Category: Randoms

Too Much To Forget

Sometime last month, I got a call from a friend. We talked for about two minutes, mainly exchanging pleasantries, asking how the other’s daughter was doing and giggling intermittently, because somehow, we were both fascinated by our unique relationship. I met this friend about a year and four months ago, on the first floor general ward of the Maternity Department, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. It was the second time we had spoken on phone since we parted ways at the hospital. The other time we had talked was via Whatsapp chat where we exchanged pictures of our daughters, showing how much they’d grown. That day, after I hung up, I knew we’d be checking on each other for years to come. The relationship we have has a deep fineness to it that I will attempt to share in this write-up.

One dawn, sometime in mid-January of 2019, I was wheeled into this ward I speak of, my urethra throbbing from being bruised by the catheter that had been fitted. I had spent the night before that in the emergency ward. My ass-cheeks were also still smarting from the injections I had been given which had spread such intense heat through me that I eyed the nurse who I think was either not sure what “a little” means when she said “you will feel “A LITTLE” heat, or she had never had to take that kind of injection so she couldn’t have rightly warned me. As for the back of both my hands, the sight of them could tell anyone what they had suffered. I think that was the first time a grey cannula had ever been used on me, and I have had my very good share of cannulas. Also, that was the first time ever trying to find an IV line made me cry. Anyway, I think anyone would cry if they had to endure pricks and attempts to adjust a cannula while it is in your flesh, with massive waves of uterine contractions hitting you in short intervals. That said, grey cannulas in particular, were invented by Satan.

When I was wheeled into the ward, the first thing I noticed was a woman virtually naked, but for a green slip of cloth she held against her chest. She was sitting on the edge of her bed, and behind her was a tiny baby wrapped in another green cloth.  It was hard for me to focus on much but she immediately caught my attention. Between her bed, and the one after that which was also occupied, was an empty, freshly-laid bed. I was wheeled there, helped onto it, and I laid down. My “delivery bag” was placed under my bed, along with other stuff that was placed where they needed to be in my space. The male nurse who brought me left and I turned slowly to my side, facing this woman who had caught my attention. It was almost 4am, and aside one other woman who will come in the picture later, she was the only one awake. She was looking up at nothing, and I was looking at her. She had IV medication hooked, she’d occasionally doze off and will be startled awake when her head met her shoulder. There was nothing in her space. No bag, no toiletries…nothing. Her baby was fast asleep. She moved slightly, and the green cloth shifted. I saw the patch of brown plaster across her abdomen. Why was this woman sitting so uncomfortably at the edge of that bed, clearly exhausted, but not wanting to lie down? It was quite chilly. Why was she not covering up more? But there was nothing in her space, you see? I was not sure what to ask her, so I managed to reach down into my bag, and I pulled out one of the 6 old 2-yard cloths the delivery list had asked for. I held it out to her and she shook her head. I kept my hand stretched out, still not saying anything. “I will soil it,” she said in Twi. “I can’t give it back once it is soiled.” I assured her the cloth was hers now, and stretched my hand closer to her. She took it, stood up, wrapped it around her, and sat back down. That was when I realized the other problem. I reached back down and rummaged for a while before finding what I was looking for – a disposable bed mat. This time, she took it without protest, laid it on her bed, and stretched out. She was asleep in minutes, and I could not stop looking at her, my heart beating fast.

That was the first of 15 days spent in that ward, during which I connected with four other women. Woman 1 slept till it was visiting time later that morning. The few days that followed till she was discharged, I learnt she was 32, that the baby boy beside her was her 7th child, that that was the only child she had had to have in a hospital because having him at home like she had done for all the others had gone wrong and she had ended up needing emergency CS. I learnt that the fact that she had come in as an emergency was not the reason why she had nothing…she had nothing irrespective. I learnt that her husband was an asshole, and not from her mouth, No. I learnt that from overhearing him when he came to visit on day 3, holding a small black poly bag that contained a single sachet of This Way Chocolate Drink. He did not stammer when he complained bitterly about how each child came to him for not less than 5cedis a day before heading for school, and how at that rate he was expecting that this woman who could have died having his 7th child, needed to go right back to trading, immediately, once she was discharged. He did not bother asking how come she had a cup and bowl and a box of fruit juice next to her although aside him, no one else but her eldest daughter (who had brought some clothes for the baby and some money she had called her earlier to go take from someone who appeared to be a debtor) had visited, and none of them had brought such things. He didn’t bother asking her about the cloth she had over the dress she was wearing by then (which she had bought right there in the ward from women who passed through to hawk them). What he bothered to do though was to come in (empty-handed again) with a friend whose next comment after congratulating her on the baby boy was – “woawo nipa” (you have birthed a human being). He also came empty-handed, by the way. The morning of the day woman 1 was discharged, the reproductive health nurses pooled funds and paid for her implants. They told her it was in her best interest to not have any more kids. They also assured her her husband wouldn’t know about it. I will never forget her and the long hug she gave me when she said goodbye.

Woman 2 was one who also came in needing emergency CS and lost her baby girl. She’d stay up crying, and because food my family usually brought was too much for just me, I’d share with her…encouraging her to eat. She was so sweet, her mother was sweet, her husband was sweet. She introduced me to everyone who came to visit as “the one who gave me the jollof”. The first time I convinced her to eat, it was jollof. When we met again later during post-natal check-up, she ran to hug me and held my daughter so tenderly. She was discharged before I had her so it was her first time meeting her. We exchanged numbers but I unfortunately lost hers. I will never forget her and her gentle smile.

Woman 3 came into the emergency ward the same night as me, but was brought up to the general ward later. She had lost the baby. She was fiery, and we spoke only once, but I will never forget her face and the day she vanished from the ward, her bills unsettled. She never returned.

Woman 4 was the one I spoke to last month. She was the one who filled the bed Woman 1 left. She was the one who stayed longer than I did. She was the one I shared my “robb” with everyday cos we shared something in common – chronic pain. The night before my surgery, when I was having dinner after which I was not to eat anything else except water which I could only have before midnight, and then nothing at all after that, she helped lighten my anxiety. She christened the dinner “last supper” and laughed till there were tears in her eyes, as she warned me to better eat everything, because after that I was not going to be eating such a meal for days to come. She was the one who sat up chatting with me that whole night and clapped excitedly when I was wheeled back into the ward with my daughter the following night. She was the one I prayed with the day I was discharged and told her to better eat all of her “last supper” when it was time.

