A not so long time ago, when my husband, Ananse, was still slim and sexy and I bedazzled with my lavishly long natural hair, he was the bearer of all wisdom. He being the ‘smart’ lad kept all of the world’s wisdom in a pot instead of his head. We fought about this issue continuously for over a decade. My problem was (and I know my fellow ladies would agree with me) we women are always right; so if I tell you to store up all the wisdom we have gathered over the years in your head and not a fragile pot, you should understand this suggestion is from a kind place.
As stubborn as he was, Ananse said no (what some of us women have to go through with our husbands). He claimed he had enough wisdom in his head (let’s just say he was drunk when he said this) and would rather store the wisdom in a pot instead of his head least his brain goes into an over drive. Me being the obedient wife, I decided to keep my cool and go place the pot in our basement as Mewura had instructed me.
A few decades passed and man had begun to grow dumber by the minute. Those were the days! Business was booming for the Ananses. My husband’s trickery business expanded by tenfold; we even had international branches: New York, London, and Rome, Cameroon, just to mention a few. Then one day the Fate sisters visited. They came dressed in their old clothes looking as ratchet as possible but never be deceived by their demeanor. Their wealth is equal to that of empires and they only answered to the Maker. When Ananse and I were spinning cotton back in the day, they were spinning gold. And to add insult to injury, they were tasked to make sure the fate of everyone as written by The Maker came to pass (my resume was lost in the bureaucracy so I didn’t get that job).
Well like I said (sips wine); the Fate sisters came visiting with word from The Maker. According to them, The Maker had requested the presence of Ananse and me to discuss the sale of the wisdom we had gathered over the centuries to Him. The Maker’s plan was to redistribute it equitably among man again. This time however, He was willing to pay handsomely for it (even though he had created wisdom Himself). How important and pompous we felt. To my husband it sounded like a good proposition.
I somehow suspected there was more to the story though. Why would The Maker want to buy back wisdom which He had created? If He wanted to see mankind reason logically again, why not create more wisdom and distribute among men? Giving back wisdom to man would mean business would become slow on our part; and I sure wasn’t going to give up my nice cars and Oscar dela Renta collection for anyone. These questions kept running through my mind the whole time but I decided to keep my cool while the sisters spoke.
The Fates gave us the proposed time and date for this meeting but there was an issue. When the Christians said The Maker remains the same yesterday, today and forever they never lied. There was this particular coconut tree in an undisclosed location only known to greats like us. In this location, you were required to climb that coconut tree if you ever wanted to engage with the Maker (this is just disheartening). At the top of that coconut tree, away from prying eyes, was a chariot tied to Pegasus. Pegasus would then give you a ride to the sanctum of The Maker. There, you had to go through even more bureaucracy (which I am not willing to explain) before you finally met with the Maker.
The Fates without even touching the wine I had served them, left after delivering their message. (Those girls were and are still deeply clad in rachetism. Who wears linen robes anymore in this day and age? And to think Clotho wore hers in mini skirt form… the struggle). The first thing I told Ananse after they had left was, ‘Clotho’s dress looks desperate’ and ‘this is a bad idea’. I digress – men, if your wife speaks to you and tells you something is a bad idea, trust me it is. I am telling you this from the pompous cricket in me called intuition (every woman has one). Ananse didn’t listen. He rather opted, with the little wisdom he had, to argue with me in bullet points. There was even a PowerPoint presentation in there somewhere. To fight a losing battle is proof of one’s own stupidity, so I agreed to obey my husband. The argument took a toll on me and hence, I decided to go to my favorite boutique and splurge myself with a Gucci bag to de-stress. My private shopper made sure I was well treated to an array of options before I made a choice.
Soon the day of our meeting with the Maker arrived. Ananse and I had four kids back then. Ntikumah was the last born. Now, he was the odd one out considering he talked and acted as humanly as possible.
For some reason, my husband decided to take Ntikumah along. As to how he came to that conclusion still baffles me even today. MEN… Sighs.
I brought out the pot which at this point was looking very old and out of place (like those Ananse story tellers in the villages, Yes I said it! Sue me!). I certainly wasn’t going to carry that dirty looking pot all the way to The Maker’s abode. It didn’t even match the Louboutins I had on. So I decided to place the pot in the new Gucci bag I had bought for myself (now that is what I call being an industrious lady considering the bag did also match my shoes). I wasn’t going to be caught dead by any fairytale or folklore character looking like rags by holding the pot of wisdom in broad daylight without covering it with some fabulosity .
So we set off. It was quite a short ride actually. Climbing the tree for my husband (the original Spider-man) was going to be an easy task. The only problem was how he would carry the bag as well. For those kubolor people among you who do a lot of coconut tree climbing, u know this; climbing a coconut tree demands the attention of all hands and feet, therefore making it a challenge carrying the pot up the tree without devising a strategy.
