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 THE SHOES OF GOD 14

Rains made sure to visit at least twice in a week. The weather was fair, with the sun having a great understanding with rains, causing the air to be what the people of Apemso loved. In a world where war and conquering gave more power than anything else; the conquered bringing food stuffs to the winning palace every season, paying in gold, sharing their game, providing soldiers and slaves when need be, the Ahantas made it clear they’d fight tooth and nails to maintain their freedom. With a vast and fertile land, strong warriors and an ambitious king, their war with Apemso was a must and both kings knew it. The Ahantas had tried ambushing Apemso but failed miserably due to a tip off from Ohene Asaa’s spies planted in their kingdom. It was becoming dangerous, so the king told Kumnipa to help train the warriors to prepare for war.
Kumnipa arranged the training with Kwabena Okore and Ama. At first, some of the warriors protested. “How can we be trained by a mere woman? Why degrade us so?” Kumnipa told them to fight to justify their sentiments. The first warrior could not last thirty seconds before falling under Ama’s sword, the second just lifted his sword and fell out of fear when he felt the tip of her sword by his throat, the rest just agreed to be trained by her. Her brother was super proud of her. Kwabena Okore, who was the head of the warriors, watched as his sister, Ama Adjeibea Okore trained other warriors. She was named “Goddess of the Sword” by all the warriors. Kumnipa could not take his eyes off her, as he sat supervising the training and all the warriors noticed. Over three thousand warriors were trained.
Nyamekye could barely see Kumnipa and Ama. All she heard was, they were spotted here laughing or playing heartily, or they adorably competed on the field of training. She felt sad thinking they were more suited for each other but broke her own heart knowing the feelings growing for the one person she rejected even before he fought for her hand. The secret feelings ate away the fabrics of her peace and made her unhealthy.
Ohemaa Abrampah looked at the fine clothes woven for the birth of her grandchild in happiness. Suddenly, a thought came to her. What if Ama conceived the children of the crown prince? Won’t he find ways of making them compete with Nyamekye’s children for the throne? She rushed to her husband’s chambers and voiced her opinion. Ohene Asaa listened as she suggested medicine to destroy the womb of the Goddess of the Sword. He got angry and forbade her from harming a hair on her head. According to Ohene Asaa, even if she did conceive, everyone would know she was the illegitimate wife of Kumnipa, why will they ever consider children like that? But Ohemaa felt uneasy because Ama had become one revered even more than the king.
Kwabena Okore led the warriors to war and took Ama with him. Kumnipa protested but Ohemaa Abrampah convinced Ohene Asaa to allow it. They were gone for over one moon and Kumnipa missed her so much. He had attempted to sneak to their settlement but was stopped by his special guard given by the queen. Nyamekye lighted up anytime Kumnipa went to visit her but felt sad seeing the far look in his eyes. It did not take long to make her see that only a body visited her without a soul and spirit. She sunk into depression.

Ohene Asaa thought about the report of the royal doctors an concluded it was because she missed her man. He called Boadu’s mother for a confidential meeting.
Madam, I called you here to tell you it is dangerous for a child to play with fire. It is also dangerous for the King’s eyes to notice one’s flaws. It is bad for the earth to compare itself to the sky when its eyes always look up to it for the retention of its living things. One who keeps well the treasure of a superior, stands to gain, vice versa is a death trap. Your son has mistakenly pinched my heart and caused me to see blood in my loving mirror. The only reason he still breathes, is my daughter who loves him endlessly. I will let somebody take you to where he is. Be sure to speak to his senses before I give him that second chance with her. Know that the scrotum of the wise will never suffer, sɛbi sɛbi, a foolish man’s mischievous feet twice. You may leave.”
Auntie Mansa whose head was bowed in shame all through thanked him and apologized for the behaviour of her wayward son and left. She cried till she reached her son’s destination. She refused food. Her bloodshot eyes made Boadu worried.
It is a bad son who will do deeds that would wipe his family off the face of the earth. Who at all bites the fingers that feed him? If one is lucky like you are, he needs to always worship the feet of the gods, be righteous and stay loyal and faithful to the very object of his blessings. Kwabena Boadu, you have disgraced me! As I knelt in front of the king, all I could do was apologize to your dead father in the land of the dead. Of what use is an ego when it can buy no bread? Of what use is a man’s honour, when all it can do is produce slaving children? Haven’t you heard about forefathers sacrificing to make their future generations live comfortably? Isn’t it even an honour for someone like you to be Her Majesty’s guard talk less of her man?”
Mother and son cried, the former in admonishment, the latter in remorse. The spy’s account of the encounter between mother and son satisfied the king. He brought a changed Boadu to the palace.
Nyamekye merely smiled upon seeing him. A tired and weary smile. There was no enthusiasm, no happiness. Kwabena Boadu woke up at dawn, knelt to apologize to her. She did accept the apology but was still distant. Boadu felt it could be because of the discomfort with the pregnancy. He resolved to treat her better in order to gain her love once more. When both men met, Boadu apologized to Kumnipa, who surprisingly held no grudge against him. He rather felt happy that he made him discover his true love. He couldn’t wait for the estimated moon to end to get to meet his heartbeat. Fantasies drove on fantasies as to how he’d welcome her. And the thought of her presence brought him warmth. He went to the shrine each dawn to pray for her safety. On one of such visits, he heard “Odiahenkan! Odiahenkan! Her Majesty has collapsed again!”
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © September 2018

Photo Credit: Google Pics

THOSE GONE DAYS

Gone are the days
When Ghanaian children feared ‘kakai’
Now only villagers, coastal children and children with naturalistic parents get to bath in natural waters
What was a swimming pool then?
An anachronistic thought

II
Now, ‘mpotompoto’ and ‘coco’
Are for the villagers and children with grand mothers
Ei! With the lac lac lac in milk and sugar
Abound on the market
Who wants to be primitive?
I shake my head

III
Even watching the stars at night
Counting them in childlikeness
Running in hide and seek
All are swiped by ‘Kojo-Televisin’
And its game friends

IV
When teenagers took runs
As they went to the streams
Fetching and helping each other to carry their pots
Oh, that too is gone with the emergence of ‘Ama-pipe’

V
‘Jaco’ and ‘antowankyire e!
Obi nfere Nanasei mma me
Na me si obiba Abena, na me si obiba Abena
Na me si obiba Aaabena
Na me si obiba Aaabena…’
Oh! All those times are lost for modernity

VI
Africa lived then
Ghana lived then
Nature’s departure is true happiness’ rapture
Well, a new form of happiness has captured
What can I say?
Life goes on
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c)2015

HOP ALONG

BEAUTIFUL FLOWER

When I think my life unfair

I look at those whose lives are queer

Maggots of excreta

Slaves of mental diaspora

I wear my smile and hop along

 

When I think my life unfair

I do all human lives compare

A day to be born, an earth for a world,

A day to hear mystic death’s horn

I wear my love and hop along

 

So hop along

And hope along

Failure is even more difficult to achieve

So when it all goes down the drain, just receive,

Love the effort, and hop along

 

I’ll hop along

You hop along

He’ll hop along

Let’s hop along

To where we belong

Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014