The Devil In Me

Curled into a ball like a white cat in a chilly harmattan morning,
My monster rests; minding its own business.
Suddenly, I see movement…a twitch here, a turn there and I know trouble is brewing somewhere.
Someone has provoked this monster.
I am a definition of angel. Oh yes I am.
That thing that disturbed my quiet moments has roused the Devil in me.

“I Was Not Invited”……And So What?

I have started this piece so many times but kept restraining myself from letting my thoughts out until I saw a comment on a friend’s wedding picture posted on Facebook that said “I was not invited”. Instantly, I could feel a pang of anger and closed the tab before I could spew out the unprintable thoughts I was thinking.

At a point in time, we might all have had that one friend who didn’t invite you to their wedding ceremony for reasons best known to them. I find it rather distasteful that some friends write on married friend’s Facebook timeline, or comment on pictures, that they were not invited without a simple congratulatory message or well wish. (How rude!!!)

Mr/Miss/Mrs I-wasn’t-invited, I will tell you a few reasons why your name didn’t make it for your friend’s guest list:

  • Your friend probably figured you would not mind being left out, based on the kind of relationship you both share.
  • Wedding ceremonies (no matter how small) are very expensive, so if the couple believe it would be best to cut down on the number of guests, you may fall into the category that would not get an invitation.
  • In the midst of planning and running around, your name might have escaped them.
  • You must have probably been out of touch with each other for a long period of time.
  • If the friend really thought it would be worth considering you, they would have invited you. (This may sound harsh but it’s true). You probably consider this person to be a very good friend but sorry to burst your bubble, he/she probably doesn’t feel the same way about you.
  • Your friend is not obliged to invite everyone to his/her wedding.

What’s my beef?
There’s no use telling the whole world your friend didn’t invite you for their wedding. Send them a private message or give them a call if it is that important to you. They have genuine reasons for not inviting you, so get over it already.

Some of the comments are written with the intention of making the friend look bad and it irks me a lot. If you were really itching to attend the function, it won’t hurt to send the couple a present. Some cash or gift vouchers will do. Besides, I am certain some of the Mr/Miss/Mrs I-Deserve-An-Invitation, would have gone empty-handed, filled their bellies at the expense of the couple and their families, and later gossip about how the wedding went, “her gown was nice but the make up was too much”, the colour combination…ank) yie”, “the food was terrible” among others. Ladies are the major culprits here. We attend wedding ceremonies mostly to see, compare and have something to tell other friends albeit with a hint of jealousy.

The next time you are tempted to ask your friend why you didn’t make it onto the guest list, see if any of the reasons I have stated applies to you; and if you still want to ask the couple, give them a call or send a private message/email/SMS. Most importantly, it would be thoughtful to have a gift ready for them before asking the WHY question otherwise, please give yourself a break. Don’t have a gift??!!! Call them and share a word of prayer blessing their union.

Ps: Look at the brighter side. You have the perfect reason to check them off your wedding guest list (if you are not married) or any future function you may host (assuming you are working on a tight budget). Better still, you get to save the attire you would have loved to show off for another event.

FRIDAY

Tick Tock…..TGIF!!!

We sit here like children, waiting in anticipation for a promised toy,
Eagerly looking forward to you, our weekly joy.
You are a dream come true for the 8-5 robot.
Oh how we keep asking of your whereabouts;
As if you were last seen in Nineteen Twenty.

Time seems to take her time all the days after you.
Like a model strutting her stuff…..one baby step at a time,
You never seem to make it soon enough.
When you finally do, you are the like wind on a stormy day.
You pass by in a whiff and our good byes gone with the wind.

I can picture that sneer on your face,
Similar to that of a jealous girlfriend taunting her rival.
We say all sort of things about your sister Monday.
With the look of dread come Sunday evenings
And grouchy moods Mourn-day mornings.

We can’t help but sigh.
Oh Friday, can you last a little more than Twenty Four hours?

