Posted in Uncategorized

GONE

​It’s been 3 years since Auntie Melissa died. Three years and I still do not know how she died. Not that knowing will change the fact that she doesn’t live in these parts anymore but I really wanted to  know how she left. Did she struggle? Did it happen while she was asleep? Was she found in that state or she left in the presence of people she loved? What was the last thing she said before leaving? These questions and more plague my mind every time I think about her but I have no idea who to ask.
I remember the day I heard the news. I broke down right there under the tree behind Hall 7. I knew it. I had a gut feeling all wasn’t well. It was quite obvious when I called two weeks before I heard the news. A young lady responded. She said she had Aunt Melissa’s phone but wasn’t at the hospital yet. She said she was going to call me when she got there and that was very unusual. Aunt Melissa always had that phone. I called again that evening. The young lady said she was at the hospital now but Aunt Melissa was asleep. Asleep indeed. 
I remember very well the last time I saw her. I had gone to visit at the hospital. I thought I was late but I got there and the others hadn’t arrived. We spent the time alone talking about her and what exactly was happening to her body. And why she wouldn’t tell us. It broke my heart a bit when she said all her trips to the hospital were battles against cancer. This same Aunt Melissa that answered in the negative when I asked if she had had chemo because she was wearing her hair unusually short when I returned from school after my first semester of Uni. This same Aunt Melissa that asked me what chemo was and how I learned about it was now confessing she had been battling cancer the entire time. I saw the others through the window when she was talking about her son Sena; the one who was living his name and being God’s gift to her. I stepped out to show them where Aunt Melissa was. We spent about two minutes out there assuring the nurses that our friend, Aunt Melissa was expecting us all.
It was all smiles, laughter, exchange of how-are-yous and I’m fines and confessions of “I miss you, Aunt Melissa” when we got in. Then she asked about boyfriends and girlfriends and before we knew we were having a conversation about relationships and marriage. I still do not know and understand why she didn’t ask me if I was in a relationship.
  “Ahaa so Aunt Melissa what exactly is going on? Why do you keep coming back to the hospital?” Aseye had asked. The question I would have yearned an answer for if I hadn’t already had that conversation with Aunt Melissa. The Aunt Melissa we know did exactly what she does every time the question about her health comes up, except this time she coughed amidst the laughter.  She held still as if to prepare herself and us for all that she was going to explain, “I hadn’t been well for some time and so daddy took me to the hospital.” She smiled faintly and continued. “They said I had fluids in my lungs and then got rid of it. But they made me stay at the hospital until they thought I was well enough to be discharged.” And with a hint of sadness mildly moulding her face she concluded, “Barely ten days after, the symptoms resurfaced. And now here I am.” If sighs could make music I bet anyone could put words to what we collectively expressed and create a hitmaker. 

Aunt Melissa resumed, “Three days ago I tried walking to the bathroom and fell. And when I couldn’t get up that’s when I knew there was trouble.” She looked across our faces and added,  “Later, the doctor had said I had lost sensation in my lower body. But I am actually fine. I feel fine. It is just physiotherapy that is keeping me here.
I believed her. She looked really fine. She looked like all that was left was for her to regain sensation in her lower body and then she could go home. She looked like she was never going to have water fill up her lungs ever again. That evening, the nurses had sent us away with the ever mechanical, “Its time for her to take her meds.” I made a mental note to come by again before leaving for school. I didn’t. I couldn’t. Even though I had made time to visit Yoosi who lived about six minutes away from the hospital.
Today I am here at the same hospital. I am here to see Owiredua. The adventurous I-will-do-all-it-takes-to-get-it-if-I-want-it Owiredua. The soft-hearted Owiredua. Owiredua that understands my struggles. The Owiredua that pats my back and gives me the cold shoulder when the need be. She had broken down again and the doctors still can’t tell what exactly is happening in her body. She looks tired but she says she’s fine. I believe her. 
We’ve been talking and laughing about everything and nothing for some two hours now. It’s past six and I can see the nurses approaching. One of them informs me, “Hello, it’s past visiting hours. We need to give her her meds now.”

