​AT THE BRINK


I see the hollow hole

At all sides

How even this air turned mole

And the earth dug all my sides

Makes me feel like one who stole

From Satan’s slides


II

The mouth of defeat sings piercingly

Being cheered on by the drums of fear

The laughter of failure resonates across the dept of doom

If only I can see a ray of cheer

From a sky of sympathy

If only I can feel a stray air

Blowing in smile from these unfriendly breezes

If only I could get wings of a fowl to hang in mid air

To find an outer space

If only…

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 30, 2018

​IN THIS POEM (CRAZY STANZAS)


On this dead branch

Carried by water, I thread

Each step, a shocking surprise

Interlaced with fear

But like a blessed cat with nine lives

The soul carries this body in moving on


II

My only cocoon is you

This poem, where my bed of peace is laid

My only home is you

This poem, where my cool waters pamper for a swim

My only shade is you

This poem, which arrests the murderous sun

And serves a breathing seat amidst all the dying

My only shelter is you

This poem, in the midst of perilous snakes

Which hide in trousers of life to defile my happiness

My only saviour is you

This poem, which baptizes to cleanse my soul

From the daily dirty stones pelted by life’s criminal side

My only hope is you

This poem, you, a perfect diary keeping my mind in

In you


III

I am so far from home

Carrying a load which directs my path

Directing dusty even when tarred roads beg for a drive

Yet I live in you, this poem

You who promise to take me back

Back to the perfect place I belong

That perfect place, where moths can’t pimp me

For the pleasure of the earth

Masking my life into a walking ghostship

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 29, 2018

Ashawo Diaries (Tales of Adwoa Attaa) Chapter 24 (18+)

He just looked at me like a child in need of a biscuit. A born mother, surely is a woman with her heart out in her hands, dangerous or even deadly, but one overflowing with love. My heart went out to him, so I hugged his tall body to give him warmth. I had the height of an average model but he was very tall. I sat him by the dining table and served him, he ate heartily at the disgust of Mimi and I took him to his room, called the doctor who thought it could be amnesia or developmental delay. I decided there and then to be his guardian. For some reason, sex no longer appealed to me. I had to even pinch myself in order to satisfy old customers with fixed schedules with me. I was anxious and couldn’t wait for the call. It finally came a week after. I was to present my passport for it to be worked on. When I reached the United States, I would have to work to pay the expenses with 200% interest. I had no problem with that. After all, wasn’t the US a place of gold?

I was amazed at how fast everything went through. I didn’t even have to go for a visa interview. I was to meet the others for takeoff the next day. I told Mimi the next day but she threw a fit like I had never seen her do before. She told me to cancel it as it was a dangerous trip. She said people had told her how horrible they were treated on those trips to a point of many losing their lives. I guess death, when approaching, first deafens. I called Ms. Barwuah to tell her I would be gone for a while but would surely be back. Something I said just to make her feel assured. I named my big son Kossi. He was vulnerable but adorable and followed me around. I asked Shai to take care of him and told Mimi I would eject her from my house and cut all ties with her if she so much as bullied him, on my return. Ten percent of my profits were to go into his care. 

Mimi just insulted and cried. It was sad how she only cursed God for blinding my reasoning. I sneaked out of the house after bribing the security man who loved me as a daughter. My light bag in hand, I chartered a taxi and went straight to their office. We all took off ten minutes after my arrival, to Accra. It was a four hour ride but we were held up for 33 minutes because of the dense traffic around Achimota. I was thrilled as it was my very first travel outside the country. We were taken to Travis Bar and Restaurant to eat and proceeded straight to the airport. Our passports were given to us with tickets when we were going through the security checkpoints. There, I saw Mexico written on it and was confused. Our caretaker might have read it on my face so passed me a note that we’d go through Mexico. I relaxed a bit, but couldn’t get rid of Mimi’s voice and tears. 

We reached Mexico in what seemed like days because of my anxiety. Mexico City was beautiful but nothing too special from my home capital. Only, people seemed more livelier and carefree. We were driven to a neighbourhood called Merced. There, we were locked in immediately our rooms were shown to us and left there to rest. We were 48 in number but only 10 of us were kept in the house I was kept in. I went straight to bed because I was very tired. Others spoke at length about how weird it was but I had no ears to listen. They too, eventually slept. 

The next morning was a real struggle. We tried to look for a telephone to no avail. Called out to neighbours but none seemed to hear us. We all tried to break the door when a giant screen in the hall showed us a wrinkly Mexican, probably about 45 years old but looking older than his age. He barked and ordered that we sat to listen. We were to be prostitutes to grow his company. He would be generous to feed us but if we tried to run away, he wouldn’t mind sending us to our graves. To him, we were his slaves. He dared us to try to defy him. One loud girl whom I never had the opportunity to know, not even in name, barked back: “This isn’t what we signed up for Mr. This is illegal and against…” before she could finish her sentence, a bullet rushed through her forehead, killing her instantly and giving us temporary deafness. Fear surged through all of us. We didn’t know where the bullets came from, we only saw a hole on her forehead and another at the back of her head speeding through her in opposite directions. Pretty as daylight, tall as a mermaid, with a choco brown skin anyone would die for. She was that first candle in the torrential tsunami. 

We were to be tested before our roles would be given. Those who were able to satisfy their men would be sent to their own flats with security men. Those who couldn’t would be trained and given a maximum of three months to cope. Failure to cope within the three months was tantamount to death. Our lingerie were beautiful and perfect for our skins. After eating, we were asked to wear them and wait in our various rooms. I saw the fear in the eyes of the youngest amongst us. She was fifteen. Dansoa was her name. She told me of the fact that she was an orphan and a virgin. She just wanted a new environment to forget her parents’ death. My heart went out to her but my hands were tied. I didn’t have the power to do anything, let alone help her. 

