t think of anything, that binds us, I’m going to boldly assert that Ghana does not have a brand. If it did, I would know it. Having done that, we move on to do something about it.

What would make a nation great? I think it could begin with a big idea. For America, that idea may be just what Opera said “this could only have happened in America”. It’s a big idea. It means an American kid is going to hear that and think, man, I could be big, just like Opera and I am here, in the only place on earth where this is possible. Bingo! Inspiration!

For a country like Ghana that does not really have anything yet, we have to create it. Yes, us! We study the enlightenment era, the romantic era or the renaissance because someone or some people made it important. These eras are centered around ideas intitiated and lived by people. Great nations study themselves, write about themselves and forge identities around these ideas so that if you want to know anything about Europe, you're forced to read about these periods which often brought great advances in their performing arts, music, writings and lives!

I’ll have to think some more about what could be Ghana’s big idea but I really liked the Black Star Campaign which was launched by the Neo Africa Foundation in 2006. I thought it had a powerful message and played on something which Ghanaians are proud of – The Ghanaian soccer team, The Black Stars. It was also a nice reminder of our history and the national flag.

I’d be interested to hear if you readers think of anything else.

The tone of this post may be dour, but I’d like to conclude on a somewhat positive note. The wonderful thing is that we are alive, here and now. We can do something. See below for the words of the 2nd stanza of the national anthem provided by Museke which calls us to build our nation:

Hail to thy name, O Ghana
To thee we make our solemn vow:
Steadfast to build together
A nation strong in unity
With our gifts of mind and strength of arm
Whether night or day, in mist or storm
In ev'ry need, whate'er the call may be
To serve thee, O Ghana, now and evermore

It's our turn to create Ghana. We can be the icons, the thinkers, the greats! I truly believe that change begins with us, so...You be it!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Wonderful and Not So Wonderful People Every Ghanaian Calls Family

  1. Auntie Kyeiwaa

This aunt is the ɔdendene mu ɔdendene (tr: toughest of the tough). She does not kyele (tr: tolerate) nonsense. She will tell you her mind. She’s either married to some quiet passive man or is one of the rare breeds who have managed to remain unmarried by choice and yet no one can muster the gumption to upbraid her. People secretly think it is because of her ɔdenden ways that she never got married. After all which man could handle such a woman? They pity her but they keep their opinions to themselves because Auntie Kyeiwaa is fire! She has power in the family because when it comes to taking responsibility, funeral contributions, and other family contributions, she has saved everyone’s ass time and time again.

  1. Uncle Samo

This Papa Samo (tr: person who travels abroad and does not visit his family in many years) is the uncle that everyone talks about but you don’t remember. He went to Germany, Canada, US or London many years ago when you were in class 2 but he’s never been back to visit. Whenever his name comes up, everyone wonders why dadaada yi (tr: all this time) he still hasn’t gotten his “papers”. Occasionally he sends his parents $100 or $200. No one knows what work he does. He’s been talking about building a house in Ghana since nineteen kojohoho (tr: since the beginning of time) but even the land he bought was paid for in part by Auntie Kyeiwaa.

  1. Father’s Friend Turned Uncle

This man is not related to you by blood or marriage but when he visits, he acts like he is your father’s relative and has as much authority as your dad. He requests special meals. He never calls your father by his real name. Instead he calls him Ogyam, BKC, or some other nickname. This man likes to send the children in the house on errands, but he never brings any gifts. He’s the kind of man who tempts children to spit in water he requests. He’s really annoying, and everyone looks forward to his departure.

  1. The Uncle Who Doesn’t Give a Whit About You

This uncle visits only to see the adults. He pretends you do not exist. He takes absolutely no interest in your affairs. When he calls the adults, he does not ask of you or speak with you. You hear that it is your parents who put him through school but he really couldn’t care a whit about you. You would not dream of spending your holidays with him even though your parents always suggest it.

  1. The Grandmother You Like

This grandmother is to die for. She makes the best meals, dotes on you and tells corny stories about the good times when you were a precocious little kid. She always brings goodies when she visits and sometimes she even gives you money, or jewellery, or other things you actually want and treasure because they remind you of her. In the best case, you want to be like her when you grow up.

  1. The Cousin You Have Nothing in Common With

You’re supposed to be cousins. Except he’s actually your nephew, but he’s your age and your interactions leave much to be desired. You wish the best for him but you wonder if you have to be friends by force just because your parents think “cousins” ought to bond. This “body arrangement” (tr: Ghanaian slang for trying too hard to be friends) is not working and you wish you’d both just accept that you may be related but you’re not tight and that’s okay.

  1. The Adorable Aunt

This aunt is your role model. She makes time for you. She used to write to you and visit you when you were in secondary school and she even emails you now. You know you’re welcome at her house at anytime and you can eat whatever is in her fridge. She does not throw money at you but she buys you thoughtful gifts and will call you to check up on you. You actually enjoy talking to her because she reasons with you and understands you. When she travels abroad, she always brings you stuff you want, like nikes or books, or clothes from the gap. You remember the one hip fubu jeans you used to wear all the time for records night in high school? Yep, she bought it:) as opposed the obroni wawu(tr: second hand clothing) that you always had to try so hard to disguise as "store reject" or ehm, from a boutique. Your adorable aunt hugs you, and always seems so pleased to see you. She’s the aunt that you know you’d take a break from work to nurse if she ever got sick. She’s everything that family out to be and makes up for the jackasses.

