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Let’s write a book: Akuaba

Writing this book has been fun and a fulfilling experience. The journey hasn’t been smooth and I’ve considered giving up a couple of times but I saw it through.

This started as a diary input and I decided to turn it into a novella. It ended up being all talk and no conflict. After the first draft, I wasn’t really satisfied with my work so I decided to rewrite the whole story again and I found an angle that worked for me.

This story is about a young girl’s experience in a new school. All of the names in the book and some parts of the story are fabricated. Even though, there are corrupt officials in Ghana, I don’t know of anyone called Essel Frimpong.

This story is about a girl’s will to survive. Persevere through her father’s scandal, her parents divorce, domestic violence and her family being broke. Akuaba is a fun and witty girl who doesn’t let her circumstances define her.

In her own words she says; why will you give up on reading a good book if one chapter sucked.

Life’s a good book but you’ll stumble on bad chapters. Don’t stop reading !

Black Panther: More than a movie?

Black Panther has been a huge success. People have trooped in from every corner in the world to watch this movie and it is legendary ….

It has also proven me right. I had a conversation with a guy, he’s black by the way, and I said Africa would have succeeded without slave trade because black People would have found their way somehow. He said no black people needed colonialism and we can’t think on our own (pretty sad huh).

I understand his sentiments, we’ve had pretty crappy leaders after colonialism and all they think about their their little unit, their tribe. That’s how Africa worked before, people cared about those in their tribes only.

This system of different tribes coming together has affected the continents and countries are still trying to know each other(it is taking too long).

During history class, we learned about the progress Africans were making before the whites came (I slept through the class but I learnt a thing or two), the Egyptians, Nubia, Axum and the empire of the Ashanti’s were able exhibit civilization before colonialism.

So the next time someone tells you, Africa couldn’t make it without slavery, tell them to watch Black Panther. It might be fictional but it works for us.

Feminism in Ghana :(

Feminism and standing for other women in a community is important especially if you feel that one group is oppressed. I enjoyed the rhetoric of Pepper them and Pamper them. Pamper them seems to be for marriage and it’s not a typical feminist group and there’s nothing out of the line with them.

Pepper dem seems to be the group that’s ostracized and brought to question everyday because of some of their utterances. Cooking for a man is slavery and stuff like that. How this turned to slavery, no one knows or even cares because this is an understanding between a woman and her man.

What I would like to suggest to my Pepper dem people is that…. You live in a society which serves to please the rich old man so what you could do is to focus on breaking that cycle and empower our women. Let’s ginger our women and find solutions for our ladies so that they don’t have to rely on these old people for money. Let’s find ways to empower our women so that they know that if they don’t open their legs, they can go to school and even find food to eat. I don’t really blame the women because it’s the system that has caused this problem and this is what we have to fight against.

Empowering women and even our young men is very important and worthwhile. Let’s ginger each other. Let’s empower and ginger our sisters instead of bringing them down with our Pepper vision

Writer’s block: When one Medium isn’t working

Scribble Scribble is the best thing when you have a writer’s block. But sometimes you end up with loads of words that doesn’t mean anything in the creative world. So what you can do is change your medium of writing and end up with the best piece.

This is what happened to me. The stress of moving from one city to the other caught up with me. I tried my usual type anything that comes into your head on my iPad, which is my usual medium of writing and ended up with a bunch of words that didn’t really appeal me. Try as I may, this didn’t get me on the go so I dropped my iPad, took a pen and paper and started writing. My flow was back and I went with the wind.

My handwriting is messy (it was pretty ironic that there was a program about neat handwriting at the background) but it didn’t stop me and I was able to write about 2000 words on my notepad.

So now when I try scribbling and it doesn’t work out, I’ll just try another mode of writing. Something will work out.

Let’s write a story

I spent the latter part of 2017 working on a script that was very dear to my heart. It all started with me going through my diary in August.

As I was reading, I came up on a disturbing part of my childhood that had a tremendous effect on me. I embarked on this story to give hope and reassurance to anyone going through the problems listed in the story and I also wanted a fun read for teenagers.

First draft is usually a fun blur. But editing is a challenge and I learnt to enjoy it.

Here’s a little summary of the story. It’s never easy to summarize a story because you don’t know what include or leave out. But I’ve done my best to include some important parts in the story and not give away much.

