#7daysofXmas 7: Muted Cedi

Hey fam! Been a decade! No time like the present to catch up. This story has been sitting in my head for a while. Finally found a moment to put it down on paper. And as always, Merry Christmas and happy reading!

‘See, this reminds me of when people were wearing nose masks and sanitizing their hands at the entrance, just to take the masks off when it was meal time. Starting with vim and throwing caution to the wind when it matters the most.’, Akuba paused to take a sip of her Malt.

‘Ei madam, what correlation does COVID have with my boy troubles?’

‘Everything. Ghana started so well with COVID protocols but couldn’t keep up the energy. Addo Deezy was on a roll! Weekly updates, a clear plan, subsidies, vim that will give you hope. Same thing with Kwekuma. How can you go from breakfast, flowers, random gifts and hourly texts to silence? Nakai afeɔ lɛ? Who sent you to start what you knew you could not sustain?’

The girls were catching up in person for the first time in a year. The friendship had been formed over a common Pharaoh of a boss and when they eventually both left that office of oppression, they kept in touch via IG DMs and FaceTime calls every now and then.

‘Ei Naa, look at something. Come and see who is doing ‘me and mine’ on Instagram- Elikem!’

‘Elikem who? Fiadzoe?’

‘One and the same. Same person who was promising to leave his wife if I would just say yes. Same person who said their last baby was by accident.’

‘Abi you didn’t promise? So he is managing the wife like that. Also, why haven’t you blocked him by now if you are not interested in him? Don’t make someone turn you into a prayer topic oo. And with all these boy issues, first Kwekuma, then Elikem, perhaps it is time to turn to Alpha Hour sha! Your destiny must change. Pass me the atsɔmɔ.’

‘Boss, park. Park, park.’

He instantly wished that he had taken his wife’s car instead. The car seats were always an easy way to get out of trouble. He could make up an excuse of a family emergency and he would be let go. But the police officer walking towards his car looked aggrɛ, like a cock and bull story would make him even more upset.

He muttered a ‘Jesus, help me’ under his breath, seeing as it was his birthday season and all. Other cars drove past him with speed and he was slightly irritated that the harmattan dust was making his white shirt not as white.

‘Officer, good afternoon.’

‘Boss, get down. Your offenses are many. Speeding, reckless overtaking, running through a red light and you were blasting that Odoyewu song. Nobody plays jams in an emergency. It is either silence, gospel or prayers for God to have mercy.

Richmond wanted to laugh but he knew it would worsen his plight. People had a short fuse these days. The silent cedi was really messing the Christmas up. A notification popped up on his Apple Watch. Everyone was at the meetup point except him.

‘Officer, this one dieɛ I no try at all. How we go sort am out?’

‘Something heavy. Nothing less than 200 cedis. If you no get cash, we fit do am MOMO. Add the charges and the e-levy. Krom ayɛ hye.’

Awurade! No be small cash out the police man dey come do.

‘Officer, I send am oo. Merry Christmas.’

‘Go and sin no more!’

Akyea was in a mood.

When her husband walked in, she made sure he had no way of missing her displeasure.


‘Don’t baby me. You have been away for weeks. You came back last night and went off again for 5 hours. Today too, you are now coming back. If I knew that this was how you were going to behave, then I should have just married a pastor. At least with that one, I can say he is working for the Lord.’

Her words stung but he knew what she was really saying. That was the thing about Akyea. She would hardly ever say what she really means to say.

He walked up to her and pulled her close, knowing that the smell of his perfume always calmed her down. He gave her a forehead kiss and sat in the armchair, pulling her into his lap.

‘What happened today? Tell me.’

The first word that came out of her mouth came with tears. He kept rubbing her back so that she would let it all out.

‘I feel lonely. Every one of my friends has a family now. When we were all newly married, it was easy to organize a hang out and flaunt our ‘Hot and married’ status wherever we went. Now they have kids. Everyone has one or two kids, everyone except me.’

The tears stopped the words from coming and he patiently waited. As he tucked her head under his chin, he looked up at their wedding pictures, once again proud of himself for snagging such a babe. It was the very peak of Covid, at his cousin’s traditional marriage.

‘You are beautiful’ was the opening line. A risky one because it was just her eyes he could see. What if the rest of the face was a disaster? But she had that confidence fueled by pretty privilege, that ‘I know I am fine’ swag. When she eventually indulged him and took off her nose mask to take a selfie with him, he knew he had hit the jackpot.

‘They don’t have time to hang out and when we finally schedule some time to ourselves, they have to cancel or rush back because there is something happening with their kids. On top of that, everyone has a Christmas themed shoot and you were not here for me to book our session. Then I called Auntie Adwoa to wish her a merry Christmas and she decided to remind me that I wasn’t getting any younger and I should have kids by now, or else you will look elsewhere’, Akyea continued.