Woman 5. Oh, Woman 5! She was the one who was also awake aside woman 1 that dawn I was brought in. The nurses called her “class prefect” and she was the one who was asked to tell me how things were ran there in the ward. She was the one who would line up buckets of every one who was asleep when the hot water lady came around, and collect theirs for them. She was the one who would go take the remote control from the nurses’ station when it was time for Akrobeto’s The Real News on UTV, and other telenovelas I did not follow. She was the one who barely slept, never received any visitor, and walked to everyone’s bed to greet and ask how they were doing, every morning. She was the one who, after doctors’ rounds one evening, turned her chair to face the wall, bent her head down and cried. I could tell because her shoulders shook. I walked to her later and asked why. She was reluctant to speak. I told her she was the one who helped me adjust when I first came in there, and although we had never spoken much beyond the morning small talks, I found her presence comforting, and I was sure everyone else in the ward did too. That was when the dam broke. It turned out she needed to buy test strips to track her blood sugar levels consistently for some days so a decision could be made if she could be discharged. She did not have the money for the strips, and every extra day spent there meant her bill was going up. I was still talking with her when one of the doctors returned and told asked her how much the strips were going to cost. She was going to help her get them, and she did. She couldn’t stop crying by then. About 3 days later, woman 5 was discharged…but she could not go…not until after she settled her bills. She had to leave the ward, and I was not sure where she perched but she came around everyday for some hot water for tea. My husband helped with an amount, but she still stayed on another week or so, before she was able to leave. The day she did, we exchanged contacts. It was not until about 2 months later that we first spoke, and from then, we have kept in touch. We speak on phone at least once every month, consistently. Our conversations are minute-long ones on average…full of thank yous and God bless yous. Like Woman 4, I know for sure that we will continue to stay in touch; one not knowing that much about the other, and not bothered by that because what we know is enough and of such depth that knowing everything else can’t match.

We were all there at such vulnerable times in our lives for both similar and completely different reasons, helping each other even at our weakest moments. We were there, sharing in the life-bringing and deaths too soon; in the wobbly walks to the bathroom to prove that your catheter can now be removed; in the drip-stand-wheeling, and the sudden gush of blood pooling at your feet when you first get out of bed after surgery; all the in-ward strolls from one end to the other, and the passing on of the “class prefectship” from Woman 5, to me, then to Woman 4 when I was leaving. We were there when mothers who had started lactating will stealthily pump milk with their hands into a cup to be spooned up for babies whose mothers were waiting for their first milk – there where your baby starts wailing soon after you start taking a shower but will soon quiet down because someone picked them up and started rocking them back to sleep. We were all there…with so much heart…

too much to forget.



It’s that time of the year again when a lot of us look back and reflect on how the past months have been. 

I’ve been doing that over the last couple of days, and oh my, what a year it has been! Thinking through it has made me emotional on many levels, and I can’t but write about most of it, if not all. 

2017 has been a year like no other, and believe me…I have had some years! Someone tweeted that she felt like she has lived five lifetimes this year and the year still managed to move so fast, and I can so relate! Where do I begin?!


The whole team in Jeru’s taxi! Lol!

I was on two research projects this year; the first was a maternal health project which had me based in the Nkwanta North District of Northern Volta, and a bridewealth and women’s normative constraints project that had me in Southern Volta and Akuapem Akropong. Collectively, I was on the road for roughly 6 months. The first project took me to very remote parts; with no electricity or potable water, and no roads to accommodate cars (just motor bikes and bicycles), so my team had to either walk (if I piece all the walking I did together in one straight line eh! My God!) or move around with motor bikes (Okada) which was not any easier because one okada would carry three of us on the average (plus the rider, mind you), and your options would be either to sit right behind the rider, and torture your sinuses (aside all the dust and exhaust fumes, of course), or take the middle slot where your legs would have to virtually hang the whole journey (and if you don’t want your feet anymore, then relax your legs so they get caught in the back wheel), or take the last spot at the back where it’s your behind and the metal, on a bumpy road, at top speed (your pelvis, your spine, your balls) and one foot on a hot exhaust pipe, and the other hanging. We had a third option – the only taxi in Kpassa township where we lodged, which had a bottom view of the road, a make-shift fuel tank that we sometimes had to hold in place if we didn’t want to be stopping every ten to fifteen minutes, and an AC system that gave us a taste of the view beneath us. The driver’s name was Jerusalem (Jeru, for short) and I miss him and his wife who gifted us yams, avocados and bananas every now and then. 

Those of you who follow my posts would know I started chronicling my experiences in short stories (you’d find the first episode here, with the rest following, in my short stories column), and have more to add, but to sum up my experiences, Nkwanta North was eye-opening. Nkwanta North made me aware of the things I had taken for granted; the privileges I had no idea I had (like knowing my date of birth, how old I am, how old people in my family are). Nkwanta North broke my heart. Nkwanta North broke my spirit. 

Nkwanta North forced me to unlearn. It taught me to unpack myself, stand back and look at all the complex parts of me. Nkwanta North tested my faith. It gave me, I’d say, a better perspective on what being Christian is about. Nkwanta North tried my love and proved it. It drastically changed the course of my year and stoked my anxieties. It did all. I laughed, I swore, I cried. I loved, I hated, I felt flat. It did all.

Before a full working day in Pibilla

By the time I was on the second project, so much had happened and changed with me already. This second one was less involving, and not so drastic a change. I learned so much, however, from the people who shared their knowledge and opinions with us. I learned to hold my emotions in check, to be objective, and to interact in such a way as to give the researched the spotlight. For each project I had a different team, and that was another learning moment for me. Co-existing with them over a period of time, working as a team, eventually becoming friends. The people bit of my travel experience this year was awesome; I met amazing humans, some I miss very dearly. I look forward to more of such.

With some focus group participants in Akropong Akuapem

Living with a chronic illness means year in, year out, you’ve got to deal. From the above, you may wonder how I or my body managed to afford me all that. The long road trips, the walking, the heat, the almost 24/7 working hours, the change in diet and sleeping environment – the dust, stress, minor and major accidents… that I am still pretty much in one piece, is a miracle. I have had a good share of scary episodes this year, and having to explain to team mates how some things they observed concerning me, were ‘normal’ for me. Up in Nkwanta North I passed out once, out in the front of our rented home one night, and my team mates found me, ponded me, and made a whole scene, lol! It had been a very long stretch of days with no break and my meds just wouldn’t help the pain in any way. This year taught me to be straightforward about some of these things. It was after that episode that I talked to my supervisor, and then later the two team-mates I worked my lists and “shifts” with. It made things easier, and also slightly unnerving (because then they’d ask too many times if I was okay). 

