Last night was topsy-turvy. I spoke to the love of my life. Beneath all the excitement I sensed the fear. The uncertainty. It was not helped in any way by the distance between us physically. On the surface not much had changed since we discovered we were romantically inclined towards each other (I did first). My litany is not to promise an error free love, but to show that love does not look for errors or doubts. To live in the moment every day and to falling in love with every breath.

I don’t know whether she sensed it too. I had my own fears. Would I be willing to commit over the distance? Will the lack of my physical presence force her into the arms of another? Would I look for “excitement” elsewhere to pass the time? I went to bed a confused young man. I was brimming with a love which threatened to leave me somewhere I’ve never been before.

When I woke up this morning I checked her last seen on WhatsApp. Then I checked her profile picture and status. I smiled and went through my morning rituals. In the shower I prayed. First for her, then for me. Then I prayed for my family and left my doubts in the bathroom. While I am afraid, my love is greater. For it is in the bible, I do not remember the chapter or verse but it says and I quote “No greater love than a man have for his friends that he lay down his life for them.” This passage does not always mean death. I realize it means love is bigger than yourself. I am not moving an inch. For the Lord will make me strong through love. Everything happens for a reason. It is not coincidence that two people separated by half a continent would fall in love with each other.

With each terrifying heartbeat, each devaluing fear, I am made stronger. In the face of our most pressing fear (ourselves) I declare that I love you. The best way I can show you is below.


I woke up this morning,

And I decided to skip work today,

I will do no paper mourning.

I sat before my mirror,

And stared at me,

A tweaked retrograde god,

And I decided to fall in love.

I watched the ants soldier on in unbroken ranks on my window sill,

And when they reached home their door doth did they seal.

I fell in love with the simplicity of their sophistication.

I stubbed my toe while sweeping the living room.

Rather than curse I marveled at my body’s emergency response.

And with a flourish I twirled my broom.

Whence I was done with my chores,

I stepped outside

And the sun kissed me good morning,

Loving rays from a white star.

And so it went

The day brooding,

The imperfection of food filling my stomach,

The minute cravings.

Near death

And as I lay down in bed today

I saw you.

With the high forehead,

And the hidden scars.

I saw you were afraid.

You did not have to speak it.

And in that moment

I loved you.

© Sena Kodjokuma 2014



 Image courtesy Google Images 

Charle, as I dey this trosky inside ebe ma last 2 Ghana dey ma pocket inside o. So-so thinking dey ma mind top. The way I no chop too eh. But Fofo too she mess up o. I de take car from Odorkor all the way to East Legon sake of she see cockroach for en bed top wey she de fear. Sometimes women de funny me waa. I shock sef say she call me mohm. I hear from am keep. Like 4 years this. Sake of she from Yankee come no ky33 bia. She go university for there come.

Before I go toa so, make I yob you about Fofo small. Fofo be ma shawty. We de komot like 6 years this if you want attache the 4 years she borga. I de feel am pass. She tall like 5 feet, wey she no hy3da fair like that. En smile then en dimple de kill me pass. If I want talk about en body eh I suwear you go stone me for here. En Manchester then Arsenal no size. Them ripe like mango wey them no over bola. Fofo get small space for en teeth inside wey she de like Rasta then cornrow pass. The thing be say Fofo be the woman I de dream about every gb3k3. Beyoncé then Nicki Minaj sef no near am.

I meet Fofo for the Labone side there. Then times na I dey ma mommy en there for Labadi so e do a I de walk go the dadabee people themma side there. That morningtee in fact I de kae the date waa. Na ebe 29th February 2012. I just base for some tree under wey I de claim air. Mommy go job wey she no cook or lef chow for house. I hung aa wey I talk ma body say I go run ma body hit money give waakye today. I just spy the people them de walk for the hood inside. Some old man then en dog come pass. The dog fat pass the man sef. I see say the dog fit do me yawa if I go try something. Like five minutes pass wey I see say some fine girl bi de walk go. The way she do en hair I see say she complete SS wey she just dey house. That time na I dey form 4 de go write WASSCE. Vac things so I fit base for tree under small. Eno be everyday wey I go mow saa.

