Opinions Sat, 13 Sep 2008

To Have & Not To Hold?


As I paced to the rhythms of one melodic musical night in Accra, my heart beats to the tune of a melodic yet unsettling passion. Its origin was untraceable, yet its impact so persuasively real!

In the realms of my imagination, a major overhaul had transpired, setting the tone for a venture of spontaneity. I was one who wouldn’t distort the obvious to please, as i loved to be loved! I had always been adventurous, admired for my success in Accra but my whirlwind- one night romance catapulted me into an unchartered territory.A self described advocate for women’s rights, i was known to be caring and always enigmatic. Not even the intricately clairevoyant mind could imajine my actions and the state of my mind I found myself in.

In the stillness of all thunder and darkness on one night, with the enchantment of the human mind coupled with one beauty translated to my eyes, I fell victim to the sparkle of her eyes. More like the window to the nectar of a blossoming flower, sensual in her vulnerable desires, yet wildly vicious in her deftly confiscation of the human heart

It was charming, and melodramatic! We met at an open air drumming party!. I saw the stars, I danced with her, I could not convince myself she wasn’t calling out my name. Every time I enquired she turned away walking backwards as she smiled. she mocked me lured me into believing she was disgusted by my serenades and visual appeal, I calmly stared her tripping to the grass and as I fell, she held me up as we gradually held each other firmly as our souls danced to the same tune while our physical bodies disappeared into thin air with a feel and the touch of Avalon.

Little did I know this whirlwind one night romance will set me off on a wild road to self discovery, condemnation, exploration and the premise for sanctity and purity in the midst of chaos.

I looked at her long round intricately beautiful face as she sat infront of a packed ceremonial corridor. I suddenly broke into a virtual oblivion, in a court room in front of a judiciary for my defamation of love. I had de-charmed the statutes that govern the passion of the heart. In all the judicial magnates in attendance, the least of the judges will be Shakespeare. However, I may have been too disoriented to attribute my situation to a Shakespearean tragedy or love story.Needless to say, the most respected , and influential orrator and eccentric author of love, Shaskepeare himself was never recorded to have been married, being in love or for that met a deliriously beautiful African woman, yet he has been the guru of love for centuries!

AWare soo! AWare so! I was awoken from my long psychedelic trip and saw myself surrounded by a dozen family members, some I could identify, and others …vaguely yet they all had intrinsic desperation for justice boldly displayed on their faces. I gradually staggered across each of them as I shook their hands I could foresee myself as a lamb being lead to the gallows as a sacrifice to purify the unjust impregnation of a young woman I wasn’t married to, hence the forceful traditional marriage. My fate was justifiably been asserted as the cleansing of the land, sanctification of the human mind, and desensitization of the Ghanaian man’s heart to the stimulus of ever impregnating as opposed to validating the Ghanaian woman.

I looked deeply into her eyes though misty, it was raw, violent yet very accessible. She appeared staunchly victorious, indeed her central nervous system and her collective emotional and physical embodiment seems to be in unison as they vehemently appear vindicated, much to my amazement her soul seemed restless. As our eyes met the constant chattering, recital of the various traditional rites seem to gradually fade out and disappear as we were fixated on each other.

Much to my soul’s hesitation, our non verbal worlds collided we vicariously confronted each other, I held on to my stand as she gradually blinked! every movement of her eyebrows had the “Mona lisa”charm confrontational yet distinctively persuasive and afro-centrically pure and unadulterated, I gave in!

Life in Accra with my new unexpected wife was great; It was philosophically intricate, cinematically laughable, yet psychologically suicidal. I would be wallowing in inexplicable riches if I had to be awarded a dime for every night I attempted to jump and scream as I bumped into someone next to me in bed only to realize ugh …I am sorry aargh.. Just having some nightmares.. I nauseously stammered, without conferring to the idea of not getting used to someone in my bed. As I lay down facing the east she faced the west, with my eyes open as I lament on my ill-fated grumble, I knew she was silently mourning with her eyes open next to me, I could feel it .

I always believed she was brilliant, contrary to her assertions and my very own thoughts indeed I found her more attractive and very pure with her smile. However, we were the only ones who knew of the great divide and the vacuum that existed in between us. As I came home from a walk in the park, A visitor arrives claiming to be a family member with a truck, that coincidently read “ Asem beba Dabi” , As a celebration of our marriage, My mom and her family had just sent truck loads of cassava, plantain, yam and about a dozen Grasscutters enough to make the world wildlife federation run out of money by engaging me in so much litigation, even my great grand children might need lawyers.

I knelt, came closer and stared at these sacrificial grass cutters I could see them wailing in captivity, indeed everyone involved in this circle of diabolical enchantment seem to be paying a price! Even our “supposedly given meat” in our soups seemed to be begging to be freed. As the orchestrator of this debacle, slaughtering these grasscutters will be symbolically an assassination of myself because we share the same sentiments and fate has us wrapped at its thumb. These Grasscutters have been caught and placed into this situation by a mistake they made, it could have been their stubbornness not come out and play in the dark or not fall prey to their libido or appetite to get lured by the scent of the bait which could be a cassava, my bait on the other hand, was a smile from her. As ridiculous as it sounds, it was a poignant moment of epiphany. With my stature and level of intellectual sophistication, I had a goal, ambition, and a state of mind that was synonymously shared by a band of wailing grasscutters; freedom was what we collectively hoped for.

On this day the clouds were dark and gloomy, kids were running to and fro as I was on my way home. There were intrinsic signs of life, music was being blasted across the streets, babies were screaming, teenagers chasing friends as they played in the park, the corn mill shop around the corner was unusually loud, it was as if the whole world was manufacturing a much needed noise to distract ourselves from our very own thoughts. I could barely hear my footsteps. I slowly turned around looking over my shoulders, the wind was empty, chilly, and characteristically chaotic. I braved the emotional rollercoaster I rushed home only to see a note on my pillow.

“I love you more than words can say I really do, but sometimes silence is the loudest means of communication, therefore you spoke out loud, but the baby girl I am carrying …was the loudest, I listened to her therefore we left. If you ever want to meet her in the future, follow the direction of the wind as it never strikes without an aim and a direction. The paths that lead you to me will lead you to her.”

I cannot help my self as I took a pause, on the third page of my diary. Jittery, agitated confused and I gasp for air as I may have vicariously been on a virtual journey re-living the moments. Thirty years later it still haunts me, as I fold on the next page adding one more year to my imaginative daughter’s birthday. if I could turned back the hands of time I will stop the clock from ticking minutes, seconds and hours but rather share love, purity, and diligence which retroactively is timeless. The use, and abuse of vulnerable women, unplanned relationships, fatherless children, shattered hearts oh! The gore the gore the gore, so many bloody stains on our hands!

The re-definition of the African man in my opinion, will not be about his masculine capabilities, or his “childbearingness”, but rather his trustworthiness to be accountable for every role he plays and courage to rectify the unexpected situations that arise.

For the doubtful, Love does conquer all….

Kofi Mensah Abrompah.

Toronto, Canada.


Columnist: Abrompah, Kofi Mensah