IN THE SHOES OF GOD 12

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

Photo Credit: Google Pics

Female Role Models: Essoyomèwè Adamagnon

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

JUBILATING SADNESS

Oh you tears

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

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

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 11

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

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

Male Role Models: Abdul Sorie Koroma

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

OGUAN-PATAKU

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

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

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

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 10

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

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

A PRAYER

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

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

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

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

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 9

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

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

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © August 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

FOR BUSUMURU KOFI ANNAN

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

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

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

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

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 8

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

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

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

NNAASE NKOA

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

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

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

THIS MATHEMATICS OF DATING (Crazy Stanzas)

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

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

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

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

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

PASTOWEALTHISM

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

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

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

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

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 7

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

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 6

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

Photo Credit: Google Pics