They said you came looking for me and you couldn’t find me. They said you were disappointed and went away with tears flowing down your cheeks. They said you cursed my name and walked off with venom in your veins – toxins that only I could purge.
They said you came looking for me and couldn’t find me. I was looking for me also. I was out searching for the me I hide from you. I was the shoulder on which you cried on, the altar on which you sacrificed your pain and depression. I was the surgeon that cut you open and removed cancerous emotions from your anatomy. I was your sharman. I was your priest who kept the door of angels opened to you. I was your guru. I feng shui’d your life and opened it up for positivity. I was your deity, I battled the unseen for your sake.
Your problems were so many, there was no room for me to share mine with you. I absorbed your poison over and over and over again, and you didn’t ask me where I dumped them.
My shoulder is drenched in your tears, but I hang my head on the wind and cry, soiling the ground with my own tears. The dust on the ground knows my pain better than you do. When you came looking for me and couldn’t find me, I was out trying to find myself. I am presently lying on this balcony of desperation and despair once more, stealing moments to cry on the wind’s shoulders. I am saturated with darkness, with no avenue for a much needed exorcism to facilitate the entry of light into my life. I am here screaming my guts out, calling for my soul to return to this empty shell of hide, blood and bone.
I heard you came looking for me the other day and couldn’t find me. Perhaps I have sublimed into the wind.
Last year, she put on a show of putting her life back together, and being an all-round good person. Saying she failed miserably at this resolution will be an understatement. Her change was plagued with potholes of all sizes.
At one time she was sweet Afua, at another time she was Bloody Mary and then she was Jezebel and Delilah on other days. When she realized that being good was not in her nature, she tore everything down. Fake smiles, pleasantries and general goodness found its way out the door.
Her heart is a freaking untarred road and stupid victims like myself keep pouring sand in potholes that never gets filled.
“I swear. I’m not lying,” Yaw Oppong touched his right index finger to the tip of his tongue and pointed it into the sky. “I saw a woman wearing a burqa, sitting in her air-conditioned Land Cruiser V8, alone in the car with all the windows rolled up, and wearing a face mask.” They all burst into uncontrollable laughter. Yaw and his friends thought that what had just been described was an overkill; one too many a measure that had been taken to protect one’s self from contracting the deadly COVID-19 that had brought most activities all over the world to a standstill. What Yaw didn’t tell his friends was that the woman in the car was Abiba Seidu, a woman who lived on their street.
Abiba had for the past five years been working on a cure for cancer in Xian Laboratories with her colleagues in China. About a year ago, they made a breakthrough by creating a virus that when exposed to a cancer patient, will eat up all the cancer cells in the patient, dissolve all tumours and then wash out of the patient when all the cancer cells are finished. Abiba returned home seven months ago to her abandoned three-bedroom-self-contained house at Sowutuom in Accra, Ghana. Her return caused problems for Yaw Oppong and his friends who had to find a new place to hang out after her return.
“Chale, let’s go and see what that woman does in her house all alone. Do you know that since she returned she hasn’t come to say hello to any of we her neighbours?” Yaw proposed.
“No. Me I don’t want trouble. It’s her house, and her life. She can do whatever she wants,” Ato countered.
“Yes oo. And I heard this colonial virus thing has already infected more than three thousand plus Ghanaians oo. I’m not going out of my house again until further notice,” Prince chipped in, and the rest of Yaw’s friends agreed with Ato and Prince, and soon dispersed and went to their various homes.
“Fine. I will do it myself,” Yaw said to himself when he was alone.
Yaw wondered, on the day he broke into the house, why he and his friends had not broken into the main building long before Abiba returned to the country. He and his friends had been playing football and other games on the compound for years. They entered the compound through a small opening at the side of the wall, where a couple of blocks had fallen off. Today, that side of the wall had been repaired and Yaw had to scale the wall on a blind side of the building to get into the compound.