Emergency Selfie 😝

2017 started with me having an episode at work/school (was a student research assistant, so…hehe) where I came to myself in the hospital ER, only to learn I had been found on the floor, unconscious, by my colleague. I had to be away for a while and that episode, I would say, determined a few things in my life much later down the year. The year taught me to not be afraid to talk about it in the first place, and go on to talk about The Rheumatology Initiative of which I am a member, to talk about Rheusolute, the support group, and to talk about autoimmune rheumatic conditions in general. My lived experiences and the people I have met in this community have pushed me to fully consider some major choices I had to make and what to do with them. I have asked myself very important questions and arrived at conclusions that took courage to arrive at (not to enlarge my own head). 

2017 now ends with me having had one of the scariest string of episodes I have ever had. This was a night I was in so much pain I was literally screaming, then came another night that was no less weird, and then days later another episode I am not yet ready to talk about in plain words but did express in a poem here a couple of weeks back. 

After a minor motor accident in Nkwanta North

What I have learned in these last few weeks left in the year is to not dwell too long in a harsh spot. I thank God for how swiftly I moved on to focus on happiness and light and not the gloominess of what has already happened and anxieties over what they could mean and/or their implications for the future. This year fully taught me to move away from being “A Chronically Ill Person,” to being “A PERSON living with a Chronic Illness.” There is a difference. Oh, there is a huuuuge difference!


This is the year I nearly threw in the towel. I came to the point where I began looking at other options. Do I start putting out applications for employment? Do I give myself a short break first? Do I really want to pursue this? Why? Funding. I had come to the point where I was about to move into full-time PhD studentship, and I had no idea how I was going to fund the year and the coming ones ahead, from my own pocket. Waiting to learn of my fate after applying for a scholarship was hellish. The uncertainties were real, and being in the position where I was dealing too with so many other things, did not make life any easier. What I learned though was to trust God’s direction. 

I knew that what would break me was to think my life was this one straight path to some end I had envisioned, and not a trajectory that was determined by God, and to which my full trust was needed, so I could rest easy. So, I breathed. I told myself, “Amma, if this is yours, it will happen.” And it did. When it did, it properly ‘overed’ me. I remember reading the letter over and over and over and over again. I remember writing the acceptance letter in a daze, everything feeling so surreal. It was really happening! I remember when the first receipt for a fully paid academic year was handed to me; When I logged on to MIS Web and registered for my courses and printed out that proof of registration; When I officially started the semester, and moved in to my cubicle in the PhD room. It was really happening!

It has not been an easy start, but it has been awesome too. Looking forward, I believe things are even going to get better, no matter how hard they become (and they sure will get hard). I know there will be days I would ask myself “who really send me?”, there are days I’d cry real tears, I’d be frustrated, and tired, and stressed, but overall, I will be loving it. To do what you thoroughly love to do and to move steadily on as you do them, is phenomenal. I have learned to not look into someone else’s soup. The meat you love, is what another absolutely hates. Being in academia has taught me that very much.

A view from my cubicle

Literary Arts

I dedicated some of my time, this year, working on a project that has taken shape quite beautifully, over the months. I am a lazy writer, I always say, if not things would probably have sped up much more. But yes, the children’s book I started working on brings me much joy. The potential it has begun to show amazes me, and I am ready to do my best and get all the necessary help I can, to make it happen in the coming year. 

Quite like last year, I read a lot of Christian non-fiction, and academic writing. I got some really cool bookgifts that I am yet to pick up and enjoy. My other friends, watch and learn. Book gifts. Book gifts. Book gifts. Okay? Thanks.

This year, I blogged much less, wrote much less poetry, and participated very little in literary events. The highlights for me however, have been working with Daniel Kojo Appiah to help put out his maiden poetry anthology, Seemingly Untitled, having the honour of writing the foreword, and being alive to see it all happen, being a part of the Writers Project of Ghana’s PaGya Literary Festival, starting the chronicles of my travel experiences and observations, and of course, marrying a writer!


On that last note, up there, oh what a year! In November, I married my best friend and love of my life. It fits so perfectly in, to realize we met on my old blog, in the comments section. Ha! Now, this is not a story for me to tell fully on my own, so let me leave it here. 

One may think this year has been all mushiness and rose petals, but no. As I said under travels, my love this year was harshly tried. There were times I was not sure it would hold. I look back today and cannot believe all that has happened. There are scenes I can only replay in my head for now, and smile. My God, what a year! Every part of me is glad for a love that endures. Every part of me is glad for love built on friendship and filled with grace so divine! Every day I thank God for the beauty of it.

We have fought fierce fights this year, laughed hard this year, cried, pulled out our hair, sat in silent anger this year. We have learned forgiveness this year, learned a love renewed this year. In all of it, he has been my personal person, my partner in everything, my sunshine. He is the one I am overly proud of and madly in love with…to have and to hold through the usual flow of life, till the end.

D., afei na awesomeness no astartie. I love you. 

It has been one hell of a year, and this has been just the sum of it. I have a thousand apologies for people I have hurt, for promises unkept, and grievous faults displayed. I cannot undo things done, or take words back. Sorry does little to none. Becoming a better person is what walks the talk. God help me, and us all, to do this.

Here’s to 2018!! 🍷 Cheers!



I had a brief chat with a friend yesterday, and I said something I have realized for weeks now but hadn’t yet fully acknowledged. It is surreal how eventful this year has been for me, and if I were to put it in a book, it’d have made quite a read. Running alongside these events has been a steady (and more recently, rapid) change in…in…honestly, I don’t even know what to call it. My inter-personal relationships? Friendships? Social life? I don’t know.

It must be because I went away for quite a while and worked in areas so remote there was no telecom network or internet. Maybe it was that period of little contact, and little time, and so when time was found and thankfully network was available at that same time, you used it for those most important(?) And though you missed people and checked on them as and when, and though the love you have for people you are very much aware take you for granted knowingly or unknowingly, keeps them in your thoughts, suddenly you stop doing things that you used to do based on that love, and you find that it is okay. It is okay to stop. It is okay to not talk. Not try to keep a flame that the other person has never cared to keep ablaze because all along it burned and it didn’t dawn on the person that it was cos you kept it. So you stop…and turn to yourself and just be…in calm silence.

It must be because of progression of time, and age with it. Or coming full-face with a very base part of you, and being met at that same time, with another part of a man so close to heaven, you break down in gratitude and rise too weak to engage anyone else. It must be how close I have come this year, to ruining the most beautiful thing in my life, and God coming through in all His sovereignty, and shocking me to silence with his love. It must be love.

I acknowledge that there comes a time when change just happens, and you find that it is exactly what you needed. The calm is sweet really, and there are days when you wonder if you really are okay, but you search and are sure that nothing broke. Over this time, I have barely written anything. Over this time, I am having to learn…fast. So if you find that our conversations are short these days. That I haven’t started conversations with you like I used to do. I haven’t talked much, or come visiting, or looking for you. If I seem to care less now, or whatever you may have noticed…rest easy.