My guy came in a minute after noon. He looked normal, not tall, not short, just average Mexican with black teeth. I nearly vomited upon seeing him slyly smile at me but I remembered what Mimi taught me. “Think of the best person who made love to you and use it to satisfy pigs.” And so I did, and decided to take charge. As I got up from the bed, he just slapped me so hard, and pushed me on the bed, tearing my lingerie apart like a savage. It all took me by surprise. Before I could gain my composure, he penetrated me like a horse. It surely was painful but bearable compared to what I had seen and experienced before. I only hoped he’d stop biting my breasts but was afraid of what might happen to me if I showed even a little resistance. Yet I could not help thinking about Dansoa. The pig went on and on and on for over 45 minutes, thrusting and not coming. Nothing surprised me anymore so I laid there in an uncaring mood. He finally came when I used my forefinger to insert into his ears. It took him by surprise but he came. I was shocked at his cumming manners. He kept on hitting me and roaring like a lion and a boar combined. That was the first sound I had heard so different from the cum sounds of maniacs I had encountered. He left after a minute of rest and I crawled to the bathroom to see what was left of me. It was bearable. Black skin was after all better with bruises. The bites were visible, the slap marks were also representing on my face but promised to go down soon enough. I rushed to Dansoa’s room hoping she was alright.

She was lying on the bed terrified by her own shadow. I asked her to go to my room. She thankfully understood and went. I took her lingerie and waited for her client. He was a gigantic pig with a mean look. He wasn’t aggressive at all. The sex was thankfully okay as he wasn’t too big. It lasted for a little over fifteen minutes. He laid in bed for ten minutes, kissed my cheeks and left. I hurried to my room and asked Dansoa to go back to hers. She was grateful but I didn’t know how I was going to keep up with it. 

Two hours after our first clients, our boss walked into the house with three men. He called all of us to the hall, nine of us and called me out together with Dansoa to step forward. I knew there and then that there was trouble. The slaps I got said it all. He barked like a wounded dog and asked who I thought I was outsmarting. Then he held Dansoa by her hair, threw her on the floor and called his men to step forward. My heart sank into my stomach. What did Pedro want? What did he want to do to the poor girl? What scars was he going to give to the poor orphan? I knew the tears of a virgin was a curse to a rapist in some parts of my country but didn’t know of Mexico. A place where human lives are taken over by just anyone with power. Dansoa looked into my eyes, her terror visible and calling on me to do something. But, but, but…

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

​WHAT YOU DON’T SEE


A star that annoyingly glitters

With just a 26 alphabetical order

One whose words are like blows

One whose words are like lightning

Striking bad clouds and digging goosebumps

One whose words can draw beauty in minds

One who has arrived in many towns of the nation

And continues to charm

That may be the words on your mind

But what about those you don’t see?


II

A skeletal build

With veins of neglect

Blood of stress and thirst

Meat of hate and pure hunger

Skin of punches of cold in a harmattan visit 

And bowl of heat in sunny days

Nails which have tasted the hammer of many quarries

Eyes which have joined the run against death

Legs which have collapsed and been whipped by need to a wake

Why do I see them so well?


III

In every glitter lies a story

A story that can reflexively call for your sorry

And may even unchain your worry

To get on your sympathy lorry

So clap not in jealousy

Bite no tongue in a revenge challenge

Think of the worry within the glitter

And applaud its shine

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan 27, 2018

IF I HAD LISTENED TO MAAME (CRAZY STANZAS)

If I had listened to maame

I won’t be stuck in the middle of this road of life

Carrying a burden that my shoulder breaks

One that has taken over my sanes

Farming bloody rains around my once starred eyes


II

She did tell me not all that glitters are metalsmithable

And adviced I cleaned, bit into, burned

To verify authenticity before singing the Hallelujah of worship

No matter the wings and shine of my find

Did I listen?


III

The sun preyed on my fancy

And connived with all the garbage in shinning stones

Winking in blinking into my sinking

So I picked what was not

Thinking it was what was

Now I stink so bad

On a heavenly road whose scent mask me out


IV

How can youth so blind

Making this head turn behind 

Even when legs pull?

How can age not be shed

Like skins which outlive their time

To fetch rightness in the past?

How can perfection so wrinkle

In time’s deadly exploration

In giving surprised heart attacks?

How can remorse not be a magician

To right all wrong in all that is strong?

How could I have been deaf to youthful exuberance

Letting maame’s voice go

With the deadly winds of the past?


V

If I had

If only I had

If only I had listened to maame

If only I had honoured the words of my vehicular womb

Earth would certainly have been kinder

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 26, 2018

​IF MY TOMORROW NEVER COMES

If my tomorrow never comes

And my end’s vehicle lands

Will I, like a legless eagle with broken wings, soldier across

To my ancestral land with a smile

Or throw tantrums and be dragged there like a prisoner?


II

If my tomorrow never comes

What will I be on tongues of others?

A chewing gum whose sweetness would be sucked in few seconds

And spat out after I reach earth’s mouth?

Or bile, which would for sometime stay 

In tongues of some unfortunates?


III

If my tomorrow never comes

Would a kind heart take my crippled chick

And hen it despite its current hopelessness

Would it be fed like it needs to?

Given warmth as it needs to?

Tended to as it always needs to

Even when hungry hawks chase?


IV

If my tomorrow never comes

Whose intestines would thunder in pain?

