Female Role Models: Joyce Ati’isetue Aziabah

Joyce Ati’isetue Aziabah popularly known as Jay is a 29 year old corporate executive and a budding entrepreneur. She is the founder and co-founder of Batakari and Notti Shito respectively. She is a native of Kandiga, a village in the Kasena/Nankana West District of the Upper East region.

Jay, the last of five children, is passionate about social responsibility and believes our conscious communal efforts in getting things done the right way will make the world a better place – thus every human being is a collective catalyst of positive change.

As a style enthusiast, her self created favorite style quote is ….
“A fusion of mood and attitude tuned into garments is style”.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies from the University of cape Coast and a post graduate degree in Human Resource Management from GIMPA.

Jay is a believer of The Word of God and a Catholic. Her mother is her “push button” and she derives inspiration from happenings around her on a regularly basis.

She likes to eat fufu on weekdays and TZ on weekends.

She is also inspired by the quote “BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE AND EXPERIENCE.” Jay is a role model.

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 17

Fowls roamed freely in homes and outside sometimes daring to share meals with humans, always threatened and flew to throw revenge dust into people’s eyes. They defecated at odd places to give humans some work. As people prepared places for their roosting, water to quench their thirst, they killed some to prepare delicious soups or stews when need be. Goats fought their owners and their neighbours to pay them back for the fragrant soups they murder their mothers and fathers for, knowing they stand chances of falling into same fate, yet Apemso laid as it were. People died day in and out, were bathed and prepared for burial, placed on bamaso overnight and sent off into the ground. Others were born and welcomed to stay with the help of dawn, nsa din and water. Forget about the few children seers asked to be sent to the evil forest for either a possession or a fault unseen by ordinary eyes, life was playing itself in normalcy in Apemso. Ohene Asaa heard cases ranging from theft, abuse, gossips, curses, murder, to list but few. Ohemaa Abrampah went about her business normally, all royals and those associated with them doing their best to paint a perfect picture of the palace. Within, nothing seemed right. Nyamekye’s relationship with her parents was bad. She avoided them like plagues, avoided Kumnipa, Boadu and Ama and kept mostly to herself. She could vanish from the palace for days, getting the first couple worried.
Ohemaa Abrampah could not help it. She called Boadu in front of her husband. “If a precious gift is given to you, you surely must let it shine. How irresponsible are you to let your wife’s depression get to this level? Did we give our only daughter to you in privacy to make her avoid us in the plain sight of our people? What makes you so powerful as to put royals as powerful as us on our toes for all the bad reasons? Speak up or face our fury!
Boadu shivered as he knelt and burst out crying like a baby in front of them. “Ohemaa, forgive me, but her depression does not stem from the loss of our child. There is nothing I haven’t done to let the princess look at me as she used to but all have failed. Sadly, her heart left me even before our baby, our baby, our poor baby was born dead. I live under a roof with her but hardly see her. From what I know, she is avoiding everyone because of the love she has developed for Daakyehene Kumnipa.”
Mother and father screamed at once. They were so petrified at the thought that even Boadu was startled out of his misery.
I beg your royal pardon but after thinking about it very well, I realized I needed to let you know the truth to find ways of injecting happiness into the heart of the princess. That is how selfless my love for her is.”
He was immediately dismissed. Ohemaa and Ohene kept looking at each other’s faces not knowing what to do. “This may be a blessing Nana. Let’s immediately banish or eliminate Ama and get Kumnipa together with our precious daughter.”
Ohene Asaa for the first time raised his voice at her. “How can you suggest this cruel method of dealing with a situation like this? You are a mother too, how can you suggest we kill a child who has been nothing short of a daughter to us? A warrior who is the first female to brave the odds and lead men to war? How can you call yourself a mother?”
It is because I am a mother that I think the way I do. Motherhood is just like ownership. No matter how bad you feel towards another at her loss, you find ways of protecting yours under your wings no matter how cruel it would be. Why do you think some mothers give their lives for their children? Yours is yours. Do you want us to sit and watch our only daughter die?”
Ohene Asaa left her presence in anger.
Ama felt strange. She didn’t know how it felt like to be sick but she felt unwell. Kumnipa brought her to his chambers and cared for her all through. He called the royal doctors to have a look at her. The royal doctor became afraid after seeing Ama in his bed (a leak could kill him either ways. The king would have him killed if it was later revealed he knew and didn’t tell, Kumnipa could also have him silenced if word got out there about it) but took care of her without complaints praying to the gods of the land to keep him safe. She was far advanced in pregnancy. Only three moons to go. Kumnipa was happy and jumped up and down to the surprise of all, shouting “I am going to be a father! I am going to be a father!” By the time Ama could seal his mouth with her hands, almost all his guards had heard and had gathered, kneeling in congratulations. He ordered them to keep it a secret.
Ama dressed like the warrior she was, concealing her belly in an all round cloak. She went to greet the king and realized he had bloodshot eyes, wanted to console him but didn’t know how. She left only to bump into Ohemaa Abrampah at the hallway. Ohemaa refused to respond to her greetings and asked her to stay away from her husband, the king. Ama was so hurt that tears began to trickle down her face. Kumnipa, who was entering saw them, rushed to check if Ama felt sick only to hear Ohemaa Abrampah “The earlier you do away with her, the better for all of us. You are Daakyehene of this great land, play time should be over soon.” Kumnipa was so shocked and confused to speak. He just hugged Ama, and begged her not to listen. He took Ama to sleep in his bed, asked his strongest guards to be with her when she finally slept and took a stroll that evening.
Even the beautiful fireflies having a convention in the strong grass, could do nothing to improve his mood. Seeing Ama sad felt like an arrow in his chest, watching her cry felt so unreal. And hearing what his mother in law said moulded goosebumps on his black skin. He sat on a log close to the market square as his guards followed from far. A drunkard sat beside him, he signaled his guards to let him be. “I have seen it all, from spirits walking in the night to royals acting like stray dogs. What ails the prince of this great land to have him sit here like a lost drunkard?”
Kissi, I watched my woman cry today and I feel very sad. I didn’t think she could cry, well I know women cry but I thought she was a different kind of woman.”
Kissi the drunk laughed out loud. “Daakyehene you are still young and foolish, no, inexperienced, hehe. Women cry for different reasons. A woman can cry even for the foolishness of her opponents, they can be rivals or husbands, in laws or friends. A woman’s tears has many interpretations. If you like take a closer look. She cries when happy, cries when sad, cries when anxious, and even cries seeing some others cry. No matter what, a woman’s strength is not measured by her tears. You do that at your own risk. Give me some cowries or gold coins to buy some drinks. I have impacted knowledge on you.” Kumnipa gave him what he requested for and he left. He then thought of what Ohemaa Abrampah said. On what basis did she say that? Was it connected to Boadu’s sadness on the day he lost his child? Boadu must definitely know something. Kumnipa stood and resolved to see Boadu to alleviate his fears.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia ©Sept. 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN PARTING: Honouring Atukwei Okai

Clouds hang, umbrelling the earth
To lure the perfect air to lead
To lead your gentle soul to rest
The sun partnered in the sky
In shining dryness, to warm
To warm your beautiful spirit to leave
To leave this venue in happiness
Words form in the sky of minds
In appellations to honour
To honour your immortal talent in thanks
In thanks to your charming muse
Which blessed in wits
Wits which shook hearts, corrected ills
And antagonized change haters
On this day, this day Logoligi Rhythms milk our sadness and
Force many more angels of greatness to guard your steps
Uncle Atukwei, walk in shoes of pride!

II
As you journey to sleep leaving many to weep
Many more will keep your words so deep in their hearts
Long after your clay dusts the earth
Many many many more in generations to come will know you
Even before the ingredients of their favourite meals
In their loving mothers pots which lick fires to greet their mornings
Are made known to them
Aren’t you in lullabies through to dirges?
Oblivion has nothing on you!
Dissatisfaction is sand under your discarded chalewote!
From Ayi to Zuweira, Attaa to Zaara
All eyes see your flag flying like a kite in the embracing sky
Your rainbow of wealth left to us
Paints pictures of the fallen palm tree
Who will forever serve till eternity
Uncle Kwei Da yie!
Yaa wɔ ojogbaan
Rest is the most perfect of peace
Till time merges us to join in the pot of history
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Sept. 14, 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

THE GREAT OVERSEER

At all times, in all places
God is aboard my ship
Through all challenges, in all pain
A rock oversees my dock
A storm can overthrow my form
A rain can drain all my strength to strain
Many a mile can feed me bile much like River Nile
But at the bend to the end
He will drain all stains, and clear the bane
Oh God is on board
A fortress and a trustworthy mattress overseeing all deadly falls
Fears can pile all tears
Hurts can bet to play pet around my net
Hate can hammer my fate’s pate to create a bait
But this Doctor knows all doctored
And will all fractures manufacture
So I sail through these tormenting trails no matter how frail
Because my God is really on board my ship
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 13, 2018

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 16

Nyamekye felt strange looking at the lively Kumnipa and happy Ama by her bedside. Boadu sadly looked on not knowing what to do. Nyamekye intentionally closed her eyes and feigned sleep, they had no option, they had to leave. Boadu could not hold it any longer.
Nyamekye, I know you’re not sleeping. Tell me what is going on. Are you now in love with Daakyehene Kumnipa?” She opened her eyes and looked at him surprised she had been caught. “I am your husband, secretly, but still your husband. I am the one who knows you even from within. You think I wouldn’t notice? From lighting up to sadness when he comes and leaves to acting funny when Ama comes with him. Listen, I know your parents do everything you ask of them but this is not right. You set the parameters. You chose me and forced Ama on Kumnipa. Imagine tearing into pieces three hearts to fix back the tantrums of one. Are you more human than us? If it is royalty, know Kumnipa too is a royal, if it is talent, know Ama is more talented than you. If you see me as no human being, I respect that, because I gave you grounds to shift your love from me but my half is breathing in you right now. Please don’t do this. Try, try looking at me. Haven’t I changed? Please give me another chance and let us fix this.”
Nyamekye broke down and cried.
Boadu, do you think I love feeling this way? Can’t you see the effort I am making in not being caught with my true feelings on the seams of my clothes? Can’t you see I hate myself for the feelings that drive my being? Can’t you see I am tearing apart? I am not a spoilt brat to let it out and destroy another couple. I am not an unfilial daughter to disappoint my parents who went to lengths to fix what my heart desired. Believe me, I will never tell them anything but do not push me in feelings I have no control over, do not taunt me and leave me be. Don’t push yourself on me. Can’t you see your presence repulses me?
Boadu, with eyes full of tears, for the first time knelt and bowed to Nyamekye in chambers. He cried out loud and left her presence. He asked her best maiden to always be by her side and resolved to sleep in the hall. He too had his ego to protect, for what has a pauper if you take away his ego?
The Ekom Festival was underway. For a week, the people of Apemso rejoiced in their ability to beat hunger since days their ancestors suffered near death at the hands of famine. They pounded lots of fufu with cassava and plantain, prepared soup with bush meat, different fishes and goat meat with chicken or duck meat. It was always a marvellous week. The palace overflowed with food during the Ekom Festival. Volunteers went there to help in the preparation of food and every person from Apemso was entitled to their privilege to go and eat there. The herbal doctors rushed to Nyamekye’s chambers. She was in labour and it wasn’t an ordinary labour as she was bleeding profusely. The king got the message at the main durbar, spoke quickly about the need for togetherness, communal labour and abstaining from taboos. He felt sad mentioning the last one and refrained from throwing more light on it. He asked permission from his elders and together with his queen, left to wait with Boadu, Nyamekye and Ama at Nyamekye’s hall. Boadu was more anxious than everyone there. Ohemaa Abrampah showed signs of dislike for Ama, and everyone there noticed. She refused to bless her after greetings, refused to join in when her husband made conversations with her and refused to look at her. Kumnipa felt sad but just looked at Ama, pleading with his eyes for her peace of mind.
The doctors finally finished their work, came out, knelt before the king and announced the death of the baby boy even before it landed on earth. Luckily, Nyamekye was fine and responding to 1treatment. Boadu sunk to the ground wailing. Everyone tried to make him stop. “Don’t you know it is a taboo to cry when you lose your first born? People without proper upbringing will never know this.” Ohemaa Abrampah wailed. Everyone turned to look at her. “I am not in tears because of the death but because of how the princess will suffer at the loss”. Everyone bowed and took their eyes off her. Ohene Asaa just simply consoled her, they went to look at the sleeping princess and left. Ohene Asaa watched as people worked hard at cooking. “No fufu will be pounded today. Who eats their delicacies when death visits their home?” That said, he left the people in sadness as he led his wife, following his entourage to their chambers. The people didn’t know whether to cry or not, they didn’t know if Nyamekye was dead or her child. Many sent messages out that the princess was dead until the announcers announced the death of the first child of the royal successors.
Boadu could not be consoled. He knew the death of his child would definitely shake his stay in the palace. Since he had lost the love of Nyamekye, it would mean he’d have to live on needles until the end. He was full of fear in tears. “Daakyehene, who patronizes the grounds on which a potable river once stood for water? Who recognizes the importance of a huge stump of a once shading big tree in the hot sun? What does a broken bowl do after serving royals and thrown on the rubbish heap? God must be a royal! God must definitely favour royals.
Ama left them as she tried to think through her fault with the queen, the meaning of Boadu’s similar proverbs in succession. She felt odd too because she remembered the distance in Nyamekye’s relation to her. Something was not right, something, was definitely not right.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

A LIE

A lie is “ei go and die!” on ordinary tongues
But turns a pie on extraordinary tongues
Boos, jeers and anger for the former
Laughs, claps and cheers for the latter
Smell it, the stinking rot in polished seats!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 9, 2018

BARK TO BRIGHTEN

When poverty chains you in life
And calls on need to put you in strife
Even in the chains do continue to bark
Look and see even in the blinding dark

II
When whips plant on you some aching sores
Which cease and freeze your airy pores
Never kneel to your chasing flies
Never sing your failure’s cries

III
There sure will come a day you’ll hunt
And given a time to pull your stunt
So do rehearse even in your chains
To shock your master out of his sanes

IV
You’ll dance even in their trance
As your hard work will you enhance
So never think yourself a dog for life
Just try your all in all your strife
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 7, 2018

THE TREE OF HOPELESSNESS

We have reached the tree of hopelessness
On whose biggest stool branches sit foolishness
Who order for your beautified abode
After their worked thoughts rode
In gains of power
And a presence many will cower
Odomankomah gye wo man!

