30 May 2010

Water Wahala by Isaac Neequaye

Kweku Kyere whistled an old hi-life tune as he shut the door and sauntered into his living room. Agyapomaa was slouched in front of the TV watching a sitcom. It was evident she hadn’t been home long; she was still dressed in her work clothes. “Hello Sweetie, how did your day go?” he called across to her cheerily. She shifted her attention from the TV and smiled at him. “It went well. And how was it at Don’s Place?” A grin peeked out and slowly spread across Kweku’s face as he placed his briefcase on the dining table. Agyapomaa was always curious about how he spent his Friday evenings before getting home. “Not bad. Not bad at all.”



This story has been selected for the StoryTime anthology African Roar 2011, please go to the African Roar site for more info.



Water Wahala was written by Isaac Neequaye.

Copyright © Isaac Neequaye 2010.



Though born in Tamale, the capital of Ghana’s Northern Region, Isaac Neequaye spent the greater part of his formative years in Kumasi, where his father taught at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Secondary education took him to Accra and then back to Kumasi again, where he graduated from the electrical engineering programme at KNUST in 1991.


Many people characterise life on a university campus as a sheltered one, but Isaac admits wishing he could expose his family to similar experiences now. It wasn’t apparent then, but the KNUST of those days was really idyllic.


His father, a surveyor, travelled often, sometimes taking the family along, and Isaac credits his love of travelling and sightseeing to these early experiences. During the early 80s his family sojourned for a while in Nigeria, and there was a time that it felt as if he was permanently in transit. Many such journeys—involving countless hours of travel, crossing borders, dealing with border guards and gendarmes, exposure to foreign cultures and people, who sometimes understood English differently—have shaped his outlook.


Isaac admits awareness about his ability to write well given the generous praise of his teachers when younger. But it was the affirmation of friends and peers that finally pushed him to take up his pen. It was time to discover whether his talents were applicable to other genres besides technical documentation.


Getting to this point has involved surmounting very daunting obstacles, given that most of his career has been spent honing his technical writing skills. “I don’t consider my creative voice and style fully formed yet, but I am now bolder to explore different experiences and projects. For me writing is also somewhat cathartic. I’ve gotten so fed up with a lot of the nonsense I observe around me and have come to realise that the key to weathering it all is perspective. So I try to see the humour in what goes on around me, peek behind the surface, try to walk a couple of yards in my subject’s shoes, and not rush to condemn or write them off.”


Isaac is a very new writer and hopes readers will like his work. As such he is eagerly looking forward to constructive feedback.






17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good one there Isaac. You succeeded in transporting me into the Kyere household.

I didn't realize the fact until the "bombshell" hit, namely that Kwaku's household wouldn't be getting water that day. I actually started to think of options for Kwaku before I realized that it was only a story.

Nice short story bro. Keep it up and one day who knows . . .we could be witnessing a Pulitzer prize winner in the making :-)

Anonymous said...

Very Good!
Eva

IKN said...

Thanks very much Anonymous. Delighted that you appreciate my efforts. Regarding the Pulitzer (LOL) I have a few more such efforts in the works and will be sharing them in due course. Trust you'll vote for me when the time comes :-)

Mariska said...

Good one Isaac couldn't stop reading. Wanted to even tell you that the alternative was the tututu for very bad emergencies ha ha. Very good. I live in Adenta and have experienced the same....... could have read more. Keep it up fellow writer.

Anonymous said...

Isaac,I enjoyed your story. Living in Adenta presently made it even more interesting. Unlike the Kyere's, I don't have the luxury of having children in boarding school! The "Water Wahala" na wao.

C Ocran

Charles Richardson said...

Great storytelling. Wonderful english pun. So refreshingly real as to be therapeutic to the frazzled nerves of many a resident of suburban Ghanaman.This a good starter. More grease to your elbows.Ayekoo...

naana said...

Good work.Keep it up Isaac, I really enjoyed reading it and i can't wait for the continuation of the story.
Stay blessed.

Naana

IKN said...

Hi Mariska,
Thanks for your encouragement. Need a little education though regarding the tututu. Been a while since I left that part of town and it's interesting to see that I'm outdated, ha ha ha.

IKN said...

Glad to have been able to bring a smile to your face C Ocran. Will dig out a couple more water nightmares in due course.

@Charles, Thanks for the comment Charles. Proof that I am making some progress. Hard work though being a writer. We'll talk

Hiya Naana, thanks very much for the encouragement too. Will try to keep the standard flying.

anthia-ofo said...

Hi, I've just discovered you through FB. I'll link your blog to mine. I thoroughly enjoyed that story. I kept trying to work out solutions for the poor guy. The thing is, this happened to me. Or rather something similar(minus rumbling stomach LOL), on christmas eve. But my 'Danso' diverted a half tank of water to me at the 11th hour-free of charge!

IKN said...

Hello Anthie-ofo, delighted to have met you also, and thanks for linking your blog. Will take a look at it. I take it you're now free of these 'wahalas,' living in the UK. Thank God for your considerate 'Danso.' It is a subject that has began to occupy friends of mine and me quite a bit nowadays--how to positively influence our work culture. Put out the message that that mediocrity and irresponsibility are simply not acceptable. Still striving

Abdul Adan said...

I like it. It has succeeded on it's own terms as a story. I had to read it to the end..the suspense was well up. And this is a reality for many Africans..Water rationing, power rationing etc...
The part about evolving with a mental water meter made me laugh out loud. Nice work bro.

IKN said...

Thanks for your comments Abdul. Regarding the reality of our lives on the continent, I noted in my bio that sometimes we just have to observe our realities through the prism of humour. What can we the weak and powerless do otherwise?

onlyonezee said...

Isaac, this was nice! I laughed a lot especially at the conversation between Kweku and his wife. Funny stuff.Well done!

IKN said...

Glad you enjoyed it Onlyonezee. Working hard at serving up a second helping soon.

IKN said...

Glad you enjoyed it Onlyonezee. Working hard at serving up a second helping soon.

Charles Richardson said...

Great storytelling. Wonderful english pun. So refreshingly real as to be therapeutic to the frazzled nerves of many a resident of suburban Ghanaman.This a good starter. More grease to your elbows.Ayekoo...

 
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