The Contemporary By The Fireside:The Kenikodjo meet-up

http://www.unorthodoxreviews.com/2016/09/20/the-contemporary-by-the-fireside-the-keni-kodjo-meet-up/</a&gt;

On the Sebitical Stool: KeniKodjoMeetUp and A Reading to Children | Nana A Damoah

https://nanaaweredamoah.wordpress.com/2016/09/19/on-the-sebitical-stool-kenikodjomeet-and-a-reading-to-children/

LIT IS NOT ENOUGH TO DESCRIBE IT: A Review of the KeniKodjo Meet Up – 2EweBoys

http://www.2eweboys.com/lit-not-enough-describe-review-kenikodjo-meet/#more-960

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The anatomy of trotro seating..

Everyone knows I love trotros. They bring me too much joy. It also means I am a veteran when it comes to trotros and their seating. 

The best seats in the trotro are window seats. Not only do you not have to move until you get to your destination, you also have an escape route if your sitting mate has foul breath or interesting body odour. Just direct your nose towards the window and breathe! Even if the window cannot be opened, there will probably be two small holes where the knob should have been. Take in that oxygen! 😉 However, make sure you don’t fall asleep, and if you do, make sure that you are not the type that can resolve Adenta’s water shortage with your ‘water works’. You see, I know how rejuvenating power naps in the troski can be, but I also know how yawa it can be to wake up and realize that you are in go slow traffic and every car that has passed by you has had a laugh or two at your expense.

Those who sit beside the window seat person are usually the ones who demand that the window be opened because they are feeling hot. And they usually ask in the ‘Ah, can’t you feel that it is hot in here?’ voice, and no, they don’t care if the wind will ruin your new hairstyle. They are usually sweating profusely and if you are unlucky, they will smear a fair share of the sweat on you, as a token. Maybe you should open the window even before they ask. The sooner they get dry, the better. 

I think those who sit at the end of the 3 seater stretch should sue the mates who say ‘one man, one seat’. They hardly ever sit on a full seat, and if their sitting mates are on the heavy side, they end up literally perching on the edge of the seat. I think a portion of their fare should be refunded to them. On top of all this, they are usually the ones who pass the money on to the mate. All this for half a seat?! The one who sits beside the mate suffers the most because the mate slaps his seat against his/her thigh every time someone needs to get down. Just unfair mehn!

As for those in the foldable seats, the least said the better. All I can say is they have to stand in the rain when someone all the way at the back needs to get down. The back seat is not a bad spot if you are going all the way to the last stop. If you plan to get down early in the journey and you sit all the way at the back, prepare yourself for some choice words from a heavyset woman who doesn’t exercise often, because ‘you could have saved us all the trouble and sat in front’. The front seat is your best bet if you have long legs. Just pray that the engine of the car is not beneath your seat- the heat will slowly begin to cook your buttocks if it is a long ride. If it is a rickety troski, you may need to move your leg just so the driver can change his gear. 

If you are a trotro-regular, you would know what I am talking about. You probably even have your own real-life experiences. My name is Maukeni Padiki Kodjo  and I write this from the window seat at the back of a Sprinter troski😊


Photo credit: Gerard Nartey

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Here’s why September will be lit!

So today is the first day of THE MONTH: September!!!

Apart from it being the month of my birth, a lot of exciting things are happening this month!

Yes, there is #theKenikodjomeetup on 17th September (more about that at the bottom) but there is also a special book reading dubbed ‘Ticklin’ the Sebiticalis‘, which takes place on the 3rd of September in the cosy setting of Jamrock Restaurant, a Jamaican-themed joint near the A&C Mall at East Legon.

I hear the food at Jamrock is amazing but I am also going to be there to support my two literary legends, Nana Awere Damoah and Kofi Akpabli.

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Posing with the legends🙂

Both of them are celebrated Ghanaian authors who will be reading from Romancing GhanalandTickling the Ghanaian, Sebitically Speaking and I Speak of Ghana. This special edition will be in collaboration with a guest Reader, Alba Kunado Suprim, author of the Imported Ghanaian and A Place of Beautiful Nonsense. See you on the 3rd for some reading, food and good company! Best part is it is absolutely free!

