Manza looked out the window and smiled. Any moment from now, Naa’s fiancé, Papa Kwame would be walking through the gate. She could already see the full squad in their colorful caftans, standing outside obviously gearing up to cheer their boy on. Papa was adjusting his kente cloth and couldn’t stop smiling. Getting excited for her friend all over again, Manza turned from the window to face Naa. The make-up artiste was going to be here soon and they needed to get ready. Ana, Betty and Kyerewa had stepped out of the room to iron their clothes, and were chattering about whether to still go with the head gear idea or not.
Manza frowned slightly: “Naa, why are you so quiet? Today is your big day.”
Sighing, Naa responded: “I know Manza. I am excited…but I’m also scared.”
“Why? You should see Papa. He obviously can’t wait to be your husband!” Manza exclaimed.
“I know. The problem is not from Papa at all.”
“Then what is it?”
“You remember what you read to us the other time we met? About how girls have a part to play in making their men happy?”
“Yes I do…that wasn’t all I said though. So what’s wrong?”
“It got me thinking…”
Manza nodded, encouraging Naa to go on.
“Am I really ready? Papa is a great guy but can I really make him happy?”
“Why are you entertaining such thoughts now?” Manza asked.
“I’m just 25 Manza…”
“So? Who said anything about age?”
Naa fidgeted with her hands, obviously uncomfortable.
Putting her arm around Naa, Manza said: “I know just the thing for you.”
Naa smiled, knowing what her friend was about to do. “Another piece isn’t it?” she asked laughing, momentarily forgetting about her anxiety.
“You know me already” Manza answered, shrugging.
“Can you read it to me before the other girls come? The way they are hyper today I may not be able to concentrate if you read it whilst they are here.”
“Say no more”, Manza winked.
‘” ‘When are you getting married?’ one question a guy or girl in their 20s to 30s can’t avoid being asked, sooner or later.
First it’s ‘Finish school’, then it’s ‘Get a good job’ then it’s ‘When are we meeting our sister or brother?’
It’s sometimes scary you know, when you realize there’s so much expectation.
You have to make it, be that good example and someday build a good home.
But before you quickly yield to the pressure, do you really feel ready?
Have you worked on yourself as an individual, a complete being?
We sometimes wait to find that person to complete us, but we couldn’t be more wrong.
How can you truly love and support someone when on your own you can’t be strong?”
Naa interrupted: “Err Manza is this supposed to make me feel better or worse?”
“Patience, girl, I’m not done yet!” Manza said, then quickly continued:
“Your time is yours and what you choose to make it.
There are some major decisions we will have to face in life, no matter how long we postpone it.
Don’t limit yourself by trying to meet society’s expectations.
It’s not about the size of the wedding, but the quality of the friendship.
Can you sleep afterwards, knowing you made the right decision?
Or you allowed society’s pressures to rush you into making some choices.
Take some time and think about your strengths.
You’re unique and have your own path to tread.
That means everyone’s time and course is different,
Some obvious, some not so apparent.
Your time may be now, someone else’s may be later,
But it’s not yours to wonder whether someone else is better.
The truth is, there will always be an excuse not to be ready;
Not just for marriage, but for the major decisions as life is one unwinding story.
So ask yourself once more are you scared because of what people will say?
Or you’re bold enough to seize today whilst its today.
Expectations will always be expectations, but it all depends on how you take it.
You could choose to break under the pressure or stand firm and make it.
I wrote this for you, to let you know
That each day is meant to bring us growth.
It’s easy to let fear stand in the way of our happiness
But remember all the struggles you’ve been through and know that they aren’t meaningless.
The new journey won’t be easy, but it’s not yours to face alone
Appreciate who you have and give them your hand to hold.
You will fight, you will laugh, you will celebrate, you will cry,
But it all starts with a decision to try.
You will be fine, as long as you remember this:
Some moments are too precious to miss
Some problems may not be yours to fix
But never be too proud to say I’m sorry
And never be too familiar to make new memories.
Go out there, today is yours, own it,
Before tomorrow comes and you realized you missed it…..”
Naa smiled “Sometimes I wonder whether you’ve been married before. Or maybe your name is Manza Incarnated and we don’t know”, she joked.
“Who knows?” Manza replied as they both laughed.
“Remember the last one you girls asked me to publish?”
“Yep, that piece was a classic one” Naa answered, giving Manza a light pat on the back.
“Turns out it really got to a lot of people. Some even thought maybe I was in love.”
“Well are you?”
Manza just smiled, with a faraway look flashing across her face briefly.
“All I know is, there are so many things life teaches us if only we will watch and learn. As for whether I’m in love, I’ll save that for another day”, Manza winked.
“Don’t think I’ll forget o” Naa teased. “In fact I’m noting this day down.” Manza laughed.
“Thanks for this Manza.” Naa continued. “I know it won’t be easy, but having someone like Papa to go on this journey with, I know it will be worth it.”
“That’s the spirit girl, now get dressed before…”
“Naaa!” Betty shouted as she barged in, with Ana and Kyerewa following closely behind.
“What are you waiting for? Can’t you hear the boys outside?”
They kept quiet for a few seconds as the voices blasted through the compound: “Ladies and Gents, are you ready now, we are taking the girls away…..”
Squealing in excitement, the girls dragged the make-up artiste in, urging her to get started….their girl Naa was about to start a new journey.
Naa took in a deep breath, said a prayer of thanks and allowed herself to soak in the excitement. This was it…..
P.S. In case you missed the first part of ‘A Girl’s Rant’, here you go: https://www.nanaboatemaa.com/a-girls-rant/