Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Burkinabe Day - Deuxième

La premiere ici. I set out to go home, started singing the song that had been repeating in the car - Lira's Ngiyazifela. "I can't help loving you". Can you tell I am in love?

Instead of going home, I thought to myself. "Let's make this a Burkinabe day!" I would call up Stephanie, the lady who organized the Francophone Film Festival in Accra and collect that Burkinabe movie. I would also go to see Tatiana, my OUWA friend, and collect the souvenir she got me from Burkina. Stephanie wasn't picking my calls and Tatiana wasn't replying my whatsapp messages. When I called Tatiana, the phone didn't even ring and I had a voice playback in French. Turns out I was calling a +226 Burkinabe number. I stopped at the 37 Shell (didn't buy fuel) and bought Airtel credit. Except I didn't leave the car cos I was afraid the car wouldn't spark after a park and one of the workers went to buy me the credit. I scratched the card, went through instructions and the USSD message said the voucher was wrong. I had been brought some Vodafone credit instead. After getting the correct Airtel credit, I called and talked to Stephanie. She was traveling the next day and couldn't give me the original copy of Notre étrangère movie to watch. Her friend who had the copy she could give me was in Kumasi. I had to wait 2 weeks for her to come back from vacation so I could watch it. I was going to wait impatiently but I could not wait to get that souvenir.

Tatiana finally replied my whatsapp message as I was about to leave the Shell Station near 37. My last but one Whatsapp message was "Coucou" :-) Apparently, she had Whatsapp on her PC. Yes, you can get that. After she had confirmed that she had the souvenir she had brought me from Ouagadougou with her, I was headed to OUWA. OUWA stands for Open University of West Africa. Yeap, they have many students from West Africa. On my way to OUWA, I passed by 37 through to the front of GIS, Akuffo-Addo circle and down into Osu. I remembered the day I walked from Oxford Street to 37 with a Burkinababe. I will never forget that day. January 26th 2008. That day and around that time, there were no damsels parading themselves whistling at bypassing cars at Akuffo Addo circle. How times change. Tonight, some policeman stopped me on my way because the vimride didn't have one headlight working. He told me to park and take a look at it but I just kept on going. I had seen the 'light'.

OUWA & SliceBiz had launched HubAccra earlier last week so I thought maybe they may have moved to a new location. While there, Tatiana had confirmed that OUWA was in its older Osu location so I went there. There, I met my namesake Ato who we shall call Cecil, William of the award-winning SliceBiz and Gbenga of AgriPro fame. I was very curious to see what Tatiana had brought me from the former Upper Volta. She handed me a black polythene bag and I felt the item in it and recognised it. "Is this what I think it is?" Tatiana wasn't following. I knew what the item was. It was a wallet. Of course, it wasn't the wallet I lost. Because Tatiana would not be buying a wallet I had lost in Accra that Nima boys had transported to Ouaga.

I took the wallet out. I showed it to William and said, "Take this, all of it, and take from it. This is my blaahh... (did I get you! lol)". I actually said, "What is this?" He responded, "A wallet". "Do I have one?" "I don't know". I did the same with Gbenga who gave a similar answer. Then I showed it to Cecil. "What is this?" He responded, "A wallet". "Do I have one?" "No". Yes! I didn't have a wallet. In fact, I hadn't bought a wallet since it was stolen on March 6th. How coincidental that Tatiana got a gift for me from Ouagadougou and it was the very thing I needed but hadn't bothered to get. Awesome eh? She had bought it at Le Village Artisanal in Ouagadougou where artisans sell a lot of their products - everything being traditional and locally made. Funny thing is, the wallet doesn't have credit card or ID card compartments. Is it because Burkina Faso is a cash and carry society? And Burkinabes don't use cards? Hehe, maybe. The artisan obviously made this wallet for himself and not his potential customers. :-)

So now I can carry some Burkinabe with me everywhere I go. Just lovely. But the story hasn't ended. Continue. A suivre.
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