He entered one of the bedrooms, which had been turned into some kind of storage room for science equipment. Entering the building had been quite easy. The locks on the front door was no challenge for Yaw. Prince had taught him how to pick the locks of some common brands, and this lock surrendered on his first attempt. The other rooms in the building were not locked, granting him easy access. ‘She must be some kind of pharmacist,’ he thought. He was surprised to see a working fridge in the storeroom and yanked it open vigorously.
A vial from one of the compartments of the fridge fell out. Immediately, he heard a car drive into the fenced compound. He put the vial in his pocket, closed the fridge and rushed to hide behind a pillar in the hall.
Abiba entered her house with some groceries and provisions for the lockdown of the Greater-Accra Region that was going to begin in two days. She wondered how she could forget to lock her front door before leaving and chastised herself silently. She was still wearing a burqa and face mask when she entered the room. Yaw smiled when he saw her. The events of the other day with his friends replaying in his mind.
Then he felt something sticky on his thighs. The vial had broken in his haste to find the best hiding place in the hall of the building. He put his hands in his pocket, took it to his nose and smelled the substance. The scent of the substance forced a sneeze out of him. Abiba turned around and spotted him behind the pillar. She recognised him as the fourteen-year-old son of one of her neighbours. The one with a flat lesion with a scaly, crusted patch on his chin.
On the day she first saw him, she knew at once that the boy had skin cancer. “Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin,” she had said in her car when she spotted him. Then she saw the greenish substance on Yaw’s hand and knew at once what the boy had been up to. She gave him a scolding and sent him out of her house. She rushed into the bedroom-converted-storeroom to see which of the vials he had taken. It was the one labelled ‘Strain 2’. She knew then that he had already been infected, and the incubation period was only twenty-four hours.
The next morning, when Yaw’s parents dragged him by the ear to Abiba’s house to make him apologise for breaking into her house, they found the house deserted. The building had been cleaned out of all expensive and essential items. Only an empty building beheld their arrival.
A year ago, while Abiba and her colleagues worked on their cure for cancer, they run into several failures. The first strain of the virus – ‘Strain 1’ – during the animal trials was discovered to be very contagious, and mutated to infect even humans without cancer. The bat that was used for the trial became immune to the effects of the virus, but it had the ability to infect humans and animals alike with a respiratory disease of the Corona family.
They reengineered the virus with the first problem in mind. They then came up with ‘Strain 2’. This strain had solved the problem of the virus spreading to people who didn’t have cancer. The strain however, after eating up all the cancer cells in the patient, refused to wash out of the patient and turned the person into a cancer craving and devouring organism. The infected person could smell cancer on anybody who had the disease.
When the human test subject infected with the virus attacked one of Abiba’s colleagues who had cancer; mutilating and biting off flesh until she had access to the tumour in her colleague’s stomach, Seth Cain – another colleague of Abiba – went into a rage and destroyed vials of the virus and set the lab on fire, calling what they were doing an abomination.
In the commotion, the bat infected with ‘Strain 1’ of the virus got loose and escaped. Abiba was able to take a couple of vials of the virus with her, in the hopes of one day continuing her work to find the cure, before the fire consumed the entire lab.
He flies his flag at half mast In recognition of our plight And sends us honey that flows down his beard We fight amongst ourselves for his sake He needs to be protected. He must be protected For he is the only one of his kind That fights for our cause Raging fires scorching one another For devastation fuelled by the wind He acknowledges the chasm between us And then permits us a chase at the slowest speed possible.
She dangles on the fence of death on tiptoe Fuming at yesteryears for wasted years ‘We are not in ordinary times’ You don’t rush into intercourse It has to be borkorkorkor
Ebo Sandison and Naa Omaboe have been trying to make children for several years. Seven years to be exact. Because of their inability to have children, they had fought and broken up and quarrelled and separated and come back together, only for the cycle to start all over again.
Many doctors have examined them on several occasions. The story has been the same from all the doctors. “You are all in perfect health, there is no reason for your inability to have children. Perhaps you guys are too anxious and this is making you stressed. These things can affect your ability to get pregnant, you know?” And when after a couple of months of taking loads of drugs nothing happens, the doctors then advise them to “be more prayerful and wait upon the Lord”.