Anyway I follow the girl saa wey as she turn the curve wey I start de boot. I gye ma eye wey I just pull en purse from en hand inside. She just shock wey she no fit shout. I no look back aa wey I go komot for the waakye seller en body. I spy the purse inside eh na I de want faint sef. Money be what? I see 50 Ghana 4 for inside. The 10 then 20 chao pass. I spy inside better wey I see 5 Ghana. I gye wey I take buy the chow. Ridee I go house say I de go chop na I no fit chop sef. The girl en money then phone all dey the purse inside o. I dey there wey I just talk say I go take go police station. I just wey ma fitted cap wey I start de trek go the station there.

I de walk all the girl just come ma mind inside. The way she get shape like them women for uptee clips inside. I de kae en shada sef. She wear some check-check shirt then white skirt ede catch en knee. She do en Rasta like basket. The front raise wey she take rubber band hold the rest for en back. She get them baby faces some wey I see say she no be them girls them de rush some. I just start de feel yawa for there kraa. I kech the police station wey I chook ma body. The koti just sound me some sounding for there eh. I just see stars start de walk like I booze. As I de come enter the counter-back wey I see say the girl come plus en old boy. Saa na naa the man plus the dog be en old boy. The koti pause small wey e talk plus them. “He actually just turned himself in. you can talk to him.” That be what na the koti de tell them. The girl watch ma face wey she smile. I see the dimple then I just shy for there. Them take the purse give am wey she watch inside. “Look Papa, he took just 5 Cedis from the purse.” She smile saa. En old boy di3 eno want smile sef. The boys for the cells there shock sef. One diss me saa. “How you fit borst then you come chook your body. Wey ebe 5 Ghana p3 you take. You fool pass.”

E make the koti release me wey e tell me say make I follow them. We kech outside I start de turn go wey e hold me. “Young man, you’re going home with us.” En palm inside check like road top. Ebe baree pass! Ma heart just cut wey I start de beg. “Sir please I won’t do it again. Sir I beg.” For there wey the girl start de laugh. She laugh saa as we de enter the man en ride inside. Charle the ride eh no be any small car o. G Wagon o wey them spray am grey plus black rims. I just watch ma body wey ma eye die. Ma singlet tear-tear wey ma fitted too de look like sometime the blind beggars for town de wear. Ma chalewote sef no de match. One be blue bird wey the other one be a ka me last the colors-colors one some.  Ebe ma shorts p3 e make okay sake of ebe school shorts.

I de go sit backseat wey the man tell me say make I come sit front. I nearly piss put ma body as I hear. I make quiet wey I go tap. E move the car wey we go. So as the man de drive ede biz me questions. “Young man, what’s your name?” “My name is James. James Kudorwor. Everybody calls me Shakes though.” I reply am. “You are a very curious thief James – er Shakes.” The girl that o. “Why take just 5 cedis?” “Please I’m not a thief o. It is just that – I de hung so I for chop.” I shake wey ma bl3 quench so I toa so plus pidgin. The man just smile for there wey the girl di3 she just de laugh. I watch am for the driving mirror inside saa. Them biz me where I de stay then the school I de go all. Them introduce themma body give me. Major Charles Kotey then Fofo Kotey be themma names. Them kech themma house wey them give me 100 Ghana. “Don’t be a thief okay?” Fofo shake ma hand. “I hope to see you soon.” That be all.

