*The following post, which may be given to the odd bit of melodrama and/or nauseatingly mushy sentimental drivel, is inspired by my older brother, Nana Osei, whose birthday is today.*
Long before I knew what posture was, or even HOW to pronounce posture, I had a critic for a brother, who would command me to stand straight, not slouch my shoulders and tuck my tummy in. Every girl needs an affectionate critic. Now, of course me, my shoulders and stomach thank him for a good lesson in posture.
For a steady while, if anyone asked me what my most embarrassing experience was, I would burn with shame that I fell for his trick one day. It was back in those days in Ghana when a 50cedi coin could buy you a ball of kenkey and fish, and against my better judgement, I let him persuade me that if I took a 10cedi coin instead, I could buy waakye (pronounced something like 'waachi', a classic rice and bean dish with gravy, accompanied by different accoutrements, depending on one's palette).
So I traipsed to the waakye seller down the road, squeezed effortlessly through the teeming crowd of people waiting for their turn to be served, and tugged insistently at the woman's cloth. When she darted an impatient, annoyed glance at me, I declared importantly that I wanted to buy waakye, with egg,spaghetti, fried fish, gari and nantwi nam (beef) for 10cedis! The woman hurled herself to her fullest height, and gave me a good telling off for having the gall to believe that I could make such a premium selection for a mere 10cedis. And the gathered crowd nearly split their sides laughing at me. Then, and only then, did I realise that my sneaky brother had easily relieved me of my 50cedis, and handed me a measly 10cedi coin in return, and not only that, stood a safe distance away, cracking up over my gullibility. For a long time, I smarted from that day...it nearly put me off waakye forever. But not quite. You don't earn your stripes as a bonafide rice lover if you let one little 'incident' put you off. So he's a tricky one too, my brother.
He's also smart and funny with a wry sense of humour. Naa'Sei, you're a lot of things, but I'm just glad you're my brother: as annoying as you are amazing! Happy birthday :-)