Ticklin Di Sebiticalis Jamrock

Second on the list is the Kobina Ansah romantic comedy entitled ‘My wife-in-law‘ on the 24th of September at the R.S. Amegashie Hall, University of Ghana Business School. There are two shows- 5pm to 8pm. A ticket is just 20 cedis! You all know how much I love a good romantic story!😉

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And of course, our very own #theKenikodjomeetup on the 17th of September from 4pm to 7pm, at the Workshed, 2nd floor of the HFC Bank Building on the Spintex Road!

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I CANNOT WAIT!!

All you have to do is register for the event here and be seated at 4pm.

Here is what to expect:

  • ‘Ask me anything’, an interactive Q and A
  • Trivia quizzes
  • ‘What would you have done?’ based on the #KnowThyMan series
  • Photo shoots with some of the Kenikodjo characters
  • Lots of networking and nibbles
  • FUN!

I am so excited about all the goodies from Piece o’ Cake, Maame’s Pancakes, Hello Grill and Afiyo that I wish I was also just a guest. It will be 3 hours of fun!

Oh, and if you are one of those people who thinks that Tonia’s lethal quotes should be on a shirt, your wish might just come true at the meetup. Watch this space!😉

Enjoy the month of September! I know I will!

❤ Keni

 

 

Know Thy Man Ep15: Final twists

Hey fam! It is today! We draw the curtain down on #KnowThyMan today. I know I will cry tonight (yes, I am a crybaby like that!) I cried when #CapitalHigh ended, so it is only fair that I cry for this one as well..lol! As an aside, so all those of you who cursed me and insulted me in your hearts for leaving you hanging, tell me how you feel now. I was just trying to surprise you but you are not that easy to surprise, after all. Three of my friends got married this weekend so as expected, this final episode is to all 3 beautiful couples- Kelvin & Ayeley, Manasseh & Becky and Kofi & Kafui. May your love be the kind that knows no ending!❤ Congratulations to my friends who passed the bar exams, especially Kwame Kota. Too proud of you!!

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As you already know, our meetup is fast approaching and I am already giddy with excitement just thinking about it. It is on the 17th of September, 4pm to 7pm at the Workshed (2nd floor of the HFC Bank). Please don’t forget to register so that we can have a fair idea of the numbers we are working with. There are surprises and giveaways to look forward to. We will discuss your favourite stories and characters, re-write some of them and do all sorts of fun Kenikodjo-related things. It will be all kinds of lit!! I really can’t wait to see all of you! September is just an awesome month! (Remember the official hashtag for the meetup is #theKenikodjomeetup)

If you follow us on social media, you will know that we had the #knowthyman photo shoot this weekend. I can’t say thank you enough to my wonderful cast. You are such amazing people and seeing how much effort you put into bringing the characters to life was indeed humbling! (Chale, people wore wedding rings nyinaa oo!)  As always, I am truly indebted to Gerard Nartey and Kwame Pocho for taking time off their busy schedules to shoot and edit these lovely pictures.❤❤❤

To appreciate the end, it is only fair that we go back to the beginning. Meet the people whose lives we have combed through over the last 16 weeks…

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Peter, Paa Kow, Tim and almighty Prosper…

….and the ladies

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Know Thy Man Episode 14: I know my man

The days seem to be racing by these days! I can’t believe it is already Wednesday! I am sorry that I haven’t replied to comments for the last 3 weeks. I hope to respond to all of them before the end of the week. I appreciate you taking time to leave a comment anytime you read. Like someone I met two weeks ago said, sometimes the comments are just as interesting as the story. 


New Milestone: We went past 150,000 views on Thursday. Looks like 200K is in reach now. This episode is dedicated to Frank and Ama Tetsewaa who got married one and half weeks ago. I am so sorry I could not make it.May God Himself preserve your union and keep you happy! Ich wünsche Euch eine glückliche Ehe! Soooooo the Kenikodjo meetup is drawing nearer. Just 39 days till I see you guys! The conversation has already started on Twitter-too exciting! Lemme know what you are expecting and looking forward to. My inbox awaits😉

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Check out our venue!! Details will be out shortly!

-Hey. Lemme know when you see this. We need to talk.

Tonia clicked send and stared at the phone, willing it to light up.

Come on. Reply. Please. 

When the phone finally lit up, she jumped to her feet and grabbed it. Her face immediately returned to its sullen state.

Who needs a Vodafone text message at this time of the night? Mtchew!