When I Am No More

What would your reaction be, if you went to bed and woke up one morning and heard that I am no more?

Would you be shocked? Assuming I died at a young age (Now in my late twenties)?

Would you just smile and say, “Oh that is a life well spent?”

Since Ghanaian tradition expects that the dead be revered (I still don’t get it.-It beats my imagination), many messages of condolence will paint a rather exaggerated picture of the simple or crazy girl that I am.

When I am no more, please don’t say all the things that create a gloomy picture of how life is going to be without me. (God always has a plan). Don’t write, “I am shocked… “I can’t believe it…..” It’s unbelievable…..” and all the other sad things you may be tempted to say.

When I am no more, and you are tempted to write any such thing on my Facebook Timeline or in an obituary, talk of the good times we shared. Of the plans to spend time together, of the things we hoped to achieve together, and when you eventually get there, give yourself a pat on the back and say, Afi would have been happy and smiling because, you know what? Yes I would be.

This piece is not to make you sad, neither is it a foresight of my death. We all know how ‘long’ life is. Appreciate the people who mean so much to you, forgive the ones that caused you pain. Cherish the friendships you are yet to make because “Life is really just one long countdown to death; you don’t know when it’s coming, but it’s always getting closer.”

Inspired by the death of Dennis Dartey(Whom I never knew or met) and Nana Yaa Keteku(A schoolmate whose death devasted me) May their souls Rest In Peace.

****Listen to “After a While” by Deittrick Haddon if you’ve ever lost someone close to you and are still in pain.

 

Computerised Tests at DVLA

If you do not own a Driver’s Licence, but drive a car in Anansekrom, and you are reading this post, shame unto you. If you own one then it is perfectly safe to assume that, you passed the Driving Test especially that of the Theory,…..Well Done!!!.

According to the Driver And Vehicle and Licencing Authority (DVLA) the introduction of the computerized-based system has been lauded because it would “ascertain the competence of drivers before issuing licences to them”.

A look at the kind of drivers on our roads will prove that the introduction of the CBT hasn’t done that. Many of the Trotro (a local bus/urvan bus system) and Taxi Drivers are semi-literate and very incompetent yet have Driver’s Licenses. Make the mistake of tailing a trotro driver and you’ll have the rudest shock of your life when he stops right in the middle of the road to pick up a passenger, when he could have conveniently parked and done that. Oh…as if that is not enough, they dash in front of your vehicle without indicating their intention to join or get off the road or make a sudden U-turn in the middle of the road; just to mention a few, parking right at a junction thereby prohibiting free movement.

The website also states that, The change to CBT (Computer Based Testing), according to the authorities of the DVLA, was to ensure that only competent, knowledgeable and skillful people were granted driving licences” I guess this explains why we have so many ‘knowledgeable’ and skillful’ drivers, wrongly overtaking, driving at dizzying speeds you’d think they were in a race with the winds.

My beef is not with recalcitrant drivers but with the so-called computerised system. Let’s be real, anyone who has taken the test will agree with me that it is not as easy as it seems. It will take an SHS leaver who has had some very good education to understand, write and past the test. If a graduate like the one writing this post can fail that test miserably, how much more the JHS leaver who can barely understand the simple road signs? Every driver on the road is expected to have taken this exam but I am very certain more than half do not even know the exam hall where this test is taken in the DVLA premises.

Again can authorities at DVLA tell Ghanaians that every driver with the valid licence passed this test – whether manual or computerized? I am of the believe that the CBT in itself has been manipulated to frustrate people from taking the exam. (That’s my opinion from experience). If you happen to fail the exam, you have to pay an extra GHc8.00 to reschedule and this goes on for as long as you fail. For the many who cannot afford to be rewriting and wasting precious time trekking to the DVLA offices, the ‘backdoor’ is the only answer. Can these same people tell us the rot has stopped? Well, the answer is as clear as clean water in a drinking glass.

