Dear auntie, we no longer live in Ghana. We have moved to Tamale!
These were my words to my aunt when our family relocated to Tamale from Southern Ghana. At age 6, can you really blame me? Everything was different. Dad had a new job there and we didn’t know what to expect.
I still remember the bus that “moved” us. I even remember the bus driver “did trotro” on the way and picked some women dressed up in the “Christian Mothers Association” uniform😏. Mum had one of those uniforms so I recognized it. I remember them offloading our stuff in front of this blue rusty gate. I still remember where the fufu pestle stood as we waited for the caretaker of our new residence to bring in the keys. As to why I still remember those details, I may never know. 😂
We moved next to a village called Sanerigu (now a big municipality). Ours, in addition to three other buildings, was at the border of Tamale’s Trassaco (called airport) and Sanerigu (filled with round mud huts and a few modern mud buildings) . A dust road divided us and you could see a great difference in social class. I remember there were only two taxis then that plied that dusty road to town everyday… Three front, four back... and they were the definitions of rickety!
When we settled, we went greeting our new neighbors. It was an interesting experience, as we didn’t speak dagbani and they spoke little twi. One little scholar in the first household could pick up little English and became our translator. His name is Abass.
He became a part of our family(till date), as we called unto him regularly to translate for us and direct us around.
HE took as round the village, took us to the market… even to the chief’s palace. We attended the annual fire festival and followed the old women to pick Shea fruits for Shea butter and dawadawa for porridge and to make seasoning for jollof😋. The fruits from the baobab tree also made great ice-cream!
There was another house across the road, it looked a bit more modern. The owner was a long distance driver with two wives and planning on the third. The drama in that house as he remarried could match an interesting Ghanaian sitcom if I had the time to write it out.😂
Mum used to visit them a lot and so these wives also became family. They had some toddlers who played around the house and a teenage daughter. One day we woke up… and she was gone!
Her friend had come back from the city at Christmas wearing new clothes, shoes, bags… and having new cooking pots to display (it’s a cultural pride). She also wanted to have those. So she run away from home to the city… to become a “kayayie” (head porter) !
I’ve seen the kayayie story unfold before my eyes. I’ve seen some return home with terminal diseases and fatherless babies. Ive heard some die and not make it. I’ve seen young girls run away from an early marriage betrothal to an old man, choosing to work in the city. I understand their hustle because I’ve been a personal witness.
So on this project, it’s not just me wanting to show off or look philanthropic. It’s me remembering that household, remembering the tears of her mother then when she left. Remembering the state she came back in.
Peer pressure, teenage ignorance, ambitiousness and poverty have filled our streets with hardworking young girls hustling to survive.
Certainly, the desire is to encourage them to go back home… but as JESUS preached, he fed the people with bread and fish too. He cared for their apparent needs as he spoke to them about their future. That is what the Early Christmas Charity Concert is all about!
That innocent baby didn’t choose to be on the streets because of the decisions of his/her mother. He didn’t choose to eat the filth on the floor and get sick because his unattentive mother was away carrying your luggage. His mother, you can blame, but the child? 🙁
That’s why we are calling on you to support us register these kids on health insurance to ensure at least paracetamol will be offered when they have a fever. Most of these babies are products of rape and we seek to offer counseling sessions to their mothers, offer them sanitary Hygiene products to stay clean as well as screen them for other infectious diseases of concern… So they don’t transfer it to these children.
With any contribution of GHS6 and above to MTN mobile money number +233242614772, you are ensuring one child is registered on the NHIS and you have a virtual ticket to our concert. You also have the option of walking unto the registration grounds on that day to make a contribution, should you have doubts. Just let us know so we plan.
At this concert, come hear the stories of these girls, told in their voice. Come live their lives through their eyes. Come join us in a night of worship, hillarious drama, poetry and motivation.
You don’t want to miss this!!!
Venue: Bethel Baptist Church, Ave-Maria, Dansoman
Date: 16th December, 2016
Time: 5pm for 6
I hope to see you there!!!
If it’s worth reading, it’s worth sharing, that others might be blessed too! I loooooooooooooooove you! 😘😘😘