It had been a long day. Selikem was restless. He kept crying. The doctors said it could be colic. She had still not resolved things with Paa Kow and after 48 hours, she was now uneasy. That was why she sent the text message. She was sad, worn out and in need of a friend. When she heard the knock on her door, she hoped and prayed that it was Paa Kow, but as fate would have it, it was Tim.

‘Tim?’

‘You know you could sound a little more enthusiastic, right?’

‘I just wasn’t expecting to see you.’

‘Well, I know you and I know you would have trouble sleeping, especially with a new baby and Kafui’s passing, so I came with Rich Tea and Horlicks. That used to do the trick back in the day.’

Tonia smiled.

‘Okay, lemme wear some trousers and get mugs. We could sit on the porch.’

Are you out of your mind? He is the reason why you are in this trouble in the first place. Say good night to him and go back to bed.

Drowning out the voice of reason, she put some water in the kettle and pulled out two mugs from the kitchen cabinet. Sitting on the stairs with her former boyfriend at 11pm broke all her rules, but today she was too tired to fight. Too tired to think through it. After sipping and nibbling for a while, there was silence.

‘Tim, I am scared.’

‘I know.’

‘Everything is changing so fast. Kafui is dead. She killed herself. And of all people, she left her son in my care. You know me, I hate the idea of being tied down- either by a man or by kids. I am the butterfly who has discovered her wings and is figuring out how high she can fly. The strange thing is, as soon as Selikem cries, something within me switches. I become this emotional person. Kafui called it a motherly instinct. I used to think God left that out when he created me.’

‘Tonia, her death isn’t your fault. Her letter is proof of it.’

‘But why did she give up? I don’t get that part. Why did she allow him to win? That measly, good for nothing prick! Where was God? ‘

‘You and I will probably never know for sure.’

‘Wait, aren’t you supposed to know these things? Isn’t that what pastors do? Explain the things that don’t make sense?’

Tim laughed.

‘On the contrary, we don’t know everything. All I know is that God is good and his wisdom transcends ours. He always had a plan. It is easy to ask ‘Where is our God?’. It is also easy to miss Him in our daily routines. I believe He is everywhere- sometimes in a subtle way, sometimes in a loud roaring dominant way. He also doesn’t interfere with our lives until we give Him permission to- He was there when Jesus and his disciples were caught in the storm. He was there when the Israelites needed to cross the Red Sea, but both times he did not act until he was called upon. He gives us the room to choose which way to go.’

‘Well, I’d like to see that plan materialize soon.’

‘Maybe it already has. Look at you, all motherly instinct and stuff.’

‘Ha! So why did you really come here? I don’t buy the I know you story.’

‘Well, I came because I miss you. I miss talking to you. Don’t get me wrong, I understand I burnt the love bridge when I left. I just want to be friends.’

‘You burnt that bridge when you wore that priestly robe. At some point, I wanted to pour acid on you and watch you burn, but that is all in the past now.’

Tim laughed.

‘I’ll take that as a joke. About Paa Kow, don’t worry I will keep a respectable distance. You should marry him, especially since I am off the market now.’

‘With comments like this, I should probably get a gallon of acid and keep it close by.’

‘I haven’t laughed this much in a while.’

‘Nuns don’t have a sense of humour, do they?’

‘They do-actually. With a biblical bias. It is getting late, you should probably head inside.’

Tim got up and helped her up to her feet. She lost her balance and he held her. For a few seconds, everything froze. Only for a few seconds.

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Soliloquy

It was there when I got home.

My dinner.

Two bowls covered with a napkin.

I hate it when she does this- plays the dutiful wife when I have been a jerk.

That ‘coals of fire’ thing they taught us in Sunday School actually works.

It makes me feel worse for not being there for her.

These days, she spends more time staring at the TV than she does anything else.

Not that I can blame her.

The characters in the telenovela are loyal.

They are there when she needs them.

Monday to Friday for an hour.

Throw in Sunday, when they do the two-hour omnibus discussion.

Pablo and Maria make her smile.

I, on the other hand, remind her of the pain, the loneliness.

The fact that she can’t give me a child.

After three miscarriages, I was done trying.

The depression, the crying, it was all too much to take.

I was hurting too, but my world didn’t stop.

Besides, what was the point in trying again if she was just going to lose it?

So I started coming home at midnight and leaving at dawn,

Avoiding the misery she had rained on the house.

I don’t know how we got here.

