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  • Writer's pictureChef Nii

My Personal Plantain

Updated: Feb 1, 2021





Chalé, parents eh! Parents! You gots to love them! “There isn’t a perfect parenting handbook,”that’s what they say. If there was, my parents will be Gees! Those two like to read! Trust me I would have perfect parents. A teacher and a pastor – look at that! You will read, meditate and recite a bible verse from memory for night time family devotion. Those two were oblivious to the fact that we went to school and had to suffer all its pressures. And oh, you are so right! There was a daytime one too - actually a dawn one - no bible verse no Milo for you! Life was hard oh!

My relationship with my parents was, I’ll say, topsy turvy; a roller coaster ride. But it will be extremely unfair to put it all on them. I know for a fact I wasn’t easy to deal with; you know, I couldn’t deal with myself, how much more them?! They couldn’t oh! The number of times I have sat on the floor eh! I went to Asia and just blended in. My sitting on the floor game was tight!

Me I won’t talk o! Oh no! I won’t argue, I was too busy licking the ice cream cup. Say all you want and go, I will still do what I wanted! With my middle child syndrome and no motivation to talk, at all! My strong headed game was serious! I was a hard palm nut to crack!

My parents were, let’s say, interesting. They still are so different; water and oil, it is impossible to discuss them together. So today, let’s focus on the party boogying for money spraying to buy papaye one! 


P.S. Papaye is a famous fast food joint in Ghana.

Our human alarm clock! For as long as I can remember, my mother wakes up at 4:30am like clockwork to pray, unless she is under the weather. We were made aware of this by her clapping! Look! She could clap for Africa! What this clapping meant was, “ if you know what is best for you, you will get up!” We literally will have to get out of bed or sit up just because! On days when I couldn’t, I will lock myself in the bathroom, pretend to be doing a number two and sleep! Today I am here saying I have a sleep disorder, I have a sleep disorder! Look! My mother stomped, killed and buried sleep from my life! Now you have no excuse, you must make it!

But in hindsight, mummy was strict oh! Look you better come correct! Before you think, she has thought; she’s always been five steps ahead. So before you move or make any decision, before you come to her you must envision the entire process and eliminate any loopholes. Your presentation, yes presentation! must be excellent else you are not going for that party! And if that item is not at the top of your scale of preference of your list of needs and not wants, if you are not bringing anything to the table; “What have you saved?”. MY FRIEND YOU ARE NOT GETTING IT!” 

So I have grown up a planner which has escalated into extreme planing. But we are praying about it! After all, is this not a therapy session? This training also instilled in me the ability to budget; distinguish between needs and wants. We are not living above our means, I mean I will reward myself occasionally; an Apple Watch because that bicycle didn’t knock me down. Staying alive in this cruel world is hard, I lie?!


My mother believed in education! You will be educated by fire by force! She has always said “I don’t have physical wealth to leave you, but I will definitely leave you with a good education.” I tell you she wasn’t joking about that “Definitely” so we went to the best schools. Looking at her income I don’t know how she did it. But she did it! She labored so we too we could slang some! Innit!

Playing was not in her books! We dreaded holidays, actually were there even any?  For us, every day was the same ; pray, learn, eat, sleep, repeat. When other kids slept and woke up to play, we were clapped out of bed early to pray, clean and get ready for home school. And on the days when you know she has an outing you will assume it didn’t happen right?! No o! You will wake up to assignments placed at your designated place to sit, and woe betides you if she came back and it’s not done! I mean you wouldn’t even dare! 

So I take my work seriously; anything I put my hands to will be done well. I can’t help it! That’s how I was raised. It’s better for you to overdo than to underdo, a very Ghanaian way of saying that mediocrity is not in your blood line. 

I love reading! And I understand if you don’t because my brother dislikes it too! My mother made us read so much! Honestly we had no free time oh! On holidays, holidays! We had to go to the British Council to read. You’d read, then have to borrow a book. Once you got home you had to write a report on the books you read there, as well as what you borrowed, for a reward. Can you guess what that reward was?

Well you get to borrow the movies of the books you read to watch and then have to write a report on that movie again for her to score. I mean, thinking about it now, I can see that she soooo played us! But being kids, we were excited, I think the excitement came from the fact that my father would watch it with us and explain the story to us. I mean we knew the story already, after all did we not read the book? But the thing is he was there, but he wasn’t only there, he was present and smiling and comfortable - he was himself!





The interesting thing is, later on in life, reading became my escape. My mother was giving me a gift; the ability to see the world and travel places sitting in the same spot. She was teaching me how to go on holiday for free!!!  Teaching me how to perceive life through the eyes of others so I could be more understanding and tolerant of others.

It’s as if she knew that being a creative, I will struggle because the world will try to force me into this imaginary box, and I have never done well with being forced, to talk about into a box of all things. Freedom for me is pertinent, else my creative juices won’t squeeze. My mother was teaching me how to live outside this imaginary box, she was liberating me! 

She dragged us to the edge of the cliff and eventually pushed us off, so we will be forced to spread our wings and fly. MY MOTHER WAS TEACHING ME HOW TO FLY!

Ok! So let’s stop here, I am sweating like a dieting elephant. And why will we not sweat?! When summer body has turned into summer balloon. Also the smell of this plantain, I can’t concentrate.



The Sun, Sunshine

And sunflowers



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8 Comments


khayneris9
Sep 18, 2020

If u know what's best for u..hahah,the clapping alone

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khayneris9
Sep 18, 2020

Awwww that's mumie, everything u have said was very true

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Chef Nii
Chef Nii
Sep 07, 2020

@beatriceelseoffei Did it look like or it was?? Lol...anyways...I appreciate it now!!! Train up a child the way he should grow and when he grows up he will not depart from it!

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Chef Nii
Chef Nii
Sep 07, 2020

@borablaq thank you! And yes her methods were interesting!

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beatriceelseoffei
Sep 07, 2020

Nice read. I am sure it looked like I was troublesome but I had your best interest at heart. Don’t forget I told you I will leave you not only quality education but most importantly God. Well done Nii

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