Whose eyes would swim in a bloody sea?

Whose mind would be stirred by a ladle of sadness?

Mouth would call for an explanation train from the quarters of God?


V

If my tomorrow never comes

I wonder the teeth that would open its shop of happiness

The spirits that would pick up my soul in gladness

My deeds that would sum up my fate in the court of death

Above all the hearts that would break into million pieces

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 25, 2018

Meet One of the Youngest Social Entrepreneurs in Africa: Mirabelle Morah

Today our guest post is one of the youngest social entrepreneurs I know. She has used social media to tell untold stories, emboldened so many young lives and healed people from their nightmares. Let’s welcome the bubbly and beautiful Mirabelle Morah

AMOAFOWAA: You’re welcome to amoafowaa.com

MIRA: (Laughs) Thank you so much Her Royal Majesty, Amoafowaa!

AMOAFOWAA: Briefly tell us about Mira, from childbirth to now.

MIRA: I came into this world one beautiful Monday in April, during the late 90’s and I grew up in a family where the reading culture was very much encouraged so I developed a healthy love for literature while young. In between studying English & Literary Studies at the University right now, I also volunteer for different youth or societal based organizations whenever possible. I also am the chief editor of Blankpaperz.Com, a digital platform I founded for promoting and amplifying the stories of young African writers who are using words to address societal issues. Stories and written words are really powerful tools for raising awareness, changing paradigms and even for advocacy, hence I want to encourage and support as many young writers as I can by publishing stories on Blankpaperz and organizing events or workshops for bloggers and writers. I also studied Social Entrepreneurship at California State University, Chico as a SUSI student leader and I’m also a 2018 Global Teen Leader.

AMOAFOWAA: Wow! Who did you grow up reading?

MIRA: Interestingly, I think I grew up reading Cyprian Ekwensi, Chukwuemeka Ike, Zaynab Alkali, some other Nigerian authors and even some Harlequin and Silhouette novels. Chimamanda Adichie came into my life during my early teenage years and she was really a huge influence. AMOAFOWAA: Favourite food?

MIRA: (Laughs) Anything African that tastes really good!

AMOAFOWAA: Blankpaperz. What motivated your inspiring venture?

MIRA: I just wanted an online website where I could post my stories and also post the stories of some of my friends, and maybe their friends too because I knew really amazing writers who just wrote and didn’t put up their stories or poems any where so people could read them and be inspired. I started a little bit afraid and unsure, but the idea of publishing my friends’ stories online grew. Blankpaperz is growing past online activities into bloggers & writers meet up and writing workshops. I look forward to working on more ideas and partnerships to encourage and support more teenage or young writers, and to also cover deeper stories and articles from people who are afraid to speak up. 

AMOAFOWAA: How noble. How old is your venture?

MIRA: I started Blankpaperz in April 2016.

AMOAFOWAA: Has Blankpaperz met your expectations since you started?

MIRA: Just like a baby grows everyday, Blankpaperz is growing and the expectations are growing alongside. My expectations overtime have been met and exceeded but for the goals I have right now, no, my current expectations have not been met yet and they’re still growing.

AMOAFOWAA: Any role models?

MIRA: Jesus because He’s tagged as one of the most influential persons who have ever lived. Nelson Mandela because of his selflessness, his great big heart, his love, his humanity— how did he do it?! Chimamanda Adichie because she writes about societal issues in such sublime ways.

AMOAFOWAA: Won any awards?

MIRA: Yes, a medal of honour from Street Priests foundation in their work to reduce the population of street children, being honoured as a YALI RLC West Africa Alumni, awarded the Study of the U.S Institutes for Student Leaders scholarship by the U.S Department of State, being tagged an Ashoka Changemaker, etc. I can say those are awards too, right?

AMOAFOWAA: Of course. What is your dream occupation and why the choice if any?

MIRA: Haha! Dreams grow! One time I wanted to be a professional roller skater, then the best female guitarist in West Africa. Then the best singer. Then another time the best paint artist and even a missionary (laughs). Currently? It’s hard to paint everything into the picture of “an occupation.” But being human, lending much ink, lending my voice to the voiceless and amplifying the stories and plights of people that need to be heard across borders is what impassions me the most. I will like to work with IDPs and help them. I will like to hug young boys and girls, make them laugh and tell them everything will be alright.

AMOAFOWAA: An inspiration you are. Between power and failure, where would you put social media on the scale of 10 to 0?

MIRA: Okay this is tricky! I will say 8 for power and 2 for failure on a scale of 0-10. 8 for power because social media is so powerful! You can reach out to all the people you never expected to reach out to beyond borders. You can get people to fund your cause, you can use it to raise awareness and advocate for a cause, you now know what’s happening in different parts of the world and so much more! It’s also powerful for negative reasons like the nasty things you put on social media can come back to haunt you years later.  For failure also because we connect less with people physically now. We are always on our phones, missing out on the real time and real life conversations we could be having with people and all the beautiful moments we could be taking into our memories. We also spend time online admiring people’s —too often ingenuine online — lives more than we build our lives.

AMOAFOWAA: Who are your favourite singers and athletes of all time and why?

MIRA: For musicians I’m a fan of both Hillsongs and Bethel Music because they move my soul to worship. I like Falana music too and Alicia Keys because they sing about the society often. My favorite athletes are Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, Akuoma Omeoga the Nigerian Bobsled team and Usain Bolt because these are people who worked hard despite limitations and looked beyond their circumstances.

AMOAFOWAA: What is the naughtiest thing you’ve ever done?

MIRA: Me? Don’t I look like an Angel? (Laughs). 