“We have no choice,” she said. “This could be our only chance of having children of our own. We promised each other we will do everything in our power to solve this problem of ours. Are you trying to go back on your promise?” Naa interrogated. She knew this will definitely make her have her way. She knew her husband too well, and he was very susceptible to emotional blackmail.
“You know why I am reluctant to go through with this at this particular time. Can’t we wait till the crisis is over? We can lose our lives, and what will be the relevance of going through this trouble? Besides, all this might not work, and we would have taken an unnecessary risk,” Ebo said, exasperated.
Naa begun to cry. She didn’t have to pretend this time around. She knew what her husband was saying is the truth. But it was also true that they had had only five days to copulate before the concoction that Togbe Agbeli had made both of them drink washed out of their system.
“This is a one-time-only remedy I’m making for you. You need to follow my instructions exactly as I tell you. Failure to do this and you can forget about having your own children. This will make you have twins,” the traditional priest and healer had said. The priest was so sure that his concoction will bring the desired results to the extent that he refused to take any money from them. He told them to go home and follow his instructions. They must come back in four months’ time after it has been confirmed by their doctor that ‘they’ were pregnant to make payments.
Over the years, the troubled couple had tried everything to be able to have children: from a Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer to a Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer, and then to an Intrauterine Insemination to an In Vitro Fertilization. All these to no avail. Their quest for a child of their own has drained all their savings and a lot of their time; and they were determined to make them not be in vain.
A month ago, they had decided to stop trying and consider adoption. They went to the adoption agency to begin processes to adopt a child. The administrator was one slender woman who talked too much and too loudly to be working in an adoption agency.
“Before you fill these forms, let me tell you about a traditional healer I know in Notse, Togo. That is where I come from. If he is not able to find a remedy for your situation, then no one can. You should take these forms home and try him out before filling and returning them,” the administrator of the adoption agency said with a bit of embarrassment and reassurance on her face. That is how Naa and Ebo left for Togo to seek out Togbe Agbeli some five days ago.
“We are not in ordinary times,” the Minister of Information of Ghana had announced. Due to the high number of imported cases of the COVID-19 in Ghana, the government on 21st March announced the closure of Ghana’s borders to all traffic in and out of the country, effective 11:59pm on Sunday, 22nd March. Naa and Ebo arrived in Ghana at 10:30pm on 22nd March and were all made to go on a mandatory quarantine for a couple of weeks to make sure they didn’t have the virus. After three days of being quarantined in separate rooms, Naa was getting very impatient. Earlier that morning her lab results came through and she tested positive for the Corona Virus. “Your husband’s test results should be in by tomorrow,” the nurse had informed her.
Naa kept saying to herself, more like trying to convince herself that ‘desperate times called for desperate measures’ the whole time she was sneaking into her husband’s room. She informed him of her test results before reminding her husband about Togbe Agbeli’s instructions. She was in some Personal Protective Equipment, so that she could reduce the chances of infecting her husband with the virus, if he wasn’t already infected.
Have you ever seen two porcupines mating? They are amazing creatures. With all the sharp and pointed spikes all over their body, they have to mate slowly and carefully, so as not to hurt each other. Naa and Ebo only had two days to have sex before Togbe Agbeli’s concoction lost its potency. Naa had managed to get her husband to yield to her demands.
Ebo reluctantly wore his face mask and examination gloves. That was after he had thoroughly disinfected the greater parts of his body in the hand sanitizers the nurses had given them at the hotel where they were being quarantined. Naa did the same and turned towards Ebo’s bed, trying to be as sexy as she could possibly be in this situation they find themselves in.
