I remember telling my first boyfriend he was the first man I had ever kissed. And he is. But he wasn’t the first person I had ever kissed. Before age 10 I had french- kissed a female, one of my childhood playmates several times. We weren’t allowed to play with the boys or bathe with them. We weren’t allowed to show them our underwear. As females we had only each other. I always had the impression it was better to get caught by Mother kissing a girl than kissing a boy. She might smack me a little less harder.
Until senior high when some girls were sacked from school for lesbianism, no one had informed me there was something wrong with woman on woman or man on man. Perhaps society, especially my mother was waiting for me to intuitively know. But I didn’t quite consider that. I liked the boys but if I found a female attractive, I never hesitated to admire. I took that liberty.
I had a poor impression of men for a long time. I thought they were troublemakers. They are only fit to help women make children. I saw Mother take the most important decisions and lead the most important steps in my life. Dad remained in the back. Grandma was the same kind of woman. I knew nothing of my grandfathers. Suddenly I wanted to marry a woman.
I grew out of all that. When or how I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if lesbianism wasn’t a sin in my religion, would I consider being with a woman? In the spirit of Oye Lithursm, my answer is personal and will not be shared. But do I agree to same-sex marriages? Again, my answer is personal.
Marissa I decided to provoke sentiments on the topic yesterday in our ride to work. Mum and my big brother vehemently said no to gay acceptance. Mum said it was sin. TT said seeing men kissing is one of the appalling things about London he’s glad he left behind. Mum said Ghana will be cursed if we took to it. “Too much sin will climb up to God”. But I played the advocate and said women have fought for their rights and are now doing things they shouldn’t do according to the Bible. Isn’t all that sin “climbing up to God”? Mother said a woman indecently dressed or a woman on the pulpit hurts no one by going there. Now I am asking you Marissa, how does two men kissing hurt anybody? As the argument went on both T and Mother had no strong reasons why gays shouldn’t be allowed to operate except for sin.
If that be the case, right after abolishing it in the constitution, adultery and fornication should be punishable by law like incest and bestiality.
Sin? For who?
Everybody is talking about same-sex marriage being sin. Ghana is a Christian state founded on Christian principles eh? Before Christianity the traditionalists were here so they have a say in the matter. Muslims also have a stake in Ghanaian religion. Have I missed any major group? Let me know. With these big three, none support this same-sex affair. But if Ghana is going to accommodate many more liberal religions and atheism, then there is a loop hole for the same-sex agenda. Obviously you can be Ghanaian and atheist. You have no regard for God or his principles how then are you subject to what is sin and what is not? If to have no religion is your religion, you can’t be measured by another religion’s yardstick.
And Marissa can there be such a thing as a gay Christian? It doesn’t seem to work that way. If God so loved gay acts why did he condemn what they wanted to do in Genesis 19 and other instances? Or has he changed His mind since the Old Testament? If I am having sex unmarried saying virginity is old fashioned, then isn’t anti same-sex marriage old fashioned? Is there a difference between a Christian who backslides and sins, and one living in perpetual sin? But then aren’t the majority of us perpetual sinners? This sin matter at all can it hold in an intellectual argument?
Don’t judge one until you meet one
I have had the opportunity of being around a gay man. He was cool Marissa. Nothing wrong here. I should confess that knowing he is gay made me comfortable around him. After all he “had teeth” but he couldn’t bite me so I didn’t mind him massaging me. I think I let him straddle me too. I liked him back then I still do. He is normal. Maybe his mannerisms are softer for a man but you only mind when you choose to. They are human beings like us who just want a different lifestyle. How do we go about condemning what they do and not they themselves? Is it possible to do that?
An issue of human rights
According to my uncle a married woman secretly got married again to her lesbian partner. Her husband found out earlier and went to the ceremony with a gang. They disrupted the ceremony but then it deteriorated into a raid so they beat up the lesbians, took mobile phones and money and other booty and left. The lesbians couldn’t report this issue to the police or anyone for obvious reasons. Now for this, I do not agree. The women that were assaulted should have gotten justice. Even a common thief in Makola can find protection in police custody away from those pursuing him. Is a thief in the market place more of a human than a lesbian?
I haven’t said no or yes to gays because I am more concerned about the hypocrisy. If you want to arrest two men kissing as the man that impregnated his daughter or one that had sex with a goat, then kindly arrest the fornicators and adulterers.
Also, should Ghana ever allow atheists or liberal religions a stake in the constitution, we should note they are not bound by laws concerning Christian and Islamic sin. Gay people on that note should be accepted. But on the issue of being assaulted like the women, I think that should move to infringing on someone’s human rights and not a gay matter.
What do you think?
One night over a week ago, after chugging an unnecessarily chilled drink, I realised I couldn’t breath. I thought I had been sitting too long all day but it wasn’t so. In my fear I told my mother. She was upset. She gave me an I-told-you-so sermon. “You don’t sleep, you don’t eat, you don’t come out of your room, you always look pale, you always have anaemia … I keep telling you you will be ill.” Marissa her words made my life flash before my eyes. She eyed me one more time and said, “Pray it is not BP.”
