NYANE TAKYI

Nyane, nyane Takyi
And pluck him from the dreams of illusions
Which has painted a heavenly innocence
For his troubled reality

II
Nyane, wake Takyi
The mythical evidence that muatia in Ghana did bless
actually worked out there
In metamorphosis into disgrace
Sad it still had a metal hand for slapping

III
Nyane o, wake Takyi
Even if oil paint of shame paints his sorry soul
Dripping in drops of regret spilled like milk
Into unsympathetic sands

IV
Nyane wai, wake Takyi
To see his typhoon of being in the pocket of greed
Carried on waves of ridicule
On a sea of disgrace

V
Nyane o wake Takyi
To shout out his dying love out of his lungs
To his beloveds on thrones of glory
To use him as an example to hang corruption by the neck, suffocating it to death by morn
Lest they turn stones used to balance kitchen stools
On dusty compounds
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © October 31, 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics
(Nyane is an Akan word meaning “wake”. Muatia is the Akan word for dwarfs.)

A SOOTHING RAP

Clouds are clearing in this dark
I can see the hazy moon flanked by its numerous stars
Light rays, with their toes, make visible many a mark
But breakages have arrested almost all bars
Shaking in collapsing
Freeing hope of its masking

II
I can see in drying, tears of dawn
I can see in heating, its chilling cold
I know the webs of morn will by the sun be withdrawn
And I can see the right light hold
So climbing filth upon hurts, hate upon chills
Do fill my quills

III
There is a new world rising
There is a new joy swimming up
There are new love smiling
There is a new, a new life map
Nostalgia builds up excitement and all I hear is a soothing rap
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © October 19, 2018

THE TREE OF AUCC

Creativity just walked under the shed of AUCC
Re-echoing its bosshood in thought
Embracing bosoms ready to blossom
Announcing its determination to surpass the fertility its umbrella gives
Time’s tongue is yearning to tell tales of
Inventions, wordy and active!
Visitations thrilling and impacting!
Innovations interesting and glorifiable!
Trains of goodness hide in steps of practicalities, and will
Yield harvests so fulfilling that the globe will stalk Adabraka!

II
Abyss of intelligence has been born!
Resources apparalling fashionistally
Talesomely, tellingly, trackingly oh thankfully!

Sing supportive songs to seal the deal
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © October 17, 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 17

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

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN PARTING: Honouring Atukwei Okai

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

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

Photo Credit: Google Pics

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 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

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 2


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

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN THE SHOES OF GOD 1

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

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

DAWN OF TEARS – Prof. Atukwei Okai

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

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

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

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

Male Role Models: Emmanuel Eroh

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

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

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

Male Role Models: Segbeyon Oluwatobi

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

Male Role Models: Yahya Sowe

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

Male Role Models: Eugene Tetteh Odoi

Eugene Odoi is a 20-year old Child Rights and Responsibility’s Advocate with the Children and Youth in Broadcasting CURIOUS MINDS, a young people focused organisation in its 22nd year. He has been in the group for five years and in the course of it, has shared in different advocacy platforms both on radio and television and in community sensitization programmes on the proper development of young people. Eugene is presently the Youth Representative on the Governing Board of the Ghana SRHR Alliance. He is Adolescent Ambassador for the Intercontinental All-In Campaign to end HIV and AIDS stigma among young people. Eugene speaks about young people’s deprivation and their development with passion and looks at his background that brings him into contact with many deprived children. He believes in a world where all children and young people’s rights will be respected, protected and guaranteed. Eugene is a role model.

Male Role Models: Alieu Jallow

Alieu is a self-motivated young Gambian leader working with communities in bringing about development. He has worked with different people across his country and beyond. Alieu is also a senior reporter with the Trumpet Newspaper, a freelance journalist as well as a Young African Leadership initiative Fellow. As an advocate and activist, he anchors a talk show called follow the money, which aims at tracking where public funds are coming from and making sure they are judiciously distributed, this show also seeks to expose issues related to corruption, transparency and accountability.

Coming from an underprivileged family in the rural Gambia, he survived through abject poverty to become a strong and passionate young man striving towards fighting poverty and corruption. His dream is to become a great leader and president of his country in the near future to emancipate the underprivileged from poverty, fight corruption and bring about sustainable development. He wants to be a champion of democracy, peace builder and a change agent working with both local and international NGOs as well as government agencies to bring about development to his country and Africa at large.

Jallow has a strong passion for volunteerism and influencing social change in local communities.
Alieu has over 6 years of experience in activism and advocacy. He works to develop programs that will have lasting impacts in the lives of his community and nation. He is committed to building his capacity in order to help others through his fields of studies. He is a good role model.

Male Role Models: Omar Gaye

Omar Gaye is a hardworking and committed Finance and Accountancy specialist from the Republic of the Gambia. He holds a BSc ( honours) in Accountancy from the University of The Gambia and is a leading advocate for quality and accessible education in his country. He has over six years of experience in Civic Leadership and Volunteerism.

Omar is a conscientious young man with sharp cognitive faculty. He is an honest and upright man with impeccable character. Dubbed the “Finance Guru”, Mr Gaye has a deep understanding of financial management. In 2018, Mr. Gaye was credited for being the brain behind the unprecedented 75. 56% increment to the bank balance of the University of the Gambia Students’ Union during his time as the Finance Minister.

