I recall my first encounter with a market seller at Nyankumasi Ahenkro market. It was around October 2010 when I was in high school. I had not been in school for the past two and half month, and the trending briefings of phases of happenings in school by classmates dawned on me like a nightmare.

They said that I had being kicked against numerous topics. I in particular wasn’t purturbed but my parents because I was just not a ‘fan’ of classroom education. I was in Nyankumasi Ahenkro market on that fateful day to just observe the streams of the market. I had walked far from my village which was four towns past before mine. I walked through the dusty road which is still dusty and bumpy even today.

The funy thing was I had no cogent aim of going there but to just observe the trials of a ‘market woman’. On reaching the market, I hid myself at a distance which revealed not so much of my skeletal body. I had an ironical encounter with a beautiful woman who is a real typology of an African woman representing her true Ghanaianism in elements by her baby straped to her back.

Touched by her gestures and unalloyed mannerisms, I was certain to catch the flying tales I had fictioned in my head. I ask her questions that wasted most of her selling time. This woman by the craftiness of nature loved her work so much. I had answers to most of the questions I asked so I relaxed under a shade to wait for the next session of questionairè.

I opened my ‘big’ eyeballs which socketed it flat holes to see everything that was going. Not willing to miss the busy trending and unfolding bulletins going round, I came and sat behind this woman who was selling just at the very entrance to the markets inner temples.

The sweat triping down her face and the scorching sun that bathed her wet black skin brought my heart beats to a pulse. I had learnt from my Basic school science teacher that too much sun bath on the black skin can result in cancer. So then there I sat revising through my science notes with this exceptional woman as my topic.

When no customers were coming to buy anymore cassavas, I turned my head slowly, leaned against my shoulders and asked, mum so what at all are the reasons behind all of these your toils? She smiled broadly with a sparkling teeth and said my son my children, my children…They are the sweat you see me get soaked in.

She said she has four children, two, the elderst and elder in their second and first years in the Senior High School respectively. The other, the male amongst them now in his final year in Junior High School with the last straped at her back. 

The sad aspect was, just a day after delivering the last baby she holds now her loving husband died out of no ailment nor accident. She has since then single handedly toiled hard to cater for them. Asked whether she ever attended school, she said though she wasn’t privilege yet she believes that the best property she can give to her children was education.

I realised she had walked from a far village on a foot path to sell the cassavas from her farm to provide for the basic necessities of life to her kids. 

I learnt a lot from this beautiful yet humility possessed woman. She advised me and encouraged me to thread on the path of education since that was the surest road to greatness. Before I left she then echoed into my ears saying, my son always remember “the pride of an African woman are her children”.

I left around three-thirty pm and before I could say jack, I was left with my shadow, the beats of my foot steps and the melodies of birds as I walked home tired and with lot of talking scenes taking flashbacks.

Nana Arhin Tsiwah (c) 2014.


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