II
We are wearing clothes of indiscernible thoughts
Our minds with manipulations bought
Advertisements of a heavenly earth
Demonizing even struggles of dying breaths
Miracles on hard work
Loving of high jerks
Otwereduampong gye wo man!

III
Have you seen the magnified Jesuses in limousines?
Seen self gratification in grand scenes?
Have you seen the clothes of magazines
Against your hungry stomachs with no luck in beans?
Oh the suffocation for their little means
Against the tightest apathy of your peoples jeans?
Okasapreko gye wo man!

IV
You see the blowing lollipops hiding in working podiums
You know the dying paupers sipping their poisonous sodiums
You know the stinking rot covered by your worshipped fame
Don’t you love your name enough to name and shame?
Okatakyie gye wo man!

V
We need no umbrella with gully holes in this insane though rain!
We need no hope plane with an obvious crash on these plains
We need a map from which generations can tap
Not chaos that will our generations trap
Awura mu Owura gye wo man!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 9, 2018

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 15

The Apemso warriors settled close to the Ahanta Kingdom. The seer poured libation, fortified them from harm, appeased the gods and gave them his blessings to pass through the evil forest. Many of the warriors were afraid. There were sounds of different birds but that of hooting owls compounded their fear because of the superstitious belief that they are connected to doom. Some were afraid of fearful carnivorous animals coming from no where to pounce on them. As for snakes, they were fortified against their venom so feared not. Ama just walked as though she was walking in the palace. All the warriors, except Kwabena Okore, looked at her to see if there was any sign of fear whenever there was a strange sound, but she showed none. In the second week of their journey, deep into the evil forest where trees could look like monstrous animals and thorns showed themselves in different shades, she knelt abruptly and held something. It was a cobra. She held its neck and tail and suffocated it to death, even her brother was shocked. After that, it looked like all the warriors became her disciples.

Nyamekye was asked to rest after the six hour collapsed scare. She was not to get out of bed talk less of doing something. She was to even be cleaned in her bed. Kumnipa touched her hands to wish her strength. Surprisingly, she had goosebumps all over her body. He told Boadu to let the doctors know she was feeling cold and left. Nyamekye closed her eyes when Kumnipa left. No matter what her man did, she refused to open them. A thought dawned on Boadu.

Once they settled in Ahanta, in their evil forest, they planned their attack. Direct attack could mean innocent people would die. Drawing out the warriors in a fair warning could be disastrous. They thought around the situation for days with no ready answer. Then one of the warriors, Osai, looked at Ama. “Let’s dress Ama as a maiden to lure the prince here. Then we’d seize him, call the bluff of the king and attack the palace when he least expects.” Opoo who was second in command disagreed saying Ama was too much of a tomboy to pull that off. Instead, they should attack the palace in the brink of the night. They sent spies to check the security power of the palace. They sent ears to know where the crown prince loved to be in the evening and when the king enjoyed his palm wine most. They sent hands to dig the ground into the palace, burying gun powder without being noticed. The latter proved difficult and extended their stay. Nonetheless it was done.
They attacked the palace exactly two moons after they had settled. They were able to kill half of their opposing guarding warriors before their presence was noticed. Many warriors came to the scene and it turned into a battlefield. Opoo whistled to let the ear on wait know they were in danger as the few warriors of Apemso who went on the mission fought. Ama was part. They fought with their swords and were overpowered by the many Ahanta warriors. Surrounded, Ama signalled her people to close their eyes. She wore a body tight leather with a long cotton cloth behind like a cloak. Some of her colleagues wanted to know why but the few got to know why on that spot. She jumped, pulled out the cloak and used it to sweep the dust off the ground. It was a lot of dust as it had not rained since they settled in. Before the opposing warriors could work on the dust in their eyes, she had killed more than seventy of them and wounded more than fifty. Opoo and the others also cleared more than hundred of them. They lost a warrior in the confusion but were not deterred. At that point, the few left retreated into the palace. Ama told them not to enter as it would give them the advantage because they knew better all the corners in their palace. She asked for a retreat outside the building, made fire with stones after locating the gun powder they had buried into the palace and lighted it. It travelled straight into the palace and blasted, scaring all within to rush out. All the warriors who came out were killed because all the warriors of Apemso had joined them. Those who had dignity fought to their death. The king, crown prince, queen and all the princesses were captured alive, tied and sent to Apemso, by the smooth road.
The warriors composed a chanting poem for Ama:
There are warriors and there are warriors
Ama is the king of all the warriors
A woman with the heart of a lioness
In her hands we are all safe
Apemso!!! We have the best so we can always rest
Ama wanted them to stop but her brother told her to allow as that was their way of life. Kwabena Boadu pleaded with Opoo to chant in honour of the King when they got to the palace. He didn’t want his sister to be misunderstood by the king. They chanted and chanted until they reached Apemso. Many of the people of Apemso came out wearing white clothing in celebration of the victory.
Kumnipa was in his wooden bathing bowl when he heard they had come. He picked his cloth and went out without as much as towelling himself. Seeing as Ama was on the shoulders of many warriors being hailed, his first reaction was jealousy. Boadu noticed the tears in Nyamekye’s eyes after hearing Ama and the warriors were in. She felt all sorts of emotions. On one hand, she didn’t wish for the death of her bosom friend and sister from another mother, on another, she wished she had cleared any impediment between Kumnipa and herself including Boadu. She felt inhuman. Boadu rushed and stood by the warriors. He saw the anger in Kumnipa’s eyes and rushed to restrain him from embarrassing himself further as the water dripping from his body was enough. The warriors went to the King’s palace and called on him with their conquests. The king was happy, called the head seer to come and bless them, told them of the feast he’d put together in their honour and dispatched them after imprisoning the fresh slaves.
Kumnipa went to his chambers and waited. He waited and waited but there was no sign of Ama. He went to her chambers only to be told the king sent for her. He sat on her bed and waited. When she entered and saw him, he was furious. “Who is the most important person to you Ama?” He fumed. Ama just went past him, heard the near croak in his throat and his stiffness and hugged him from behind.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 14

Rains made sure to visit at least twice in a week. The weather was fair, with the sun having a great understanding with rains, causing the air to be what the people of Apemso loved. In a world where war and conquering gave more power than anything else; the conquered bringing food stuffs to the winning palace every season, paying in gold, sharing their game, providing soldiers and slaves when need be, the Ahantas made it clear they’d fight tooth and nails to maintain their freedom. With a vast and fertile land, strong warriors and an ambitious king, their war with Apemso was a must and both kings knew it. The Ahantas had tried ambushing Apemso but failed miserably due to a tip off from Ohene Asaa’s spies planted in their kingdom. It was becoming dangerous, so the king told Kumnipa to help train the warriors to prepare for war.
Kumnipa arranged the training with Kwabena Okore and Ama. At first, some of the warriors protested. “How can we be trained by a mere woman? Why degrade us so?” Kumnipa told them to fight to justify their sentiments. The first warrior could not last thirty seconds before falling under Ama’s sword, the second just lifted his sword and fell out of fear when he felt the tip of her sword by his throat, the rest just agreed to be trained by her. Her brother was super proud of her. Kwabena Okore, who was the head of the warriors, watched as his sister, Ama Adjeibea Okore trained other warriors. She was named “Goddess of the Sword” by all the warriors. Kumnipa could not take his eyes off her, as he sat supervising the training and all the warriors noticed. Over three thousand warriors were trained.
Nyamekye could barely see Kumnipa and Ama. All she heard was, they were spotted here laughing or playing heartily, or they adorably competed on the field of training. She felt sad thinking they were more suited for each other but broke her own heart knowing the feelings growing for the one person she rejected even before he fought for her hand. The secret feelings ate away the fabrics of her peace and made her unhealthy.
Ohemaa Abrampah looked at the fine clothes woven for the birth of her grandchild in happiness. Suddenly, a thought came to her. What if Ama conceived the children of the crown prince? Won’t he find ways of making them compete with Nyamekye’s children for the throne? She rushed to her husband’s chambers and voiced her opinion. Ohene Asaa listened as she suggested medicine to destroy the womb of the Goddess of the Sword. He got angry and forbade her from harming a hair on her head. According to Ohene Asaa, even if she did conceive, everyone would know she was the illegitimate wife of Kumnipa, why will they ever consider children like that? But Ohemaa felt uneasy because Ama had become one revered even more than the king.
Kwabena Okore led the warriors to war and took Ama with him. Kumnipa protested but Ohemaa Abrampah convinced Ohene Asaa to allow it. They were gone for over one moon and Kumnipa missed her so much. He had attempted to sneak to their settlement but was stopped by his special guard given by the queen. Nyamekye lighted up anytime Kumnipa went to visit her but felt sad seeing the far look in his eyes. It did not take long to make her see that only a body visited her without a soul and spirit. She sunk into depression.

Ohene Asaa thought about the report of the royal doctors an concluded it was because she missed her man. He called Boadu’s mother for a confidential meeting.
Madam, I called you here to tell you it is dangerous for a child to play with fire. It is also dangerous for the King’s eyes to notice one’s flaws. It is bad for the earth to compare itself to the sky when its eyes always look up to it for the retention of its living things. One who keeps well the treasure of a superior, stands to gain, vice versa is a death trap. Your son has mistakenly pinched my heart and caused me to see blood in my loving mirror. The only reason he still breathes, is my daughter who loves him endlessly. I will let somebody take you to where he is. Be sure to speak to his senses before I give him that second chance with her. Know that the scrotum of the wise will never suffer, sɛbi sɛbi, a foolish man’s mischievous feet twice. You may leave.”
Auntie Mansa whose head was bowed in shame all through thanked him and apologized for the behaviour of her wayward son and left. She cried till she reached her son’s destination. She refused food. Her bloodshot eyes made Boadu worried.
It is a bad son who will do deeds that would wipe his family off the face of the earth. Who at all bites the fingers that feed him? If one is lucky like you are, he needs to always worship the feet of the gods, be righteous and stay loyal and faithful to the very object of his blessings. Kwabena Boadu, you have disgraced me! As I knelt in front of the king, all I could do was apologize to your dead father in the land of the dead. Of what use is an ego when it can buy no bread? Of what use is a man’s honour, when all it can do is produce slaving children? Haven’t you heard about forefathers sacrificing to make their future generations live comfortably? Isn’t it even an honour for someone like you to be Her Majesty’s guard talk less of her man?”
Mother and son cried, the former in admonishment, the latter in remorse. The spy’s account of the encounter between mother and son satisfied the king. He brought a changed Boadu to the palace.
Nyamekye merely smiled upon seeing him. A tired and weary smile. There was no enthusiasm, no happiness. Kwabena Boadu woke up at dawn, knelt to apologize to her. She did accept the apology but was still distant. Boadu felt it could be because of the discomfort with the pregnancy. He resolved to treat her better in order to gain her love once more. When both men met, Boadu apologized to Kumnipa, who surprisingly held no grudge against him. He rather felt happy that he made him discover his true love. He couldn’t wait for the estimated moon to end to get to meet his heartbeat. Fantasies drove on fantasies as to how he’d welcome her. And the thought of her presence brought him warmth. He went to the shrine each dawn to pray for her safety. On one of such visits, he heard “Odiahenkan! Odiahenkan! Her Majesty has collapsed again!”
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 13

Ohene Asaa sat by his daughter all through the night with the three top herbal doctors praying to the over seventy seven thousand gods and goddesses of the land to save his lifeline. At exactly thirteen minutes after four at dawn, Nyamekye opened her eyes. Everyone heaved a sigh of relief. The doctors checked and confirmed she was stable and left her with her father.
How is my beautiful princess?” She told him she was fine and apologized for causing him to worry. Ohene Asaa took her right hand in his and looked at her face.
Maame, I am sorry for any stress you are going through because of the actions and or inactions of anyone. Only Odomankomah the creator knows what you mean to me. Why didn’t you tell me you were having a hard time with Boadu? They say painful bottled emotions burst brains. Do you want to harm yourself and cause your father to lose his everything?”
“Paapa, I am fine. Boadu and I have no serious problems”.
Don’t I know the seed which comes from the most loving part of my body? If all is well then why didn’t you ask of him when you woke up? Certainly the fear of he causing you more grief is what you dread. Any way, I have sent him to a safe house two villages away. You know Amankrom? If you wan’t me to dispose of him…”
“No paapa, we are talking about my husband here. What kind of disposal are you talking about? We might have our differences but it hasn’t gotten to that yet. Let’s do it this way, let him stay in the safe house for sometime to keep our distance to see if the spark we had from the beginning will be rekindled. I believe a little time apart is all we need.
Ohene Asaa looked at his daughter and sighed in exasperation. Her wishes were his command anyway. He asked her to have some rest. Immediately Ohene Asaa left, Nyamekye asked one of her maidens to go and inform Kumnipa that she was awake and well. For some queer reason, she felt or hoped he’d be worried about her. The maiden came back few minutes later and knelt to tell her he did not sleep in his chambers at all. A worker there claimed that was the very first time it was happening. Nyamekye felt strange and asked her trusted maiden, Efua, to go to Ama’s chambers to inform her and ask if she had seen Kumnipa.
Ama opened her eyes to see she was face to face with Kumnipa whose eyelids were shut but shaking. She mockingly touched his face until he opened his eyes, caught her hands and passionately kissed her. “You know this is the first time you have submitted to me? Allowing me to seize your hand. You’re most beautiful when you let me win.” Ama giggled and mimicked him, feigning anger, he asked her why.
An honourable man is he who seeks fair skills to compete on levelled ground. Not one who needs to climb on another to feel superior”. Kumnipa made to speak, she put her forefinger on his lips. “Dignity comes not by having a woman who kneels and worships at your feet at all times, but having a woman who completes you, runs with you when need be, combats to stabilize and tickle your emotions, a woman whose deeds and talents can honour you. A woman who shakes the very foundations of your care and sacrifices. It is amazing how society makes us building mud, stepped on, watered and used to build easily breakable structures for men to inhabit. Look at how many mock me for daring to be a warrior. I can’t even begin to tell you about the ridiculous things that happened and how my father stood to keep my head on my neck”.
Kumnipa was shocked that a woman could think the way she does. She felt like she had uncovered something society did not know or was failing to acknowledge. Or could it be that Ama is just different from the helping hands he had grown to know? He suddenly felt sad that she had to go through all that. He thought of it seriously. Women too have talents. Talents men’s need for submission sweeps under the dark. He kissed her forehead and started foreplay to continue the loving passions lighted last night. A knock on the door interfered. Ama waited until one of the guards announced Efua’s presence. Ama made to leave the bed but Kumnipa asked that she be brought to the hall to speak by the door. Efua told Ama that the princess was awake and asked if the crown prince was with her. Ama was completely at sea as to what she was talking about but answered okay and sent her back.
Why is Nyamekye sending me a message that she is awake?”
Oh! Should have told you yesterday, she collapsed. Something about exhaustion.” Ama immediately left the bed pushing off Kumnipa in anger. She asked him why he didn’t remember that important matter. She felt guilty at the happiness she felt as her best friend and sister from other parents laid comatosed. She wore her warrior attire and threw his clothes at him to get dressed. They both left for the princess’ chambers.
Nyamekye felt strange seeing them together. Their body language told of happiness blooming between the two. They touched each other while talking, smiled at each other often and completed the sentences of eachother. Kumnipa played with the warrior clothes Ama was wearing. The warrior clothes made out of the skin of animals. He was very attentive to Ama.
Ama realized her discomfort and asked where Boadu was. She told them he had been sent on an errand by the king and intentionally complained of tiredness. Ama and Kumnipa left her to rest as they happily chatted and giggled.
Nyamekye felt oddly sad. She didn’t understand her emotions. She was the one who pestered Ama to make it work with Kumnipa so didn’t know what was happening to her emotions. She knew the close relationship the two had bothered her, as to why, she was yet to ascertain. Cold fear crept into her heart, making her heart beat as though chased by some recklessness on her part.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Sept. 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