He tightened his jaw and said nothing, still rubbing her back. His wife’s family was so toxic and yet she insisted on always getting in touch with them. Every family reunion left her feeling insecure or sad and yet she remained fiercely loyal to them. These kinds of people are best loved, long distance.

‘God gives children. We have been to the doctor, there is nothing wrong with us. We have loads of sex when I am here. We are happy and we will have babies when it is time. Auntie Akyea should know that we are not all like her husband. Now about those Christmas pictures, we will take some PG18 ones tomorrow. Now smile, fine girls don’t cry.’

‘Herh, Ghana ayɛ hye! Me ampaa na, no back to back plans for Christmas? Even if I had the plans, how will I get there? Trotro, expensive and uncomfortable. Last week I sat in a trotro in my white kaftan, barima fashionista. Only for the grease filled, sweat laden duster to fall on my shoulder. Chale I went back home.’

‘I feel you, bro! Last week, I paid 150 cedis from the office to the house. Yeah, the budget is not budgeting. This year, I will attend the events on Snapchat and TikTok updates. Mesee, I will sit at home saaa my mother will even get tired of me eating all her food. Yes, I will run errands saaa but I will eat without debit alert.’

‘Today is 24th oo. My dad has not received a single hamper. Engineer papa paa, nobody has brought him a hamper. Back in the day, I could do my own shopping from the hampers, without detection, because there were so many. Now my mother has even locked the storeroom. It is rationing season anka by now one breakfast, one sardine tin, one milk tin.’

‘Do then marry. You still dey worry your old girl.’

‘The savings all make beans bro. How can I afford a wedding? I can barely afford to live every month. I remember how we laughed at the MenzGold squad. Now we are the laughing stock. Most enlightened with the mutual funds, treasury bills, pension schemes and stocks, and to top it all, Addo D really said we should give the cedi words of affirmation.’

‘Don’t affirm and see. One of my investors from Netherlands pulled out at the last minute two weeks ago. I honestly don’t blame him. I would have pulled out too, if I were him.’

‘Oh slow!! Speaking of wedding, that your crush, she marry oo. Some nice, exclusive ceremony bi.’

‘Yeah, she married the ‘He is just my friend, don’t worry about him’ guy from when I was pursuing her.

‘Oh Thelma dieɛ, I believe her. If she said he was just a friend, then that is what he was to her. The guy dieɛ, he was on high alert. To him, she was meat and he was lurking and waiting for the right time to pounce.’

‘Minister of Japa!’

‘By all ways and means! Chale, I for lef Ghana. Every day after work, I spend hours on YouTube gathering all the info I need. Las las by 2023 December dieɛ, Canada, Sweden or Netherlands will be my portion in Jesus’ name.’

‘I get it but me moom dieɛ, I can’t leave. Not only is my mother here, but I told you about my political ambitions, right? Every year I stay away, I give both my internal and external opponents ammunition to say that I fled when things got tough.’

‘How about going to learn how the greats have done it so that you can come and replicate it?’

‘Sister, all our leaders have gone to see better. They know better but we can all see the evidence. I will stay here sha! Besides, if we all leave, who will be here when you miss fufu and waakye and want your children to get acquainted with their culture?’

‘Ampa moom. Chale, it is tough. Me sef, I am claiming global citizen, but during the World Cup, I teared up every time I heard the national anthem. Just the tune sets me off. Ghana for life.’

‘Ghana for life, but Canada for the time being eh? Lukewarm tendencies! Be hot or cold. Choose one.’

‘Sis, I am just trying to survive. My motherland is killing me when it is supposed to be my very sustenance.’

‘Ei Ama Ata Aidoo in the building! There nɔɔ, random poetic outbursts. You dieɛ, let’s go and eat the fufu na you won’t get cassava fufu with smoked fish and goat light soup in Vancouver.’

Merry Christmas again guys!  If you are new here, welcome! There are hundreds of stories that will make you laugh, cry and reminisce on those authentic Ghanaian moments. This particular series is about life in Ghana around Christmas. This year, Christmas is not very Christmassy and it is reflected in the stories. Regardless, keep faith alive. The dry seasons will end and rain will come regardless! 
You may have also noticed that the domain name has changed from Kenikodjo to KeniRibeiro 😉 Same girl, same stories, just keeping the brand consistent. See you in 2023 with more stories and so many other exciting endeavours. Love always, Keni! 💜

13 thoughts on “#7daysofXmas 7: Muted Cedi

  1. Compliments of the season Keni!!!!! It’s good to have you back🤗.

    Totally enjoyed this❤️ and yes, this year’s December isn’t “Decembering”🤣.

    Looking forward to more stories in 2023.

    Cheers 🥂.


  2. To be honest I’ve read lots of short stories this year but seriously none has felt like just one of yours. Just one and goosebumps all over. Write frequently for us Keni, because for some of us, it give us another level of satisfaction and joy and hope and motivation and love.

    God bless you Keni Ribeiro.


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