AMOAFOWAA: (Laughs) Well… If you were made president of Nigeria presently, what are the things you’ll change to transform your country?

MIRA: Being the head of a small group or a large country is never easy! There are always things that will work for and against you! But for your question, I will pay better attention to Nigeria’s failing educational system by allocating better and adequate funds, enforce stricter national security actions to stop all the mass killings, improve Nigeria’s electricity and infrastructure, encourage #MadeInNigeria products by making systems much more entrepreneur friendly, enforce stricter laws and actions on rapists and sexual predators, etc.

AMOAFOWAA: May you live to be a president of Nigeria. What do you think are the underlining problems of Africa?

MIRA: Greed of leaders

AMOAFOWAA: What would you look out for in choosing your future husband?

MIRA: (Laughs!) Oh my God! This is such an interrogation, Amoafowaa don’t you think?! Someone who has God at his core. Someone with vision and is kind hearted towards the needs of those around him even though unconnected to him. Someone optimistic too! 

AMOAFOWAA: Sorry for the interrogation, I am a mind harvestor. Are women at par with men in enjoying rights of humans in Africa in this 20th century? Justify your answer.

MIRA: Africa is such a huge continent so I cannot make a conclusive statement for an entirely diverse group of people. In certain places women do enjoy basic human rights as men do but it’s not everywhere! So to the best of my knowledge and effort at generalism anyway, no! Africa as a continent is not yet at the point where women and men are both at par in enjoying basic human rights. Many African communities and families still do not see the essence of female education. In the work place there is still disparity between the wages of women and men as well as the uneven and low percentage of women in positions of power — but this is actually improving. 

And also, girls mostly in rural communities are still being (sometimes secretly) subjected to Female Genital Mutilation and even when they have the rights to say no to FGM, it goes against deaf ears because their families want to “prepare” them for their husbands and “reduce their promiscuity.” Wow! 

AMOAFOWAA: Hmmm. What in this world do you think we need to check in order to maintain the earth? 

MIRA: We need to check the rate at which we trash mother nature with our dirt! We need to be more aware about recycling! Stop dumping plastics in the rivers! Stop deforestation! Even after drinking a sachet of water, I usually put my wrap in my bag or hold it until I get to the nearest trash can and I put it in there. I don’t enjoy littering. 

AMOAFOWAA: What is your favourite line in Nigeria’s National Anthem?

MIRA: Every single line in the second stanza of the anthem which we don’t sing too often. 

“Oh God of creation

Direct our noble cause

Guide our leaders right

Help our youth the truth to know

In love and honesty to grow

And living just and true

Great lofty heights attain

To build a nation where peace

And justice shall reign”

AMOAFOWAA: Powerful stanza. Your dream for Nigeria in fifty years?
MIRA: Selfless leaders and individuals at every level — including myself — with conscience and genuine care for the growth of the country and people.

AMOAFOWAA: Advice your followers and followers of amoafowaa.com

MIRA: Keep being creative, ask questions, work hard, have integrity and remember to always TRY!

AMOAFOWAA: Thank you for your time here.

MIRA: You’re awesome! Thank you so much.

AMOAFOWAA: You’re “awesomer”. Her inspiration came in this form:

 FOR MIMI MORAH

A young flower blossoms

In beauty, plastering care in many bosoms

Her nicely scented nectar of rightness

Healing stems of broken flowers without tiredness

With a huge future to share

She starts uprooting many a nightmare

From weedy minds 

Breaking chains of suppression of power blinds

Her hopes of a world with no fault

Making her a rich and blessed vault

Though her road be long

She waves always with a smiling song

You lotus flower in muddy grooves

I cheer as your power moves 

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 21, 2018

Ashawo Diaries (Tales of Adwoa Attaa) Chapter 23 (18+)

Death is the junction of crossroads of reality of oblivion for every living soul. Renesh was mourned nationally, her secret rendezvous nicely covered by a streak of luck or by her parents high social status, yet our mourning continued. Bemi’s was filled to the brim, sex workers, both males and females sympathized with our fallen mate who was now above pain in a mythical space. It was tears, wailing, painful laughter which called for alcoholic beverages. I could see the fear written on people’s faces. 

I can’t tell how the funeral turned into an alcohol festival but before we knew it, all the gigolos were taken, even the homosexuals were screaming for help, but it was a place typical of survival of the fittest. I reckoned at least many knew we were the safest for ourselves for just that day. HIV/AIDS and other infections held no dagger which killed instantly, no one in that building had thoughts or power to judge each other, we were like same grains in a common bowl, and we were ourselves; this time having sex with no thoughts of money or kindness. I know many will think it disgusting but what better way to mourn the death of a prostitute than sex? If spirits really lived forty days after their death, they certainly would want to see some action before they finally leave, especially if they died at post. I couldn’t come to terms with making the first approach, Mimi came to me. Slowly massaging my scalp  at first, then kissing, hugging, crying, fingering and falling in tune with the diverse moans and painful pleasure in the air. Of course, some might have had ulterior motives in coming, but human nature couldn’t have been criticised at that moment. It was a mourning festival of sex that transcended gender, ethnicity, political lines, religious beliefs, individual differences, talk less of death. We lived in the now.

I missed Ntwanu, Guru, Massai and their entire group. On that day, I needed the warmth of a strong partner, the assurance of a strong protector, the thrusts of a manly man, but all I got were memories of what was. I felt alone even in the midst of many but it was all about Renesh, not my fears, not my loneliness, not my past, nothing of me but everything about who I might turn out to be. Every escort group presented Bemi’s with money, or drinks or snacks. I saw the family unit come together and I knew at least, I would get a befitting burial in case I also fell and my parents refused me burial. Of course the Anobeng family would disown me if they realized how I lived my life in any circumstance.