ONTO THE NEXT

So I craved a properly shaved
Well chiselled face
To be in my face and check my pace
His fine red lips in loving sips
His hairful hair
In a fine trimmed dare
I thought I had seen the perfect one
Until he got under one bright lit sun
Oh where is the half of this fine man?
I guess in the box of God the fox
So like Ananse in an unsafe flight
I jumped and fled
Onto the next

II
I saw the perfect black skin in a just luck sin
Whose breasts did speak
In muscled peak
His fine fine fingers in finished fins
Oh how would it taste in between those arms?
So like a hare in an air carried hair
I rushed to try to win the heart
His hi got a punch so strong it hurt
A halitosis knock out hurting my nose
Why? Are you Azumah in his knocking prime?
Onto the next, wai unto the next

III
Oh perfect moons do dig out swoons
A fair in wear
And tall I swear!
Oh toffee like lips give perfect tips
The hairy chest is my pillowing quest
A magnetic pull and a loving stool
A tasty kiss and a perfect bliss
The bed did laugh at my horrified look
A chalk in the place of yummy pestle!
Mtcheeeew! Even famished monkeys
Will run like donkeys
When they see this needle on the queer big sack
Where did you drown the rest?
Onto the next, ah unto the next!

IV
Personality and fame and me as a dame
That perfect voice
That sought for choice
I watered my pot just thinking of the spot
A closer look and a sorry book
Fingers of tens and thousands of fans
Serious Traps Dicey surfaced
What if there are worms to rape my health?
What if I am made to take the shelve?
Unto the next, chai unto the next!

V
Unto the next hopped onto the chest
Falling and wrinkling is not the best
Opened arms with closed eyelids wait
Calling for any in decades of four
Bald or bad, poor or sore
Short or sad, sick or maimed
My onto the next now plays me like a ball
On a field I built with my youth’s hard time
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 1, 2018

IN THIS NEST CALLED EARTH

In this nest called earth
Minds differ in colour of thinking
As others sit to pray, plan and stand to tan
Under the tough skies of hard work
Some weave their traps like spiders
To get hold of some hunting flies
Others look for pliers to take out the knots on others barrows
Okukuseku! Nnipa ho yɛ hu sene apataku

II
Why do visions differ?
Legs seeking impact have hands seeking their fall
Eyes watching out for others
Have minds selling them blindness
Hearts rooting for peace
Have heads building chaos in their pumps
Ears listening for progress
Have teeth clattering to disturb
Hands hoping to work have mouths selling them as plagues
Okukuseku! Nnipa ho yɛ hu sene apataku!

III
It’s amazing why the sound of ghosts
From the voice of our own puts our muscles in flight!
Funny how fear of the unknown sets fires of panic in our veins
When the known are its architect!
We yearn to to-to-to and ta-ta-ta
On the burning fires of our hypocrisy
Okukuseku ei! Nnipa ho yɛ hu sene apataku!!!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 1, 2018

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 12

Even the gods are discriminatory. One needs wealth, a good family, extreme talent or fame to be well treated by them. Poverty is definitely the worse plaque a human can have” Boadu stood looking through the window pouring his melancholic words as Nyamekye sat listening. She was broken hearted hearing his words and knowing his stance on the matter. How her own beloved husband wanted the downfall of her father, one who had given him everything he had, his only child, bullied her mind. Boadu had been distant, uncaring, cheeky and annoying with his many sarcastic replies to her attempts at making meaningful conversations with him. She had stopped trying to and had resorted to pleasing his every request. Her maids were beginning to notice and she felt very afraid in her heart. “Was she supposed to try to marry Kumnipa? Was she supposed to renounce her royalty to be with Boadu? Would he have behaved the way he is doing if she had done that?” These and many more questions run through her mind. The scariest thing that slowly crept into her mind was “He started the rumours”. Her heart was shivering and suddenly, she fell, unconscious.
Ohemaa Abrampah was alarmed as she looked at her daughter. She looked pale, stressed and thin. She asked all of them to leave and stripped her down to her nakedness. What greeted her eyes baffled her to no end. She was far advanced in pregnancy. If she was not wrong, she could be in her seventh month already. She put some clothes on her and called on the chief herbalist; a short wrinkled old man with white beard and a humility that disarmed even the most angry. Opanyin Akora went on his knees when he saw how furious the queen was. He neither tried to retort or look at her. He just knelt there as she rained her disappointments, threats and anger on him. He was to appear before the king to answer to the deceit. Meanwhile, no hair on her head was supposed to be harmed. Boadu sat in the hall as the queen left, she didn’t as much as try to look at him.
Kumnipa rushed to Nyamekye’s room, saw Boadu seated in the hall but rushed up only to be told she had not regained consciousness. He just looked at her lying on the bed and realized she was pale and thin. He made to leave but Boadu asked for an audience. At first, he was furious. A mere slave impudently asking for an audience with him? But he thought of Ama and her behaviour if she heard he had fought someone like Boadu and just agreed. He asked his guards to leave them to talk to their shock. Boadu took him to the warrior field and stood watching the palace, his back to the crown Prince. “I want to ask you how you feel? I mean, you are a crown prince and degraded to fathering the children of another man. Doesn’t it hurt your ego? Is there no stone in your catapult?” Kumnipa thought of ways of punishing Boadu for the insult but was afraid to try anything. In the first place, he felt like a stranger in a palace he was to take over, secondly, he didn’t want to deepen the rift between Ama and himself. He thought hard and also noted his father’s shame if he misbehaved with a common slave. He remembered the adage; when there is an opening on an anthill, any animal whose size fits enters. “Was that all you wanted to say or ask? If that is all, then I ask that we end it here because I have a lot on my hands.” He left as Boadu taunted: “Coward! Tuesday Weeder! A maimed human like you! Shameless man!” His tears were flooding in himself. He was suffocating. He headed straight to Ama’s room.
Ohene Asaa was furious! He summoned the chief herbalist and threatened to behead him. All the heads of the herbal section were called and interviewed one after the other. Only three people knew about it. The woman in charge of taking care of the princess, Akoto, Akora himself and the head of the pregnancy unit, Oman. “Otumfuor, in respect and the greatest fear, I dare to say her majesty swore us to secrecy. We tried our best in order not to incur her wrath. You know a woman with child needs to be obeyed for her internal peace. We are only guilty because we are weak in defiance.
Shut up you disrespectful woman! Are you saying we are blaming you on no basis because you are powerless? Do you want me to call the executioners?” Ohemaa Abrampah fumed. Ohene Asaa went to hug his queen right before the three. They all bowed their heads. They needed not be told to leave the hall.
What Akoto said is true but she needs to be punished for being too blunt in front of a queen of your stature. We can’t in any way blame them if Nyamekye actually did order them not to say anything. Why do you think she did it?”
Ohemaa Abrampah thought hard as she fought her tears. “Could it be the stress that useless slave is putting her through?
Ohene Asaa nearly had a heart attack hearing what his queen said. He had thought he’d be the one to worship the ground on which she walked, not one to make her miserable. After all, one who reaches fruits on a tree on the shoulders of others needs to always take care of the shoulders on which he stands, to avoid a deadly fall. Was it worth it? Was that slave worth the heartaches in the palace? He summoned Boadu.
I hear a fly is buzzing at a bee and I am saddened. Places in life are there for a reason. A fortunate tree should always look down its roots before shaking its branches. Boadu, why have you been making my daughter miserable?
Boadu knelt before him shivering. He couldn’t as much as look at him. “So it is true? You are a complete human without a brain. I will be merciful in beheading you and all your family members. For now, you are to leave this palace to a location I will choose until my daughter is well. Woe will fall onto you and your entire family if anything happens to her. Just pray that nothing happens to her. Leave my presence you ingrate!
Boadu scuffled out.
Ama stood and welcomed him. Kumnipa just looked at her. The silence was loud. In their bid to break it, both spoke at once. “I am sorry”. It was too awkward that they both broke out laughing. Ama, wearing a beautiful dress, her hair beautifully plaited could not look at Kumnipa. He found himself wondering if that was his tomboy. She looked feminine, charming and beautifully attractive. “I was going to look for you. I am actually surprised you’re here. Sorry for…” He took her chin with his right hand and forced her eyes to meet his. Ama knew then that he had completely fallen for her. He needed not say anything. The tears that stood in his eyes that looked at her in love, the veins that showed on his skin, the goosebumps that paraded on his skin, melted all her defenses. He put his lips on hers first, then stopped to look at her again. As if by magic, their mouths met, passionate kisses, shedding clothes, exploring bodies, merging as one. Finally, the warrior’s warrior had lost her innocence. She neither regretted nor sulked. She felt complete just as he did and they slept in each other’s arms.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

Female Role Models: Essoyomèwè Adamagnon

Essoyomèwè ADAMAGNON is youth motivator, moral and civic trainer. She has over 4 years of experience in social leadership. She is committed to quality and accessible education in Togo. She volunteered within the past two years in social and community development to help her community out of its societal issues. Essoyomèwè holds a Bachelor Degree in African literature. She is a goal driven individual who is self-motivated and always thinks about finding solutions to societal problems. She is calm but she is a very dynamic and hard working lady. Currently, she is a trainer of middle school civic clubs and motivator in Youth Awake-Togo where she focuses on educating youth on fiscal transparency, civic engagement and citizenship. She is also a volunteer in The Togolese Center of Training and Documentation on Human Rights. She pleads toward institutions for the benefit of civil society, raising society awareness on many issues. She has successfully trained and motivated over 200 students on the area of career development, academic studies, and helped over 20 people make their nationalities. She teaches also on the importance of identity documents and the process of their elaboration. She was awarded in US Embassy-Lome for her dedication and outstanding services in June 2017. The Young African Leaders award for 2017 fiscal education and transparency in Togo. Now, she is looking upon building a library in her community in order to promote accessible education for all and attain quality education in her beloved country Togo and later on in Africa. Esso is a role model worthy of emulation.

JUBILATING SADNESS

Oh you tears

Feeling like streams
Because sadness feeds your source
On this heavy pillow
Think again
Even your feeder tires in abusing

II
A sun will shine
To dry you out
Even rains from skies have their exits
So be not prideful
Your today can be erased by a happiness tomorrow
Your stains can easily be washed even by Azumah Blows
So do all you can
Wobble and paint my eyelids
Swell and bloat my eyes and face
Your time will surely gather dust
On the shelves of my history
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 11

