Little Matters 2

You probably should read the first part of Little Matters (again) before you go down this road. Enjoy!

“Please give me Kelewele and groundnut worth 5 Cedis, add gizzard 5 Cedis. I want another set of the same thing, next please give me Kelewele 7 Cedis and gizzard three Cedis, I do not want any groundnut. Then I want 6 cedis…”

Enam rubbed her left feet up her right leg in a lazy attempt to ward off mosquitoes, she mumbled insults at the girl in front of the queue who seemed to want to buy all of Okele’s Kelewele. Overripe plantain drenched in oil is definitely not a healthy meal for someone who claimed to be watching her weight, but no one on the entire GIJ campus could resist Okele and Enam wasn’t going to be the first. When she first came to the Green Leaf hostel, Keith introduced her to it, she remembers when she first saw Okele’s makeshift kiosk perched on a wide drain at Osu. She was disgusted.

“I cannot believe that any self-respecting journalist in training will ignore all the health implications of buying food situated on an open drain! How then can you in clear conscience write articles about the Ministry of Health and Cholera epidemics when you come here and expose yourself to the risk of getting it yourself?”

“Why must you kill the joy in everything! It is only Kelewele o Madam ah! Besides it is always hot, the germs are already dead!”  and as if to further justify himself Keith added “Look, we’ve been eating from places like this all our lives, and we are still alive. Abeg if you are madam hygiene, the way is your front” Enam left Keith at Okele’s kiosk and vowed never to return.

A month later during a combined class of marketing and advertising, students were tasked to work in groups of four and come with a marketing strategy for any product of their choice at the Akwaaba week celebrations. They were to come up with a Marketing strategy and an advertising plan for the product and raise an amount of One thousand cedis in profit.

Enam knew at once what project to work on. She would market Okele’s Kelewele and fried gizzard. Students already liked it and it would look great when it was nicely branded. She asked Keith, Geena to be her team members. Keith, only because he was a loyal customer of Okele so he would be able to convince her to participate in their plan easily, Percy because he was great with design and would be in charge of creating the branding for the packages and flyers, and Geena because she could convince the residents of hell to buy heaters! She had the perfect group formed in her mind.

And she was right. On the day of the assignment, their kelewele project was the buzz of GIJ’s tiny campus. They sold the kelewele with gizzard, pork, sausage or chicken accompaniments. The students flogged their stand so much that even though Enam was in charge of coordinating sales, she had to assist Okele in frying the food. Percy was right to have suggested the second burner and set of utensils for frying incase of increased demand, she thought, pouring in a new batch of kelewele into the oil on the second burner. The oil was too hot and rewarded Enam with a splash on her wrist for her troubles.

“sista oh, sorry oo” said Okele in the most unsympathetic tone conceivable. “Kitchen no be your strong point”

Enam just ignored Okele examining her wrist. “I will be right back.” she said and walked towards the school cafeteria.

“Excuse me, I’m Judah, I work with GOtel”

“Hi Judah, your T-Shirt and name card disguise that very well.” Enam smiled, sizing up the man in front of her. She had seen him walking after her and decided to pick her pace but he caught up anyway. Taller than most men she’d seen on campus she had spotted him earlier when the team from GOtel were setting up their stands at the event grounds. Quite Handsome too.  She thought running a quick head – to – toe glance. He was very dark and had one of those low clean haircuts she’d heard the guys in class describe as fade, only his didn’t come with the ridiculous lines that usually characterized such looks. He had small eyes hidden behind the dark red horn rimmed frames of his glasses.

Enam “you guys are sponsoring the Akwaaba week.” She said

“Yes-” Judah started

“- and getting everyone to buy a GOtel chip. Well you don’t need to worry much, I am already on GOtel.”

“That’s great, but I actually just wanted to be sure you’re fine”

“I’m sorry? -”

“I saw the oil splash on your wrist”

“Oh, it’s nothing,” impulsively running her right hand over her left wrist. “I will get something for it after I get a drink at the cafeteria.”

Ok, can I walk with you?

