Ɔgyaa ne ba no sii fɔm, Fufuo no mmeneeε –

“Ɔgyaa ne ba no sii fɔm,
Fufuo no mmeneeε –”
She left the baby on the floor,
The fufu half done –

Ɔgyaa ne ba no sii fɔm,
Fufuo no mmeneeε –

Ɛtan, εyaw ne ntεmpε de wɔma
Anyam anidasoɔ nyinaa– komm,
Kyea, dane
Nnipa remoamoa nnurohwam nkɔntrɔmoa wɔ ‘kyena waduro mu
Resɛi ne daakye, reware ne yaw.

Ɔgyaa ne ba no sii fɔm,
Fufuo no mmeneeε
Wɔduro ne wɔma da fɔm
Abɔfra no da fɔm
Yεse “Nnipa nnyε aboa”

Abrabɔ wɔma ne wɔduro akɔ ne aba to dwom
Nanso εnyε dwom mpo
‘Te sεneε w’akoma bɔbim
Ne w’adwene mu ntini nsenkubɔ nyinaa
εnsi ani,
Abrabɔ dɔn a εnnim mmerε deε
Ɛnto dwom papa biara, meka kyerε wo
Ɛtesε nna ahaasa ne aduosia num ne baako-nkyemu-nan a εwɔ afe baako mu
Ɛtesε wɔn a yεwoo wɔn Ɔgyefuo da a εtɔ so 29, afetenten mu, wɔmfenhyia
Ɛtesε simma ne nenkyεmu ɔha, wowu nso mmerε nnyina
Ɛtesε Abibiman amanyεsεm akɔneaba ne n’akomatu
Ɛtesε Xhosafoɔ εsefeε ne Ndebelefoɔ atweetwee
Ɛtesε sukuukɔho sika hwieguo, ne tokuro kεseε a εda Abibiman sikabɔtɔ mu
Ɛtesε dwom n’awieε – m’atwerεdeε ahomegyeε
Ɛte sεneε
Ɔgyaa no de ne ba no sii fɔm abrε a fufuo no mmeneeε

Translation
(Translation improvised for poesy and lyricism)

She left the baby on the floor,
The fufu half done –

Hopes pounded under the pestle of
Hate, hurt, haste – silence
Twist, turn
Mortals mould myrrh mounds in morrow’s mortar
Marring her future, marrying her pain.

She left the baby on the floor,

The fuufu half-done
Mortar and pestle on the floor
Baby on the floor
“Body no be firewood”, they say

The rhythm of the pestle and mortar
Of life, is no rhythm at all
Like the metronome of your heart beat
And the metronome of synaptic pulses, brain-wired signals
Unsynchronized,
The clock of life which knows not time
is no rhythm at all I tell you,
Like the three hundred and sixty-five one-quarter days of a year
Like the leap-year age of February 29th borns
Like the minute, microsecond, you die and the second hand doesn’t stop ticking
Like the rhythm of Africa’s politics and the pulse of her heartbeat
Like the rhythm of the clicks in Xhosa and the kissing of teeth in Ndebele
Like the flow of aid and grants, and the ravaging of Africa’s national coffers
Like the rhythm, end – rests of my pen
Like when
She left the baby of the floor, the fuufu half-done

By: Metty Markwei
Edited by: Nana Kwame Sakyi Owusu

Footnotes

*Fuufu is a traditional meal in Ghana, prepared by pounding with a long wooden pestle in a
big wooden mortar. Usually, men or women stand to pound the boiled cassava and plantains
together in the mortar, whilst another woman, sits and stirs the mound until there are no small
hard lumps (called “amba” in Twi). Pounding fuufu usually requires a certain level of physical
exertion, whilst turning also involves a skill, in order to make sure that the fingers of the one
turning the lump in the mortar do not get pounded on!”

*Inspired from a line recited by Adjetey Annan in the Ghanaian movie, Adam’s Apples Chapter
10, by Shirley Frimpong-Manso.

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