I promised her she would never have to feel alone,

That we could work through anything

And yet, here we are…

 

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Know Thy Man Ep13: Bravery..

Happy Wednesday guys! Exciting times!! So Kenkey for the needy papped!! It was good to see some of the faces behind the Twitter and Instagram handles that leave comments and post tweets. You have me anticipating the meetup even more! If you haven’t already saved the date, you should. I can’t wait to see you on the 17th of September!  And for those of you who send me messages volunteering to take care of different things for the meetup, I can’t even begin to find the words to describe just how awesome you are! Special shout outs to Elorm for this week’s meme. If you haven’t seen it, please check it out on the Facebook pagePulse Ghana did a feature on Vows by Kenikodjo this week. Check it out hereThis week, we find out what is in the envelope. Oh, and your theories about what could be in the envelope were rather interesting! Happy reading!🙂

‘You are a good friend, Ewura.’

‘So are you, Tonia.’

‘I doubt that. I kissed my best friend’s husband and now I would like to kill my other friend’s husband for hurting her this much.’

Ewuradjoa laughed.

‘Nobody can stand up for us and do the things you do for us like you can, Tonia. I love you.’

‘I love you too. ‘

Just then, the nanny who used to stay with Kafui came inside. She was carrying an envelope.

‘Good afternoon. Madam’s mother came to clear her clothes out of the house and we found this. She told me to bring it to you.’, she said, gesturing at Tonia.

‘Me? What is it?’

The nanny placed the envelope in her hands and her breath caught in her throat.

Boldly written on the envelope, in Kafui’s handwriting, was the inscription ‘For Tonia.’


These days the room keeps spinning.

It was lightening, thunder ,hail, fire and brimstone all at once.

Somehow the idea that Kafui had accidentally killed herself gave Tonia some peace.

It was impulsive.

It made Tonia feel better to think that it was a spur of the moment thing, that she didn’t have time to think it through. That she had not thought about what it would mean to leave baby Selikem behind. That he would have to grow up with the stigma of being ‘the boy whose mother killed herself’. That she had not thought of what it would do to the rest of the ladies.

A letter felt calculated, thought through, deliberate.

Tonia’s stomach began to turn.

Her fingers trembled as her bright pink acrylic nails pried the envelope open. She cleared her throat and reached for the glass of water beside her.

Tonia,

If you are reading this, then it has already happened.

Before anything else, let me say how sorry I am for everything.

I am just tired of trying. I was tired of watching Prosper choosing everything and anything over me. Tired of not being good enough for him.

I wish I could leave him, but as hard as it is to believe, I love him.

I am tired of wondering if Selikem is going to grow up and watch me deteriorate, if he will watch me become less and less of myself. I don’t want that for him.

I want him to have a normal life, full of love, peace and hope.

I want him to learn to love a woman the right way and to never hit a woman.

I don’t want him to live with the scars of an abusive marriage.

So I am leaving him with you. I know you will fiercely love and protect him like he is your own child. I know you will fight for him until your last breath. I know you will give him what I am unable to give him- a loving happy childhood with good memories.

Thank you for being my friend, for loving me, for believing in me.

Thank Ewuraefua for being a refuge for me to run to.

Thank Adjeley for living life to the fullest. It made me yearn to do the same.

If Paa Kow asks you to marry him, say yes. Don’t be stubborn. We both know you love him.

And forgive Prosper. I have.

There is so much I would love to tell you before I leave, but I know you will try and talk me out of it.

Make sure my funeral is done right. If there is anyone I can trust to do it, it’s you.

Your friend,

Kafui.

She laughed, she cried, she frowned, she closed her eyes in pain. It was like an orchestra of emotions, without the conductor. Her friend had really killed herself and left a suicide note full of wit, truth and pain.

‘This doesn’t sound like someone who wants to die. She sounds so full of life.’

Tonia was still not ready to refer to her in the past tense. It made everything feel final. Too final.

‘You okay?’ Ewuraefua’s voice pierced through the many questions on her mind.

‘Yes. Yes, I am.’ Tonia sniffled and smiled. ‘You should read it’, she said, handing the letter over to Ewuraefua.

‘So what are you going to do if Prosper tries to come for the baby?’

‘Oh, I’d like to see him try.’

*****

The meetings to plan the funeral were more draining than the girls expected. Sitting there and listening to Kafui’s family members squabble amongst themselves about petty things like which order to list her cousins in on the obituary had pushed Tonia to levels she didn’t even know existed.

