THE GHANAIAN HIGH SCHOOL CULTURAL FESTIVAL OF NORTHERN GHANA IN PICTURES.

THE STORY OF MOLE DAGBANI

The founder of the kingdom was called Naa-Gbewaa. He had several children, but the popular among them were Zirili, Kufogu, Tosigu, Shitobu, Mantanbu and Yentura (the only female who was popular). Yentura which was the name of the lady meant “which part of me can be insulted?” She left her father before he died because she was of age and her father failed to give her hand to anyone in marriage. She was so fraustrated that she planted some okro in their backyard. When it bore fruit, she did not bother to harvest. One day, her father saw it and asked why she has refused to harvest the okro, she retorted: “It is the ripe okro you have seen but you have failed to see your own ripe daughter.” Her father felt guilty and gave her permission to look for her own husband, promising his approval no matter who she chooses. She left on horse back and after sometime returned with a strange man who did not speak their language. The marriage to the man was endorsed by her father, so she left with the man to present day Burkina Faso where they established the Mossi Kingdom. In his old age, Naa-Gbewaa called one of his wives one day and told her about the need to groom Kufogu well because he was to become the next ruler. Unknown to him, he was talking to the mother of Zirili, the eldest son instead of Kufogu’s mother. The woman did not like her husband’s idea so she rather coached her son to eliminate his younger brother Kufogu and become the next ruler after his father’s death. Zirili dug a pit in his hall and covered it with some stalks and some animal skin. Then he invited his brother Kufogu to come into his hall and dine with him. When Kufogu entered, Zirili instructed him to sit on the skin, when he did, he fell into the very deep pit. Zirili then ordered his wives to pour some hot pito they have brewed into the pit. This led to the death of Kufogu. The death of the Kufogu affected his father greatly and resulted in his mysterious death. When he heard that his son had been murdered by his other son, he exclaimed and placed his hand on his chest, then all of a sudden, the ground under him opened, he fell inside and it closed him in. Soon afterwards, Zirili also died. There was a struggle as to who should become the next ruler. Finally, the three eldest children: Tosigu, Shitogu and Mantanbu decided to go their separate ways. Tosigu settled in Gambaga and established the Mamprugu Kingdom. Shitogu established the Yoonima Kingdom now referred to as Dagbon, Mantanbu established the Nanaumba Kingdom. All the above mentioned happened in Pusiga. Dagbambas settled in Pusiga in present day Upper East Region when they arrived in Ghana.   It is a festival of music, dance and drama. The students showcase our ways of dressing, our culture and morals. This a picture of some of our choristers looking sleek and beautiful in their northern traditional wears. Image Telling tales with miming, singing drumming and dancing. Image Image Some of the talking drums which talked to the hearing of all. Image Just thrilling. Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image   Image Image   ImageImage Image ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

PULL AND LET ME PULL, A SHORT STORY BY AMOAFOWAA SEFA CECILIA

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Mma Adjara stands in the middle of the compound wondering what is going to happen. Is she to support Wadudu or Watara in their bid for kingship? She was the first wife of the late king, their father, and loves them both. Fate had dealt her a nasty blow so much so that she gave birth to only “animals”. She painfully thinks about the horrible name society has given to her girls even before they were born. No matter how hard she tried, she gave her husband girls. The elders of the land put pressure on her husband to take another wife as custom demanded and she was left with no option but to agree. The first born of Fatahiya, the second wife, was twin boys who never made it to their second year because of measles. The witchcraft card was drawn and she fitted perfectly on its table. Her husband had been gracious to rebuff the allegations citing the words of the herbalist who took care of the boys. Tried as Fatahiya did, she could not conceive after three years so Naa- Soringahi had to take a third wife out of the many beautiful girls who were being offered to the king as gifts. Fatahiya begrudged her for what seemed like eternity thinking she was somehow connected with her inability to conceive. She tolerated her.

The third wife Salma bore a boy and a girl, she lost the girl but Alhassan, the boy survived. Two months later, Fatahiya also conceived a male child; Watara. No one knew of her pregnancy because she went to her mother’s home town Zuhiri when she realized she was pregnant. Everyone in Hasuni thought she left because she was jealous of the new wife, even her husband thought so. When members of her family called on the king to say Fatahiya had delivered, everyone was shocked. There were rumours that she might have stolen the baby or she might have committed adultery to deliver that baby but Mma Adjara had extinguished the fire in that rumour flame.

Five years after these children were born, a ten year old boy was brought to the palace and no one was told he was the son of Naa-Soringahi. Wadudu looked like a clone of his father, the king. His presence shook Mma Adjara and the very fabric of the Hasuni kingdom. As to how this came about, the old man who brought the boy said Zelia, his mother was dead. He said “Zelia” looking directly in the eyes of Mma Adjara as though she was supposed to know her. When she searched his face without a clue, he said:

“Zelia your former maid”

“Huh?” was all Mma Adjara could say. She remembered the girl. She was a respectful girl who was brought to the palace when she was around fifteen years old. She was a bright young girl who adored her children and took very good care of the princesses. When her first princess was four years old, the girl had gotten up one day to say she would like to leave the palace. Mma Adjara had depended so much on her and trusted her completely. She tried all she could to convince her but the girl was defiant, she wanted to go to her ailing father, she could not live in the palace any longer. At first, she thought the girl was hiding something, but after seeing her father, she allowed her, her father was old and limping on one leg. She could never had thought that her husband had had carnal knowledge of the young girl.

She took a look at the king in his throne for clues but his head was bowed. The elders decided to make Wadudu Mma Adjara’s third child and first son. As to the explanation, the throne had no explanation to give anyone. Those palace maids who were seen wagging their tongues disappeared without a trace. Within months, the Hasuni kingdom was quiet on this matter though it was more like an open secret.

Each day with Wadudu, Mma Adjara felt blessed. He was the most well nurtured boy she had ever met. He was a respectful, adorable, wise and hard-working young man to ever live. Fatahiya looked for ways to get him out of the palace but all her traps backfired. The last set-up that made her give up was when she said Wadudu proudly blurted out the forbidden saying of the Hasuni Kingdom which must never be mentioned, to her hearing. According to the traditions of Hasuni Kingdom, saying that “Lahiri will poison Kumzaazi” is like saying a prince will poison another prince in order to be king. This is a forbidden saying because it happened two centuries ago in the Hasuni kingdom.

The chief called the boy and asked him about it, he said;

“Naa, I know it is a curse to say this kind of thing. My grandfather told me this particular statement, when made, the body of the utterer was stripped of all clothes and thrown into the evil forest of Asisam. The evil forest of Asisam, my grandfather told me, holds all the witches that Baba Umotu sacks from the villages under Hasuni Kingdom. It is where many fierce animals hunt for human flesh and it is where Apiopiopio hunts for human blood for his deity. I am very sure I did not utter that statement. I hardly see Mma Fatahiya in the house and I was with Mma Adjara the whole day yesterday”

Mma Adjara confirmed that he was with her and Fatahiya nearly lost her head but for the timely intervention of her family who planned for someone to take the blame saying the victim’s voice sounded like Wadudu’s.

Naa loved Wadudu not because he was his photocopy, but because he felt sorry for forcing himself on his mother. He felt he had wronged the girl so much he started having a soft spot for Zelia, but it was too late. He could not bring the matter up because he felt getting married to her would be unfair to his wife. This made him bury his feelings deep within his heart before she left his kingdom. He did not know he had planted a seed in her very new farm.

Now the king is dead. Before he died, he confided in his wife that he would rather have Wadudu become his successor but the elders would use the laws of the land to make it impossible. He pleaded with his intelligent queen to think of a way to make it possible. He told the elders before passing on that he will tell his first wife how his successor will be chosen, they grumbled, but agreed. The wishes of the dying must not be challenged, everyone knew this adage well. Alhassan and Watara, everyone knew were spoilt brats. They never did their father proud and their mothers fought for nothing.

One of the customary laws of Hasuni holds that “an issue between a royal and a servant cannot be king.” Though Wadudu had been portrayed as the son of the first wife, everyone knew of his background.

Now that Naa is dead and many heads want the throne in their families, Mma Adjara is supposed to choose the next king for approval and her rivals are all putting pressure on her to select their sons.