Nothing broke.

SO I OPENED MY EYES [Featuring #SolitaireEP]


I don’t think it is some mere coincidence that I am sitting here listening to Akotowaa’s #SolitareEP at work (or school cos it feels the same), and bawling. God does this to me a lot when He wants me to open my eyes and see some things for what they really are, and this time it is Me. Me. I needed to fully see me…and it was crystal clear yesterday. I find that this is going to become a two-in-one post, kind of. An appreciation of the EP, because of how I have been affected by it, almost all of it…and by so doing, saying what it is I want to say.

In March this year, The Writers’ Project of Ghana launched their second poetry anthology in which I was featured. I had to attend, to take part in the readings. I was there. I read. I got home. I cried. That night I sat up in bed, wondering what was wrong with me. Why was I feeling like I had just gone through some ordeal? Was it something else I couldn’t readily identify, and not the event itself? I talked about it with some friends. What it felt like to me, then, was some kind of aversion to being in the spotlight and having to be there and be “enjoyed” by an audience. I was not sure, however. It felt like a done deal, that I was never going to do that again. The spot was killing me, the applause was killing me…I did not understand what it was that I was going through. Now, before that event in March, I hadn’t been out to public events like that in over a year, and after that, it was not till yesterday that I was out in such a setting again. The outcome? Much more revealing.

I identify as a writer, a poet…an artist. No matter how bad I am, or delusional, that I am these…let us say I am.

So… Undeath of the Artist

Although how I related to this is from a different perspective, what happened yesterday made this particular one move me much more deeply than it may have, had I not experienced what I did.

  1. It took me days to decide that I was going to go for the literary event at Springfield Gardens yesterday, mainly because I felt I had stayed away from such for too long, and it would be good to try and be out there before the year ends.
  2. I intended to go as an audience, not to go read or perform, or be anywhere near the spotlight.
  3. I made these clear to anyone who asked.
  4. I planned to leave before night fell, because I know my body.

This is what happened.

  1. I was happy I decided to go, because I met awesome people I was looking forward to meeting. I do not regret it.
  2. I was in control of the evening, going at my pace, and enjoying it.
  3. Then I hit a wall.

Pause. I hit a wall. The event was supposed to end at 7pm. We started at 3pm roughly. I hit a wall at 5.30pm. I did not want to be there anymore, and it wasn’t even because of my body (although I had started getting cold, and was starving because I had not been able to eat the whole day cos I had nursed a migraine and nausea that morning, had popped my pills before leaving home, and it was not till we were on the bus to the venue that it subsided). It was because I felt strongly that I had reached a limit, and I did not want to be there anymore. I desperately wanted to vanish. But this is what happened: just around the time I felt the need to not be there, the MC called my name. What for? To go perform or do a reading. I was not there for that. I was not ready for that. Who did that to me?

For the next 30 seconds, my mind went in so many directions. I thought of declining. Meanwhile, the crowd went loud when they heard my name, and folks were cheering and so I was also wondering “Why are they doing this to/for me?” And they wouldn’t stop, or listen to me, because I kept saying “I have nothing to share. I did not come for this. Who did this?” They were just cheering. And then I was also thinking, there are people I care about here and they are also cheering. Should I do this for them? What do I read? Do I want to do this? Do I want to walk up on stage? And read? No I don’t want to! But then I stepped down from where I was seated and made my way to the stage (and walking there was killing me partly because I was doing something every part of me did not want to do, and partly because some members of the audience had decided to come whooping all the way to the stage, behind me) It was killing me. But I went up on stage. And I read a poem I wrote in both Twi and English titled was a random pick, but it was not a coincidence that that was what I picked. And I came down…applause killing me…spotlight killing me…that was not why I was there.

I left about ten minutes after that, grouchy as hell, and drained. Walking home, I recalled the evening, considered myself as an artist, and I felt unacknowledged although in a way I was “

acknowledged”. Do people just see “A writer” or “A poet” or “An artist” and not consider that this is a HUMAN writer, a HUMAN poet, or a Human artist? So that at least that will make them more attentive…more sensitive? Yes I wrote that and I know you’d love to hear me read it, but can we not make it about you all the time? Don’t be selfish, don’t kill me. please. Listening to Undeath of the Artist on the EP this morning…this made sense;

“I used to misplace my priorities
Linking my thinking
to people who placed their opinions upon mine…”

Because I realize I did not just start disliking this…I used to do it anyway, but that was not me. I am an artist but I want to be in the audience, all the time…most of the time, and it would do me and my art a lot of good, if everyone respected that…if people saw Amma Konadu and not “the Amma Konadu”…whoever that is. I am tired.

Dear God!

I don’t understand this make up. Me. Why am I like this? I do not know. There are layers and deep faults, and too many people are bent on labeling people, lumping one in a sinlge category but I look at myself and I am not “straightforward”. I make silly mistakes, I hurt people, I love fiercely and stay loving most of the time, I forgive while bleeding, I can’t help it. I tell lies…I omit truths…I stay silent. I want to be great, and not great. I want to leave this place unknown and known. I see my purpose clearly, and then I get discouraged. Rage…depression…encouragement…hope. I am a complex package. I don’t think anyone cares about all that once you an artist. You cannot slip…you cannot fall…just satisfy us and let us go about town telling of your greatness. “Why don’t we see you enough???” Well half the time I can barely move in bed. I do not want to come and be so fatigued I become grouchy and everyone can tell from how I can’t hide my wincing, that I am in pain. I WILL STAY HOME AND MISS IT AND BE SAD ABOUT IT yet content somehow, cos I know it would not have been enjoyable anyway if I had been there because conditions suitable for my make up will hardly ever happen. Ideal is rare. I am tired. I am tired.

“I get frustrated,
People make me agitated…”

Dear God!
I wanted to kill myself before I died.
The road was too long, and I just felt too tired.
It’s hard being misunderstood
When you don’t understand yourself,
And life is hard,
Dear God!”

To Be 

But now this:

“Sometimes it takes years to learn how to be comfortable in your own skin
to realise that this body is the same flesh you will live and die in.”

So I opened my eyes and saw me for who I am. Yes, sometimes it takes years. Yesterday weirdly made me aware of how much people run away from people, yet they are standing right there. You get to the point where you need to be okay with you. Learn to like yourself. I often get frustrated when my loved ones do not seem to understand, I forget that they are not  in this skin. How can I blame them? I find that all this time I had been running with them, away from me,

“Forgetting the fact that we are the one person we cannot run away from.”

