The word LAPOR (pronounced La – Pour) is widely known and used in Ghana. No one seems to know the origin. It is used to describe tale bearers or tattle tales. Usually in schools, the teacher’s pet, who reports the misdemeanors of other students are quickly labeled lapor. The child in the family who reports his siblings to the parents is also labeled lapor. It is close to gossip, but not exactly the same.
In my Letters of Lapor, I have used this character, and combined him with the concept of the court jester/drunkard, that seems to be found in many societies. He is irreverent, and can get away with saying what others would fear to whisper.
Letters of lapor is a humorous commentary on contemporary Ghana, its foibles, fears, strengths and aspirations. As much as possible, I will be gentle in delivering my reports, after all, as a Lapor, I am not perfect myself. If the barbs seem to target you squarely, it is because the people who whisper to me have you in their sights. If my reports drive you to see things in our society that you never noticed before, my work would have been done.
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