Under the laws of the land, Alhassan is the right person to be king because he is the first royal son of Naa but Salma had no strong backing from the elders. Most of the elders were relatives of Fatahiya. Mma Adjara has an opinion in this matter but if she chooses Wadudu, she would be turned down flatly. She asked them to give her three weeks to tell them what her husband had said and to help choose the next king.

Two weeks later, Fatahiya and her son called Alhassan to come and have some pito with them. Alhassan died that evening and Salma was beside herself with grief. Mma Adjara could not think straight. She confronted Fatahiya after a palace guard told her what happened. She denied and appealed to Mma Adjara not to be paranoid into making decisions by listening to fake gossip. She shed crocodile tears showing her grief for the loss of Alhassan. The next day, the guard who told Mma Adjara of the pito drink disappeared. Mma Adjara stands under the baobab tree thinking and soliloquizing on her next move.

She devices a good plan to get the best king for the kingdom. She calls for the elders of the land and tells them her husband had told her to first give all his sons one puzzle to solve. The families of his sons must stay out of solving the puzzle or Apiopiopio must strike them down. They are to solve the puzzle and meet her on the next moon with the result. The one who solves the puzzle has a greater chance of becoming the next king. She went further to say there are three phases of the test, finding the meaning of the puzzle is the first. So the puzzle was given to them on the skin of their family totem; a lion.

“Strength soar when brooms work, we drink many families of water at a go.”

Watara is the first to speak.
“Why must this half-baked prince be in the competition?”

His uncle tells him to keep quiet as that is the last wish of his dead father. But he tells his uncle that must have been because his father wanted Wadudu to be king. He angrily told his uncle that his father knew  Wadudu was brilliant that is why he brought learning into the picture. He is rushed into the room by his mother. She tells him to think hard and solve the puzzle as the god of Apiopiopio will never spare anyone who intervenes. Watara asks his mother if Wadudu cannot go the same way Alhassan went. Fatahiya thinks for a while, and tells him to let her sleep on the matter.

Mma Adjara and the elders patiently wait for the next moon.

When Wadudu was exonerated from the web of lies by Fatahiya, Mma Adjara knew the boy’s life was in danger. She gave him a homing pigeon for a pet. She told him to keep that bird with him at all times. The bird became his best friend and confidant. She also gave him two wild dogs and two cats to keep as pets. Wadudu loved Mma Adjara so much that he kept her gifts so well. Seeing the puzzle on the lion skin, he chuckles and says in his head, my father was a very intelligent man. He went into his room and immediately solves it in his head waiting for the day of submission.

Fatahiya sends a guard to send a nicely shaped gourd of pito to Wadudu. Her instruction was to tell him that his grandfather sent it to him. Wadudu sees his mother and she tells him of the pito, but she tells him to pour some of his pito for one cock to drink. Wadudu does as instructed and the cock dies instantly. Mma Adjara instructs her guards to get the guard who brought the pito but he was nowhere to be found. She tells Wadudu to be extra careful. When he is going to the farm, he must make sure he goes with his pets and guards; she also has one last request for him.

The evening is bright with the moon smiling down on the earth and the stars playing in the sky. Fireflies on this night have lost their bright shine to the sky beings and many guards whose eyelids have been removed to keep them from sleeping stand at vantage points keeping watch over Wadudu’s hut. Tomorrow is the day of the submission of the test and the whole kingdom anticipates the selection of their king. Before any of the guards gets to know what is happening, about four of the guards are seen lying on the ground, murdered. The rest shout for help but no one hears this because they all drank from the big drum of water that sits in front of the huts. Fatahiya made sure to put the sleeping medicine in. The guards needed one thing done, to murder Wadudu.

Nkeemasi is the guard of the forest, he witnesses what is going on until he sees the angry faces of the murderers when they realize what they have killed to kill is a straw decoy. They try picking up one dead guard for questioning but it is no use. They start cleaning the house and conveying the dead guards to God knows where. He watches from where he hides. These people are to be feared. Because they did not get him, they are wiping all evidence of an attack on Prince Wadudu. Mma Adjara was right when she requested that we hide Wadudu. The gods must do something, he thinks. He hides and watches until all of them leave and dawn gives way to the morning rays.

Nkeemasi tells Mma Adjara everything that happened in the night. The guards search for Wadudu in the whole land and other villages. Traps were made for him on the many paths to the market square where the test is to take place. Time now for the test and Watara is the only prince who shows up. Some of the elders are impatient, others are pleasantly happy. The happy elders put pressure on Mma Adjara to start the presentation and disqualify Wadudu for disrespecting the elders of the land and herself. Mma Adjara heeds to their demand but before they can rejoice, a beautiful maiden seated in the audience comes forward and sits with Watara. All the elders shout, abomination!

Wadudu takes off the female apparel and takes his fugu from one of his sisters, the last born of Fatahiya and wears it with his royal shoes. The whole kingdom has never seen anything like this. Some shout in adoration, others shout in disappointment. Watara is called to give his presentation and he comes to say:

“Strength soar when brooms work, we drink many families of water at a go. This means that we must use our strength to fly as we hold brooms to sweep the sky. The water we drink, we must give to our families. Thank you”

Many of the elders place their hands on their heads, never have they seen a foolish prince as this one, all their tutelage have gone into one ear and gotten out of the other. Wadudu stands in front of the elders and audience:

“Strength soar when brooms work, we drink many families of water at a go. (He produces two calabashes, one with water, and brooms tied together. (He lifts the broom, removes just one and easily breaks it and takes the whole tied broom and says) “Strength soar when brooms work mean with one broom there is no strength, with many together, it becomes difficult to break. This simply means when we are together, we can never be defeated, just one of us is no hurdle for even a sole enemy.”

He now puts the empty calabash down and lifts the one with water and pours it one drop after the other in the calabash on the ground and says;) When rain falls, it falls one drop after the other with many dropping at the same time. Those which fall at the same time are in one family, with every second rain fall, we have new families of water. Most of these families go into our rivers to form the water that quenches our thirst. Without the strength of their families, we will not have enough to drink to keep us alive. This goes to buttress the fact that unity is strength.”

The applause is simply thunderous. All hands clap, even ones from the enemies. Mma Adjara calls on the head elder to say something.

“What can I say now? All I will say is what Wadudu here has said. It couldn’t have been delivered any better. So Watara has failed miserably and Wadudu has passed. Baba Fuseina says.

The clap and happiness from the audience is simply unimaginable. Watara gets up to leave and Mma Adjara speaks for him to sit.

“It is not over yet Watara. The second test is this;” she hands over another skin to both of them

Watara reads his “The body must be free, the soul must be holy to hold souls under a kingdom, convince your audience in the next moon”

What is the meaning of this? Some of the elders tell him it is for him to find out and for them to listen. He leaves the market ground angry with his mother trailing him.

Fatahiya calls her young daughter:

“Hasana, why were you helping that half-baked prince when you have a full prince for a brother?”

“Wↄi Mma, aren’t they all my brothers? Please I didn’t do anything bad oh, don’t make me a bad girl.” Hasana retorts.

“Don’t be silly Hasana, now tell me how you were able to conceal him or I will call Apiopiopio to deal with you.”

“Mma, I just met him on the way and he asked me to give him my wrapper, I had another for my friend Koona and gave it to him to dress that is all.”

“From today, you better tell me whenever he asks you for something, and be sure to bring Koona for me to see her. How can you keep a friend that I don’t know? Her being from another kingdom is the more reason I must know her, do you hear me?”

“Yes Mma, I will ask her to come and stay with me for a while so you will see her soon.” is all Hasana has to say and she says it laughing within her so badly.

There is a frantic search for Wadudu. First, one of his cats die and his dogs bark so loudly, it is as if the world is falling on their heads. He climbs into his straw ceiling and watches as the guards comb the whole room looking for him this hot afternoon. He knows by now all his guards have been killed. Soomia, his homing pigeon flies to Mma Adjara and restlessly flaps its wings, Mma sends guards to Wadudu’s house and four men are caught. Mma Adjara hides them under her underground quarters which no one knows of, no one, not even Wadudu.

