Saturday, 28 November 2015
The sun is scorching. It is typical in our part of the world. Today, the heat is unbearable; it is at an all- time high. Other parts of the world are gearing up for the cold. Well, same cannot be said of our part of the globe. We are lashed by rays of heat; unimaginable heat. On this busy road, activities are taking place. The passengers in the commercial vehicle are using whatever means they can to get ‘additional’ air as they sit cramped shoulder to shoulder in the hot and rickety bus. The blind beggar is singing her tunes in a bid to get some munificence from impatient, sweaty passengers who cannot wait to get to their destinations in the midst of the endless traffic. The passenger in the front seat puts his hand in his pocket in hopes of helping; he pulls out a note. He notes the times we are in; two weeks to pay day. He retracts the action and shakes his head. The handkerchief seller, under the mercy of the hot sun, is sweating profusely. His plight is a classic example to humbly but in a funny way remind us that, “Possession is not the same as ownership”. The government is on the radio and as usually, they are announcing ‘unseen’ monumental developmental projects. The little baby is crying. Its throat is in need of succour; the mother is woken up from her slumber by an older woman and is scolded for neglecting the “future president”. The newspaper seller is busy showing off the appetizing front pages of the newspapers he has in his hands to attract curious buyers. This might not be his day, maybe this vehicle has no occupants who are in need of ‘brain food’ at the moment. It is getting hotter by the second, the only school boy in the bus is wearing a crumpled school uniform. There seems to be an interviewee in the bus, he is wiping the sweat that has gathered on his brow with his already wet and dirty handkerchief. The sweat has trickled down unto his brown envelopes. This is not the time and continent to be clad in a full piece suit at this time of the day. In the midst of all this, we hope. We hope for brighter ‘tomorrows’ if there is any such thing in our part of the world. We hope for better health care, better educational systems not the ones inherited from tattered lecture notes of dead professors, we hope for better jobs and with it, better remunerations so that even in this hot bus, the journey to the bank on glorious pay day will be worth every little sweat. We hope for human angels to grace our part of the world. But till then, we will keep fighting on. We will do the best we can, to put smiles on the faces we care about. Hard it may seem; better still, hard it is. But we press on despite the odds. I need not remind you but, in this rubble we may appear to be, but still; we rise. My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is just a RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT. MORE AT randomafricanthoughts.blogspot.com
Monday, 23 November 2015
Fred had gained the admiration of Ellen. On ‘special’ occasions, as Fred put it, he basked in the glory of Ellen’s love. On one of such occasions, Ellen called Fred “Daddy”. That night, Fred could not sleep. He was so elated that he and Ellen were finally beginning to get along. Fred was determined to keep the rapport going. Ellen on the other hand was beginning to also get some liking for her father. She was once praising him to Cheryl saying that she really appreciated the time he spent with them when he was off work. On the eighth day, after the birth of Fred’s son, a plush naming ceremony was held for him. Fred’s eldest Uncle chaired the event. Fred’s father had passed on two years earlier so his younger brother stood in his stead. Fred decided to name his first son, ‘Isaac’, which meant 'laughter'. Fred’s wife, the ever beautiful Cheryl, could not agree more to this name. When word got out that Fred’s son was to be called ‘Isaac’, the news was received with mixed feelings. Some were of the view that God had smiled on Fred to regain his lost ‘possession’. Another school of thought stipulated that the name was chosen to spite David because Fred had managed to constitutionally take away from him the one thing he so much desired. This, though a rumour, was not far from the truth. Many years passed after the naming ceremony of baby Isaac was held. With the passing of time, many events had taken place. Significant of all these were the many birthdays that were held for Isaac. Ellen could count ten of them. For Isaac, the next birthday was more exciting than the previous one. On his sixth birthday, Fred and his family had two reasons to celebrate. His wife Cheryl had put to bed again. She had given birth to a bouncy but cute baby girl. Both of them had decided to name her Macaria. Macaria was almost four years old on Isaac’s tenth birthday party. Ellen too had made much progress. She was now the manageress of Fred’s fleet of transport companies and was the Director of his luxury car dealership. She had graduated from the university some years back and was very successful at running her father’s business. Many of her customers