“To the cafeteria?” Enam quizzed trying to determine whether the fine gentleman was just being nice or trying to hit on her.

“Well, yeah.” He replied. “It’s a hot day, I could use a cold bottle of coke too”

“You need to get that checked” Judah’s deep baritone voice reiterated as he doubled his pace to keep up with her

“You mean like go to the hospital?” Enam said, surprised at the insinuation “it’s just a slight burn I will be fine.” She said dismissively.

“Ok, but at least put some ice or Vaseline on it”

“Don’t worry about it Mr. Barimah” Enam replied and then, almost immediately, as though struck by something funny, broke off into loud uncontrollable laughter.

Judah was puzzled.

“Did I miss something”

“hahaha no … but…” Enam said between fits of laughter “your surname means man, right?”

Judah shrugged and nodded “I guess. Why?”

“that’s what’s funny,” Enam said laughing again “So each time I say Mr. Barimah, I am actually saying ‘Mr. Man’”

“Oh but that’s not funny.” Judah said amused that something so insignificant could throw her into such a long fit of laughter.

“It is to me, Mr. Man.” Enam said bursting into laughter again.

“You know besides the facts that we are sponsors, and are trying to get students to sign on to GOtel,” Judah cut in, “we’re also looking for interns for a new campaign.” His phone beeped, he quickly pulled it out, took a glance and put back into his pocket. “I think you should send us your CV if you’re interested.” He said handing her a complimentary card.

“Sorry, I have to go now. It’s been a pleasure meeting you Miss- I- just-realised- I- don’t- know- your-name- yet”

“Enam. Enam   XeXemeku”

“Pleasure Miss”

“Same here.” Replied Enam but Judah was already walking off. Enam examined the card. Judah Twum Barimah. Chief Commercial Officer.

“Enaaam, Enaaami!”

“Hmm” Enam responded to Okele’s impatient voice, clearly jostled out of her trip to the past.

“How much you wan buy?” Okele asked although she was already dishing out in a takeaway pack for Enam.

“Okele you know dada.”


“When is the wedding?”

Enam pretended she had not heard Percy’s question. She wasn’t interested in visiting that part of her life right now. She was in Percy’s room at The Vine Hostel.  It was the Trassacco of hostels, one student per room, with an air conditioner, microwave, fridge, and TV.

She was laying on her back on his bed, a book in hand, earphones in ear and legs raised up against the wall. Percy knew she was ignoring him. Sometimes the actions of this small Ewe woman amused him.

“Young lady, you know you’re going to have to answer my question eventually right?” Percy queried.

“Mmm” Enam mumbled in response.

She didn’t want to talk about it, but he was tired of being an escape from her troubles with that man who wanted to marry her. He wanted something permanent or at least with the potential to be permanent. He wanted to talk about the future; he wanted to know if he should work immediately after school to save money for their wedding or take up his parent’s offer of sponsoring his masters in Development Communication.

“What does that mean?” Percy asked again, not willing to back down. “Could you please stop what you are doing so we talk? I do not feel you’re listening to me”

Enam put the book down, sat up on the bed and looked in the direction of Percy. “I am listening to you. I just do not want to think about him right now, in this moment am choosing you.” She said then picked up the book again.

“That’s where you get it wrong E. What happens in the next moment when he calls or shows up at your hostel? Besides, I am not yours to choose. If anything at all, I do the choosing, I do the pursuing.”  Percy said, firmly and yet calmly.

“You know what–” Enam interrupted.

“Hold on I am not done”, Percy said holding up his right hand in a gesture meant to stop Enam. “I don’t appreciate being an option, I mean know you are in a fix right now but I cannot put my life on hold so you make a decision to marry this man or not. I do not believe in this romantic nonsense! It is frankly immature. This is not some winding telenovela or unrealistic Ghanaian movie. You need to make up your mind. Please, do so quickly.” Then he got up from the desk and headed to the fridge for a drink.

Enam watched his Adam apple bob up and down his throat as he drank from the Bel Aqua bottle. When he put the empty bottle in the dustbin she said “He wants to have it next year” barely above a whisper.

