Day was inching closer to night. Not long after the sun had bid the night farewell,those who had gone to their farms were about returning. By now,most farmers werealmost done witheither clearing portions of weeds under their cocoa farms or stocking their baskets with foodstuffs.
The people of Kaedabi make their village as busy as the anthill. Probably, it is just to while away the boredom. The typical village that it is, Kaedabi is under the Sunyani Municipality; miles away from modern infrastructure; as far from modern infrastructure as it’s from Sunyani. One has to board as many as two buses from Sunyani to Kaedabi!
Whenever the sun crawls from the east to the west, fireflies become the source of light in the village. However, children of Kaedabi don’t worry their heads over being exempted from enjoying even the crumbles of the national cake. When households have finished eating their evening meals, those from nearby cottages including; Wonterefo, Kurosua, Nsagobesa, KyaaseKurom and TiekuNkwanta throng the market square of Kaedabi to play; to enjoy their own definition of national cake.
Yaw Anane is a student-journalist at the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Accra. Should he be on vacation at Kaedabi, the euphoria at the market square intensifies. It very much does. He would tell the children stories (with varying lengths) about big cities. The most exciting of all such city stories has been that of city dwellers occasionally going to have fun at the beaches with loved ones.
Today under the mango tree at Kaedabi, the village’s stammererhas temporarily abandoned his table-top call center to hurl stones at a he-goat.
”You-you-you come here again and you will see,” he warned.
It was not the goat he was chasing. A group of three young women stood chatting at the well, which sits few meters away from his call center, and he would do everything to eavesdrop on their conversation.
One of the women, a dark skinned maiden with curvy shapes, accidentally turned to scratch her back only to see him spying on them with his jaw dropped!Impulsively, Gyasiwaa hurled her plastic bucket at him but it missed him narrowly causing him to fall in the grips of the other two women.
“WofaAmponsah, please do not plead for him. Let us beat him up till he drops dead today,” the women on fire angrily said to a man who tried interceding for the nosy stammerer.
“This has gradually become his character and they must teach him a lesson today in front of all the people of Kaedabi,” a mud-complexioned woman observing from afar shouted on top of her voice.
It was after WofaAmponsah had convinced them that he needed his services at the call center that they spared his life. He was panting profusely but wished he was never let go anyway. At least, he had found heaven between the sizeable breasts of Gyasiwaa where his equally sizeable head had comfortably being seized.
“Ha..ha..haloooSah, my name is Pa..Pa..PaaKwasi but you can call me PK, a space-to-space vendor. Your Uncle wants to speak with you.”
“My Uncle? Which of them and from where are you calling me from?”
PK corked his right thumb on the mouthpiece of his phone and murmured to WofaAmponsah, ‘Wo..wo..Wofa. This is the reason why I hes..hesi..hesitated placing your call for you! Aaaaaaba! I said it. Should he always ask who I am?”
Amponsahsat in a chair and cocked his head for his right temple to firmly press against his huge radio set. He tried mounting it on his right shoulder but it fell on the ground. He picked it up from the ground, blew air to clear off the dust on the radio set and he whisked the phone from PK with his left hand.
“Who or what might have done the world such a great harm? Eh? I wonder why these unfledged birdlings whom we begot now trample on their elders with the feet of arrogance. You better watch your tongue next time, my son!”
“So..so..sorryWofa, I … I didn’t mean to disrespect you. I was just com..commenting on lawyers and their long talk of ques-tionings. He had already started asking me many questions.”
On the rock that lies close to the mango tree that shelters PK, Amponsah goes to stand and flings the phone in all directions for a stable mobile network.
“Woo..wofa, from where you are sta..stan..standing, I should think there is network signal on the phone.”
When PK drew near to where Amponsah stood, he realized he had turned the phone upside down with the receiving end of it glued to his mouth.
PK gently stretched Amponsah’s arm, opened his palm for the phone to lie prostrate in it and directed him on how to talk on phone; that which has become a ritual whenever he comes to PK’s call centre. When the call to Lawyer Gyamfi was finally restored,WofaAmponsah broke the news to him.
At Kaedabi, the lawyer’s hometown, his senior brother who served as the chief priest of the land’s shrine had passed on. Per tradition, Gyamfi was to succeed his brother and take over the seat as the new chief priest of the village.
The elders of Gyamfi’s house after appointing him as the successor to his brother and heir to the throne of the shrine, have had their decisions approved by the gods of Kaedabi.
“What? A whole me a chief priest? The lawyer and flagbearerwhose fame is felt across the length and breadth of Ghana to be the new mouthpiece of the gods and the people of Kaedabi? Where will be the place of my Bible after ascending that fetish throne not to even talk of my hard earned professions?Never! WofaAmponsah, you know I have every right to reject such an offer?”
”Reject, you say?”
“Please… please, you are my uncle, Amponsah. I don’t want to engage you in any legal tussle for threatening my peace and freedom of association. It is either the gods are mad and confused or you elders of Kaedabi still go for meetings and conclude matters in words spoken in honor of palm wine. I had nothing against my deceased brother but I am sorry I can’t succeed him.”
“Gyamfi! You dare not speak evil of the gods and elders of Kaedabi.”
Gyamfi hangs up the phone. Minutes later, he tries calling back Amponsah but he is repeatedly told, “The mobile network you are calling is either switched off or out of coverage area.”
The lawyer’s bereaved mother would need some amount of money toserve her visitors who keep pouring condolences on her. He had, therefore, wanted to tell WofaAmponsah he would be sending him some amount of money to be delivered to the woman gripped with sorrow.
Few months ago, before the funeral of the chief priest, Gyamfi had sent home GHC2, 000 but when the money got to Kaedabi, Amponsah who usually took the parcel from the Kaedabi bus drivers did the unthinkable. He was supposed to take his portion of GHc300 but gave AwoYaa only GHC1, 200 while the remainder found its way into his pocket.
That day, he bought a calabash of palmwine for everyone who happened to have been present at AtaaAdwoa’s Palmwine Bar. It was rumored at Kaedabi that he even left an amount with AtaaAdwoa for those drunkards who would come to the bar after he had left.
Later on, when Gyamfi found out, he threatened Amponsah on phone. He would let the police arrest him for his deceitful ways. Amponsah apologized.
Gyamfi’s money had to go through a series of transits of bus drivers before eventually getting toAmponsah. “AwoYaa has come of age,” Gyamfi groaned. “Even walking to the bathroom is a headache to her. If she were active on her feet, Amponsah would have never touched my money, again, at first hand.”
Just when Gyamfi was about inserting his phone into his pocket, Amponsah called back. “… Gyamfi, it is not that I betrayed you as you say. I tried telling the elders that your professions won’t allow you become the chief priest. But …’”
“But what? And you say the elders have summoned me home? Right? Hmmm! Little did I know that rushing back to Accra after the funeral worried the elders that much. Emm … I will be traveling to Ohio …”
“Oha … what?”Amponsah sought to find out where that was.
“You always make me laugh even when anger dawns on me. Ohio is in the States; I mean in the Whiteman’s land.”
“Wofa, do well to tell the elders I will be coming to Kaedabi on the second Saturday of next month on my return to Ghana. Extend my warmest greetings to AwoYaa.”
“I will,” Amponsah chipped in.
“Assure her that when I come, I will return to Accra with her as she has always wished.”
The call ended. Amponsah smiled. Money had been made mention of. He would obviously have his share in the amount of money he would be receiving from the lawyer.
The story continues in episode II. Watch out!
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