His rare skills in finance and related fields coupled with an amazing work ethics, made him the top choice of many associations and organisations in his country. He is very ethical and professional in his job.

Omar is a young leader with deep passion for voluntary work. His unrivalled sense of maturity and responsibility saw him effectively manage key positions in reputable organisations and associations in his country, The Gambia .

As an award-winning YALI fellow, Mr. Gaye harbours great leadership skills and knowledge. He is currently serving as the sustainability chair at the YALI RLC Gambia Chaper; Auditor General of Journalism Students’ Association; and a member of Repute Research Center.

He has also served as the Finance minister of the University of The Gambia Students’ Union; Auditor General of ECOMANSA; Assistant Finance minister of ECOMANSA and Finance Secretary of Power of Freedom.

Omar is currently the Finance Secretary of “Catch them Young” an NGO that dreams of a world where kids will not wallow on the streets begging for money for their upkeep.

Omar wants to see an end to child labour- classroom he posited should be the office for every child. Accordingly, he wants to see every child excel in life by making the best use of their god given talents. Omar is a role model.

Female Role Models: Hannah Awadzi

Hannah Awadzi (Mrs) is a Ghanaian communications Specialist and Founder of The Special Mothers Project, an advocacy and awareness creation programme on cerebral palsy.
She holds a degree in psychology with linguistics from the University of Ghana and a Diploma in Communications skills from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
She has worked as a journalist for over 17 years and counting, and is a staunch Christian, a pubic speaker and loves to share her experiences with people with the aim of impacting their lives positively.
Mrs. Awadzi who is also an author and writes with the pen name “Adowa Okorewaa” likes to use her communications skills to advocate for the vulnerable in society.
She has written extensively on the subject of cerebral palsy with hope of creating awareness and change society’s attitude towards children with cerebral palsy.
She is married with three children. Her first child, Avery, has cerebral palsy. Her first book titled “The Unexpected” is an inspirational book that chronicles her journey with her daughter with cerebral palsy.
The Special Mothers Project, founded because of her daughter, is a reach out project that aims at extending love and support to families raising children with cerebral palsy, especially mothers.
The Project links families to the limited but available support services in Ghana while facilitating the creation of support systems and services to enhance the lives of families raising children with cerebral palsy.
The Project also serves as a counseling point for families raising children with cerebral palsy. On a daily basis, the Special Mothers Project receives calls and invitations from averagely about 20 families requiring information or services for their children with cerebral palsy.
The Project also works to empower parents concerned to get involved in advocacy while venturing into the provision of services that suit the needs of families raising children with cerebral palsy.
Mrs. Awadzi believes that mothers of children with cerebral palsy are better placed to provide services since they primarily understand the needs of such families above any other.
The Special Mothers Project, organizes periodic information seminars and workshops for various stakeholder groups including the media, parents, and policy makers among others.
The major aim is to enhance understanding of cerebral palsy as a condition among the populace and facilitate inclusion in our society.
Her advice to everybody reading, is to be positive, as “we can achieve a lot as a country when we adopt positivity; no one knows the future except God so let’s trust God and be positive no matter our situation.” Hannah is a true role model.

Female Role Models: Abena Magis

Abena Magis, a Ghanaian, is a product of University of Cape Coast with a degree in English but her wealth of knowledge comes from her wealth of experiences. She is a blogger and public speaker. She is a relationship speaker and a social media counselor.

Through social media, she had been able to impact thousands of lives by raising funds to set people up in life, save the lives of people, advice others and link couples through blind dating.

Abena is a mother and a lover of “Gobe”. Call it Red Red (beans and fried ripe plantain) and she would respond, “you know the right thing.” She always reminds women of their importance in society. That they can be more than they aspire to be. Abena says education opened her eyes to what the world has to offer. “If I’d focused primarily on dating, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today” she told Amoafowaa. She believes in building one’s self and becoming a better person. Abena is a true role model.

Female Role Models: Katherine Akua Akoto Bamford

Katherine Akua Akoto Bamford is a disciplined, hardworking, kind Ghanaian woman with the fear of God as her compass in life.
She is into tours, events, party rentals, owns Coco’s Montessori School and offers educational consultancy services. She has been involved in humanitarian services for 11 years and still counting. Amongst her charitable works are: renovation of school and classroom blocks, provision of classroom materials, computers, books for libraries and training of rural preschool teachers for effective teaching.
She also provides health screenings for orphans and hosts Annual Christmas Parties for orphans sometimes numbering up to 650 children. She volunteers as a youth resource person when called to give talks to them.
to Katherine, the commandment of loving our brothers as we love ourselves governs all her actions. She prays for good health to continue to impact her world positively. Striking features of Katherine are, friendliness, humility and her ever shining golden heart. Katherine Akua Akoto Bamford is a true role model.

Female Role Models: Stella Allou

Stella Allou with pen name Ella Rhymz started the game of poetry at a tender age. Her love for short stories and poetry was developed by her late father. She’s a product of St Monica Senior High School where she was an active member of the Read Wide and Debators’ Clubs. She had her tertiary education at Bolgatanga Nurses Training College where she held the SRC library Representive Position. Her maiden book “Colourful Poetry” is a collection of poems available on Amazon. Several of her poems have been featured on online magazines and local newspapers such as “The Mirror”.
She is currently a registered general nurse at Tamale Teaching Hospital, where she loves her service to humanity. Stella believes that kindness to the sick is service to God. She hopes to further her education and develop her writing skills as well. She aspires to write medical fiction sometime to come. Helen Keller is her inspiration for writing.
Her role model is the late Maya Angelou. Stella believes “She will rise” one day.

