Before dawn, he is up. Sweeping the cold dew-laden concrete with his broomstick. Scratching at the pavement, sweeping the dead leaves of the fruiting lemon, avocado, and soursop trees. Sweeping the shit of the foreign dogs. Sweeping his dreams of another life away into the dust bin. Then dumping the waste into the bola to be rolled out to the front of the house for the garbage collectors to pick. This is Kwabe’s morning.

And he would be like every other houseboy if not for his voice.

“One love…” he sings as he sweeps and sweeps. “Let’s get together and…

My girlfriend was always nagging about wanting to surf. So on our anniversary, I took her to a surfing class as my gift to her. She was skeptical at first. Worried it was too soon to take on the not so monstrous waves. Then she asked “What board?” — then I said “they have some at the class.” Then she asked “what beach” — then I said, “they have some at the class.” Then she was quiet.

Skepticism soon turned into anxiety. Her eyes drawn to the water. Her teeth chewing on the inside of her mouth. I assured her…

Manyo Brown didn’t ask for much from life. A chance to do his land surveying work at the Lands Commissions. A chance of a loving wife. And maybe kids. A chance to drink his herbal teas. And a chance to pick his nose in peace.

Manyo long knew that the secret to a happy nose was to pick at it with an elongated pinky nail. His father had been his role model in this regard. And a few other regards as well, now Manyo came to think about it. Like working for government parastatals. Like drinking moringa and bitterleaf every…

1 — Why Don’t You Get a Househelp?

Charlene Aduma stood in Dariah, her younger sister’s, living room with her hands clasped behind her back and her eyes staring at a picture of her and her sister some 20 years ago. The image faded and another one taken around the same time, and probably the same day, came into view. This one was with all their families together at the Movenpick Hotel pool. Charlene moved toward the frame looking to pause the photo before it faded into the next one. …

1 — Tell Me What You See

Nurse Amena wasn’t rough with Mavis, but she was missing the tender touch one would usually associate with a nurse. Mavis had to remind herself that this was Ghana, and one could never assume the expected. She had been posted in the Netherlands for a couple of years prior, so that must’ve contributed to her unrealistic expectation of her country's people. She’d been back a few months now, her program with the Dutch Development Agency, also known as RVO, having ended as expected. …

Dawn in Dzorwulu was always a dazzling affair. The orange hue from the horizon reflected on its many high-rises a transcendent cool of colors. The blushing pink of the Adu-T building for fashion, blue of the towering Stanbic Bank heights, and jade from Green Ventures’ blocks were but a few standouts on the Main Street.

On the street level, pedestrians made their way to their daily business, acting as the fillers in this geometric glass work of art. Every so often a mob of runners would march pass, soldiering through the middle of the road. …

1 — Unmasked

Hand clenching the mask stuffed in his pocket. His eyes staring at the object at hand. The fence, just as high as it had always been. The security cameras, as ever, blankly staring. The structure itself, a triangular prism. Rigid. Compact. Black. Between him and the task, an oasis. Glimmering. Luring him in.

He pushes it to the back of his mind.

The sun glaring. Pebbles of sweat trickling down his tensed face. The heat, unrelenting. The dust, suffocating. Behind him is failure. Behind him are stretches of paved road back to his village. Bare. Grey. Inhuman.

The typical gang-sign and pose in front of a car that is almost ubiquitous across all social media in W Africa

In Ghana, there’s a popular saying someone says to a not-so-close friend when you see them in town looking fly and living good. Like “Chale see you, your money come!” The usual response would go something like “oh nah,” and dismiss the earlier claim that in fact “the money hasn’t come,” at all, or if it has, it hasn't come as much as the other guy. Then it’s all laughed off in the brief moment's lightheartedness. This piece isn’t on my issues with small talk content in Ghana, but the hidden meanings of the term “Your money has come.” What…

God, I am bound to you infinitely.

There is a tether that ties heart and soul together. An intangible substance that gives us our meaning. This substance goes beyond what we call bonds. Or what science can proclaim to us. No matter how much we are made to think ourselves not part of you, the more I begin to see how I am. That we are.

This morning I woke to the Sun as I would any other day. There was a warm glass of water on my bedside table and sitting innocently by it was a tiny white tab…

Photo by Morton Hemkhaus

Chapter 1

The waves are a force of change. Eternal. Magical. Ferocious. Instantaneous. As it had been that day. Long ago it seemed to me. I, reliving that memory being played back in my head or databa- whichever one it is, I am not so sure. What I am sure of, was the power of the wave; when it collapsed around me, and twirled me in its wake, and I was little more than a smoothened stone in the short shore of the sea. Sun on top, lazily humming, my body laying in a heap, languid but alive. …

Ekow Manuar

The stories we tell have a life of their own and they work between the realm of what is real and how we conceive that reality.

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