My Mothers Daughter

It was to be that I will arrive

But with sunshine and not dew

For when the savannah sun

Stood high above the skies

With fierce persistence

I arrived with a loud cry


It was told I arrived into

The hands of family

And she held me first

I was the joy of the moment

Everybody wanted to hold

And to put an identity

To my head and future


To her I was Sheila

And yet to my parents

I was Leilatu

And to the fragile Ima*

I was Bataniwe


There was no doubt

All these names stood

For no one would back down

I am Sheila Leilatu Bataniwe

Sheila: Heavenly. Musical. Blind  

Leilatu means “Night beauty”

And Bataniwe means

Look up to God   


*Ima: is a popular name for grandmother in the Northern part of Ghana   




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