knew her to be a very shrewd business woman who always fulfilled her part of any business deal. Her father respected her for that. Ellen was still very much in love with her first love, Collins. On their graduation day, Collins managed to make it a memorable day. After the graduation ceremony, both the families of Ellen and Collins hosted both of them at an exquisite dinner to celebrate their achievements. The dinner was held in one of the best restaurants in the city. After the families had all had their fill of the many delicacies served them, Collins proposed a toast and asked for the waiter to bring in the cake he had ordered to crown the evening’s celebration. Before Collins proposed the toast, he asked permission from Ellen’s father to allow her stand by his side. Ellen was wearing an exquisitely made blue evening gown laced with the traditional ‘kente’ cloth. She was wearing a beautiful emerald necklace which was given to her as a graduation gift by her step mother, Cheryl. Fred had gathered from Erica that ever since Ellen started growing up, she had harboured the ambitions of one day marrying a prince to make her a princess so on her graduation, Fred bought a crown for her which she fixed in her hair. That night, Ellen looked like a true beauty queen. Ellen was looking all gay and excited by the fact that she had all her family members around even though Fred disagreed to her suggestion to invite David to the celebratory dinner. Ellen managed to find her way to Collin’s side and Collins proposed the toast saying, “I would like to thank you all for all the support and encouragement over these four years”. “We find ourselves here today because of your efforts and words of encouragement.” “This toast goes to all of you”, Collins added and asked if Ellen wanted to add something else but she was so full of excitement that nothing really mattered at that material moment. The waiter finally came in with the cake Collins had ordered. He placed the cake in front of Collins. Collins asked Ellen to help him unpack the cake as he took a second sip from the glass he had in his hand. Ellen took a little peak and saw that it was her favourite type of cake; chocolate cake. “Wow, It is chocolate!”, an excited Ellen exclaimed. When she went on to open the cake all the way, she received the shock of her life. The cake was coated in creamy chocolate and had little love-shaped toppings. There were some writings on the cake but the cake was turned backwards so Ellen could not make out what was written on it, when she turned the cake to be able to read what was written on it, she put both hands over her mouth in surprise. On top of the cake were the inscriptions, “Baby, Please Marry Me”. “Oh my God!”, Ellen exclaimed and looked at the faces of all the people gathered and instantly knew that she was the only one who was not aware of the surprise they had planned. Collins took Ellen’s hand into his and said, “Ellen, from the first day I met you, I knew that a day like this was going to come”. “You make all my pain and sorrow go away and you are one answer away from making me the happiest man on earth.” “This is my question to you, Ellen, will you spend the rest of your life with me by being my wife?”, Collins asked in a trembling voice. The room was dead silent and Ellen still had her mouth cupped with her right arm. All efforts to get her to say anything apart from “Oh my God” and “Oh Collins” proved futile. Collins started to fear that his proposal was going to be rejected. Ellen looked at all the people gathered again and looked back at Collins. “You are making me nervous, Ellen”, Collins said. Ellen nodded three times in quick succession. “Baby, to make this binding, this is the right time to say ‘yes’ if you are going to accept the proposal”, Collins jokingly said, when he sensed how tense the atmosphere was getting. The people gathered room broke out in uncontrollable laughter and anxiously waited to hear Ellen’s response. “Yes!”, Ellen yelled out. Collins went down on his knees, brought out a ring he had kept in his pocket, slowly took Ellen’s hand and slowly placed the ring on her finger. He rose to his feet amidst cheers and applause and hugged Ellen who was already in tears. Collins whispered into her ears, “Thank you for making me the happiest man on earth, now, we have two reasons to celebrate”. Ellen never forgot the events of that day. Three years had passed since that night but Collins and Ellen had still not walked down the aisle due to Collins’ commitment. He had won a scholarship to study in South Africa. He was already in his third year and was bound to return the next year so that they could finally get married. The distance and time that had passed did not worry Ellen or Collins. Collins was bound to return the following year so they could finally walk down the aisle to merit the title 'man and wife'. Ellen was always caught up in business dealings. She had somewhat built for herself and her father, an unparalleled dynasty of business. Many business moguls respected her for the unmatched success she had bestowed upon her father's