Apemso laid like the regal kingdom it was, beautiful to outsiders, haunting to weak kingdoms, served by kingdoms it had conquered. Many village folks outside Apemso thronged to the capital city in search of greener pastures, leaving their hometowns to the aged, few drunkards and children. It was only during festivals that travellers went back home to fill their villages with joy. The dust in Apemso had become odd. Most people with weak breaths were severely coughing and or dying. Farmers were worried because their farms were not doing well. It had been three moons without rain, the first drought over a century in the golden kingdom. Ohene Asaa couldn’t help but worry. His bed stood hungry for his touch as his queen sat on a stool, watching him pace up and down.
What is happening? I hope it is not due to the lies told to the gods about Nyamekye’s marriage? Ohemaa, I am worried this might bring catastrophe.”
Ohemaa Abrampah thought for a while. “We surely shouldn’t be punished by the gods if you think clearly about this. I mean, what did we do wrong? The gods gave us a gift and added a clause to keep her. We merely followed their instructions. Should we have allowed our only child to die?”
Ohene Asaa followed the thoughts of his queen. “If you think about it that way, we have done no wrong. But human minds will think we are playing God when the truth outs. Minds are but dramatic actors when new news strikes. I am very worried about the rumours. Do you know the elders have been asking for a meeting on that matter since last moon? In fact, today is a day I can’t escape that meeting. What do I tell them? Lies on additional lies is deadly as eyes of the gods are everywhere.”
Silence fell on both heads.
The rumour had been that there was a sacrilege committed by His Majesty. Due to that sacrilege, the gods of the land were angry and acting up by holding the rains. They aimed to starve them until they were pacified. Nyamekye was worried, even through her pregnancy but Boadu could not be bothered. She vomited excessively and lost weight. Her mother had tried to let the royal herbalists take care of her but she had ordered them to keep her situation a secret until she was ready.
Ama went to the Archers field and sent for Kumnipa. She pierced the bull’s eye slitting three arrows at once to his horror as he thought her a male spirit in a female body. He had tested her by setting her up with ten men. She nearly slaughtered them but for his intervention. Many of them sustained wounds but she didn’t get even a scratch on her body. Ama asked him to shoot his arrow but he had suddenly lost interest in battling her knowing he’d lose. His guards were watching and he didn’t want to give them the pleasure of turning him into a laughing stock. He thought hard. He had not done anything that demanded him being punished by her. He slept in the same room as Nyamekye on nights arranged by the elderly women and watched her in the arms of Boadu. Though Ama tried to restrict him, he romanced her in his bid to annoy him but he tried his best not to react. He hated him but had never acted up since she caught him.
Kumnipa signalled his guards to leave them alone and they complied. “You seem angry. Did I err in anyway?”
“I don’t know. You tell me, did you err in anyway?”
“To the best of my knowledge, I have been at my best behaviour. So I am at sea. Tell me to my face if you think I have done something wrong. After all, the path maker knows not when his path gets crooked.”
Ama turned, looked at him but he didn’t blink. Obviously he had a clean conscience but she still felt unsettled. She held his neck with one hand, lifted him with the other and flipped him on the ground. His guards who watched from a secret location giggled as he shouted in pain. “Ajeiiii Ama. You need to stop being physical with me. A man surely fears a woman who intimidates him in every way. The reason it is difficult to get close to you. Just tell me what you think I did and I will apologize if I am wrong.”
Ama held his hand and helped him up. Then pulled him into her embrace. Just when his hands were about to hold her, she whispered. “It was you. You were the one who started the rumour about the sacrilege in the palace.”
Kumnipa pulled away, looked at her in disappointment, threw his bow and arrows away, shook his head, raised his eyes to the sky before looking at her as tears begun to well in his eyes.
“I guess I will always be the monster in this haunting palace. Every wrong deed will have to come from me. I am the cock who can never dance to please any eagle here. Go and tell it to the King that I am the cause. Tell him to behead me for I am a continuous offender. Tell him I am not worthy of his throne. Who can chain a man with royalty on the stakes of his burning ego and continuously starve him of his little peace of mind through his trusted aide, the one person he lo…” He stopped himself, looked at her, blinked his tears, wiped his face with the back of his left palm and left.
Ama had not expected his reaction. It was the first time she had seen him that way. She heard that rumour from him the night he was nearly murdered but it had been long before it surfaced. She sensed somewhat that he was not the one. Then who was? The elders were meeting that morning to deliberate on the matter and she felt sorry for the king who had discussed his worry with her. He had become the father she lost and although men and women alike called her names for her prowesses, names like “man-woman”, “woman with a tail”, she could never be bothered because the king really loved and cared for her.
Almost all the elders were in brisi; mourning clothes. Even sub chiefs were invited to the big meeting. They numbered eighty two. They addressed the Okyeame in sweet anger. Words that did not sound insulting but sounded severe.
“Okyeame, let it reach the ears of the eagle on our golden stool that rumours are rife of a sacrilege. Who are we to mention that we believe such rumours? But the gods are reacting and confusing us. There is a saying that if nothing touches the bamboo stick, it will never emit sound. Elders can never sit to watch the ruins of a household, what would that make us? We have come to our sky for answers. We need our loving king to search himself with the love of his people and give us clues so we can act and rectify the situation”.
“Errr Okyeame, let it reach our king that drought is an enemy no land wants. It is that enemy which can displace any land, the potent punishment of the gods. We the elders of the land love our king and are worried about his welfare as he is worried about ours. There is no sacrilege which a sacrifice can’t dissolve. Our heads are ready to roll even if, sɛbi sɛbi, his just ways have been misinterpreted by the gods”
The elders went on and on as Ohene Asaa listened. Kumnipa sat on his right hand side, Ohemaa Abrampah on his left. Kumnipa saw how serious the matter was and understood Ama’s behavior but was still disappointed that she blamed him. Then it dawned on him that he’d told her about it moons back. Suddenly, he felt unwell. As Ohene Asaa was about to open his mouth, the roof sounded like rocks were falling on it, cold air filled the hall, rains started falling amidst thunder and lightning from the very clear sky. A cloudless rain! All the elders came out to see as people in the township and in the palace shouted “A cloudless rain! This is a miracle”. Rain harvesters waited for the first few minutes of rain to clean the roofs before harvesting their needed nyankontɔn. For over an hour, the elders stood waiting but the rains gave no sign of stopping. It was a wonder to behold. Even Ohene Asaa was surprised, pleasantly.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

Male Role Models: Abdul Sorie Koroma

Abdul Sorie Koroma is a social worker working with local and international Non-Governmental Organizations dealing with vulnerable women and youths across communities in Sierra Leone. Currently, Abdul is the Market Enterprise Development Officer at Concern Worldwide Sierra Leone, where he is responsible for supporting and leading all field activities relating to market enterprise development, conducting feasibility studies, vulnerability mapping and providing different skills training for over 200 vulnerable youths in the country. He also provides loans and business development training for 50 women groups to help set them up in their various businesses.
Abdul Sorie Koroma holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management. He is committed to improving the necessary infrastructure and service for promoting business development, and improving access to credit and savings facilities through support to village savings and Loans associations. Karoma is a role model.

OGUAN-PATAKU

Why don’t you show
The frown you keep beneath your smile?
Why don’t you show
The fangs you keep and present as teeth?
Why don’t you show
The claws you keep as nails in my greeting?
Why keep a friendly body in daylight
And release your natural haunting shadow in my dark?

II
Fight squarely
On a battlefield where eyes can see
Fight like you do the rage you keep under wraps
Even when your heart throws tantrums of explosion
Fight like a hungry lioness in its zone
Not a mosquito in a disturbing dark
Nor a snake in its matching coloured grass
My back has no eyes to see
And no head to think
Let’s fight a frontal

III
Hate in dignity not in cowardice
State in clarity not in hiding
Fold the skin on the smile and reveal the famished fangs
There is no prosecution in expressing feelings
Act out the burns which make you an acting friend
On the stage of my life
For I have no fee for that difficult role
And certainly my audience have no legs for a standing ovation
In congratulations of a villain whose opponent knew no battle
Even in my skilled fall
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 25, 2018

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 10

I now know this for a fact: A lady with a sword is worse than anything to fear on earth. Imagine a man hungry but afraid to visit the tree with the best fruits because the tree happens to be heavily guarded. Ama you are a dangerous woman” Kumnipa whispered afraid someone would hear. He sat for a while, his need to touch her quenched under his shyness. Ama just sat until he got tired and asked for permission to leave.
Dust was fast gathering in Apemso. The rains had not been seen in a while. Not unusual but quite unsettling to farmers. Ama sensed some pangs in her abdomen. It was funny because it wasn’t that time of month for her. She visited home and everyone was fine. On her way to the palace, she decided to pass by Nyamekye’s place, heard some commotion when she got to the front of her door, pulled her sword and entered. Nyamekye was lying on top of her husband as the assassins struggled to get her off to no avail. Obviously, they were instructed to eliminate only Boadu. Ama killed all two to the shock of both Nyamekye and Boadu.
“Why didn’t you leave one alive for us to know who sent them?” Ama pretended to have made a mistake. “I am sorry. I was so shocked that my fury acted up”. Nyamekye looked at her for a moment, realized she lied but knew she had a good reason to do what she did. She thanked her and asked her to call for the corpse handlers to see if they knew where those men were from. Ama excused herself and went to do as told but not entirely. When she ascertained that the corpses were in the corpse shed, she set the place on fire and left quietly to her room, careful not to be detected. She nearly fell when a hand tapped her after she sat on her bed. She pulled her sword, struck, the target dodged and asked her to calm down. It was Kumnipa.
My prince, please never do this again. I could have harmed you you know?” Kumnipa tried to ask where she was coming from but she didn’t respond and calmly told him she wanted to rest. Without a word, he left feeling she definitely had a grudge against him but was too ashamed to ask.
The next morning, Ohene Asaa called for a meeting between his family, Nyamekye, Boadu, Kumnipa, Ama and his wife. “They say an insect that would bite you definitely comes from your cloth. My problem is, we are a family which needs to stand strong and not act insects to bit ourselves. Yesterday, there was an attempt on the life of Boadu,” (He hesitated a bit and added) “and Nyamekye. Thanks to Odomankomah, Ama happened to be nearby, heard and rescued them. The assassins were obviously from this palace disguised as ordinary men of our land. Unfortunately, we will not be able to know who they were because someone intentionally burnt down the corpse shed. Let us be very careful of who we target in this family. We are one no matter how we look at it. A word to the wise…?” All of them responded “Is enough”.
Nyamekye didn’t understand why her father had added that her life had been in danger. She had told him how the assassins tried not to harm her. She also didn’t understand why he asked Ama to remain, when she had clearly not implicated her in anyway.
The bravest warrior of all nine kingdoms of Apemso! A woman who puts fear in men with big tails. Daughter from the scrotum of war who war fears! One who can walk through fire unscathed! If even fire fears your beautiful skin, who is Ohene Asaa not to fear your brave heart? Child of mine, thank you for yet again, protecting our own. But my child, something bothers me a little. You’re not one to make the mistake of eliminating evidence completely. And surely, you’re not one to burn down a corpse shed without reason. Would it be too much to ask why?”
Ama panicked, knowing Ohene Asaa had proof of her wrongdoing. She knelt at his feet and bowed her head. She just cried and didn’t say a word.
“I have all the answers I seek. You need not say a word. The body of a trusted aide speaks volumes than their tongues. You will never harm a soul in this palace for you are loyal to me as your king and to all related. You’re not just one of my best warriors, you’re also my daughter.” He got up, helped her up, wiped her face and hugged her. “Return to your room and rest. Let nothing bother you. Know your king understands why you did what you did and feel no conscience whip my child”.
Once in her room, she wept like a child. For the great king to have seen through her, seen her burning the shed from his palace window, was a burdensome thing to carry on her mind. She picked her sword and went straight to Kumnipa’s room. In tears she demanded:
Pick your best sword! Today we battle till we see the blood of one” The prince did not utter a word. He picked his sword and followed her to the training ground. She sacked all his guard and attacked him fiercely. They fought till Kumnipa could take no more. She gave him a cut on his thigh and aimed at his neck as he sat in his fallen position.
Why did you make a fool out of me? No why do I need to get into the midst of all that? You are behind the attack on Boadu. I saw you talking to those two in the early hours of yesterday. I never thought you could arrange such a stupid scheme. You pride yourself as being a man yet try to kill a weaker man from the point of his ignorance. I know no women rival who have ever stooped so low” Kumnipa cried like a baby. He had no words. He had been caught and didn’t know if she told it to Ohene Asaa.
“I will own up. I don’t know what got over me.”
Ama was quick to tell him not to bother. “There is no need to be known for something I have been caught for. Being in theory of a crime is better than being known in practicality. Just know that I am highly disappointed in you!”
With that, she left as Kumnipa cried. His guards rushed to help him to his room. The wound did not hurt as much as his shame. He knew a real warrior never fought from behind. He refused to eat throughout that day. Word of their battle reached Ohene Asaa who nodded as he watched Ama’s portrait on the wall of the portrait room.
The next day, Kumnipa got the best of flowers and went to Ama’s room, knelt at her feet, bowed his head and apologized to her. He promised never to repeat such a mistake. Ama helped him up as the King did her. Their eyes met and as if by magic they kissed passionately. Feelings that Ama never knew existed flew all over her body digging goosebumps on her skin. Kumnipa felt like a child in her hands. She was definitely the only woman who emasculated him, sparked his curiosity, filled his heart to the brim and made him want her. But he couldn’t explain the hatred he had towards Boadu, especially when he sees him with Nyamekye. He must have lost his erection, Ama must have sensed it and broke free. The day was still young, her body felt odd but she knew better to explore a body whose mind was far from her.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

A PRAYER

In this cold
Do me hold
Even when sold
Make me bold
You who did me mould

II
We are in grasses filled with rhyming snakes
We are cut weeds being chased by sharp rakes
We are vehicles with destructive brakes

We are bread death busily bakes
Why won’t everything cause fear shakes?

III
Build a hell around my well
And not a heaven to sell my shell
Build a strength to surround my fall
And not a weakness to sound shame’s call
Build determination around my vulnerabilities
And not pessimism to water my disabilities
You know the formula for my clay
So hold me till I decay
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 24, 2018

