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.)
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.