Why, we all have our crosses to bear. I cannot make other people’s lives about me, they have theirs to live. My shortcomings and failures; fears and pain and death; and then love and light and God; and hope and resilience and passion, have opened my eyes to the fact that

“[I] know how to be by [my]self.
…how to be without.
…how to be within [my]self
…how to be.”

And from what happened yesterday and what I learned about me, it is okay if it does not get better out there, I do know how to take care of myself. I know how to handle my complexities, and live with me. I understand that;

“Sometimes, comfort in your own skin means being okay with walking alone…
It is being okay with liking yourself.”

I opened my eyes. And I saw me.


P.S : Thank you, Akotowaa. I love you.




Art titled Anxiety by: tsukiko-kiyomidzu

“Hun, you have a powerful mind,”

He said one morning just recently. It took me 30 minutes to respond because somehow I knew where the conversation was headed. 

“Because you are good at worrying.”

The response after I’d asked why. 

That same week, I chanced on a brochure on anxiety and decided to read it to while away time. The more questions I answered, the more glaring it became that “you are good at worrying” was more like a euphemism for “you have anxiety problems,” and I didn’t like it. Mpaninfoͻ se woyam yε wo ya na woamfee wo se a, worenya ano aduro. To translate: there is an Akan proverb that says if you have a tummy ache and you choose to deny it, you’ll get no remedy for it.

I have anxiety problems.

I cannot count the number of times I have been so knotted up in my guts, palms sweaty, nerves tingling, heart beating erratically (intermittently stopping briefly, causing me to heave), tension headache intensifying, because I’m either worried about something that’s about to happen inevitably, or that may happen, or that has happened.

There are days when I cannot even tell why I’m having palpitations and there are days when I can’t tell if I’m having a genuine flare up or it’s the worry and nervousness that’s causing me to feel so physically ill.

I remember several occasions when I’ve cried hysterically and thrown up and felt weak in the knees so badly I am unable to stand because of fear of some outcome. And although it has been almost two years since I last had one of those, I still can go full days with my heart beating erratically and a non-stop migraine, and these are the ones I know are worry-induced.

I used to not sleep at all at night. Lately, I do much better although I still sleep light most of the time and wake up a lot throughout (still with nights that I am unable to sleep at all) and though this, I must say, is not wholly due to worrying all of the time, it IS a contributing factor some of the time, if not a lot.

It is funny to think that I offer advice to others who face similar struggles, trying to help them rise above this crippling weight. You’d think I’d take my own advice anytime I feel it rise. Well, I was not taking my own advice because I hadn’t acknowledged yet that what I have lived with over the years has a name. And after acknowledging that, I struggled to call it by that name.

“Let’s give her (a monkey we met for the second time at our getaway spot) a name.”

“No, we will not.”

“Why not? What are you afraid of?”

“I’m not afraid of anything. So if we give her a name and we come next time and we’re told she died, what will we do?”

“Well, then we’d cry…and get closure.”

It is a big deal to call a thing by its name. It is to say, I know you. I know what you are. I accept that this is you and this is what you are called. This is your identity. To call a thing by its name means there is some relationship even if remote. It means there is some attachment no matter how abstract.

But sometimes calling a thing by its name opens a door of opportunity; an opportunity to find ways to destroy that thing now that you know it. You may have the strength to, but to use it for the annihilation process, you must know that thing you intend to annihilate. So you call it by its name.

Baby steps are vital steps; future-telling, hope-filled steps. And so this is me, for the sake of all my friends and loved ones, and all other people out there dealing with this, taking those steps and calling it by its name: ANXIETY.

Admitting such is never easy. It is almost a welcome to be jabbed at where you’re most sore. Like a live broadcast every day that you are weak. Room for misreading of intentions. “Can we change the channel now?”

Look now, I’m tearing up.

Perhaps the conversation should start here…

P.S. *hit publish. don’t hit publish. hit publish. don’t hit publish. hit publish. don’t hit publish. hit publish.d..*



In my final year of secondary school, I was home, up in bed reading at about 1am, when I heard what sounded to me like an explosion. We had filled two gas cylinders the night before and had left them on the veranda, so my first thought was “fire!”; that they’d exploded or something. I was expecting to see it, feel the heat…something. I was wrong. My bedroom was directly opposite the main door to the house, and so seconds after the ‘explosion’, I saw figures jumping into the corridor. That’s when I knew – armed robbers had shot open the door. My light was on, I had just a cloth around me, and my heart was pounding in the back of my head. I shook badly, and my throat had gone dry; swallowing was impossible. I knew they’d enter my room first. You had to go through the sitting room to get to the master bedroom and past my room to get to the other room on my wing, the kitchen and then the bathroom. I feared the worst – the worst being that they’d rape me, I’ll fight them, and they’d kill me; and that I’d either get killed before they succeeded in raping me, or they’d succeed and then kill me for giving them a hard time. Fear had me hugging my knees in the center of my bed.

Three of them entered my room. Or two and a half, I should say, because the third stayed at the door, and left shortly after. First thing the robber that entered first did was to place a finger on his lip. I understood very well, and it wasn’t as if my voice was with me at the time anyway. They had huge rough-looking guns in their hands, and the first guy, who had walked up to my bed opened his left hand and thrust it at me, indicating that I look. There were bullets in his palm; red, gold-rimmed, thumb-sized bullets. He put them in his pocket after. The other guy then rummaged my open wardrobe, surely found nothing worth picking, and shot into my clothes and left, while the other picked my phone, collected my jewelry and money; including my “susu” coins, into one of my bags. I heard another gunshot from the master bedroom and then I started to cry. The one left in my room dropped the bag and made as if to grab me by the arm but I moved back against the wall (my bed was in one corner of the room). I can’t remember what happened after that but it seemed as if he’d heard something, because he moved towards my window facing the corridor, looked out, turned at me again with the gun in hand, picked up the bag and moved into the corridor. Then I heard my sister (I don’t remember what she was saying. I don’t think I heard it clearly). One (or two) of them was leading her in the direction of the bathroom. I heard nothing from the other room on my wing (where my cousin and nephew were), and nothing more from the master bedroom where I’d heard the other gunshot. I thought they’d killed my brother-in-law. They were turning things over in the corridor, and it seemed they were arguing. They spoke pidgin English and another language I did not understand. They argued about taking the cars. It went on for a while. I counted about four of them in the corridor. One opened my door again, and that was when I thought it was over; that he was going to rape me. The shaking grew worse and my hands and legs were numb by then, but thank God another came in shortly after and said something in the language I did not understand, to him. He hesitated for a while before they both left the room again. It was another minute or two of what seemed like an argument, and then I heard them throw the keys (to the cars, we later realized) away somewhere on the corridor floor. Out in the compound they shot into the air a few times and then they were gone. I don’t remember how long it took me to find the strength to move off my bed, and guts to walk out my room, but the moment I stepped out, I walked straight to the bathroom, stood outside the door, and whispered my sister’s name. She did not respond on the first call, but after the second I heard her make a sound and opened the door. First thing she did was let out a loud sob and hug me. She had come home from surgery just about a week before and she told me the one that asked her to follow him to the bathroom had asked her to strip and she’d begged him that she’d just had surgery, and when he saw that truly her lower abdomen was covered in band aid and gauze he closed the door and locked it. Soon my cousin and nephew also came out of their room, and then my brother-in-law also stepped out. We were all alive. They hit my brother-in-law because they’d found money after he’d said there was no more (he honestly forgot about that one they found). The whole house had been turned upside down and we all sat in the sitting room in shock. It was after 2am by then. The front door was still open…and we just sat there till morning when neighbors came around, some telling how they’d tried calling the police, some that they even called peace FM. We found out too that ours was the third home they robbed that night, that a mother and daughter in the first house they’d been to had both been raped and the husband shot but not dead, that there was little luck in the second house because they were unable to break into the main house or so…and other things I do not remember, or may have cared less about then.

