Yevakpor is her name. It means ‘‘I have been in this life before.’’ Something like ‘‘Ababio’’ in Akan culture. My grandmother is well into her 80’s. Life’s wear and tear have not succeeded in reducing her frame to frailty. She is still sturdy and tireless with a steel of resolution inside of her.
When we get to talk on the phone, her accusations through the ear-piece are piercing, I am accused of not calling often. Before I voice out my defence, she elevates the argument. ‘’Even your father doesn’t call me much. What is happening to you people in Accra?’’
Ever steady on her feet with her all-grey head, you won’t catch her in one place for more than a few moments. She is on the move. If you advise her to slow down, Yevakpor will retort:
‘‘I don’t know how to! Do you want me to get sick?’’
When you manage to wake up early enough you would catch her treating fresh fish and smoking them for sale. If you think she is damn strong you would be very right. But wait until she gives you a hug, you will know how strong passion for a loved one can be.
There is another passion Yevakpor has – a strong belief in education. Before you think she is one of those Keta-borns who received the early Whiteman’s education by virtue of the coastal-colonial-connection, let me say no. She is a Tadzewu-Devego child of Agbozume pedigree.
At this point let me declare that my loving grandmother, Yevakpor has a little challenge- she is illiterate. And for an illiterate, I don’t know how she was schooled about education because her expectations are a bit too high. Or so I think. Yevakpor believes that anyone who has seen the insides of a classroom must possess magical solutions.
When the recipient of formal education is a female my grandmother is overly expectant. She values the opportunity. To her, any young lady in school is ‘’Sukutor’’ (The Educated One). She showers that accolade like a freedom-fighting chant on any girl in school uniform.
To me, my grandmother’s problem is her expectations from the educated. She does not see why the world should be filled with problems when there are so many educated people.
Writer– Kofi Akpabli, The Miseducation of my Grandmother (published in the anthology, Mother)
**Make a date with Kofi, Elizabeth-Irene Baitie and Nana Awere Damoah for the “Tickling Legon With Nsempiisms” book reading on 25 March on Legon campus.