Female Role Models: Alberta Ghunney

Alberta Ghunney is the CEO of Ally’s Favourite Bakes and Treats, named after her adorable daughter.
Cooking, she says, has always been a hobby and never a chore. In her own words, “The fact that I’m able to put simple things together to make an amazing meal fascinates me.” She fell in love two years ago with baking cakes managed Pinkpanda Bakery at East Legon, Accra before founding her own company. Although she is still looking for investors to take it to the national scale, Araba is a great role model to our youth, for doing something she loves to care for herself and her family.

Female Role Models: Kumba Philip-Joe

Kumba Philip-Joe, is a young lady who hails from Foya District, Lofa County Liberia. She is a devoted Seventh Day Adventist Christian.
Kumba has over 5 years of experience in the area of teenage pregnancy and issues affecting them. She is presently coordinating a program called the Enhanced Well Child Care Program. This Program was established to give social and medical aid to less fortunate pregnant teenagers, teenage mothers, and infants who mostly have been abandoned by families or boyfriends. She helps give hope to some of these teens who get frustrated by the society. She now has an extention in one of Monrovia’s largest slum communities: New Kru Town. With her team, they monitor about 600 young women at both sites. As a coordinator/health educator, her duties include but not limited to; providing health and social education for teenage mothers and sometimes their families and boyfriends, this include encouraging them to go back to school after children get older, advise them to use effective Family Planning, to avoid domestic violence or violence of any kind, have healthy and hygienic lifestyles and how to live in safety. Kumba has just graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She is driven by her passion to help her community especially the younger generation, exploring new ideas, and the force of her desire to understand life’s situations/ challenges and help find solutions to them in possible ways. She is a true role model.

Female Role Models: Waja Halilatu Nakoba

Wajah Halilatu Nakoba is a young Ghanaian teacher who is passionate about reading, loves to cook and write.
She helps the youth in every way possible especially the girl child.
From a humble community where girls do not love formal education, Wajah organizes small group meetings for these girls as a way of contributing to community development in Ghana. She believes education is a leveller and is passionate about brightening the corner where she finds herself always. She surely is a role model.

Female Role Models: Martha Racheal Patten

Martha Racheal Patten hails from Sinoe County, Liberia. She was born on September 16, 1994 to Miss Patience Baker and the late Woodro B. Patten. She is a young female leader who started demonstrating leadership ability right from her high school days where she served as student council president of St. Michael Catholic High School, Gardnersville, Liberia, during the 2010/2011 academic school year. That same year, she graduated from high school as Valedictorian of her class at the age of 16. In 2016, she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry (cum laude) from the University of Liberia and also graduated from the Lux en Tenebries Honors Scholars Program at the University of Liberia. She is currently a 2nd year Doctor in Training at A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine where she is pursuing her Doctor of Medicine. Over the years, she has volunteered with several youth organizations in Liberia like the National Youth and Children Advisory Board (NYCMB), Smiling Faces Int. and Smart Liberia. She is an entrepreneur who co-founded a natural juice company whose aim is to reduce the national intake of sugar and promote healthy living through refreshing drink. From the proceeds of her business, she intends on funding a not-for profit which would focus on improving health care delivery in Liberia and Africa at large. She is a 2018 YALI Nigeria cohort 4 fellow. She is a role model.

Female Role Models: Sadiq Maryjane Oiza

Sadiq Maryjane Oiza, a Nigerian, is a tech enthusiast, a digital marketer and trainer. She is also a public speaker whose prowess in the art of speaking is beyond excellent. Mary was once the Google Student Ambassador of Ekiti State University where she fell deeply in love with Education, impactation and thought leadership. She is a graduate of computer science and a Project Manager at inerd360 integrated services in lagos. She is a relationship mentor with a passion for harnessing youth opportunities in the digital space. Mary is a Yali Fellow and a role model.

Female Role Models: Oluwarotimi Akingbehin

Oluwarotimi Akingbehin currently works in Finance and Strategy at Thrive Agric (A technology-driven agriculture company that works with smallholder farmers to provide them with finance, technology-driven advisory and access to premium market). She also works in Communications and Technology at La Miam Caterers (An e-Restaurant that serves working-class professionals in urban cities)

She previously worked as the Content Developer at Encentral Solutions, before then she worked as an Analyst in Bauchi State, under the Northern Nigeria Routine Immunization Strengthening Project (NNRISP) funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dangote Foundation and USAID managed by Solina Health. She has also worked as the Project Implementation Team intern with National Primary Health Care Development Agency during her National Youth Service for 10 months at Solina Health, now Solina Centre For International Development and Research (SCIDaR).

Prior to joining Solina Health, she volunteered at the Joint Administrative Matriculation Board (JAMB) for 6 months taking an active role in the first 100% Computer-Based Testing conducted in Sub-saharan Africa. She currently volunteers at Lilies Variety Club, an interdenominational Christian club for youths, where they train teenagers and youths on good societal norms and morals.

She graduated from the prominent Eastern Mediterranean University in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems (High Honor/First Class) and a Minor in Banking and Finance in 2014.

