In Grand mama's later years, even though she was home alone, She always had Aunty Esi serve a buffet at lunch and dinner. This meant there was enough to serve up to ten unexpected guest. Weekdays were the best days to visit, since her table for ten ended up feeding only five starving teenagers. After analyzing the traffic at these lunch parties, I realized it was best to find a way to leave school on a weekday to be at the famous Buffet table on a weekday. ( I have paid for this weekday exits from school dearly in Dansoman, so I am safe now)
After carefully thinking, and manipulating the school dispenser. I will convince Mr Aggrey that my illness needed professional attention so I will have to visit the Hospital in town for better care. After I have received an exeat to go to the hospital, few friends from my class will offer to escort the sick to the hospital. As you know, word had gone around the girl’s dormitory about Grandma's lunches. Oops! I actually forgot to add to it that the girls were willing to escort me to Grandma's house, not only for lunch, but also to also meet one of my handsome cousins from Kwabotwe or Adisco. As they say, As for me, I had no worries about meeting the guys. Nana Egyir's (Gas) was the entertainment Prefect at Adisco, and since I am his favorite cousin I was delivered the best, and quiet popular with the Adisco and Kwabotwe boys. (I have already paid for this as well).
Lunchtime was the best time, since we will be in close proximity to our rewards. You dare not act a fool, since Grandma will also be at the table. And for the over excited ones, You better not step out of line and act a fool. Maybe I should also mention that, Grand Ma knew most of the friends we brought home, and had come into contact with a family member of theirs. The smart ones should knew to act their best in her site, and the childish ones, will get a scolding from Grandma, UUUMMM HMMM! And she will also mention your behavior to your parents. I am sure by now, you know Grandma did not only teach how to become a christian Lady, she taught the boys as well. Your family will now be informed of your embarrassing behavior as well as your act as a “HOOLIGAN!”
After my visit, and the boys have left the table, Grand ma will retreat to her room. She will come back and turn my dream into reality. She will hand me a loaf of buttered bread to take to school. Alleluia, Alleulia my prayers are answered! After hiding it away in my school bag from the hooligans who accompanied my cousins to Lunch. Those charmers, and could make you hand them the bread.
Grandma's passion was designing and sewing clothes. Talking about a walking billboard, she did sell and advertise her own clothes. She was so good at it, I even heard Yves St. Laurent and Christian Dior were her competitors. Um hm! she also had a very good fashion sense. I can remember one afternoon, during one of my follow-up visits to the hospital. My escort and me did our routine of visiting Grandma, I was sad to hear she was sick, and was also visiting the hospital.
We stayed, and waited for her to arrive from the hospital. To while away the time, we were hanging out in the driveway and when we recognized the familiar figure coming up the hill. Well then, Grand mama!!!! She had literally used "Kotokoraba as her red carpet to debut her summer fashion line". She was wearing a long burgundy dress, a matching scarf, and YEP! Matching walking stick!!! NOW THEN!!!! How do you top that?
On a serious note, Grandma's services in Cape Coast should have been called " The Circle of Life”. She was willing to offer young girls pre martial counseling, and will not hesitate to design their wedding dresses for their special day, and in the darkest moments, Grandma will offer palliative care in times when all hope was lost, and reach out to the family.
Of all her numerous trades, You should see the joy on her face, when finally one of her girls has managed to graduate her sewing lessons as well as her class of self empowerment. I was so proud, when I walked into a house two summers ago in Alberta, Canada, and when I introduced myself, the lady of the house said, My Mum was one of Aunty Fausty's girls.
I am glad to have been in the company of a very strong icon, as a student and Grandaughter of hers, I learnt a lot from the short periods we spent chatting after lunch. I learnt to be ready to serve unexpected guest, try to fix a button, As much as I would like to say I am a good student, I definitely could not be as versatile and be perfect as the icon. When it comes to sewing, I do fail miserably but try to make up the loss by coordinating my clothes like she does. I think I am doing fine, since I have not been a guest on the "WHAT NOT TO WEAR".
In order to pass the torch, and keep Aunty Fausty's dream burning, We as women should reach out to help one another, to educate one woman at a time. Lets do it Aunty Fausty’s way.