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 9

New leaf had been planted in the Apemso Kingship. Foes of the King were fast gathering and looking for ways to oust him out. Their sole line of changing minds of elders was “Do you want another man to take over our land?” For over a decade, they had always operated in secrecy, planning on how to overthrow the present power. They had studied to know where Kumnipa spent most of his solitary nights and had prepared the ambush to silently eliminate him and force the king to choose their representative as the crown prince. They sent four people with the sharpest swords and skills. They were paid in lands and were told to be on their own or kill themselves if anything went wrong. They wore straw sandals with black bente so as not to attract attention. Ohene Asaa had heard of their affairs and had few informants there but no concrete evidence to pin them down. Of course this operation was very important so only key people knew. Ohene Asaa’s people had no clue.
Ama and Kumnipa watched as the four men looked for him in the Adukrom. “But this is where he sits always. Our person told us he was here.” “Then where is he now? See how you’ve wasted our time? We are supposed to eliminate him today.” “Look at the foolish boy, what if someone is listening, how can you say that?” The assassins fought among themselves. Ama allowed them to be deep into their argument before attacking. Kumnipa who could not feel his legs still watched from the bush as she took on four men, slayed two and battled with the rest of the two. Then he joined her with his sword. It must not have been his night, for he tripped and fell flat by the feet of his opponent who took the opportunity to aim a heart dig from his back. Ama fetched sand with her feet and splashed it in the air, cut the hand of her opponent holding the sword and used it to block the aim on Kumnipa. She quickly killed her opponent and proceeded to cut both hands of Kumnipa’s opponent.
A frozen Kumnipa stood watching her as she cut both legs of the only person left to completely cripple him. “Let’s get out of here.” She said after lifting the bleeding and screaming man.
Nyamekye had had her first argument with Boadu. She had told him of the blessing of being with child. He had been happy before suddenly going cold and complaining about some other man taking over his children and making him feel like a chicken. She did not know what to do. She had married for two things: love and queenship but she lived like one who had sold poison to two men. She could understand the anger of Kumnipa because he was forced to accept her with her love but could not understand Boadu who also loved her entirely. She saw the hatred oozing from both men whenever they met. Almost as if to kill each other. In fact, Kumnipa does not speak to her at all if it is not in front of the elders. Now Boadu acting up, his mood swings getting more than hers compounds her problems as a young pregnant woman. She thought of confiding in her mother to tell her the truth but was hesitant. She wanted to postpone the news to the farthest future possible to decrease the tension in the palace. It is for that reason she wore her clothes to cover her neck, used lots of sheabutter to battle the frail and shadowy look and tried to be active at all times. She was beginning to feel uncomfortable in her skin.
After listening for a while, Ohene Asaa spoke. “Listen young man, I know your family and your entire lineage. You can decide not to talk, can also decide to bite your tongue and die. Know one thing, I will personally make sure that all your houses in Apemso, under Apemso and elsewhere are cleared of all things from humans to animals. I will kill every living thing in your family…” He did not finish before the sobbing assassin who had been identified as Obeng, pleaded to talk. He mentioned the names of all the elders who contracted them, mentioned the name of the royal around whom they were building their hope and some of the key members of the group. Ohene Asaa was shocked that his own cousin was part of it. He sent few of his trusted soldiers to clear the Adukrom and started plotting on how to eliminate his enemies one after the other.
The Fotosanfohene was the first to taste the wrath of Ohene Asaa. He always knew he inflated cost of things to enrich himself. He was in charge of all the financial dealings in the palace. Ohene Asaa took particular attention and started his investigations for specific evidence which he got within two weeks. He then called for a council of elders meeting and brought him to book. His followers tried everything they could but he ended up banished. Ohene Asaa sent few assassins to eliminate him on his new land which he pretended not to have known because he asked his own people to choose the place. According to Ohene Asaa, if you cut the head of a snake, what remains is just a rope. Kumnipa marveled at how the king found ways to eliminate the people one after the other. He even poisoned his own cousin. “A king is a king not because of sentiments but because he needs to drink the most bitter of medicine in order to heal the land. You are the crown prince and need no rival. Imagine what would happen if you battle for the crown. Many will lose their lives, so we needed to do this.” Shaken, he decided to take a stroll.

Ama withdrew for a while after her encounter with Kumnipa. She was sleeping when she felt a shadow creeping on her. She held her sword, which was in her cover cloth, and waited until the intruder made to peep at her closely, then held his neck, threw him on the floor and aimed her sword at him. She looked and realized it was Kumnipa. She withdrew and in shock, shouted “My prince!”

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

FOR BUSUMURU KOFI ANNAN

We have lived to see a fountain of example seize
After watering many a revering
We have lived under the disinfection of a lotus
Even in this menopausal mud
We have seen the rise of an oak even in thirsty soil
And we have learnt to dream even in our wakefulness
Busumuru, yɛdawoase o!

II
It takes just a being to change a state
Stories of Kofi Babone splattered satires
And mirrored our flaws
Until you blossomed through a Friday
And overturned it
You were the great Kwaku Ananse
Who wove his nest to house the world’s struggling
You were the soft worded tongue
Who balmed wounded hearts and achieved many a global stability
You were that one icon
Whose breath exuded peace
Personality called wars to their ending
Extended hand placed ties between nations

III
You were the best black star
Which led nations for years on end
Combing the globe from its hair to its toenails
To take relief to those in dire straits
You were he whose life was a gift to the unfortunate
Those arms that embraced the sick and dying
The hungry and thirsty
Orphans and the dejected
None knows the tactics of judgement
But it seems clear Odomankomah’s right hand called
Your soul to rest

IV
There is no need for tears
For even death tears at the empty mud
You left in its saucepan
You gave your all
Before heeding to His call
Atribal you in a tribal space!
Loyal soul in a perfect temperament
Sweet personality in a careless world
Ya wɔ ojogbannn
Agya pa da yie o
Do rest well as you walk on our red carpet of thanksgiving
And celebrations of your highest feats
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 8

Wherever plam nut falls, is considered its rotting place. Kumnipa was careful in the Apemso Palace. Everyone accorded him respect but he still felt like a stranger. Anytime he saw Boadu, a lump of hatred choked his neck veins. What was more annoying was the fact that he was everywhere the princess was. He tried avoiding her, but the cultural demands didn’t allow it. They were to greet the elders together each morning, eat together at least twice a day, go for occasions together almost every other day and pretend to be happy together always. He was dying from within and it told on his body.
Nyamekye called Ama for a game of draft. The latter, a complete draft ignoramus, started sharing her marbels around after the former gave her the guidelines. By the end of the first round, she had lost three of her holes to Nyamekye who used the opportunity to teach and advice her on the need to maintain stability and peace. “I could take over all your holes, imagine them as territories. It will mean you will have to serve me completely, but in this life, a woman must know how to play her cards, in order to win in the battle of peace. Where a side weighs more than the other, automatically, eyes turn to the side of activity. A beautiful woman like you lacks nothing I have. In fact, you have so many things I don’t have. Bravery, freedom to be you, instincts like no other, so let the sticks of thoughts drum your goodness in the ears that matter, so we can have a levelled field. Our destinies are yoked together and we must make the best of it my sister.”
Ama needed no interpreter to get the whole message. That night, it dawned on her she had contributed to the hushed hatred in the palace. She picked two swords and headed to the Prince’s palace. He was not there but the guard told her where he was. Under the huge tree in the raised bush getting to the evil forest. It is where he loved to be when he needed other air besides the palace’s.

His back was turned to her but he mentioned her name before she took her 10th step towards him.
What is the bravest of flowers doing here at night? You shouldn’t flatter yourself by being by yourself through the brink of the night, you are a woman after all.”
Ama threw a sword at him and asked for a battle but he shook his head and laughed. “They should have told me you were also a comedian, I would have solicited your services to free my burdened mind.”
Ama laughed. “Today, I am a lover in the clothes of an enemy. You either pick the sword and fight or die by my sword and the sky is my witness, I am not joking.” She threw the sword and he dodged, at first shocked by the power in the hand of a woman. Then she followed him with multiple aims which he dodged until he managed to pick his sword. Swords met in the air, beneath their knees, sideways, on top of their heads, on their necks, behind them and they fought until Kumnipa, who forgot his opponent was a woman and fought fiercely, lost his sword. Ama held hers to his neck and he, in utter shock, instinctively raised his hands. He put his hands down after a while.
“Upon a second thought, kill me. I never thought a woman could battle me into a loss. What will others think if this leaks? It would be worse than death. So do it. Kill me.”
Ama put her sword away. “Don’t call for death in your egoistic stupor my Prince. You men delude yourselves with strength, bottling everything within. You refuse to cry when your hearts fill up, causing your flooding within to drown you into doing horrible things. You put on a front of super humanity even when you gnash your teeth in pain. Man up and open your eyes, it is a new dawn. In the morning, put your best men to the task of battling me and see how many will fall. Strength needs no tail of qualification. It is borne out of hard work and will. But I did not come here to lecture you on strength. I came to offer my ears on the seat of your thoughts.”
Kumnipa just watched Ama for a while. He had never been emasculated in his whole life. Maybe he had looked down on women as people needed for procreation and pleasure, weaker vessels who needed protection at all times. He had never thought any woman would dare challenge him by voice let alone in battle. “Maybe she is a he” he thought but she looked like a she, pretty as a flower, with full breasts. Instinctively, he held her, kissed her, touched her beneath in verification. A frozen Ama who did not know what was happening gained composure and pushed him off. Ashamed of his behaviour, he stood in silence for a while before opening up.
“I was trained not to discuss important issues with women but I can see you are no ordinary woman. You know pretty well what is happening in the palace. I feel choked watching the princess in the arms of that slave each night. But what do I do? Even the gods are quiet, no silent on the matter. Normally, some ailment would break, some curse will take place, some horrific thing would befall the land and force the custodians to look for the problem. But it has been four full moons. I even suspect she has taken seed but nothing. The gods don’t care.”
Ama wondered why a man like him would be so petty as to wish evil on a land he would inherit because of a woman he won’t get but she didn’t voice it out. “You could wish for the best for her and look for ways to be happy too.” She finally managed to say.
“You will never understand a man’s ego. Once bruised, it needs a conquer to heal. I wish you were a man, you would have understood this feeling that is eating away my heart, my soul and spirit.” Ama decided to change the topic to trivial things and brought in comical Ananse tales to ease his mind. While he listened and smiled, they sensed an ambush and both picked their swords.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

NNAASE NKOA

Shame has turned into a cobweb hosting my soul
As I look at my once rubbish bowl
Sitting in gold
Receiving rains of blessings in many fold
Odomankomah, forgive this body which sat on its foresight
And battled you on a crowded site

II
The vulture whose best saucepan was the rubbish heap
Is now an eagle who paths a dessert for many to keep
The bin of problems transforms
Forcing many a respected to adjust their forms
Why did these eyes fail to see
The blessed egg of polishings with the worst pain yoke?
Oh forgive, I was the acting joke!

III
Otwereduampong a yɛtwere woa yɛpong abremponteng!
Odomankomah a yɛdan woa yɛ nyɛ ankonam!
Ototorobonsu a nsu ne awia yɛ wo asomafo wo abrabɔ biara mu!
King whose crumbs of knowledge equip the best earthly kings!
A zillion tongues won’t do justice to this thanksgiving
Cementing my heart
Naase o!
Shida soong
Akpe kakakaka
Thank you for being who you’ve always been and not blinking this ingrate into ashes
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

THIS MATHEMATICS OF DATING (Crazy Stanzas)

We have travelled through riddles
Where subs were added in set fiddles
Who at all broke the middles
To bring us to this confusion of lonely needles?

II
We knew familiar binary numbers of hearts
In fractions birthically laid out in charts
Now positive and negative integers are left to try out
Spark fires of hatred and crowd shout
To lay bare trignometries of trickstering timbers
In root fingering into vaginominal embers
Before a day’s rain marks a day
Of their loving decay

III
Which bin houses the filth made out of logical reasoning
Which graphed spiritism in the fear of sexual seasoning
To cut its percentages of obedience to naught
Buying through variations of statically stylistic taught
Causing vectors of expressions to snake through tinglings of transformations
Through body rotations and translations
Which collage visuals of reflections
In a future of happiness and or dejection?

IV
We know about the use of menstrual mensuration
To run through circles, then angles in hopeful construction
Of beautiful storeys of relations
Many a sine, cosine and tangent have crushed
On staged stages rushed
And have received many a bash
And societal tongue lash
Swish, showoff, put out, walk no talking
Planes of dramatic surds in absurd stalking
Then sequences of grieving
Logarithms of hypocritical I-Am-Doing-Better-Than-You-ing
Until another fish falls into the net of either
Who acts not in pleasing of neither
But to dig hurts of the audience

V
This mathematics of dating
Has lost its rating
Just as Ananse’s wisdom tickles slates of minds
It just sits in danger of shelving on stands of behinds
Harvesting pa-hwim in body sparks and offing
In a pay as you go body satisfaction
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 15, 2018

PASTOWEALTHISM

It was supposed to be farm stool
That every tired farmer could sit in rest
It was supposed to be a river
Meandering across scary deserts
For tired travelers on paupering roads
To quench their thirst
It was supposed to be a fruited tree
For all in hunger
A calmer for all in anger
A shelter, for all to treasure
A moral wholesale, for all to measure
A priceless home for all troubled, struggling and happy
But what do we see?

II
Money has bought the foresight of all
Trashing morals in clothes of fecal wealth
Trashing help in pants of corruption
Throwing God’s love to the wind
Like ashes in a tsunami
Why won’t masses push for an overthrow?

III
We build our forts on trust
In blinded googles
We build our thoughts on worship
On mis-sighted men in arranged accoutrements
We bank our hope on foxes in wool
Thinking others sinners
Fearing the devils in space
Locking our doors with our enemies
And sleeping so soundly
Of what use is God’s man who stashes food
When stomachs cry in thunder of famine?

IV
It is sad that the world has seen this day
Where holes live on holiness
And every ant has a choice to lead to feed
Or sit to be fed on
The heart of God is really bigger than man and his beholdings
Indeed!
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 11, 2018