She holds a Health Safety and Environment Supervisor’s Certificate from Occupational Safety and Health Administration, USA 2015. She is a Barack Obama Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) fellow, from the YALI Regional Leadership Centre (RLC) Nigeria Cohort 4.

She is originally from Ondo State, Nigeria and she enjoys coding, cooking, writing, and traveling. She shares some of her experiences on her blog https://talk2teame.blogspot.com.ng/ Timi is a true role model.

Female Role Models: Juliet Nwafor

Juliet Nwafor is a young Nigerian academician with over two years of experience in academic and research work in the field of sociology. Having graduated with a first class degree in sociology, she currently works as a teaching assistant in the department of Sociology at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where she focuses on research and lecturing in areas related to public policy, social policy and population studies. She is also a volunteer at Building Nations Initiative; a youth based non-governmental organization that is committed to nation building by instilling the right values in the youth, thereby raising a breed of young leaders that will be actively involved in influencing policy making and governance in the country.
She is very passionate about youth development, hence she utilizes her position as a university academic leader to mentor young adults to be the best they can be and to also contribute their quota in nation development. Juliet is a true role model.

Female Role Models: Issah Fawziyya Suglo Kartu

Issah Fawziyya Suglo Kartu is a young lady with a passion for public speaking. She is currently at the National Communications Authority as a Service Personnel.
Miss Issah, on the side, is a member of the GhanaThink Foundation as Barcamp Tamale Marketing lead. Under GhanaThink, she is currently part of the organizing team of the ongoing Ghana Youth Social Entrepreneurship Programme.
Fawziyya again doubles as a team member of HopIn Academy as Events Manager and Facilitator.
With the desire and interest in seeing the growth of children, Fawziyya Issah volunteers at the Funky Read Write Clinic whenever she has the time.
Issah Fawziyya Suglo Kartu studied Journalism and Public Relations, and Computer Science on her journey to finding what she loves.
She has also worked as a News Caster and Reporter at Zaa Radio and Justice Fm.
She recently completed the University for Development Studies where she studied Integrated Development Studies, majoring in Development Communication. At the university, she served as the Editorial Board Chairperson for her department’s student association called the Development Communication Students Association (DEVCOSA).
She loves Emceeing so do not be surprised to see her on stage of programs in the region.

Miss Issah believes her journey has only began and with some projects she’s working on on the side, she will accomplish her dream of slowly creating change for the deprived and marginalized women in the society. She is a true role model.

Female Role Models: Josephine Afriyie Acheampong

Josephine Afriyie Acheampong is a Ghanaian who has a keen interest in human nutrition, health and general fitness hence her quest to explore workable ways to be of help to the public in the area of health, fitness and wellness. Having overcome a personal unhealthy weight and lifestyle through the help of a trusted friend, she serves as a part-time coach to friends, community groups and family on matters of healthy living.
Through social media, one-on-one interactions and other virtual spaces, she has reached hundreds of people, females and males alike as an influence and a motivation on their own quest to live healthy. She strongly believes that when one puts their mind to the task of living healthy and sustaining same, they can achieve it no matter the challenge. To Josephine, being a female should never limit anyone on the extent they can go to achieve any goal they set in life, especially optimum health and fitness.
Josephine plans on setting up a social enterprise that tackle the fitness needs of all, with special focus on women health and fitness, pre and post-partum.
She is an Alumna of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative who holds a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ghana and is currently The Senior Food Safety Analyst with Nestle Ghana Limited, Tema Factory. Josephine is a role model worthy of emulation.

Female Role Models: Sandra T. Adeyeye

SANDRA T. ADEYEYE is a graduate of Theatre Arts and Mass Communication from the University of Benin, Benin City Nigeria. She is professionally certified in Media and Journalism, Storytelling and also Script writing and Film Business. She is a bonafide Alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative – Yali – an initiative by the former president of the United Stated of America, Barrack Obama. She has just published three ebooks – Woman, Woman vs Man and A woman’s Pot, a Man’s Stomach – personally and in collaboration with a couple of Nigerian writers. As a writer and e-publisher, she is committed to building bridges and creating collaborations among young artistes in the art world and entertainment industry worldwide. Sandra’s favourite quote is by Josh Billings.

She is the founder of Eminent Creators, a company Committed to promoting the arts in all forms. She also created Nigerian Writers Colony – NiWco – to promote African pieces to the global audience. Their blog address is http://www.niwcolony.com

“As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand”

You can find some of her writings published on different platforms including:

‘Beautiful Distractions’ and ‘Predatory’ – FROM HERE TO THERE II, A cross cultural Poetry Anthology.

‘Noon’ and ‘Happiness’ – HAPPY, A collection of Poetry and Prose on Happiness and Being Happy, http://www.collectionsofpoetryandprose.com.

‘The Hollow’ and ‘Beautiful Nonsense’ – WAR, a collection of Poetry and Prose on the Bravery and Horror of War, http://www.collectionsofpoetryandprose.com.

‘Three piece poem’ and ‘The Surprise’ – BETRAYAL,a collection of Poetry and Prose on Betrayal and Being Betrayed, http://www.collectionofpoetryandprose.com.

‘Struck’ and ‘Drop’ – BLAZING HOT POETS, PIN,www.poetsinnigeria.org.ng.

‘Primrose’ – REMNANTS, a collection of flash fictions, http://www.flash-frontier.com.

‘A cup of Love’ – Power Poetry, http://www.powerpoetry.org.