 “You can do that while I’m here. I am family. She’s my sister. I can’t leave until our dad gets here.” I replied smiling. 

 But Owiredua holds my hand and assures me, “Toni, its okay. I will be fine. I will be out of here before you know it. You can come by before you leave for Takoradi. I will be here. I promise.”

 “I believe you Owiredua.” I affirmed. “We have a lot to catch up on. See you tomorrow.”

Yoosi brought my phone to the balcony. He said it had been ringing for some time now. I checked and it was Owiredua’s dad. I called back and could hear sobs in the background. The voices in my head screamed “end the call” but I didn’t.
I’m so sorry Toni, Owiredua is gone. She just left. 
I heaved a sigh and ended the call. I asked Yoosi to drive me to the hospital. Yoosi wore a look of confusion and concern. Confused about my reaction and concerned probably because he was so sure there was so much going on in my head. The short ride was a very silent one. 
Its half past 10. Owiredua is still in the bed. She seems to be wearing a smile on her face. What is it with people I love and leaving earth with smiles on their faces? Owiredua left without giving me a hug. Owiredua. My Owiredua that always kept her word, left when she promised I will see her tomorrow. 
Owiredua is gone and I will have to live wondering how she too left.

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Posted in Letter to my first year self

Dear Kqwajo

Dear Kqwajo, I hear you’ve secured admission to pursue Culture & Tourism in KNUST. Mother says you are pissed that you didn’t get the Economics you really wanted. Dad took you to Aunt Harriet, she’s calmed you down and made the course pretty attractive, although you’re still not entirely convinced. 
I also hear you are pretty happy about getting into Unity Hall. Go and sort the admission issues out and begin already and stop this nonsense. Forget the mighty row you had with Dad and leave the house already, school has started. 
Start well. Don’t be sleeping on your ass and missing classes chale. It won’t help. Just sitting through a class, you’ll marvel at how much you can glean and make mental notes of. Don’t mess with the first year, do all you can to start well. Your parents have paid huge sums to get you in, you might as well “drink deep”, make friends, know your way around the campus, widen out, learn a language – I was always fascinated by the pidgin language and I slowly learnt it’s basic principles, I can say I can speak it when I feel like, and I’m glad about that. Act right, You’ll be surprised the number of people watching you and taking notes of the most trivial stuff you do.
One word you have to keep in your head is; Balance, Balance, Balance. It’s not all about sitting behind the books every blessed day Kqwajo. Go for parties, socialise, roam around, at the right times and make friends from the whole University community. Some of the best people I met were my Nigerian pals; the love they’ll show you and holes they’ll dig you out of will blow you away. 
Remember how lazy and irresponsible I was going through SHS? Literally running from any sort of position of responsibility? Better change bruh. After Uni, you are out there in the world. The lessons and experience you’ll gather if you take on any form of responsibility or position is veryyyy important. Lessons on managing people, money entrusted to you by the masses, delivering on promises and just thinking and planning for the long term are invaluable. I’m not political, but leadership is important in our world we live in and in the future you might need to lead friends, at work or even in the family. If ever an opportunity avails itself for you to lead, seriously consider it and take it on if you can.
I have regrets that I’d wish you don’t have too when you are done with school. Don’t make enemies, stand by your principles; religious or personal, stand by them, by all means let your words be seasoned and act right, if that brings you enemies or doubters, don’t worry, Lord knows you did your best. The decisions you make through this period will have ripple effects in your life going forward. 
I dey talk plenty eh. Lemme wrap up fast. 
Kqwajo, make friends, not just friends, friends. I am really nothing without my friends. Friends will force you to go for that Lawrencia class you’ll hate. Friends will get you notes that you’d have struggled to find. They’ll introduce you to other friends, and then your connects will just be developing. Truth is, the guys we roll around with are the same people who’ll rise into the political offices, become titans of various industries and major entrepreneurs of our era and making them your pals today is a foot in the door for you tomorrow. 
Lemme make this simple. Basically Kqwajo, the principle is, “Drink Deep or Taste Not”. 
Peace Out✌🏿

Posted in Letter to my first year self

Dear Bimba

A week or two ago, I got a message from somebody I know from facebook. The person wanted to know what the nature of the Culture and Tourism program at KNUST is like. I told the person all I could tell him but thought that the experience is different for everybody so they were better off with views from other people. My course mates and I have started the ‘Letter to my first year self project‘ with the hope that these letters will give clues about the program and how to handle it. Every Tuesday, a letter will go up the Tourism Students’ Association notice board. We hope that continuing students benefit as much as we intend for first year students to.

