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SHORT STORIES

HUNGER AND NEEDS (Corona Series, Episode 12)

I’ve always earned my money transporting people and their things from Togo into Ghana. Paying duty is expensive, so wise traders sought our services to help them transport their goods into Ghana and vice versa. We knew routes to take them and got paid fairly for our services. It is thanks to those services we fed our families and gave them some decent shelter and clothing. Then Corona started. We lost our livelihoods when the border was closed. Our hand to mouth job demanded we worked daily, what were we to do? Who sits and watches the stick as a snake hisses forward to bite? That person must be a fool! So Fo Kojo and Agbui suggested we work at the blind side of the law. Fo Kojo said when the going gets tough, the weak must be tough if he wants to survive. I wanted to survive so I joined in. We made another pathway to Togo, one no one knew about. We spent three days paving the path and making sure it wasn’t conspicuous. Then we passed through that pathway to Togo to look for market for our new venture. It was so easy as there were many market women stranded. So we thought we had struck gold. What cost 70 cedis previously, we charged 200 cedis. Fo Kojo said we had to charge for the risk involved in case we were caught. We sneaked in humans and goods but mostly humans and got rewarded for it. Of course we knew about the virus. But hunger virus was scarier to us than Corona Virus. One morning, we woke to the news that Agbui was sick. We went to his house only to see him coughing. Fo Kojo took to his heels and I followed. He stopped at a point and I did so too. Before I could ask what was happening:
Agbui, explain the cough… Agbui tried to say he didn’t understand.
Mɛ bɛ dë êkpɛ si kpém ēlè gõmè nam.
Mé bē d3 êkpɛ si kpém élē
Agbui coughed and tried to say something but couldn’t. Then he sneezed! The fear shock that electrocuted us was clear. Fo Kojo went further back and exclaimed Ké mi kãtã mí xõé má dé. Yehowa nɛ vɛ mîa nu- I didn’t let him finish, I bolted like thunder to my house. I had gotten some money from the two weeks of work. We still had other people to sneak in. Some of those we sneaked in were caught but they never mentioned us, that was our deal. But I kept on thinking about the whole situation. If Agbui had it, definitely I had it too and so does Fo. I paced from the door of my single room to the roadside. My wife was worried, and my children were pacing with me. The eldest was nine years old, the next was seven, the next after him was three before the one who is still a toddler, and was sleeping inside. Fo Kojo rushed back to my house and pushed me aside. He told me we needed to go to the hospital to test before we kill ourselves and our families.
When we went to the hospital, I wanted to confess but Fo called me gbevu and told the nurses we needed to test because the whole drama of the virus is having a toll on us. We are awaiting results as of now but the mental torture outweighs any problem I’ve ever encountered. Agbui, we’ve heard, is at a hospital, we still don’t know his ailment. Today is the third day and we have one more day of waiting before we get the results, because there is no test centre here. When I get out of this safe and sound, I’d definitely stay far away from the border business. It’s true what the elders say, experience is definitely the best teacher, and we’ve been taught and caught in this anxiety, waiting to exhale or caught in a scary safety and security whirlwind.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © April 2020. Photo Credit: Google Pics

By amoafowaa

Just a simple Ghanaian trying to find the best in our society. I may be fun, I may be interesting, I may be funny, I may even be foolish or intelligent, but it is all based on the mood in which you find yourself. I believe our minds make us who we are. Know that, pain, no matter its 'unbearability', is transient. Unburden or delight yourself for a while in my writings please. And all corrections, advice and opinions are welcome. Know that you are the king, queen or royal on this blog. :)

4 replies on “HUNGER AND NEEDS (Corona Series, Episode 12)”

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