company. With her help, Fred managed to win a contract from the government to supply vehicles to all the ministries and arms of government. It was the biggest contract ever won by anyone in the transport business. Ellen who knew the terrain and type of competition that was available advised her father to send her step family abroad till the contract was sealed. She was concerned about their safety. Fred agreed and had Cheryl and her children flown to France to spend sometime there. Ellen and Fred then got to work to ensure that they won the contract. On the final day of the presentation, Fred was awarded the contract because of the many recommendations he had managed to get. He wanted to be the first person to break the good news to Ellen so he quickly sped off in his Range Rover Evoque homebound to celebrate with his hardworking daughter. He got to his gate at exactly 7:30pm on the Thursday night. The whole house was plunged into pitch-black darkness. Fred never spent more than two minutes outside his gate because Ellen was always there to open the gate for him even before he honked. Today was different, he had honked for close to ten minutes but there was still no response from the other side of the gate. He used his copy of the keys to gain entry into his mansion and parked right in front of the main door. He used the light emanating from his IPhone 6 to find his way into the hallway where the main switch to his house was. He managed to get to the switch and illuminated the house into the Christmas tree it was on a nightly basis. He called out Ellen's name. Upon calling for the third time without a response, he knew instantly that something was amiss. He always had the police emergency line on speed dial so he selected it waiting to hit the 'send' button if he suspected any foul play. He walked through his enormous hall looking for signs of forced entry. Upon reaching the side of his giant LED TV, he saw a figure coiled on the tiled floor. "Ellen!", Fred yelled and rushed to her side. She was in pain and was crying. "Ellen, what is wrong with you?" "Who did this to you?", Fred asked all at once looking for signs of an intruder. Any effort to get Ellen to say anything else apart from squeaks and gibberish proved futile. Fred bundled her in his arms and gently placed her in the backseat of his Range Rover. He quickly sped off to the nearest hospital which was a few blocks away from their house. As he hit the main street, Ellen managed to finally speak, "Please take me to my doctor", an alarmed Fred who was trying to dodge the legendary potholes on the road and at the same time trying to save the life of his first child looked back and said, "Please let me take you to the community hospital for first aid then we can go and see your doctor." Moreover, I don't know who your doctor is". Fred then turned to face the road. Ellen spoke again, "Daddy, please, I don't want any other doctor aside Dr. Johnson". "He is at the Durban Clinic which is close to the underpass near the new Bayview hotel which is under construction". When Fred heard the title Ellen used, he agreed and sped off like a formula one car driver heading towards the underpass. The underpass was usually deserted at night. When Fred got to the middle of the dark underpass, another car started approaching from the opposite direction. "Can't you see me coming?", Fred yelled out at the oncoming vehicle. He honked for the car to make way but there was no response. He tried to reverse to allow the troublesome driver to pass but when he tried, another car shone its light on his car from behind. "What is the meaning of all this?", a frustrated Fred let out. Fred got out of his car to find out what was going on. Immediately, two masked men wielding locally-manufactured pistols got out of the car behind him. "Where do you think you are going?", one of the gunmen asked, pointing his weapon at Fred. Instantly, Fred knew that they had fallen into the hands of robbers because everything seemed so professional. "Who is in the car with you?", the second gunman barked at Fred. "Please sir, it is just my daughter". "She is not feeling well so I am taking her to the hospital". "Please don't harm us, I would give you anything you want", Fred said in a trembling voice. The gunmen ordered Ellen out of the car and ordered both of them to lie face-down on the ground. All this while, the occupants of the first car were still inside the car. Immediately both of them were face-pressed to the ground, the door of the first car flung open and a masculine figure started to make his way to the spot where Fred and Ellen were pinned. Immediately the figure was standing over the two captives, Ellen jumped up like a child on an early Christmas morning and hugged the person. Fred was in a state of shock and left confused as he calmly lay on the tarred ground but waited for his captors to make the next move. "Did you ever think that things were going to turn out this way?", the figure asked. Fred's world came crushing immediately the last words of the masculine figure touched his eardrums. The words belonged