What happened between the two that evening cannot be called sex or coitus. At least not the ones between humans. Maybe the closest it can be called will be a description of porcupines mating. Face to back, clothes still on, no sounds of pleasure, heartbeats barely spiking and devoid of ecstasy. It was so tender, slow, careful and lacking the smallest iota of intimacy, so as not to hurt, or in this case infect the other partner. After the longest three minutes of their lives, Naa straightened her dress and returned quietly to her room, awaiting their twins.
I’ve walked into the womb of death And stolen her ugliness Now I have to get past death Without her knowledge I file away borkorborkor
‘Amore’ highlights the struggles of the broken hearted in finding true love again, the obstacles that religion poses to lovers from two different religious backgrounds, and what novices should expect should they decide to give their all for love.
It’s a novel everyone will love.
By N. O. Bekoe
Click on the link below to download an except of ‘Amore’.
The Kalahari Review published my short story – ‘Of Goodness, Red Ants and Light’.
I am a firm believer in the existence of goodness in every human. It might just be a spark, nothing to write home about, but it will be there. This is different with Efo¹ Babaneto. He deserved his name, for he always made us feel sorry to have been created with an ear. This is because he keeps pulling on them and slapping our faces.….
Please FOLLOW the link to read the rest of the story. Please like, comment and share.
I woke up this morning to witness the greatest shock of my life. Ghanaians, who for some time now, had had no cause to jubilate because of the harsh economic situations among many other crises were rejoicing and singing praise to the most-high God. Upon investigating, I got to know the cause of this sense of intense euphoria was as a result of the fact that ‘Dumsor”, the canker that seeks to make every Ghanaian return to living in the times where kerosene lamps and fire made out of wood were the only source of power, had finally tired of us and had packed his belongings to leave Ghana for good. He was last spotted at the Kotoka International Airport last Friday evening. Apparently, ‘our good’ friend on reaching the airport made his presence known to all by way of a blackout to announce his presence for about three hours before returning the lights. During that period, some officials, especially those at the departure hall, had to rely on rechargeable lamps to process passenger documents. (How ridiculous is that!)
Kofi, ‘Dumsor’ has taken on a new dimension in Ghana, to the extent of causing blackouts in Ghana’s International Airport. Can you believe the very institutions set up to provide and maintain electricity to all parts of the country are the same organizations that are working tirelessly to make sure ‘Dumsor’ becomes a rigid and integral custom of Ghanaians? The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO) and the Volta River Authority (VRA) have become the Poseidon making sure Ghanaians experience an excruciating odyssey as far as power is concerned. This time around, there is no Athena to help make the journey a little bit bearable.
I remember in 2007, a similar phenomenon occurred and the government at that time had to invest in certain areas and make some hard decisions in order to rectify the situation. But this time around, the current government have failed to rectify the situation due to certain causes that the government and the energy minister claims are too ‘huge’ and would therefore require time to fix.
Currently, there are only three hydro-electric dams in Ghana. These dams, namely the Akosombo dam, Bui dam and the Kpong dam are not functioning properly as a result of a very low water level, and certain mechanical problems on some of the turbines and machines being used. These problems could have been avoided if the dams were maintained on regular basis.
Also, the electricity is produced in the country by the VRA through dams and plants. This electricity is then transmitted by GRIDCO. The produced electricity is later sold by ECG. However, these institutions cannot access the needed capital to maintain their machines or bring in new ones to increase electricity because, the ‘notorious’ ECG is unable to collect all the money they should after selling the power to consumers, hence it generates huge losses to the producers. ECG has succeeded in selling power to certain individuals and companies like the Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO), but have failed to collect the money these entities owe them. Kofi, the last time I checked, it was the sole duty of ECG to sell power and collect money for the power they have sold. So if they cannot perform the duties for which they were established, then I wonder why they are still running and why the government had not laid them all away and employed people who are more skillful and competent to execute the duties ECG is to perform. We cannot as a country, keep suffering because certain entities are enjoying power free of charge. And why in God’s name are these entities still enjoying power if they are not paying for it? And Kofi, it is very funny to know that companies like VALCO are the ones who consume the largest percentage of power generated in the country; but for one reason or the other fail to pay for services rendered.
