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.


“What gives you energy?”

“What makes you happy?”

These were the two questions a student asked me today.

It set my mind thinking as I continued activities for the day.

As I ponder over this,

perhaps you might take this reflective walk with me to find the answers to these two

powerful questions as the week draws to an end.

An Announcement

“Girls, can you sing the school anthem loud and proud?”

The megaphone echoed Mrs. Prah’s strong voice after she delivered the  Monday morning homily.She looked elegant and graceful in her custom-made kaba and slit.

Being the headmistress of a prestigious girls’ secondary school she had a herculean job and we all revered her role.

“Purity of mind and body…”, we all sang ; the harmony in our voices was heavenly as we came to the final verse of our cherished school anthem.

I gazed at the gigantic bell beside the assembly hall which symbolised the school’s passion in nurturing orderliness in us as young ladies.It was a treasured monument that had been accorded the needed respect in terms of space-it stood mightily in a grassed territory.

The chime of the bell was our wake up call in the mornings, start of class time and also a reminder that breakfast, lunch or supper has been served. Later in the evenings, when our bodies were worn out from the businesses of a boarding school it became the sweetest sound in our ears as we finally hit our beds.

The sun was scorching, like sitting on hot coals. I blinked a few times as a drop of sweat blinded me .

Opening my eyes, I was once again in awe at the beautiful ambience a school could ever have.  Plants and flowers blooming and shedding some leaves and petals, its pleasing aroma filling the air.

Uniformity at it’s best. About four hundred teenage girls from form one to form three all neatly dressed in our brown gathered skirts and beige school blouses tucked in and on our feet we wore well polished shiny school sandals all in the same brown colour.

“Young ladies,a marching song now. May we have an eloquent student give us a tune to a song?’ , continued Mrs. Prah.

‘Janet,please stand still”, I whispered softly into my dearest friend’s ear as she shifted on one foot to the other.

The headmistress detested fidgetting of any form and I was positive no one in my class was ready to become a scapegoat.

Just as we are about dispersing to our classrooms, we saw Mr. D run up the stairs, excitement written all over his face.

The school stood silent. A  look of wonder and utmost surprise spread across Mrs Prah ’s almost perfect face.

“TK,can you join us up here?”

The megaphone sounded louder than usual.

“What have I done wrong?”

“Was I caught whispering?”

My mind was in a state of scepticism.

Each step brought me closer to my destiny. I felt hot and light from within .

Finally, I made it up the stairs, ready to face what was to come.

“Congratulations,TK  you have made this school  proud, you have won …..”

I could not believe my ears as Mrs Prah continued her speech. I was in a trance, the joyous clamour of the hundreds of girls deafening.

My eyes teared up at the community spirit and love being showered on me.

Janet was hysterical as she blew me a humongous kiss- an image I hold very dear!


This slice is inspired by a conversation between my good friend and colleague during our grade level planning time today. The realisation hit us on the many decisions made in our day to day lives as teachers. Do you identify with any of these?

The decisions I made today included but not limited to…

Bringing back to normalcy a class when a stray bug lands on an unexpecting student’s ear….

Our dear lady suddenly remembers an unresolved conflict with a girlfriend and starts sobbing in the middle of a math problem-

“S” opens her lunch box and gives a loud cry for help,-mum did not pack the ‘right’ lunch-

A sudden uproar at the foul smell that emanates from nowhere –

Our young gentleman irked by my inability to call on him to give the answer-

…And the many more happenings within the day which have not been chronicled here

Good Morning

The first day of school after Spring break, struggling to get out of bed,

I made it out of my house and finally, I’m here at school.

My mind races, trying to mentally organise my day before the children arrive.

The clock strikes 7:30 am.

A smile miraculously spreads over my lips, my mind descends from the mountain of thoughts, my heart swiftly presents herself in the present.

The door opens and a beautiful familiar face appears-

“Good morning, Ms. TK”.

The warm-heartedness in the greeting does the magic my spirit needs!

Happy Birthday, Ghana

Happy Birthday Ghana!

“Ghana is almost very old”, reflected Nii my son. As a four-year-old who is now appreciating the value of numbers, he realised that sixty-two years  must mean old or something closer to it.

“One, two, three, four…”, he started counting to buttress his point.

“What will Ghana do for her birthday?” My daughter added her voice to the conversation as she waited for a response.

My husband switched on the TV to the national station where a live telecast of the Independence parade was being aired.

“You see all the school children in the beautiful uniforms?”  He quizzed.

They nodded in response , a look of wonder on their faces as they tried to make a connection between the TV and their question.

My husband with the patience of a saint endeavoured to explain to them the activities of the day –the parade by students and valiantly dressed  security forces  to the euphoria that would capture the streets of the nation in the later hours of the day.

Excitement lit up their faces as they watched on ,this time with some  seemingly meaning as they celebrated their homeland’s birthday.

Happy Birthday, Ghana!

A New Home

Right in the centre of the city, stood my new home. The majestic Atlantic ocean stretched in the vast unknown to the right, fishermen hard at work to find what their nets will capture and bring home  to the land beyond.The ocean’s breeze could be felt on my face as I looked beyond the turquoise water, it’s existence surreal as I stood at the balcony that would soon become the most cherished space in my new home. From up there my sister and I would be receiving salutations from familiar faces as we watched with curiosity the happenings in the neighbourhood. The view was picturesque.

Across the street directly opposite the house stood the market, a busy hive of activities where I would travel on many journeys to satisfy my insatiable appetite for Banku ( a meal made from fermented corn and cassava dough). It was in this place I first learnt the powerful act of bargaining. It was at this market, that gossip could easily spread, bump into friends you are never prepared to meet, yet, always welcome with a hearty greeting.

Soon, we would form our own band of customers who we would staunchly purchase from . Like the vivacious Sister Esi, the tomatoes seller, who with time would get to know our home and bring her garden-fresh vegetables to us. And there was the Alhaji ,the butcher with the dark patch exactly in the middle of his forehead from whom we got our fresh supply of meat without him asking how much we would buy. We bought the same pounds of meat for each market trip.

On our popular street, rallies  and parades were held. A triangular shaped pavement  at the side of the main road became a business centre for a few hawkers.

To the left- a pub. Vibrant and noisy . It’s colourful exterior décor attracting its guests. This place of entertainment became my family’s cross to bear. The excruciating noise that came from their outdoor speakers were almost unbearable. Old and new song records would blast from their sound systems and with time I built immunity to all that noise. My older sister detested it!

All other  paramount places were within walking distances-school, church, and library.Once I settled into school, I found myself a best friend whose house stood on a hill around a corner from mine.

Our new home was not perfect, but here, our family welcomed a new blessing -the arrival of my little sister who in herself is a miracle!


From my very early years, my father taught me to show gratitude, from writing thank you letters to uncles and aunties to saying it to him and my mother for their daily provisions.

Now I’m grateful for this powerful life lesson learnt and though still a  novice in this act of thanksgiving I hope I’m able to bless the next generation with it.

Today, I am grateful to him and my mother for their persistence in helping build my character.

Today, I am grateful to the doctors and nurses who went beyond their call of duty and became my family in the few days I spent in the hospital.

Today, I’m grateful for my extra-ordinary neighbours who have made my family’s life a little more comfortable.

Today, I’m grateful for the gift of sisters who inspire and challenge me to thrive and blossom.

Today, I’m grateful for the past, present and the future unknown.

And the list continues…