By 12am, all our guests had left, our girls cleaned up. Mimi, Shai and I left for the house in quietude, each immersed in her own thoughts. Right in front of our gate, a slim, tall man hugged himself in tears. He looked like a 30 year old with some issues. He had bruises all over and was shaking with tears. Mimi asked that we sack him from there as calling the police might put us under scrutiny or implicate us in whatever shady deal he was into, but I was of the opinion that he needed to be tended to as he did not strike me as a bad person. He refused to talk to us so I called our security man to help take him in. I called the doctor who came to dress his wounds and we put him in the boys quarters. 

Sleep was of tossing and turning but eventually I boarded its train which headed into a dreamland of chaos. A place where hell’s bondage fucked my crying cunt in a fire which battled and overtook pride in plucking my heart out but kept it there, beating in horror of my reality.  I woke to the sound of my phone. The lady before me called that I needed to be at the premises because only ten people remained between myself and my interview. I got up, showered briefly and dressed in my formal wear; red shirt tucked into a black fitted skirt, with red heels and a black bag to match, which had been prepared since I got my number and hearded out.

The interview was brief, it seemed my interviewers were more interested in the way I looked than the way I thought. They asked of my education and I told them I was still awaiting my BECE results. They were pretty satisfied with me and asked that I kept my phone by me all the time as they might give me a call. I left for the house, went to the room of my guest, fed him, cleaned him up and read for him Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not to Blame. All he did was look on. He smiled when the funny part was read but was in a pensive mood.

Mimi had sorted out all our problems and was waiting for the next week to open our phone lines but was scheduling meetings for big clients whose wishes could not wait. Shai went for a quickie that day, came back and called one of her personal clients for a free fuck. Asked why? She told us of the uncanny thing that had happened. Apparently, all she had to do was to be teased by a woman as her husband watched in their matrimonial bed. She pricked her nipples, sucked it a bit, placed kisses randomly on her body, stroked her hair, licked her cunt and when she was ready to be ridden, the lady’s husband climbed the bed only to fuck his wife silly, leaving her hanging. She watched them, a little shocked but immensely disappointed as they handed her her payment and dismissed her. Mimi told us that was not weird at all. She had met someone who would only have sex with her when she was in her menses, (Shai’s “May Allah forbid” blasted the room like a radio gone bonkers), she had also met a man who only wanted urinal straight from the vagina into his mouth, he drank and moaned as though he was in a sex gala, she had met one who only wanted her to shave his nostrils, massage and suck his nose, he paid well and came loudly in the end. I asked that she stopped as I had not reached her height, only to see Shai headed to her room. 

I was about to get up when I saw the guest standing in front of my door, I could swear he looked familiar but what was scary was the fact that none of us heard him come in, none of us saw him pass by, and how he got to know my room and stood by the door was also something. Clearly, Mimi’s thoughts were written on her forehead, that he should be sacked immediately as he was dangerous. Still, I felt the need to protect him. 

“What is your name? I asked”

By Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia

Photo Credit: Google Pics

​ANGEL OF HIDDEN GOOSEBUMPS


There is a summer hut

On the roof of the moon

Which all prying eyes cut

Waiting for us to swoon

So do those problems shut


II

We need our hands threaded in symphony

Our feet running in a perfect dance

To tickling sounds of harmony

Our eyes writing our thoughts in each other at any chance

Making our tongue’s pools our sweet and ever tasteful honey


III

Let our laughter rise from our souls

To massage our feet

And strengthen our soles

As happy songs follow through our street

Through our glowing hollow holes


IV

Oh gracious holes, where jumpy songs metamorphose into cool

Only to our fluttery hearts soothe

Who cares if we merge into a fool

With a heartbeat oh so smooth

As long as we end as each’s perfect loving stool?


V

After tickling ourselves silly

Like magical eagles, let’s fly to moon’s roof

You in me and I in you, even better in the chilly

As we each laugh at our many a goof

Climbing through the hardened even through the hilly

You are after all the angel of all my hidden goosebumps!

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 20, 2018

​WHEN HIS PANTS ARE DOWN


Worms wriggle

Dogs bark

Cats mew

So be careful of birthed promises

When his pants are down


II

I know of flowers who have lived on clouds

With plucked stars and moons

Bedding in chariots of all their fantasies

Dancing to the tune of Cupid’s best

Only to fall as rains

Into a hell of fire whose ashes flew

With airs of regrets

Into deserted forests of disappointments

So careful of dishes of promises

When his pants are down


III

They build believable mansions with words

For their tongues are the pencils of architects 

Whose sheets need crumpling sizzles

And tails need your wet wiggle

In their burning passion

Whose lifespan is as short as the shine of fireworks in the sky

So oh beware

Of the sound of holes of deceit

When his pants are down

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 19, 2018

DEAD CANES IN KUKUBALI

Sitting in the past with the wrinkled

As my time’s stars stood in the greenest twinkle

I heard of eyes, potent in closure

Even in most secluded holes

Seeing hectic moles who fates stole

In the near tomorrow

The near tomorrow which garnishes my feet today

Yet I laughed like a wise soul hearing the voice of the foolish


II

Running in the past with the “cruel”

A cane spoke of love with corrective scars

In gift of a future with no blemishes

Maame nodded and applauded her brother

Papa got another to join in

All eyes sparkled 

Hands clapped

I felt like a Jesus never welcomed in his own home

The present now looks at the past with glee

Gifting its long gone hands unmeaningful late handshakes 


III

I dined with the past whose children had ears

Soft ears

The past whose children had no mouths 

In elderly presence

I dined with the past where young ones vanished

Like myths in elderly visitations

And did feed respect on plates of good upbringing

Nana would cry in happenings of today

Watching through spectacles of ancestorhood

Glad I have no lenses to see his countenance


IV

I wonder where all the magic canes of path direction went?