Several people adviced that I should go to the hospital. In fact I needed not to be told. I was already terrified. At the doctor’s after describing my symptoms, he checked my blood pressure first. He uttered “Wow”. Ei Marissa Papa Doctor said wow, what does that mean? But the anxiety ended when he added “Perfect”. He asked a couple of questions more and so on and announced that I had an ulcer. Ulcer? No hypocrisy Marissa, I didn’t even grieve because I knew my lifestyle.
I have had ulcer recurring, once in junior high and another in uni. However none of the health professionals linked my incessant chest pains, periodic nausea, weight loss since age 19, breathing difficulty, dizziness and back pains to that damned disease. I look back at my painful back I’d let Kobe rub, clutching my chest in pain for so many days only to be told I had worms, nausea upon nausea, constant weight loss since 19… I was relieved it finally made sense but I was mad at myself. This is the second illness I have carried since school days that I haven’t paid attention to.
I know I am not alone in this. There are many people out there not taking symptoms seriously. Pain and discomfort in the body is a good sign the body needs to be checked but we don’t listen. We dislike going to the doctor and you can’t blame us because it sucks to seek healthcare in Ghana. The waiting time, menopausal grumpy nurses … Going seems so much like a huge task. But we need to move. Headaches we link to tiredness, stomach aches we attribute to last meals, self diagnosed allergies and so on could be life threatening conditions we are growing inside.
A friend once told me that you can be it all and have it all but when the mortal body is damaged, when the vessel in which the spirit lives is damaged, then what is the worth? In short give your body consideration like you give everything else. But the thing is sometimes we are ignorant, other times we are adamant, then we can also care but not have the will to take action.
In some days my friend Harold Ankrah will be buried. I keep asking what was wrong with Harold. What did him in? If it was sickness that could have been cured if taken seriously or detected earlier, or even prevented, that will be just too sad. But Marissa simple illness left to thrive kills people. Underestimate nothing. If we still insist, then we should not call on God to answer for deaths that he has given us means to prevent.
For me about that ulcer, whatever damage lies within, it’s upon my own head. I still miss meal times by minutes sometimes though I am doing better than before. My reaction on the day I couldn’t breath just proves to me I don’t want be sick and my lifestyle now should prove so.
What kills the young Marissa? What can kill you? If you don’t want to die stay away from it.
But one more thing, sickness might sometimes not kill you and relieve you. You will be alive but incapacitated, with so many rules to adhere to keep you alive and so much pain. That Marissa, is misery and is even worse than dying.
Often we solicit advice. No man is an island they say. If you want to master living, you have to learn from those that have gone ahead of you and learn from their mistakes. You need not make all of your own just to learn. However Marissa there is a line, a thin one, between getting good advice and being mislead.
I usually have questions out of the blue for people concerning relationships. “Edem, would you leave Ghana to be with your husband, if it came to it?” “Mum, how secretive should you be in a relationship?”
Sometimes I don’t do the asking. I am rather asked. But with these experiences I have noticed people who are somewhat broken have different views from those that are happy with their partners. Some however have been through a lot but nonetheless they aren’t blinded by pain. They are objective and the spade is called a spade.
I am more particular about views from people still stuck in their pain. These are people who don’t even realize that their exes are still haunting them. Love like religion and politics are subjects that are useless to argue over with the aim of coming to a consensus. People will always carry their own views based on their experiences.
Marissa I am beating about the bush … The thing is I sorta told someone off for something I assumed he could have done. I accused him of something under the influence of what someone had said and now I know sey I blast*. And you know just because of his past, I gave him no chance to explain himself. I wouldn’t even listen. You know I am not naive, I know we are all capable of things even those we are wrongly accused of. However it is always best to trust in people we have decided to love. Until they do something wrong and you catch them at it, I think you should give them a break.
Marissa trust is a decision. It doesn’t come automatically especially when you have lived longer and you know how awful human beings can be. So now I feel if you are “waiting” to trust, then you never will. But even more so if you are full of mistrust for another based on what another has said, then you might be making a big mistake. And please I am only talking for relationships between these men and women that we love and ourselves.
There are some of your friends you should be tired of listening to by now. “As for me” “Me deɛ” “Oh by now he’s with another girl” “That chick, she be sᴐm*way” Bla bla bla bla … All just because they have had it bad previously.
Marissa despite the negative aspect of listening to others, I know there are men or women who have been saved by advice. So the question now remains, where do you draw the line? Between getting good advice and washing your linen in public only to get feedback from those who don’t know how to wash theirs?
Trust … is a decision and I did decide to trust and on two consecutive occasions I was let down. One was abysmal — a total April Fool made out of me. The other, I had it coming. But even with these I still advice, if you have to rely on others’ assumptions, not even eye witnessing but assumptions, then you will have a problem.
