I have been told I was born in the early hours of dawn just after midnight. I have been told it rained so hard that no one heard me cry my first cry. I have been told I was rather too noisy yet adorable with every twist and turn. Oh I have been told I was handsome, so handsome that all the baby girls stopped crying immediately I was brought in. I looked exactly like my pa I’ve been told.
They say I will become a doctor, or a lawyer or any such profession they can think of. They say I’ll be responsible. They even say I will become important in the community, that I will solve problems and bind people. They say people will look up to me. They say a lot of things.
Aku said she likes my eyes. She said they remind her of the stars at night, when the sky is so clear and calm. She said I was sweet when I giggled and smiled at her last night. Aku said that I make her feel safe when I walk her home. She has said that I make her happy. She also says that someone admires me. I know she’s talking about herself.
Mansa told everyone I’m proud. Mansa told Kwame that she doesn’t like me, and complained to Kofi that I am childish. She told Asana and Abiba that I am a cheat. Alidu told me that Asana told him to tell me what Mansa told her yesterday. Then Alidu told me that Mansa is jealous. Alidu told me that Mansa likes me. Alidu told me that she is only afraid of being hurt. I told Alidu that I don’t care.
Naa says her mother said Efo is troublesome. My mother says Efo is bad company. Agya Attah says Efo is disrespectful. Maame Obolo says Daavi is disappointed in her only son. Mauke says Efo says he doesn’t want to be like his father. Mauke says Efo’s father died poor and miserable. Efo says he’s not proud of what he does. I say Efo is my brother.
Some silences are made of words that are tired of being shouted. So my ears hurt. I can’t paint this picture while the colour-blind hangs around my sight. So my eyes fail me. Whether the glass is half empty or half full, it depends on whether we’re drinking or pouring. So my mind is blank. The axe hits where it is asked but the tree falls where it pleases. So my free will is in chains. The storm comes in a mass you see, but oh the rain falls in pieces. So there is hope.
I was told what they thought.
They said what they hoped.
Aku said how she felt.
Mansa said what she didn’t want to say.
Efo said what he feared.
I can hear
They can hope
She can feel
She can pretend
He can fear
They have said. I have heard
They have presented their case. But I am the judge.
I am all hears.