to no other than David, his worst nightmare. "Fred, you left a permanent scar in my heart". "I trusted you even to the point of death but what did you do?" "You were so selfish and thought of only yourself and your happiness". "How does it feel now to have the tables turned in my favour now?", David asked and gave Fred a kick in the stomach. "Ellen took over proceedings. She recounted how they both orchestrated this turn of events. "I have never loved you because of what you did to David". "Ever since I found out the truth, I have hated you with so much passion with each day that passed". "I had to be patient just as David said and do my best so that I gain your trust". "Unfortunately for you, this is the end of the road". David and Ellen had fake passports made for them and first class tickets bought for South Africa that night stashed on the glove compartment of David's car. Fred knew his end was near so he let out shrill sounds and pleaded for mercy. "Mercy is the last thing you need", David said. He requested for a pistol from one of the gunmen and began to attach a silencer to the muzzle. "Before your world ends, I want you to take a good look at me", David said. Fred kept his face pressed to the ground disobeying David's request. "Look at me, Fred!", David yelled. The pistol began to speak with David's help *clock*clock*clock. It was 11:39pm and Emirates Flight 419 was bound to touch down in Johannesburg Airport in approximately 7 hours and 35 minutes. David and Ellen looked at each other as the plane was about to take off. THE END. MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY AND THIS HAS BEEN "BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS". THANK YOU FOR BEING A LOVELY BUT PATIENT AUDIENCE. MORE at randomafricanthoughts.blogspot.com
Monday, 16 November 2015
Saturday, 14 November 2015
I have always thought to myself, "When I become a 'big' man in the not too distant future, I will recount stories of my life's journey at the least opportunity I get". I will let the listeners and viewers, if possible, know my story; my true life's story. I guarantee and hope to make it an interesting one to anyone that gets word of it. It would be one of sincere apologies. It will not in any way follow the normal trend of the praise singers and accusers. It would be dedicated to the people and opportunities I abused. I would make it an apology letter. That being said, I better pen it down before I eventually become a big man. I do not want to miss this opportunity. Therefore, I write for the future. "I appreciate all the people I have hurt to get this far. To all those I took advantage of, to those I made to take the bullet in my stead and did not even stop for a minute, turn and see if the damaged caused them was a flesh wound or an everlasting scar. I apologize to all the people who made me shatter their dreams in one way or another just to allow me get to this height. I apologize for all the lies, tricks and mind games I played on other people to achieve selfish gains. I am sorry for not saying sorry. I am sorry for always fighting to be at the receiving end of all things and not for once giving it a thought to also be a giver for others to trade places with me. To all those I looked down upon and thought I was better and smarter than, this apology goes to you too. In as much as I try to deny myself of these undeniable truths, they cannot be hidden or held down from coming to light eventually. I therefore resign my fate to the old saying that there are three things that can never be hidden forever; the sun, the moon and the truth! This is mine. It is because of you lot that I am not where I was supposed to be. I raise my glass to honor you all." More at randomafricanthoughts.blogspot.com
Thursday, 5 November 2015
The atmosphere in the court room was charged up with arguments flying all over. Even though Ellen was nowhere to be found, the lawyers for all the parties involved in the custody case were literally at each other’s throats as they tore each other’s arguments to shreds. The case was on recess after six hours of fiery banter among the parties involved. The judge kept asking for the whereabouts of the daughter in question but was told she was not in court. Ellen’s phone had repeatedly rang so much so that when she woke up to pick it up, her battery was almost dead. The night before the court hearing, she spent it with David in his room. They chatted the whole night through. At certain points in their conversation, they reminisced on the old times they shared together and tears flowed at certain points of their emotional walk down memory lane. She eventually fell asleep in his arms and they woke up the next day to realize that they were almost late for the court hearing. David quickly rushed out of the bed and expected Ellen to do same but she was reluctant. David hurriedly took off to the court after Ellen had promised him that she was right behind him. Now, the first day of the hearing was almost over and the person who was at the heart of the bone of contention was missing. After the recess, the judge made