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Ghana's Parliament Erupted Into Laughter After Hearing Names of Villages Referencing Genitalia

Names such as "Vagina is Wise" and "Penis is a Fool" left members cackling.

Ghanaian lawmakers just couldn't keep it together on Friday, when the names of villages in the Abirem constituency in the Eastern Region of the country were read aloud during a meeting.

MP John Frimpong Osei began to list areas in his constituency that are in need of electricity, and a few of the Twi names make direct references to genitals.

BBC Africa provided some of the translations for the names:

Etwe nim Nyansa - "Vagina is Wise"
Kote ye Aboa - "Penis is a Fool"
Shua ye Morbor - "Testicles are Sad".

A video shared on social media, captures the MP's jocular reactions when Osei began to read the names of the villages lacking electricity.


Though the meeting appeared to have taken a flippant turn, Ghana's Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko went on to address the real issue at hand, stating that a survey would be conducted to determine how the villages in Abirem could be connected to the national grid—but not before offering a joke of his own about the village names: "Providing them with electricity may interfere with nocturnal activities," he quipped.

Despite some areas still lacking access, about 80 percent of Ghana's population has access to electricity—one of the highest rates on the continent. Let's hope that the hilarity that ensued will translate into serious action to provide remaining areas with full electricity.

As for the names of the villages, it's clear that they weren't intended to simply induce laughs. According to BBC's Thomas Naadi, historically, names of villages were inspired by the life experiences of the first settlers.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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