Fatahiya becomes very restless, she has waited the whole night for the head elder to tell him something but he had failed to turn up. She covers herself like an old woman and goes to his house only to be told the man doesn’t want to see her. She goes back to her quarters worried. She thinks she saw a doppelganger of Wadudu warning her to be careful or risk dying together with her whole family. She is so afraid that she goes into the hut of Hasana to sleep. Here, she sees Koona sleeping besides her. Mma, Koona came today so I was thinking of bringing her to see you tomorrow. “To what do I owe this visit?”

“I feel very bad, I think I am getting sick so I thought of sleeping here with you today, but with your friend asleep, I don’t think it will be possible”

Hasana laughed and told her to share a bed with her in her bedroom as Koona loved sleeping by herself. Fatahiya was glad. The dawn of the next morning, she meets Koona and sees her under the fickle rays of the lantern and expresses her happiness at meeting her. Koona thanks her and leaves for the bathroom. The search for Wadudu continues until the day of the second test without any knowledge of the guards of his whereabouts.

Mma Adjara sits in the female throne and asks those vying for the throne to present their work. She warns that none must lie in the presence of the elders or Apiopiopio will strike the person down. Wadudu is called first:

““The body must be free, the soul must be holy to hold souls under a kingdom, convince your audience in the next moon. This means one must be without the guilt of taking another’s soul unfairly to be able to rule a kingdom. Naa wanted us to swear in front of the elders of the kingdom and Apiopiopio the great that we have taken no life unfairly and I Wadudu Soringahi swears that never have I even taken a life let alone take a life of another unfairly. If someone has died because of me, then it definitely means I could do nothing to save the person or I had no idea the person will end up that way. I ask for the forgiveness of all such people and promise to live right by them.” There was a thunderous applause as usual as he sits down.

Watara cannot get up, he looks in the face of his mother who passes a charm to him to wear on his wrist and go. He swears that he has never killed anyone unfairly but before his next sentence, he is hit by thunder and he dies instantly.

What could be happening? Fatahiya starts taking off her nice female fugu and white top she strips herself naked as people start running away from her. Hasana Pleads with her to stop and the elders hold Hasana from getting any closer. Apiopiopio has gotten her brain; there is no way she can be saved. Let’s leave her to go. She will die by the Apiopiopio shrine and her blood will be used for whatever Apiopiopio needs.

Hasana cries aloud and Wadudu can do nothing but sympathise with her.

“I think helping you is my mistake, I took you into my house and made you pose as a lady and now my brother and mother are dead. I know they were up to no good but they were my family”

“And I am also your family”

Wadudu says sadly.

“I know, but why does it hurt so much brother?”

The first son of the King of Homoni Kingdom who is sitting in the audience gets up and takes her into his arms.

“I will like to be your family if you’ll have me. I am the heir apparent to the throne of Homoni Kingdom and I’ll make you the crown princess and the queen someday. Your golden heart deserves to rule. My father was given the task of taking care of Wadudu by his grandfather who died some years back. That is why he was forbidden from going back to his mother’s hometown, Thank you for your help.

It is a very cold evening  but Mma Adjara sends for the head elder, Baba Fuseini. He comes and frowns after hearing that Wadudu must be made king. He tells Mma Adjara that the kingship must go to the family of the late king’s brother. Mma Adjara tells him:
“I have evidence of the people you sent to kill Wadudu. It is either you agree and convince your people or face the consequences.”

The elder’s face turns so pale and he starts panicking. Mma Adjara asks him to leave and think about it or face the consequences.

Baba Fuseini cannot sleep this night. He sends for the elders and tells them to consider Wadudu as the next king. The elders disagree until he tells them what the queen had told him. They ask whether they can look for the hidden guards. Baba Fuseini impatiently says he would have finished them already if he could find them. They all agree to support Wadudu and make him King. Baba Ntanu asks if Wadudu can be killed because for a half-baked royal to be king is something he cannot comprehend. Baba Fuseini tells him that boy is being protected by Apiopiopio. He gets angry with the fact that some of them do not use their brains to think. If this boy can be killed, he would have been killed already. Let’s just be happy that Hasana will be the queen of a great kingdom some day and let go of this one to save our heads.

Epilogue:

Wadudu was made king of the Hasuni Kingdom after he married the most intelligent girl in the kingdom. He ruled Hasuni for eighty years with peace and unity as his hallmark. When he died, the name of the kingdom was changed from Hasuni to Naa Wadudu Kingdom because of the love the people had for him. His first son who was equally peaceful succeeded him. THE END.

By Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

OCEAN BEINGS

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One drop can be no mighty ocean

It needs a welcoming hollow land,

Which will accommodate her in his bosom

It needs another’s hand

It needs watery leggy droppings

It needs others’ drops

It needs the bubbly water stars

Which annoyingly parade their beauty

Before joining his growing kingdom

Above all, it needs the most waited upon in the world;

Miss Time.

An angry rebuff

And it risks being a stagnant water

Which even frogs fail to respect

Let alone seek refuge

A little room in your heart

A little room in mine

For each other, is all we need

To be that mighty ocean

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

HAILING TO LET GO

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Sing to the birds of one tree

And they will make it their hobby to sing to birds of many trees

Your very private song

Will be heard everywhere in the sky before long

Some songs must not be sang in the face of collaborationists

We must turn into worry abortionists

To do away with such songs

Before long.

I sang my songs

To the hearing of many welcoming ears

Little did I know I was the sport

And they were the amusers

One sleep is all it gave

And took away my face

Everywhere in the sky, I heard of its elaborate additions and lies

Casting me out of the public eye

And making me sit in my worry nest

No attempt was made to help relieve the sorrow in the song

All they were interested in was to listen

And be the first to tell

So bury them in your heart

Even if you are no worry abortionist

Than singing it to even one bird

Who will make you look down as you fly

Chances are, you falling down because of fear

Or crushing with a huge tree

This is a true heartie talkie

Neglect it not.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

THE DEFORMED

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She was a dab hand in many things

And received beaming from many satisfied mouths

Until that cataclysmic rendezvous for good

Saw her losing her capable tools.

With no ‘lings’ on her hands,

She tries her best to maintain her smile

And be no burden

Respect must be given to who respect is due

Bow in respect,

Bow in honour,

Bow in appreciation,

Bow in love,

And close your ditch which stinks of hatred

It is unfortunate she had none of your beginner’s luck

But such blessings need no self pity induced by stares of words

Which resonate to detonate heads.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

 

 

THE NALERIGU TOUR

THE NALERIGU TOUR

After the 2014 cultural festival of the northern region of Ghana which took place on the premise of the Nalerigu Senior High School, we visited the chief’s palace which is at the market square.

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In the palace. Image

The seeds on the ground are shea nuts and millet. The shea nuts being prepared for the shea butter extraction and the millet being prepared for its wine.

 

A picture with some of the drivers in front of the Nalerigu Palace.

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We also visited the Gambaga village hoping to know more about the witch camp, but we were not allowed because the chief refused. According to him, the organizers did not seek permission before visiting, so he forbade us from going to the camp and asked us to leave through his linguist. But I took some pictures of his palace and the surrounding.

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Now a picture of the disappointed students and teachers who were not granted access to the witch camp because officials failed to get prior permission. This tells how proud the people of Mamprusi are, without prior permission, you can have all the money in the world to give but none will attend to you.

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From here, we went to see the ancient wall of Nalerigu upon the suggestion of a co-teacher; Mr. Alhassan Natoma who is a native of Nalerigu. We were briefed on how the wall came about. This is the information:

THE ANCIENT WALL OF NALERIGU (NAA-DZARINGA WALL)

The paramount chief of the Mamprusi Traditional area, who ordered the wall to be built was Naa- Dzaringa. The chief had only one son. Unfortunately for him, the child was blind in one eye and according to the tribal custom of the area, a person with any bodily defect cannot occupy the royal stool. The child therefore could not succeed his father as the paramount chief of the Mamprusi people.

 

The chief, Dzaringa thought of how to raise a monument to his memory after his death. He struck on the idea of building a thick wall around the entire town of Nalerigu. He contacted his elders and councilors on the idea. He put it to them thus:

“You are aware that my predecessor Naa-Atabiya won many battles and conquered many tribes. I, Dzaringa, like-wise defeated many of our enemies’ towns and villages. I know for certain that we have many enemies around us who would want to revenge their defeat and regain their freedom. It is therefore advisable that we build a thick wall around our capital seat, Nalerigu, so that any time we are attacked, it would serve as a protective point to defend ourselves against them.”

