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Share a Coke with Aishatu

This was a full blog (coke4aishatu​.blogspot​.com) cre­ated in early April of 2014.
(Despite the obvi­ous thirst for viral­ity, I’m quite proud of the writing.)

The Story

Welcome, broth­ers and sis­ters. I sup­pose you are all won­der­ing why I have gath­ered you here. The matter at hand is the story of Aishatu; oth­er­wise titled, Make Me A Woman Today.

It was a lovely after­noon on the 22nd of February. It was a Saturday, and there was a party. Specifically, there was khebab, and there was yam, and there was Coke. Also, there were people to eat the khebab and yam and Coke. I mean – of course you don’t eat Coke. I mean the liquid type. The ‘Brrr!’ one.

Anyway. While we ate the khebab and yam and swal­lowed the Coke, a foot­ball match came on. It was Chelsea versus Everton. The match wasn’t very nice, apart from the tack­les. Things weren’t going well for either side. Of course, we had khebab and yam, so we weren’t too both­ered. We laughed and swal­lowed Coke.

So. Seventy min­utes came and went, and still no goal. The meat was grow­ing scarce, so we got con­cerned. What kind of foot­baller refuses to score goals when people are having their party? It is unciv­i­lized. As we waited for more yam, we dis­cussed the var­i­ous dis­eases that afflict foot­ballers. We also sug­gested a few dis­eases we would like to see on their heads.

(I wasn’t involved. I’m a Liverpool guy. We have for­giv­ing spirits.)

Of course every­body is an expert when these things start. The com­men­ta­tors were giving sta­tis­tics, and so did we. It was all harm­less fun till one foot­ball agnos­tic said, “But I knew they would­n’t score.”

We should have for­given him. His posi­tion dis­ad­van­taged him in the grab­bing of yam and Coke; he was bitter. Instead we turned in silence to stare at him. He was unrepentant.

“Why, did you think they would score?”

We explained that this is the norm. Maybe we raised our voices a little. Maybe we called him a small boy. Who can tell? It’s a sen­si­tive topic, sports. He got defensive.

Did I men­tion his name? Good. For secu­rity rea­sons, you under­stand. Or you will, soon.

“If they score”, he said delib­er­ately, “you can change my name.”

This was hardly fair. It was well into the dying min­utes of reg­u­la­tion time. I told him that the uni­verse would be right to punish this sort of fake bet­ting. I meant it in the spirit of broth­er­hood. He got more defen­sive. In fact, he smirked. 

The uni­verse does not like smirkers. 

But the sit­u­a­tion was defused, pretty much. In harm­less fun we dis­cussed what his name would have been if these foot­ballers weren’t so use­less. Gifty was men­tioned; Celestina got good rat­ings. It was all great fun. I think I sug­gested Princess.

Then some­body said, ‘Aishatu’. I do not know who it was. It wasn’t said too loud. Was it the food talk­ing? Could it be some spirit in the warm after­noon air?

There was no dis­cus­sion. Somehow we knew it was meant to be. We all turned and looked at our friend again. Still he smirked.

I won’t say his name, I told you. Of course you just want to advise him. But some people aren’t so kind.

Then there was a free kick. Then there was silence. Then there was confusion.

Our unfor­tu­nate friend? He attempted a smirk. It melted.

The naming cer­e­mony was very solemn. The arrival of a new life is a won­der­ful thing. Unto us a child was given. “This is Cola, this is Frytol.” We drank a solemn toast and kissed the future mother.

Not really, though. That was a scary baby girl. We blew kisses and patted his (her) head.

And that is how Aishatu was born from the ashes of Cal – see, I nearly did it – and that should have been where the story ends. 

Except Coca-Cola just hap­pened to start their Share A Coke cam­paign in Ghana around that time. Coincidence? I think not. 

Who is Aishatu? She could be that queen of ‘Shikafa’ -- or even better, ‘Brukina’. She could be the neigh­bour­hood peace­maker. She could be the reason why the bank queue is always so long for teller 2. She is – all of those things. But most of all, Aishatu is a trib­ute to friend­ship, to laugh­ter, to Coke.

And remem­ber – fear the universe.

Page 2: The Aftermath

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