Mothers’ Day

This post was originally written to celebrate the women in my life on International Women’s Day…I have revised it to acknowledge some more strong women forces in life.

Seven years of nurturing new lives, raising resilient and tenacious children who understand and appreciate who they are and where they come from. Having a great value for their culture and what this might mean to them. A deep reflection about this on this important day makes me want to sing the praises of the women in my life who are holding my hand in this quest.

First, there is my mother.

An industrious entrepreneur who knows the price of hard work so the mouths of her children and countless others will be fed. There is zero tolerance for laziness in her world. She inspires me to wake up every morning to get to work to do what ought to be done not only for myself but out of responsibility for my children and society. This woman epitomises the word forgiveness and has the kindest heart I could ever dream or wish for. In the business of her own life, her deepest joy bursts from her ability to give back to society and serve others in need. 

My big sister O. Who is my greatest teacher of giving. Sacrificial and a dependable rock.A first-time mother who is giving out her heart and soul to be the best! 

Little sister K…optimist. My inspiration to never give up in my quest to take action in society. A true change-maker!

My amazing mother-in-law (G) and auntie in-law (P). Always available to support me on days I need a helping hand with my children (their grandchildren)  with such love, kindness, compassion and joy. Like this very moment as I write.

To my aunties..Mama, F( who has blessed me with 9 months of her life taking care of my little ones) and G( helping me find work that puts food on the table and providing me shelter in her home). 

To my amazing neighbours who bring me nothing countless blessings. 

To my cousins, girlfriends, colleagues, Sunday school teachers who are exuding love from within and without. Doing your own magic with your children both far and near-you are precious!

To all the women I see daily on the streets of Ghana, with babies strapped lovingly and solidly behind- carrying goods so they can make ends meet and yet pause in the business of their rough day to sing their children songs of comfort to ease their pain.

 I salute you!

To the single mothers out there. Thank you for your sacrifices.

You are the reason I am gliding!

Silence

Those moments when words fail you

Or when you refuse to speak  ;

When the emptiness is a million words stringed together.

The thoughts clouding your mind can’t be expressed with conversation ,

And in your eyes are wonderings and wanderings ;

Interpreted  and perhaps misinterpreted best

By the people who might care to devour  .

Sometimes a safe abode to live ,

Only when you know the journey that ushered you to that sanctuary

Makes it golden indeed.

Celebrating Women

Seven years of nurturing new lives, raising resilient and tenacious children who understand and appreciate who they are and where they come from. Having a great value for their culture and what this might mean to them. A deep reflection about this on this important day makes me want to sing the praises of the women in my life who are holding my hand in this quest.

First, there is my mother.

An industrious entrepreneur who knows the price of hard work so the mouths of her children and countless others will be fed. There is zero tolerance for laziness in her world. She inspires me to wake up every morning to get to work to do what ought to be done not only for myself but out of responsibility for my children and society. This woman epitomises the word forgiveness and has the kindest heart I could ever dream or wish for. In the business of her own life, her deepest joy bursts from her ability to give back to society and serve others in need. 

My big sister O. Who is my greatest teacher of giving. Sacrificial and a dependable rock.

Little sister K…optimist. My inspiration to never give up in my quest to take action in society.

My amazing mother-in-law (G) and auntie in-law (P). Always available to support me on days I need a helping hand with my children (their grandchildren)  with such love and joy.

To my aunties..Mama, F( who has blessed me with 9 months of her life taking care of my little ones) and G( helping me find work that puts food on the table). 

The list is infinite.

This would make another story for another day.

To all these amazing women on the occasion of International Women’s Day , I salute you !

You are the reason I am gliding!

Graceful

In a few hours, a good friend  (E) celebrates her birthday and these few words come to mind. 

Grateful for years gone by, days filled;

That brought me joy;

For care and kindness;

Gracefully shared.

Grateful for the listening ears;

That lifted my spirits;

For sharing in the adversities;

Gracefully praying.

Grateful for steadfast companionship;

That brought laughter;

For bringing new light;

Gracefully shining.

Grateful for seeing beyond my frailties;

That built me up;

For candid conversations;

Gracefully growing.

Today

Another year has arrived and blessed us with the gift of the month of March. Another opportunity to share the big and small events in my life through the power of purposeful writing.

As I take this challenge I look forward to the many motivating stories that this writing community brings. Ready? Maybe, not! One thing I know for sure is that I am motivated enough to join.

Today, my Sunday fufu ( Ghanaian food made from pounded cassava and plantain)  supper ritual was disrupted today due to a “kitchen” hitch. The palm nut soup which was to serve as the accompanying dish was unfortunately left on the stove the night before. It never made its way inside the fridge. 

Long story short, my well planned, highly nutritious palm soup got spoilt. My frustration was from the energy and time-consuming preparation gone waste A lot went into getting it all set and done.

The “mama” in me managed to make supper special with a substitute dish. It definitely wasn’t our Sunday special fufu, but it did bring satisfaction and joy to hungry stomachs.

 I have made a mental note to myself for next week…

No Ga or Twi ?

After the choir recessed, I waited a while in the pew farthest away from the main congregational pews.The pew purposefully reserved for nursing mothers. This pew has been my comfort zone at church for the past six years as I welcomed babies number one, two and three.

