Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
Bernard M. Baruch
Being the first Sunday in the month, it was “Kofi ne Amma” at Church today. It is widely known that Ghanaians traditionally name male and female children by days of the week (see diagram below). If you have ever been to Church within a Ghanaian setting then you may have experienced this joyful yet unashamed ploy to raise more money via collection. As each day is announced, everyone born on the specific day dances down the aisle with their collection money; the contributions are counted and announced with much fanfare.
It seems to me an excuse for several things - having a unbridled dance fest in Church; a little competition; a little fun, collecting a little additional money for a specific cause. I usually try to avoid “Kofi ne Amma” for various reasons, but I actually forgot that today was the first Sunday but in fairness I enjoyed the dancing and competition. Today we were told that the collection would be used to improve the washroom facilities as currently it would be highly unlikely to encounter God in the washroom in its current state. I can’t dispute this.
GHANAIAN DAY NAMES
Sunday borns - seemingly reserved, well behaved or shy. I’m not entirely sure which. Boring!
Monday borns - a rowdy rabble. They pranced down the aisle with three flags and two banners!!! Show offs!
Tuesday borns - the largest group but without the vim to match. Tired.
Wednesday borns - the smallest group but definitely the most vocal. Loudmouths!
Thursday borns - we may not have had a banner, but we definitely had the best moves.
Friday borns - Very smiley. Their old ladies had by far the most vim.
Saturday borns - appealed for Saturday born affiliates - mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles to join them to bolster their offering. Cheats!
You are a useless goat! Your mother gave birth to an idiot! God didn’t give you sense!
My “dropping” taxi was travelling a little too quickly down Spintex Road this afternoon and sort of collided with another car.
Unfortunately for the driver, a pickup lorry full of security guards witnessed the accident and parked across the road to insult him.
I’m neither a linguist nor a literary expert; but I adore words. Learning new words and their meanings can keep me occupied for hours. I rarely have the opportunity to use these new words, but I just like to know what they mean. Apparently I’m a logophile.
I often sit in awe of those who are eloquent in their chosen language and are able to effortlessly construct beautiful sentences. It is a gift.
However, there is a common and seemingly Ghanaian-only phenomenon/affliction that we suffer from regardless of our location in the diaspora. Ghana is a country choc-full of sesquipedalians.
Essentially, Ghanaians have a tendancy to hit you over the head with all of the long and obscure words they possess in their vocabulary. Using twenty words instead of five is our favourite activity. Most of the time half of these words are surplus to requirement and not used in context. Showing off perhaps? I’m not quite sure.
I was asked to edit a letter of complaint a couple of days ago. The first sentence contained the following words, “preposterous”, “exorbitant”, “concordant” and “rapacious”. My head still hurts.