You sang. I played. You the beauty. Me the beast. You the princess. Me the frog" a portion of an epistle renowned Ghanaian lawyer, Ace Anan Ankomah wrote to his wife to mark her 50th birthday.
Read full letter below
HAPPY 50TH TO THE PRINCESS WHO KISSED THIS FROG
“She’s got more faith in me than a beach got sand
And I like to tell her...
That I'm forever indebted, forever indebted to her cause....” sang R. Kelly in When A Woman Loves.
From the first day we met in early 1985 when we were just 17 and in 6th Form, it was bound to last. The stars were aligned:
You in Gey Hey. Me in Botwe.
You sang. I played.
You the beauty. Me the beast.
You the princess. Me the frog.
We chatted a lot and wrote loads of letters to each other.
We finished High School and came home to Accra. Me in my mum’s one-bedroom flat at Kanda. You in your dad’s huge house at Abelenkpe. Soon we were inseparable. We went everywhere together. We would walk from Kanda to Circle and even to 37, because we had a lot to say. Ok. You did, and still do, most of the talking. I met your mum. But I didn’t have the “confi” to meet your dad. I kept staying away.
Our results came. We didn’t only pass. You topped Gey Hey. I topped Botwe. Then I had the confidence. I met your dad, the soldier, the General. He was all schmaltzy and warm. He teased me over the old yellow Opel Rekord that I drove. Anyone who teases me must like me. I felt so welcome that I wondered why I stayed away. He never stopped teasing me.
Then my dad died. And you were there throughout as I mourned the shock from which I have never recovered. As Legon beckoned, I don’t even remember proposing. It was as natural as our next breath. We pledged to explore marriage at some point in the future. That’s as “romantic” as I could get. Charley, it must feel like a business, right? I apologize for being all head and precious little heart.
In Legon your room was my refuge and hiding place. It was also because there was always food to eat. We got on like a House on fire and fought like kittens. We broke up like 1000 times. (We still break up from time to time.)
Our dates were broke and pathetic. I would calculate every pesewa to the T. I remember us eating chicken tandoori at that old Indian place in Osu. I had to gari for a few days after that. I wondered what you saw in this broke-ass guy when you had “better” options. I still do.
Legon was done. You went to work with Ecobank. I went on to Law School. National Service followed. I remember the day I called you to say my scholarship to Queen’s uni had arrived. After screaming your delight, you said “we must get married.” It wasn’t a request. It wasn’t a demand. It was the next, natural step.
We got traditionally married before I left. Within 9 days of returning to Ghana the next year, we had the wedding. Then 3 amazing kids in 5 years.
I have known you for 33 years and been married to you for almost 25 breathless years. Ad?n? You haven’t allowed me a moment to catch a breath. You are always there. Even though work has sent you to far away Banjul, you are still here and there and everywhere. You torment me in Accra, harass Nia in Worcester, pester Paps in Newcastle and hound Hemmie in Tema. All at the same time. You still determine when bills get paid and even what I eat on a daily basis! Yes, you still OWN and RUN the home AND THE KITCHEN even from Banjul. I am President of this venture. But you are the Vice-President and you occupy every ministerial portfolio. My One Woman Thousand.
Maybe life would have been easier and gentler for and kinder to you if I wasn’t your husband. I know that you have let “juicy” professional opportunities pass because of me, what I am and my loud mouth. You think I dunno. But I do. Yet you choose to nail your flag to this unsteady mast.
I hardly do or say this, I know. BUT THIS MUST BE LOVE.
When I think back, I can see what you have made me. On my parents’ foundation, you have built a strong man. You hugged the beast and kissed the ugly frog. I am not sure that I turned out to be a prince. But you are responsible for what I have become. I am still useless. I brought your gift to Banjul, wrapped in brown paper.
You see, I rarely think about how my life would have been without you. Wow. Scary thought.
Happy 50th, Kitty.
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