‘1700hrs’, ‘bitch 1’, ‘like a leech’ and ‘to accept or not to accept’ – Sandra’s corner, info base, http://www.infobase.com.ng.

‘L.O.V.E – Let Our Values Endure’ – The challenges of finding love and why men sometimes get it wrong, http://www.collectionsofpoetryandprose.com/finding-love/.

Connect with her on all social media pages with @Sandra T. Adeyeye.

Female Role Models: Zainab Deen

Zainab Deen, from The Gambia, is a 23year old female student enrolled in a diploma program in Information Technology. Besides the need to achieve professional skills in this field of study, she has developed special interest in development and youth empowerment. Outside school, she enjoys participating in forums that would build her capacity in social development and promote rapid development in her community. From a youth background of mostly disadvantage peers, she’s enthusiastic about positive change within the youth the community at large. She engages in many voluntary works including: The Alphabet King Reading Lab, which is a state of the art and cost effective plug and play solution solving the educational challenges of kids all over the world, and specifically those in crisis situation, refugee camps and less developed countries.
2. Forward For you: An initiative that aims to foster sustainable human development in The Gambia and does this through three core components:
a. Let Girls Learn
b. ForwardForYOUth
c. Forward For All
Let Girls Learn – is a project that supports young girls in the Gambia by providing them with opportunities to build a brighter future. The project covers all tuition costs and provides funds for auxiliary needs in order to ensure a successful school experience. Auxiliary costs being transportation, lunch money, uniforms, school supplies, textbooks and additional books for preparation. Students from this program and students sponsored by Forward For You are typically from very low income families and are chosen in a variety of ways- some are children that are selling on the streets. Forward For You volunteers and do home visits to explore the conditions in which the girls live to better cater for their needs.

ForwardForYOUth – aims at reducing the youth unemployment rate in relation to the illegal migration rate through researching the issues that youth face and coming up with viable solutions to combat this epidemic. The project seeks to tap into the creativity of the youth in the Gambia and transform their social impact ideas into actionable projects, such as promoting entrepreneurship by providing them with seed money and mentor-ship for viable business ventures.

Forward For All – The project focuses on the physical and mental well-being of vulnerable groups such as impoverished youth and children, through the use of advocacy, mentoring and support group programs to achieve general health stability. They also cover health costs, and work to support public hospitals and ‘homes’ such as ‘Tanka Tanka’. It is their goal to build a society more accepting of those that are mentally disabled by addressing the core cultural barriers, as well as providing assistance of basic necessities, engaging them in social activities and introducing a new and impact Field Day program. Zainab is a good role model.

Female Role Models: Adenike Soyombo

Adenike Soyombo has over seven years experience in leadership and humanitarian services.
Currently, she is a state coordinator at Mine Teenage Ministry where she focuses on teaching Godly principles, leadership skills, crafts, organising seminars and secondary school outreaches. She is also a sexual purity advocate.

Adenike is the founder of Ladies with Radiance (LWR), a platform with the mandate to help ladies, love God, love others and love themselves.
LWR organises quarterly outreaches where members go to communities to empower with skills and give basic amenities to the less privilege.
They also do online trainings on leadership, self discovery, etiquette, relationship among others.

Her primary goal is to raise female leaders who understand their capability, look out for the needs of others and are not afraid to live a life based on God’s principles. Adenike is a good example of who a role model should be.

Female Role Models: Kaddy Jadama

Kaddy Jadama is from the smiling coast of Africa; the GAMBIA. She is 26 years old, a disabled rights activist, gender activist and presently studying Gender and Development at the Management Development Institute (M.I.D). She is the Vice President of Focus on Brikama, which prepares young talents through counselling and education and hosts events that will showcase Gambian talents to the international world.

She is also the CEO of Kaddy’s Foundation for the Differently Abled. She volunteers for many organisations in the Gambia and has been on many youth platforms. Her passion to advocate for the disabled stems from her realization that the their rights were always trampled on. She fights for their right to quality education, shelter, and the need to harness their talents and for them to have the same privileges and equal rights and opportunities in the society. Even without a university degree, Kaddy believes she can still make an impact and surely makes a positive impact in the lives of many. She truly is a good role model worthy of emulation.

Female Role Models: Esther Moses

Esther Moses, Sierra Leonian is a Community Development worker with over 3 years experience in the not-for-profit sector in Sierra Leone. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science with a major in Biology from Njala University of Sierra Leone.
She currently works as a Youth Health Training Officer. She is responsible for creating awareness on risky sexual behaviors especially to guide against teenage pregnancy, building their decision-making capacity and ensuring lifestyle changes of adolescents age 10-19 years. She previously served as a Protection Officer during the Ebola scourge, managing and responding to protection alert cases such as Gender Base Violence, Ebola affected Victims/Survivors, and vulnerable people with disabilities.
Esther is passionate about advancing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents. Evident in her drive for bringing about social change and community development in combination with an adept mentoring ability that has culminated in an extensive behavioural change in over 500 adolescent boys and girls in her community.
She intends to continue with her passion, working with adolescents within and outside her communities; building their capacity to make well-informed sexual and reproductive health decisions and the essentials of livelihood skills. She also hopes to create opportunities for teenage mothers and fathers adversely affected by unwanted pregnancy. Esther is a good role model.

