The ugly 95%

Oswald Anonadaga
3 min readSep 1, 2021


From bedroom to highway in 5 minutes

I travelled to Aburi last weekend, if you’ve never been to the magnificent mountainous Ghanaian town about 30 minutes from Accra, you should definitely take a trip there sometime.

Tourism promo aside, let me tell you how this impulsive trip provoked a beautiful thought that’s occupied my mind for the past 3 days.

I was laying in bed, about to close my eyes when I decided to go out of town. In the spirit of impulsive Oswald, I jumped up out of bed was on the road in 5 minutes.

Along the way, the road started to get foggy, signalling proximity to the mountains Aburi is famous for. I drove straight to the Botanical Gardens and upon arrival, parked and commenced the mind-clearing walk I had come there for. Nature therapy.

A sharp contrast

NB: Photo taken at Aburi Botanical Gardens

I saw plants adorned with beautiful flowers. Noticing a sharp contrast between the beauty of the flower and the rest of the plant’s anatomy. Why would a creator place such visually pleasing elements on a body of almost atrocious comparison?

On these plants, the flowers seemed to be less than 5% of the plant’s composition while the remaining 95% was terribly ugly in comparison. Flamboyant, multicoloured, and thoughtfully arranged sections which grabbed attention even from far away, situated on a mass of scarred, decaying and often deformed branches and stems. And yet they are one and the same plant.

Which deserves more praise? The flower or the ugly 95%?

Roots, stem, and branches = The ugly 95%.

The ugly 95% is the supporting structure of the flower. Drawing nutrients from the ground, providing protection and stability. The flower draws attention for insects to pollinate it, ensuring the continuity of the species. It is sweet smelling, visually appealing, and generates the delicacy that is nectar while the ugly 95% tells a different story to the senses.

Notwithstanding the invaluable contribution that the ugly 95% provides, the flower receives the most praise, but I’ll argue that the ugly 95% lends it’s beauty to the flower. Its proud consequence.

The ugly 95% in life

The presence of the ugly 95% is felt in every endeavour of life. A beautiful graduation ceremony is the 5% admired while the years of study characterised by tense examination periods, financial stress, and diverse social experiences are the ugly 95%.

A beautiful family Christmas photo is the attractive flower, grabbing attention away from the administration of the family system’s relationship issues, collaboration and sustenance framework which are the ugly 95%.

Perks for working a top performing company are envied by many but the ugly 95% enables that reality through long work nights and weekends, high pressure, and in some cases, poor work-life balance.

Social Media’s deception

Social media generally shows us the flower of people lives. Rarely the ugly 95%. The flower is produced by the ugly 95% as a crown, however many are destroying their mental health with a desire to attain other people’s flowers while never seeing the ugly 95% that enables it. We’d probably never want them if we saw those parts. A topic for another day.

The beauty of the ugly 95%

The ugly 95% does not need to be beautiful, rather, appreciated, for it possesses its own beauty in sacrifice. The ugly 95% is the beauty of the flower itself.