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 7

Apemso palace sat in all its royalty. It was the only wooden structure in the whole Akan Kingdom. Made up of a cluster of storey buildings constructed by some foreigners Ohene Asaa’s father brought getting to the end of his ruling, Apemso Ahenfie was the heaven on the Akan earth. It had sixteen rooms to a storey, four in all. The King’s, Queen’s, Princes, Princesses and workers. Since there was only one heir to the throne, and a Princess at that, the Prince’s building was a white elephant, and now the princess’. The light in the palace was off. King and queen both felt bored at all times, one or the other called maidens to ask about the well-being of the princess in their confusion only to be respectfully told she had been taken away by her husband.
Ohene Asaa was lost in thought when his praise maker’s beautiful appellations woke him. He saw one of his spies kneeling in front of him. The leopard skin on which his knees tasted shook somewhat. He knew there was trouble in paradise. There was friction just three days in the marital camp of the princess. “It seems her husband is not happy about something and dislikes her guard like no man had ever shown.” The king’s heart leapt. He dismissed him and proceeded to his wife’s chambers.
The meeting was arranged in the Apemso palace. Ohene Abrokwah Gyan sat in one of the beautiful stools in the secret chamber sipping palm wine in a polished calabash, awaiting the King of Akan Kings. He was always glad to be in the presence of the great Ohene Asaa. One whose appellations could drug a hardened opponent.
“King of the royal gods of all lands, one with the mind of the blend of an ant and hare, face of a lion, claws of a tiger, bones of an elephant, eyes of an eagle, heart of a conqueror, and a body of a spirit! One whose footsteps bless the earth, spittle serves serenity on the heads of fertility, urine is the best drinking water even in rain, approaches.” Nana Abrokwah stood to welcome him and the pleasantries followed until they were sure they were alone.
“A house surely needs a spark. What is a house where fires are never lighted? Of what use are trees without fruits? Even strangers can try cutting them down with certainty of getting away with it. My good friend and in-law, the elders say we speak in proverbs to the wise and I know you have grasped what I am driving at. When nuts fall from your hands into mine, there is no loss because we are standing at the same place, at the same time, trying to feed the same mouth. Let’s try securing the biggest because you know the hosting lacks nothing in security even if its golden couple fly hither. My mouth has fallen.”
Nana Abrokwah was always intrigued after Ohene Asaa spoke and what came out of him did not surprise him. If anything, it made his respect for him soar.
“Who is a bird to battle a big and heavily rooted tree, when a small stone from a young hunter’s catapult can snuff the life out of it? You have spoken well King of the Royal Gods. From the day those birds were put in one nest, they had been even more of yours than mine. I know the gods blessed me with many birds but they did put many eagles in a perfect soul just for you. Every minute I spend with your treasure is a pleasure I can’t measure. But I know this is the better soil to plant those two seedlings, so they can get better care. For we are all farmers but aren’t you the best of the best and the highest? Thank you for considering my permission important. I know you did not need it. I will treasure this courtesy forever.”
With that, the conversation was over. Nyamekye and her husband were to stay in the Apemso palace until they officially gained the stool. Kumnipa was not enthused. The first thing that came to his mind was “they want to bring me closer in order to bully me”. But after carefully considering the words of his father, he saw the prospects in the idea.
“Why live beneath the anthill while your seat idles above? Consider that even little ants bite better if they taste a different skin. You are fortune’s best pick. One who fought the giants for a hand he was never to have and won. Do you know the nightmares I had when the battle was announced? A man is he who keeps his fears in his pillows. No matter what your fears are, you will have to sit and drown them in your determination. A word is enough if it is to the ears of the wise.”
He tossed and turned. Obviously he had no idea about his plight. No man could stand carrying a drum for someone else to beat and take the glory. Yet what his father had told him that day after his outburst at breakfast did make sense.
“A man is he who smiles even if his woman spits on him in public. Why? Because one who loses his grasp in chambers is sure to lose his face in the midst of friends while playing draft. A woman feels respected if issues of discomfort are discussed without a fifth eye. A man who gets a woman like the one you have, can never eat his food and expect a full plate there and then. Trust me, you can only have that in a vomit. If you need the love of your subjects, respect from your followers, dignity for yourself, treat your woman as you would treat yourself no matter the circumstances, at least in public. You did not buy her, you earned her with your life.”.
The night was cold; harmattan whistling through the dark and biting nostrils in delight. In the mind of Kumnipa, the battle continued and promised no end. He was to choose to stay close to his powerful blackmailer king of a man, with one he earned with his life. One whose beads would never willingly submit to his touch. What was worse? He could not open up to anybody, not at all. He regretted asking for Ama as a token. She was never a compensation. Not at all.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 6

The palace of Gyae Saa was the biggest mansion in the whole empire. With its vast compound, thick mud fence wall and over twenty bedrooms of magnified clay storey building, three open huts, it stood out from whichever part of the empire one stood. In the night, the thatch torches made it even more beautiful. Children gathered outside its park-like outage to play. Kumnipa clearly heard their adorable voices as noise and added to his irritation. He stopped himself from opening the door severally but the urge became stronger each time. He gave in, boldly opened, only to see Nyamekye wrapped in the arms of Boadu, who was looking adorably at his sleeping secret bride. He lifted his eyes to see Kumnipa and made to sit, waking Nyamekye in the process.
“Please is there something you want?” Nyamekye asked calmly. “I was just checking if you needed something.”
“That is sweet. Thank you. We are alright.” With that, she pulled her man to lie on his back and laid on his chest as Kumnipa and Boadu locked eyes. One could sense the silent battle brewing between the two. Nyamekye kindly asked him to get some rest as it was a long day. He reluctantly stepped back and closed the door behind.
Once in the hall, he realized a functioning mind is the most dramatic thing a body can have. His mind became a stage where so many stories of happenings in the chamber played. “Boadu aggressively tearing off her beautiful dress and taking her by force, no, there was no sign of torn clothes. She playfully biting his ears and whispering “I am yours my love, take me and do with me as you please”. Boadu greedily flipping her on the soft thatch bed with cotton covering specially made for him, and pounding her to his delight…” Kumnipa could not stand it. The part where his imagination portrayed him a laughing stock anytime his back was turned drove him ill. Going out would mean he left his bride on the first night and generate gossip, staying in that hall was also driving him crazy. After over three hours of pacing and making up stories in his head, he called his trusted body guard, asked for one of his clothes and left with him to the archery field in the palace. Kronom knew better to question the crown prince of Gyae Saa and the future king of Apemso. So he just competed with him and lost terribly. Still, he sensed his uneasiness. He even felt the prince was crying within, but if ordinary men were not to cry, who was he, a common body guard, to suggest a whole crown prince was?
They went back before daybreak. He just laid on a mat in the hall until he heard a knock. It was a little after cockcrow, around 5am. The maidens had come for the lady to help her get ready for breakfast. Kumnipa quickly got up, barged into the room and asked Boadu to go to the hall and dress appropriately. Boadu was angry but just looked at Nyamekye who signalled him to cooperate, picked up his clothes to cover his nakedness and went out. Nyamekye wanted to say something but a look at Kumnipa, and all that vanished. She decided to bring up the conversation of respect for privacy in his lightened mood. He refused to sit on the bed, and just rudely asked “Won’t you get up and dress? Your maidens are ready to give you a bath.” She picked a cloth from a table close by and wrapped herself beneath the bedsheets. Just then, there was a knock on the door, Kumnipa opened, clad in mmarintama, as the maidens happily accompanied the princess out. He did scatter the bed in his rage after, but there was none saw it as the servants put things together right after he left, giggling about the intensity of the first night. Judging by the blood stains and the scattering.
Boadu stood behind the princess during breakfast. “What are you doing there? Foolish guard! Who is going to kill the princess here? Know your place and wait outside!” Kumnipa barked when he entered. His beautiful kente with its matching beads made him look grand, his heavy ahenema, made him regal and his mean countenance made him seem in charge. Ohene Abrokwah Gyan was startled by his son’s outburst but was not one to call him out in the open. He just looked at Boadu, who stood quite scorned and at the same time petrified, and with a wave of his right hand, dismissed him. Nyamekye lost her appetite, as she watched Kumnipa. Everyone at the table saw her displeasure as Kumnipa, who could not be bothered, ate heartily.
Ohene Abrokwah called his son into the inner room. When he reached there, he watched him for a while. Kumnipa fidgeted having an idea of what was to ensue. “Sit, I have a story to tell you.” Uncomfortably he sat, all the while asking, which tactic is this?
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

AREA PESTLE

Maame Menka!
Call Owusua and Akosua
Yaa Bruwaa, Ama Serwaa
Afia Adutwumwaa and Eno Boowaa
Selikem and Elikem
Hasana and Husna
To come to my compound now
I have seen the area pestle
Pounding and breaking mortars of our land!
Including the newly built, ones in building

And ones whose trees are in the watering stage

II
When two pestles clashed in Agyekumwaa’s compound
In just three minus two years back
Hands clapped
Tongues wagged
Ei! I never knew eyes could do a 360° horror dance
As mouths spat only to drive the area asanka away
Poor mortar who had the capacity to contain several pestles even at once
Was never allowed a moment of peace
Until she wore the clothes of darkness
And took to her heels

Before another daylight
Holding a merciless mfeawa woke!!
So why is this ordinary pestle
Made from a baked kwaabrɛfrɛ
Parading the street like a hero?

III
Let’s chop him down
For firewood is a rare commodity of late!
Let’s burn him down!
Lest he takes little of all sicknesses,
Makes them grand
And distributes like a clueless manufacturer!
It could even be a bitter serving!
Let’s not watch like idiots,
Humming dissatisfaction in our choked oesophagus
As the unfair society sits solemnly
Like an elder who knows his fart would be blamed on the children!!!

IV
Times have travelled and we must so move
Our eyes have been opened
We must close all zips hosting greedy snakes
To save our young generation from their venoms
If a monkey who works can be driven from bowls with meals
Surely, it should be easy for the baboon to be dismissed
With just a one-voice tool!!
What sweetens the goose surely will pamper tongues of the gander!!!
Now let’s get him…
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 31, 2018

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 5

Many factors contributed to winning the battle of warriors where a princess’ hand was concerned. Favour from the gods, favour of the royal family, skills in wrestling, favour of the weather (some fought better in harsh conditions) and emotions involved. All the Men among the MEN fell one way or the other with bruises and fractures leaving three MEN. Warriors, MEN of MEN born by MEN with strength, skills and traits worthy of kingship. Barwuah, the Prince of Akonta, Barnieh, the son of the king of Amansan and Kumnipa Kwasi Gyan, heir to the throne of Gyae Saa were the men left. All strong with personalities that charmed one way or the other. The King and Queen wished with all their hearts that Barnieh would be defeated as he was known to be one of the proudest princes alive. He might have felt the hatred and acted a bit distracted, causing him to taste the sword of Barwuah, helping Kumnipa to also pierce Barwuah to end the fight. Kumnipa who fought in the wrap of a lion, raised both hands as he observed the hails of all except the princess of Apemso who looked like a goddess, clad in the most beautiful of Kente and beads to match. Her ahenemma was one made with class. Everyone noticed her unhappiness but dared not mention it. It wasn’t that she favoured either, her countenance was just unreadable all day.
The marriage ceremony begun that night with preparations and lasted for more than a fortnight. During that period, Nyamekye’s parents worked on the understanding of both men. Kumnipa disagreed at first, saying it was even a crime against the gods of their land for a royal to push a horse while a slave rode on it. Boadu who was shocked after getting to know the status of the love of his life asked to be allowed to think over. Many things played on his mind. He conceiving children that another would claim in the eyes of men, he owning a body that another would be known for all through, he being called a guard in metaphorisms. He was just confused. It was more like the case of the Santrofie bird and the dilemma of the hunter. Hit it and it is a taboo, let it go and you let go the best fat ever. What was he to do? When he saw Nyamekye, all the confusions cleared. He knew he could not live without her and agreed. Moreover, his whole family was brought from Apremire and made a family of repute with just a rumour of their relations to the royal house. Even the elders were fooled as the king told tales of the former king begetting Boadu’s mother in secrecy.

With Kumnipa, Ohene Asaa dug deeper into his escapades and realized he was involved in the attack of one of his brothers which resulted in his death. That brother was the crown prince before him. Kumnipa after being blackmailed, reluctantly agreed knowing the repercussions of his big secret coming out. In exchange, Ohene Asaa asked that he chooses any damsel he fancied in Apemso. He had heard of Ama and had wanted her from the moment he heard of her exploits as a warrior. He chose her and the Ohene Asaa had no problem getting her consent. Both men were sworn to secrecy. Boadu was to be one of the camouflaged guards of the queen during the day, and her bedmate at night, Kumnipa was to be the husband known throughout Apemso and the world at large. The meeting was intense as both men nervously looked at each other until the end.
On the last day of the ceremony, Ohene Asaa and his bride advised Nyamekye to be bold and smile in order not to raise any needless suspicions. She was more than glad to oblige. For she had gotten all her heart desires. Kumnipa’s family brought the last gifts as merrymaking went on the whole time until the bride was given out with her guards and servants to be sent to Gyae Saa. In order not to arouse suspicion, Kumnipa ushered Boadu and Nyamekye into the royal chamber while he slept in the hall. It was funny the way thoughts of Ama vanished from his mind. Hardly had they settled did he get the craving of peeping and getting to know what they were up to. He had not thought it would be that difficult. He did not anticipate the boiling of his blood, racing of his heart and taunts on his mind. He stood up, held the door knob as his heartbeats shook his very ground. He was jealous beyond measure and above all angry.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN THE CHEST OF THE OLD HAG

Oh how complex is age?
Known to have initially been tagged with sages
Until dawns saw kings living above sages in new pages!
Oh what is the coupling advantage?
That a lone femme traveller is seen on rampages
All her ails needing attention seeking bandages
One who spoke no sane languages
Until her garbage can is given as death’s wages
Tell me you on wisdom’s stages!!!

II
Does life come with a mirroring path?
Do partners fall like rain into cans of blooming femininity?
Each has fires of passions regretfully turned ashes
And sent into memories never to be revived
Each has a fantasy stuck in make-belief
With an ever hopeful prayer never to be answered
Each has a dream always cut short by wakefulness and baked sweats
Each has a flaw barring doors of chances in all enhancements
Why should pink be my crime of failure when many a blues live like me?

III
It is a baton of blessing since age
For one to have caught the eyes of cupid through adowa
Through to delicious preparations of fufu and lapeewa
It was graciousness for princesses to be handed princes and or warriors
On golden platters in exchange for their doll-hoods
Age has travelled west in jester-field
So I am an old cargo
A can needed to be booted with unseriousness
A hag with a harsh harsh-tag
A societal sheep flawed by not having at least a bully of a billy goat
But what can be done on these stakes?
Nothing but a lookout for the inscription of foolishness
On foreheads of the favoured
Lighting the fires beneath to have me roasted
When my meat is nothing even beasts like that can devour
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018

Banter in Court: A Sizzling Play Directed by Elsie Srodah Showing July 28, 2018

A thrilling play is about to rock your world in Accra. The play, to be performed at Terra Alta, Abelemkpe Traffic Light opposite Allied Filling Station and stars Bex, Cecilia Anno-Barnieh and Gideon Boakye. It is happening on the 28th of July, 2018 at 7pm. Rate is a cool 40 cedis for advance tickets and 60 cedis at the gate. It was written and directed by Elsie Srodah.

A sneak summary:
Banter in Court is a dramatic comedy set on an intriguing playground with many disclosures to offer. Fiery lawyers Alexa Bill and Martin Yeboah are joined by other raconteurs: the tell tale clerk; an eccentric scientist, adulterers, a quack Bishop, a no-nonsense woman and some perpetual beings. Together, they highlight the many legal, ethical and personal quandaries people can relate to.
Meanwhile, it is Judge Koomson’s 10th anniversary on the bench and he is in no mood for time wasters. Perhaps, it is time to give the gavel a break. After all, the wheels of justice grind slowly.
Tickets are selling at Airport Shell, Terra Alta, Food Market opposite Round House. Call 0268032534 for further enquiries. Don’t miss it. It’ll definitely make your day.

