Tales from my grandmother - 1
“Eto la yedune, ne me toe oo, meduge oo” this was an Anlo expression ubiquitous on my late grandmother's lips. She said this so often we nick-named her “Eto la”.
The expression, literally means “it is he who pounds (the fufu/palm fruits) that enjoys the meal, he who does not pound it does not get to enjoy the meal”, in other words, “you reap the fruits of your labour – if you idle about with your time, you'll reap nothing and go hungry”. How true this statement proves to be as I journey on in life! I have come to appreciate and fully understand that indeed, in life, only a few things or perhaps nothing happens to us undeservedly. Virtually every situation we find ourselves in is a result of what we bargain for. When I was younger, I used to think that good things came to people only out of sheer luck or by miracles. But no! I have come to realize that the decisions I make determine what results I get. Minor decisions affect minor things in my life while the major decisions affect major things in my life.
I may not be able to determine my parents, nationality, tribe, race, height or those things I was simply born with or into, determined by my creator, but I am more than able to shape and hone these natural endowments (call them predicaments if you like) to make me into who I really want to be. As I recall how I used to pound palm fruits for my grandmother, (for there was no nkulenu palm soup, packaged and canned in those days for abenkwan) I now see so clearly the values Daavi, as we affectionately called my grandmother, was unconsciously instilling in me and my and little cousins. For as at the time, we only took pleasure in the pounding of the palm nuts – we enjoyed the rhythm that came with the up and down movements of the pestle accompanied by Daavi's melodious “Eto la” music.
We joyously sang along … “eto la yedune, ne me toe, meduge oo, eto la yedune, ne me toe, meduge oo”
Grandma encouraged me to be confident, resilient, assertive, tolerant, faithful, modest and patient. All these and many more virtues she imbibed in me in a most natural and unforced manner. I picked them (oh, I hope) without knowing that I was being groomed or tutored. I grew up thinking people grow naturally with these things. Maybe that explains why I'm often too sympathetic towards others, trusting them too much, thinking that they would equally see the beauty in others too while appreciating their differences. I always want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I have been so blessed. So blessed I didn't even know!
These virtues continue to guide me, assuring me that hard work and patience are worth pursuing and that there are so many more things to recover and discover in life – life is a lesson; keep learning as much as you can. Most importantly, do practice what you learn, for knowledge acquired and stored only without its application is as good as nothing.
Let's take this journey happily together as I share with you in the coming weeks, some other interesting tales from my grandmother.
Posted by Brooke Nuwati
Development / Ghana / Africa / Modernghana.com