I believe if the DVLA’s aim is to stop the indiscipline and carnage on our roads, a system can be put in place for semi-literates to attend classes either in the local language or in very comprehensible English for people who cannot sit and pass the exams. This can be done at a cost equivalent to paying your way to get the licence-between GHc350-400. It is a step in itself to educate most of our drivers while ensuring discipline and making legitimate money instead of ripping Ghanaians off and killing innocent people on our roads.

Until something is done about the so-called tests, nothing’s going to change and for some of us the DVLA Backdoor will always be the answer.

References: http://graphic.com.gh/General-News/dvla-launches-system-to-test-driver-competence.html

 

 

Letter to Aynes

Hi Aynes, It’s been ages and I wonder where you have been. It appears you have taken leave of us and we miss you dearly.Your sometimes interesting updates, and comments. I always looked forward to meeting you here but you’ve been very busy lately.

The last time we met, you were all bubbly and full of joy. You barely talk to me anymore. I’ve been looking forward to the pieces you promised me months ago: “Of Dates, Dresses and Desserts” and “The Unsung Song”. Was that song ever sung? You never told me and in great anticipation like a woman in labour, I wait.

There is so much I long to tell you but not until you reply this letter; at least I’ll know you haven’t entirely ignored me and all others who asked me to write on their behalf.

Your dearest,
Me.

 

Another Baby

Babies we know are gifts from GOD
And so is this one called ‘writing’.
Oh how we jubilate when one is born.
And except for people who have been through the journey of childbith
or seen it before,
You will never know how it feels.
I have seen more fathers in this labour ward than ‘mothers’
From the time of conception (when the idea pops into one’s head)
Till labour (when the piece is finally produced)
The expectant mother has little or no rest
Talk of miscarriages (oh yes they have it),
When an idea begins to develop and at a point in time,
Can no longer grow through no fault of his.
Words fail him and ideas don’t exist anymore.
That ends the life of a would have been baby.
Lest I forget, writers are the worst culprits of ABORTIONS (na true)
They may start something and for one reason or the other, discard it…
Whether they feel guilty or not, I don’t know (Don’t ask me either, I may deceive you)
But you cannot hate us for this – it is permissible
Only in our world, but the old papas n mamas (Christopher, Ekow, Nana Kwame, Dela, Michelle, Abena)
Will say, you must discipline yourself;
Ensure that you go pick them up and complete.
Mind you, in the human world, it’s almost impossible
And God might be disappointed in you.
Apart from the sleepless nights, backaches and nausea
That these mothers face, nothing is more dreadful than the labour room (Ask your mothers)
This is when a writer puts finishing touches to his work
Pushes hard to make the ideas a reality
Until a cry is heard
The long awaited child has finally arrived
Everyone congratulates you,
The ‘oohhhs’ and ‘ahhhsss’
The joy that shows in the smiles and tears (your comments)
Your encouragement that we keep writing (shaking my head)
Then we happily agree to.
And of course why not?
It’s our passion,
No need for ‘poemily’ planning
We could have as many as we want,
Start whenever we wished to (No such thing as teenage ‘poemancy’)
[And men in my friend list are better at this than the women.]

Permit me to ask you one question;
Have you ever thought how much it takes to come out with a baby?

If only you knew how I laboured to come out with this one too…..

Baby

YOU

If I searched your heart today,

Would I Find God seated on His Throne?
If I peered into those deep brown eyes
Would I see your vision?
If I gave you my hand
Could I trust you enough to lead me?
If we ever run out of things to say
Would I find solace in the silence?
And if I were old, frail and toothless
Would you still see that sweet little girl?

 

Found at Last

Has it been a score and three?
I haven’t seen my imagination ever so free
Locked in an old-forsaken cage
Rotten with time and age.

Today I’ve found my pen and paper
Ain’t going to wait till later,
Lest I lose my puns and rhymes
Which haven’t seen the world in recent times.

No more will this mind go blank
Not when I’ve found my word bank.
The time is nigh
In relief, I finally sigh.