HOMETOWN’S JAMESTOWN

Posted: February 13, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Sweat pours from my body and evaporates so fast so that I cannot tell when it starts and stops. There was no other rational way to make the trip to Jamestown in the Accra capital of Ghana but the trotro, in today’s economic crisis; I kept reminding myself why that was the best and adventurous option I could have for my first travel writing expedition. I felt prickly sandwiched between two huge women unfortunately suffering from the same misery. The sun was overhead, literally.

I was unhappy with how I was feeling, certainly couldn’t complain about the weather. I got sadder each time the bus stopped to lay off passengers and take in more to fill the empty seats; I wondered if any of the huge women missed their stop -let’s save all that drama for the expedition. I finally escaped at my stop.

If there was any vivid description of this travel, one would be the immediate wind that blew my neatly combed fro in disarray. The breeze accompanied with it was a familiar one. I knew I was in my hometown. Straight ahead were the little children at the shore, walking, running, playing barefoot, most of them being naked and free enough to throw their light weights carelessly into the sea. As if the waves didn’t make enough noise, the older men fishing, and women dressing the seafood, kept with their deafening screams as though they were fighting. The natives of this town are known for that -their aggressive and earsplitting tongue.

After capturing a few Ga moments, I decided to pay my father’s relatives a short visit. I remembered the route to my paternal great grandmother’s home, strangely. The overpopulation in this town was intensely disturbing, particularly where I found myself. Just when I thought I’d passed through one house, I enter another; there were no walls or gates to separate the houses. There were at least 3 to 6 people, mostly women sitting together having loud conversations while chewing their traditional sponges and spitting out saliva sheepishly.

Finally I’d arrived ‘home’. I’d foretold the literate residents of the house about my short visit so they were able to make me out. Besides Ghanaians being hospitable, they seem camera-shy with random photographs and street photographers. The buildings fascinated me. Their kitchens built with clay and utensils so old that seemed like they could never be replaced. They all looked vintage and old fashioned. There were certain fabrics I saw my distant relatives in which I wish I had. I bet if I’d sewn a modern style with such fabric and worn it in the city, I’d get the envious stares. Every woman loves the envious stares. So, I coaxed them into carrying on with their chores and natural discussions while I took some shots. It was beautiful, the scenes.

At dusk, I requested to take my leave since I didn’t intend spending the night there. One peculiar aspect of the Ga people is their love for food. One of my cousins managed to get me on a wooden stool while I was playing modest about eating. ‘Ganyo ji bo’, she said, meaning ‘you are Ga’, insinuating that I naturally love food. She insinuated right. Hah!

I could’ve sworn that crab was saved for me. It was so huge I had to reconsider the number of balls of kenkey to consume with it. But the shrimps, just the way I like it; countless in my meal. It was a good one -the meal. After telling them how much I enjoyed the meal and my love for shrimps and octopus, they thought it generous to pack up some fresh octopus and shrimps with some red-fish for my journey back home.

Choosing my hometown for my first travel journey wasn’t a bad idea afterall. In actual fact, I felt reconnected to my people and their way of life. Yes, the food played a major role, but it’s just natural of me, I am Ga.

One word that kept wandering in my mind on my way back was FREE. Back at Jamestown, everyone seems free as if nothing is at stake. They don’t get bothered with power outages, they’ve learned not to rely on it. When the taps don’t run, they’re aware the sea doesn’t run dry. Never was there a moment I saw a child alone by himself. They are as free as the waves of the sea, undisturbed. Freedom can never be overrated. Everyone enjoys freedom, yet we find ourselves bound in so many ways we equally find ourselves free of.

Unlike the natives of Jamestown, I’m not used to living without electricity or processed water for days, well, not just yet.

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Comments
  1. gracey says:

    then are u really free

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