Her reputation is the size of the Atlantic. It precedes her like a lanky woman’s pregnancy. When I asked of the best waakye joints around Labone, she was possible answer A,B,C &D. It was a Friday. On Monday 8am I was there. I heard I had to be early because her waakye finishes before 9am. She didn’t come; Monday is her off day. I found some hausa koko nearby and placated my disappointed palates.
Tuesday took a decade to arrive. I made it there at 8:04 and had small trouble finding parking. The queue was full of people who should have been sending their house helps and errand boys, but they were all there waiting patiently. No one got preferential treatment; benz men, 4X4 women, bicycle boys, everyone got the same ‘yes?yes?yes? how are you, but be quick’ expression. When it was my turn, I got waakye GHC 3.
The rice had dignity. It wasn’t broken rice or some substandard rice that most sellers get away with because of waakye’s naturally petcherr state. This waakye was dadabee waakye. I knew I was in a good place when the meat and wele riddled stew looked at me; there was no oil! It was rich stew without the oil layer that other sellers use to turn one bowl of stew into two.
I got some meat, gari and talia to go with. I got an egg and leaves. Her salad leaves had spring onion and fresh tomatoes. Their neat arrangement was DP worthy. Then her wele…her wele was like a spell. So I made her cast three spells, and that Tuesday was a landmark day in my life.
Originally I didn’t want to buy GHC 3, I didn’t want to be too full. But I also didn’t want GHC 2; I didn’t think it’d be enough. So I asked for GHC 2.50. She didn’t look at my face. She didn’t dignify me with an eye contact. She didn’t douse her response with any sweetness, in calm casual bluntness, she said in Twi ‘Yenti nu saah. 2,3,4 cedi. Choosi baako.’
In humility, I got GH3. The deliciousness of her waakye gave her the deserving audacity to be so. As I spooned down the food minutes later, I decided I wouldn’t care how arrogant she got. There’s a certain level of mastery you get to in making waakye that makes your bluntness cute, that makes something that would have been inexcusable in someone of less skill okay when you do it.
It’s not just true of waakye sellers. Fela Kuti performed in underwear at most of his concerts and is a legend to date, you budding musician, try same and see.
My barber has a ghetto shop that smells stuffy. Until recently his carpet was so toxic, it doubled as a pesticide. Just in case you missed that, he had an armpit with a distinct signature note. But this guy issssss skkiillleeedd! Like he can barb a bald head into an afro. He can shape a receding hairline to look like it’s much closer to your forehead. His angles and precision are incredible, so I don’t cheat on him. For the past two years straight I’ve been going there. I endure the inconveniences because of his skill, his talent.
What do you have to make people endure you? You-ah, there’re a dozen people who can do what you do better than you, on top of it, you have an attitude, is your father the owner?
We are all flawed and no matter how great we are, some days wont go well. It’s easier to be excused for those days when your track record is solid. There are so many perks with being excellent at something. The Bible talks of your gift bringing you before kings.When David first met Saul, it was only because he was a gifted instrumentalist. Joseph met the pharaoh because he was a gifted dreamer. Delilah got her way with Sampson because she was a gifted masseuse, you, what are you?
You need to identify what you’re good at o, and invest into being the best at it. Have a 3-5 year plan for that. Eat dirt, swallow your pride, endure greatly, accept less money than you want all so that you can develop and in 3 years when you open your mouth, no bogga wire!
Be the best barber you can be, or dentist, or lawyer, or banker, or florist. Whatever good thing your hands find doing, do it as unto the Lord, pursue excellence and reap the benefits thereof.
Next Tuesday, I’m going to buy that waakye again. If she gives me any kind of attitude, I’ll smile and ask her to add more pepper. Lol. Peace out fam.
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