it clear that the lawyers of all the parties involved had very solid arguments for the custody of the daughter in question for their respective clients but the sole power of who to decide to be with lay in Ellen’s bosom because she was an adult. However, the judge stated that during the next hearing, Ellen was supposed to appear in court or else the issue would be thrown out of the court. Before the judge could finish, the courtroom doors swung open and Ellen started her way into the court room beautifully dressed in a Yellow dress and had on a black blazer to match the color of her shoes. She quickly found a spot close to her mother and sat down. “Where were you?”, Erica asked. Ellen who was all smiles replied, “I was dressing for the part”. “If all of you want me, I must look the part because you people are at each other’s throats and I am slowly becoming a celebrity for the wrong reason”. “I have always wanted to live an unassuming and quiet life but all of you don’t seem to get it”, Ellen added looking at David and turning to smile in Fred’s direction. Ellen’s presence brought in its wake a little commotion in the courtroom so there were shouts of, “Order in court” and at a point, even the judge had to bang the gavel to stress the need for some order. All three lawyers approached the bench when summoned by the judge to enquire about the cause of the disturbance. Fred’s lawyer announced to the judge that Ellen had walked in and the fact that she was sitting close to her mother could be detrimental to his client’s chances of getting back his beloved daughter. The judge asked for the lawyers to take their seats and said, “I understand the lady in question has finally made an appearance”. All eyes turned to look at Ellen who was behind them. The judge asked that Ellen be made to mount the witness stand. Ellen was summoned and as she rose to her feet, all eyes turned to the back of the courtroom from where she was coming from. It was almost like she was the winner of a beauty pageant. All eyes were fixed on her and she took her time to catwalk all the way to the stand. Ellen had grown so well that she had taken on the bodily features of her mother. She had firm breasts that made a lasting impression to every eye that gazed at them. Her thick lower lip was also a joy to behold. It was quite stunning but just like her mother, Ellen rocked whatever dress she wore and the day in court was no different. The perfume she had on left its mark in all the rows she passed right up to where the witness stand was. As she mounted the stand, the judge addressed her, “I understand you are Ellen and you are the reason for our gathering here today”. “Yes please”, Ellen replied. “Are you sane in your mind?”, the judge asked amidst laughter from members in the courtroom. “Yes, I am very sane”, Ellen responded with a smirk on her face. “You are not under any form of influence be it induced or word of mouth or bribery or influence whatsoever?”, the judge asked again. “No please, Sir”, Ellen responded. “This is your first time in court, I can see, but you have to address me as ‘your lord’ when I ask a question”. Ellen nodded and replied, “Yes my lord”. The judge started, “You are not a witness in this case but I have you here in this box because I want the axiomatic truth to settle this matter amicably”. “Three parties want you but only one of them can have you”, the judge added. “The three parties all claim that they want you for whatever reason presented by their lawyers here”. “Before you mounted the stand, I made it clear to all of these people gathered here that I had no right to decide where you choose to go because you are way past the decision taking age and you just confirmed that you are sane in mind”, the judge continued. “We can all cut the chase and cut the matter short so I am glad you are here”. “I want you to tell this honorable court of your choice because I do not want us to drag this matter for more than a day so Miss Ellen, the ball is in your court.” “You have three separate parties, your biological father, your guardian and your mother”. Kindly tell all of us where you want to belong”, the judge added. Ellen took a deep breath and scanned the faces of the three people involved; she looked back at the judge. Ellen looked again into the crowd. She looked in Fred’s direction and remembered how generous he had been since she got to know the truth about his identity. Fred placed his hand on his chest and whispered, “Choose me, sweetheart”. Ellen looked Erica in the eyes and Erica smiled. Ellen remembered the incident where she was almost raped by the pedophiles when she was a little girl and vividly remembered the look on Erica’s face when she was finally brought home safely. It was a look of a worried mother. David was beaming with confident smiles when Ellen’s gaze met his. Ellen remembered all the good times and bad times they had to push through together. She remembered how she thought she had lost him when he was mistakenly attacked by robbers and she cried when she set her eyes on him on his hospital bed. More importantly, she