“I’m sorry, what?” Percy replied, not quite sure he had heard what she said.

“The wedding,” She said coldly “He wants to have it March next year”

“That’s just… nine months away Enam!” he exclaimed “Only nine months!” He said again even louder, as though he had just realized the brevity of the time. “And when were you planning on telling me please?” he asked in feigned politeness, his words clearly buttered with seething anger and exasperation.

“I do not want to do this Percy.” Enam said amidst sobs.

What didn’t she want to do exactly; talk about the issue, marry the other guy, or choose him? Percy was confused, but he looked at Enam’s small body convulsing with sobs and immediately felt terrible for bringing up the conversation. He sat on the bed next to her and scooped her into his arms.

“It’s ok,” he said “Everything will be ok” but His heart betrayed the assurance in his words because he knew every new day in the nine months left would rob him of a little faith in that promise. He must find a way to end whatever this is as quickly as possible.

Broken Ivory- Sending lots of Love to you in Heaven

One year.

Whew!

Time really does fly doesn’t it?

6:52 am last year you were admitted into heaven. I know the concept of time is probably not the same in heaven, but I imagine God keeps track of the admission dates of his angels and throws some kind of party for them, right?

I still miss you a lot, but this is not a another page of lamentation. It is one of thanksgiving. I have moved past the immense sadness I felt around this time last year, I have moved past the guilt that came with being happy without you, I have accepted the reality that we are going to be separated for a long, long time. I am still kind of stuck on occasionally hearing your voice, or imagining your reaction to certain decisions I make. It’s like my conscience has a mother now, but I guess that’s OK.

Thank you Ma, for all the lessons you taught Baaba and I. Thank you for all the years of laughter and selflessness and  love. We are truly grateful, and we hope to make you proud.

This post is also to thank the many angels on earth who have made the past year easier to bear with. We have had so many new mothers, prayer partners, friends and siblings. Yes we lost you, but we found bits of you in each of these people God sent our way and that helped us smile, hope, and have the courage to move on.

This is not a post on my lamentations, or could-have-been’s. This is a post on thankfulness. Thank God for lending you to us for 57 years, and for calling you to be with Him at His own time.

Happy anniversary Ma, We love you!

The Hostel Manager, The Programmer and Me ;)

Tadaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!

So as you may have noticed, I recently acquired a brand new name! Rosa Antoinette ( Kuukua Annang Asante ( here’s the part where I do my happy dance and display all my 32 and couple more teeth lol.) Yes, I got married to a very beautiful person Francis Asante. Anyone who has met this man will understand how easy it was for me to  “fall” for him, and how privileged I am to share life with him . I am still working on finding the words to describe how I feel, God really outdid himself on this one. Maybe I will share that in another post.Right now I just want to share a bit of my joy, and some pictures  with you.

How we met…

Put simply, we were sold the same room at a hostel by a crook of a hostel manager called Pa George ( Shout outs to all the GIJ alumnae who can relate- Anthony Jackson, Jemila, Ini and the rest!). This was in 2010 I think, when I was studying for a Diploma in Communication Studies at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, and he was studying Computer Science at Ashesi University which was then located at Labone.

When it was time for us to move in, my roommate Araba and I were shown a room which was already being occupied by Francis and his roommate Henry! Of course I was angry, but my mother was angrier, you should have seen how she lashed out at the old man. Pa George eventually gave Araba and I a new room ( a better deal actually, thanks to Mama) but I had to meet the guys who “stole” our room and I did meet one of them – The One. We became friends, very good friends,(ok we dated, but you know our parents don’t like hearing tins like that ah)  and well, here we are now!

Lesson: In all things give thanks – even for the Pa Georges of your life! lol

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These young vendors made magic happen for me. I’d totally recommend them to you, check them out 0n instagram!

Photography: The MemoryLane Crew

Kente Dress: Zoya_ 233

Hair: RevUp Salon Gh

MakeUp: Lamisi MakeUp Artistry

Broken Ivory: When Silence is Golden

Since the 14th of February 2016, I have had to learn a lot very quickly. One thing I know I have learnt is patience, and I thank God for that.

