Surah al-Kafirun and Other Matters

Below is an English translation of Surah Al-Kafirun, the 109th verse of the holy Quran.
Say, “O disbelievers,
I do not worship what you worship.
Nor are you worshippers of what I worship.
Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship.
Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship.
For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”

No matter how I look at things, I will never be free. I don’t like talking. It’s something one will notice a few minutes after meeting me. I like to make it count when I talk but recent happenings have made me wonder if I really will ever have the freedom to not talk about “maybe unnecessary things.” Is it a punishment that I want to be a Muslim?
When I wear a head-covering, a lot of non-Muslims want to know why I’m wearing it, what would happen if I were to take it off and why other Muslim ladies don’t wear it. That is the main topic for discussion. And then next, they want to know when they will see my hair.
When I’m not wearing a head-covering, a lot of non-Muslims want to know why I’m not wearing it and if I am a practicing Muslim. They always want to know if I also pray five times a day. No matter what, I can never seem to be able to convince them that I am a practising Muslim who just happens not to be wearing a head-covering.
This veil-wearing-or-not is so often the ice-breaker in conversations with new people I meet. Respect comes in many forms; like when you know you’ll not convert to another person’s religion and you pester the person with questions whose answers you already know just to compare notes and decide anyway that your religion is superior. It’s so not cool, people.
You will not be a worshipper of what I worship; neither will I be a worshipper of what you worship. For you is your religion, for me is mine.
I am a Muslimah who likes other things too. Yes, I am Manchester United FC and Real Madrid FC supporter. No, I don’t follow the Game of Thrones seasonal movie. Yes, I think the Game of Thrones books are more awesome. No, I have not listened to all of Kendrick Lamar’s songs. Yes, I think Kendrick’s Humble video is cool. I think Lorde is awesome. I enjoy watching black-and-white movies from the sixties. I am interested in learning to play the violin or piano someday. I can’t decide which Ghanaian season I love most, harmattan or rainy season.
Yes… basically I love other things in addition to my religion.

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Prom and Prejudice Review

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It’s been a while. I did the equivalent of what people do when they let themselves go with this blog.

All I’ve been doing is just observing. It’s time to write.  Mmmmm…what should I talk about?

Well, I recently read a book titled Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg which takes after Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In case I have never mentioned this before, I am obsessed with Pride and Prejudice. I have a hard copy of it, soft copies in pdf, epub and mobi formats. Yes, I know. That is how badly I love the book. There can never be an excuse for me not to not be able to read it and I have re-read it so many times and will do so again many more times to come.

As a lover of Jane Austen’s works, I always find myself attracted to other creative works that borrow from her storyline like Prom and prejudice. I did not regret reading this book by Elizabeth Eulberg. The characters were just as interesting and it simplifies the original Pride and Prejudice in about 140 pages.

In a few lines, it tells the story of poor Lizzie who happens to find herself in an expensive private boarding high school called Longbourn Senior High where she is bullied by most of the other students because of her financial background.  Her only two friends happen to be Jane, her roommate and Charlotte, another scholarship student.

In Longbourn, the crowning event of a girl’s stay is to be invited to prom by the perfect guy from Netherfield Boys’ High School wearing the perfect dress. When the story begins, Jane is making plans to go to a party where she gets to meets Charles Bingley, a guy she had been socializing with prior to his semester abroad in England. Though Jane does not admit easily, she is besotted with Charles and hopes that he asks her to prom.  Lizzie is reluctant to go but she agrees to accompany Jane. It is at this party that she meets Will Darcy where she decides she hates him based on a comment he passed to Charles about not wanting to mix with scholarship students.

Jane is annoyed and classifies Will with the other school bullies. She tries to avoid him but somehow fate seems to bring them together. Will is always at the coffee shop where she works and makes it a point to always walk her back to her school. Along comes bubbly Wick who captures Jane’s heart not only with his personality and similar financial status but also their mutual disdain of Will Darcy. When Will asks Lizzie to prom, she explodes and tells him her bottled up feelings about his negative interference in Charles and Jane’s love affair in addition to his unfair treatment of Wick.

Well, I don’t won’t to spoil the book for others.  Somehow Lizzie and Will are able to work out their problems and feelings. The End!

As I said earlier, I enjoyed it. It’s a fluffy read but it’s well written; the grammar is good and the conversations are interesting. I’ll recommend it to other Pride and Prejudice lovers, people who have heard of this famous Pride and Prejudice and don’t have the heart to read the original , people looking to be entertained for a short while, people interested in reading this blog, people who like me, lol.