The elders and counselors readily accepted the proposal. He made plans and ordered  that his subjects among the surrounding tribes , captives and slaves be summoned to work on the wall. They organized them into groups, each group worked for a short period in turns. The following  tribes worked to build the wall:

(a)  Lobis

(b)Grunshies

(c)  Kanjagas

(d)Walas

(e)  Dagombas

(f)   Konkombas

(g)  Bimobas

(h)Dagabas

(i)    Frafras

(j)    Sisalas

(k)Kusasis

The wall is known in the Mamprusi dialect as “Bringone”.  (‘gone’ means wall and ‘brin’ literary means rolling water)The earth or soil used in building the wall was mixed with honey, shea-butter and milk only. No water was used.

The wall was initially about six feet thick at the base and its height was more than 10 feet. During its construction, whenever a worker complained of tiredness or being sick, he was considered to be lazy or malingering. Such persons were ordered to be bound up and covered or buried into the wall to help raise the structure.

There were very strong gates built into the wall, they were guarded by soldiers day and nights. The gates were opened only from dawn to sunset. Heights of parts of the wall still stand 6ft 5 inches to 8ft. the side from where the earth was dug out for the wall became a big ditch and developed into a stream known as “Blimi” (‘Bren’ and Blimi mean the same thing because ‘r’ and ‘l’ are interchangeable in the Mampruli language). A wall was built across it forming a dam. It is now a source of good water supply to the town.

NOTE: Naa-Atabiya reigned from 1760-1775 while Naa-Dzaringa reigned from 1775-1785.

Nalerigu is 56km from Walewale.

The wall and its environs in pictures.

The last three on our way to the Naa-Dzaringa wall.

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A co-teacher who is from Nalerigu educating the students on how the place came to be.

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What is left of the wall.

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Students at play.

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A student looking out for evidence of humans in the wall.

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Marking our presence.

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We always do something crazy.

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The beautiful land and its cows keeping us company.

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The Blimi Dam.

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Students fascinated just watching.

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Having fun.

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One thing must be noted, Nalerigu is a farming community. When we visited, water melon was seen everywhere. Some farmers gifted many to our students, those who sold, sold them cheaply. Many people farm water melon there so the prices ranged from 50p to 3 Ghana Cedis. That is from the smallest to the biggest.

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Will post pictures from the cultural festival as soon as I can.

YOUR OWN BE YOUR OWN

He says he will wear no “fugu”

He will never drape himself in “Mmarintama”

Neither will he wear “Ahenemma”

He will always look smart in alien shirts and trousers

And his well polished shoes will command the respect of all

He emphatically said these wrappings are fetish

The drapings of his fathers and forefathers

 

She also concurs, siding with his thoughts.

She says she will never wear “kaba”

She will never wear “slit”

She will never wear any beads

She will look good in pretty dresses,

Jeans and sexy tops

That the “colo” things her mother’s mothers wore is beneath her status

 

Now is the new dawn

When the eternal stiffness lays his hands on her man

Maame Sexy cries streams of blood

Looking for the ‘colo’ women and fetish men

To bid the high classed mud farewell into the soil

Customs are customs she says now

But banishing those customs from your land of thoughts must have its consequences.

     Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

(Picture by allthingsquilty.blogspot.com)

SKULLY TANKS

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Breathe in the flesh suffering, no attention

A breathless being ready to join the earth, full attention

It’s time somebody thinks

If this selflessness in making skulls money sinks

Is enough to quench our thirst by serving as storer of drinks.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

DANCE WITH ME

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When the moon dances in the flirting sky

With the stars giggling and cheering their mother on

And the wind making love with the leaves 

In the clear view of all shapes of eyes without a care

And the fireflies light in love and happiness

I shrink into a little ball, hiding in the dark sky and 

Missing those arms on your shoulders which accompanies you to my detriment.

 

When the cock crows

And announces your approaching steps

And the dogs bark in love and welcome

The happiness that sleeps in me wakes

For I always peep on the toes of darkness

Discretely wishing you close to be my vehicle,

 Eyes and mountain to help me see farther into the passions of the skin

 

Now you are here

In tired clothes and old shoes

Possessed by deep sleep as your nose roars like the hyena

What do you expect when the yearnings drop carelessly

And the lion in you sleeps without a thought and will wake only to hit the road?

Care must be taken for these eyes on my head

Have started looking for solutions to satisfy the heart, the body is no firewood.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

 

WHEN THE MASTER SPEAKS

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“Agya ahunuabobirim Okokroko Odumgya Kasapreko Akasa”

The waters are still.

 

“Agya ahunuabobirim Okokroko Odumgya Kasapreko Akasa”

The farms are quiet.

 

“Agya ahunuabobirim Okokroko Odumgya Kasapreko Akasa”

The land is shaking!

 

“Agya ahunuabobirim Okokroko Odumgya Kasapreko Akasa”

Mouths are shivering in hiding.

 

“Agya ahunuabobirim Okokroko Odumgya Kasapreko Akasa”

Thoughts are wavering with fear.

 

“Agya ahunuabobirim Okokroko Odumgya Kasapreko Akasa”

The falling clouds hung like the pillar of salt

 

“Agya ahunuabobirim Okokroko Odumgya Kasapreko Akasa”

Professors have been made lairs.

 

“Agya ahunuabobirim Okokroko Odumgya Kasapreko Akasa”

Everyone, everything has been made quiet

 

Yes, when nature speaks,

The earth obeys.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

 

PLEASE NOTE: “Agya ahunuabobirim Okokroko Odumgya Kasapreko Akasa”

Means “The big fearful father who quenches fire and speaks once has spoken”

THE STORY OF THE APONKYES

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Languishing in thoughts

Of failures of satisfying ardent passions under a moonless sky,

Ama Okom sits under the talking tree of doubts and anger

Little did Kwaku Aponkye know of the words

Boiling in her crying bosom

He stirred her doubt and suffered the burns

Of her hot carefully boiled and arranged words

He thinks to hit,

No, he thinks to retaliate,

None of his vocals worked

So he grabbed her, looked into the gate of her heart

And for a moment saw the yearnings unquenched

His mouth talked to hers,

A mild struggle, a vigorous corporation

And the tree became the place of conception of the junior Aponkyes

Her worries dissolved but she always had to chase the nanny goats

From her Billy

Until his tired waist resigned from active swingy work.

    Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

 

SOFTER NOT HARDER

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Red petals

Yellow petals

One needs no metal

Just these will be instrumental

 

Smooth words

Beautiful words

Those are no puzzled surds

Just pour these into ears and bodies will satisfy heads

 

The fist may break

The land may shake

But words spoken can have no brakes

Hence no control once it from the mouth breaks

  Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

 

 

 

THE TEACHER MADE YOU

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Standing like a peacock

On a pulpit of deceit

Forcefully opening mouths of pockets

To afford a golden bed and disrespecting them,

No matter what you’ve become, the teacher made you!

 

Sitting and being fanned like an angry lesser god ready to explode

On a stage of many eyes

Spewing commands upon commands,

Belittling the hands and hearts that moulded you to feel superior.

No matter who you are, the teacher made you!

 

Standing comfortably in robes feared by beings

Taking salutes of arms ready to break into pieces

Like an unforgiving god who is meticulously looking for a prey

And sending words from your forest mouth,

No matter your status, the teacher made you!

 

The teacher made you,

You,

You, You and all of you,

Burn the sea, the teacher made you

And can make or unmake your generations to come. 

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

 

 

YOURS IS YOURS

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Even vultures know

Yes, vultures sympathise with their village corpses

Like their own families, they eat but leave a little to be seen.

On other lands, new meat, different taste

If care is not taken, even bones cannot be seen.

I was told but I thought not

And just like a child viewing a beautiful river

Without considering its depth, I took it at face value

And did what pleasured my heart

Now I sit on the threshold of a great family,

One I helped weave like the spider weaves its web,

My new name fitting me perfectly “One not of these lands”

Words from the dead reverberates from the mouth of anxious graves

Reminding me of the route to my own,

Offering to hold my legs when need be,

Offering to be company in the dark.