The way Fofo the en old boy help me eh. Sake of me then mommy de br3. Mommy de job for pure water company. She de go early wey she de come late. E do a them de give me money wey I de take support we for house all. I visit Fofo more times. She teach me maths then science all sake of ma head no hy3da good for that side. I come feel am eh. The day I write WASSCE fini she take me go mall go watch movie. We wey trosky make I shock. I see say she de make I make comfortable waa. We dey like a few months wey I tell am say I de want komot am. She laugh saa wey she tell me say “Go and read the story of the princess and the frog and come and narrate it to me.” I bore for there. Sake of she know say I no de like read.

I force ma body search the book. I read fini like one week. I go see am. As I de gbaa am the story all she de near me. I start de move wey she tell me say make I tap. I kech the side wey the princess kiss the frog wey she just moff me for there. I de kae the way en moff de taste. She de taste like mango then orange juice. Since that day we start de komot. Them move go East Legon wey I lef mommy en there go Odorkor. I start some apprenticeship for some fitting shop sake of I no fit go uni or poly. Fofo en old boy say e go help me I tell am say nah. The way them watch ma top fini SS good give me. Fofo bore me for there. She de come fly sef she no tell me. That time all na things no de go well. Major die of cancer wey e lef Fofo p3. Me too I make wild for job de try learn sake of I want go do mechanical engineering for uni. Homeboy no know how them de kror-kror woman if things so de happen. We argue more times wey one dey I de go visit am the credit seller for there tell me say Fofo say make she tell me say she de fly go Yankee go school come. I shock wey I just lef there quick.

That day I cry. I get en picture one p3. I watch am aa. I come lose weight all. I wake up one day wey I just decide say I make fine. I go pass that side again the credit seller give me note. She forget say she go take give me as e tell me. I open the note 5 Ghana dey inside wey she write for en basa-basa handwriting inside. “My good thief, when you miss me read the princess and the frog. XOXO. Fofo.” I smile small. The note still dey ma pocket inside.

I dey the trosky inside wey I just de laugh as I de kae. Fofo try do kubolor things before o. She come search me for house before. The way she lost. I go see ma guys bi for the hood inside wey them tell me say some fine girl bi dey around de ask of me. That day too e rain so the rain beat am well. I carry am go house that day. I just gye ma eye sake of where I go take am pass go house make muddy. That day wey we lose wona virginity. For ma student mattress top. We fini wey she de bed ma top de laugh. Fofo di3 she always de laugh. I take am go Amelia en koko joint wey she fall gutter inside all she de laugh. I kae these things all wey I just miss am. Sake of she no talk say we shun. I no de want see am but charle if you de love some bro a you never fit do anything. E de make you make jon but you no de biz. She no know cook wey she try do waakye give me. That day I go drug store go buy laxative. The girl put soy sauce all for the chow inside. I just no fit. Me then en old boy laugh am saa.

One thing I de kae about Fofo be say she de like ball watch. Them get Dstv but match dey a she de come my there make we go watch for ma hood spot. She be strong Chelsea fan wey I be Liverpool fan. The time Essien score own goal I laugh am saa make she block me for WhatsApp top.  We fit argue sake of ball like she be man.

I kech the place wey I get down. I still get spare key so I enter the house inside. Themma dog see me wey e start de run come. En name be Brutus. Some boerboel o. e lick me saa wey I force gyemi from am. I open the door. The whole place make dark. I see some bro de bed the couch top. E turn small wey I see say ebe Fofo. I smile wey I go en room go wey blanket come give am. I enter the room inside no cockroach too dey there. “This girl paa.” I just shake my head for there. I come cover am wey I sit the armchair inside de watch am.


The Usurper

My brothers and I are landless,
Driven from home,
We forage like stray dogs,
Scrounging on scraps,
But here we see you lying fat and fed,
Showing your belly to the sun.
Gorging on the work of your subjects.
My brothers and I have come hither,
To show you how effete you have become.
I will crush your skull,
And take your pride from you,
And as your carcass lies there stiffening for the vultures,
Your sons will follow you from here.
I will give no quarter,
Because this,
This is the natural order!
So come,
Come and breathe your last.

© Sena Kodjokuma 2014