The Shadow Man Chapt.4

As usual, Clark’s car woke me up. I couldn’t stand up, i was very tired. I just lay down there staring at the ceiling until i remember what peter said yesterday. i wanted to tell Clark but something inside me said i shouldn’t. what if he’s a rapist and he wanted to use this opportunity to rape me? What if he’s insane? many questions popped in my head within a short period of time, I later agreed on not telling Clark. I finally got off my bed at 9am, i brushed my teeth and headed for the kitchen.

“what’s for breakfast” Clark shouted from his room

“Rice and Stew”  I shouted back

Rice and stew was Clark’s favourite, I prepare it almost every week. I finished cooking and i dished the food and placed them on the dinning table.

“Twinkle toes, Breakfast is ready” I shouted

“Be down in a sec” Clark shouted back

“Make sure you brush” i said jokingly

After few minutes, Clark came down and joined me at the table.

After eating, I went to my room to collect some fashion magazines and headed to the living room to watch TV, Clark on the other hand went to the basement to tidy one or two things. I dozed off while watching TV.

I slept for three hours, when i woke up i took my time to make up my mind if i was still going to see peter, i thought about it for thirty minutes until i made up my mind; i will go.

I went upstairs to shower, after which i wore the tightest and toughest Jean trousers i had and to make sure he doesn’t try any thing stupid, i took Sammy with me.

“And where are you going”

i turned around, i saw Clark leaning on the door frame looking very tired

“ I’m taking Sammy for a walk”

“Again” he asked

“Yeah, Again! i took him yesterday and he seem to like it, i think we should be taking him out often”

“Okay suit yourself, am going upstairs and come back before night fall”

“Ok big bro” I said.

I took Sammy and left the house.

I got to the lake exactly 3 o clock. I sat on the rock close by the lake and started replying texts on my phone. Irene my friend was asking if i could hang out with her tomorrow at the beach, i smiled and told her okay. She tried to tease me, she said they’ll be lot of boys because her brother is coming with his friends. i smiled.

“Sorry for coming late”

I heard a voice from behind

“Oh peter, you scared me”

“Oh i am very sorry, i didn’t mean to startle you”

“It’s okay, hmm you’re so early” i said sarcastically

“Sorry, i had to tidy of some stuffs before coming”

“Its okay” i said as i inserted my phone inside my pocket

“So you said you wanted to tell me something? Benson is not my father? what does that mean?”

“Yeah, My name is Peter Paprika, my father was a farmer in this neighbourhood. he died when i was a kid”

“Oh, I’m sorry”

“Its okay, he died inside his yam barn with my mother; someone locked them inside and set the place ablaze”

“Oh, did they find out who did it?”

“Nah, the police couldn’t find the people that killed them. I was two when they died.”

“I’m so sorry. But i don’t see how this concerns Benson not being my father”

“Oh yeah you are right, the truth is that i don’t really know if he is truly your father, i had to say that in the letter in order to make you come here”

“I don’t understand” i said as i brought Sammy closer

“See, when i was a kid, i saw you once and the man i saw you with wasn’t Benson”

“Meaning?”

“The man i saw you with, his name was Mr. Woods, and he introduced you to me and my dad as his daughter. That was two days before my father died. After that day, i didn’t see you again until the day you came outside to pay a guy that worked on the glass window at your basement”

“How did you know about that? Like you live at the end of the street, you mean you heard it from there?”

“Hahaha, no. I was in my friend’s room when i saw him working on the glass”

“You mean our neighbour? That freak is your friend?”

“Olu is not a freak, its just that he is not use in associating with people”

“Okay” i said, rubbing Sammy’s head

“I just thought i should tell you, i couldn’t recognize you at first but i took my time to look at you then i knew it was you”

“Hmm okay, all this stuff you’re saying to me is just funny and confusing, Like i don’t remember a thing from my childhood”

“Okay, maybe Clark knows something. Don’t tell him what i told you but just ask him if he know’s Mr. Woods”

“Really? he may want to know why i am asking then what should i tell him?”

“Umm just tell him that we were talking about agriculture then i said Mr. Woods was the best cattle rearer in this neighbourhood”

“Hmm okay, and then what?”

“Just hear what he has to say”

“Okay, Hmm so can i go now because he said i should come back before nightfall”

“Sure, lets go”

I took Sammy and we started heading back home, he said goodbye and took the left road, that was the short cut to the end of the street.