Yes, I guess even the spirits are worried

Worried about their left behinds.

Some lesson learnt though:

Yours can never be someone else’s

As someone else’s can never be yours,

Mouths can proclaim in seconds

But deeds will firmly tell tales of no knowledge what mouth says.

The hands of time, the legs of the heart,

Teaches with every movement, sure.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014

 

 

A STORY LIKE A POEM

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I met my first love at the age of eighteen

She was as fresh as a blooming flower

She exuded the scent of womanhood

And her charm, like a magnetic wave, threw me close

But she had few words for me

“I don’t roll with babies, begone!”

 

I cried and cried 

Time cleansed this heart, held my hands

And stood me still

 

I met my second at the cold store

She was like the shinning star, too bright, over-shining the afternoon

Her smile was an inquisitive glue which caught everything it saw in its web

I was caught but she had some cold words for me

“I wear Gucci, Michibelino and Diamond couture

Can you afford even one of these? Begone you thingy, and give me some breathing space” 

 

I sobbed and sobbed 

Time cleansed the gluey wounds, held my hands

And stood me still

 

I met my third as refreshing as the morning dew in a fresh morning,

Her piercing eyes scanned my heart and saw it all

Before I could say jack,

Her hands were raised in disapproval.

I wish there were words. Her hands did the talking and said begone!

Before I knew it, air from cruel hand’s speech sent me sprawling in a desert of pain

 

I wept and wept 

Time cleansed this thorn pierced soul, held my hands

And stood me still

 

I met my fourth at the public toilet

Sorry to say this but what needed to be eased vanished into thin stomach

She was the polished diamond in the dirty gravels

The filthy scent of the environment sent me sniffing for redemption in her beautiful bosom

Before I knew what was happening, huge men lifted and threw me into a gutter of human excreta

All she had to say was “this one is weird”

 

I cried tears of blood  

Time cleansed the foul odour, held my hands

And stood me still

 

Now I see you

And I know not what to do

Do I come close or move backwards?

Do I smile back with opened arms or take to my heels?

I need no harsh words nor rejection

Neither can I take a beating or an embarrassment

 

Let the sun on your face spell it out

This time around, no need to shoot laser storms

To finish this weakened heart that time has suffered to heal.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014

 

 

LOVE IN ODDS

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Close trees cross paths

Lovingly,

Harshly,

Both needs make love.

 

Close trees share a space

In little,

In abundance,

Both needs make love.

 

Close trees share a risk

Lightly,

And in severity,

Both needs make love.

 

So in the worst whirlwind

Hold my hand

 

In the craziest storm

Hug me tight

 

In the graveyard of hatred,

Help dig out

 

A storm to storm

Kills both storms.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

 

WE ALL LIVE

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Seeking for the huge

When we can do with the little

Like the greedy creatures we are

 

A huge room with a huge bed

May be comfy but we still sleep on a little portion of the bed at a time

Like the greedy creatures we are

 

An expensive cup with water

May seem lavish but water is still water

We’ll buy it anyway, like the greedy creatures we are

 

We make robbers robbers

Causing sniffers with

Show-offs of things to love, things we need not

 

A hut is a hut

Cool and needs no cooler

You need that expensive cooler after all in that mansionate mansion.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

Inspired by a student of Tamale Senior High, Rachel Antwi.

THE BEST’S BEST

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The teacher calls that teacher

“A teacher”

Because the teacher cannot teach what that teacher teaches

 

The preacher calls that preacher

“A preacher”

Because the preacher cannot preach what that preacher preaches

 

The singer calls that singer

“A singer”

Because the singer cannot sing what that singer sings

 

The wise man calls that wise man

“Wise”

Because the wise man cannot comprehend thoughts that come from that wise man

 

Like unending staircase,

Each has his superior

Knowledge of this is prominent in this habitat of the chaser and the chased.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia ©2014

STAGES OF LIFE

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Green

Light green

With no blemish

Clean slate

 

Green

Pure green

With little holes

Soiled slates

 

Yellow

Sickly yellow

With white edges

And an unusable slate

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Brown,

Earth brown

Dried to break

Breaking to enter its root, no slate.

 

Such is your stay

On this hardened earth

Now read it again.

  Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

THOUGHT ARREST

Verbal assault

 Wearing clothes

Coming directly at you

From the mouthy house

Of unsuspecting heads?

Arrest them with your thoughts.

 

Feisty fist

Wearing iron gloves

Coming directly at you

From the lovely arms

Of unsuspecting shoulders?

Arrest them with your thoughts.

 

Like an empty monkey

Some empty heads

Think of your head

Making laughable efforts

To bring you to their world and make you a stooge?

Arrest them with your thoughts.

 

Unscrupulous heads

Working like tamed dogs

Playing with your mind

Trying to force the power out of you

To ascend the throne of your head?

Arrest them with your thoughts.

 

Like a chameleon

Changing skins to fit to protect themselves

Dark hearts behave like angelic beings

Spewing words which come with low heels to melt

Your heart and steal your valuables?

Arrest them with your thoughts.

 

Arrest them with your thoughts

Dress no words,

Dress no face,

Glove no hands,

Don’t play along

Just arrest them with your thoughts.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

 

REFLECTIONS

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I’m looking at you

Looking at me

I’m not sure I like what I see

But then again, I’m not sure you like what you see either

Many may say I’m you

And you are a reflection of me

But wrong,

I can never be you

You can never be me

You’re just a picture being shown to the world

You shamelessly appear where cowards thread

You don’t mind showing yourself in mere water

I can say you are my curse

You cover everything that makes me me

I cannot accept that you have a thought

If you do, why cover mine?

Like a ghost wanting to scare

Your appearance each day deteriorate

And I hate every bit of your pushing into the grave

I can never be you, never!

You’re just a phantom

No one can really arrest you

You can pretend to fly with me in trouble

But you dissipate into thin air

Whenever your lover, darkness, springs

I wish all mirrors will shatter

And all reflective things overtaken by your lover

Then, I think I’ll be fine knowing I walk not with a coward

And a hypocrite

My heart will settle knowing  I will be who I’ll always be;

Alone.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014

UNSYMPATHETIC TIME

Tick, tock

Tick, tock

Time travels like a programmed machine

Whose only command is to go forward

It does not look side ways,

Does not look backward,

Does not wait for even a second on anyone,

We go at its pace.

Time feels no sympathy,

Hears no pleas,

Cares not a hoot about bribery

We rot little by little at its ticking walks

Yet we celebrate each rot

We are happy at its company to the hollowed earth,

But we cry when we reach our destination.

Time causes rot with each hand it swings

Hold him if you can

Life will not help.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

FALSE PROMISES

When fathers die

Other fathers live

Such words pouring like honey onto dry bread

On hearts shattered with uncertainties,

Minds lost in fear,

Eyes crying rivers of tears,

Mouths wailing shamelessly and pouring words of desolation,

Rested hearts and consoled affected parts

Reassuring security,

Protection and love

Little did they know Delivering Words

Is a world different from the Words of Action.

Even crumbs on his plates are now considered the precious dog’s.

‘When fathers die

Other fathers live’ he said.

There he stands, quaffing whatever remains of the coffers of the dead

While living children look like famished cats with no shelter in the pouring problems

Of no schooling,

Threatening health failure,

And in all, doomed future.

When fathers die,

Other fathers live he said.

At this rate, the dead will rise and deal blows

If eyes of the dead sees the earth

And fairness reigns on Ghostland.`

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

LOOK IN AND NOT OUT

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Strange!

Booming sound

Loud cries

Pungent smell

Failing visions

Broken legs

sapped hands

Runny noses

Cloudless sky

Sunless sky

Hollow dark sky

Painful hearts,

Where are all these from?

 

Don’t look at me

Don’t look at him

Don’t look at her

Don’t look at them

Look at you

Let me look at me

Let her look at her

Then they will look at themselves

I know we are all contributing.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

THE SAFE SHELL

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My mother was left in a tiny web

In an occupied shell

Its corner had no space for two

So as I came she had to go

That is how  I was left in a little corner of an empty shell

 

There were no lessons on talking,

No lessons on singing,

No lessons on happiness

No lessons on togetherness

It’s a good thing thinking is innate

 

I knew I was never to see what lies outside the shell

I knew what bit I could ever get from the sun was its heat

I knew enough not to bother the boss of the shell

To eat I acted like a parasite, stealing while my host slept

I knew this light web left by my mother was my only safe haven

 

One day, I heard a loud sound

Before I knew what was happening, the sky smiled at me

I closed my eyes for protection from its shiny teeth

Instinctively, I knew I was free to roam

I left the prison, through its broken rear

 

Then I met you

And you complain of my lack of knowledge.