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 4

Tickles followed giggles, smiles followed even the dumbest of jokes. Beautiful flowers were murdered through forceful plucking to be gifted for swoons. Edible ripe fruits fed Nyamekye and Boadu until the sky begun to frown, telling them there was a house and people they needed to go back to. Ama was worried and had combed the area severally with Akoto, Boadu’s sister, in search of her princess. But they were not seen until they wanted to be seen. And when the land of the house finally tasted their feet, all eyes could not help but notice the change in both of them. Ama wondered if she had been placed under a spell. Auntie Mansa and Akoto were shocked to see Boadu smiling from ear to ear anytime his eyes met that of Nyamekye. It was clear Cupid’s arrows had pieced those hearts together.
That night, Boadu caught the biggest and most beautiful antelope ever. He did that flawlessly too, making him think even nature supported his new found treasure. He worked on it in the bush, looked for palm leaves and made bɛdɛ (a kind of bag made out of palm leaves) and used it to carry the meat home. Nyamekye heard him return and went to welcome him. Although he chastised her a bit for not checking before coming out, it was all smiles and happiness throughout the fire lighting, roasting until dawn when they were told by Auntie Mansa to go to bed as Boadu needed to catch some sleep.
The girls stayed in Apremire for over a month, helping the family in their farming activities as Boadu fed them with all the delicious game he was lucky to have hunted. Sometimes, he took Nyamekye hunting to the displeasure of Ama. She was always baffled at how he knew exactly where he had laid his traps, when to shoot arrows, when to act dead to lure his game, when to hide for dangerous animals to pass and how he heard and distinguished between the various sounds of animals no matter how faint.

Ama had made her promise to leave exactly a month and three days and her pride would not let her have the shame of postponing it. She told Boadu, who was so sad and begged to go with them but she lovingly turned him down. Auntie Mansa, who had grown to love Nyamekye as a daughter in law, and Ama as family and her daughter, Akoto, were heartbroken. Nyamekye promised to be back for Boadu. She described Ama’s family as hers and went on to part ways, breaking her own heart. She always looked at the wooden bracelet Boadu gifted her anytime she missed him, but it didn’t help much.
The rest of the journey was not as fun for her as it was in the beginning. They went to Opim, Adabre, Emuanna, Baamukye and passed through Asewase through to Amasan and finally to Apemso, their homeland.

They spent close to four months on the journey. The royal family was thrown into merriment. The king was particularly happy just as the queen was. All were invited to eat and drink in thanks to Odomankomah for his protection. Ama was asked what she wanted for her good job. She asked for a chance to be added to the warriors of the land. Although her mother was against it, the king granted her her request.
A week after they returned, the king and queen woke Nyamekye up at dawn and told her about her man hunt. The fact that warriors from fifty empires had been invited to battle for her hand in marriage. She got up and burst into tears, asking why they did not consult her before sending those invitations out. It was the first time she had raised her voice at her parents. She apologized when she saw how shocked they were and explained she had someone she wanted to marry. She told them to their horror that he came from Apremire and was a local hunter and not a warrior. The King was horrified and retorted “Apremire? Do you know they are accursed slaves of Apemso?” And what is worse, you are a princess who will be the queen and needs to marry a warrior who will show above all else that he is mighty, strong and will be able to take care of this land.” Her mother calmed the king and reminded him through a whisper, about the promise they made for her birth and the repercussions if breached.
“Maame, do you want to be the queen of this land?” Nyamekye emphatically affirmed her interest saying “It is my destiny. I have to be queen of Apemso, to help the land prosper through any means. I want to make my people happy”. They asked if she could choose between the two and she refused, saying she needed both. The King and Queen were at a loss. On one hand, she wanted to be the queen and on the other hand, she wanted to have a tabooed relationship. Nana explained to her the situation in which she was placing them but she would have nothing of it and made them promise to make her marry the love of her life and also be a part of the ruling of the land.
That night, the king cried and the queen helplessly looked on trying to think through a way. After days of thinking, they agreed on a solution. A solution the gods of the land would definitely see and punish them for, but a solution they would nevertheless use as their hands were tied. They will make her marry both men. Boadu in secrecy and the victorious warrior publicly. Whereas she would share a bed with Boadu who would act as her bodyguard during the day, the warrior would just be her ceremonial husband.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 3

Hands seized both girls and swung them on a rope across trees. Ama wanted to fight it off but a sixth sense asked her to wait for an outcome. Three minutes later, they were on a vast grassland with a visible settlement. Ama held Nyamekye, lowered her into the sharp grasses and with a sliding curve, swung her underneath. Nyamekye had never known fear that intense and could barely catch her breath from the experience. She stayed in Ama’s arms until she let go to find out about the arms. But she was not to search for long. “Come out girls, we need to get out of here as soon as possible. My house is close by. You’ll be safe there. Here in these grasses, snakes…” He didn’t finish before Nyamekye sprung out shouting on top of her voice. The voice laughed so hard, followed her voice and caught up with them. “Your Majes… I mean Nyamekye, remember you were fortified against snake bites so you have nothing to fear”. She stopped talking when she realized that the voice hosted a slim and tall man and that man was standing very close to them.
“Before any introductions, let’s get out of here into safety.” He had barely finished talking when he led the way. After walking for what looked like forty minutes, they reluctantly entered a small settlement with three mud houses. He took them to an empty room which had straw mats and few cover clothes with a lantern. There, they saw how handsome and young he was. Ama started questioning him as Nyamekye just starred. When she came into consciousness, she heard him talking. “I am a hunter who fixed ropes on trees to serve as an escape root in case I needed it. My father, who is now late taught me to do that. You were lucky I heard those hooligans chasing after you. They are brutes who could have killed you you know. How can girls like you walk unprotected in these dangerous slopes? Apremire is one of the dangerous villages in these parts. Weren’t you told?”
Nyamekye explained that they were definitely not told. We are wanderers, trying to know these plains. We are from Apemso. “Apemso. Our bosses. You know they own these lands? The very richest bosses in the whole of Akatamanso. Don’t worry. You’re now safe. My name is Kwabena Boadu and I live here with my mother and younger sister. They sleep in the room to your left. On your right, that small structure is the bathroom. The other one after is a place of convenience. The room after my family’s is mine. Knock on that door if you need something. Meanwhile, there are big pots outside with water in case you need it. For wanderers, you have very few things.” Ama thought for a while and realized it was true. Nyamekye had insisted on taking nothing besides few gold coins and few clothes with a cover cloth each. With it two manageable gourds filled with water. They were to feed on fruits in the wild and buy food if they were lucky to meet civilization. She only sneaked in a small foldable knife. Both girls got their sponges and had a bath before sleeping. All the while, Ama was on a lookout and very alert. Nyamekye kept assuring her that there was no cause for alarm. She kept watch as her princess slept. There was no order that could make her blink. She didn’t want to disappoint the king.
At cockcrow, she heard the sound of a sweeping broom, then a humming. She knew the sister of Boadu was the one sweeping. Nyamekye woke about an hour later and they both went out only to see calabashes of white porridge served on a waiting table. An elderly woman sat with an empty calabash in her hands. A young girl who could pass for their age mate greeted them with happy and dancing eyes and offered them saawe (sponge made out of chewing sticks) and a calabash each of water to wash their faces. “Your hot water is ready sisters and I sent them to the bathroom for you.” Both of them went to kneel in front of the woman of the house, Auntie Mansa, and greeted. She was happy to have them stay over and asked them to hurry so they could eat. They bathed, ate and the familiarity made Ama comfortable to the delight of Nyamekye. She excused herself to sleep as Boadu took Nyamekye around. She couldn’t stop staring. His skin was as black as ebony and shone above the morning sun, his height was above the normal range of most men his age, he was soft spoken and very hairy. So much so that the bente he wore with the cloth tied on part of his shoulder showed very beautiful and shiny hair on his chest, hands and legs. His facial hair looked soft and when he smiled, Nyamekye nearly fell. He was however swift to catch her, swinging her to face him as their eyes met blocking some rays of the rising sun. Nyamekye’s heart raced but she heard a louder heartbeat from the chest whose eyes had pinned her down. “I think I am, I am, I am…” She couldn’t bring herself to say it. “…in love? If that is what you meant to say then I am too” Kwabena Boadu said, his breath and grin making it barely audible as she nodded smiled like one who had stumbled on a treasure.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

KRONOLOGY

I saw a sun in your heart
That I stole to light me up
Your proximity is a key
Which sparks a playful arrhythmia
In the sealed contours of my chest
A thief prays to never be caught
So why do I steal daily from the same spot?

II
I believe it is time to graduate into an armed robber
Wearing camo of braveness
With an armour vehicle of shamelessness
Guns of affection
Handcuffs of interest
Boots of attention
Bats of charms
With a skill of invincibility in operation

III
Oh thoughtful I in this thoughtless me
Raise no eyebrows
You know beatings of shame
Jailing of indifference
Shooting of animosity
And lynching of rumours
Aren’t exactly hells you’d want to experience
After all, we all share a fuel tank of breath
And these palpitations are known in these seats within

IV
Oh how fair the hair of stares!
How bright the sight of tights!
How right the might of height!
How fast this heart runs!
Say no more!!!
There is a madness in this house!
One that puts together mismatched words
Through the ink of one bitten by Cupid’s arrow
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 24, 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 2


Ohene Asaa begged his daughter to at least take one guard with her and settled on the guard being female and not showing in any way that she was a guard. Ama Adjeibea Okore was the perfect female guard for the mission and Ohene Asaa made sure he put her under more training for a month before the real journey began. Ama had wielded a sword almost all her life. Her inspiration was her father who was the best warrior a decade past before the war with Anyaakrom took his life. He was leading his people home after they defeated their opponents only for a trap of fire to fall on him, killing his horse and himself before his followers were able to quench it. Ama was just six years old. Her elder brother continued teaching her until she was sent to the palace to serve as one of Nyamakye’s attendants. Females were not allowed to be warriors in Apemso and her worried mother who had the favour of the queen was allowed to bring her daughter into the palace to ward off rumours of her witchcraft. Ama was just few months older than Nyamekye.
Nyamekye supervised their shopping for the journey. She bought clothes meant for the average person in society and bought everything in pairs to put Ama on the same scale as her. She was not to fight until she ordered and was supposed to act as her sister and nothing else. Although Ohene Asaa felt unsettled, he and his queen saw them off after promising his daughter not to send spies to follow her. Things of the spirit have all seeing eyes and the custodian of the land knew going against her was as bad as she being harmed in a far off land. No one, besides the head of warriors, the king and queen, Ama and her mother, knew about this journey. So the royal head prayed for the safety of his only child.
The first village they passed through was Mina. It was a beautiful village with a fertile land. Rice, maize, groundnuts, cassava, plantain and many other needed vegetables flourished there. They went around the market and Ama could not help but notice how well Nyamekye blended in. She spoke to the market women as if she had known them all her life. She helped them call for customers, helped them sweep around and did everything they asked for. By evening, they had someone offer to house them in her home. Ama got very comfortable and happy she had such a great personality to travel with.
The house they got to was a beautiful mud house with well thatched roof. There was a fence around the house with six mud houses. The man of the house was a short and plump bald man with a cruel look but a very great personality. He welcomed them into his home and made sure they had all they needed. The next day was a Wednesday, and the household needed to go to the farm. Tuesdays were resting days instructed by the gods. Many stories were told about deities who showed themselves to deviants who ventured to cross River Asona to farm on Tuesdays. Some collapsed, others were maimed and in extreme cases, killed. So all others who wanted to work, worked on their gardens right around their houses.
Nyamekye and Ama went to the Okroso farm with the Kesse family. They experienced the sting of many insects, notable among them was a fly that was known to suck blood through a painful sting. The people called it “abenim”. Other ants and thorns did not spare them. Still, Nyamekye was enthusiastic and happy working like the rest. She weeded, helped dig out cocoyams and ate just like all the others. Even Ama felt exhausted but Nyamekye cheered her on. When they got back, Ama used hot water and Shea butter to massage her princess’ legs and feet. She was shocked that she also returned the favour. That night, Nyamekye told Ama about how blessed she was to be a part of the lives of the people. Seeing how they suffered to farm, she was appreciative of every food anyone could give and promised to cherish all meals. The next day, they left for Apremire. The Kesse family wanted them to stay for a while but Nyamekye thanked them and promised to visit some time in the future.
They walked for the whole day until sundown but saw no sign of a settlement. Having rained through the night, the frogs came out for a fearsome choral and crickets provided instrumentation that made scary images tip toe even in the sway of leaves. They held each other’s hand and quickened their steps but somehow felt they were being chased. The feet were many and heavy. They sounded like feet of men, strong men, men who were on a dangerous mission and they kept getting closer and closer.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

Female Role Models: Ewurama Attoh

Ewurama Attoh is a radio presenter in the northern part of Ghana (Tamale). She has been active on radio since April 2013 with one of the best stations in the region: Kesmi Fm. She is the People’s Celebrity, Female Radio Presenter of the year 2017.

Ewuraa hosts the Drive (#DriveKesmiHome) on Kesmi 107.1MHz on Mondays to Thursdays from 2pm to 5:30pm. She also hosts a talk show host (Kesmi Girls Talk with Ewurama ) on Fridays, 7pm to 8:30pm.

Ewurama, in collaboration with NORSAAC GH, mentor young girls in senior high schools.

She is passionate about helping young ones understand what it means to be vocal in their field of work or line of dreams; as a matter of fact, she aims to empower the youth in pursuing their dreams, build their self confidence and respect.

She hopes to venture into television broadcasting to widen her scope in advocacy. She is currently in the process of coming out with a talk show on television. Ewuraa is a good role model.

ROTTEN NUTS OF THE LAW

It is sad
Very sad when a rotten nut
Destroys the sweet flavour of a whole pan of soup
Who can; tired legs,
Needful minds and broken palms run to?
A whole tree thought to be Odum
Ended up as a beautifully rotten pawpaw tree
Waiting to murder an unsuspecting leaner
Who made the laws
Punches
On unarmed faces?
Who drove assault of innocence into heads of protectors?
Who programmed an enforcer into a robotic abuser?
Who killed empathy in books of the strong?

