He watched his mother as she adjusted his tie for the millionth time since they got here. This time, her eyes welled up with tears and if he was not standing so close to her, his ear would not have caught the ‘I am so proud of you’ that tumbled out of her mouth. ‘Trust Mummy to make this a soap opera moment’, he thought to himself. But then again, to be fair, this was worth a soap opera moment. Her only son was graduating today!
‘Yo KB!’ He turned towards the sound of the familiar voice. His best friend Kwesi Yorke, who had convinced every girl he knew to spell the Kwesi as Quayci, was walking towards them, with a lopsided smile on his face. Kwesi bent over to hug Auntie Marilyn, who by this time had recovered from her soap opera moment, and handed him a copy of the graduation brochure. He turned to the list of graduating students and searched until he found his name: Daniel Kobina Kwarteng. The only person who called him this was his mother whenever he had done something wrong, like left the taps running or left home without making his bed. There were other variations to the name, depending on who you were and under which circumstances you had met him- Daniel (if you knew him from primary school), DKK (if you went to secondary school with him), Kobby (if you were a pretty girl he wanted to impress) and KB (if you were Kwesi or any of the other boys he watched football with).
Kobby was graduating with a Second Class Upper. He had missed First Class by 0.03, but he wasn’t too bummed about it. He had not inherited his mother’s soap opera gene, he was like his father- strong and practical. And he was sure his father would have been proud of him if he were alive. He had had a full education- he was an usher for his campus fellowship, he was active in the Economics Students Association and he was on the University cricket team. He had made many friends and acquaintances from all these associations. A lot of these friendships were because of Kwesi. Kobby was never the one to initiate a conversation unless he absolutely had to. Kwesi was the ladies’ man, the go to guy for anything you could think of- laptops, clothes, birthday present ideas, phone numbers, literally anything!
Kobby walked on, hand in hand with his mother past Kwesi who had stopped once again to take a picture with yet another pretty girl. At this rate, Instagram was going to be plagued with pictures of him and every single girl who was graduating today. They made their way through the throng of people who were gathered at the entrance to the hall. There was noise everywhere, camera shutter sounds here, cat calls there. People were congratulating one another, making use of these last moments to take that number, embrace that friend and take one last group picture. It was graduation day- the long anticipated day had come.