Is knowledge supposed to be innate too?

There was peace but loneliness

In that empty shell, none lived to breed hatred.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

 

 

SINGING POETRY

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  • The air is blowing

    Branches are swinging

    Happy birds are singing

    Happy birds are singing

    Singing on the swinging

     

    The face is glowing

    Happy thoughts are flowing

    Smiley mouths are singing

    Smiley mouths are singing

    Singing on the glowing

     

    Now you are smiling

    Your nice face is shining

    The pretty sun is shining

    The pretty sun is shinning

    Shining in the upping.

       Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

DOGMATIC CANCELLATIONS

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Staying cooped up?

You’re not a store crap

Cut the doleful mien and wake up!

Revolutionize and fly with wings.

 

Living a gossip?

You are like the cow oblivious of being taken to the abattoir

Cut the repulsive trait

secure that foul gate and carefully ruminate

 

Living for fun?

Life is a journey that has everything

Fun is not the only vehicle

Be sure to be serious to get a good vehicle

 

Staying egocentric?

You’re not a baby any more,

Cut the vanity and wake up!

Change your mind set and swim in optimism.

 

Staying dogmatic?

When your life is in the doldrums

Cut the woeful  beliefs and wake up!

Change your blue print and swim in optimism.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia(c) 2014.

LOTUS METAMORPHORSIS

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The scent of lust

The acrid scent of backbiting

The bad odour of hatred

The awful scent of theft

The foul scent of murder

I want to be the lotus flower to disinfect it all

 

The atrocious scent of ethnicity

The pungent scent of oppression of women

The unpleasant scent of racism

The poor scent of general labeling

The bad scent of covetousness

Like the lotus flower I need to disinfect it all

 

The god awful scent of false testimonies

The cheap scent of prostitution

The crappy scent of temptation

The dreadful scent of jealousy and rivalry

I don’t want to be the bleeding heart flower,

I need to be like the lotus flower to disinfect it all.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

 

TOURING THE LARABANGA TOWNSHIP AND MOSQUE

It is a small village in Damongo, only a stone throw from the Mole National park. This is a village of Islamic wonders, though it is a very, very, humble village.

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But don’t be disappointed, this is the place a devout Moslem settled. He was called Ibrahim; an Arab, and lived by his spear. Wherever he went, he threw his spear and traced it in order to settle. When he reached the outskirts of the northern region of Ghana, he told Allah that wherever the spear leads, he will build a mosque and settle there for the rest of his life. He threw his spear and traced it, only to find it at the present Larabanga. But  the spear landed on a hill, full of stones so a building could not be built there. He marked the place with a stone and this stone, no matter how the road workers tried when they were constructing the road to move it, will not budge. Take it away today and the next day, it will be where it was. Finally, they found it hanging on a very thin mud and realised that it was a miraculous site. Many have been there with many problems and have testified their deliverance. It is in short a holy ground. So they call the place the MYSTIC STONE.

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The surrounding of the mystic stone:

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So there it sits.

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This is the stone. (it has been plastered because people were scraping the mud for miracles. That is what we were told)

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We were all asked to pray for whatever we needed and I knelt in prayer.

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And prayed.

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There were offerings.

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I met a very lively girl who told me she wanted to be a nurse and asked me to be her friend. I was shocked at the impeccable English coming from this little one, an intelligent being no doubt. Her name is Khadija. She reminded me of my childhood. I could play in the sand without my sandals and cared less about my appearance. Growing up is really tiresome.

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Now let’s continue our story. Ibrahim stood at where the spear landed and threw his spear only for it to land in the same area. When he traced it, the foundation of the mosque had already been laid. He continued but every time he built, the next day, it will look more advanced in building than he left it previously.So he marked his work with some sticks but the next day, he will see that someone has built it higher, then he will continue until he left it by itself when it was getting to the end, only to find it complete in some few days. This was in 1421.

This is the end product of this historic mosque.

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Surprisingly, even I must bow to enter its gate.

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The children came to mama.

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A little dialogue of sweets which actually landed me on the floor, a picture I will never share.

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Our tour ended and we safely retreated into our vehicle for return. A journey I will never forget.

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AT THE MOLE NATIONAL PARK’S MUSEUM

At the museum; a cub of an elephant which was preserved after its mother was killed by poachers in 1982. I cannot believe this has been here on earth longer than I have.

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The frozen remains

With no locomotion

A wonder.

I watch…

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This is the balloon or global fish. The guide told us that it is a very poisonous fish. A little consumption equals bloating and death.

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Maps made with elephant skin.

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An ear of an elephant.

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The table of bones; skulls of  buffaloes, monkeys, tiger, skins of pythons and many others.

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The skin and head of a baby python which swallowed a crocodile and died.

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There were charms confiscated by tour guides who caught some poachers who hunt down animals. We were told that these people believe these charms can help them vanish when they are in peril. Take a look.

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Now the defects:

There is no hospital or clinic here at the museum. Though they do not have any record of people being harmed, it is a whole community of wild animals with workers and visitors. Why can’t there be even a good clinic? To top it, the fuel station is a white elephant because of financial constraint; a little birdie whispered to me. I took a shot;

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The plus is that, there were many workers on the road busy with their work. A good road to this wonderful place is in order and has my full appreciation. From Fufuiso to Damongo, many road workers were seen busy.

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So we said bye bye to The Mole National Park for the Larabanga Mosque which is only a stone throw.

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So I’ll leave you with this poem:

Live a wanderer

Be dazzled in wonder

The sight is a blessing

Of the beauty of being.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

For those planning to visit the Mole National Park, please note that, there is much more to see. There are two waterfalls, countless number of animals. All we saw were at the walking zone. Deep in the wild you have to go with a durable vehicle. We could not because of our number and time.

LET’S DANCE ADOWA

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Hit the atumpan

Hit the agyegyewa

Hit the apentenmma

Hit the dawuro

Hit the nnawuto

Hit the dondo,

let the bells and rattles sing

As we dance adowa.

We will dance and give thanks to Otweadeampong Nyankopong

Then move on to speak in languages only a royal like you will understand

Both hands of mine will take my heart from its chestly enclave and give it to you

I will twist around for the world to see my beauty

In the hand woven beautiful multi coloured kente

I will tell you in the language no one understands

That all opposition can do their worst

Yours is the only name this heart has endorsed

I will proclaim your handsomeness in a gesture every heart will understand

And will touch your bare chest to put a mark of “mineness” on it

You can do same sweetheart,

So come, let’s dance adowa

Let’s dance so vigorously that the gods will wake and witness,

So vigorously they will be forced to bless this union.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

(Picture taken from http://www.nkyea,com)

GIRLY WITCH

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 Looking at her worn out face with a tyre around her neck,

Many standing and watching, a mob holding petrol and matches

With all hope lost as she sadly looks on,

My questions jump from my mind.

Before I had time to ask,

They were dangling in the air.

 

What has this poor girl done?

 

“Poor? She always uses some extraordinary alchemy

To finish her lovers’ children

Like a male lion chewing its own in order to mate

I caught her in the witching hour

Repeating ‘abracadabra’ in a very wicked face

Holding her witch broom ready to fly”

 

Really?

 This teenager?

At the witching hour?

What were you doing then?

Did you see with your own eyes?

 

“Don’t defend her

But my friend here said he saw –

No, I didn’t see, Akuba said she saw –

Please I didn’t see, it was Bombia who told me he saw –

Now when did I mention that?

I only said her hair looked like a witch”

 

Unbelievable! So living rights are for those who can afford?

What savagery it is to physically assault a teenage orphan

On your broomsticks of witchcraft!

Take those things off her before I call for reinforcement!

And Bombia pray she recovers.

