Archive for May, 2012


Keep trying

How long should you keep trying? Until. 

                                Mother of  All Dinners

I do recollect how, One day, Mama brought  her three children together for a chat. It was an unusually cold evening, and we had made some log-fire in the porch to keep our bodies warm. Mama was actually narrating to us a memorable occasion on her eighteenth birthday.

According to her, during one week-end, on her eighteenth birthday, she invited four of her classmates to her home for a party. They were Jemima, Umayyad, Beatrice and Alberta. Jemima was the oldest and Alberta, the youngest. After wining and dining until the next day morning, which was a Sunday, her friends and herself went to bed and slept until 5pm.

Before they woke up, Grandma and Grandpa had already prepared dinner and set the table. As they sat around the table eating, one of her friends, Jemima, giggled nervously when Grandma congratulated her on the costume she was wearing. Jemima was a tall, beautiful and twenty-one year old. She had already started to date.

A wave of nostalgia overtook Mama, as she tried to recall the halcyon days of her youth. Using her bare hands to wipe out tears dropping freely down her cheeks, she continued:

“Your Grandpa had been a very jovial person. During his lifetime, he behaved with others with benignity and mannerliness. When he was alive, people extended their hands of cooperation toward him. They honored and respected him. They shed tears after his death.

He led such an agreeable life that no one had any complaint against him, nor did he cause any harm to any one during his lifetime. He always attracted others to himself. So since his death fifteen years ago, he has always been remembered in good words. Undoubtedly, a tree that has a thick trunk tends to have many branches.”

Trying to balance her self on the stool she was sitting on, she continued:

“As Jemima, Umayyad,Beatrice, Alberta and myself sat around the table eating our dinner, little did we realize that it was going to be an unforgettable dinner. Indeed, the mother of all dinners.” Pausing for a moment, she continued:

“Your Grandpa had realized Jemima’s gorgeous costume and said:

“Jemima, who’s that lucky guy in your life?”

“There’s nobody yet.”

“Aren’t you dating at the moment?”

“I used to, but right now, I have stopped.”

“Stopped permanently?”

To be continued…

Of Neglect

 

We’ve all heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, I’ve got a good question for you: What if it’s true? Wouldn’t that be easy to do – to eat an apple a day? Here’s the problem: It’s also easy not to do.

Neglect starts out as an infection then becomes a disease.

Cardiovascular problems alone in America create over a thousand funerals a day… and 90% of the problem is neglect.

One of the reasons many people don’t have what they want is neglect.

 

 Nowadays if you dont already have the money, you ain’t gonna get it!

Some days ago, there was a teachers’ demonstration in the capital city of Accra, I do remember what one of the teachers said. “We are not asking them, (the government officials) to demolish their concrete villas and build huts to live in, we are only seeking their help to fix the holes in our own thatched roofs.” He was right.

While officials live in sprawling mansions, and drive luxury cars, teachers are forced to hold evening tutorial sessions and even accept bribes to eke out a living in the face of daunting odds. I really find it difficult to discard the past because it holds too much. I cannot forget the dusty, forgotten dreams of my youth. My Dad had been a teacher before, and I did witness first hand how hard it is to be born to a teacher in this part of the world.  

I do remember that one day when after a hard and hot day during the dry season, Dad came home late for dinner. As we sat around the table eating and watching TV, he asked without hesitation: “The fact that laborers engage in back-breaking work, but can’t buy a house, that farmers toil years round but can’t pay their children’s education, and that fishermen fish all year, yet only enough to feed and clothe themselves, indicates that, nowadays, if you do not have the money then you are no longer going to get it.”

Looking back, and as I sit right here in front of the cashier unable to pay for my discharge from the hospital, I realize that although Dad’s statement more than two decades ago may have been a sad testimony, its in fact the case as I sit helplessly and wondering what to do next.

To be continued…

 

 

Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.
If we fear making mistakes, we become scared to try new things. Fear leaves us nestled in our comfort zone. Staying in your comfort zone rarely leads to greatness. Taking risks and giving yourself permission to make mistakes, will ultimately lead you to whatever your version of success may be.

                                       Leaving the hospital

  “I do not have money to pay this lump sum of money.” I said.

“Stop pretending. Pack up, go pay your bill and leave.”

“I have no money please.”

Leaning backwards, he says:

“Do you expect me to believe you? You are such a pretty young lady that you shouldn’t have problem settling your bills. If I were half as pretty as you are, I wouldn’t be working in a hospital for just a pittance.” As we continued to argue, I couldn’t find Abudu. “May be he’s gone to settle the bills.” I consoled myself. I quickly hurried to the check-out counter to find Abudu. With a low guttural growl, I asked the lady at the counter.

“Please where is that tall and lanky gentleman who wore a blue T-Shirt and sunglasses?”

“Do you mean the man who was lecturing us about the evils of 9-11?”

“Exactly!”

“I’m sorry, he’s left.”

“Did he say anything before leaving?”

“Not that I know.”

At this point I knew I was wrong. I was wrong in thinking that Abudu had come to the hospital to help pay for my medical expenses. He’s now vanished into thin air, what should I do? I begun to recollect what Dad had told me some time ago.

“Beware of men who make you feel as safe and warm as a cup of cocoa with a marshmallow melting in it. But then, when you get to the bottom of the mug, you find a dead fly, and disgust replaces delight.” I had the strong belief in me that, virtually every woman has had experience with a man who comes on strong like Abudu, and retreats just as vehemently!

The problem is, as Dad always lamented, “Women are experts at ignoring warning signs.”

My octogenarian Dad was also in another hospital fighting for his life. Tears started to flow freely down my cheeks as I continue to ponder how Abudu, who had been so nice to me could abandon me at a time I was badly in need. I felt betrayed. Abudu, after all wasn’t destitute. He was comparatively wealthy.

I know he had been stingy on his family. But I wasn’t a member of his family. I thought he had come to the hospital today to impress me with his largesse as he’d always done to me and a few others. I knew his wife would be furious if she got to know that he had come to see me at the hospital, not to talk of   even paying for my medical expenses. I knew it was wrong to expect this from him. But what could I have done, given the fact that among all of my teachers, he was the most generous? Despite the fact that he wasn’t the most affluent among his colleagues, he was more generous than those of them who were well provided with the good things of life.

As I sat on the bench facing the counter thinking of what has just happened, and what to do in order to get out of that hospital. The queue in front of the counter begun to grow longer and longer. I had begun to experience a hollow feeling of the stomach, it was already mid-day, and I had not yet eaten my breakfast. Sadness and despair had now overtaken the euphoric mood that Abudu’s voice had generated in me when I fist heard his voice inside the hospital. The cashier at the counter was unemotional, impassive and unexcitable. She could not be easily roused. How could I have explained to her that I couldn’t afford to pay my bills at that moment, and would come to do that later?

At that moment, I had succumbed to despair, and to the strains of the rat race. In the line in front of me, I saw how some few people looked exuberant and dressed so flamboyantly, while the majority of them looked wretched and dressed miserably. In this queue, I could see the whole African microcosm. This is a continent where the gap between the rich and the poor is widening at an alarming rate. A place where one was always apt to find, in shocking proximity to the homes of the rich, slums so squalid as to jolt one’s conscience.

To be continued…

About Education

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.