For my Husband, an Educated Fool - Nana Yeboaa


We lived in the village of Assesewa
We married after my bragro
(But) Babies, they didn’t come!
The oracles had said
Two you shall get
Later they will come
In the days of our fight for independence
I had my children

Egya Kofi came
From the white man's castle
He came
Around him we gathered
He told a tale of visit
A visit to the white mans land far and beyond
To see his world
All were proud of him


He went and came
Agya Kofi went and came with a white woman for a wife
His lawful wife he said
He signed papers and she was given to him
(Hm) Just a piece of paper for a wife
He built a mansion, away from the hut we lived
In the white mans language, they spoke
A sister I was presumed to be

I cook but he eats not
The grinding stone I use
The clay pot
He says when I cook its all dirt
I have not what the white woman uses
He complains when he eats my food
He says I over cook

When the moon blesses me at night
My husband comes to me
But my husband complains
He tells me I am dirty when he feels the shea butter on my skin
He says I smell like a shear butter factory

He says my hair is too thick
He can’t run his hands through them
My husband says that the flesh of my skin is fat
my breasts are too big
And my buttocks too much
He says I am too dark

When my husband comes to me at nights when he is denied
Hear him again! He says I am too rigid
I do not wiggle and giggle
That is why he doesn’t want to make love to me

My husband says I am too backward
Because I use herbs,
I am my own doctor
I have remedy for headaches
I have remedy for worm infestation
I have remedy for malaria
Remedy for impotence and bareness
All these are in the forest


My back aches
I till the land from dawn to dusk
The merciless sun beating on my back
the rains soothing and balming
The rewards of my hard work
Cattle, sheep, goats, and chicken
All that my husband knows is kill and eat with his white wife

To my house he points
The fruits of my labour are directed
To a wife who is my rival
Bought by a piece of paper
One who does not toil with her hands?
But paints them
Those shall be diner, servant I am not
The sultry taste of sweat produces food

My husband has turned into a hypocrite
My husband says a woman is not to talk back to her husband
But, I see his white wife raising her hand to him
I too am a woman, a mother of his children
A woman who cooked
A woman who washed
And warmed his bed
Gave him a pillow of breast
Now he doesn’t like me because I am black


In the old days, my husband, you were a proud man
You had the most beautiful woman
My hips were the jealousy of your friends
My eyes the emerald of light
The smoothest skin like polished stone
You adorned me with cowries, beads, and gold
Now you distinguish between colors
Because I am black, you do not like me any more
Two babies and the oranges are still strong
The stand with no support
These you say are not ideal
The little ones you cannot hold
The bones that grind against you
That, you love

Through rain and shine
Thin and thick
The star that led, protected and comforted you
In my bosom you found solace
Lovers we have been
Friends we were
I was a mother who breast-fed you
A sister who chided you
Now I am no good
To you an educated man
A fool lost in the world of his ancestors.
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