Contributors may write under pseudonyms and so for today, there is Bimba.

****************************

Dear Bimba,You’ve gained admission to KNUST for the Culture and Tourism program. It seems interesting but you’re not exactly happy about it. You wanted the LLB program so bad but be patient. The diverse nature of the program(fusion of Tourism, Culture, Arts, French, Politics, Geography, Law, Economics, Management) will appeal to you soon. You’ll fall in love with it and dislike how aspects of the program is run but the love will grow.

There is nothing wrong with hoping and desiring in your heart to bag that first class. Hopes and desires however do not boil yam. Take action. Read. Read a lot. Read ahead. Read wide. Ask questions. Observe your lecturers; knowing who they are, what they stand for and how they handle the courses they teach will be of immense help. 

   You must however know that there is more to this community than merely working so hard so as to bag a first class. Get to know people; people in your class, hall, people from other faculties, vendors and even random people outside the KNUST community. Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians alike. The international community isn’t made up of just Nigerians. There are people who have come all the way from Swaziland and Zimbabwe to study here. There are people from Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Chad. There is the American MFA student at the Faculty of Art. There is the Ivorian who did most of his schooling in Holland, lives in Benin and knows so much you could learn from. Practise your French on these people. Get to know their countries better through them. Get to know the community. It won’t be a useless venture. It will serve you well, I promise. Do fun stuff by yourself, with your friends, with random people. Learn stuff off youtube. Take advantage of the knowledgeable people around you. Accept that offer to learn to play the guitar, basketball, to learn photo editing, graphic design, cook a foreign meal, write code, Karate or Salsa. Learn all you can while you’re still in this community. You may have to pay so much or have very little time for these opportunities later on in life.

Cupcake, don’t let anybody deceive you into thinking that knowledge in history and culture is crap. It is a big fat lie. History of people and places. Stories. Myths. Legends. Music. Dance. Get to know as much as you can. They’re valuable. They sell. You can ask Kofi Akpabli as well as all of the tour guides who make several hundreds of Ghana cedis an hour if their knowledge in history and culture isn’t a contributing factor.

You must know, Bimba, that the nature of this program gives you the opportunity to tour Ghana and if you’re fortunate, some of Ghana’s neighbours. You’ll not be directly involved in the planning process but on these trips you must task yourself to be an organizer, a student of the tour guiding business and a tourist all in one! You can do this by asking organizers how they went about it. Be extremely observant on these trips. Take note of routes, names of villages and towns, rest stops. Speak with the bus drivers and their assistants. Observe your colleagues on these trips. That is where your tourist psychology lessons should start from. Do these things for yourself, Bimba. I promise, they’ll be useful pretty soon. Opportunities will come for you to package tours and be a tour guide while you’re still in school. It will be for cool cash. Your trips should be your rehearsal session. Don’t miss out on it! Have fun, Bimba. Enjoy these trips like you paid for them with your life savings.

Lastly Bimba, there is a very thin line between ‘que sera sera’ and ‘go for it if you want it’ and it can be really hard deciding what to do at what point in time. But see, if you really want something, if you have ideas and dreams you want to see become reality, don’t let anybody talk you out of them. Especially if you’re comfortable with them, if they bring you peace. If you want to be course rep, go get it! If you already have a knack for research and would love to help a lecturer in any small way, approach them! If you want to work or start something on your own, by all means, do! Be resolute! Everything is possible! Go get your dreams and the good stuff you want like your life depends on it and believe me, even if you fail terribly, you would have learned and you’ll live to try again.
See you when I see you.

Love,

Bimba.