 

“I take her to a place of care

And ask of what the triggers were

She looks above and says with love

Thank you miss for this gallantness,

Bombia proposed and I said no

I’ve never had a man before”

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

(Picture taken from http://www.filmjournal.com)

 

 In many small communities in Africa, girls and women are prosecuted and sent to witch camps for very ridiculous reasons. Some for the very reason that they are talented or intelligent, others for not reciprocating the love of others, please say a prayer for all those being abused because of this.

HIDE UNDER NO THREAT OF BLASPHEMY

They say you are the living God

Whose name must start with a capital letter

Because you sit in the heavens above

And preside over this global earth.

They say you created everything

The earth, the plants, animals, water etc…

And you have so much mercy, your children lack none

I will ask then,

Why is there so much misery?

Why can’t you see so much suffering?

What is it that you cannot do?

I want to know because it’s going too far

I hear you are the healer among healers,

What am I saying? You created us for whatever there is sakes!

So why will you look on while sickness consumes

Lives of those who know no sin?

Do you really live up there?

Do you possess any such powers?

If you do, then you must be a very wicked father

Who flaunts the pain of his children around

Or you must be that kind of father

Who is happy seeing lives zap out of his children.

How can little things take too long to fix?

And do not tell me it is a test

Who will choose a test over trust?

And if it is, what kind of test lasts so long?

If you really live as I am told

Maybe it is high time you laid down your throne

Come down now and let us vote

And see the number of votes you’ll have.

No autocracy, let’s do democracy

I am tired of my life, I know

Many are tired of their lives, I know

So hide not under the threat of blasphemy

And push my questions down my throat

If you do live, let your action start now.

    Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

DEBTS RUNNING ON LINE

Large humorous haunter school fees drums

With its feisty nails on my skull.

Extravagantly dressed rent bills stand

Threatening to pierce ejection sword in my heart

Light bill maniachically taunts with thoughts of darkness

Water bill with its compiled many zeroes sit still, peeping in my vision

Making me watch a video of no drinking, no washing, no bathing, no cooking and no gardening

What could be worse?

Expensive monthly subscription of decoders remind me with a chuckle of no mercy when the time is due

This miserly salary emphatically says “How I come is how I’ll always come”

So, you, health bill, you can threaten all you want

I’d rather let the scary sickness take me

Than yield to your nasty scare.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

 

STORY TELLING WITH A MORAL

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Once there was a little goat

Who went along a vast shore

It couldn’t resist the huge boat

Which seemed to take people on a tour

 

It climbed aboard the boat at the dock

And smiled to itself at his polished tour

It loved the fact that there was no one to give it a knock

And there were many foods to fill its stomach and its jaw

 

He sneers thinking about its meddlesome mother

Who told it to keep away from the human race

And trust no one, not even its father

And take to its heels after destruction at a fast pace

 

Hahaha, ho, hahahaha

Hahaha kikikiki

There is none to boss me around here, ha

I am the boss whom nature served, hihihi, ki kikiki

 

It seems it had a little hit

But it fell over and saw an angry face

And a knife with part of its own parts in a kit

It looked keenly and saw it was looking down with its ghostly face.

 

Regret will do no good now

Costly mistakes are registered and can’t be undone

So even if you bow your head now,

There is nothing that can be done.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

 

I WISH, I WISH, I WISH, I WISH

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I wish I could stand on the stairs of the future

And stare down at my cloned self  in nature

To see if there is any doom or happiness awaiting

 

I wish I could be an acolyte of the goddess of love

In a far off land of forever happy ever after

To see if there exists that being who my soul will bind with forever

 

Like the gods change stature and forms,

I wish I could change and meet smiley friends incognito

To know their exact thoughts of me

 

I wish I could fly on the wings of death

And be able to wear its ‘lieless’ goggles

And look through to see if there is a heaven or a hell, ready to pamper or consume in pain

 

I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish

I wish there aren’t many wishes

Which come to mind without facts of never being fulfilled.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014

   (Picture taken from the Wish Well Cartoons and Comics site)

 

NO COPYCATTING

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My wick is burning down my candle

On the realms of a little conflagration

Must I abase myself with the knowledge of extinction?

Am I to sit watchful in this ticking competition in an exciting cabaret

For fear of my wick being pulled out by a cabal of lovers within my cycle?

Am I to sit and dedicate all my thoughts on the whole caboodle of life?

Even the dachshund wags its tail in happiness, barking when need be,

Running when it sees fit and dancing to the tune of human masters

I’d rather live fair dinkum,

Laying my statements unvarnished,

Caring not if I’ll be able to afford a gabardine in the cold

Than live like a sabre toothed tiger with a lonely heart till my candle fades.

       Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014

 

TOURING THE WILD; MOLE NATIONAL PARK WITH THE GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS AND STUDENTS WHO WERE INTERESTED.

This is the entrance:

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And the signboard:

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We drove through until we saw this sign:

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It was a sunny day.

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The warthogs came to welcome us.

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We were briefed on the dos and don’t of the place; No littering, no feeding of animals, no touching of animals. We were also educated on how the place came to be. It was a centre that was used by two traitors of Africa; Samole and Babatu. They caught our people and converged there and together, sent their victims to the Salaga market to sell them. The place was evaded by tsetseflies who brought with them the sleeping sickness. In their bid to stop the disease, the colonial masters started killing the animals which they believed gave room for the tsetseflies to breed. Many were killed but some remained, after a while, it was turned into a centre for protecting animals and little by little, it became a national park. Since the area was known to be a dangerous ground for slave trading by Samole and co, it was named the Mole National Park. It houses many animals. These animals are untamed and wild.

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For protection from snakes and other creeping animals, we went to rent boots.

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We were happy we were in tune with nature.

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We set off to meet our ‘wildies’.

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A section of the place.

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We first saw the elephants though we were told there was a 50/50 chance of meeting them by this time of the year at the walking zone.

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I shared a little bit of their space.

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We moved on and reached one of the two ponds in the bush.

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The students were thrilled and wanted to swim but it was a no, no from our guide. Crocodiles, he said lived in there. It is a shame we did not see any.

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Being my silly self, posing for my students.

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Enjoying the breeze.

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We moved on and we saw a beautiful antelope grazing.

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This baby elephant was rebellious. It really was mean to us.

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And how did we know it was a baby elephant and a male? The guide told us and said, when the end of their tails have more hair, it signifies their youth. Although some are naturally born without those hairs, that is how they tell their ages.

I think I took a selfie somewhere.

 

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There was a natural made lawn in the bush, we were told it was due to overgrazing and blessings from the sky by the provision of rain. If that is difficult to twist your mind around, try visiting yourself.

 

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We saw the elephant dung, I’m not sure if it is rightly called so, but to put it “unladylikely”, I’ll say, we saw the faeces of the elephants. We were told their digestive systems were not that good but they could graze for hours.

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Don’t be fooled, it is that of the antelope and not a goat neither is it that of a sheep.

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Who says only humans know about love?

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Our guide took us through some animal protection laws. We were fascinated and the children had many questions to ask.

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Our tour guide posed in a safe mode with his very old gun.

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We were told that this ground of rocks is called the salt lick, many animals lick this rocky sand including the elephants. They actually made the place hollow not humans.

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The students were tired, we had roamed the forest for more than two hours.

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Our bus, we were told, could not take us to see the waterfalls and more animals in the deep, deep forest. Disappointed, we  troupe back to the information centre. We were told there were 4X4 for renting on hourly basis which could take us there, but considering our number, not a chance. We decide to leave Mole and visit the Larabanga Mosque which we heard was a mysterious mosque built by a devoted Moslem and some mysterious beings or spirits.

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We go to the museum where we saw many things. First a dead preserved baby elephant whose mother was killed by poachers while pregnant with it in 1982. Let’s leave those pictures for another day. Meanwhile, a poem for you.

In the jungle of the jungle

We dance, they dance

It’s a fight for survival

We attack and they attack

It is a fight for the strong

We lose some, we win some

it’s a fight for the wise

We plan, we fight

They lose and lose

We know we need each other

So we fight, we attack

but we protect and their souls detect.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014. 

Thank you for reading. I will bring to you pictures from the museum next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEWS FOR YOU

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I am that being that is cursed

To live life that many have rehearsed

I’m there to be taken

In trouble to be forsaken

Carrying all the problems like a cow on its way to the abattoir.

