First time in Church in America

I, Kwasi Sakabo from the holy vil­lage of Addo Nkwanta, somewhere in the wilderness finally arrived in the Almighty America by routes that best not be described, metamorphosed as John Mends, if you know what I mean. And the most logical thing for me to do was give thanks to my Creator.

And so, to Church I went even though I cannot remember the last time I did so. I may belong to the one time first son of God, but my harrowing journey to America humbled me and for once concluded that my Almighty grandfather indeed had more powers than my adopted rebellious father. I just couldn’t be so ungrateful to God. I soberly walked into a charismatic church, sat reflectively at a back pew and attempted to listen to the preacher. After what seemed to be an unending sermon, castigating sinners, and urg­ing 10% of earnings to be donated to God, all first-time worshipers were asked to stand for introduction and blessing.

I did not entirely close my eyes as mass prayers were being given to us, and saw one of the four preachers started towards me. My witty mind knew something was amidst, but couldn’t nail it down. He inched closer and amidst the loud prayers, whispered in my ears “Kwasi Sakabo! Since when did you become John Mends?” in­stantly putting his index finger to his mouth in a signal for me to zip it up. But he wasn’t successful for no one gags Kwasi Sakabo of Addo Nkwanta. I yelled his name “Yaw Akote mankani fool!”- the mankani fool given him by Massa Duodu in elementary school. The prayers drowned my pronounce­ment and probably saved Rev. Joshua from embarrassment.

Rev Joshua (as he was passionately called by parishio­ners) intensified the prayers at a high crescendo, till the presiding preacher clapped his hands in a signal to end the prayers. He came closer and looked me straight with unwelcome eyes. But no one intimidates Kwasi Sakabo, not even in a place of worship. As he turned to go, I rhetorically asked 5 + 5, making sure he heard it without much distraction. He briefly paused but quickly walked away. “The devil had apparently caught up with him in church”, I could imagine him uttering it to himself.

Yaw Akote and I were bosom friends growing up back at Addo Nkwanta, till he snatched Ama Poposi, the most gorgeous chick in the holy village of Addo Nkwanta from me. I never for­gave him. Worse of it was that he was academically challenged and had to quit school to tap palm wine. I com­pleted standard seven with distinction and became a pupil teacher. I was the poster boy who knew everything about America, but Yaw had palm wine money. In the end Ama Poposi con­cluded that money was worthier than mere yakkity-yak and left me for Yaw. I never could understand why a pretty and smart school mate like Ama would give in to a dunce who in a basic ‘fill in the blank” English class had selected “always” instead of “never” to fill the blank for:

“Dogs ___________ drives a car.”

Massa Duodu nearly killed him with “Malam Tula” his canning whip that was always immersed in water. But it was during Mental – an oral exercise of simple but quick arithmetic lessons on Mondays – that finally broke the camel’s back and drove Yaw out of school. Massa Duodu had asked Yaw the answer to 5 + 5. He as usual hesi­tated and Massa, with the regimental disciple of an Akuapem head teacher hollered and towered at him repeating the question. Intuitively Yaw placed his two hands into his two side pockets and brought both side pockets together in front. Somehow, he succeeded and quickly blurted out the answer – 11!

Kwasea, Yaw Akote mankani fool” Massa Duodu went berserk, “you’ve countered your manhood in addition to your ten fingers, someone fetch me Malam Tula”, he boomed. “Your very last name portends that you are a fool. Just remove the first letter “A” from Akote, and you’re transformed to nonsensical profanity.

Yaw Akote knew the con­sequence of Massa’s wrath and simply bolted away. That was the last time we saw him in school. Making money was better than receiving Mallam Tula any day. And with the money coming in, he snatched Ama Poposi from me, Kwasi Sakabo, champion Atta of Addo Nkwanta. After most of the palm trees had been tapped and dried up, Yaw Akote ended up in Accra apparently doing 419 and kalabule. He had tasted money and women and couldn’t come to terms with reality. Police hand­cuffs and stints in jail became part of his big city life in Accra.

And now, all of a sudden, here in America, I come across Yaw Akote, aka. Rev. Joshua preaching the Word. After Church, one of the Pastors en­gaged me in conversation as I waited for a bus. He told me I could come back any time, provided I did not stir the hornets’ nest.

“Osofo”, I called, “I want to become a Pastor.” He looked at me carefully and said “You know, that call is not for everyone and I don’t think it’s for you.” “I’ll pray about it, because I sense I’m being called,” “By whom?” he wanted to know. ‘By whoever called Yaw Akote” and with that I boarded a bus that had pulled by the curb. In the bus, a smile registered on my lips as I quietly reflected “Rev. Kwasi Sakabo. “Wonders”, they say, “would never end”.

Kwasi Sakabo, a fictional column appears regularly.

Posted by on Jun 29 2021. Filed under Artcultainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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