Happy Wednesday, fam!! This week, I met about 10 of my silent readers and it was pleasant to discover the various ways in which people have made Kenikodjo a part of their lives. My favourite group was a group of medical students who save each story as a reward for achieving their study goals for that week. From nursing mothers to medical students to pensioners, I appreciate every one of you who makes the time to visit the website and read a post or two. I shared a post about the Blogging Ghana’s By the Fireside event over the week. If you missed it, here it is. Welcome to all the hoarders who have decided to catch up on #KnowThyMan. I see you binge-reading! 😉
Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with the hashtag. It is always pleasant to see your thoughts and to discover more Kenikodjo readers. Last week, Kafui made us sad, Tonia was Tonia as usual and it looks like sapiosexual is the new in thing, judging from the comments. The most dominant feeling was hatred for Prosper. Let’s see what this week holds for us! Happy reading! ❤
‘Mummy! Mummy! Look!’
Esowba proudly showed off the painting she had done of the family to her mother. Ewuraefua’s heart leaped with joy when she realized that Esowba had drawn the two of them standing side by side. Her older paintings always portrayed the two of them standing at extreme ends of the picture. Her eyes skimmed over the picture and once again like she always did, she marvelled at how talented her daughter was. Her bold strokes had captured all the details that everyone else took for granted- the slight wave in Ewuraefua’s new wig cap, Kuuku’s chinple, Kwamena’s chipped front tooth and Peter’s slightly bulging pot belly. Ewuraefua disapproved of the bulge and had tried subtly to get Peter to get back in shape. He was either not good at picking subtle signals or just ignoring her, all the while quaffing down tuna sandwiches and getting extra helpings of kontomire stew and boiled yam.
‘There is an art exhibition in town. Should we go and see it? I think it is called Cornfields in Accra or something like that.’
‘Yes! Yes! Thank you Mummy! You are the best!’
Thank you Jesus!
Esowba hugged her mother and as always, Ewuraefua’s eyes welled up with tears. It was going to take some time to get used to the turn around in events. It was almost as if Esowba had given herself permission to love her mother again once she discovered that her mother was not keeping her away from her real mother. Just the previous week, over breakfast, Kuuku had announced, matter of factly, that Mummy and Esowba were friends now. They had had a few more bedtime conversations about it, Ewuraefua and Esowba, and each time, Ewuraefua marvelled at her daughter’s ability to deal with the matter gracefully.
‘So do you hate my mother?’
‘No, I don’t. I didn’t like her very much at first but I am pretty glad she gave me you.’
‘Would you be mad if I wanted to meet her?’
‘No, I wouldn’t. So long as you promise not to keep any other secrets from me.’
‘Is that why Grandma doesn’t like Daddy very much?’
‘Is there anything at all that escapes these eyes of yours?’, Ewuraefua asked, smiling.
Also known as GeeMaa to Kuuku, Ma to Ewuraefua and Grandma Hazel to Peter.
Elizabeth Adjoa Hazel was what was written on her tithe card. It was worn out and held together by carefully layered strips of cellophane tape. She was President of the Veteran Women’s Chapter of Methodist Women- it wasn’t an official position but she had insisted that it should be put in her obituary. She had taught Ewuraefua everything she knew about cooking and home management. Her life was also full of mistakes that Ewuraefua had promised herself never to make. An opinionated woman, she lost no time by telling her daughter to stay away from the ‘Born 1 drama’ when the Peter saga came up.
‘Don’t say I didn’t warn you. A man who comes with this much baggage always has a lot more waiting to be unearthed. Besides Born One drama is not the kind of foundation to set a new marriage on.’
As usual, her attitude was to stay away when her advice was not heeded to, but the warmth of her grandchildren had her coming back more often than she intended to.
Ewuraefua put the freshly spiced chicken into the fridge as part of her meal prep for the barbecue the next day. She could almost hear Gee Maa’s commentary:
‘Spice your chicken the night before and let the spices seep into the meat itself. When you chew bones and you can taste the spices in the marrow, then you know the cook was brought up by a Fante woman!’
