Saturday, July 23, 2016


A few days before celebrating my birthday this year, I was working on Chapter 8 of the book: A Ghanaian Family Reunion, which takes place in the summer of 1991. 

The day I arrived to Accra for the reunion, we celebrated my 13th birthday. This year was the first that Nani's hug or phone call didn't begin my day. Drawing this scene however, made me feel her presence.

It's funny how even the events that I draw in the book parallel those I am living. Or perhaps it's the other way around? Or both?
I am not quite sure. What I do know for certain however, is that throughout the book, in even the most trying moments, there is an overpowering sense of celebration. 

Nani celebrated everything. She would hand us out gift's on my grandfather's birthday, years after he had passed away. 
She remembered hundreds of birthdays and anniversaries. And not just those of her close family (yes we are about a hundred family members more or less), but those of second cousins-twice-removed, sisters-in-law, and encounters on one of her many journeys. In her cupboard she would always had a stack of gifts prepared for any given occasion. Gifts that she had received and felt happier giving away. 

She could celebrate any little thing: a beautiful mantra she liked listen to. She would enjoy modern technology with us 
even if it frightened her at first, like when we took her to the cinema to watch a dinosaur movie, or when we first gave her an iPad for her birthday.

Even the simplest daily habits such as teatime in bed could turn into something of a magical celebration with her.

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