The jailing of a Ghanaian soccer star with a second-division Swedish club in the Swedish town of Gavle is quite interesting to me, because it shows that Swedish law-enforcement agencies have evolved into becoming more enlightened and protective of the womenfolk of that Nordic country who elect to marry foreigners, particularly non-European foreigners, since the 1980s (See “Ghanaian Footballer Handed Two-Year Jail Term for Raping Wife” Graphic.com.gh 6/10/17).

Back then, I met a Nigerian student right here, in New York City, who had lived for nearly a decade in the country that originated the Volvo automobile. Sukura, that was not his real name, had lived most of his stay in the Swedish capital of Stockholm, and had left his Swedish-born fiancée back in her native country while he came in search of the proverbial greener pastures here in the United States. We met at City College of the City University of New York. We would shortly part ways and lose contact with one another altogether.

But before then, that is before we finally parted ways, my good friend’s fiancée would visit him here, in New York City, and spend nearly a month with him. To tell you the truth, the Nordic gal was a quite smashing blonde who looked in every way to be very refined in manners and kind. Surprisingly, however, Sukura would confide to me that he had absolutely no intention of marrying his fiancée. As of this writing, I have absolutely no idea whether my Nigerian friend later changed his plans and settled down with Inge, not her real name, either right here in the United States or back in Sweden, or even in Nigeria, on the primeval continent where it all began for humankind.

The post-Civil Rights era of the 1980s was not very conducive to interracial marriages or even dating here in America in general. There was a period of intense violence against African-Americans by white assailants all over the country who routinely got away with their heinous and often capital crimes. It was literally an era that many African-American Civil Rights Activists called “an open-season” of wanton acts of abuse and criminality by whites against Blacks.

There is an ironic twist to this story about Sukura, my Nigerian friend and classmate. He would tell me that Swedish laws were, somehow, racist in favor of Africans and/or non-European foreigners who decided to wed or date Swedish women. We, of course, never discussed homosexual unions, because that was not our personal purviews; besides, the LGBTQ struggle was still, for the most part, out of the media spotlight, except for the occasional expression of general outrage about the savaging of gay and lesbian couples by a gang of homophobic thugs. Theirs was deemed to be primarily a moral problem that none of us straitlaced people, as it were, wanted to deal with, for the most part.

The Swedish women, according to Sukura, were deemed to have breached their country’s code of culture, perhaps even honor and ethics and civilization by crossing ethnic, racial and international boundaries. They were, therefore, somehow, deemed to be deserving of whatever negative circumstances or run-ins or domestic abuse suffered at the hands of their foreign-born spouses and partners. This was what came to mind when I read the sad story of 22-year-old Mr. Kwame Bonsu, who was reportedly sentenced to a 2-year prison term for allegedly raping his Swedish native wife. Mr. Bonsu, who arrived in the Scandinavian country some 4 years ago and wed his wife about 2 years ago, is alleged to have domestically detained his unnamed wife one evening, in November of 2015, against her will, raped and physically assaulted her.

The alleged victim’s name is not given by the Daily Graphic newspaper that carried the report. The Daily Graphic, of course, is owned and operated by the Government of Ghana. For me, though, this story shows that finally the Swedish Government and the legal and law-enforcement authorities are refreshingly beginning to take the civil and human rights of that country’s adult womenfolk seriously. Which is all well and good. All well and admirable, that is. But it is not clear to me whether Mr. Bonsu was dealt fairly by the Swedish legal authorities. For we are told that his conviction and sentencing was primarily based on what the alleged victim’s relatives had to tell the judge and the prosecutors of the case. I am not thinking about any Ghanaian diplomat resident in the Swedish capital’s stepping in to ascertain that Mr. Bonsu has been meted condign justice. That would be more than a useless proposition on my part.

Mr. Bonsu has also been asked to pay a monetary compensation in the equivalent sum of $ 28,000 to his alleged victim and, one logically presumes, the former Mrs. Bonsu. He has also been summarily expelled from his Gevle IF soccer club, and will be promptly deported from Sweden shortly after serving his 2-year prison sentence. At 24 years old, by the time he is released from prison, hopefully, Mr. Bonsu would still have the best years of his life ahead of him somewhere. He would also have learned some of the best lessons of his life and his career. Dear reader, don’t ask me exactly what some of these best lessons may be.

 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.