I marvel at the hard ears with sharp mouths

Which toddlers clutch as blessings

I wonder how words put together to protect

Handcuff wills to correct

I wonder

I do wonder how far this belly’s fruit would go with its generation

In madness of rights

What I see in closed eyes of the future

Hell fire so heatedly hazy

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 17, 2018

BE THE LIGHT

In this cave of pain

Where insanity is in rain

Planting needless disdain

Like that felt by Cane

Be the light in my train


II

You know thoughts which sit in the main

Driving me insane

Oh God of my brain!

Break these haunting chain

Which my good waters drain

Can’t you see I am in pain?

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 14, 2018

Ashawo Diaries (Tales of Adwoa Attaa) Chapter 22 (18+)

Dreams are easy to pluck in sleep, certainly not with opened eyes and a working body. There were over a thousand people to interview before me so I bribed the one before and the one after me to call when it was left with 30 people to reach my turn. At home, my bed was of needles and nails with their pointed edges. When sleep became too painful and eyes became too sore, I called Mimi and asked for a meeting with all the girls. In two hours, we were all seated at our restaurant which had gone through so many name transformations to be called Bemi’s. There was a brothel attached but only people in our circles knew. 
After agreeing to close down for a week, we decided to organize a small funeral with closed groups in our circles for her. So many calls had come in from our sister escort groups, even one gigolo group had sent their condolences. We set the funeral for the next day and sent out messages. Our girls dressed in sexy black clothes with beautiful makeups in her memory. Her best wig was worn by all. I provided drinks, hard liquor, all day in wait for the next day. Even Shai drank to stupor, her Muslim vows relegated to the background. Pictures of Renesh Kutram were printed and made the background pictures on all our walls as we played sorrow filled songs in our enclosed space. 

Girls cried, vomited, as some promised to stop the job once they got enough money to set themselves up. Those who did drugs and couldn’t stay without sex forced their fellows to have lesbian sex with them as there were no men around. We were 56 in all. Some girls mimicked Renesh. “Hey you! You there so sad you can hardly breathe! Come for these coins to buy some happy drinks.” And the coins were always notes which shocked the hell out of the receiver. “You can have my car if you want to flex, wear my clothes if you need them, you can even have my pay, I don’t really care.” I was beside myself with grief. I realized everyone there had a story to tell, so opened the mic and asked anyone who wanted to share their story to do so.

Heavens, a twenty two year old, took the stage. “I had dreams too. I was going to be a lawyer. I too had a father who loved me very much, but death took him away, sending me to stay with my mother and my step father. I too, tried to be a good girl but my mama just saw me as a nuisance. I too wanted to be a virgin till I met the right man but my step father raped me when I was only twelve years old. I too wanted my mother to take my side but she threw me out of her house, saying I wanted to ruin her marriage for her. I tried to work on the street only to be fucked like hell every night by anyone who wanted to, until I decided to make money when a pimp, approached me. Sleeping with more than 20 men per night for a fixed fee of five cedis, I too suffered until I met Bemi Escorts.”

Another took the mic.

“Hi, I am Angel Jane. When I see people who had family complaining of maltreatment and leaving their homes, I feel jealous. Why? Because I was told my mother was a Kaya yoo. No one seemed to know where she was from. The one who many thought to be my father, was the first man to rape me when I was ten years old. He gave me out to men without properly feeding me till I was sixteen. I was the one who killed that son of a bitch. I was. I stabbed his chest with his own knife when he drank and wanted to have his way with me over and over again. I mean, he did it with me five times and wanted a sixth. The man wanted to kill me so I killed him first. His group members beat me to a pulp and threw me into the Sanho River. It was Renesh and Shyzle who found me when they came to smoke there, took me to the hospital and introduced me to Bemi Escorts.”

“Hi, I am Oremi from Nigeria. Growing up with a mother who was a prostitute was enough ridicule in school. She would make sure I stay out until she was done with each and every man lined up in our little house in one of the worst slums of Lagos called Amukoko. While I was in SHS 1, three boys who knew my mum gang raped me in the full glare of some elderly people in Amukoko but no one was ready to help me out. When I got home, I took my mother’s money and run to the Ghana Station in Lagos, and followed one woman to Ghana. I was helping her sell drinks until she introduced me to prostitution. After cheating me for three years, I met Aunt Mimi who introduced me to Bemi Escorts.”

“Hi, my name is Cheesy Baby. I run away from the house because my parents were only concerned about my sick sister. They didn’t care about me at all. I was 15 when I fell and broke my leg. They only sent me to the hospital, and paid a nurse to tend to me while both of them took turns to care for my sister in another hospital. This sadness forced me to live like I wanted and was glad I met Gold who took me in. Then she cared for me until I felt the care of man, kisses, hugs, sex (some shouted “Ashawo!”) and I realized I had arrived. Thank you for this fine family.”

