PAST/PRESENT: PAPPY KOJO

Joojo Afful’s front teeth had a slanted chip that made it look like God inserted the tiniest marble white triangle, right at the front center of his mouth. But it’s just a souvenir from the scuffle his parents had in each other’s attempt to grab him, to spite the other when he was 8 months old. His mother met a man in Asamankese when he was three years old, moved into his house and had three more children with him. He never saw his father but his grandmother swore he was the spitting image of the man. Right from his bushy eyebrows, chiseled jawline, big bronze eyes, big feet and lying to multiple women like he had nine lives. He was a teacher at Agona Nsaba but went home whenever he could to visit his grandmother in Nyankomase Ahenkro and pay for the up-keeping of his two year-old daughter – whose mother, Gyamfuwaa, was still waiting for Joojo to marry her. Girls loved him and he knew it. His shirts were so crisp you could bite into it, I kid you not. One pair of any of his trousers could slice through day-old bread. He starched them overnight before pressing it with a well heated box-iron. The boys in Nsaba used to think of opportunities to slap the sleazy smirk off his face. He worked hard. He was one of the few well trained teachers, not because he was exceptionally smart, but because his Uncle Otuo had had the good sense to send him off to Akropong Training College. And boy was he glad for it. The salary wasn’t bad, plus he had a bungalow to himself and two girlfriends in Nsaba – who unknowingly took turns cooking for him every other week. And of course the mother of his child in Nyankomase Ahenkro. If he had stuck well to pulling out, he would have had only one child, instead of the seven girls he fathered in his lifetime. He spent some of his evenings dancing to songs he played on a record player he borrowed from the Headmaster occasionally. When he finally bought Pappy Kojo’s Balance , everybody on the block knew the song by heart in a week. The minute Pappy Kojo’s verse came on, he would channel his inner James Brown and move his feet and arms to the beat. Every other Friday, girlfriend number 2 was his date (she was the best dancer out of the 2). She would tuck her hand in his left hand, he would tuck the vinyls of Pappy Kojo & The Psychedelic Aliens in his right armpit, and they would walk to the dance hall and dance all night.   

Written by @asantewawith1a

Lit and black is a product of Black Girls Glow, we’re building community for women artists to create and collaborate. You can learn more at blackgirlsglow.org. If you’d like to support us please go to our patreon, there’s different levels and you can support at a level as low as $1. Thank you, and support black women artists. 

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