For weeks after that day, like clockwork, I was up at around 1am, and couldn’t sleep anymore after. I would swear I heard a gunshot. My heart would pound till morning.  Now I’m not sure how common it is for one to fear dying in a particular way, or fear being killed by a particular thing, but I have come to realize that I have this fear of getting shot. Where I live now is a developing area, and we’ve had several armed robbery attempts. The house alarm goes off anytime the electric fence is tampered with. The few times we’ve heard gunshots from neighboring houses have been the worst. If I need to use the washroom I’d try to avoid walking past a window because I’m afraid they’d shoot through the window or something. Sometimes it’s as bad as fearing the bullet may go through the wall (my bed is against the wall) and kill me. One time my brother-in-law had to give a warning shot and my heart stayed fragmented and lodged all over my body pulsing erratically till morning. It’s been 8 years since that robbery, and I do not know if this fear is rational or not, but I’m only now acknowledging that there IS a fear at all, and that I’ve got to face it, rational or not.

Perhaps I should learn to shoot a gun (?)





I am not sure how I pictured myself at this age when I was little, but I’m sure a heartwarming bank account seemed like it’d happen, naturally. So today, as I headed back from my part-time teaching job, trying to figure out what I could eat so I have money left to transport me to work tomorrow, I thought of not just myself, but many young people like me. Here I am with two cedis to my name, having koko for late lunch (and as you can see from the image above, the koko is happening live; you’re invited), and asking my sister for a loan. LOL!!

Anyway, so I found myself laughing when I stopped in front of a red-red joint (cos in my mind, that should sure be cheap lunch), asked how much one plantain was and was told 50 pesewas, and the beans was 2 cedis, so I immediately ‘couldn’t think far again’. I guess you can figure out at this point that that was how come I ended up with koko (that’s 80 pesewas, thank God!) I just stood there laughing for about half a minute before I turned to leave. I fully considered myself; fresh out of school (yup, I submitted my thesis for a Master’s Degree just last Friday), working towards setting up my food business,  working towards publishing, teaching part-time, and ABSOLUTELY BROKE. “Amma! Life is beautiful!” I told myself. And really, it is; for me, at least. Here’s why…

There is freedom in going for what you want and going hungry sometimes as you do so. I must be crazy working towards my food business when I do not have a penny, or much more crazy still looking to go back to school soon after the break I’ve taken, crazy to still be constantly writing like it brings me millions. But these things that I am doing or working towards, are what I want to do, and though it could mean there will be more days like this, life is beautiful. There are days when I’m not this broke (a lower degree of broke, that is). And, fulfillment for me, really, is a smile on someone’s face, me experimenting for my menu ideas, me writing and reading, and writing, and reading, me closing yet another chapter, and taking a step closer to where I want to be at. Yes, it means so many non-paying jobs (those writing and editing distins that are refusing to feed me 😦  *cries in ‘track changes’*) and part-time jobs (with a pay you end up unable to save from, cos it is bare-survival money) at this point of the journey; but is this not the prize you have got to sometimes pay when you heed to your passion (or a medley of them) and the drive of purpose?

They are not bad necessities to an end, anyway. In spite of my feather-weight purse, and the red-red swerve moment (and now the bad koko i just finished drinking), my student  (amazing young lady) made my day by gifting me this, which to me meant a lot, she had no idea. I love butterflies – what they symbolize. Before then, I had been given feedback on improvement of the students I have been teaching that made my heart soar. It was wonderful news!


So of course, I am broke, the hustle will get even harder. BUT…life is beautiful.


P.S – I now have minus eighteen cedis to my name (thanks to the 20-cedi loan from my sis). 




Some photos were shared on a WhatsApp group I am on this morning, that made me so upset, so flustered, OMG! I’m sure some of you have seen them too, but I am not going to share them on here. A part of me understands why it is being shared – the reality of it hits you harder and you realize we have a lot of sitting up to do. And then a part of me thinks it shouldn’t be – no, the faces of the children in the pictures do not show, but they are graphic (for lack of a better word), in my opinion, and circulation of it is sure to get out of hand. Some people are sure going to do inappropriate things with them..we all know social media, don’t we?

You’re wondering what photos I’m talking about, aren’t you? They are two photos showing two kids, who look not more than 3/4 years old, having sex (I’m not even sure if I should call it that), with the little girl atop the boy, and one of the pictures showing clearly that there was penetration. Now I am not about to go into why the person who took the photos took those photos, whether the kids were aware they were being photographed (because the second photo showing evidence of penetration looked like a close-up shot), why the person did not immediately stop them, what happened afterwards…No. I’m not going to go into those in this post, God knows it will take me pages, and pages, to address them. My focus here is the cause(s). What factors contributed to this event happening, eventually. Why were those kids, imitating sex (disturbingly to the letter), and out in the open like that? What led to this? That is what I want us to discuss…solutions.


Sometime last week, my sister shared a story her preschool teacher friend had shared with her. It was about a 4-year old girl who asked this teacher friend if she knew what she, the little girl, wanted most when she grew up…

Teacher: Tell me?

Girl: I want someone to rape me.

Teacher (alarmed…sits girl down and not wanting to believe, asks…): What is rape? 

Girl: It is when mommy is sitting on daddy, and daddy tickles her and she will be saying “herh, do you want to rape me?” and she will be laughing.

