Tag Archives: West Africa

Ah Look!!!

Ah Look!!!

We did not make vows
nor break rules

We just were painting a picture of love

With tears on a brush

You were the sun, I was what you wanted me to be
(that’s an irony, guys)

That is how we
chose our roles
That is what we
told our family.

We did not make vows
nor break rules

Instead, sunshine became a cold war
burning with a shivering effect

We did not make vows
For we drowned in the shallow ends
even before we could go deeper….arrrgh!

Look! Look what
we made us do


Inspired by Afya Kissiwa’s  poem ‘Ah Look!!’

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Posted by on November 22, 2017 in Poems


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A tot of my Soul

A tot of my Soul

Two days ago I cried for young girl who had spread her wings as she did the fire dance

For very soon she would wish she could suffocate her flames

because too many men want to stick their hands into her stove

Even before she can learn to harness the power of her flames

Yesterday, I wailed for a young boy who did not know the power of his tongue and hands

He did not believe he had to speak life to his dreams as he builds them with his hands

Rather he grasps at the straws of other people’s dreams

Because he does not recognize the keys to unlock his dreams in his hands

This morning, I saw the pride of a man dragged through the market

With his fellow men lined up at both ends of the street

poking sticks at his dying dignity with charred compassion

which was poured into a gutter so it be washed away with the debris

This afternoon, I saw a mother’s compassion turn cold and ugly

She said the child was not her’s so she could not be his fairy godmother

Not even for a second so humanity could have hope

After all everyone for himself, God for us all

This Evening, I sit and mourn for my generation

Our present stares down on us as though we have a bad youthful marriage

Sons and daughters of warrior kings and queens who mark time rather than move forward

So let me pour out a tot of my soul to you so you gulp it down

Let the syncopation of memories’ heart beat draw you closer to the truth

Let the smell of burnt memories remind us of who we were and are supposed to be

For we are a generation of greatness now struck down by the disease of self-centeredness

What happened to our communal spirit that made us sit very close enough that we touched each others’ needs?

What happened to tearing a soft part of yourself and handing it over to others

Watch as they mold it and hand it over to you better than they found it?

What happened to the good life being the smiles we placed on each others’ faces

And the joy we etched deep in souls?

So let me pour you a tot of my soul to gulp down

Let me make it two and maybe, just maybe you’ll get drank enough

for this poem to resound in the ears of your heart

©Selikem Tenu. K Geni




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Posted by on June 3, 2016 in Poems


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When The Cockerel Begins To Crow

When The Cockerel Begins To Crow

We can call our fathers whatever we want to, say whatever we want to say about them but trust me despite everything we love them to the core. Look there is no formula to parenting and most of them have made some mistakes but hey no one is perfect, not even Efo’s daughter who is called perfect. As Father’s day approaches I can’t help but share my story with you.

As boy growing up, there was nothing I dreaded more than my father’s angry voice or him clearing his throat whilst my charges for the day were being recapped by the Inspector general of the house, my Mum. I swear, you can hear my heat beat ‘kpo’ like the sound of lizards hitting the floor in a falling off a tree contest at regular intervals. Most of you would agree that, a one on one chat with our Dads was not a part of our wildest imaginations. The only conversations we had with them were question and answer sessions with our heads bowed down and our feet drawing abstract imaginary images on the floor. With my Dad for instance, whenever he was looking for something, we had to make sure the thing was where any of us saw it before we offer to help him find it. Woe betides you, when you say you saw the thing somewhere and he asks that you bring it to him and then you come back to say it is no longer there.

One of the things that baffled me and still baffles me is when my Dad would insist I stopped crying whilst he was beating me. Am I supposed to laugh in pain? What kind of impossible request too was that? Even Tom Cruise would give up on this mission for it is truly impossible. The funny thing is that my beatings always increased when I wanted to prove that I could take a beating by not crying despite the immense pain. I know most of you will say ‘ooh but we were all beaten when we were young’. Well for your information there is beating and there is BEATING. And in most cases I received the BEATING for my mischief because my Dad was an ‘Eweman’. Now, let me take my time to explain this. You see in Ghana, the best disciplinarians are fathers from the Volta region who are teachers, Military men or carpenters. The unfortunate thing however is that all ‘Ewemen’ are carpenters and so it becomes worse when he is a teacher or military personnel in addition to his born-with profession of a carpenter. And with my Dad being a teacher you can begin to sympathize with me now. Reminiscing about these I’m beginning to suspect that our parents were in a sort of competition. For a minute, just close your eyes and imagine the sounds you would hear from a cluster of semi-detached teacher bungalows that had boys within the same age group on Saturday evenings. Yeah, that was us. An emotional ensemble of beatings and cries that could compete with the Israelites’ cry to Moses in the wilderness from the various households on OLA campus.

But aside all these I can say with all authority and certainty that my Dad loved me to bits and was just trying his best to keep me on the right track. Did he overdo it at times? I will say YES, but if he were here, he will disagree but hey in such a contentious debate would you agree that you are wrong? My main problem however was how like most parents he felt I was the five or seven year old kid who he must help tie his shoe lace when I entered the university. For me it was an interesting experience. Even in the University my Dad always referred to me as a boy. Well I’m sure if he were to know some of the things I was doing and capable of doing he wouldn’t have but his perception fully changed about me one Sunday when I did the unthinkable.

Now, my Dad’s trademark insults when he was really mad at me for something I had done or said were to first say ‘Are you silly?’ and then comes the real insults that come in two folds, “stupid boy and foolish boy’. And so on this particular Sunday, my Dad discovered that I had not moved some roofing sheets on which we dried some maize to where he had asked me to. So he shouts from across the compound asking where the roofing sheets were still where they were and my response was that I felt where they were, was ideal. Wrong answer kroa.!

“Where are you?” he fumed

Immediately I emerged out of the room, I was greeted with the trademark question and insults of

“Are you silly? You feel you are now wiser than I who gave birth to you because you are in your final year in the University? Stupid boy! Fooolish boy!”.

My next action surprised everyone including myself. I burst out into a hysterical laugh that confused him and made him look white as though he had seen a ghost. My big sister came rushing out of the room and looked at me as though I had committed the unholiest of all unholy sacrileges. Their reaction made it even worse because my laughter intensified. Then my Dad found his voice and with a sterner look that could crack a palm kernel, he said,

“What are you laughing at?’

Not wanting to choke on my laughter, I covered my mouth and took in a deep breath and said

“I’m laughing because even at this age you are still referring to me as a boy”

He looks at me, shakes his head, and said

“I’m sorry but you are a Foolish and stupid young man’ and bursts into laughter himself and signals me to come over so we pack the roofing sheet together.

I’m sure my sister did not understand the effect of that moment as my Dad and I did. For it was one of those rare moments when a father realizes that his son is a man and needs to be treated as such.




Posted by on June 10, 2014 in ARTICLES


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