Today, I was at Makola Market.
There were people shouting whispers.
A small, sharp-eyed kayayo girl held my things. She wore an all-black ensemble. No, ‘ensemble’ suggests it was a choice. She was dressed toe to head and back in black – maybe to mourn her life. She seemed new to it all. The work and jerk of city life. The rowdiness and shabbiness of the people. The pain and disdain it all assured.
I stepped in dog dung.
A man yelled an insult at a woman. It was deadly. But it was lovingly so. The insult.
The people were an orchestra of madness, sanity shining through their eyes. Almost escaping.
I saw a young boy. He was sweating a desperation. Flicking his fingers in some despair. Yelling a cry.
I moved a step. I walked over to the little boy.
I asked him “Little boy, what’s wrong?”
Nothing. The boy said. Nothing.
Yesterday, I was at Makola Market. I was agitated.
The place was noisy like my life. Everyone bargained. It all sounded like a song that adored its own cacophony, enthralled by it. I smelled a bulimia-inducing aroma of rotten fish.
A little dark-eyed kayayo girl was carrying my basket. She clutched it like it was her very life. She looked depressed. But it should be no crime to be depressed. Or?
My heart was beating really fast because I knew something significant was going to happen. I thought, maybe, I was going to have a heart attack.
So when a man tried to bully me into purchasing a tomato, I said something crude about his mother. It was funny. The insult.
The man yelled a different insult at me. Something lethal. Yet affectionately so. (I took it like a man but, wait… I am a woman.)
Everyone, everything at the market at Makola was the masterpiece of a morbidly deranged soul. I could see calm in everyone’s eyes. The calm shone in the derange-, was trapped in something sinister. Not by it.
Then I saw a little boy. In a fit of urgency. Wagging his hands, like he had touched something hot, like something was going to hurt him. Screaming with a pitch, some bright pitch.
So I moved, my left foot going in front of the right, then the right in front of the left, and again. And again.
I ran into a little boy.
I asked him, “Little boy, what’s the matter?”
The boy said, “Woman, you’ve already asked me this”.
I returned, “Me? When?”
“You asked me this tomorrow,” said the little boy.
Soon, it was dark.
Tomorrow, I will be at Makola Market.
I will be frustrated because I will not be able to find some proper woman to sell me the right fabric for that wedding I will be going.
All the homo-sapiens will have become monkeys. Back to origins. All of them will be behaving in a manner that terrifies.
I will beg my headache to run. Threaten it with my words and words alone, even. But there will be nothing to show for my feisty begging.
The eclectic slow-fast of the market will haunt me, will continue to.
There will be a petite, intense-eyed kayayo girl struggling with my endless baggage. A baggage filled with useless things that have hauntingly beckoned me. The girl will not be happy whatsoever.
My heart will leave my chest.
A man will use very much force to get me to buy his temptingly juicy tomato but, I will say something vulgar to him. Something about me will excuse my arrogance. Barely.
This man will yell something else offensive at me. Something fatal. But romantically so.
The whole of Makola’s market will be soaked in the ripened instability that a devilish kind of disorder will adore.
At this point, I will look across where I stand and I will see a child-boy.
This boy will be crossing that intricate line that mediates madness and sanity. This same boy will be doing something sorrowful with his fingers.
So I will walk, get close to him, ask him, “Little boy, are you okay?”
With what seems a sour lump in his throat, the boy will reply:
“No, I am not!”
The boy will not wait for me to ask him why with my eyes, my whole face, before he will declare:
“There’s this woman who keeps asking me questions. Everyday.”
“For how long?” I will get the chance to ask.
“You already know. You are that woman.”
Calm will come.
Everything blue will turn red – from the sky to the tulips that may never afford the space and peace to live and be. Here.
The clouds will be like scars and I will weep softly on that loud street – the one in the middle of Makola, a street in the middle of a market at Makola.
Kojo Obeng-Andoh lives in Accra, Ghana. Currently.
He likes to think he is more of a creative than your typical teenager. He lives on Art, Literature and Lorde’s music. In no particular order, and not to say this list is exhaustive.He likes to also live in the worlds of his writing, drawing, painting and music.
He likes to think about the most absurd of ideas and let them put on reality. He likes to take his time – something most people will rather call laziness.
He likes his work to be described as “dark and sweetly dizzying”.
And this is only one of several ICONIC reasons he likes to think – insists on believing, actually – that he is Miss Nelson’s favourite student.
And he likes to think you will see more from him soon…
Kayayoo – a head porter, usually females, at open markets.
Makola (Market) – the vast open market and central business district Accra, Ghana’s capital city.
— Dansoman, Accra, Ghana; Wednesday, 27th March 2019.