 

I’m that being that is cursed

Never ever must my voice be heard

I must act like the snail

And be made a parcelled mail

And be sent to the one who can bid the highest.

 

 I am that being that is cursed

Living life of the cursed

I’m told: “like chicks follow their mothers

And never follow their fathers

I have to act like a hen and not a cock”.

 

Well I have news to be heard

And it must be voiced

I won’t be the parcelled mail

I’ll act like a hen but I’ll task the cock to sail

When the floods decide to have that fight.

    Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

 

 

IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY!

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The time has come, to have your say

It’s a beautiful, beautiful day!

 

Know all your pain, is experience’s pay

It’s a beautiful, beautiful day!

 

It’s not that bad, it’s just a flay

It’s a beautiful, beautiful day!

 

Don’t cry no tears, don’t hide away

It’s a beautiful, beautiful day!

 

You can drive your enemies, until they are at bay

It’s a beautiful, beautiful day!

 

Just come out now and play in the hay

It’s a beautiful, beautiful day!

 

You can sit around, or in the sun lay,

It’s a beautiful, beautiful day!

 

You don’t have to be afraid, it’ll be okay,

It’s a beautiful, beautiful day!

 

It’s a beautiful day which must not be allowed to waste away

It’s a beautiful, beautiful day!

      Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

 

LET IT GO WITH THE WIND

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How much time do we have?

At which age do we part?

Could be years, could be a year,

Could be days, could be a day,

What ever the problem, let it go with the wind.

 

A life so sweet

A breeze so beautifully felt

A face like yours, must be looked and be loved

A voice like yours must sing songs of love

Whatever the problem, let it go with the wind

 

Closer trees do crush

By the hurried wind’s rush

Could be the fault of this tree,

Could be the fault of that tree, which got in the way

Whatever the problem, let it go with the wind.

 

Appreciate me like a poem with a flow and a beat

I am that pet who needs to be petted and be stroked

I’ll appreciate you like an expensive breakable treasure

Holding you in my arms, telling you what is right

So whatever the problem, let it go with the wind.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014

MUST BE A SWEET APPLE

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How will it taste like?

What will it be like?

Could my heart be a pump?

Must be a sweet apple.

 

I shiver when I see

I run without a fee

Could my heart be a pump?

It must be a sweet apple.

 

There are those goosebumps

It is me who get the bumps

Must it be every time I see it?

Must be a sweet apple.

 

An apple held by the sweet invisible

An apple making me responsible

Could my heart be a pump?

Must be a sweet apple.

 

May I please take a bite?

Could you please lend a bite?

My heart pleasurably pounds

Must be a sweet apple.

  Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

 

TO MY FOLLOWERS WITH LOVE

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It is difficult getting someone to trust in you

It is difficult having someone cheer you on

It is difficult getting the support of your very own

So I’m kind of overwhelmed that you’re here for me

 

With every post you view my heart skips a beat

With every post you view I feel forever grateful

With every post you view I sing and dance feeling an increase in my strength

There is none like you, there’s really none like you

 

 

I hope you share with me your displeasures

I hope you share with me your disappointments

I hope you tell me the titles of your interest

I’ll move body and brains to create them well for you.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?

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If you knew the future of all living humans

Their happiness and sadness

Their hurts and pains

Their failures and successes

From day to day

Until they join the ghost union

What will you do?

 

If you knew exactly when the world will end

The disasters and turmoil

Frantic efforts of ‘inhabitors’ and ‘reliers’

Whether there’ll be light

Whether there’ll be darkness

 In its disastrous transformation

What will you do?

 

If you were God for a month

Seeing all happenings

Hearing all prayers

Having all voices

Both good and bad

Call out your name in a bid for survival

What will you do?

 

What will you do?

How will you work?

What can be different when you live like you do?

     Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

 

SWEET IN-LAW

Once I had a sweet in-law

Who was as sweet as sugar

He filled the boring gap

Of my very messy partner

 

He made me laugh

When he made me sad

I never saw a problem

Until he travels for a tour

 

Little problems then

Became huge ones

No matter how stuck I was

I had to run on wheels like a bad player caught in the act.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014.

OBIARA Yἐ OBI/ EVERYONE IS SOMEONE (AKAN/TWI AND ENGLISH)

Yἐ woowo too sie so

Enti wanyini ntἐm

Ediἐn nti na ἐwↄ sἐ asaase awodeἐ kutuwo?

Wo were afiri sἐ w’ataredeἐ ahoↄden faribae ne fam anaa?

Ahokyerἐkyerἐ bebrebe yi, ἐdἐn na  wo pἐ akyerἐ?

 

W’ako abrokyere aba

Enti wo krom yἐ wo tan

Akonwa a wo bἐ tra so koraa, agye ahwanhwandeἐ adikan

Kasa a wo bἐ ka koraa no, agye ↄkyerἐmunii kyerἐ aseἐ

Ahokyerἐkyerἐ bebrebe yi, ἐdἐn na  wo pἐ akyerἐ?

 

Wo nnyἐ kↄkↄↄ, nanso wapatu apↄw

Wayἐ kↄↄ nanso wapↄ so tuum

Sἐ obiara ani hunu wo nti

Yἐnmmbↄ wo so adwe

Ahokyerἐkyerἐ bebrebe yi, ἐdἐn na  wo pἐ akyerἐ?

 

W’akↄ sukuu aduru akyere

Enti wo se wo yἐ ↄga

Nyansa a ἐde nyansa deἐ

Wo se wonkoa wo tirimu na egu

Ahokyerἐkyerἐ bebrebe yi, ἐdἐn na  wo pἐ akyerἐ?

 

Onipa biara yi mframa

Obiara nnyἐ summurↄ

Onipa biara yi ne nsa ἐsan yi ne nan

Nti eno wo nsene obiara, agya wo nsene obiara

M’adamfo te nyerἐho ne so na obiara yἐ obi.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

 

 

EVERYONE IS SOMEONE

You were born on an anthill

So you’ve easily grown up

Why must those born by the earth kowtow you?

This self-conceitedness what do you aim to achieve?

 

You have ever gone abroad

So you are disgusted by your hometown

Even the seat you will sit on, must be preceded by a lavender

Whatever you’ll say, must be interpreted by an interpreter

This self-conceitedness what do you aim to achieve?

 

You are not fair in complexion but you’ve forcefully bleached

You’re now very fair but your knuckles are dark

Now because you are seen among the lot

You think you are a god

This self-conceitedness what do you aim to achieve?

 

You are far advanced in schooling

So you think you are a master

All the wisdom in this world

You profess are in your head

This self-conceitedness what do you aim to achieve?

 

Everyone after inhaling, releases air

No one is a tick

Everyone eats, every one defecates

So madam you are no better than anyone, master you are no better than anyone

So cut the conceitedness and let us be free.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.

 

 

WAKING UP

Like humans taming cubs of the wild

We have been caged by our minds so mild

we sit in the blessings of our wealth and beg

When salt and cocoa

Bauxite, diamond and gold are but a few of our wealth

Whose fault is it that we have eyes but cannot see?

Whose fault is it that we see not our own money?

Whose fault is it that our money is our sand?

Whose fault is it that we mine not what is ours?

We use our little water to bath 

And always end up in the mud like naughty pigs

Those with good fire we help to extinct

We get all clues but partake in our own fall

A bomb of enlightenment is all we need

To blow our brains and open our eyes.

   Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2014. 

 

BRAGGING ABOUT MY FATHER

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My father did not just breed

He begat completely besotted with us

Knowing we are his seeds

And are parts of his being and must be treated thus

 

My father knows no mistrust

Our words are his bond

Our only whips of words stemming from his being just

Holding our hands through storms to seal our bond

 

A father feels the mood of his wards

And that is what he is

Feeling hunger towards

Us and coming to find us through whatever there is

 

In sickness and in health

In shame and in doubt

He looks for our wealth

Holds our hands and clears our doubt

 

He sweetly clowns

In our sadness and challenges

He never frowns

Unless in mock and covers it with sweet lozenges

My father is not a breeder

He is a care giver

In life storms and troubled showers

He stands tall and forms a wall becoming the protection giver

 

As he is, we are completely besotted with him

He dazzles us with his strength

Always waking our pride in him

We’ll also be there for him no matter the length.

     Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.