Posted in Uncategorized

Notebooks and dreams

I spent some time going through some old notebooks today. I had mixed feelings.It was fun reliving certain moments from these notebooks and then not so fun because there were all these dreams and plans screaming “you swore you’d bring us to life!”

Just then the voices in my head began. I heard them clearly. They didn’t mince words. Smallie with big dreams, I heard them say. These dreams and several others will only remain here; as ink on paper.

I spent time going through some old notebooks today and my dreams mocked me!

But isn’t that what dreams are supposed to do to you? Make you feel like you can’t turn them into reality until you actually do?

#Notebooks #Dreams #BigDreams #Smallie

Posted in NS Diaries

#NSPosting: To go or not to go

 

Yesterday at about 3pm, I saw this link being circulated on Whatsapp groups as the link to check where one had been posted to for National Service. I concluded it was untrue because of the domain name in the link that was being circulated. I eventually checked and got a malware alert. I complained to one guy who had posted the link on a Whatsapp page I’m on and he said it was because I was using my phone. I switched to a laptop, tried about three times and still got malware alerts. At this point, I was very convinced, it was either I didn’t have the right link or whoever put out the link was deceiving everybody. Then I got on twitter and realised there was so much talk about postings. It was clear which tweet was just a joke and which one was real. It was then I realised postings were really out. I just had to find the right link. I got on the National Service Secretariat’s website. I clicked on “check posting” was asked for my NSS number and inputted my pin code thinking they were the same. The feedback was that, my number couldn’t be found or something like that. I sent the guy on the WhatsApp page a message and he asked me to send him my pin code and index number and that the NSS number can be generated with those two details.  I sent it to him and then after some minutes, he sent me an image. I downloaded and then anuanom ne adofo…

WhatsApp-Image-20160620 (4)

I laughed like I was crazy. I laughed and then I laughed again. I said thank you to the guy, got on twitter and laughed some more because of tweets and memes regarding the postings. Later in the evening, my friend Mamavi and I started fooling with the whole thing. She didn’t even know where I had been posted to but she just kept making funny posts. My mum is unhappy. She thinks I picked this place myself because she knows very well I am capable of such a thing; but to be very honest, I had no idea of the existence of this community in Central Gonja.

At the moment, there are about four groups of 2016 university graduates who are happy; those who have their names on the Teaching and Research Assistants list, those who ensured they were placed in either private or public establishments  way before they submitted their final project work, those who were posted to places they are comfortable with and those who know very well their parents can help change the places they got posted to. I have no place in these categories.I am neither unhappy nor sad.

It’s this morning everything actually sank in. A part of me really wants to go where I’ve been posted because I picked Northern region during the registration process and my aim was to just go wherever I’m posted and help in the best way I can. I’ve taught children before. It can be so difficult but there’s always that one person who really tries their best in the class and spurs you on. I’m very interested in education. There is a huge gap between children in rural places and those in urban places and I really want to help bridge the gap. I’ve heard and read stories of people who moved from some village to Achimota school or Wesley Girls because some teacher took interest in them, encouraged them, dared them to dream big enough to go and get educated in these schools. I want to help like that; even if it’s for just a year, even if it’s just one student I’m able to help.

Another part of me wants to stay in Accra or somewhere close and do something other than teach. This part of me wants to do something related to the arts, culture, travel and tourism, environment or tech industry. This part of me wants to work in a place where she will not be underutilized, where her ideas can be experimented with, where she can learn and acquire skills and knowledge she didn’t have while doing her best to help achieve the organization’s aims and goals. This part of me wants to be in Accra because she wants to keep her eye on her little sister’s progress at school and help her excel. This part of me that wants to stay in Accra also wants to stay because she is afraid. She feels she might end up being useless at the school at Central Gonja in the event that there is a language barrier. That will be a waste of an entire year of her life if she is unable to do something about it. There is also that thing everybody is scared of. Why go up North or some rural place down South when you can stick with private institutions down South, work hard and smart and ensure that you are retained or start your own income-generating and problem-solving venture?

