wouldn’t wait for me to return from work and to worry her:
pull her legs, sit on her laps,
sing with her; dance for her,
tell her how sexy, she is – person, clothes and all
re-arrange already combed hair; re-prop pillows and postures – quite unnecessarily
re-tell her stories she already knew; stories she (probably) told me in the first place
ask her silly questions; fake sadness or surprise at her ever razor-sharp, short answers
repeat all these and more, once and over again
anything to just get her worried: talking and laughing
and finally, pray…
wouldn’t wait for that day when I will write
about her. Properly…
I’m on my way home,
I had heard wrong yet,
wouldn’t be waiting with her
everyday ‘Miwula, ayekoo’
for my merely having returned from work.
She wouldn’t be waiting for
the one ‘Minaa, ayekoo. Mbo!’
for having led a life well, fully and more…
Dusk: Tuesday, 27th January, 2015
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I’ve always called her Imaa (can loosely be translated as ‘my mother’) and she has always called me Asha – she always seemed to be too much in a hurry to say A*I*SHA). (Maybe, just maybe, that is why I have never liked the idea that Nokia once named a brand of its mobile devices – a phone, to be specific – Asha.) Later, I still called her Imaa and she called me ‘Imaa Aisha’, meaning, ‘my mother Aisha’ and much later, ‘Miwula’, ‘my lady’…
Only last month, I wrote somewhere to properly write about her. Some day. One day.
But she wouldn’t wait.
Much earlier, she has been part of many a piece I have written. Much more than just for my writing, Imaa has been a pillar and a great influence to all that I have grown to be, today and certainly, to become.
…my mother was to later do much of the school fees paying but if not for Imaa, I in particular, would never have even started school – and the school has always been across the street from where we used to stay, in Accra proper.
The kindergarten. It was an extension of a primary school which ran morning and afternoon shifts: Bishop Boys’ Primary School and St. Mary’s Anglican Mixed Primary School. The latter was where I was to later have the rest of my primary (school) education.
The kindergarten. Together with the primary school, was very attached – in more ways than just locale – to the church. The kindergarten. That was where it all began for me.
Much later, I was to realise that parts of both Imaa’s official name and that of the school have MARY in common. (ANSABA and BOTCHWAY are Imaa’s other names. Imaa is well known as ‘Aku nyɛ’, Aku’s mother.)
Just like every first time, mine (at school) has always been fresh and raw. I woke up one morning to find that it had rained the night before. One moment, on that morning, I was playing. I had had neither breakfast nor bath. Not yet, at least. The next moment, I was sitting in a classroom, sporting spanking new camisole, pant, sewn-to-fit (Imaa has never believed in sewn-and-bought outfits) blue and white checked uniform, socks and shoes.
And I already had more than the set of stationery I could need.
It was too obvious Imaa had long planned and made every necessary preparation for the day: the admission had already been gained, the school fees had long been paid…the bathing water et al and quick breakfast were waiting, and a ball of note (money, which I was to later find that it was meant for snack break) had already been pushed into one of the two blue patch pockets in front of my uniform.
An oh! My uniform, it was beautiful beyond words.
My Grand-E Mother. She just dropped me in the class, briefly spoke to the woman who was supposed to be my teacher and then pakopako, she was gone…
Just like she’s gone now.
My Grand-E Mother. Hers was tough, all-out, I-can’t-wait love.
Just like she wouldn’t wait…
Dawn: Wednesday, 28th January, 2015
* * *