Until this false accusation got me into trouble, I thought the idiots in my past were gone. But Marissa they don’t go entirely because you are afraid to have your time wasted again. That makes you vulnerable and so the moment your advisor ignites suspicion, you are already on fire, burning what it has taken you time to build.
Marissa read sentence 4 of paragraph 6 again. Italicized for you. And yeah Marissa I can hear you saying it now. Shame on you Sandister, shame on you.
If you didn’t get the * words
*SϽm way — Some way (usually used to replace “inappropriate” in Ghanaian pidgin English)
*Blast — A term in Ghanaian pidgin English, used as a verb intransitively often. It means to have done something wrongly especially in an embarrassing way. It could be the equivalent of “epic fail”
Stuff happened in 2012.
I couldn’t go to grad school, it was upsetting. Pepe thought it appropriate to die when we needed him the most. I met a “crab” but I failed to use him to prepare soup. As an Akan will say, “Mεntumi amfa kϽtϽ anyε nkwan.”* I also got a job then I got fired after my probation. As a Ghanaian, the Woyome scandal, Mills’ death, the plane crash at El- Wak and Election 2012 tensions disturbed me. For the Melcom disaster, I was just depressed.
The lessons that came out of these events are what I have always known and that is why I believe that what many of us need in our lives are the ability to remember relevant experiences and the power to apply these experiences, to the perfection of our lives. Just remember what to do and exercise the power to do it.
On not going to grad school, all I will say is 2013 is another opportunity to kill it. (As a Facebook friend put it). 2013, I have another shot at going back to school. In life, look out for and also be grateful for the chances at another shot in everything. That’s life’s kindness to us even when we mess up at first. Go claim what you lost.
On death, mum thinks death is profit, life rather is a hassle. That statement hasn’t left me alone, then Harold dies this year soon after New Year. I will write to you about Harold. Soon. For now on lessons from Pepe’s passing, I believe you should love and share with those you want to now. No procrastination and hardening of the heart should stand in your way. We shouldn’t wait till they are dead, then cry or begin to pay useless tributes to them. If not when they do die, shut your mouth and don’t grieve. You didn’t love them enough.
On Ghana, the nation didn’t go into intense chaos but I still feel that many Ghanaians don’t know jack about democracy, peace and civility. C’est comme ci comme ça. Shame on the people who went on riots and for those that went verbal online dissing some groups, they were pathetic. We had to be begged to remain calm which didn’t have to be so. But some countries have it worse. Previous years, have been worse. So I am nonetheless grateful the streets remain free till today.
I told you I was fired from my job after probation. Planning Wikimedia Ghana found me afterwards and I now get to be part of a team of a global movement very relevant in the digital media industry. I had to get fired from somewhere to get here. I am now a licensee of Wikimedia Trademarks and an active contributor to Wikipedia and other wiki projects. Marissa just equip yourself and be yourself. When one door closes, based on what you are dedicated to, another will fly open.
I also I started a business with my Dad. He is a retiree with over 20 years of experience in printing. I wanted to encourage him not to give up on life. 60 years plus and he now has a company. It’s not too late to start. I on the other hand partnered with him with social media services and e-publishing. We will complement each other. 2012 gave us the slot in time to launch and I am grateful. I learnt from someone back in uni this about entrepreneurship and starting out — “It is possible”.
My love life in 2012 was actually 2011 bitching on me. I came into 2012 with one of these so-called “it is complicated” relationships. All I have to say is when someone is honest enough to tell you they are in a relationship but “it’s complicated”, bolt. As the name suggests, they are indeed complicated. I went to God about it. You see many of us feel sϽm* way going to God about love. We ask God for money, protection but love, naa … we leave it for the desperate people to do that.
I got some common sense to ask God for some peace of mind and I believe I am in the processes of getting it. After Mr. Complicated, another dude’s Android synced his Google contacts and he suddenly found this woman on his phone, he thought she was pretty, called her up on Viber …we are three months old. I don’t have all the factors but I know I did pray. However I am not being complacent. I am still praying. Men and women can be funny. I want the best for myself. I will not build my house and fall asleep where I am now just yet. This might also be just a temporary camp. No matter how sweet these relationships start, no matter how good they make you feel such that you go stick out your tongue at your ex, you need not get complacent.
17 days into 2013 how are things? For me, I made no resolutions. I made quite a few years back and I am yet to finish fulfilling those. But with speed and dedication, I will finish and perhaps 2014 I will have new ones to make.
If I am to advice anyone on what they should try doing this year, I would say “apply”. Apply what you know. You know the good things you should do for yourself so apply what you know. Make it a point to remember what is relevant and apply it.
If you didn’t get the * words
*Mεntumi amfa kϽtϽ anyε nkwan — I couldn’t make the best out of the situation
*SϽm way — Some way (usually used to replace “inappropriate” in Ghanaian pidgin English)