I like the vibes I’m getting so far from the likes of Amma K, J.Y, Kaymo, Maame Akua and Prince. It’s still very confusing chale! I haven’t decided on what I’m going to do but I’m very sure  that I’m going to ask my mum for money, make a trip to Gbongbonto in  Central Gonja and find out a few things I’m very concerned about.  Until then……Pray with me wai. I cannot make bad decisions, please?

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Phone heaven

It is probably  too late to say “Happy New Year” as we are already 10 days into February 2016. I don’t know about you but I have a lot of tough decisions to make this year. Decisions that could make or ruin me(I’m probably exaggerating but I really have tough decisions to make). I’ve heard too many times that it’s okay to make mistakes, fail but the way the world around me is set up, you can’t afford to fail, make mistakes, make bad decisions, etc. (I will save this for another post or share with you when someone else rants about it) What ever it is you have to do or hope to achieve in 2016, I wish you the very best!

Now on to Phone heaven. It’s a try at short-story writing. Let me know what you think.

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She was jolted out of sleep by all the noise in the bus. She noticed immediately that everyone on the bus was standing, looking at something on the side of the road. She got up, looked in that direction as well and saw a salon car in flames.There were so many questions running through her mind but she was too sleepy to ask. She also knew there were no answers. Who would she even ask in the first place? They thought she was strange. Every time she made an attempt to ask questions, people assumed it was going to be a ridiculous question.

Asi checked the time on her phone and then tried getting online only to realize there was no network coverage. She put her phone back in her pocket, looked for her water bottle and took a sip. It must have been the fact that the bus was in motion. Maybe she was still sleepy. Somehow the water spilled all over her t-shirt and onto her jeans. A few heads turned in her direction. “Does she have a hole in her jaw?” Filson, one of the guys in the senior year asked the guy seated next to him. Asi just sighed and went back to sleep.

She couldn’t go back to sleep but she didn’t have the courage to open her eyes either. She could still hear people talking about her; recounting the several times they had seen her do or say something they considered really absurd. It bothered her. She wanted to be considered normal. She barely had friends. The people she considered friends had their own really cool friends too. On trips like this, they barely spoke to her or checked out attraction sites with her. Asi spent majority of the time on fun trips, tearfully wondering what it was that had earned her a place in weirdville. Some days, thinking about it made her feel special. Those were the times she remembered all the talks she had heard about being different but today, she was just lonely and tired of being considered weird.

“We are almost at the rest stop. Come down immediately the driver parks and do all you have to do. Make sure you get a lot of snacks because there are no more rest stops until we get to our destination. You have 45 minutes to do all of that” said Mr. Otchere; the lecturer who had accompanied them. Asi chuckled. She knew a number of “Okyeres” and wondered why the lecturer’s version of the name existed. “There must be a story behind it”, she thought out loud. “Ha! You talk to yourself too? That is bad o. This girl, you need help.” That was Ursula; the Ghanaian girl born and raised in Nigeria.Asi ignored her and went back to her thoughts. Thinking about names reminded her of her friends from high school; Amma Kafui Antonio and Nana Kwesi Anim Quachey. She had found it very interesting when they told her the stories behind their last names.

The bus screeched to a halt and people got ready to go down and do all they had to do and get all the food they wanted. Asi barely ate on trips. She usually lived on coca cola, biscuits and fried yam without pepper. She was safer that way. She watched others get off the bus and reached into the pocket of her jeans trousers for her phone. She tried turning it on when she realized it was off. The phone just wouldn’t turn on. She tried several times until she was tired of trying and then it dawned on her- the water that spilled got to her phone and now it won’t work. She wondered what she was going to do without a phone.

She took out her journal and pen and began to write;

I am so sorry you left the way you did. I should have checked on you when the water spilled. You would have lived longer. I can’t believe this. You served me so well after that other phone got faulty. I can’t thank you enough. We had lots of good times together even though lots of people assumed you were old and unpopular. I promise to treat all of your brothers and sisters who come my way well. I will miss you very much. Please say hello to all the angels in Phone Heaven.
Sincerely, Asi.

Asi left her journal on her seat, checked the time on her wrist watch and went out to get some water and drinks. She met others who were walking towards the bus while she was on her way to get her stuff. Mr. Otchere saw her and said there was just five more minutes until the bus moved. She knew she needed less than that. She paid to use the bathroom, went to a stall to get water and drinks and headed back to where the bus was parked.