‘Let’s have a good time’ by Kool and the Gang was booming out of the speakers. The white chairs had been arranged on the lawn that Musa had trimmed three days ago. The neem tree in the centre of the lawn provided enough shade for the small party of 10. The children would be set up in the family room upstairs, watching Frozen or whichever cartoon Kuuku was currently fixated on. These days, it was the Lion King. The ladies were camping in the kitchen, putting finishing touches to the meal they had prepared- all of them except Tonia, that is. She was at work, finalizing an email for one of those Chinese clients who did not understand that Ghana had a lot of holidays.
Peter wheeled the ice chest out of the garage, filled to the brim with enough drinks for a party of 30. He was looking forward to the party because he had been working non-stop over the last month. Kafui came up to him, bouncing her cranky son in one hand and carrying what looked like a bowl of potato salad in the other.
‘Have you seen Prosper?’
‘No, he is not here yet.’
He could not help but notice the look of relief that swept over her face.
‘You look nice, Kafui.’
He made a mental note to congratulate the girls for the good work done so far.
‘Pass me the pink bowl please.’
‘Check on the chicken’
‘Have the boys arrived yet?’
‘Is it just me or it’s hot in here?’
The chatter was at an all time high. It was exciting to watch Adjeley run for cover anytime she dropped a piece of chicken in the hot oil. The kids were taking advantage of all the strangers in the house and milking the attention.
‘Auntie, can I have some juice?’
‘Auntie, she has taken my toy.’, Kuuku shrieked, pointing at Sherifah, one of Zainab’s daughters.
It had been Tonia’s idea to invite Zainab to the party so that she could meet all the other girls at once, and also so that she would not have to spend the holiday, feeling lonely.
Five minutes after Tonia had breezed in with a ‘Hi ladies’, Paa Kow also walked, with Tim in tow.
‘Wait, whose bright idea was it to invite both men to this party?’
All the ladies pushed her aside and tired to peer from the kitchen window without making it too obvious that they are gossiping about the men outside.
‘Eish! They look alike papa!’
‘How do you tell them apart?’
Tonia smiled and shook her head, all the while making a mental note to make Paa Kow pay for making her uncomfortable.
The men were having a hearty conversation- a mixed pot of sports, political commentary and women. When Tonia came outside for a canned drink, Prosper whispered to Peter, ‘I can’t stand this girl. She always has this disapproving look in her eyes anytime I see her. Her tongue is also too sharp. I wonder if there is a man brave enough to teach her her place.’
‘The gentleman with the muscles will teach you your place if you don’t change the topic to something else.’, Peter whispered back, gesturing at Paa Kow’s biceps. Even Pedro had settled in nicely with the other men. It was all laughter and games until Prosper popped out for a few minutes and came back with a scrawny girl on his arm.
She had way too much makeup on her face. She was wearing a size 6 tank top over her size 10 boobs and her legs were sticking out of of shorts that could pass for panties any day. She had a cheap looking anklet on her left leg. She was one of those ‘fine from afar but far from fine’ girls- what others would call ‘Matricki wo’. She looked nice from afar but not as beautiful once you got close enough.
The girls were disgusted.
‘This creep has some nerve! How can you walk into a neighbourhood party with your side chick when it is your wife’s friends who invited you to the party in the first place?’ Tonia literally spat the words out before storming out of the kitchen to fix the situation. She was stopped by Paa Kow, who held her head to his chest, begging her not to make a scene.
‘It will even be more awkward for Kafui if the party is ruined by his foolishness. Let it go, please..’
The awkwardness of the situation was obviously lost on Prosper who took another swig at the bottle of Shandy he had in his hand. Kafui kept a strangely calm demeanour the entire time, even asking the girl if she wanted anything to drink.
‘Muscatella please.’, Tonia mimicked her in a whiny voice. ‘I want to slap the smile off her cosmetic face.’, she whispered into Paa Kow’s ear. Tim was surprised at the tinge of jealousy he felt as he watched Tonia bury her face in Paa Kow’s neck.
Later that evening, Tonia woke up to 12 missed calls from Ewuraefua. She was a deep sleeper and would have slept throughout the night, especially because of how exhausted she was from helping to clean up the place after the party. She called back.
‘Tonia, it is Ewuraefua. Something happened with Kafui. Please meet me at 37 as soon as you can.’
See you next week!