Akuaba wakes up one morning and her father tells her that she’s changing schools. There’s a national scandal involving her father and he looses everything. Akuaba has to deal with her father loosing everything and accept her status as a poor girl. In her new school, she becomes friends with two girls. Athletics season starts and Akuaba ends up competing against her new friend. This doesn’t please her friend who has her eyes set on winning the race at all cost. To maker matters worse, her parents start fighting and she dreads that they might be heading to the awful word divorce.

My focus is mostly on Akuaba’s voice, the bond she shares with her sister, her relationship with her parents and her new friends. Akuaba and her sister, Miriam are kindhearted girls who try to strive through some difficult challenges.

Melanin Coated Bae (plantain ashe she)

Talk about dark skin women feeling out of place in this world seems redundant. People say everyone appreciates black or light skin girls now, we don’t need to talk about this issue anymore. Amara Lanegra showed us that it wasn’t over in the Latin community and that is funny enough happening in African.

I choose to focus on Ghana (a country which is predominantly black) because this is country (yeah, Africa isn’t a country) that I’ve had first hand experience of melanin- discrimination in.

Bleaching cream is the norm now. Everyone’s trying to find the best cream to lighten their skin. The lighter you are the more you’re accepted. Someone even said I was low maintenance compared to my lighter companion because I use nkuto (shea butter) and she needs better care for her skin. It didn’t hurt me but it surely proved how ignorant he was. This was actually a pick up line and I was one step to throwing my drink in his face but the drink was too expensive and he wasn’t worth it.

Someone else I met said, “Wow, your black is beautiful. It’s not like the other black girls. Their skin color looks like they don’t bath.” Such comments make me roll my eyes. One of my friends said a guy told her he could only date her if she bleaches a little. And someone also said that Ghanaians are too black because they eat a lot of waakye, brown rice and beans (I’ll do a blog post on that soon).

But none of that matters because my dear melanin babes, you’re gorgeous. You don’t need anyone to tell you how beautiful you are. You don’t need a song to celebrate yourself and you’re definitely not plantain ashe she (someone also said this to me).

No one should feel that they need to alter their image to please anyone. Enjoy the skin you are in and leave the pawpaw soaps alone 😘

Kaboom Was the Sound

Slick! Slick! Slick!

“Every sinner will be punished,” our preacher said one warm Sunday as the chicken clucked in my homeland in Ghana.

I didn’t believe him. Well, until yesterday. My sin for making Lauren the laughingstock of the school by pouring mud on her head finally caught up to me. The girl hadn’t been seen in the school for three weeks, and I had been worried that she might have done something to herself. But I didn’t go and apologize because of my stupid pride.

This happened before I joined my parents in the United States of America. I was a very competitive child and attending one of the best schools in Ghana made matters worse for me. So when Lauren was made class president instead of me, my screws went off. I went to the schoolyard, gathered dirt and poured water in it. I hid behind the shrubs with my bucket clutched firmly in my hand. As soon as she walked out into the yard, I charged at her and dumped everything on her. She screamed as mud started filling her mouth and eyes. Everyone came out laughing at her, including the teachers. The girl ran and ran, without looking back.

Mom also received her punishment by dating this worm, Darni, who wouldn’t even take care of his own children. All he does is to get new braids and sleep on the couch all day. Her greatest sin was to throw my father out on the streets. Father came to the United States of America and helped us relocate here as well. He worked as a cleaner but he fell down the stairs at work and injured his back and left leg. Mom was a registered nurse, so it was easy for her to find a job that would sustain us. However, this change at home caused resentment and bitterness between them. I think it was because mother felt that she was the breadwinner, so she should decide what happens in the house, and father wanted to continue being the head of the family. What broke the camel’s back was a quarrel they had one Friday.

Mom came home from work, went to the kitchen and burst into the living room where Father was watching football.

“Why’s there no food in the house?” Mom asked.

“Since, you’re here, you can prepare something for us.” Father replied casually.

“You’ve been home the whole day. Why didn’t you do it?” Mom replied.

“I can’t do that. I’m the man.”

It was like watching a horror movie. Mom lurched at Father, he tried shoving her off and she fell on the floor. Mom wasn’t hurt except for some few bruises but she threw Father out of the house. I watched him from my bedroom window, and cried. They claimed I’d always be able to see him but deep down I knew it wouldn’t be the same. My father wouldn’t open the door every day when I come back from school.

“Thank you for cooking the food. I don’t know what I would have done without you,” Mom said.

“You are welcome, Mom,” I replied with no enthusiasm. It was more of a robotic sound.