Asi, Yoosi and Selasie were the last to get on the bus. Asi sat, opened her bottle of coke and put her straw in before the diver started the bus. She was determined to not spill anything this time.

Samuel called out to Jason who was seated at the back and said “Oh chale Jason, I hear say some twitter girl do yawa. Her nudes are all over the place. Crappy network won’t let me get online and see some.” Mantebea burst into laughter and said, “look at you o. You want to see somebody’s daughter’s nudes with your phone. I swear your phone won’t make it to Phone heaven.” With the exception of a few, everyone else burst into laughter.

Asi knew then that they had read her journal. More reason to keep me in weirdville I guess, she thought to herself.

Posted in Uncategorized

Tu me manques!

10 years ago today, I came back from school and saw familiar and unknown faces in the compound house we lived in. I first saw my grandmother’s car parked outside and found it strange. You see, my grandma, she only came by on holidays so yes, it was strange. And then I saw my uncle Muntari. Uncle Muntari was one of the really cool family members I knew so I should have been happy but I wasn’t. To me, his presence at the time meant that there was something amiss. I just knew there was trouble. Then I saw my father’s brother. He was crying. And then I knew again there was trouble. My father was in trouble. He was the only member of my nuclear family who wasn’t home. He had travelled. A lot more people came into the compound, crying and calling out my father’s name. I was confused and angry but found everything that was going on funny as well. I wondered why the people who wanted to cry couldn’t cry without making so much noise. I wondered why they kept calling my father’s name and drawing other people’s attention to the fact that there was trouble in my house.

You see, my mind had concluded that my father was gone even before the cries with the mention of his name but I couldn’t believe it. My mind, it just hoped it wasn’t a fatal accident even though it didn’t want to believe. Unlike everyone else, the tears weren’t flowing. At the time, I considered everybody around a hypocrite. Still in my uniform, I made an attempt to leave the house. I wanted to just walk. But my uncle Muntari, I don’t know what he was thinking; he just grabbed me by the hand, pulled me aside and said “you see, your father is…” I cut in with “you think I don’t know?” even before he could finish. I had supper and slept at my neighbour’s house that night.

The relationship between my friends from school and I got a bit awkward. They were trying so hard to not be the ones to trigger the tears but I heard them every single time they thought I couldn’t hear them whispering the news of my loss to others who didn’t know yet. One girl in a senior year told me to not believe what I had been told. I already didn’t believe my father was gone even though my own mind had concluded he was gone before anybody started crying and mentioning his name.

I had to miss school for a while. We moved to my uncle’s at Kumasi to get ready for the burial. I didn’t tell my friends at school I was going to be away. I found out they were mad about it later on. I occasionally received calls from them; filling me in on what was happening at school and trying to find out how I was doing. Kumasi was actually fun. I totally forgot why I was there until the day my mum, uncle and paternal aunt went to get certain items that were supposed to be used for the burial. I couldn’t sleep that night. I can’t say why but I couldn’t.

My uncle’s wife, Vivienne, she made a lot of food for us to take to my father’s hometown. I cannot remember how we left or when we left but I remember the journey felt like we were going nowhere. It took forever. My father’s brother, Collins, was the first person we saw when we got to my father’s village. He was one of the people who had cried so much on the day we heard the news at the compound house we lived in back in Accra and I hated him so much for that.

They said we had to go to the family house to greet. I had no idea who we were going to meet at the family house. I was still being indifferent. My father wasn’t gone. Until I saw his remains, he was somewhere, everybody had gotten it twisted, they had been misinformed, they were living a lie, wasting money on journeys and items and making me miss school in the process. We got to the house and then I saw my father’s big brother, Clement. He should be somewhere on a peace-keeping mission but he was here and then it dawned on me. I just screamed “So it is true” and the tears started flowing. I cried. I cried so much. It didn’t help that he bore some sort of semblance with my father.