  1. The Cool Uncle

You’re glad your aunt married this man because he’s a terrific guy. He knows so much about so many things and he makes time to help you out, whether it’s tutoring you in Math, helping you make a budget for a personal project, listening to your relationship problems, or driving you to your boyfriend’s house at 10 pm just so you can see him one last time before he leaves the country. He may want you to take his advice whenever you ask his opinion, but you can live with his faults. No one’s perfect, right?

I know it is simplistic to describe our family members as I have but you go ahead and fill in what I've left out. Is the cool uncle also the one with the foul breath, or the adorable aunt also the one who wears the most embarassingly out-of-date weaves? Is your favorite aunt a mix of Auntie Kyeiwaa and "the adorable aunt", or something else entirely? What are your relatives like?

Monday, March 02, 2009

She is The Head of The House So Why Does She Not Get the Credit?

About three years ago, made a friend because the guy responded when I said “Why should the man be the head of the house when I wouldn’t mind being the head?” or something to that effect. This man strongly defended the role of the man as the head of the family so I tried to get him to tell me why he felt men should be the heads. Beside some biblical reference-which I did not buy- he referred to their roles as the breadwinners. Fantastic!

I am one of those people who think that a two-person team does not need a leader unless both people agree that they need one. Even then, I see no reason why the man must necessarily be the head. In the past, I’ve been frustrated with people who just say, well, the bible says the man is the head. What would they say if the bible had said something else? So I was thrilled when the guy argued that the one who wins bread should be the head.

I found two definitions of breadwinner on the web. The first definition states the breadwinner as the primary income-earner in the household while the second defines breadwinner as the one whose income is the household’s primary source of support. I would not pay any attention to the first definition. Afterall of what use is it to the household that you earn the most money if no one benefits from it? It makes the most sense to me to define the breadwinner is the one whose income is the primary source of support. If we are to accept this definition, then I can confidently report that I am yet to encounter a Ghanaian home in which the man is the bread winner. Sure, I have heard of men who provide everything in the home or at least most of it, and I see them on tv, but I don’t know even one.

But ask me about women bread winners and I have many examples. Let’s begin with my grandmother. Both of my grandparents made clothing for a living. My grandfather had a tailor’s shop and my grandmother sewed in the home. She also sold rice, gari, and other foodstuff to supplement her income. Neither of their clothing making businesses were thriving by the time I was mature enough to observe goings-on in their household. And so for as long as I know, my grandmother has provided everything. Food, the light bill, the toothpaste, everything! In addition to cooking and cleaning! Like your typical Ghanaian grandparents who have no pension to rely on, their children send them money regularly. When the money is disbursed, my grandfather uses his to buy beer for himself and his friends and stakes the lottery with whatever is left of it. My grandmother uses hers to feed the household, and pay bills. When he returns from his shop, he asks for the food for which he has provided no money, and he is served. While I think this is unfair to my grandmother, she accepts her role so I’ll leave it at that. However knowing all that I know of them, I will not shut up if anyone stands infront of me to say that men are the heads when they do not play “headlike” roles or that they are the breadwinners when I have such a counter-example. I cannot accept something to be true when my experience tells me otherwise.

I also know people whose educations depended primarily on their mothers. In certain cases, it is not that their fathers did not have money. One of our neighbours refused to pay for his son to enter the polytechnic saying that he did not have the money but that even if he did, he would build a house with it and charge rent instead of taking his son to school. Can you imagine! And this same Ghanaian man shamelessly calls himself the head of his household when it is the woman who sold her cloth and went crying for help. It worked. Her son has graduated from the Polytechnic.

My aunt and uncle told me of a day when they dropped off my little sister at school. My dad was in the car. When they got there, they leant that it was open day. Open day is a day when school kids bring all their workbooks out for their parents/guardians to look at their work and interact with their teachers. Neither my uncle and aunt knew of it, but when they found out, even though they were also on their way to work, they decided to inspect my sister’s books since they were already there. When my dad realised my uncle and aunt were going to look at my sister’s work, he told them that he was going ahead to work. Can you imagine! This was his daughter’s school work! And my dad co-owns the company he works for. There is no justification for such an action and anyone who really cared would have offered such profuse apologies that my aunt and uncle would never have mentioned what happened to the rest of us.

Another of our neighbours who was not poor refused to pay his sons’ school fees or adequately care for them. If it had not been for their mother, who used her teacher’s salary to feed them, clothe them, pay school fees and also cook and clean in the house, the kids would have turned out like the rest of the Ashale-Botweians who are impeded by their lack of tertiary education.

Please don’t misunderstand me. As I have earlier mentioned, I have heard of homes in which men are the breadwinners and so in those homes, If you tell me they’re the heads, I can accept it, even if reluctantly. All I’m saying is in all the Ghanaian homes I know, the woman is the one whose income supports the household and this does not even take into account the work some of the women do as cook, cleaner and child-minder. For playing these roles, the Ghanaian women I know should be given credit for being the heads of their families.

Oh, and it might interest you to know that the guy I mentioned in the first paragraph later confessed this had it not been for his mother who sold her cloth to put her through secondary school, he would not be getting a PhD in economics!

Note also, that I have intentionally used examples where fathers did not pay school fees because in Ghana, in the examples people give where the man pays for things, usually they say men pay bills and women take care of groceries. As for me, I have only known of homes where women pay for everything from bills to groceries. There is nothing wrong with it. But if I’m playing this role, wouldn’t you say that I deserve to be acknowledged as the breadwinner? There goes what little hope I had of finding a husband:) My boyfriend reads this blog. hehe.