26 May 2012
I had a dinner with my former boss yesterday, and we really had a good time, chatting from about 6.45pm till late, about 11.30pm. My driver lives about an hour away, if there is minimal traffic but could sometimes take him 2-3 hours, and it was also too late to let him go home. So I asked him to spend the night in my sitting room. This morning, I asked him if he wanted to go home and come back, since I wanted us to go out toVictoria Island for some shopping today and perhaps pass through the office. He reminded me that today is Sanitation Saturday and therefore cannot move between 7 and 10am. I, therefore, needed to get him some food, breakfast.
‘Do you know how to cook?’ I asked him.
‘No,’ he responded.
His wife cooks for him, he explained.
At work a couple of weeks ago, we got into a discussion after one of the cleaners in the office admitted that he didn’t know how to iron! Ah, I explained to my colleagues, in Ghana, ironing is one of the key jobs of a young man when growing up. For me, I learnt how to iron even the intricate kabas of my mum and sisters.
As for cooking, even though I grew up with four sisters and older brothers and didn’t have the responsibility to cook for the family, I was responsible for fanning the coalpot, picking up saucepans and also washing the dishes etc as mum cooked. I also had to use the tapoli to grind the tomatoes and pepper in the apotoyiwa or asanka. By so doing, I learnt by observation. From time to time, mum would ask me to stir the stew and taste for salt level, and so on. In the University, I cooked for myself as I didn’t have enough funds to be eating outside all the time. I went to the market at Asafo to shop, my parents sent me foodstuff from Wasa Akropong – yams, plantain, kontomire, fish, bushmeat. It was cheaper this way to fend for myself.
Many of my mates in Tech cooked as well, though some were lousy. I remember a colleague who wanted to cook jollof rice. Paddyman started with water, then added Frytol to the boiling water, next to join this emulsion was the tomato paste and then the pepper, with generous helpings of Royco cubes. The rice got it along the way. Suffice it to say that he ended up with a suspension of rice in oily water!
Nasiru got me thinking again this morning. Is it that the average male Amalamanian is brought up not helping with any house chores at all, across the various classes? This is worth an investigation.
I just finished preparing some breakfast for him to eat. Bon appetite, Nasiru.