It’s a good book, simple. Hopefully, I get to keep up with updating this blog.

TO SNIP OR NOT TO SNIP: A VERY GOOD QUESTION

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“Aunt Baaba,” Moses said. “Where can I find a barber in the neighbourhood?”

“There is one just around the corner,” She replied. “Walk two houses to the left from here. Turn left and you’ll be facing it.”

“Thanks,” Moses replied.  He pocketed his wallet and took out an afro comb from his hair. “Off to the barber’s .See you later!”

He was back in five minutes confused. ”Are you sure that the place that you showed me is the barber’s? It seemed more like a salon to me.  Aunty, are you sure? “

“I’m very sure,” His aunty said. “Mansa’s son was there earlier today. Maybe you’re the one who didn’t get it.”

THE BARBER’S: TEN MINUTES EARLIER

Yayra walked into the barber’s looking agitated. “Good afternoon,” She greeted. “Please, I am here for a haircut.”

Nana Bempong, the assistant barber was free. “Have a seat, Ma’am,” He said to Yayra. As the only woman in the room, naturally, the chief barber and his current client eyed her.

Before Nana Bempong could ask her the style that she wanted, she said,” Cut everything. I just want something low.” She untied the scarf that held her hair to reveal a think mass of kinky hair. Nana Bempong could not help touching a strand of it and stretching it to its full length. It ended past her shoulders.

“You have such beautiful hair,” The chief barber said. “I didn’t know untamed African hair could be this long. Imagine if you permed it!”

“Yes,” Yayra answered. “I’m tired of it. I just want to be rid of it.”

“Why? “ The other client asked. “It’s so beautiful .Other women would kill for what you have.”

“Yes, “Yayra said. “ It’s my former boyfriend who liked it. He encouraged me to grow it but now we’ve broken up. I don’t need it anymore.” There was sadness in her eyes. “I just want a fresh beginning.”

Nana Bempong got a pair of scissors and passed his hands through Yayra’s her to straighten it. He was about to snip off a strand when the chief barber said, “Are you just going to allow her to cut it?”

“Miss, “The other client said. “Don’t make rush decisions you’ll regret later. So, the other guy left you. Maybe he’ll come back or there’s another person who’ll love you more.  A fresh start could mean dyeing your hair. You don’t have to cut it out of spite.”

“Yes, “The other two agreed.

“For all you know, someone else has fallen in love with your hair and loves you the more, “Nana Bempong added. “ I don’t think I can cut it.”

The chief barber left his client and walked to Yayra. He took out a strand, split it into two and started twisting it. “This is so cool and simple. I don’t know why you girls spend so much on hairstyles when twists are just as beautiful. “In a matter of a minute, he was done. He stepped back and admired his handiwork smiling. “That’s nice. I could do this all day.”

“It’s that simple?”  The other client said. He also got up from his seat and twisted another strand.  “It really is cool! “ Normally, Yayra would have protested but she said nothing even when Nama Bempong started twisting another strand.

“Tell you what? “ The chief barber said. “Don’t cut your hair. Why don’t you let us twist it; if you want, we can dye it to give you some sort of fresh start. You can come here anytime you want to change your hairstyle. “

“Yea,” Yayra said. “Right, because now you’re a hairdresser.”

The chief barber laughed. “It’s never too late to learn. It would be nice to include more services to attract more customers.  What do you say?”

Some minutes later, a young man stood in front of the barber’s and peaked through the front glass. What he saw were three men around a woman who were busily twisting strands of her hair. One of the men even had a cape on and what looked like a half finished haircut. This young man felt that it would not be a good time to interrupt what was going on inside.

60 years on……

Interesting piece by Mssoda.

firefly

I come from a place where children are to be seen and not heard

So they shove down our ideas

Sisters come in second or even third

Even with a younger brother in the family tree

I come from a place which hails a stranger perambulating

with a replica of what an indigen had tried to bring alive

They killed his dreams and called him a dreamer

Yet the hail a complete stranger

Where I am from Kings are not merely the men on the stool

But everyman who knows a man who knows a man

A man who has tasted power, is in power or is sure to know a power

Kings are not leaders but leeches

They enjoy with their families and extend it to nephews and a few ”nieces” on a few campuses

They are Lords and answer to know one wept their little mistresses

Missing guineafowls, imports…

View original post 368 more words

Complementary Books

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You know how people find things that go well together like discovering that “aha” feeling when taking chilled water right after eating mints,   I have also discovered some book combinations I think people should try. Just read one immediately after the other.

