All right, since no one asked for the review of the Grotto, here I will improvise.
Timestamp was some few minutes to sixteen hours GMT (Ghanaman’s Time) and here I was roaming the streets of Botwe, in a desperate search for the next available mode of transport to the Bambu Centre in Adenta where I was headed.
Since no TroTros were going my route, I had to pull out my shattered screen of a phone and launch my temporarily favorite ride-hailing app in Accra and also based on its affordability, dearest Bolt!
It was a short ride. I knew the shortcut to the place. The driver was neatly dressed. Oh boy, he wore church shoes with a touch of white, symbolic of the Easter season. I believe he must have closed from church and didn’t change his attire. Church attendance is a central religious practice for many Ghanaian Christians.
Coincidentally, having read a couple of articles earlier this week on breaking the ice, I decided it was time to practice engaging strangers in a conversation. Victim number one was my driver, of course who turned out not very chatty.
I bugged him with my first set of questions: “How is the Taxify business?” to which he responded “Oh cool!”. “You own this car?”, “Yes” he retorted.
He then got a call and spoke for over a minute and that was enough for me to monologue under tone the following: “So that’s it, that’s all you have to say to me?”.
He just maybe didn’t want to talk. No wonder, he earned himself a four stars review for lack of outspoken skills right after he ended my seven Ghana Cedis trip. Some people have a strange tendency of ruining what the articles predicted as a good and fun experience.
The famous Bambu Centre! This is the place where we hold our literary event dubbed “The Grotto”.
I walked majestically into the premises and soon I met Davis, Mr. Sweet on words aka Brown Sugar himself. He must have gotten there earlier than I did, well obviously. Oh shoot and so were the 9 others who sat enjoying a light heated argument with details withheld from public domain.
As usual, I was greeted by some warm smiles. For a moment, I was tempted to believe that my presence brought in this much joy but nope the Grottorian folks that I know are just a bunch of nice people like that.
Then, I had to attend to my camera settings while the rest enjoyed whatever bit of conversation they were already having. All too soon, it was time to draw curtains to the activities ongoing for our business of the day to kick-off.
Next, was “Introduction time” and two new faces were spotted. “Father” Efo Courage opened the proceedings with a brief and thoughtful prayer. The famous sheet was now out and all individuals who were to partake in our holy reading exercise began jotting down their names.
I went for spot number 9 just for sheygey reasons.
After over a year in attendance, this was going to be the night of my very first reading, which of course most of you missed. I had rehearsed my piece practically throughout the day.
Read also: It is okay if you suck, I do too!
I knew I was going to suck, I was nervous but hey who cares, I was not going to turn down this huge opportunity of having a taste at public speaking 101.
So Davis began with his piece. Mawuli followed. Courage went in. Citizen read and handed over the baton to Kofi. Akorfa did same with Christel…. And wait who else was at number 8? Apologies if I left you out, I was only anticipating my turn.
Finally, came my turn.
As part of the whole act, I shared two unripe mangoes and the following paragraphs will tell you why:
“It’s Mango season,
And God no, not again, not these knocks, knocks at the door by kids at ungodly hours.
It’s Mango season again when I walk to the door with a frown on my face because they robbed me of my sleep.
It’s that season again and this tree bore fruits that I alone can’t eat, so might as well give them out so others can feast…. but not at the expense of my sleep.
It’s Mango season again… and that’s the only time of the year when the whole neighborhood acknowledges the existence of the Mango tree, the man-goes and I man (read “Aya man”).
Somewhere along the line we went for a break. It’s a bring and share event. Our break time is for networking slash catching up over some cups of fizzy drinks, treats from @sellystasty and whatever savoury we could nibble on. Thank goodness Nesta wasn’t around and although I missed him, there was enough for everyone.
Afterwards, it just kept going on and on and on with one beautiful piece after the other and the feedback that came along were simply invaluable!
So to all of you who missed out, I’m putting together a recording of the imagery in motion for your enjoyment which ultimately will never ever make up for your absence!
And, shoot again I forgot, Jesus visited us! Don’t believe me?
Well, ask MarieNoel DeGrant who thought the resemblance with Drake, the rapper was striking. But I just pictured Jesus in the midst of us all lol. He rose, arose and aroused many, you could tell by the look on their faces!
Another beautiful evening by all standards finally came to an end with Shelter and Steven who ended the proceedings.
Personally, aside beating my own demons to this game and finally sharing my piece after the constant push by Jo Nketiah and Nana Elikem, my highlight would be the positive feedback we received as a whole by first timers as well as old timers.
If one word could sum it all up, then the good old ‘VIM’ is what it would be. And kudos to Courage and Davis for moderating our session!
And thanks to you for attending my TED talk! If you love reading or writing, I hope I see you on the third Sunday of every month at Grotto in Adenta!
Hey, thanks for reading! Your support means a lot and I love you to bits for that! Share with someone on your timeline, wherever and whenever you can…! Ciao amigos!