Wednesday, April 13, 2011

3 Events That Have Shaped My Life

When I was only 4 or so, I fell out of an upstairs window but didn't hit the ground below. The telephone cable entangled my foot, flexed and bounded me back in. I was slightly concussed.

When I was about 14, my father compelled my twin and I to kill a sheep for Christmas. I learned the value of life (any kind) then, and have not taken anything that lives and moves for granted since then.

When I was 17, pretty Chantal from Cote D'Ivoire broke my heart. She was 18. I'm not sure if I really ever recovered from it. I started writing poetry as a means of dealing with it. I've not stopped writing since then.

Can you think of any 3 of your own?


  1. Re: Your third point - do you per chance have “pretty Chantal’s”address? I think the followers of your blog will like to send her a “thank you” note!

  2. ps. of course not making light of the issue of a broken heart...

  3. 1. I had a really bad case of typhoid fever and very nearly died at 8 years. I have memories of a near-death experience.

    2. I was lost for about 24hrs somewhere between England and Scotland after the bus I had boarded from Paris-Edinburgh left me stranded at a rest-stop (I was helped a group of travelling seniors and one of the men tried cajole a kiss out of me after he showed me to the nearest train station and bought me a ticket). I was 17.

    3. I realized that I could literally achieve all ANTYHING I wanted as long as my goals lined up with God's purpose (been trying to discover God's purpose for my life ever since).

    * 4. [Had to slip this in for completeness.] I saw the faces of young black prostitutes in the harsh glare of Barcelona's street lights (so many lessons & reality checks from this one but, I have written too much as it is...). I was 22, I think.

    Thanks for the opportunity.

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  5. Yes, i agree with yeh. Thank you Chantal for the one good thing she did in breaking your heart; she also broke out the writer in you.

    3 things huh?

    1. When i was 5 yrs old, i spoke Fante for the first time. "Auntie Lizy, me nan kro ye me y'awo". Up until then, i don't remember which language i was speakin; Yoruba or Igbo? :)

    2. I was an adult before i was a kid. I realised this when i was 6yrs old, my dad spanked me for telling an adult not to go near my cousin's new baby because he smelt foul; full of cigarette smoke. My mouth and I, hmmm, so so trouble sooo. I have learnt to temper it a bit, maybe. I am blatant with the truth; swinging it like an axe

    3. I think too logically to allow myself to get my heart broken. Hurt, yes. I would have thought out all possible scenarios and debated how to behave on most outcomes and probabilities.

    I gave 3? yeaaa

  6. I must say I'm glad that she did because that experience brought out the poet in you. I've read a couple of your poems on your blog page and I like them. Have you written any new poems laterly?

  7. I am trying to think of the three things that shaped my life but ... hmmmm let me see...

    1) My mother left me for school when I was three months old. By age three I couldn't relate to any sib

    2) After my first degree (2003), I was nearly ran over by a truck loaded with sawn-timber, because the truck driver was also being chased by a police car. I never rode bicycle again.


  8. Nana Yaw! Wow...good to be back here (been a while!) Thanks for sharing. I guess in your first case, God definitely had PLANs for you, cos that accident and the way you were "saved" is too fortuitous NOT to be a coincidence of an unearthly kind!!;-)

    My three events?:

    1. 1990: my one and only elder brother (3.5yrs older than me) fell into a coma for 14 months (March 1990) around the same time I had been hospitalised for a stomach problem (Feb 1990). Couple of months later, Mum was hospitalised for a very serious problem around Christmas 1990. In order to deal with the loss of my brother in May 1991, I read Norman Vincent Peale's "Power of Positive Thinking". Became a far better person, more assertive. Counselling to deal with bereavement also helped

    2. 1994: Attended The Hague International Model United Nations. Goofed, made friends, and found out that I could be good at public speaking. Since then, vowed to one day--by hook or by crook--work for the United Nations at best, at worst, become an international civil servant

    3. 2003: passed my masters programme test with flying colours at a time when workplace was in turmoil(was single-handedly dealing with raising funds for the NGO I worked for; studying; and trying to recruit volunteers to help). I realised then that I wasn't as daft as I imagined; plus that I could be a powerful multi-tasker!!

  9. @ Yeh - this was in 1994. I did not see her again. She wrote to me once, but that was it. She also lived partly in France and I presumed she would have gone there when Cote d'Ivoire became politically unstable over 10 years ago.

    Hopefully, she has stumbled upon my blog out of the millions out there. ;-). Your comment is appreciated and no offence was taken.

  10. @ Anon #1 - Your experience number 2 (being lost in the UK must have been harrowing, but you said it with a little bit of lightheartedness. Thanks for sharing.

  11. @ Tetekai - yes, you must have been precocious. I see telltale signs. Thanks for your comment.

  12. @ Anon #2 - Thanks for your comment. To answer your question, I am not exactly writing poetry now. I am trying to practise my prose-writing. Plus poetry is a very demanding and involving emotional exercise for me, and I do not want to experience those deep emotions on a regular basis these days. But I think of poetry and even try a few lines from time to time. I'll post an experimental piece I am working on on my "Poetry Project" page for you. :-)

  13. @ Nana Fredua-Agyeman - Your near accident must have been horrible on the nerves. I had a near accident too. It's not to reduce the gravity of yours, but I was walking along an open field and something whizzed past my head. I walking in the midst of discuss throwers and I hadn't even seen them. Big boys those! One came to hold my head to make sure it was there, because it should have hit me!

  14. @ EKB - I'm sorry about the hospital experience of your brother and you. But since it has made you stronger, I guess we should be thankful for it as well, and also for the fact that it ended well. I presume this hospital was in Europe? ;-)

  15. Wow NaNA,That u really were Lucky not to have hit the ground,and erm with the heart break..I don`t think U`ve recover yet coz from writing pads U moved to blogging.

    Now mine....

    #1, I got the baddest ass whooping by a girl when i was 6,i thot coz we were in the same class and height wise i was taller,we were age mates or i was gonna be stronger"LIE"..this mean girl threw me around like a ping pong ball without trying..

    #2,i got accepted in A football Academy when i was 13 after a months trial.



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