The teacher was both relieved and still alarmed in a much different direction! After hearing this story, I was so concerned. What if this child said this to the wrong person, who would take advantage of the gross mistake?! What if…what if….what if! Oh boy! This is what we are looking at…Kids! Let us not underestimate how sharp they are, people. I have grown up helping raise a dozen nieces and nephews (and yuup, even grand nieces and nephews, ha!), trust me…I know! My eleven month old niece mimics almost everything you do and say, it is cuuuute! But let’s not get carried away! Don’t forget….they mimic EVERYTHING!

So what should we do? What must we do? Here’s what I think;

COMMUNICATION: Don’t think “oh she/he is in the corner minding her/his toys” so she/he is virtually absent. No! Kids love the presence of adults they have come to recognize over the months or few years, and they keep not just a side-eye on them, but their side-attention too, which mind you, is extremely sharp! They know what is going on, they can hear you, and they process things in their own way. Take the story I was told, for instance…this little girl must have heard and seen this scene more than once and processed it her own skewed way. It is dangerous! We should be conscious of what goes on in the presence of our kids; what we say. It is all a part of communication. You know how we child-proof the house to prevent domestic accidents like falling down stairs, getting access to medicine cabinets and ingesting stuff, etc. Those are very important to ensure the kids are safe from physical harm. However, there is the need also, to child-proof our communication in the house and wherever else we find ourselves with the kids. Watch your words and expressions. They soak them up..they interpret. Aside being careful about these, be conscious about direct communication with them. Have conversations with them; most children love to have conversations and share their thoughts. When this is encouraged, you will be able to guide their thoughts and interpretations, clear things up with them, teach them what they need to know and make it as understandable to them as you can, with the aim of clearing up as much ambiguities as you can. Communicate! You’ll be surprised how much they have soaked up, especially in this century. I believe you can talk to them about everything – it’s just how you go about it. Child-proof them!


VIGILANCE: Children mimic what they see a lot of the time. Pay attention to their changing, growing selves. What they say, their actions, etc. This is because, your kids interact and connect outside of the home as well, where unfortunately you have little or no control over censorship and the like. Therefore, your keen eye must scan what the outside factors are doing to your kid(s). A most important thing to note also is the bodies of your kids; bruises, swellings, anomalies, etc. on the bodies of your kids are signs that something is not right in those places where your kids are without you. Cases of child physical and sexual abuse have been found out this way. Kids may not report abuse to you because they often are threatened or coaxed into silence. Watch them. If they are still of an age where they need to be bathed, try as much as possible to bathe them yourself sometimes – you the parent (whether mom or dad), and pay close attention as you do so. It is very important. When you begin to notice warning signs, be it with their physical appearance, their conversations, or their actions, take immediate actions to clear things up – unteach them, get them medical attention, investigate the matter and go down to the root of it, and ensure that that source of poison is eliminated, give love, lots of it! Help them heal from whatever trauma that may have already been caused. Stay vigilant, please!

DISCIPLINING: This is a topic that I find delicate. How do you go about this? My opinion is to be aware of the ages of your kids, what ways you want to use to keep them disciplined, at each level they grow to. Do not forget the aim of reward and punishment – it is to teach them to not do this and to do that. Do not be stuck in the box that has only physical-pain causing punishments as the way to go. No. Yup, you can spank them, I approve of that sometimes, but discipline should have a purpose. What are you teaching the child at that particular moment? Example, that sharing is a good thing to do? Did she/he refuse to share something with her/his siblings? You can hold on a bit, and some other time, leave her/him out of something you are sharing with everyone else. She/he will definitely not be happy about it, aha! That’s where the teaching comes in…they have felt how unpleasant being left out of the sharing feels – bad…if they had shared with her/him, she would have felt good – meaning…? Exactly! She/he learns! All I’m saying is, don’t just let the kids be; you go to work, your spouse goes to work (or if you’re a single parent, you go to work), and the kid(s) go to school, and then you all get home, eat, sleep, everyone sort of doing their own thing, you get me? No. Be a part of their lives, such that they can see that you do all things with love, even when you are “punishing” them, they can see the love. Most kids will cry and still come to you to be comforted. They know it when it’s there, trust me. Discipline contributes to their social learning process. With time, they will instinctively know what is appropriate and what is not, and can discern when something is not right, dangerous, etc., and be smart on their feet about some of these things.

It is worrying, these things that are happening with kids, and we need to sit up, identify the root causes, and deal with them. Being able to prevent them, is the better choice, so let’s not forget;


Let’s take action!


This is in response to a train I was tagged in by another sweet blogger (Nana) – Check it out here.

I’m completely bending the rules, or maybe I am not, cos well, I’m not particularly continuing the train.

So here goes! This is me!


What is your strongest conviction ?

My faith. I’m Christian, and more and more, I find myself experiencing depths of God’s love I never before thought or knew was possible. It has been exciting waking up to so many possibilities on the daily, discovering more, knowing Him more. It’s not an easy road – “believe not those who say the upward path is smooth”. But I’d rather be on this road than any I’ve taken aside it, so help me, God.


How would you describe yourself in one word?

Ashrê! This is Hebrew for ‘blessed’ which means happy or joyous. It “recognises the existing state of happiness”. I have grown to love, love, love Hebrew, because the words always seem to encompass so much, and almost all of what I feel and mean, and want to say. So yes, Ashrê  is me in one word. Not just merely joyous because I am blessed, but, as Ogilvie put it, “that blessed person is one who is pressing on in a life of clearly set goals and purpose. The blessed person is one who is energetically pressing ahead through life, grasping its many-splendored wonder. Her eyes are on the Lord and His plan for her. Life is exciting; serendipities of grace await her each new day; expectation of unlimited possibilities makes her spirit vibrant with hope.” That. Ashrê!


In 30 years’ time, at this particular moment, what would you like to be doing, and where would you like to be?

Exactly where God would have me be and doing. I don’t have much to say. Yes, I am doing stuff now (I’m a writer, I started C2BGhana with a friend, I am passionate about the literary arts and impactful qualitative research, I’m currently a postgrad student – population studies, working at getting a PhD by 2020, I want to merge these two passions – literature and impactful policy-driven research) that could make me guess where I probably would be, but when I sit to think about everything, yeah, I would like to be where God would have me be.


What is your name? Does it inform in any way, your perception about yourself?

AMMA (the appellation of this day name is Nyamewa – goddess, but I like to think of it as divine royalty). KO (fight) – NA (and) – DU (get there) – yuuup, I am a warrior! I don’t consciously think of my name frequently, but I love that it reminds me of when I come up against a new challenge, some hard place. I remind myself I am the child of the King, and a warrior, and I am going to pull through yet another battle. God is good, He knew, I’d need this!


If you were hosting your favourite people to dinner, what would you cook for them?

