September is here!!!!! I know my announcement is 23 days late but it is my birth month and I am allowed to flout the rules. A lot has happened while I have been away. Allow me to give you a quick update:
- I finished my LLB!!!!!
- I broke my glasses and spent about a week walking by faith, not by sight. Suddenly I am not too keen on wearing glasses 24/7 (or at all)
- I have officially joined the natural hair girls. Did the big chop. CPR documented the whole thing- pictures, videos, the whole shebang.
- The website has a new look. I hope you like it.
- I had the severest form of writer’s block ever. I kept doubting everything I wrote down. (Thank you Fui, you are awesome!)
There are a few other updates that I am keeping close to my chest so that you will be surprised when they happen. Speaking of surprises, I am doing a giveaway to commemorate my 27th birthday. 3 giveaways, actually, I think you will like them. Keep your eyes on the Facebook and IG pages for updates.
Did I mention how much I missed you guys? Thank you to everyone who checked in on me, prayed for me during the exams and wished me a happy birthday. It is safe to say that September is lit and Kenikodjo is back!
Chances are you can smell it before you see it. You can even hear the sound of the hot oil welcoming the yam chunks, which were only previously covered in salty water.
The mob of people?
Yeah, that is how you will know that Sister Akua showed up today. The people who sell yam and koko and waakye have off days, you know. They get married, have outdoorings, go on holiday and go for church conventions.
Anyway, the people. They will be standing in a long winding queue. That is how you know that the yam is good. If there is no queue, it is just average yam and it is probably cold. The more exotic the yam chunks look, the more expensive they are. I have seen curly fry- types, square cubes, slender slices, fat chunks, you get the picture…
Get in the queue and make sure you are comfortable, because you are going to be there for a while. The man in the tie in front of you will probably order for his whole office.
‘Ma me bayer3 ne atomo 3 cedis, Mep3 pack. Second one no y3 no rubber. Atomo 4 cedis. Menp3 m3ko. Third one no ma me meko bebree’
You get the vibe? Individualized orders for every single person on his team. That can be super annoying especially if you are just buying yam 1 cedi and sweet potato 1 cedi, with 3 cedis worth of turkey tail. The food might be finished and you would have to wait for the next batch. (It gets worse when it is waakye- one egg, fish two, plantain 2 cedis, no gari, etc)
Pray that the MD of that big office doesn’t pull up and roll down the windows of his 4×4, letting out a little of his Glade-scented air conditioned air and a few beats from his Amakye Dede jam. You will instantly become invisible- all of you. Sister Akua would serve him and deliver it to him in his car. Yes, she will even make small talk and laugh at his lame joke, all the while as you stand in the scorching sun.
But nothing lasts forever. It will eventually get to your turn. You will finally be face to face with Sister Akua.
‘Bayer3 1 cedi, atomo 1 cedi, tsofi 3 cedis.’
‘3no nkoaa?’ Sister Akosua would slightly lift her face to look at you, probably wondering why you are ordering just that.
After that, it is pepper buffet time.
Past the tray in which the chicken thighs, fried fish, gizzards, sausages and turkey tails are arranged, there are probably 3 bowls of pepper- ground pepper (red), shito (black) and green shito. No ketchup here. These days, the green shito is a favourite for most yam lovers. There is a formula to it, or so I am told: half a spoon of each with a little of the ‘water’ from the tomatoes in the ground pepper so that it feels like a lot.
*whispers* It’s a rip off.
If her shito is good, you will know. She will have medium-sized and large containers of shito with a good amount of oil dancing at the surface, right next to the tins of sardines, tuna flakes and corned beef. She will also be super stingy with the shito, like it is oxygen and everyone is out of breath and she was the designated oxygen distributor.
No, you didn’t just imagine me rolling my eyes. I actually did.
After all of this, the yam better be grewgrew with a slight sugary taste on the inside and a slight salty covering. The steam that hits your face after your first bite should make you smile. The juices from whichever protein you chose should blend nicely with whichever medley of pepper you end up with. When it is almost done, you might probably sigh with contentment about how a meal so simple could taste so good.
If not, it wasn’t worth it.
*atomo- sweet potatoes
*shito- black pepper
*tsofi- turkey tail