GHS3 – by Abena Magis

Some years ago, I found myself bored daily at home because I was jobless. To make it worse, I was broke on top.

The coins I was expecting from someone had dropped but it was too late to go to the bank for it. I hadn’t eaten the previous day and it was taking a toll on me. I tried to pretend I was fasting but it was so hard that by 6pm I had to find food by all means. I ransacked all my bags, jeans’ pockets and searched underneath the bed etc looking for money. I did find some totalling GHS3.

I quickly went out. I didn’t know what I’d get but I just had to eat. My area then wasn’t exactly a real estate but finding food to buy wasn’t easy and when you did, you had to pay more than what was jingling in my pocket.

I walked a bit and found biscuits and drinks. Nope. That wouldn’t do so I walked on past store after store without finding any proper food and I was getting frustrated. I finally saw a cooked rice vendor and told her I wanted rice with boiled egg GHS3. She said no and explained further that she only laddles out rice at GHS3. I told her that I don’t eat a lot and so will waste rice of that quantity but she still said no. I walked away hoping she’d call me back. She didn’t. Something told me to go back but I said no. I’ll go forward.

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I moved on and now there was no store or vendor in site just bushes on a road I usually traveled on in a car. I didn’t want anyone who knew me to see me on it so I quickly veered onto a very dusty side road. I was now not just hungry but very exhausted. I walked on for about 5 minutes and met a Fanice cream seller. I started debating within myself whether to buy 2 GHS1 pie and one ice cream or 2 sachets of ice cream and one pie. I could even buy one of each and have change but obviously, I wouldn’t get full.

I stood there staring at the vendor so hard that he pushed his cart towards me. When I shook my head, he grumbled probably miffed that I’d given him high hopes. I went further and couldn’t find any vendors. I was now roughly 30 minutes walk away from home and it was now evening. I just couldn’t walk a step further. I saw a store with its gate locked and went to sit on a ledge in front of it. I knew I had to walk home but didn’t know how to conjure strength the way Okomfo Anokye conjured Sikadwa Kofi.

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A few minutes later, a taxi pulled up and a woman and driver alighted. She was a Kenkey seller and that was her spot. I sat up straight because though I hadn’t thought of it, this was what I needed. I could buy just GHS1 of it with pepper and still get full. She smiled and apologized to me for coming late and quickly set things up while telling me how her day went. She then asked me how much I wanted and I told her that, “all I have on me is GHS3.”

She smiled and gave me two balls of Kenkey and because I had waited for her (Ha!), she gave me GHS2 worth of fish. I had set out from home with a plan to buy just a meal and ended up getting served two for the same amount!

Why am I sharing this? It’s because our quest for love can be likened to my food search.

We get so hungry for affection that we accept anyone who shows us the slightest bit of it. It’s costly because some people are looking for what you aren’t or can’t do. Some of us then try to change ourselves into the persona our partners want but we are always left with regrets whether things work out or not. Then there are the quick romance like FWBs which leave you craving for more because they were never what you wanted in the first place.

Finding love, the love that is requited, demands patience. It demands being lonely for longer. It means sometimes changing your perception about who to be with and how your ideal relationship should be. Most times, it means lowering your expectations so that when you finally meet someone, they could end up meeting your expectations and more.

Don’t let your hunger for love rush you into relationships you’ll end up regretting being in. Take your time. Become friends. Find things in common and know who really you are so close to before you finally agree to be with each other.

Don’t date and start thinking marriage. Get to know each other before deciding if you want to marry them or not. Don’t make marriage promises immediately because you can be blackmailed to still get married even when you’ve realized you don’t love them enough.

Don’t rush and crash. There’s no rush.

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Written by Abena Magis

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