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  • Writer's pictureChef Nii

Beyond The Kenkey Husks

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

Chale, I have been sitting here staring at my phone screen, going through my contacts looking for a number. I seem to have been hypnotised and can’t scroll past my father’s number. This happens a lot you know, but “Is this normal?” “Do I call him?” ... What will I say? If there is one thing, I am sure about, it is that if I did call him, as always it will eventually become a video call which usually involves me staring at a black screen, while he stares at .... do I even know?

With my eyes closed now, I am trying to go back in time, sifting through my cloud of memories, trying to gather the father and son moments, so there will be an outpouring. I do envisage a cloud or two, but they seem so vague I doubt we will have a storm, just a few droplets here and there. The truth is, I am not even sure if these droplets are real or just a facade.

I think I do have vague memories of me sitting on my father’s lap. It could have been in a trotro, with him pointing out various places as we commute somewhere. I think I remember my father picking me up from school in the crusade truck and taking me somewhere, I can’t remember where. But what I do remember and can still feel now, is that feeling of excitement as a child, that “Daddy picked me up in a big truck!”

Now I do remember the rides to Osu to buy spring rolls from Dollys, and I do remember the stop overs after Church every single Sunday to buy snacks from Kuuk’s Nest, well until they eventually closed down. There is a vague memory of a beach trip one time, memories of the number of grocery shop runs we had to make, buying particular items from particular shops. I remember him driving long distances to purchase household essentials we were never allowed to touch because they were meant for his dream house.

I remember him trying to take me for my first swimming lesson, without mummy’s knowledge because I recounted Amonoo’s swimming lesson stories to him and he wanted me to have that - our secret, well until mummy found out and foiled the whole plan. I remember him carrying me because at that time we didn’t have a car and he didn’t want us to get to school in dirty shoes you know, his love for shoes. I remember that he carried me ... he carried me a lot.... that should mean something, should it not? So, at what point exactly did our relationship become this awkward? Rare occasions of just a few words spoken to each other.

Has it always been a case of my father’s expression of love not being enough for me? I provide for

you, what else do you need? Love is...provision. But am I not the one on the receiving end? Is my analysis of the impact of that action not relevant? Especially when it affects me!!! Because if you ever asked me, I probably would have shouted that “IT DIDN’T!!!”

I would have told you that it didn’t make up for the “I love yous” that I have never heard and the “I’m sorrys” that were never said. It didn’t make up for the times when I wanted you to assure me that I was safe, it didn’t make up for the times when I didn’t feel enough, and I needed you to tell me that I was. It didn’t make up for the times when I needed you to assure me of the fact that I was everything that you prayed for.

Because to me, it seemed when it came to you, I could never get it right. I will always miss the mark by just a few inches, and after failing so many times what do you do? You just stop trying. Yes, you will show up, whatever it is, you will be there. And then what? I needed you there, yes! But not for being there sake. I needed you to be present, to say something, anything! “Well done!” “You could have done it better!” Ask me a question, ANYTHING!!! Did you even want to be there? Or you had to be there?

I have come to understand that, you cannot give what you don’t have... time was what he had and gave, but because it wasn’t what I was looking for, what I needed, I couldn’t accept it. I was demanding the impossible. Was I expecting him to function from a place unknown to him? Was I expecting him to embody a persona alien to him? Was I demanding the impossible? Wait! Was I just demanding...

Chalé until the cock crows again, keep enjoying your kelewele “against” your pure water.

The Sun, Shine

And Sunflowers.

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Mar 07, 2021

You writing feels so real. It's almost as if we're there with you.

Chef Nii
Chef Nii
Mar 07, 2021
Replying to

Thank you!!! That is the aim

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