The scars of his experience selling newspapers at Oshodi can be shown in deep weals and scars across Ayomah’s arms and legs. The mental scars simmers behind a face which seldom smiles without the soothing encouragement from his wife. He does remembers clearly what his Mama said to him before his departure to Nigeria.
“Ayoma, you are the youngest of my three children, your other two half-sisters have all left with their foreign fathers… you are my only hope.” Putting her right hand over Ayomah’s right shoulder and holding the stick with her left hand in order to keep her balance, she continued, “I do understand that poverty is not an abstract, it has been the daily life of you and me… and it kills, It’s true that money hassles us all the time, partly because we sometimes fail to distinguish clearly the difference between wants and needs.”
She sighed for a moment and continued, “My son, we may desire some things in life, may want them badly, but do not truly need them. A fuzzy line between wants and needs may lead us into taking unnecessary risks.” As she toiled to ease the pain in her left leg that has just been operated upon, she said, “Ayoma, as a young man so anxious about a future decided by money, I wouldn’t discourage you from leaving home in order to seek for greener pastures elsewhere, you do have my blessings where ever you decide to go.” “Do send my regards to your half-sister Cecelia”
Ayomah wondered why his Mama asked him to send her regards to Cecelia when she was far away in Taiwan. He was only leaving for Nigeria – half-sister country that shares both cultural and linguistic affinity with his country, Ghana. Why didn’t his Mama ask him to send her regards to his other half-sister Patricia, who was in England? It was to take him another 10 years to come to terms with his Mama’s parting words.