On the day of the wake, I did not want to be there. I just did not want to be there but I went anyway. I can’t remember who but somebody asked my sister and me to start crying when we were nearly at the house where the wake was taking place. I was so upset. I assumed tradition or culture demanded that and so that day marked the start of my hatred for tradition. I did not cry. I was not going to put in anybody’s hands, the power to determine when I could cry and when I couldn’t. We made it to the premises and I decided to go and sit. My grandma said I had to join the people file past my lifeless father. I did not want to but I eventually did. I managed to take a look at my lifeless father’s face and it looked like he had a smile on his face. There was so much going on in my head at that point. Who dies with a smile on their face? I wanted to shout, “I told you people! He’s not gone. All of this is a joke. See the smile on his face? He will get out of this thing right now.”

Day broke and the funeral ceremony started. My lifeless father and the smile on his face hadn’t made a fool out of every one yet. He was still lying there. The time came again for showing final respect. My sisters and I had to go see him for the last time. Ewurama was two then. I broke down again in tears when I heard her say “is that not my daddy?” I went outside of the house all of this was taking place in and wept. I saw them take the coffin towards the hearse and I knew then that my daddy was really gone.

I did not make it to the cemetery. If I have to show anybody where my daddy was buried to save my life, I won’t be able to. I have no idea where they put him.

My life was never the same after that day. A lot of changes took place. Nice and uncomfortable changes. It’s been a someway ten years without a birth daddy but I’ve made some heart daddies within the period. Some days, I wonder how life will be if he were around.

I miss you so much, daddy. I should probably write you that letter now.

Posted in Uncategorized

WISHES!

1ST DECEMBER 2015. Today is 1st December 2015 and I only know that because yesterday (30th November 2015), Adomaa released a single off her #AfrabaEP which will hopefully be out in January 2016. If you haven’t heard it yet, here!
I still cannot believe it. Was it not a few months ago people were sharing their resolutions for the year on social media networks? Was it not just a while back others were mocking people with “New Year, New me” as their status on WhatsApp? When did we get here? Ha! Let me just go on with the reason for this post.

So although I still cannot believe today is the first day of the last month of the year, I am posting my wish list. It is my first wish list and I hope that by May 2016, I will have everything on my wish list. Dear family, heart daddies, secret admirers, dorm mates from high school, we-are-only-cool-at-literary-events buddies, we-were-really-close-before-but-not-anymore buddies, people in the self-defense teacher zone, distance-and-time-ruined-our-friendship-but-we-can-still-look-each-other-in-the-eye buddies and all-of-you-in-my-life-at-the-moment buddies, here is my wish list. You can bring it as a Christmas, New Year or Birthday present and of course, you can bring it, aaaaany time you wish.

1. I want a bus, air ticket or ride to Accra for the launch of Nana Damoah’s Sebetically Speaking. Sssshhhh he doesn’t have to know. If you know me well, you know I never go home until school has closed for the semester. I have a special reason for wanting to be there. Make this dream reality!

2. If you live in Kumasi and do not have copies of books by Nana Awere Damoah and Kofi Akpabli yet, I would totally love it if you find me and purchase copies. You can get these books for yourself or get it as a present for others. It’s cool to give out books by Ghanaian authors as presents. They both have stores on Storefoundry and here is the link to Mr. Akpabli’s and this is Nana Damoah’s. Storefoundry delivers world wide so you can get books from them for people you love almost any where in this world.

3. Books
a. Chuma Nwokolo – The Ghost of Sani Abacha, Diaries of a dead African. You can email my friend, Amma (pencilliner@gmail.com) and ask her if she still has copies or has any idea how you can get copies.

b. Chimamanda Adichie – Americanah

c. Khaled Hosseini – And the mountains echoed

d. Pretty notebooks

4. An e-book reading device. Either a kindle or kobo.

5. Either a Chuck Taylor High Tops with print or one of those pretty sandals from TwoCedi.

6. A phone smarter than the one I am currently using.

7. And finally, cake in a jar from Nii’s Gourmet Factory. I have the tendency to lose respect for people after eating cake in a jar but I probably might not so be nice, get me some.

See, it’s not a tall list.

