By MALAKA GYEKYE
I’m really hoping to go to Ghana this summer with the girls. I’m in the midst of looking for a Twi teacher to help them assimilate a little bit better, and have been plying them with plantain and stew so that they can appreciate good Ghanaian cooking when it comes across their plates. Their immersion into Ghanaian culture is nearly done, with only one thing alluding me: the money for the plane ticket.
Conservatively, the price for the girls and I to travel to Ghana in the summer will be close to $3,000. I make $8 at my part time job where I work 8 hours a week, so it will take me about 4 years to save up the money for our vacation. This, my friends, in unacceptable. It has become increasingly apparent that I must take matters into the palms of my mommy hands and do the unthinkable: I must dance for money.
Adwoa and I discussed it this evening, and detailed the chain of events which are to take place. A svelte and leggy girl steps off the stage after gracefully enthralling the male viewers in the audience with a seductive dance. They enthusiastically throw $1 bills at her as she finishes her number. Suddenly, the room gets a little darker and the trembling voice of the club owner announces that there will be a special treat this evening: Post-partum Delight.
Taking my cue, I shuffle onto the stage in green granny panties and a nursing bra. As the speakers blare a catchy techno tune, I try in vain to heft my jiggly frame, riddled with stretch marks up the pole. Half way up, I give up and drop to the floor in defeat, sweat pouring from my brow. The next part of my routine is to expose my right nipple from its harness, also chapped from years or nursing, to please the crowd. The audience gasps—whether in horror or delight I cannot tell. I’m too busy thinking of how to end the routine and do not bother to reconnect the bra.
My bare breast hangs lifelessly as I maneuver around the stage. For my finale, I roll vigorously on the stage, as if I’m having a seizure. After failing to spin on my back like that chick in Flash Dance, the whole routine ends with a half split. The music stops and another dancer has to help me off the stage. I wait expectantly on the stage’s end for my tips. I get $3.00 from a sympathetic viewer who begs me never to return their again as he drops the singles into the strap of my nursing bra.
Undeterred and undaunted, I vow to return again and again, until I have made the $3,000 needed to ferry my children to the land of my birth. At $3.00 a dance, I would only have to disgrace myself 1000 times to earn the needed amount.
If you want to prevent this tragedy from happening, feel free to send me your loose change to add to the Back to Africa Fund…or you can pray for a miracle.
About our contributor:
Malaka Gyekye is a “hybrid Ghanaian” who lives in Roswell, GA, with her husband, Marshall, and their three kids—the very dramatic and inquisitive Nadjah; the rambunctious Aya; and the "too-sleepy-to-tell-what-disposition-he-may-have-yet" Stone. Having been laid off five times since graduating in 2000, Malaka has given up the pursuit of a stable corporate gig to be a devoted full-time mother. In lieu of drinking, she uses her spare time to write for www.maizebreak.com, Africa’s version of The Onion. Find more of her hilarious musings on her blog, Mind of Malaka: Motherhood. Marriage. Madness.