Welcome old friends and newcomers! I have missed this! Every one of us has a Corona story to tell- from the university student and the politician’s house boy to the market woman and the doctor’s girlfriend. I hope at least one of these mini stories makes you smile. If you are used to my story series, you will notice that these stories are relatively shorter. If you are new to this, you have loads to binge read. Happy reading!
Seven missed calls.
‘Ewurade aden? Why is this woman calling me? Can’t a guy have a nap in peace? I can bet my last cedi that it is nothing deep too.’
Ebenezer grudgingly hit the redial button. She picked up on the first ring and started yelling.
‘What if your child was dying and we needed you to give her blood? I called you seven times. You need to stop ignoring me? That is no way to treat your wife.’
Eben looked at his ceiling fan for a good seven seconds and asked himself again for the umpteenth time why on earth he had thought that a one night stand with some girl with the best waist winding skills in Bloombar was a good idea.
Young and stupid. That is what I was.
‘First of all, Akuba and I don’t have the same blood type. If anyone would be donating blood, it would be you. Secondly, I have told you that it is rude to call a person more than 3 times unless it is a life and death situation. Thirdly, you and I are not a couple. We have a child together from a one night stand. That is hardly grounds for claiming ‘wife’ status.’
‘Ei Ebenezer Asare! You didn’t have all these explanations when you were having sex without a condom eh? Abeg abeg! This thesis doesn’t change anything. Pick up when I call you, simple. Or I will keep calling. I don’t like to be ignored.’
‘What do you want, Jacklyn?’
‘Your daughter is running out of diapers and formula. We also need to stock up on Cerelac. You know that is what she likes to eat. Everyone is saying that there will be a lockdown so we need to buy a lot. Send me at least 5000 cedis.’
At least! At least! Yehowa, I go wound this girl!
‘Jacklyn, do you eat the money? No, honestly! Help me understand. You think it is oxygen eh? I gave you 1500 cedis just last week, and that was a top up, completely different from your monthly allowance and we just entered the third week of March. What do you do with the money?’
‘Children are expensive. Taking care of them is stressful. I also need to pamper myself every now and then. Now they say the virus is in Ghana so I need to buy some stuff.’
‘Send me the list. I will buy it and heaven help us both if it is full of things for you and not Akuba. I still don’t know what you used the top up money for.’
‘I really don’t think it is any of your business but I bought some virgin hair. They were having a sale- 90% off.’
Eben closed his eyes and shook his head. When he spoke again, his voice was eerily calm.
‘I am not sending you anything, not even a 1 pesewa coin. I don’t care if you are going to resell the hair or eat the hair during the lockdown, whenever that is. If you can choose to buy hair instead of food, there is really nothing I can do for you.’
‘Eben, but why are you upset? I just-’
‘I am not done. This is the last time that you will ever call me for money. I send you money every month for my daughter’s upkeep, not for your slay queen cravings. It is not my business what you use my hard earned money for? You must think I am a fool eh? It is not your fault. I blame myself- nobody but myself. Next time when I see a girl winding her waist in the club, I will get up and leave. Mempɛ temptation biaa!’
‘Fine. There is no need to get this upset or resort to insults. Why are you so quick tempered? Anyway, I was thinking of moving to your end when the lockdown is announced so that we can both take care of- Ah! Hello? Hello? Eben, are you there? Eben?’
If he knows what is good for him, he will send the MOMO!
‘Wait! The wedding has been postponed?’
‘Yep. Flights have been cancelled. My parents and our guests from overseas won’t be able to make it.’
‘Wow! I didn’t see that coming. Are you okay though?’
‘I don’t have much of a choice, do I? There is no way I am having a wedding without Mummy and Daddy present, and since the virus is spreading, it would be insensitive of us to ask guests to come all the way here.’
‘How is Kojo taking it?’
‘To be very honest, he is more disappointed that all the leagues have been suspended than he is about the wedding being postponed. He barely blinked when I asked him about retrieving the deposits we have already made. When it was Champions League, he was so distraught, going on and on about interrupting the rhythm of his life and other dramatic things. I guess table numbers and reception cocktail drinks are not as exciting as Liverpool and Barcelona.’
‘Haha! What is going to happen to the deposits though?’
‘My planner is dodging the question. I am sure she has already made plans with the money. I don’t mind her keeping it but I don’t know how long this is going to go on for. What happens next? The fresh flowers we were bringing in from Netherlands have gone to waste with the borders closed.’
‘Ei abrokyire flowers! My girl be doing the most. No be small trending. BellaNaija kakra, Radiance Bridal kakra. #WeddingOfTheDecade. But honestly, Corona no try. My fascinator and rechargeable fan were ready!Tweet
‘Corona is showing me who is boss. We have been planning this wedding for a year and half. Just like that, everything has come to a standstill, fairytale wedding and all. I am just trying not to panic.’
The email alert came in just after Kwansah had finished eating the fufu.
Why on earth is HR sending me an email? It is not my birthday and I am not due for an appraisal. That woman is always in our business. Mtchew!
