LETTER TO MY UNBORN: Life of A ‘Number 9’



It’s Papa here . . .

As days roll into weeks, matters to catch up on are just numerous. My thoughts, stuck just where they are, linger on in affairs both inspiring and draining — oh, the madness of this life!

It becomes more a dream to share slices of it with you, darling, so do read on and have a good feel of reality before your baby hands touch them. Today, I tell you about eworkple and ewortorweh.

Mouthfuls, eh?

Well, they are — quite literally, as you’d soon find out.

See, it is my earnest desire that you come along unmistakably Ewe — a proud ‘Number 9′ — not just through daddy, but mommy, too. That way, you would not bear the wearisome ’50-50’ label the teasing reference might stick on, and you would certainly enjoy all the wonderful perks that proud digit bestows.

Among the bountiful incentives of being Ewe is the privilege of enjoying the aforementioned eworkple and ewortorweh — in all their glory — especially prepared with love and regularity by your mother [who I’m still searching for, by the way]. This is one dish whose relish is tied to its culture. Much more than just a meal, it is a tradition passed down generations, part and parcel of all bearing the identity. That is not to say others not of our ethnicity can’t enjoy it too, however; it just rolls up the tongue — and down the throat — in an entirely unique style for us.

Eworkple, a type of banku, is made with maize flour (cassava dough added as preferred), measured into a quantity of boiling water, and stirred into a uniformly textured doughy paste. A lumpy mess, it seems, but only until ewortorweh — just another type of ‘light soup’ that incorporates a small amount of maize flour and a few spoons of palm oil, with the ‘zomi’ sort providing an especially excellent finish — shows up at the table.

Complementing this spicy, mouth-watering potage is smoked fish or meat. Depending on availability, this may feature mussels, or any shellfish of choice.  Served hot, it’s really a delightful dish, and I can’t wait to behold your reaction when mommy wiles in your very first morsel, even as your taste buds joins the millions that have been treated to this delightful delicacy — that which has powered our ancestors through many tough days laboring in the fields.

Oh, myself?

Well, yes, I’ve had more than my fair fill (not that I’m complaining, though) over the years, thanks to my mother – your grandmother, that is. Really, everyone professing to be a ‘Number 9’ enjoys this dish – the joy of the tag — regardless of financial or social status. I can’t be prouder to be of this tribe, really, and you can’t be any less.

But, hey, that’s enough eworkple and ewortorweh for today, darling. Keep these positive vibes, and rest assured that the best is yet to come. Papa loves you so much.

Until we meet again, come the next market day . . .

Efo Sitsofe.

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