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  • Writer's pictureChef Nii

Homemade Tea Bread!!!

Updated: May 3, 2021

Chale! The moment I buy that British Airways ticket I am teleported - I find myself in heaven. Eating an entire box of freshly fried doughnuts and finishing a huge tub of ice cream cannot match my excitement. My heart is full! Home Bound! Home at last! I just said home, didn’t I? is meant to be home!


It is all excitement as the day of reckoning beckons closer and closer, I cross out months, and then weeks, until I have just a few days left until take off. Then, the butterflies I have had in my stomach suddenly begin to morph into a tightness with a grip so strong that I can barely breath.


This time what will my story be…?

Will this tale recounted, once again show and tell of a warrior’s triumphant return? With stories of battles fought and victories won. Embellished with medals well deserving, waving a trophy in hand shouting “Mama I made it!”

Façade …

Or will it be a recounting of real time stamps, real experiences of early hours, long drives, long days and late nights? A story of a real underdog, homesick, battling unfamiliar temperatures, trying yet failing miserably to march to a new rhythm of life, living life by the hour.


Will this story delve deep, delineating the real moments when strength had to be harnessed to muffle cries and mute sounds, to control emotions that have decided to burst out in the form of raindrops, rolling down a face. Falling from clouds gathered in a mind, triggered by a heart heavy, beating at a rhythm altered.


Maybe this time he can tell a triumphant tale, of how he finally built that impossible bridge, between his financial obligations and what is deemed commensurate with the number of hours life gives man in a day to effectively utilise.


Then we take off, and that firm grip begins to loosen slightly, until those butterflies buried begin to flutter their delicate wings once again and peak out from underneath the discomfort. These wings are moving at top speed, the excitement is.... back.

Soon I am just going through the motion of things, I mean I have done this countless times, I can do this in my sleep. Immigration, Check! Bags, Check! But I can’t stop staring at the automatic doors that keep opening and closing, ushering these Borgas and Borgettes back to their roots, I hear the cries and screams of excitement and immediately I don’t think I feel too good. Breathe Nii! Breathe!!! It’s just these butterflies moving in turbo mode.

Customs... Now I am sweating! Not from fear, thinking about them frustrates me. These guys!!! I am trying not to make eye contact, so they don’t see me, “Make me invisible Lord!!!” Finally! CUSTOMS!, CHECK!!! I know I am meant to walk through these automatic doors, but my legs, all of a sudden have turned into logs of wood, I can’t seem to move, are they shaking?

I look beyond the doors, beyond the barricades that are meant to protect the returnees from being buried by their ecstatic roots overjoyed by a branch returning, trying to locate my roots who I presume have been waiting, patiently. I locate them, standing off to the side as always. Immediately raindrops, raindrops try to break past the damn of my eyelids, I close my eyes to firmly secure that damn, leaning on my trolley for support I burst forth and break through the doors.

I slowly approach them, we eventually make eye contact and immediately their faces light up with excitement, their affectionate smiles, and approving eyes twinkling, I can even see it now, I don’t think I can move any further, my legs won’t carry me. They realise this, because we have an unspoken language, a language that transcends beyond tribe, ethnicity and religion called “Blood is thicker than water”.

“I am ok”, “I really don’t feel like talking”, the missed calls and unanswered messages, the long silence preceding my arrival, well except a simple message conveying my date and time of landing, they knew. Even though no words were uttered they knew!!! I tell you, they could feel it, and my inability to move any further was enough reason for them to break through that barricade.

I can still see it now, clear as day, their faces full of warm expressions, conveying nothing other than sympathy, their eyes communicating assurance, telling me everything will be ok. They pull me into a warm embrace and immediately, indeed everything is...ok. The weights I was carrying, so heavy I couldn’t...breathe didn’t exist anymore. The words I had been trying to find, and sentences I was trying to form, the excuses I had been formulating, nothing mattered. At that particular moment nothing mattered other than... me.

The fears that I had surrounded myself with, the demons that had tormented me at that very moment... fled, as they whispered into my spirit those faithful words, “WELCOME HOME!!!”

Until the cock crows again, keep eating your kelewele against your pure water.

The Sun, Sunshine

And Sunflowers.

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