This is where you guys have to pay rapt attention. As we stood thinking below the coconut tree, our then last born, Ntikumah raised a suggestion which shocked me and Ananse. The suggestion sounded so brilliant I was willing to elevate Ntikumah to the level of first born. Ntikumah suggested Ananse carry the pot on his head while he climbed the coconut tree. That way his hands and feet would be able to climb freely without any problems. Without hesitation or thought, we quickly gave it a try. Ananse climbed and climbed and climbed (you might have to do the hand motions to visualize this properly). With my Gucci bag on his head (looking like kayayo of the year) he made it to the top of the coconut tree where the branches supported him fully.
For those of you who do not know this, my husband is a show off. After every ‘great feat’, he liked to jubilate with a very silly dance he created. At the top of the tree with the Gucci bag still on his head he danced away. As stunned as I was, I just looked on. Suddenly, Ntikumah called on his father. For what reason, I do not know. Ananse who was initially caught up in his dance stopped dancing. He then tilted his head to look down in order to listen to what his son had to say. ‘Well done dad’ said Ntikumah. It suddenly felt like a slow motion scene from an action movie. The pot together with my bag rolled off Ananse’s head and headed straight down for us. It was a sight to behold. I have never in my life run or tried to catch anything not to mention something in mid-air. But today, I had to become a goal keeper. I asked Ntikumah to stand right where he was while I scrambled to catch the pot.
Right when the pot was about falling in my hands (and this is how I remember it), the pot decided to do a backward flip and fell right on Ntikumah’s head; breaking into pieces in the process. I wailed! The wisdom trapped in the pot for centuries spread like wild fire. North, south, east and west, wisdom run for its dear life least we trapped it again.
The Last and youngest head – NTIKUMAH. This was how my last child came to get his name; the last and youngest head to receive the first blow of collective wisdom. I guess wisdom was too heavy for him to bear so he died on the spot. The END!
What? Stop giving me the stink eye! I don’t pay you to look at me with judging eyes; I pay you to write my memoirs. What did you say? Ok fine, my dear writer- friend insists I tell you, our cherished readers, the truth. OK, big deal! Ntikumah didn’t die. My husband after weeping buckets of tears atop the coconut tree and after realizing the ‘all knowing Maker’ had tricked us all along, descended from the tree. He was filled with so much sorrow and hate at the same time he disowned Ntikumah and cursed us never to speak of him again in any of our stories (stories we barely feature in thanks to those drank story tellers). Ananse blamed Ntikumah entirely for this mishap. He told Ntikumah never to return home again.
It was a very sad sight. One I would never forget but the truth must be told. I couldn’t leave my last born to rot in this undisclosed location. Luckily, before we left, I came across a hunter who was willing to take my young Prince into his home and cater for him. ‘Ntikumah would blend well with the humans’ I consoled myself. I then kissed him good bye and left him there. In this undisclosed location. Don’t you dare judge me. Wait till you are trapped in a situation like that then you can judge me.
So this is how we lost the pot of wisdom and also how humans today all have a little bit of wisdom with them in their pockets. Thing is, no one person has all the wisdom in this world (only Ananse did at one point and see what happened) therefore it would be in your own interests to dialogue and open up to people about your ideas and thoughts. And share in your wisdom. I am only saying this because recently, it feels like humans are becoming selfish in sharing this wisdom and we, The Ananses, are beginning to find it very easy in our business of trickery. Not that we hate it. Please, do go on. Be selfish! We really have been doing well lately. And trust me, we hardly care about you lot. But sometimes, just sometimes, I feel pity for the ones among you who for once do not want to use their wisdom (and to think I lost a child just so u can freely use this wisdom).
Please do not feel pity for me just because I lost my Gucci bag and my last born, Ntikumah. I replaced that bag with a Birkin bag and I hear Ntikumah is a huge success among your kind. It is rather unfortunate no one knows who Ntikumah is posing as in your world right now and I certainly will not tell you. I would say this though; he is very smart (considering he is the only one to ever experience wisdom’s blow in its collective form) and owns a lot of businesses. That should be a good enough hint for you ladies out there. And oh! From the last I heard he is still single (you can put your wisdoms together as single women and with my hints, find him. I wonder how you will share him when you find him though). Good luck!
In my next Anansesem (story), I plan to reveal even more of me. Like I tell myself every day when I look in the mirror, my greatness must be shared among the masses.
Happy New Year my lovelies and respect your elders!! Kisses…
The Great Mrs. Ama Ananse in her New Year Kabba and high slit. Muah!
Seeing as Sister Ama would never admit to this or even acknowledge it, I am but a humble writer and would like to say a big thank you to all for making the premiere of “The Ananses” a success. I know Sister Ama is grateful but she would rather drink rat poison than admit this. Muchos Gracias Amigos!! Thank you!!