I was in Kumasi this weekend, the timing couldn’t have been better. Kumasi is the vegas of Ghana I would say without the bright lights of the Casinos, but people never seem to go to sleep, they are out all night just enjoying life. Even on a Sunday when most people are tucked up in bed ready for the working week, the Kumasi boys and girls are out partying and drinking, live for today, because when you die someone is going to drink at your funeral is their moto.
In Ghanaian tradition, a child’s hometown is the place for which their mother comes from, by rights I should say I am an ewe. However if one of your parents is Ashanti and if they are from Ejisu Asotwe (a suburb of the Ashanti region) then automatically you are an Ashanti. I feel her spirit in me in any case.
I always feel like I am going home when I reach Ejisu, Yaa Asantewaa the famous queen mother who fought to protect the Golden Stool from the British when no man would come out and fight when the Ashanti King was extradited is from Ejisu. I like to think that I am a direct descendant from her, and if I was entitled to the title I would be Asotwehema, queen mother of Asotwe but I think that you only get that from the maternal line and not the paternal.
The purpose of the visit was for an outdooring, my cousin Otabil had a new baby and officially ‘naming’ his child. Ebenezer Akwesi Adjei Manu Otabil. The Manu after my cousin (who I travelled with), the poor child will be an alcoholic by the time he is 5…lol
Otabil, like most of the Ashanti men had this baby outside of the family unit. His wife and child are actually living in Accra while he is working in Kumasi. To keep him from warm at night (in this hot weather), he picked up this girl from the village and well the rest as they say is history. At least he is done the right thing by giving the child his last name but he just epitomises the typical Ashanti man. He has his main family and he has one (or more) side issues. As my mother says, marry an Ashanti man then be prepared for sleepless nights.
On the way out of Accra, I was still feeling a bit low, Kwadwo told me that theyre was a bottle of Remi Martin and some plastic cups so I should drink some and stop with the sad face. The men in our family don’t show emotion, they don’t do touchy feely, and if you cry in front of them they are lost. However, they will do something like this act to show that they care, all they ask in return is that you don’t ask them to be affectionate. We get used to it and take it like that.
We arrived at 7pm and went straight to a bar where there was a table full of friends of Otabil, the phone rang, it was Grimm. Grimm has now developed selective amnesia, he calls me as if nothing had occured in the past few weeks, I have taken the stance that we are just friends as he has been telling everyone and we play this merry dance. I told him where I was and 45 minutes later, there he was at this spot. He made an effort, showered and neatly dressed and hair cut. He came to the spot with his friend and sat at the table one on either side.
I introduced myself to his friend, his name is Calvin and we got chatting. The male of the species suddenly became all dominant and teritorial and pulled his chair closer to mine. I just decided to ignore him and continued with the conversation. When Calvin got up, the dominant male asked why I am spending all the time with his friend. I say we are all friends chatting aren’t we. The dominant male responded that we can never be just friends and he had a girlfriend but he was not married, I just said hmm. Then the dominant male started getting twitchy, and asks why my my brother is looking at him like that. My cousin was doing his over protective big brother act, I laughed, and as the night wore on Grimm was getting more and more nervous which made me laugh even more. It was getting late and we needed to get home anyway, so I said that we have to go, he asked if he could see me later that night, I told him I had to get up early the following day. Me and cousin left and went to get something to eat before going home. That’s when I got the call that he was in the area and he just wants to see me and say good night.
I told him where I lived and there he was, we chatted for a while when my cousin called asking where I was, I told him I was outside, he said he was coming outside then, Grimm heard this and ran into the car and drove off. Men really are funny creatures, and I thought that we women were supposed to be the complicated ones.
The next day we went to the outdooring, it was very different to the one’s I had been to in Accra. When Kwadwo named his son a month ago it was a church service followed by lunch at a hotel. This one was in the compound of the house, after the paster performed the ceremony we had a takeaway pack of rice and chicken while drinking apeteshie (local rum) under the tree. My mother would have had a fit if she saw me there but I actually enjoyed it, there was no high class fashion and gossip on whose wearing what and how much it cost, females were not looking at you like you were competition, and nobody was interested in how much the venue/food/function cost. It was just folk having a good ole time.
After the reception, we went and sat in a spot where the boys drank some more, by that time I was ready to sleep, so I watched them. These boys have a large capacity. One guy propositioned me, he said he was married but would like to sleep with me (I am using a more gentile phrase). I told him I respect myself so thanks but no thanks. Kumasi men, they don’t try to hide what they want they say it plain, the guys in Accra would hide their wedding ring. A kumasi guy just says what he wants and it’s up to you to agree or disagree, I don’t know if I should be insulted or respected them for their honesty.
We got back to the house around 4ish, the plan was for a nap and then back to the same spot we had been the night before. My cousin had gone to sleep when Grimm called that he was on his way he wanted me to see the factory and the house he had built. I thought why not, I know I’m a sucker but the guy was making such an effort and subconsciously I just wanted to say HAA to his girlfriend for the call and the subsequent minor stalking after that. He showed me around and then after he took me to his home and asked me if I wanted to come in, I said I was tired but I would stay out for one drink. We did, we had a good time, it was him and his two friends they were a good laugh, and again he became dominate male putting his arm across my shoulder, asking me if I was alright.
At the end of the night, he took me home, my cousin had gone out and he asked if I would spend the night with him, I said no, but he did kiss me when we got to the door and I didn’t turn away, it must have been something in the Ashanti air (honest).
The following day, it was back to Accra, although my cousin was annoyed with me that after all that had happened with this guy I still gave him the time of day, he didn’t say a word. There is an unwritten rule that in our family if we are pissed with you we will not say anything but there will be an odd silence for some time just so you know, then normal service resumes. From Kumasi to Ejisu, there was silence so about 20 minutes, and then we hit the freeway back to Accra….
What happens in Kumasi stays in Kumasi….