What they’d like to eat, including how they want it – spicy, not spicy, vegetarian, less salt, no salt, you know – all of that. I believe the gourmet touch is more in being able to cook for any “client” at all, and making it special.


If you would someday write a book, what genre would it be?

I WOULD SOMEDAY WRITE BOOKS! lol! Uhm, both fiction and non-fiction, and within the two, I think I’d pretty much explore different genres.


Do you or did you like school?

I like learning. Not sure if I like school. I love to learn what I love, add up with my own views, make friends, work on projects, fight with the system (lol).


If you are Christian, what is your favorite bible verse? If not, have you heard any that you liked?

Now you remember how you answered that “what is your favorite color” question? Pretty much the same with me when it comes to Bible verses. I love Psalms, Isaiah, Paul’s letters, the story of Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, Esther (Hadassah)…to sum it up… Psalm 119:103 – How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!



What is the most beautiful thing to you?

The illuminating moments of coming to some understanding, especially of the Word.


Listening or talking, which one do you enjoy doing most?

I enjoy good conversations – nothing one-sided.



Who or what would you never forget? Why?

I’ll never forget the night of 29th December, 2014. It was when I became born again. No, I was not in church. I was on my knees in my bathroom, struggling to puke but couldn’t, cos I had eaten nothing but a handful of chips that night, and I was drunk and tired of life. I just…surrendered.


Ok, so Nana…this is it. I was curious about your post being the most personal you had written. Why is that?




“I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.”

― C.S. Lewis.


My mother tells me when I was little, I was taught to use sounds to pronounce new words but I had no patience for that process. I’d walk to any adult available, point out the new word, ask for its pronunciation and that was it, word stuck…in no time I was reading perfectly with a love for new words and the absolute need to use them as soon as possible. Now she thought it was because I was in competition with my sister, the one I come right after but No, I simply found reading fascinating, and they made me think in many different directions at a time, fed my imagination.

My eldest sister recounts how I made her jaw drop when I questioned her one evening when she was bathing me, about a TV series they used to watch in my presence – Jake and the Fat Man.

Me: Sister Angela

Angela : Yeess

M: Is the man called Fat Man because he is fat?

A: Yes.

M: That is not nice. Does he have a wife?

A: No.

M: He has a girlfriend then.

And my sister Angela said she just stared dumbly at me, thinking, where from this conclusion?! But you see, I was very observant, and things I had watched and read were all in my head not for nothing, but to make connections!  I was used to “Happily ever afters” involving a man, a beautiful woman to court and wife, and the family follows; that was the formula. Why was Fat Man an exception?  If he wasn’t married yet, then definitely he was still courting her, that was why, no? It’s funny the connections I made between all I read and reality. People had to be happy, period!

Then again, there was my mother’s training (hehe, pupil teacher, no nonsense, Mrs. Anarfi!). She’d place stools in the kitchen while she cooked so my sister and I could read to her alternately, and I remember she didn’t just listen for correct pronunciation, but listened for observation of punctuations as well.

“There’s a comma, pause”


“It’s a question, not a statement, so how will you say that?”


“You sound too flat, add life to it.”

And like that, in the kitchen, we’d finish our homework and read to her, till she was done with dinner, we’d take our baths, eat, hang around a bit, mostly listening to adult chat, then off to bed. That increased my love for books. My first speech and prize giving day, I received a story book for outstanding performance, whatever that meant in class one, lol! It was a blue little book titled ‘The Proud Rooster’ and I am sure it is in the study back at home, I should find it! I was done reading that book on our way back home and wanted more! Why did it end so soon? So I’d continue the story myself! Lol! Now writing is coming in ehn? Yup, it’s how it started.

I remember feeling frustrated any time someone was called out to read in class and the person kept fumbling with words and completely ignoring punctuations. I took pride in being able to read delightfully well, and was always happy to help my friends do same if they were willing to learn. The first book that made me cry was Danielle Steele’s The Gift, only the first time though. I read that book over and over and it was so with any book I loved. Now because my siblings were older and were either in secondary school or Uni and because my Dad is a reader himself, I had access to both African and Western Writers from since I could read. Of course Armah’s The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born and Achebe’s Things Fall Apart were among the first I read. Then Mariama Ba, Rotimi, Soyinka, Sekyi followed. The Poes and Miltons and Popes were also there. All very exciting! And every time I’d think of other sides to what I read. What if this had gone otherwise or that hadn’t happened?

Reading so much made me realize how my mind worked, and I think I was about 7 or 8 years old when I started consciously creating characters of my own in my head, writing my own stories from scratch, mostly fables, and kept writing at the least opportunity I got. By Basic school Form 3 I had handwritten a novella titled ‘Complicated’ which my Dad had his assistant type out for me. I still have that manuscript – I cringe at more than a few places now when I pick it up to glance through but I think it is a tangible part of my story as a writer.

Now, although I started writing prose before Poetry which I started at 16, I do say Poetry is my first love because of how different it was for me, to produce it. It was a confessional mode for me right from day one, and the first time I experienced the catharsis of it, I knew it was some soul-craft I had just discovered I had in me.

It was no surprise to my parents that I chose to study Literature in Secondary School, and then English as an Undergrad. I have had no regrets aside that there is too much more that I could have gained from choosing this path here in Ghana if our systems were better structured, managed and backed with passion and a thirst for new ideas and positive change.  I won’t go too much into my problems with such, let’s save that for another day.

It is also no surprise to me, where my love for books and reading and writing is leading me. As a kid I thought Fat Man needed a woman, be it wife or girlfriend, to be sure of his happily ever after, and if I could, rewrite the story and have Fat Man find the woman of his dreams. As an adult, I have realized happily ever afters come in all kinds of ways, and some people do not get them because they are not let free, they do not have their own sweet dreams and nightmares, all foully made and handed to them. We live struggling to tailor our happily ever afters. I grew to realize they were fairytales and then reality.

Because of my experiences as a writer, I read not just with the critical eye studying literature has given me, but with a writer’s heart…that knowing…that link with the authors of the books I read…the connection that makes you reach out to to ask if everything is ok, if you know the writer. and so whenever I read novels that disturbed me because these writers had simply put the worlds they lived in in fiction, I itched to do something…rewrite, if not the entire story, portions of it, the little I can do here and there, and that is what informed my decisions when it came to choosing what next to do, postgrad; Population Studies.

This love affair started from my Mama’s Kitchen, to a 16-year-old’s dark room, through to a woman’s discovery that truly, literature (by this I mean fiction) is a window to the world…and can very much inform research trains, policymaking and implementation – in a better way rewriting the real stories that seep into fiction, because that is what happens.

Reading…Writing…Discovering…Creating…Impacting positive change…

This is a lover’s brief account.