“Hi, my name is Give-It-To-Me-Babe. I got married at the age of six, was sent to my husband’s home at the age of nine, got pregnant at the age of 11, gave birth prematurely and lost my child. My in-laws chased me out of the house because they claimed I was a witch. How they came by that conclusion, I still don’t know. I contracted an illness whose name I still don’t know due to the early child birth. I smelt so badly that no one will have me around. I met Renesh who sent me to the hospital and cared for me until I was fully well. She wanted me to go to school, but I was too old. Shyzel invited me to few meetings and I loved the escort business instantly.”

“Hi, I am Mironi. I was born in a family of ten. My father had four wives, and had eight children with my mother. Feeding became a problem as he was irresponsible I had to find ways of helping my mother feed us when I was only thirteen.  The first man who took my virginity gave me one cedi. I was glad because it bought my family enough gari and sugar. So I kept doing it with him, and adding other partners until the whole town got to know I was a slut. I got pregnant but none of the men wanted to take responsibility for it, so I aborted it. The abortion landed me in a hospital because I used grinded bottles with sugar and a bottle of Guinness. The rumours were too many after. My father whom I barely saw disowned me, my mother who sympathised with me could not do anything about the taunts of the village so I fled to Kumasi, all the way from Kintampo. I could only sell myself to survive after multiple rapes. I was introduced to Bemi Escorts by Cheesy Baby, who saved me from robbers one night. Renesh became one of my best friends. I am sad that we lost her.”

“Hi, I am Auro. Many are those who cherish great relationships with men but due to the abuse my father meted out to my mother, I swore never to give in to man and to use man for my daily bread. Since infancy, he would beat my mother, throw her out at the least opportunity. My mum always ended up coming back because of me. He ended up killing her one day after I went back home from school when he pushed her onto the hard cemented floor for not saying please when she asked for chop money. I was devastated when he asked me to say my mother fell by herself when the police came home to question me. He did try to take care of me afterwards but I left home a year after mum died. I was fourteen years old. Although the streets were unsafe and I met quite dangerous people, I stayed because I realized it was better to see the cruelty of others than my father’s murderous face. Renesh was my school mate, she introduced me to Bemi Escorts. It is sad to know she is gone. Gone forever.”

“My name is Jaye. I am Indian as you can see. On my way from school one day, I was raped brutally. The whole village of Babai got to know of it. And they really dealt me a blow. Some women came to my house to insult me, the youth wanted to lynch me, the men finally drove my family and I out of the village. They said I had brought dishonour to the land. (She paused to cry making all cry with her). My father died that day. He had a heart attack. My mother bit her tongue and killed herself a day after. I had no where to go. Everywhere I went, I was either raped or sacked. I ended up in Mumbai, got a good Samaritan to give me some money and jumped on the first flight that came. I ended up in Ghana, followed a woman to Kumasi and was introduced to Bemi Escorts after a year of struggling in the streets.” 

“Hi, my name is Dream. I was brought up by the God is Good Orphanage. Whereas everyone knew the home as a Godfearing one, our patrons used us, the matured girls, for prostitution for their own selfish reasons. They kept telling us it was for the welfare of all of us but it was not true as there was always not enough food for all of us. Every girl who turned fourteen was forced to have multiple sex each night with strange men, yet many people donated money, food and clothes to the house on weekly basis. I decided to run away after my second abortion. I met Cash who introduced me to Bemi Restaurant and later to Bemi Escorts. I loved Renesh, she always made everyone happy. ”

Stories kept on pouring, from school bullying to lack of confidence by parents to poverty to loneliness to orphans, to early marriages, abuses etc. I realized how unfair most girls were treated in the world. How cruel societal laws were to women of the earth, how bad we lived and how unfair it is to us. We drank and drank and drank and drank till sleep stole our hopeless bodies through that accursed night. 

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

AT THIS CROSSROADS

At this crossroads

Where good leads to bad

And bad leads to good

Stands the whip of fear

At all ends


II

At this crossroads

Righteousness begets pain

While cruelty begets peace

Yet conscience acts judge

With a gavel of suffering


III

The lioness in me battles the sheep I am

The tears in me drowns the heart I have

Weakened nerves promise electrocution

Of wits and sanes and love and suns

Yet this crossroads have no pointers


IV

Is there an ultimate judge

For an afterlife trial in a life’s dilemma?

Is there a hell fire for a righteous crime?

Is there a punishment for a sin of love?

Life’s rhetorics butcher like a savage, at these crossroads

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 12, 2018

Ashawo Diaries (Tales of Adwoa Attaa) Chapter 21 (18+)

A broken body knows no will. I was broken from within but just had to wake up, do my morning rituals and head for Krono, where the interviews were taking place, to try my luck. The need to travel and be a been-to was driving all my fatigue away. I was shocked when I reached there to find out that the 1450th person was still anxiously seated, begging for questions from those privileged to have been interviewed. Someone told me to go and check back the next day and I was too happy to oblige because truth be told, I was very tired and needed to see the doctor for some antibiotics to mend my pain. 
The family doctor was called and in a matter of fourteen hours, I woke to a refreshed me. I had slept so soundly that I did not even remember dreaming. I went to the main hall to find no one there. I combed through the whole house but there was no one. I went to ask the security man who told me about a problem which drove all of them out. According to him, he did not know what but Mimi and Shai were so shocked and in tears as they boarded the car that two of our girls brought. I called Mimi who picked instantly and in tears, asked me to come to the Ejisu-Juabeng Market area to see something. I picked my keys and drove like a mad woman to the place. Luckily, there was no traffic. 

