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Opinions of Friday, 18 July 2014

Columnist: Albion, Kojo

"Sold Out?"

“SOLD OUT?” by Kojo Albion

That day in Cape Coast, Ghana, started out with lots of things to do and so right after breakfast, I took off to the University and then from there I went to Pedu to buy bread. At a location, close to the Store where they sell the bread, I saw a group of School girls congregated around an Abaawa (a maid-servant). Over there, it does not take much to draw a crowd and so I did not make much of it until I got closer.

This Abaawa, with a baby strapped on her back, was in tears and supervising some School girls. What were they doing, I inquired? What they told me was that Abaawa had a very sad incident. When she was about to step over an open stinky gutter, the cloth bracing the baby on her back loosened and she let go of her korba ( a large flat wooden tray) and so all her smoked fish dropped in the stinky gutter.

So what were the “helpful School girls” doing? Abaawa gave one of the girls money to buy her some sachets of water and as the two girls who had jumped into the stinky gutter picked up each fish, they gave it to the water sachet holders who washed off the smoked fish then they put it back on the korba.

Abaawa had to get back to her kyema (selling from house to house). Can she go home empty-handed?

Woo!! Do what? I asked. For Abaawa to get back to her kyema. Are you kidding me? I quickly stopped the School girls from doing what they were doing. I took Abaawa aside.

Amends: What will happen if you go home empty-handed? (I knew the answer but what else may I ask.)

Abaawa: M’aunt bokum me. (My aunt will kill me.)

Amends: Who is the mother of the baby on your back?

Abaawa: Maa meba a, na w’edzi bosom essuon. (My own daughter and she is seven months.)

Amends: How much was your stock (all the smoked fish on the korba)?

Abaawa: M’aunt se )y3 cedis ??//? (about $35 equivalent at that time (2009))

Amends: I will give you $50 in cedis, go home and tell your aunt about what happened, ok?

Abaawa: Eeeiyi, Papa, Nyame nhyira wo ae! (God bless you, Mister)

So that day, Abaawa “sold her stock” very early and she went away smiling and her baby saved from either falling from Abaawa’s back or being in the heat all day. Some men also came around and asked for the smoked fish for their dogs. The next day when I went back to the area, I was told that Abaawa and her aunt came looking for me. They left me a message of gratitude. To God be the glory. Go and do likewise.

Will you put a smile on an Abaawa’s face today? Bless an Abaawa because she was created in the image of God.

"When we benefit more than the people we serve, we are not serving."