“I have to rush to the hospital now. They have so much work doing, and so little personnel. How do I look honey?” I watched her swirl at the entrance of the kitchen in her blue scrubs.

“You look good.”

“You should chop the onions into squares.” Mom bit her lower lip and asked, “Are you sure you are okay?”

“Yes, Mom.”

“Well, I asked because you don’t usually call me mom, and you say such extravagant things about my look, but today?” She touched me but I felt nothing, at all.

“You don’t have to worry. I’m all right.” I forced a smile.

“Okay, Darni is still sleeping, wake him up when you are done. Love you, honey.” Then she gave me a full embrace and walked out.

Don’t think about last night. Don’t let it come to you. It was just a horrible dream.

He did it, you know-

The blade ran into my middle finger missing the bone by some few millimeters. It stung, and I held the bleeding finger in the water in the sink. As the water washed the blood, reminiscences of last night and this morning came hissing to me…

I put two blankets together to keep me warm and left the fan buzzing. Even though it was freezing, I needed my fan on. It carried me to dreamland. In the zone between dream world and reality, something prohibited me from moving. My arms, my body, and my legs were pinned to the bed. I thought that it must be one of those horrible dreams, so I fought to wake up. As I turned my head, a big claw covered my mouth, and a bad odor of whisky and vomit filled my air. There was no way for me to breathe. My eyes opened to face a pair of white balls with black dots. My senses were registering now, and I realized it was Darni, my mom’s live-in boyfriend on top of me. His oily saliva dripped on my face, and I grabbed his neck. My fingers were delicate and could do nothing to him. He had me pinned to the bed with no escape. With all my might I screamed, but nothing could be heard. Darni had covered my mouth with his big claw. He was resilient and knew what he was doing.

Then, I felt it. His timber against my tight gate. The gate that had never been broken before. Sealed for the right time was broken by this lumber. Tears rolled down my face, and I could taste sweat pouring from him and me. His nostrils were flaring like a wild animal, as he broke into me. Oh, it felt like a bamboo stick was penetrating inside me and I became paralyzed.

One- two-three-four… forty-five, the fan swirled around. When I reached forty-five, he rolled over me and grabbed his shirt from the floor. He sauntered out of the room without looking at me. I screamed with all of my might, but nothing came out. I kicked myself from the bed, but I didn’t move an inch. With my eyes wide open, I laid on the bed until the place turned bright. With tears rolling down my cheeks, I tossed the blood stained sheets under my bed. I didn’t know whether to tell Mom or not. My brain wasn’t functioning. All I knew was that, the blood had to go. I had to rinse off all the despicable things. Anything that wasn’t part of me had to go.

The blood ran down giving the white tub a red hue.

It was all a dream. It was all a terrible nightmare.

Telling yourself that won’t make it true.

It was a nightmare.

Whose blood is it?

I got out of the tub, and looked at the mirror. The slender teary figure staring back at me asked over and over again: why did he do that to me? I reached out to take her hand, to comfort her.

Mom entered the bathroom, and I knocked over the shampoo. Choosing not to pick it up, I turned around to face Mom. “Honey, Darni is asleep, so I can’t speak loudly. I swear the only thing this man does is – eat, sleep and spend my money.” Mom shook her head. “Can you prepare dinner today?” I nodded.

“You look sick. Are you all right?” Mom touched my forehead, and I didn’t flinch. I stared at the toffee wrapper on the floor. “If you cannot cook, I will just get pizza on my way home, so don’t worry, okay.”

“I’ll cook.”

And here, I was standing in the kitchen preparing dinner. The onions were black now, and the oil was raving hot. Just a little more fire, and it’d be ablaze.

I grabbed my phone and walked to the bedroom that Mom and Darni shared. The door was open ajar, and I could see him sleeping, breathing in and out peacefully.

Darni, everyone has to atone for their sins. You’re a disgusting sloth. That’s what you are.

Living in my mother’s own house, you think you have access to everything? You bit off more than you could chew. I can see the smirk. You mocking me. Even in your sleep, you mock me.

Bastard. Worthless bastard. We will see who has the last laugh.

I grabbed my hairspray from the room and put it in the blazing oil. Now I had a few seconds to make a run for it. Running through the corridor, and the door I went to stand in front of the house opposite ours.


Then silence. Miss. Brown came out with her poodle. “What was that?”

“911, there has been an explosion in the house. Please come over. I think my step father was in the house.”

You are going to be arrested.

It was worth it.