Many people had gathered around a naked body whose tongue, private part and breasts had been cut off. A corpse in its pool of blood on the bare ground, looking like one who fought to live but sadly lost. I immediately recognized her as Renesh Kutram. She was a bubbly girl who lived like a queen. When she came under our wings, she had everything: A flashy car and always wore expensive dresses. She was one girl who was a prostitute because she loved having sex. We all did not know her story because it was difficult to get her to open up.  I nearly jumped on her with tears but Mimi and Shai, sniffing the air through their tears, restrained me. They pointed to a wealthy looking couple and I instantly knew they were the parents of Renesh. I recognized her father instantly. 

Hon. Richard Abakah, the minister of Education at that time. They were weeping. There was also a young man who stood there weeping and cursing them.

“If you had made just a little time for us, she wouldn’t have ended up this way. How could you do this to us? Both of you can vanish for years and just leave us by ourselves with just that nanny whose interest is bullying! Now you have killed my sister. Are you happy about it? You should be jubilating and celebrating! Why are you pretending to care?”

The police came then, covered the corpse, put it in their hearse and took it away. Many people were now looking at the couple with questionable eyes, as few sympathized. When they left, mouths started working. “Ei! So they abandoned their children and left them to go wayward?” To this, so many people deduced many explanations and insults. “Ah! To think they look so wealthy! Why do children of rich people always end up spoilt?” To this, someone claimed it was the curse of money. It was amazing how no one recognized the Minister of Education but us. They rained insults upon insults on them. I pitied Renesh there and then. Who could have done this to her? How did she end up as a corpse in Juabeng? What actually happened in her home to drive her into the gutters of prostitution? 

I was too shaken to drive so Mimi took my wheels. She told me that the order came in late. She advised Renesh to call their senior who was seeing to the orders every hour. Apparently, Gold, the senior, said she received her last call at 1am. She claimed she was now being picked from the hotel to a location she did not know and so would call when she got there. I took the helpline and saw she sent a half message at eleven after 2am. “Don’t know where I am but in tro”. I was furious. I asked Gold how come she did not see the message to check her location? She started shivering. I told Mimi I could not ride in the same vehicle as a negligent girl and so she was given money to get a taxi. I cried all through. It wasn’t as if we could wake the dead and ask her who had done it but the reality was starring us in the face. If you gift a chicken to man, he does as he pleases with it. Then again, this chicken was not gifted to whoever killed it, we only left it on a hire. What was obviously worrying was the fact that a ritualist had been able to get our order line. The best option was to change our phone line, add an imperative location clause to the order or get security men for our girls. The latter could have been best but surely would be expensive. I told Mimi to let us close down for a while to see how best to solve the problem but she was her usual business minded self. We would revise the phonebook, send our customers the new phone line and make sure we investigate all new orders before we send any of our girls. 

It sounded like a cool idea but I was livid. How could she think of a brilliant idea like that when one of us gruesomely lost her life? Was she born with genes of callousness? I called her names; “Monster! Witch! Wicked woman!” but she was Mimi and had come to know me so well, so she pleaded with me to calm down and said if it would make me feel better, we could close down the business for few days. She parked the car and took me in her arms, massaging, caressing with soothing words as I cried my heart out. A beautiful girl gone down the drain. I could picture her face in my mind, how sweetly she smiled to show her perfect set of white teeth, her bubbly nature which made all love her, just 19 years old and gone with the wind.

When I gained composure, we turned on the radio in the car and continued. It had turned into a serious issue on all radio stations. There was an allegation of Renesh being murdered by her father’s rivals in opposition. That political attachment made sense but infuriated me the more. Sex and murder, such an uncanny thing. Whiles someone prepared to pleasure you, you prepare to take her life. I didn’t get the connection but I realized it might be religiously right to kill someone whose occupation is deemed a sin by all religious bodies. Then again, something must kill a human being. I was determined to get out of Ghana and for the first time, knelt down to ask God for forgiveness and a pass during my interview so I could flee, flee the barbaric realm I found myself. But I realized conscience interfered with my prayers, I felt too dirty no matter how hard I bathed to ask for forgiveness. So I dressed up and made my way back to Krono, hoping my fate would change.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

​THIS GLOBAL VILLAGE


In the wake of this breaking

Where the world lives a touch away

There is no need for a shaking

Of wits and hurts and hate to stray

For the world goes round and round


II

Today the best sit in an earthquake of disagreement

Tomorrow a small island

Might hold the reigns of power

Riding a great fallen like a horse

In a rough road of gravels,  broken glasses and piercy metals

So there is no need to dig out supremacy

On plates of subduing many

In a championship hunt


III

Oh what beauty will show

If all fingers of nations hold! 

Oh what beauty will show

If genuine hands of nations extend to each other

In a festival of diplomacy

Oh what love will bind

If unbeneficial power’s throat is slit

In a farming of togetherness

We are what we choose to be

In what we choose to do

In this global village

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c)  Dec.  5, 2018

​INSECT TOWN


There is an insect town

On this beautiful living lawn

But all passersby see

Is the beautiful grass and its fee

Yet night planes their insecti-flight

And day takes them from sight

It is like sweat in a fluffy wool

Or vampire ants in a crown stool


II

What is seen may not be

Once roots are brought to be washed on the head of a plain sea

In the ground many bites abound

On land much pretense surrounds

Even though our hearts know in capital letters

We wear our hypocritical matters

Acting in dancing even when we’re being bitten like sweat in a fluffy wool

Or vampire ants in a crown stool


III

My teeth line up

Even when my voice shuts up

When I see eyes turn red

In a covetousness hidden in singing and begging to be heard

What can a hiding ant say

In a convention of hunting lizards on a pay?

Human bodies is mostly like sweat in a fluffy wool

Or vampire ants in a crown stool

Shinning royalty, feeling pains

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © Jan. 4, 2018