He walked into the conference room to find everyone in the company sitting around the conference table. He started scanning the room for the best spot, close to his squad and away from the direct view of whoever was chairing the meeting. A few seconds later, he saw Agyeman waving to get his attention.
‘Chale, what is the meeting about?’
‘I hear say them dey come sack people for not reaching their targets.’
Mariam interrupted their conversation.
‘Kwansah, you should know better than to listen to Agyeman. He never has the facts. I hear they are going to ask us to work from home.’
‘Which home? Why?’
‘Are you living under some rock? There are two cases in Ghana. I hear there are more cases koraa.’
‘Ei! But I thought they said Africans were immune to the virus. Anaa Twitter scientists were tripping?’
‘Twitter? That is where you get your news from? What do they know?’
The conversation was interrupted by Patience, the HR executive that everybody mostly ignored and avoided. She seemed very pleased with her newfound importance. She glared at the back of the room until everyone has gone silent, then she started to address them.
‘Management has decided to institute a work from home policy effective tomorrow morning. As many of you are aware, given that we now have COVID-19 cases in Ghana, we want to avoid a situation where you are exposed to the virus as a result of your commute to and from work. We also have no way of knowing who has been infected by the virus. As a company, it is in our interest to adhere to the provisions of the labour laws, especially with regards to safety. We are still exploring the possibility of keeping some skeletal staff but that will be discussed on departmental levels. We will be using Slack and Zoom to monitor work projects…..’
She kept speaking but the guys had stopped listening.
‘Slack and Zoom for the Adjiringanor there? You dey joke! My MTN modem only works if I place it in a particular corner of my bathroom. No be small Hello? Hello? you people go hear.’Tweet
‘Me sef! Who is going to pay for the extra data? With my current bundle, I barely watch anything on Netflix. Common WhatsApp video call dey drink data pass!’
Mariam quipped, ‘If you guys were paying attention, you would have heard that she was talking about an internet allowance. I need to stock up on some groceries. I should probably pass by Koala on my way home.’
‘Ei! You are going to do your panic buying at Koala? See eh, the Ghana, ebi two oo! The Better Ghana agenda is working for her!’
‘Bro! We that we are on the Agbogbloshie level die3!’
‘Oh massa, you dey hype. Kwansah, the number of empty Melcom bags I have seen in your house alone. Which Agbogbloshie? You don’t even know where that is.’
‘Why you dey expose me? Allow me to set my agenda in peace. Mariam dieɛ she has always been in another league oo!’
‘See, she doesn’t even touch her salary oo. The life of the rich and fabulous!’
Mariam rolled her eyes.
‘I am going to ignore you boys and listen to Patience from HR.’
‘Forget that Patience girl. She moom she be impatient pass! Ei chale, she is looking here. Let’s look serious.’
‘Legon, Madina, Oro! Last two!’
The mate reached for his sweat drenched bandana and wiped his face again.
When Priscilla got to the trotro, she looked like she was contemplating whether or not to sit in it. She looked down at her watch and sighed.
If I wait for the next one, I am going to be late for the prayer meeting.
‘Madam, yɛ ntem!’
She boarded the vehicle and pulled out her handkerchief to cover her nose and her mouth. When it was her turn to give the mate her money, she tried to delicately place it in his palm, trying to avoid contact as much as possible.
Unfortunately, the coins fell to the ground. After nodding apologetically at the mate, she opened her bag and poured her hand sanitizer into her palm.
‘Herh sister aden?’ The lady beside her wasn’t having it. ‘First, you wasted our time when we got to the bus stop as if the car is below your standard. Now you are acting like there is a disease in the air.’
One of the men at the back came to her rescue. ‘It was the right thing to do. Haven’t you heard that Corona Virus is now in Ghana? We are not even supposed to be sitting this closely to each other.’
The mate was livid.
‘Massa, si! Get down. Ɛnyɛ by force!’
One of the old men on the same row as Mr Hero spoke up, ‘Mate, relax wai. Abotrɛ. Madam, this disease is not for us. Nobody in Ghana will get it. God is punishing the white people for coming to buy our ancestors as slaves.’
A market woman sitting right behind the driver chipped in. ‘Saa Akosua Rona o sɛ wan wan no! Mi dieɛ business ekɔ so, nti no problem’
‘Ei! Me, I heard that if you are in right standing with God, you won’t get it. God is wiping out the sinners. The politicians will go first.’
‘When did God say this? You people have been putting words in God’s mouth. Last week someone also said the world is coming to an end. We taya!’
‘Young man, stop the book long. When elders talk, listen!’
‘Senior, we are no longer in that generation o! I have the right to speak just as much as you do.’
Priscilla looked up in bewilderment, thinking about whether or not to intervene. This would probably be the best time to let them know that speaking loudly without face masks could spread the virus. After all, the conversation started because of Corona and the hand sanitizer that her mother insisted she carry everywhere. She chose peace.
‘Mate, bus stop!’
See you next week! 😉
I believe that storytelling is a way to chronicle our history. The Corona Virus is definitely a part of the Ghanaian story. If you enjoyed this story, please share it with someone else. Also, if you have an #AkosuaRona story that you will like to feature in this series, feel free to slide in my DMs on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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