When i got home Clark was watching TV.

“Hi Clark”

“Hey Twinkle-toes, you finally came back”

“Hahaha, No i am still there” i laughed as i climbed the stairs

I took a shower and came down with my Nighties, Clark was still watching Tv so i joined him

“Clark can i ask you something?”

“Sure baby, what is it?”

“Do you know any Mr. Woods?”

Clark froze, he didn’t say anything for some seconds

“Clark?”

“Ummm.. No! who is he?” he said as he turned to face the TV

“A friend told me that he was the best cattle rearer in this neighbourhood”

“A friend?”

“Yes Peter, I mean Peter Paprika”

“Peter Paprika?” Carl said with his eyes wide open…

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Our Destiny

This is love; i agree, you agree

It “could” be love in our owners eye

Why complain? why can’t they let us be

Long distance, but our love clouds the sky

 

I mean everything i say, do not be afraid

My love is here to stay, do not be afraid

Hold my hands and let us set the world ablaze

with our love and trust, we can conquer

what God has joined let no man put assunder

 

All these i say to calm your spirit

it is real, give it a chance and you’ll see

maybe our owners will believe

Faith is what we should posess

When i get you, is when i will rest.

We lost a Star – Chimamanda Adichie

chim

On Saturday, Komla Afeke Dumor died. Six years ago, we sat on the green grass outside Bogobiri and became friends. He had come to Lagos to interview me. A tall, broad Ghanaian with an open spirit; sometimes we meet people and we know instantly that we will be friends, that we will get them as they get us.
“Is there any other continent in the world where the word ‘discussant’ is actually used?” he asked me. So he, too, was amused by that word! I laughed and laughed. We made fun of Nigeria and Ghana. We spoke about our continent, the things we loved and longed for, the broken things we wished to make whole again. He was travelling through West Africa and his first email, after he left Lagos, included a photograph. He wrote: “The attached photo is meant to make you laugh. Abidjan airport. 35 degree heat. And I met this brother who had just arrived from France. In a fur coat. Ah well. How else would his people know he was from abroad? Laugh and be happy.” Then he sent a link to photos of his trip and wrote: “if you’re ever bored enough to check it out and laugh at the expanding midriff of your Ghanaian brother.”

We lost touch for some years. I saw him again at TEDxEuston in London. ‘My discussant brother!” I said. And he, surprised and pleased, said, “you remember!” Of course I remembered. Did he not know, I wondered, that he was a person not easy to forget?

I watched FOCUS ON AFRICA with pride. Here, finally, was an African-focused show done right. Even if I had not known Komla, I would have been proud of his work. Because he pronounced his name the way it is supposed to be pronounced. Because he was an honest journalist, free of masks.

When his mother died, Komla wrote to me: “I tell you this because one day I will write about it. The ambulance ride. The Accra heat that day. The indifference of the nurses (why have you brought her here.. why wasn’t I informed..). The doctor whose first words when we arrived at the hospital was, “so have you said the final rites?”(as only a doctor trained in Africa could do).The way hope faded with each breath she took. The call at 4 am on Saturday the 13th of December. The voice at the end telling me she is gone. And perhaps the strange feeling I have now wondering why I haven’t been able to cry about this yet. Even though I know the dam is filling up in my soul…anyway maybe you have inspired me to write something.”

Komla’s words moved me. Love and frustration and grief for his mother, and also for his country, each feeding on and drawing from the other. Those emotions fuelled his reporting on Africa: his son-of-the-soil curiosity and authority, his quintessentially West African warmth, the space he made in his heart for mischief and joy. He was telling our story and telling us stories and representing us. Komla Dumor knew we had many failures, he knew too that hope could be wrested from African stories. He had a stake and it made a difference.

I last saw him in October at the African Leadership Conference in Mauritius. He was leaving. I had just arrived, and had missed a birthday party for him the previous day. “I thought superstars just don’t go to parties,” he teased, while I tried to make him postpone his leaving. I wish I had made that party. I wish we had talked more. I wish Komla were still here.

Komla swept into the world, stylish and sure, with his big chuckle, the light in his eyes, a genuine goodwill for people, a familiarity with laughter. He had no false modesty, yet an endearing insecurity lurked beneath his flair-filled confidence. He had, too, something close to innocence, a wonderful capacity for wonder. And now he is gone. We have lost a star. Go well, my discussant brother.