Women Role Models: Elizabeth Talatu Williams

Elizabeth Talatu Williams is a Nigerian with a big heart.
She has worked in the development sector for the last five years with expertise in advocating especially for the sexual reproductive health and rights of girls, building the capacity of adolescents living with HIV on Adherence to medication and livelihood skills, contributing to the development of Youth Policy, monitoring and evaluation of integration of FLHE into secondary schools curriculum in States and conducting qualitative research on risky behaviors among young people in urban slums. She is an intellectual who is worthy of emulation.

Female Role Models: Fatou Senghore

Fatou Senghore is a Gambian National and a final year student pursuing a degree in Computer Science & Technology at The American International University West Africa. She is currently interning at the Gambia Police Force as a Database administrator wherein she manages, maintains and builds Database applications. She has 3 years of work experience as an ICT technician at the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority. The ambition and passion she has in technology, make her volunteer at the Mozilla Club of HackathonGirls, Banjul that motivates and teaches young girls in The Gambia on how to become web literates, contributing to the growth of women in STEM. She is a true entrepreneur because she aims at building & innovating her own business which will solve Africa’s problem and the world at large. She always takes it at her own discretion to advise small medium enterprise business owners to transform their business to suit the digital world. She is the founder and the first female to lead a Computer Science association at her University.

Female Role Models: Saraswati Arthur

Saraswati Arthur is a teacher, student, lover of creative arts and a social entrepreneur. She is a teaching fellow at Teach for Ghana and an MPHIL student at University of Cape Coast. She is a Ghanaian whose interest in building change through literacy made her to establish a non profit organization called The Reading Factory, to mentor children and teachers on the basic creative ways of learning phonics.
She prefers to make reading fun for all.
With her vision of service to man being service to God, she focuses on building a digitized platform where students across the world will learn and share their creativities, either through writing or drawing. Miss Arthur is a good role model.

Female Role Models: Abena Korwaa Agyekum

Abena Korwaa Agyekum, a Ghanaian, is a 5th year medical student at Tambov State University in Russia. She is passionate about all things that concern women and the girl child. She advocates for them using social media. She is looking forward to starting a charity organization for needy girls with a friend this year. She believes the world would be a better place if we could all be feminists.

Feminism, she says, has changed her way of thinking. She has become more socially aware and is determined to make more people, especially women, aware of its benefits. She surely is a good role model.

Female Role Models: Baba Yunus Samiha Simli

Samiha is known for her positive spirit of volunteerism. She started volunteering at age 10. At age 14, she became an active member of Curious Minds Ghana, using radio as a potent tool for positive social and behavior change campaigns in rural communities. Today, at 23, while her peers are worried about jobs and getting married, the volunteering spirit in her keeps blazing. She is currently the local Chapter President (LCP) of Aiesec at the University for Development Studies and has since worked tirelessly to see it transition from a shadow student organization with very few members, to the most popular club on campus inspiring and igniting the spirit of volunteering among young people. She is most passionate about the emancipation of women and girls as well as youth development. She does not hesitate to jump (invited or not) on any intervention that seeks to promote the welfare of people. As to what inspires and encourages her spirit for volunteering? Her answer: “The question is, if I don’t, and you don’t, who would?” As the world keeps evolving, she has come to appreciate the fact that, our fight for a sustainable and developed world would be meaningless until it is linked up with the total commitments of both women and young people in the world. And that starts with her, you, I and them. But if no one else is willing, she’s happy doing it alone, afterall, “one person” to her “can change the world” Miha is by all standards a good role model.

Female Role Models: Abigail Owusuwaa Gyamfi

Abigail Owusuwaa Gyamfi is a Ghanaian entrepreneur & humanitarian committed to education, research, and mentorship. She is the founder and business development lead for OGA Golden Solutions, a social enterprise that provides sustainable livelihood for women and youth by empowering them to make customized and potective apparels and other safety gears. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She is passionate about Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) education and co-founded Eagle Wings Examinations Consult; a consultancy startup company that promotes the enhancement of the educational system in Ghana competitive to the rest of the world.

She promotes students and youth entrepreneurship and works with budding
entrepreneurs to grow their brands. She loves teaching and mentoring. She mentors at A-Zone
Network, an NGO that prepares young minds towards a fulfilling career. She is a passionate volunteer who extends her entrepreneurial and organizational skills in wide areas which subsumes partnering with non-profit organizations to support and provide better life for the underprivileged in the society. She volunteers as an advisor to the Nuelloxford Charity Foundation. She is dedicated to championing the disabled and disadvantaged. She is a good role model.

Female Role Models: Emmanuella Ikomon

Emmanuella Ikomon is a Nigerian who is a final year student of National Open University of Nigeria where she is studying B.Sc Criminology and Security Studies. She is also an awardee of young world leaders for humanity 2018 and A Global Goodwill Ambassador, 2018 as a result of her humanitarian works.

She is currently a partner with Strategy and Innovation for Development Initiative, with support from SI4DEV. She participated in the Facing Differences Challenge with Students Rebuild alongside students from Trinity Model College, with 26 portraits for Peace and each is equivalent to $3 for peace in Nigeria and the world at large. She provided water, clothes and writing materials for close to 500 persons who have been displaced due to herdsmen attack in her state. She also advocates actively in social media to enlighten people who are of voting age on the importance of exercising their franchise and understanding the power of their vote. Emmanuella is a good role model, one whose footsteps deserve to be followed.

