Thursday, May 28, 2009

Becoming Madam Zola

Most neighbourhoods have one
An eccentric old femme
Long flowing skirts and blouses
Heavily made up and bejeweled
A true Jezebel
Living in solitude with her cats or dog
She is rumored to kidnap little children for her dinner
Or to have jar of reptiles
And practice evil magic
Because she speaks to no one
Well, except for her pets
So you taunt and tease and play pranks on her
Then you grow up
Or you simply move away and forget
And Life deals its deft blows to your heart
So you vow to love no more
To save your heart the pain
You detach
You will soon wake up one morning and realize
You are becoming a “Madam Zola” yourself.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Designer Goods

With tobacco stained teeth and dried saliva encrusting the corners of his mouth, his hollow bloodshot eyes darts suspiciously from car to car. His gaunt and stooped frame carries his raggedy clothing like a burden. His coarse hair is unkempt and reddish from hours in the sun and his skin is black and grimy from same. His calloused hands have thick veins running along them and dirt caked underneath their claws. He hovers around the traffic light waiting till it screams “Halt” and then makes his move in two swift strides, shoves his hand into the window, and tries to peddle me his lonely “Giorgio Armani” perfume and “Rolex” watch for “something small”!

Friday, May 22, 2009


There’s a new trend in Ghana (Maybe I’m only just noticing it). It’s the pretentiousness and pomposity of it all that baffles me. It’s with titles and how we want to attach some kind of importance to ourselves. If we manage to do well for ourselves and get some kind of “white colour” profession we want it stated before our name (Oh, please bold and highlight my title. I want everyone to spot it a mile away! Lol). A doctor is Dr., they save lives, let’s just leave it. Military men have ranks. They need their titles. But we go on with Lawyer so-and-so, Architect so-and-so, and Engineer so-and-so. Is it really necessary? What about the traders, masons, seamstresses? Are we to call them Trader Ama Mansa or Yam Seller Mary Bonsu, how about Mason Kwabena Manu? Or do they not deserve a title? Now people dedicate songs on the radio for their wives referring to them as Mrs Gladys so-and so! Does it matter whether she is Ms, Miss or Mrs?
Ok now I want to be called, Law Student Iris Aggrey-Orleans!
Let's refuse the pomposity!;-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Suggestion boxes here and there

They are rude
They impose
Or they simply ignore
Yet they put up a crudely constructed container
Of cheap white wood
A scrap of rag with bold letters labeling
You can tell from the rusty padlocks they are seldom opened
I often fight the "naughty" urge
To do what I would have done to the offending box
Had I been confronted with the same situation
Some 15 years ago

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rush hour!

It used to be six thirty
And then it was earlier six
Now it’s a ridiculous quarter to
Soon I’ll leave at four to get to school for eight!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Traffic musings

Sweltering noon!
I’m off to lunch
I amuse myself in the thick Accra traffic by watching passers by
The bright yellow blouse and 6inch heels catch my eye
The “no-breather” jeans too
Did I mention the mile-long hair?
I give a shocked laugh
She replies with an angry glare
The blouse even more
The side walk is undulating
She teeters and totters off!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tall sad tales

She explains the missing toe nail with the kitchen cabinet
Then the bruised arm with the bedroom door
Again, the black eye with the study window
I wonder what she’ll explain the bite mark on her chin with…
…the hungry dog?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Of Pretentious Madams and so on…

Mrs A and Mrs B share a bowl of fruit.
Mrs A asks jokingly, “Did you buy these apples and grapes from the boys in traffic?”
Mrs B replies with disgust, “Oh no! I won’t do that to my children. I got these from Koala. Even then they are washed thoroughly. ”
Mrs B, “Oh I know, I am so particular about washing everything I eat in water and vinegar.”
Miss Kay (yours truly), “…even your bread?”
A stony silence.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Self Image

Is it what I see in the mirror?
Or what I see in his eyes.
What if I make an error?
Perhaps it’s what I see in my psyche.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Of brothers and so on…

I was seven, he was nine.
We lived in Osu, and could hear the siren at noon.
I asked, “What is that noise.”
He took a deep breath and replied, “Consult the herbalist.”
He walked away.
Who? What? How? When? Where?
I stood.
I was in awe.
“How did he get to know so much?” I wondered.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Because when I was little…
…she made me eat my vegetables.
…she made me go to bed at 8pm.
…she didn’t allow me to watch Akan drama.
…she spanked me when I insulted my brother.
…she made me bath twice a day when I didn’t want to.
…she made me clean my room every day.
…she showed me who was boss.
Because now…
…I have to listen to her talking when I really want to sleep.
…I have to explain some parts of the movie to her.
…I have to drive her at night or when she’s tired.
…I have to tell her when her clothes don’t exactly match.
…I have to find her lost glasses, phone or some other item for her too often.
…I have to tell her not to worry so much about me.
…I have learnt that despite my (many) flaws, she loves me endlessly…

If God gave me the chance to choose another, I will still choose Ekua Asor.
Happy Mother’s Day, Maa.


They say they were cozened by the priest.
But I say they were dense.
Before they parted with their life’s savings and some,
Did they stop to think?
Or did the priest’s lavish surroundings fool them?
They should be flogged, for they waste oxygen
…oh, I speak of the ‘sakawa’ boys!

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness

America categorically states it.
Ghana firmly guarantees it.
But can I really pursue what makes me happy?
When I’m not sure where it will lead

I never played hooky and I passed all my exams
I found a job that pays for a little more than most.
One day when my teeth are few,
Will I be able to say I was happy doing what I did?

Maybe I should try something new,
Like playing the cello,
Or follow my heart lands afar
Maybe happiness will then pursue me.