Chimamanda Amanda Ngozi’s  “Americanah” and NoViolet Bulawayo’s “We Need New Names.” These two books talk about being in Africa and moving to the dream country, the USA. We learn about the cultural clashes and how our protagonists view things as Africans living in this America where life is supposed to be much better.

Rainbow Rowell’s “Fangirl” and Leila Sales’ “This Song Will Save Your Life”. These books are about teenage girls growing up. One protagonist does not care to fit in and the other tried hard to fit in but did not. These books are about getting out of our comfort zones and the support that we get from the people we meet . Not everybody may stay with us but we can always learn something from the people who come our way in life.

Camara Laye’s  “The Radiance of a King ”  and Francis Selormey’s ” The Narrow Path.” These books are set in Africa with a lot of African cultural elements.The last sentences of the books are what make them make them so amazing  . When I read them, I was still for a moment and thought, “Wow, that was mind-blowing” and I kept reading the last pages over and over again.To understand,we must journey with the protagonists from the beginning of the book to the end without rushing through. It is only then that we can truly appreciate the magic that happens on the last  pages of the books.

Till I come your way again, I’m out!!!

Girl Waiting

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Photo Credit :http://quotesgram.com/

I have been waiting waiting
For that call informing me that
I have won a jackpot

I have been waiting waiting
For that someone to accept my friend request
And to realize that I am the one for him

I have been waiting waiting
For that pain in my chest to go away
So that I can move on with my life

I have been waiting waiting
Waiting so much that now
I do not know if I am just waiting or stalling

Prompt: Waiting

Just another man with a car

A man cut once in front of him with a car. He sounded his horn at the other driver who started gesticulating angrily with a hand.  From experience, he knew it might as well as meant “f**k off” He drove into the other lane to catch up with the other driver, rolled down the windows and shouted, “You shouldn’t be on the road if you don’t know how to drive.”

“Stupid man!” The other driver shouted. “It is you who doesn’t know how to drive. Who are you?” There started a tirade from which words would have to be filtered for very young ears and the tirade ended only when they lost sight of each other. This incident was forgotten almost as soon because it is a normal thing that happens on the road.

A year or two passed and he met a woman he was really interested in, a woman he wanted to share the rest of his life with. She had met his parents and now it was his turn to meet hers.

“Don’t worry,” She assured him.  “I’m sure you will love my papa and he will love you too.” He knew that he looked smashing even though he arrived at her home feeling all-panicky. A woman, her mother received them at the door and they all went into the hall. There, seated on a rocking chair in a navy blue smock and white trousers reading a newspaper was a balding man. The balding man raised his eyes to them at their entrance. Now, he had met many people but that face … had he seen it before? Of course, it was that day he had argued with a man who had cut in front of him.  There had been many of them but surprisingly, this man was unmistakable even though it was more than a year ago.

The older man’s forehead cringed.  His face looked pained as he tried to remember something. “Have we met before?”

“No, sir,” He answered. After all, technically speaking, they had never really met; never been introduced to each other otherwise he could also say that he had met a lot of people including some celebrities.

The balding man placed the newspaper on a coffee table, got up, offered a hand and said, “Anyway, welcome to our home.”

“Thank you, sir” He said. “You have a lovely home…lovely garden…lovely potted plants. “ He was working the firm handshake thing but it was the looking-into-the-eyes-of-the-other- man part that was hard. It was even harder trying to swallow the drink and meat turnover as they sat in the hall making small talk.

The first introduction is all about making a very good lasting impression. Everyone always says that but he had a feeling he was losing and just sitting there trying to fight a battle he had already lost.

When the meeting was over and they that is himself and his love walked to his car, she asked him,” Is something wrong? You seemed a little out of your element. “

“Nothing’s wrong,” He assured her. “I guess it’s just one of those days where a person feels a little off.”

She took his hand in hers. “I understand. I’m sure papa likes you already and there will be many more meetings. “

“Yes, “He said. He wanted to tell about the first encounter but he did not. They parted ways when he got into his car and drove away. He parked along the way somewhere to reflect. A man had once cut in front of him. It did not matter whether he was on the right side of the law or not but that incident would determine the course of his love life. He wondered if she would choose him or her father if the incident came up. He had already invested too much time and emotions to let her go that easily. Whatever the case was, it would just be a matter of time before he knew whether or not he would be returning the emerald love-shaped engagement ring hiding in one of his drawers at home. She would love it and it would be simply betrayal giving it to another.