PS. If you want to get me something off this list, you can just send me a message and then I will give you the address to where I live/stay. If you want to surprise me, you can just send it to my friend Gerald at the Beam office in the Meltwater Incubator or to Rashad, Kelvin or Kofi at the Meqasa office also in the Meltwater Incubator.

I love you all very much and I just can’t wait to send out “Thank you” notes!

Y’all be safe. Let’s see 2016 together.

Posted in Uncategorized

100 THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY!

A challenge in Julia Cameron’s book, The right to write challenges readers to write 100 things that makes them happy in 30 minutes. After reading Nicole Baute’s list, Ama Ohene-Agyei’s list and also Nana Ama A-Asante’s list, I decided to give it a shot. I read Selenu’s list a few days ago. Here is my friend, Ben’s list.

I must let you all know that I failed woefully at making this list in 30 minutes. I began on 22nd October at about 2:16pm and finished about 5 days later. It’s okay you can judge me. I am however glad that I have been able to make this list. All of the things in my list either make me laugh out loud, put a smile on my face or simply warm my heart. I am tempted to write about how writing it made me…. nah. Below is my list in no particular order.

1. Sunshine
2. Beautiful smiles
3. Pineapple juice
4. When random people smile at me
5. Flat shoes
6. Beautiful and happy babies
7. Fried yam (Hi Yamocrats)
8. Hot meals
9. Spicy food
10. Jonathan McReynolds’ I Cannot Tell It All

11. Books

12. Pretty notebooks
13. Fancy stationery
14. Word games
15. Clouds
16. Chocolate
17. Pastries. Amma K’s pastries
18. Helping people
19. Smilies
20. Pretty handwriting
21. Traveling
22. Oreo
23. Art
24. The sound of a xylophone
25. Acapella
26. Multi-coloured stuff – Scarves, Socks
27. Capturing moments and things
28. Pretty book covers
29. Hot bread
30. Sharing meals
31. CAKE
32. When I am happy
33. Hand-made presents
34. Hand-written letters/notes
35. Hanging out with Ewurama
36. Gari + Sugar + Milk + Groundnuts + Chilled water on a hot afternoon
37. Watching South paws do stuff
38. Meeting ambidextrous people- even if they forced ambidexterity.
39. Hearing poetry and music in dialects – Akuapem, Fante, Yoruba
40. The smell of the earth after it rains
41. When I meet males with afros
42. Meeting people
43. Playing “What do you see?” with Eldad, Selorm or Blandine
44. When I fulfill promises
45. Rugs
46. Solitude
47. Lemon + Ginger + Honey tea
48. Grandma, Aunt Khande or Aunt Hafisa’s TZ
49. Great listeners
50. People who understand
51. Sneakers
52. When I find jeans that fit
53. Janettikz’ I will wait for you  and I waited for you

54. SASA’s God you are good o
55. Watching people dance; especially Nigerians
56. Cycling
57. Kelewele
58. Ice-cream
59. Coca cola
60. Chuma Nwokolo’s Diaries of a dead African
61. Sarah Kay’s when I have a daughter
62. Sky full of stars
63. Sea shell hunts at sea shores
64. Combination padlocks
65. Go-getters
66. Reading
67. Bus rides on the Aburi road
68. T-shirts
69. When I’m able to say NO when I need to
70. Nice vendors
71. Clean public bathrooms
72. Finishing tasks
73. Passing on information
74. Knowledgeable people
75. Polite and careful trotro mates
76. Random acts of kindness
77. Foot rubs (Hello T!)
78. Hugs
79. Black nail polish
80. Uninterrupted sleep
81. The smell of coffee
82. Silence in exam halls
83. Cassava fish
84. Water
85. Super 2 (I promise, I am not cheating on Oreo)
86. Brown bags, purses
87. Holding hands
88. Water guns
89. Well lit streets
90. Green spaces
91. Jumpers and blankets
92. Butterflies
93. Coconut juice
94. SASA
95. Friends
96. Love. Love stories.
97. The smell of my Shea butter + Coconut oil + Neem oil cream
98. Peace of mind
99. When my mum is happy
100. Yaa Amponsah