Death has a way of of knocking the sense out of people I guess. It is as though people don’t know how to react when they hear such news. Some are just silent (which is fine), some ignore you because they don’t know what to say(which can be fine too), and some offer advise all the time, mostly unsolicited.The advice is usually not bad, until it is, but that’s conversation for later.

There’s a special group of people who have inspired this post. These are those who somehow have little or no emotional intelligence, with manners, and no sense of judgement. I’m sorry I have to be so blatant but sometimes people just over do it charle. The push you to limits you didn’t know existed.

So far some these are some of  my favorite worst interactions.

Person one:  This person sent a text message in the middle of the night.
You do not behave like someone whose mother has died kraa.

Umm how am I supposed to behave? No one forwarded me the memo on socially acceptable mourning behavior. I missed out on that. So pardon me if I don’t “act” that way. It does not mean that I  hurt any less.

Person two:  this person just babbled on really. I’m still not sure if she was trying to console me or herself.  “Hmm death is a very sad thing o… When my daughter died I was so worried that she’ll be there (wherever ghosts go) alone. I used to see her in my room all the time until the June 3rd disaster when some kids in our neighborhood also died. After that I saw her in a dream once and this time she was with someone who she called her friend. In some way I’m thankful for the flood at least (name) now has some people to keep her company over there.”

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Yeah I had the same reaction. Really?!!! You’re telling me that a disaster that claimed the lives of over a hundred people. was a blessing to you because they are going to keep your dead daughter company??? Who do you think God is?
Some of these are just laughable charle.  Some people have spaghetti for brain tissue. Only God knows what’s in the heads of some people.

Person three: This person just assumed that my “situation” gave him permission to judge my life, and the right to tell me in front of a crowd! (Ok not a crowd, but about 10 people) Anyway so he said “You, since your mother died you are all over the place! She would have checked on you”

Ok so first of all you mean “check you” as in “discipline you” what in God’s name do you mean by “check on you”
Second, and most importantly, who appointed you my guardian? What makes you think your opinion about how I live my life matters to me?

Person four: I’m just going to leave this to your judgement.
Hey I heard your mother died. Accept my condolences.
Me: Thank you
X: so what happened? Is it that you didn’t pray hard enough?

Like I said, I am not going to comment on this one.

And oh my sister’s favorite, she said someone said to her “Hey I heard your mum or something died”

Something? Yeah my dog, no I actually love dogs, my cat- no those are too cute too fowl, mango tree, phone or laptop battery died.
Those are things, they don’t make your world stop or rip your heart into shreds or or all of that and more! I’m going to try not to be dramatic but seriously people, seriously!

To such people I never say what’s actually on my mind because I’m too polite😇 (my mum thought me that, hah!) Anyway my point is until you’ve experienced it, you really don’t know how the person feels, you cant imagine it. Stop telling people to stop crying, it might actually be the what they need to do the most (as was my case). And when you don’t know what to say just pray for them. Pray, silently. Whatever you do, don’t let the devil use your tongue. I think I have to stop writing here. Ok I think I’ve made my point.

Tribute

I’m running out of time… I still can’t find the words to write you a tribute because it requires that I allow myself to feel.

My walls of denial, built in defence, are quickly crumbling under the weight of this reality. 

Still, I hold on to the faint hope that you will show up at the door this evening. Or tomorrow.

#StartingToFeelReal #PleaseComeBack
#Late post

Today you were here

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Today a lady joined me on the bus. She smelled just like you, that soft blend of gardenia and rose with a touch of lily that preceded you everyday. Not the typical scents of a man, true, perhaps that’s what drew me to you. Your masculine features and yet ever so feminine touch.

I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply, I could almost see you; those beady eyes, that contagious smile, I miss your gracefulness,  you were indeed the perfect gentleman.

When she got off the bus, her scent- your scent- lingered on a few moments. I thought I felt you squeeze my hand. A sudden warmth rushed over me that brought tears to my eyes. I saw myself once again in your arms, I heard you whisper in my ear. It was just for a few moments but it matters little because today you were here, you were near, close to the touch.

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