Every morning, I stand on the refuse dump and look at where the rich people stay. I see the magnificent gate that leads into their extremely expensive estate and see beautiful cars go in and out. Once a while, when I’m lucky, the gate opens and I see their giant and dreamy homes and well-pruned grass. I like to stare at where the rich people stay and smile.
“Fowaa! Fowaa! What are you standing there for again? Won’t you hurry up and sell what’s left of the coconut toffees before you go to school?”
My name is Fowaa. I live with my grandma, Nana, and five chickens. The woman who sells waakye said that the nurses at Korle-Bu killed my mother. She said that they left her in labour to watch the final episode of the then popular Mexican telenovela, La corazon Indomable. She said that my mother was even lucky. “Can you imagine that they left scissors in Maa Fosty’s stomach? Scissors o scissors. The woman died after suffering for weeks. Kai! These public hospitals.” But as for my Nana, she doesn’t mention my mother, ever. The waakye seller also said that my mother had a huge fight with Nana because she never told anyone who my father is so nobody knows.
I help my grandma make coconut toffees every night. We make over a hundred before we go to bed. Grating the coconuts can be painful especially when you scrape your knuckles on the grater. Nana just tosses me a rag to wipe off the blood and then we continue. When she scrapes her knuckles, I pass the rag on to her and it goes on and on. “Make sure your blood doesn’t enter the coconut o. Nobody wants to eat bloody toffees.” She says this every night.
I think most of the time, we sleep around two. I can’t tell the time because we don’t have a clock yet. But Nana says she’ll buy a clock this Christmas. Only Bra Kwame has a clock in this our compound house. I’m so happy. She has been saving for two years to buy one. This year she’ll have enough to buy the clock and my school shoe for next year. Let me tell you, Kumasi has some of the best shoes. Maadwoa always visits from Kumasi so Grandma let’s her buy me a shoe when coming. Kumasi shoes last long o. I can wear one shoe for a whole year. The problem is that sometimes around November it feels like I’m walking barefooted but aside that the shoes are of great quality.
I want to be a waitress. I like their uniforms. The waakye seller says that I should learn hard in school if I want to be a waitress. She also said that I should learn how to speak nice English. She even taught me some English sentences to say. “Hello Sir, want something to drink, Sir?” is the most important. She said that I should twist my tongue small when saying it so that I can sound like the white people. I’m still rehearsing that line.
I want to use my waitress money to buy grandma, Nana, a house where the rich people stay.
©Nana Adoma Asare Adei
I know that I’ve already posted today but I just wrote this a few minutes ago and couldn’t wait till tomorrow to post it. Negligence in public hospitals is real and serious. I also tried to show how poverty comes along with a lot of ignorance.
Thanks for reading!
Btw, this is waakye