Kofi, it might interest you to know that there is only one solar plant stationed in Navrongo in the Upper East Region of the country. There are however, a series of thermal plants scattered across mostly the Western and Greater Accra Regions. These power plants are not giving us all the power they are supposed to give us because, they are also not functioning well due to unavailability of gas and light crude oil and diesel to power these plants. It is very interesting to know that a country like Ghana still depend on sister countries like Nigeria for gas. So any delay in the sales of gas from Nigeria means Ghana is going to have to embrace our departing brother ‘Dumsor’ until such times when some gas becomes available to power the plants. These plants that are not functioning at their maximum is also plagued with damages and improper functioning because of some mechanical problems. It is indeed sad. Ghana has become like the setting of one of Shakespeare’s tragedies.
In the mist of all these problems, investors are also withdrawing from investing in ECG because they have lost faith in the institution, and hence do not want to lose money by investing in a commodity that is not going to yield them any profit.
Kofi, we cannot entirely blame VRA, GRIDCO and ECG for this problem. We as citizens have also contributed in the birth and nurturing of ‘Dumsor’ to become the god reigning over us and dictating to us when to cook, eat, iron our clothes and even when to bath. Some Ghanaians can go to work leaving all their appliances on to consume electricity the entire duration they are away. Other citizens connect wires directly from electricity poles and other concealed sources to their homes. This act is popularly known as the ‘illegal connection’. When they do this, they consume electricity without paying any fee because, these wires are not connected into any ‘meters’ that reads and calculates the amount of power they have consumed. And without these ‘meters’, ECG is not able to identify and track them as people who use electricity and hence, do not tax them to pay for the power they have consumed.
The irregular schedule of power outages and the lack of power in the country has led to the inflation of prices of products, unemployment since businesses are not able to run again, and it has also caused an increase in taxes tariffs.
Cold store owners happen to also be a set of people who are most affected by the power crises. We see in the news how their products go bad and how they have to throw them al away, causing serious losses to the owners. I have heard that the cold store owners are now frying all their chicken to prevent them from going bad.
It is therefore no wonder Ghanaians were jubilating when ‘Dumsor’ made an appearance at the Kotoka International Airport. But the joy of Ghanaians was short lived as in the mist of their joy there was a massive blackout around the Legon – Okponglo area. Upon investigating we were made to understand that our dear ‘Dumsor’ missed his flight and as a result, decided to stay. Poseidon has actually succeeded in making our journey a very difficult one!
PS: ECG has now been sold to PDS (Power Distribution Services, Ghana.
What a world? The things we can’t have are what we yearn for most. A girl I admired, longed to be with and loved so much, was out of my reach. It was a union I can only cook up in
my dreams and fantasies. It is no wonder dreams are meant for dreamers and dreamlands.
Drawing water from the well one day, she asked for my help. She needed me to fill her pot. She needed a Good Samaritan; a willing slave. It was a welcome burden. I accepted without
hesitation. My good deed, she adored and fell in love with. My charms, she admired. My beauty, she possessed. We sneaked into the bush and consummated our passion. A great snake in the shrubs also admired her beauty, and took a bite at her.
I am a helpless young man, with a beautiful corpse. She left me too soon. The royal household will surely see my head in a noose! What business has a poor butcher in the
And then the fleeting moments of life
Becomes the cherished memories of our existence
God made man
Man made life
And life inspires fun
Unappreciated seconds of life
Births the lasting canvases we scribble
Flashes of our essence
Night sea breeze
Wandering waves of happiness
At HINI central
Town of unappreciated beauty
Nature’s own masterpiece
Sweet local dishes
Liquor brewed with love
Sounds of laughter
Tunes of human crickets
Parading seashore dances
Male and female bonding
Body against body
Skin to skin
Natural body responses
Plaguing compulsion for the pleasures of the flesh
Left foot. Right foot
Ecstasy, euphoria abounds
Moving figures enchanted by the Azonto