Can I blame a cruel fist without noting its roots?
Oh poverty!
You are a violence which needs Osama’s bomb to eliminate!
And I am weeping that your funeral mocks my mortality
In confidence of your immortality!!!
I am hurt that your existence’s grey hair cuffs my infant wisdom
On the ticket of your old age!!!
I am saddened by your rotten teeth
Which bites to turn full humans into harmless beasts
To suffer at the hands of originally harmful beasts!!!
Poverty! You need a suicide pill

So computerized law enforcers can punch in their sorry heads
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 21, 2018

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 1

“You will have a baby. A baby who will wash your sorrows and polish the pride of the queen and the ego of the king. The only clause for bliss, is to be sure to grant all the wishes of the child no matter how difficult. The day you fail to grant a wish is the day you’ll lose the child”. Okomfo Akyaa stressed on the “lose” causing the last word to fall like a ripe mango harvested by wind from the chest of the sky. Ohemaa Abrampah and Ohene Asaa looked at each other in fear before reality dawned on the importance of a baby to the stool of Apemso. As if on a cue, they both responded “As the gods wish”.
Apemso continued to sell rumours like food on everyday basis about the custodian of the land. The people loved their king and would never harm him in any way but the matter of a child was of serious concern to him. Whereas some blamed the queen for her bad luck and suggested that the king takes on another wife, the king disagreed with all of them. It had been six months since they visited Okomfo Akyaa in the heart of the night, hoping no one saw them go through the rituals for a child but nothing seems to suggest that she has taken seed. Just when Ohene Asaa was about to voice his worry to his beloved queen, she collapsed in her stool.
The chief herbalist: Opanyin Kesse, checked and checked in shock and finally announced “The queen is with child”. The king sat through all the herb preparations and fed them to his queen. Everyone in the palace saw how the king doted on his queen throughout the pregnancy. Gossips of Apemso claimed the only thing their king did not do was remove the child into his own stomach to relief his queen. Ohene Asaa was a very happy king.
When the midwives announced the birth of the princess, the elders were unhappy but the king was so happy he could not wait for the child to be cleaned before badging into the delivery room. Immediately he laid eyes on her, he announced “You shall be called Princess Nyamekye Brakatu Asaa”, daughter who cleaned the shame of her father.
Merrymaking for her naming ceremony went on for a whole week. Having married the love of his life at the age of eighteen, becoming king at the age of twenty and having his first child at the age of twenty seven was no easy thing to go through as a king beloved of his people. Everyone in Apemso joined the celebration and wished the royal family well.
Princess Nyamekye grew like a miracle. Everyday saw her prettier, her every deed showed her goodness. Her attitude towards everyone, her love for all, made all forget about the fact that the royal house needed a male child to inherit the stool. It is not as if they wanted her to ascend the throne but they wouldn’t mind if her husband did in future.
Throughout her growing up, Princess Nyamekye never asked for anything, making her parents wonder if what the Okomfo told them was a mere threat to dissuade them from receiving their gift. While all her friends were always asking for many things during festivals and other celebrations, the Princess just worked hard on looking for gifts for her parents and friends. Even her mates who disliked her knew their dislike was borne out of their own insecurities and jealousies.
On her sixteenth birthday, Ohene Asaa threw a big party for his only child and invited all of Apemso to join in the celebration. Many people gifted her many things. Her father asked her to ask for anything she wanted. Nyamekye asked for a trip into the world without royalty. The King looked at his queen, then his princess and it was evident that he regretted ever asking her. The first thing that hit him was her safety outside the palace. He knew he could not handle it if anything should happen to her but because he had prompted the request, he had no choice but to grant it.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

DAWN OF TEARS – Prof. Atukwei Okai

Oh dear!
The hawk of death
Has caught one of the best chickens of life
What is this confusion that burns
Scribbling minds on hot coals of pain?
What is this shock that stirs
Hearts in reawakening fears of the going?
What is this bell that scares
Fingers holding pens of seers?
Yet this gone’s ink is imprinted on the sands of life
Erasing oblivion, consoling all

II
A mouth with a voice has travelled through the one gated land
Never to turn back
But we know
If death is ever defeated,
It is done by a writer
If death is ever killed
It sure is done by inks trapped and baptized by recognition
To forever stay
Atukwei you’re taken
But your ink is imprinted on the sands of this earth

III
The great adviser
The great seer whose oration shook the land
The blessed talent in whose mind
Words met to be fixed in his perfected colander
Commander of fewer words telling long stories
From Rosimaya to Sunset Sonata
You are gone
But your ink is imprinted on the sands of time’s made and unmade sands

IV
Rest well
You whose life blessed and touched many
Sleep well
You whose mind worked and burned many a night’s wicks
Swim in the waters of peace
You whose ink made paths for many to thread on
You surely have made your path
And in no way can death defeat you
Prof. da yie!
Ya wɔ ojogbaaa!
Death’s ambitious throat cries dissatisfaction
For much of your juices still flow in this breathful place called earth!
And we are grateful even in our sorrows
For all your contributions which are bridges on flooded places
Which drowned many voices in history
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 14, 2018

Male Role Models: Emmanuel Eroh

Emmanuel Eroh is a distinction graduate of Physics Electronics from the Prestigious Federal Polytechnic of Bida in Niger state. He is a Business Analysts and a seasoned entrepreneur.
He loves rendering business ideas to small start-ups and is also an advocate for the girl child education and child marriages.

He carried out training on capacity building, engaging the youth into taking the future into their hands by empowering them with skills acquisition program geared toward helping them stand out from the crowd. He has also carried out professional symposium where he spoke on giving an “Oh My God” customer services experience.
He had a wonderful career with Intercontinental Bank PLC (now Access Bank PLC) and Keystone Bank PLC where he did his job to perfection. He was the Cash Officer in the operations Department, Cashier, Customer Service Officer(CSO),
and also functioned as the branch IT (information Technology) Admin.
He has a good personality with the fear of God. He is a proud member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

He organized tutorials for the less privileged secondary school children who couldn’t afforded the extra hours classes to brace them up for advanced examinations. He is also a fleet manager of Uber Transport Technology. Eroh is a role model.

Male Role Models: Segbeyon Oluwatobi

Segbeyon is a skillfully dedicated historian and poet. A teacher by profession with an unquenchable passion to breed future generations who are capable of development and leadership.
He is the pioneer of the Take Charge Movement (TCM), Nigeria, which is aimed at exposing students in secondary schools to concepts self awareness, esteem and actualisation. Also, trainer of youths on leadership and gender related issues as well as solutions.
As a volunteer, Segbeyon has already undertaken series of community development projects that concern Education, Agriculture, Health and Sociopolitical upkeep and development.
On other parts, he shares a philosophy and advocates for gender equity in African societies, a phenomenon which is imperative in our various communities (Africa).
His general motivation and belief is in his youthfulness, as an important tool for building a better society.

Female Role Models: Dorithy D. Gwee

Dorithy D. Gwee is a young and potential leader who hails from one of the most prestigious counties (Bong) located in the North-Central portion of Liberia. She began her leadership journey from her high school days where she became the first female Council President for the E. J .Yancy High School in Totota Bong County. Dorithy is a Civil Engineering Student at the Stella Maris Polytechnic. She is an advocate for girls and their rights to STEM education. She encourages females to step forward and break those stereotypes surrounding women. Dorithy aims to impact the lives of females by fostering their participation in the society. Dorithy is a role model.

Female Role Models: Maame Akua Awereba


Maame Akua Awereba, a Ghanaian and a journalist by profession, is a former broadcaster at First Digital Television, and Joy News. She is also a former Producer of Joy News’ flagship business personality show The Executive Lounge and the current Chief Operating Officer of 360 Lifestyle Network. Maame is also the Executive Producer and presenter of the Books and More Show on Starr 103.5 fm; a literary and arts review show. Founder of Dear Survivor, a platform and safe space for survivors of sexual violence and other forms of gender based violence: Geared at providing not just a safe space, but serving as a data base for researchers. Maame is a role model.

Male Role Models: Ralford Rollings-Bull


He is a certified young IT Professional (software/hardware/networking/website/video/audio engineer) in Freetown, He is a youth activist and educator on youth issues. He is also a former President of a registered youth organization with the National Youth Commission of Sierra Leone (Our Year Our Voice Committee Sierra Leone) where he met The President of The Republic of Sierra Leone in 2013 through his advocacy.
Ralford Rollings-Bull helps youth in Sierra Leone who are in the public and private sectors to thrive further for success, to be practical in solutions and optimistic in decisions, to transfer skills and experiences learned to young promising leaders who want to become exceptional and are diligent in the work they do for other young people.
Ralford Rollings-Bull has ten years experience in the field of youth advocacy and is well known in his home Country.
He is currently working as the Founder and Chief Executive Director of The Youth Alliance Initiative Network (YAIN), a Youth Serving Agency, where he focuses on addressing issues that affect the youth. He is also working for Democracy Sierra Leone; a civil society organization where he supports them with ICT skills, social media and field advocacy.

Ralford Rollings-Bull is a graduate from Njala university, where he did his degree programme in a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Agricultural Engineering. He is motivated in working for young people because he has passion in positive youth activism, considering the fact that young people in Sierra Leone are being neglected especially female youth with the determination of gaining tertiary education and involvement in National Governance.

Ralford role model.

Female Role Models: Ama Opoku Agyeman

Ama is a pharmacist by training, teacher by calling and a researcher by choice. She graduated with a B. Pharm (Pharmacy) and M. Phil (Pharmacology) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology and a PhD (Pharmacology) from the University of Cambridge, UK. She is currently with the School of Pharmacy, University of Ghana-Legon, where she teaches and carries out research in infectious diseases, global health and antimicrobial resistance.

In her life, Ama has been influenced by people who have taken all the challenges in life within their stride and excelled in their career as well as personal life. These people have included world leaders, famous people, professors but also importantly, the people many consider ‘ordinary’. Her best life lessons have been learnt from simple, down-to-earth and everyday people going about their lives with faith, hope, hard work and excellence.

Ama believes life is a cycle that needs to continue and that life is worth it when we can give back the inspiration and blessings we receive. She therefore hopes her life will serve as inspiration for other young people. One way she hopes to do this is by mentoring young people in their life and career choices. She is passionate about recruiting, encouraging and sustaining women in sciences and more especially their representation at the highest ranks in the field of science.

She believes all people are EQUAL and should be treated as such with no discrimination based on gender, race, tribe, educational background, societal class, faith etc… As a Christian, this is exemplified by the Golden Rule; ‘Do unto others what you want them to do to you’

She enjoys writing, playing with babies and listening to them talk, listening to loud music, watching Kumawood movies that feature Akrobeto, Agya Koo or Lil’ Win, travelling around Ghana, making new friends especially with children and the elderly and watching crime investigation because of forensic science. Ama is a true role model.

Male Role Models: Yahya Sowe

Yahya Sowe, from the Gambia, is an Islamic student graduate from Muslim Senior Secondary School in 2011. He had his degree at the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in 2014. Yahya is a 25 year old youth activist, freelance journalist and a volunteer with more than ten years experience in youth leadership, serving communities to better their living conditions and guaranteeing a brighter future for their unborn generation. Yahya is a serving member of several national and sub-regional youth led organizations. He is the President of Pan African Leaders Movement Gambia (which is made up of 24 African countries), Gambian Ambassador of Solidage Africa Foundation and the Center Coordinator of Africa Youths Architect.
He has certificates in the following areas: Human Right, leadership, climate change, gender based violence, peace and conflict management, servant leadership, understanding the rights of women and girls, Responsible leadership on transparency and Good Governance, Understanding Elections and Civic Responsibilities , Skills Building for Girls Advocacy, etc..
Yahya has guiding principles of honesty, tolerance, devotion and service for humanity.
In his leadership positions, his utmost priority is always putting up a democratic and sustainable structure with a tailored master plan of grooming the next generation of leaders to take up the challenge. He initiated programs to help the communities become resilient and oriented them to fully understand their rights and obligations and thereby be the architects of their own destiny. Yahya is a role model.

Female Role Models: Caroline Oye Otuei

Caroline Oye Otuei is a teacher at Crown Prince Academy. She holds an MPhil degree in Guidance and Counselling. She has the passion for offering counselling services to young people. She believes that when people are given the right guidance in life, they can make informed decisions and become responsible for their choices. Caroline has special interest in people with disabilities especially, the hearing impaired. She is founder of the sign language club in Crown Prince Academy. She is looking forward to a future where there are sign language interpretors across all the sectors of the economy so that life will be more comfortable for the deaf. Caroline is a role model.

Female Role Models: Louisa Laryea

Louisa Laryea is A Chartered Certified Accountant and a member of ACCA-UK. A Banker as well with demonstrable record in identifying Risk Exposures in Banking and Mitigating same. An astute professional with Eighteen (18) years of experience in Finance and Banking. She courts biases for numbers, analysis and people. Louisa is a stickler for excellence, is very confident, quite calculated, forthright and opinionated too. She believes whatever is worth doing must be whole-heartedly done to the very best of one’s ability. She likes to challenge the status quo in order to deliver modernization to the corporate environment – an attribute not so popular in Ghanaian corporate circles. She has a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management as well from the University of Ghana Business School.

Louisa believes in Merit and Diligent work. She does not subscribe to the assertion of lowering thresholds for females (because females are very capable). She believes that females have the capacity to pursue their goals and aspirations to any height if they so desire. If only females will focus, challenge themselves, rip off the limitations, be their own cheer-leaders, believe in themselves and set their priorities purposefully. Females should not be pitied because they are females. No! That certainly is demeaning. Success does not emanate from pity. Confidence in oneself solves half the challenge even before one approaches the task. Louisa believes in Equity. The options and offerings availed must only be availed equitably and not out of pity. There are males who are more disadvantaged than females; only because of where they come from, who their parents are or what their communities believe in. Resources for development must therefore be fairly distributed consistently and equitably.
Louisa espouses strong tenets of Discipline and Integrity. She believes that Discipline is what always makes the difference. A people/a Nation that does not appreciate Discipline, clearly retrogresses. That surely holds true for Ghana

.

Louisa is affable, she loves fashion, absolutely loves family and likes to observe.
She enjoys reading, writing and likes to assist kids to read too. Louisa has a great affinity for good humour and also appreciates boundaries.
She however hates cutting onions but enjoys a gush of onions in her sauces, soups and fries.
Louisa is married to Israel Laryea and has Three (3) Children – Cheyne, Mitch and Samantha.

Louisa is a role model worthy of emulation.