Female Role Models: Yaa Yeboah Adu

Yaa Yeboaa Adu has a 3years experience in public health. She is currently the public health coordinator at Cheerful Hearts foundation,where she leads and coordinates research, with the implementation of health intervention programs in rural communities.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. She is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and committed to advancing education for comprehensive understanding among young boys and girls. She sure is a model worthy of emulation.

Women Role Models: Yakubu Fatimata

Yakubu Fatimata is professional Nurse at the Savelugu Municipal Hospital in the Northern part of Ghana. She is hardworking, self motivated and a passionate leader who strives to empower young women and also to resolve health related problems in rural communities.
She is a young lady who aims to eradicate maternal and child mortality in the Northern part of Ghana.
Fatimata is currently the Cama Northern Regional chairperson, Cama Ambassador, Transition Advisory Group (TAG) board member at Camfed and the founder of Safe Motherhood Ghana; a non governmental organization founded to address reproductive health issues and eradicate maternal and child mortality. She doubles as a gender activist and an advocate for women empowerment.

She provides antenatal services, reproductive health education to students in the rural areas, raising community awareness on reproductive health and women empowerment. She outreaches through the Radio, Facebook, community and school advocacies in order to promote health and prevent diseases and also empower women.
Fatimata believes that she is beautiful, she is appreciated and she can change the world because the hands that stirs a pot can equally rule the nation. She is by all standards a role model worthy of emulation.

Ashawo Diaries (Tales of Adwoa Attaa) Chapter 39 (18+)

All pains are pains but every pain has its painful pivot which knots the centre of the heart. Undergoing a major plastic surgery in Winter was nothing like the pain I had known. Even in a well heated room, I felt the fingers of cold poking into my bandaged sores. My cheeks burned, areas around my upper lips itched, areas around my temples ached and every fibre within me served as an irritant. Billy was calm all through, taking my nagging with humour that mostly left me ashamed. I remember telling him to go to hell for his sins and leave me in mine, he replied “Hell without my Attaa? Gosh that would be the hellest of hells. I will fight Satan tooth and nail and die in that hell where you are”. He was a perfect gentleman, a very cool comforter and the best nurse I had ever had. Although I had a special nurse who was in charge of me, Billy was always there. Even when something required his urgent attention, he’d have them sent through mail or Skype to talk it through. He only left for a day or two when the matter was of security importance and called almost every two hours to check on me.
The physical pain was nothing like the emotional pain. For some reason, I Googled “plastic surgeries gone wrong” and Jocelyn Wildenstein among others filled my screen. I was afraid, devastated, and anxious. The “what ifs” filled my mind making me lose myself in sadness. My mood swings fluctuated like Nigeria’s power outages at its worst times. I was complete wreck. One minute I was in a deep melancholy, sitting and staring blankly into space, another minute I was crying like my life depended on it, another minute I was pessimistically surfing the net for all that could go wrong, another minute I thought of my blessings in being able to outsmart my chasers, another minute Ntwanu was looking for me in my mind, another minute I blamed myself for not being loyal to my saviour, one who had seen me through all that I had gone through. It was a bad state to be in. After three weeks of ingesting supplements including Vitamin C and other pain killers, Dr. Grashem came to take off the bandages. Even a minute to that, my anxiety made me vomit in anticipation.
One bandage after the other and Billy looked at me with countenances that sunk what was left of my soul. “Is this normal?” Billy asked. The Dr. was sure that it was normal. I begged for a mirror to see for myself. That was when I saw the swollen parts of my face with all the bruises that looked like a battered boxer after meeting a cruel contender. I nearly passed out until the Dr. told me it was a normal healing process. He cleaned my face, gave me some more injections, smeared some balm on it and bandaged it again telling me he’d be back in two weeks. Truth be told, the pain had subsided but I still felt too sore to engage in sexual activity. What was worse, I couldn’t imagine myself as I saw in the mirror, making love to Billy. It was too shameful that I locked myself in the bathroom afterwards, causing Billy to sleep in front of the door until I was ready to come out, eight hours later. I felt stupid after seeing his posture. I learnt about his patience and maturity with each passing day. He could have ordered for the door to be broken down, chosen to chastise me in the most authoritative way to make me feel worthless, but he just opened his eyes, got up, held me in his embrace for over a minute and asked if there was something I needed to eat or drink. He never for once asked or suggested even in manner, for sexual activity. It made me respect him more but a part of me also felt he may feel I was too shameful to touch. Anytime I felt like the latter, I acted rude towards him but he never for once complained.

Billy continuously assured me that all would be alright because he was going to ensure that. I noticed so many things in that house. There was an ultra-modern cinema, a nice swimming pool, a very well maintained gym, and a meditation garden only filled with scented flowers of different colours and just one comfortable sofa. I had everything to help me heal but every healing thickened my cruelty. I felt the world had failed me, the world which lived in classification of beings through birth, monies, gender, cognitive blessings and talents. The world in whose cruel hands I fell, culminating in my quest to be better and hence choosing the worst paths, the world where no good comes out right in a bad field, the world which only spanked the needy even in the same pot of the wealthy, writing “outcast” on foreheads of poverty. I felt angry, pained and ugly from within. Instead of repentance which I felt was one of the arbitrary doctrines to subdue Christians, I felt determined to do more in order to feel better. Suddenly, I had reason to hate instead of love. For those who had been good to me seem too few as against monsters in my chase.
I couldn’t wait to completely heal, I couldn’t wait to completely deceive, I couldn’t wait to completely face my enemies on a battlefield of anonymousness. By Jove, I felt like the murderer the world carved with torture, and I couldn’t wait to work my part.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