Especially with the way things had ended with Paa Kow. They had fought after he walked into her house, demanding to know why she had neglected to tell him about  Tim’s visit.

‘What else are you keeping from me now?’

‘Paa Kow, come on! I didn’t tell you coz I had to rush to Ewuraefua’s place.’

‘What was so important that could not wait? What is so important that made you forget to tell me something this huge?’

‘Paa Kow, I kissed Peter by accident some time ago and I needed to tell my friend about it and ask for her forgiveness.’

‘But you didn’t think I should know this. I had to find out in an argument? Wow, Tonia, wow.’

*****
‘Have you written your tribute yet?’, Adjeley asked, propping her head against the pillow.

‘Not yet. I can’t bring myself to do it. It is just too draining. I am tired and everything is just messed up. Paa Kow and I keep fighting. I don’t know if I can be a good mother to Selikem, if Kafui made the right decision.’

‘You will be fine’

That night when Selikem and Adjeley were asleep, she pulled out her journal and turned to a fresh page. After a few moments, she wrote:

Kafui was the bravest woman I have ever known. Even in her scariest and loneliest moments, she was brave.

See you next week.. 

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Know Thy Man Ep12: More questions than answers

I missed you guys! I honestly did! It’s good to be back in #KnowThyMan land. To everyone asking me why Kafui had to die, come and let’s discuss it at #theKenikodjomeetup. 😉 Speaking of which, thanks for participating in the poll. I am super excited about seeing all of you on 17th September! It will be lit! (This is my new favourite phrase these days) Special thanks to everyone who has volunteered to help with the planning and coordination before and on the day. You guys eh? 💗 Oh, and the #KnowThyMan tweets, memes and status updates are cracking me up! 

This weekend, my friend Caritas (a staunch Kenikodjo reader) and the Tatas and friends team are having Kenkey for the needy this Saturday! You buy kenkey along with all the assorted toppings- eggs, chicken, shrimps, sardines, fried fish, corned beef, pear, name it. The money raised will be used to bless some children this year. It is a win-win. Your tummy is happy and so are the children. See you on Saturday at Efua Sutherland Park! 

This episode is in loving memory of  Karen Maame Kontoh Asiedu, ‘Bestie’. It is really a painful  farewell. Rest in perfect peace ❤️

‘So it’s true.’

It felt like one nightmare after another for Adjeley.

First, it was dealing with the pain of losing Pedro. She had not realized just how attached she had become to him. There was a pit in her tummy and she tried to keep the trembling out of her voice by squeezing her fingers together. She looked at him and saw that he was also sad about leaving. His eyes looked tired.

‘Will you come back?’

‘I don’t think so.’

Each word made the pit even deeper. It felt like someone was hitting her with little pebbles exactly where it hurt the most. She knew that this day would come – the day when the sapiosexual fling would end. She had always thought that it would end because she had suddenly grown disinterested in the multifaceted mystery that Pedro was. Not because he had to leave.

I am not ready.

As if that wasn’t enough, she had to discover that Kafui had died on her last night with Pedro. It was supposed to be their farewell date and as such her phone was off throughout the night. She walked into the house the next day to discover that Kafui had committed suicide and as expected, Tonia was distraught.

Suicide?

No one had seen this coming but somehow Adjeley felt guilty for not being there with everyone in Kafui’s last hours. She gaped in disbelief as Tonia recounted the happenings of the night before.

‘You read about suicide in books. It is fiction. Something not connected to people like us, not even remotely. We don’t kill ourselves. We don’t give up. We suffer. We endure.’

‘I don’t know if I should be angry at her for giving up or angry at myself for pushing her to want more. Maybe I should not have pushed her to believe that she could overcome it, that she could have a better life.’

‘Tonia, don’t blame yourself. I saw her transform before my very eyes. She became confident, hopeful, alive.’

‘So what happened?’

‘I don’t know. I wish I knew.’

‘I hate that we will never know.’

As if all this was not enough, the walls of Adjeley’s perfectly built castle came tumbling down. She was sitting on Pedro’s laps in the back of his Range Rover, their lips locked in a passionate battle of ‘Who’s a better kisser’ in front of Tonia’s house, just before Pedro left for the airport. She looked up to gasp for air and saw Nii standing there, looking like the very life had been sucked out of him.

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