Useless Column: ‘Baby at 74’


When someone who is superior to you by all standards, starts addressing you as ‘Boss’, ‘Chairman’, ‘’Director’, ‘Chief’, ‘Borsu’ etc, don’t accept it o; it’s a scam. The opposite is also a scam. You are in Accra and someone lower than you by all standards starts addressing you as ‘Borsu’, ‘Chief’, ‘You do all’, etc. all he wants is some coins to get going. When you are in Oseikrom, the title changes to ‘Director’. Beware! You may be dashing out money by ‘hat’ just because you have been flattered so your head sweet you as someone lower than you calls you ‘Director’, and then piaa…piaaa…piaaa. You dole out fiftey Ghana! When our side chics also want to get us to be activating the mommo line, they start by ‘Baby’, ‘Honey’, ‘the Love of my Life’, etc. It is a scam o; don’t fall for it though I fall every day.

Many young people desire and are actually interested in making a life abroad. This desire has been there since since. They will do anything to get there and do what they wouldn’t do in Ghana. You remember I sojourned abroad before and used the name ‘Mr Rosemond’ to work. Because it was not my real name, my supervisors would call aaaaaaa right in my face and yet, I won’t hear! I became speech impaired and hearing challenged by force all because of nokofio! Ao! Hmmm! The craving to survive is a real grinding project. Alla!

While on the streets of abroad one day, I caught the heart of a beautiful white lady whom I helped to carry something into the booth of her car. We fell in love moments after. I was 25 years old then. The age gap was not much; she was only 74! Subtract 25 from it. The difference is 51! Please don’t worry; my maths is not good. The correct answer would have been 49! I liked her because her looks were similar to those of my mother’s elder sister, Daavi Agbanor. She was pretty with her veins partially exposed with a nice set of ‘manageable’ teeth though I later discovered those teeth were artificial. She said she wanted us to marry. I embraced the idea knowing it was my dream to get married to an obroni. People would be singing for me in my village when I bring her home: ‘Yevu Yevu Bonso3…Nyama Nyama Bonso3! At least that would guarantee a total elimination of my ancestral poverty which has transcended till now! Away, poverty! She wasn’t as romantic as I expected but this is a fine opportunity to get my papers too. I was physically very lanky and for somebody like that to agree to marry me only tells me her problems may be bigger than mine! The veins and bones in my neck were on display. In Avey Dapa, it is called ‘gakli meets gakpey’ (scrap metal meets granite stone)! But I have to ‘sacrifice’ as it was a timely intervention to scrap poverty in the family tree!

Ei but until I travelled abroad, I didn’t know it was that difficult to get young white ladies to marry o, herh! So I managed this ‘grandma’ of mine as my wife but what shouldn’t have bothered me was her lack of interest in giving birth again though at 74!

Then the wedding took place in a church with very few people attending, I had no relatives attending because they were refused their visas. I was happy no one got the visa because my senior brother, Abraham Zogbenu of UG would kill me if he saw me marrying someone as old as my grandmother. The least he would do if he was present would be to laugh at me till I faint; I know him.

But I didn’t mind because the oyibo people made me believe age is nothing but a number. That thing is not true o. If in doubt, why aren’t Yegola and Abedi still playing football?

In the church, ‘You may kiss the bride’ Kai! Hmmm! It was a difficult situation but man must survive; I managed to ‘pass that test’ somehow. My brother, you should be there to see the anger and frustration on my face at the time I was compelled by my background in poverty to say ‘I do’

Then we were to sign the marriage certificate and the church had many apartments and the place we signed it was the same place we had our refreshment. It was a kind of apartment called condominium. That was the first time I got to know that the word ‘condom’ could actually be found in some church buildings. However, the short form of condominium is not condom o; it’s condo or in short ‘corn dough’!

Nothing annoys me more than addressing my grandma as ‘Honey Honey’ in every utterance that came from my mouth. Trouble if I didn’t.

The wahala after marriage? Ala! Anyway they say ‘for better for worse’! Today she is fine, tomorrow, I had had to deal with one medical condition or the other and the visits to the hospitals, you can’t count! She would often let me carry her at the back from the top floor to the ground floor before driving her to an infirmary. Poverty no good o!  I had a young Ghanaian friend who also got married to an 80-year old man. The story was no different. Accra stay by plan but abrokyire stay is by strategy.

Every weekend, we had to go out jogging together and she had a walking stick and kissing in public was not frowned upon by their culture. You should see that woman and I as husband and wife walking the streets of abrokyire. Besides, she was extremely jealous and suspicious of every single phone call I made or received from Accra. She often threatened me with extradition and divorce even though by virtue of our marriage I was already a citizen.

I recall the day my pastor back in Ghana asked me to send him a picture of myself and my wife. God is good! He saw it and nearly had a cardiac arrest as he covered it up with the excuse that the Holy Spirit was at work! I agreed with him and indeed it was only the Holy Spirit that got me surviving this marriage albeit for a short while. Since then, I vowed never to send any picture to anybody again.

As for bedmatics, I felt I was committing murder punishable by my conscience and as to how I was going to do it, just imagine. She liked talking and could talk aaaaaaaa till I fall asleep and when I do, she would wake me up to continue talking, talking, talking. Habaa!

Her meals were made of uncooked leaves. Raw garlic and lettuce were in abundance after which I had a daunting task kissing and it was a MUST! Eish!

She’s always upset with one thing or the other and I blame it on cultural differences.

I wanted my own kids but with an impossible 74 year old ‘grandma’ who has declared her intentions not to born, a plan B was imminent. I needed to come down to Ghana to ‘plant a seed’; she followed me.

She was everywhere I passed and my friends were just laughing at me. She said we should visit the mall. Whaat! Well, I gave in and at the mall, she wanted me to be holding her, arm-in-arm and holding her by the waist. At this point, the Naija song, ‘All I need is your waist’ didn’t appeal to me anymore. The small boys and girls around kept their fone cameras on us, albeit secretly but I saw them since I knew their intentions. We made it back to abroad. I remember the day she forced me to post the pic of the two of us on phasebook and forced me to caption the picture: ‘Me and my Baby”! ‘Baby’ at 74? Ao! What kind of poverty alleviation program is this, I kept asking myself in annoyance!

The day this Mamaga discovered that I was in a serious relationship in Ghana was the day I found myself back at Kotoka in chale worte!

Marriage of convenience? Never again!

While this story is as untrue as a mere useless fiction, enjoy the long weekend and be good even if it has to cost you. My name is Zogbenu and I have ‘too much money in the bank account; how to share it with people is my problem. Come and collect; I broke pass you. Hahaaaaa!

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