remembered the conversation they had the night before and smiled back at David. Ellen then shook her head and said, “I choose my father, I mean my biological father, Fred”. Immediately the words came out of her mouth, David rose to his feet to vehemently refute Ellen’s choice. “She does not know what she is saying”, he screamed. “She is confused”, he added. The judge banged his gavel a couple of times and asked for order to be restored. The lawyers for David and Erica were up on their feet to object to Ellen’s choice. Erica moved from the back of the courtroom and engaged in talks with her lawyer to find out what the implication of Ellen’s words could bring. David’s lawyer requested for Ellen to take a break to rethink her choice. The judge asked for Ellen to take a break. Ellen refused the offer. “After the break, I would still choose my dad; he is the one I would choose even if the matter drags on for months, my lord”, Ellen said. The judge then started proceedings to close the matter by saying that “Let it be put on record that Mr. Fred Thompson, will with immediate effect, have the custody of Ellen till he decides otherwise” he then banged the gavel and dismissed the case. David was already in tears before the case was dismissed. He could not stand the fact that he was going to lose Ellen. Erica walked up to Fred and said, “You have won this battle but not the war which is about to follow”. Fred laughed, leaned in and said, “Sweetheart, there is not going to be any other battle or war, you have lost” and patted Erica on the shoulder. Fred walked past David, turned and smiled at him. David clinched his fist behind him and silently watched Fred walk out of the courtroom with Ellen and his lawyer. Per the court’s ruling Ellen was given a number of days to fully move in with her father. She spent a few days with David and a few days with her mother to compensate them for all the trouble they had to go through. The time she spent with David was the most emotional. “I would be visiting you regularly”, Ellen told David as she put the last of her bags in her Range Rover. She hugged David’s father and said, “You would always be my grandpa”. “Please take care of my daddy for me”. “There is enough food in the freezer but do not hesitate to call me when you need some more, I would always come home to prepare more for you guys”. With tears in all the eyes present, Ellen hugged David tightly and whispered into his ears, “I love you so much, daddy”. She walked sluggishly out of the hall and closed the door behind her. She stood behind the door and cried some more before finally driving off to her ‘real’ father’s house. Ellen was moving in with Fred and his fiancée. Before Ellen arrived, they had prepared her room and bought her lots of presents. Fred’s fiancée was a nice woman because she treated Ellen nicely. She always wanted Ellen to feel at home whenever Fred was not around. Ellen felt lonely at times and had to depend on Collins to keep her company. Because they were on their long vacation from school, Collins was almost always with Ellen. The two love birds were always seen swimming together in Fred’s pool or playing lawn tennis in their backyard. Whenever Fred and his fiancée went out, they used that opportunity to explore their bodies in marathons of love-making. There was one night that Fred tiptoed to Ellen’s room to check up on her. When he got to the door, he heard Ellen’s voice. She was speaking to someone on the phone. “I miss you so much”, she said. “How is grandpa?” Instantly, Fred knew Ellen was speaking to David and he became worried. He knocked on her door and let himself in. immediately Ellen heard her door creek open, she quickly hang up the phone. “I thought I heard voices so I wanted to check up on you to see if you were fine”, Fred said. “I just got off the phone with a friend”, Ellen replied. Fred nodded and went out of the room but never forgot that incident. Ellen had now stayed with her father and her fiancée for a year and a half but occasionally, she was allowed to visit David and sometimes she visited Erica. Fred had now become so used to Ellen that he had no more worries about Ellen’s allegiance. They got along so perfectly. Time had managed to bond father and daughter so much that Fred could do anything for Ellen provided it was in his power to do so. On her second year of staying with her father, he decided to tie the knot with his fiancée and officially make her the step-mother of Ellen. Their wedding ceremony was a well-attended event. Ellen was dressed beautifully and attended the wedding with Collins. Soon, Linda, Fred’s wife got pregnant and delivered a bouncy baby boy. Ellen was fond of the baby and always wanted to take care of him like she would her own. Fred could not be any happier. He had all that he ever desired and life had blessed him with a little boy…IS THIS ALL THERE IS TO LIFE “BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS?”…. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR THE FINALE COMING SOON. MY NAME IS EDWIN OKO LAMPTEY.
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