sat down, half-sliming and taking a sip of a cup of smoothie she had just
picked up from the counter. From the corner of his eyes Kevin noticed the
attendant at the counter staring at them. He must have thought to himself, “Are
they married? Are they ‘committing sin’?” Just then Mr. Koku walked in,
staggering. The way he walked one feared for him that he would suddenly fall
apart. “He must be ill or something …” Amanda thought to herself. Kevin didn’t
see him until he turned around from the counter. He was both shocked and upset.
How could he intrude so rudely? Did he need money all the time? Kevin received
money in six digits every month so he had no way on understanding that Ten
Cedis every week was very difficult to live on particularly when someone was on
may we help you, Sir?” he snapped, giving Mr. Kokou a very hostile stare,
straight in the eye. The old man was not a bit perturbed. He let out a little
forced cough and softly responded in a cracked voice:
am so sorry to disturb you Sir…” He dipped his right hand in his breast pocket
and out came a doctor’s prescription for some lung infection. “…I have to by
some medicine… you see I used to smoke a lot before so it affected my lungs and
created all sort of diseases in my tracheal system. I don’t have anyone to help
me… please just Twenty Cedis to buy my medicine…”
first instinct was to ask what had happened to his extended family. How was it
possible that he did not have anyone at all to help him? On second thoughts, he
felt there was no need inciting another long story about the old man’s life. He
needed to spend time with Amanda who was just smiling at the old man. He handed
him a Fifty Cedi note and Mr. Kokou thanked him profusely.
must be the second time this week you are giving someone something to dismiss
them rather than out of Christian compassion!” Amanda said, sipping her smoothie
“Unless of course you have other beneficiaries…”
Kevin stared at her. She always seemed to get him thinking more seriously about his spirituality.
do know he still smokes, right? Probably Indian Hemp!”
laughed aloud. She could not believe the depth of his naivety.
dark lips, bloodshot eyes, desperately agitating for small amounts of cash… he
is what you call a junky. Does that make you regret giving him money?”
course!” Kevin snapped, visibly upset.
laughed again, practically reeling. “You don’t want your money used for unholy
purposes? Anyway, I think you just weren’t paying attention the last two
encounters you’ve had with him. You might have noticed if not for a certain
tall dark lady you were thinking about”
you! And I suppose you know the name of that lady, huh?”
rolled her eyes and pursed her lips. Kevin watched her, strongly attracted to
her sassiness. Her boldness in saying her mind. Her brain that matched her
“On a more serious note, Kevin, I think most people in our churches these days are simply too much into their own selves. I am avoiding using the word selfish but that is just what it is. When I was young, we were Catholics and a lot of emphasis was placed on helping the poor and less privileged. Why should the fact that a junky comes to church to beg for money bother you? Who did Jesus die for?”
When I wrote on marriage in the book Till Death I learnt a few new things about cars, medicine, writing itself and of course relationships. Back then, my Senior Partner and I came up with a few tips that could help married men resonate constantly in their wife’s minds.
After going through these tips, I would be glad if you provide feedback on the results of practising just two out of the ten tips over a period of time. Also, you could add tips from your own experience as comments. So here we go:
1. Send a very special SMS or IM everyday whenever you are away. Sample:
‘Someone got me really upset today then he wondered why I just smiled. I smiled ‘cos at that very moment, I thought about u’
2. Spend thirty minutes every day talking to her exclusively. Turn off the TV, your phones, your computer and just talk with her.
3. Have her pose and take pictures of her every weekend. Take pictures of her when she is asleep and surprise her with them.
4. Do the cooking, house chores or take care of the baby all by yourself and let her do whatever she wants every two weeks.
5. Take her out to dinner, a park, the beach, the movies or wherever at least once a month.
6. Buy her a small gift every month. On special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas – buy her a big gift.
7. Visit her at her office once in a while unannounced. Let her colleagues know you.
8. Take her on a trip out of town at least once a year. Depending on where you are going, vary the modes of transport.
9. Describe a part of her body in detail to her once in a while. You can recite it like a poem, write it and send it in the mail or capture it on a camcorder.
10. Confess your commitment to her in a spiritual atmosphere and let her reciprocate. Sample:
‘You belong to me and I belong to you. You are pleasing to me and sufficient for me. I will never desire another. Our souls are bound by a blood covenant in God the Father. Till Death do us part’.
There is an immediate practical and vivid connection to this book for the working class, unmarried young man; even for the married, perhaps it’s a déjà vu!
To be honest I appreciated the usefulness of this book only upon reading it a 2nd time, and I wondered where my thoughts were when I read it the 1st time. There is a certain clarity, realism and actuality that Ken wrote with each line of this story, that provokes thoughts of the reader to a point of subconsciously assuming the roles played. And not many a writer often combine these and achieve the level of impact on its readers. He has been brilliant in that regard.
In general Kenneth could not have been more precise and incisive with this story-line. There is a directness in the way each line punches the truth barrier. The paragraphs of each leaflet is a vicious play of the greed and pleasures of man that often tramples our senses of reasoning. We see a writer who has carefully arranged the story-line to whet the appetites of his readers like series and seasons of movies which make you want to watch the next episode…and the next. You could not wait to read the next chapter How remarkable, that in the end, Ken vividly tells us, so brutally that you can make life that simple for yourself and those around you – regardless of what you have or do not have. And I found it personally from pages 202 onward!
Personally, I found a few key lessons:
A. A man in particular must – not should – be able to make and take a decision, and stick to that decision and deal with the consequences thereof. We have the opportunity of hindsight – albeit not always – and hence can approximate. In truth we cannot expect every decision to be right with little or no knock-off effects, but in our solitude we should smile within if it ends up based on what we decided and do not let it get so much into our heads. We should also take it on the chin if it goes bad, regret a little and attempt to make it right in a bid to turn things around if it is within our purview.
B. You cannot eat your cake and have it. It is that simple. We cannot consciously take certain decisions in life knowing very well their repercussions, and yet when they do we act so pious as though we are whiter than Jesus’ cloth during one of His transfiguration! What goes around comes around!
C. A Novelist of a book I once read said…. “Character is doing what is right when none is watching; Virtue is keeping.” Entangled reiterates this statement essentially! Character has something to do with one’s way of thinking which comes with maturity. Maturity is a state of mental capacity… it is not age; well, not just! Marriage, does not and cannot necessarily change you for the better;
D. We have never done anything by our own might – but the Grace of God! Give credit where it is due. The earlier we accept it the better. Why? Because “iniquity” is found in us (page 205, Miss Botchway speaking). You must not be a Christian sacrosanct to realize this.
A great book by all standards – and I am looking forward to the movie version also – because I wish to partake in the acting! Kenneth Igiri is indeed a writer!