THIS IS ACCRA (Crazy Stanzas)

I love Accra
Which exist like heaven to a village dreamer
But in reality, is a cane soaked in kerosene
And smeared with pepper
On the skin of a greener pasture traveler

II
I love the name of Accra
Whose birthed names can fill the Korle Lagoon
And litter its centre
While its pregnant ones churn in heads walking unnoticed
On bodies mostly outlawed

III
I love the taste of Accra
Where landlords are Gods of destinies
House-lords are gods of wages
Kiosk-lords are gods of bodies
Street lords are gods of lives
And selves are sorries hovering from maybes to will-of-God

IV
I love the zeal of tricksters of Accra
Whose suits speak truths that its bodies pest into falsehoods
Fingers act faster than minds
Tongues mesmerize better than wines
And whose trustworthiness beats that of priests chairing confessions

V
I love the state of Accra
Where bigger fishes reach smallest holes for even the slightest delicacies
While smaller ones struggle in the biggest space for their trash
Don’t I love that bigger birds rest
On tired wings of the smaller
Just to fly higher?
Oh I love that guinea fowls rule domestic ones
In feathers of eagles
Served all there is at home and sleeping in their Burkinas
To be safe from ambush

V
This is Accra
Where your dreams sit in your head
As your poor feet struggle to stay soreless
Your bright eyes need your hands to see right
As your fair mind blame your heart for a preposterous push
This is Accra
Filled to the brim with wholes of desperation
Stifling aspirations in utter damnation
This is Accra, city of all you can and can’t be
This, this, this is Accra
Close your ears to sounds of hunger from weak mouths
Shut your eyes from street beings of boards with countable bones
You might be them in time’s time
If eaters find you not or vice versa
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © July 2, 2018

Ashawo Diaries (Tales of Adwoa Attaa) Chapter 38 (18+)

No gold gets its shine on a silver platter, and no eagle gets its strength on the day of birth. At nineteen, I was a fragile looking pot, housing the strongest bullet of soul the world knew. It took forever, to me, for my surgery date to arrive. My daily activities were almost same, day in and out. Billy would go to work, sometimes spending days before coming. I will get up, do my bathroom rituals, have breakfast in bed, watch television and either sleep or masturbate. If Billy was in, then I could have some activity and conversations which helped my time move faster.
The doctor, Dr. Stuart Grashem, was a short and plump man who looked very serious although friendly. He came in the first day, showed me a PowerPoint presentation of many different faces I could choose from. He gave me materials to read as to what I would go through and things I could do to cope. I was in disbelief as to what I was seeing. I could never have thought I would go through that if it had been prophesized. In the end, I chose a face of a superstar. I had the body of a model but my face was neither here nor there. Choosing what I wanted to look like felt like defying God. I saw my parents’ reproach in an imagination that was oh too natural. I wept myself to sleep while reading the materials Dr. Grashem gave me. I lost my appetite and got reported to Billy, who put his congress meetings on hold to tend to me. I felt I was losing touch with my authenticity, and felt miserable.
After going through facial calculations and drawings to plan through the actual surgery, I was given a day to, as it were, seek closure with the me circumstances rooted with my childlikeness and soiled by my greed, was making me lose. The me, the world no longer wanted to live with, the me whose head was a business being chased by persons who were being chased by poverty, the me whose tears could not save her from dying before my whole self. I wore a green dress which hugged my body. A short sleeved beautiful bright green which made my black complexion stand out and used wipes to clean my face until no dirt nor spot was seen. Then I watched my face in that mirror, letting the tears freely flow. Amazingly, my addictions vanished in the room of my thoughts. I felt sick in my stomach and drained of strength.
I saw myself on a stretcher, wheeled to another room in the same house, I saw a little bit of the setting, two doctors, their assistants, metal tools I had never seen before, injections ready to be pumped into my bloodstream, did not take long to feel the sting of its piercing tips, and a bright light which threatened to blind me, then blacked out.
I woke up with my head all bandaged. Only my eyes were seen in the mirror of the bathroom. I had been sleeping for over two days and needed to be held around. Billy did a good job caring for my needs. I felt all sore in my face with a headache I could not control. Migraines were now queens of my head but I could not complain much because I didn’t want to bother my benefactor. He owed me nothing. Although in a way, he got companionship out of our relationship, I felt that was a two way feeling like a double edged sword. That time gave me the chance to think through my life, think of the way forward, think of my mistakes and look for plans to live well, to at least be considered for the heaven Christians speak of.

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © June 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

IN THE END

All are folding
Folding into touches of feelings
Eyes will see but won’t know
Ears will hear but can’t translate
Minds will sit, only calling on feelings
To search
To seek and tell
In the end

II
A crow may turn vulture in spirit
An eagle may look the part of a hen
A bark may be a mew
Only living thing which would stay true to self;
The chameleon

III
A wise head will ask for definitions
And not define
A wise tongue will shut its teeth gates
Until bills find their feet in law
And not kick only to turn future monster of rights
A wise nose should sniff no tell-tales
To keep fingers from rising
The end of everything makes and unmakes heroes
Feelings will definitely rule
In the end
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © June 23, 2018