With service over, I slipped out of the church room to say my “hello’s” to friends I meet only on Sundays.This custom as important as the church service itself.

Pleasantries are exchanged as we catch up on happenings from the previous week or weeks depending on when last one saw a family. For the mothers on the nursing mother’s pew, a special bond has been formed over the years as we encourage and support each other.

I  headed towards the newly built children service block which sits beneath the brick manse.There, I met M ( a good friend of my daughter) and her father.

“M etse sen?”,  I asked with a smile as I embraced her.

Then came a long pause, as she tried to find the appropriate Twi response to my question.

“I don’t think she knows the response in Twi”, explained M’s daddy.

“Ooh, I’m sure she does, let’s give her some thinking time and she ’ll remember”.

This started our brief conversation on the state of our Ghanaian languages. Are we abandoning them as a country? Will the next two generations have anyone passing the diverse indigenous languages to them. My heart bled as we realised that almost all the parents spoke English with their little ones. No Ga, Twi or Ewe was communicated between the parents who picked their little ones from Sunday school.

Will our indigenous languages become extinct in the next 50 years? As we continued to ponder over this delicate issue I asked him what our role as parents are in maintaining this distinct part of our culture. We owe posterity this much.

“Auntie TK, meho ye! “, exclaimed an excited M.

Maybe all is not lost, I thought to myself as I journeyed on to pick up my little ones with renewed energy.

“All is not lost”, I repeated to myself.

My angst dissipating.Much work still to be done.

Red Shoes

I have never been very adventurous with regards to my footwear. On a typical “TK-day,”, I would be found wearing a wedge, a flat or a block shoe.

Today, I decided to give myself a little nudge by wearing a red high-top lace-up canvas sneakers with my African print dress. In as much as I wanted to be daring, I still lacked some inner confidence to look a little different from my regular appearance.

I, therefore, settled on wearing my everyday shoes with the hope of changing into my red lace-up sneakers once I got to work.

I must say that my little ones asked that I wear it for the day and I had every good intention to heed their advice.

Once at work, I managed to convince myself to put them on and just wait….

My confirmation came through my dearest friend and colleague, Akua, who with her “ooh’s’’ and “aah’s” gave me the nerves I needed for the day.

The rest is history now, as I’m considering getting myself two more bold colours of sneakers.

My Neighbour’s Garden

My dear neighbour adores plants. Ranging from flowers to vegetables, she keeps herself busy all year round to give life to them.

Her morning and/or evening routine primarily involves her watering the plants, stirring the soil,cleaning some of the leaves, picking out dead leaves and occasionally changing the position of some pots depending on the weather.

The sunlight must just be right.

In her organic vegetable garden, the same tender love is spread.

You’ll have some craving for food when you see the beautiful lettuces, peppers, spring onions, cocoyam leaves and tomatoes(depending on the season) that grow.

It’s always a joy to watch her tend her garden and also enjoy some of the produce.

Mother nature says thank you, Aunt Lydia, for your love!

A Sunday Ritual

After church, this morning, as we headed back home on our long drive, a conversation ensued between my six-year-old daughter and soon to be five-year-old son.

“Nii, guess what we will be doing when we get home?” My daughter began.

“When we get home, we will help Mummy and Daddy to get the things out of the car and then we will remove our church clothes and put on our house clothes, play and eat lunch’, ”Nii responded in a  sing-song manner.

“Nii, you have left out one big thing we do after eating when everyone has finished their chores in the afternoon”

“We take a long nap!” They said in unison.

‘Mummy, why do we always take a nap after church on Sundays?” Nii enquired.

I smiled at the question as I tried to explain to them this beautiful ritual I have carried on from my boarding school days from years ago.

Siesta was one of my cherished times as the school slept on after lunch on Sundays. The tranquillity was priceless as we used the one hour of rest to garner some energy for the coming week. We could hear nature interact as the quietness was exceptional- the cry of the crows looking for some leftovers to feed on or the mangoes that fell from the mango tree by tap area.

I have carried on this tradition long after leaving boarding school.This ritual has lived on wherever I’ve found myself. I made a promise to myself to get my children into this routine and I’’m glad they acknowledge it to be a part of their Sundays.

And then, of course, we have our Fufu party later on in the day as the children appreciate their local cuisine followed by the much anticipated Sunday treat!

A “French” Experience

Growing up in a multilingual country such as Ghana, it is not uncommon to find the average Ghanaian fluent in at least two languages. One being an indigenous ethnic language and the other English.

Being surrounded by francophone countries,French has become a language that we have come to embrace to maintain the communal spirit within our neighbourhood.

We continue to grow in this area.

Today, my entire household attended a program organised by my younger sister and her French-speaking friends encouraging us to take the bold step of learning the language.

The guest speaker who graced the occasion was phenomenal! Ivana’s nuggets of wisdom shared got us inspired to take the risk, my husband included.

Another inspiration stemmed from the passion shared by my sister and her friends to get us all in the multilingualism mindset. Journeying from different parts of the country, they met with one sole purpose- French.

Sometimes, getting the courage to challenge oneself is tapped from the inner strength that exudes from others.

To crown my already beautiful day, I met my older sister, a dear friend and a cousin at the function and together we encouraged each other to spread the gospel of multilingualism.