To the teacher who made me hate mathematics

Dear Sir,

I was just a child who wanted to learn and who enjoyed school because my curious mind was being fed. I wake up early with the excitement of going to school to learn and play with my peers, until there is a quick and painful awakening of what awaits me early in the morning during your lessons.
I was not very fascinated by numbers but I wanted to find out what I could accomplish with them nonetheless but the sound of your cane descending on our backs early in the morning put fear in the center of my brain and I could not think of any other thing apart from the pain that was synonymous with your subject. I remember all the meanness as if it was yesterday and I don’t know if you just derived pleasure from inflicting
pain or it was just a teaching method gone badly.
As I write this I am struggling to remember your name that is how much I fear you sir, so much so that I dread to even remember your name. Every morning in school was torture for me as there was what is known as early morning “mental” (any Ghanaian student knows the caning that goes with that word). It was supposed to be a morning brain teaser before the main lessons but it soon turn into a caning bazaar.
The pain you inflicted was supposed to make force us to take the learning of mathematics more seriously but it ended up filling my whole being with dread and hatred for all things numbers and for years I struggle to deal with numbers. The choices of courses later in life were determined by the absence of numbers because I did not feel worthy of numbers.
My friend and I who constantly got canned every morning came up with ways to cheat (something I was not proud of) so we would not have a sour back to take home. As you would instruct us to exchange our exercise books with the person next to us and mark each other’s work, the two of us would quickly exchange our blank exercise books and write out the correct answers for each other as you wrote them out on the board. This was our only chance of escaping the consistent forced relationship we had with your cane.
I am not totally blaming you for my natural weakness with numbers but you did little to encourage me to find some fascination with numbers.
Today, I have come to terms with the fact that I am just not good with the formulas and rules that go with numbers and I will rather read books and analysis characters or write poetry, but I do wonder what my relationship with numbers would have been had you not forcefully broken us up.


Daily Prompt: All or Nothing

All or Nothing?
“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath

Which do you find more dangerous: wanting nothing, or wanting everything?
I responded to todays daily prompt with a short poem below

You yes you
You feel bad for me because I want everything
But at least I want something and the world knows
You yes you
Don’t pity me because I crave for more than I should
At least my intentions are clear
But you yes you
What do you want?
Your intentions are not clear and you are invisible
Because you lack the strength to want something

I see you found your pen again

You sit and bleed words on a paper
Your pen painted beautiful pictures
We got used to the man behind the ink

Then she came and whisked you away
You were totally lost in her allure
You could not ignore the sun around her
The joy she brought killed your words
Happiness could not make your ink bleed

We found you dusting your desk the other day
You look at the empty space with nostalgia
As pen and paper sat waiting for their master
The pain she left in your heart needs a shrine
Were your hands will pay homage to LOVE

This poem was inspired by a friend (@phoenixgarincha) of mine who loves to write and after he did not write for several months he suddenly wrote a poem about the pain of loving. My friend if you see this give me a reply.

Layers of deceit

You see the layers
all perfect and well put together
But the soul lurking behind these layers
is all worn out
It’s hiding from the glare of the world
because the world
Has standards it has not been able to live up to
The brutal eyes of the world
is what has driven this soul into hiding
and the truth is they only care
because they want the story and they want the story
because they can’t wait to judge and condemn
an already suffering soul
so I put up a face and accept all the praises I do not

Daily Prompt: SOS- Message In a Bottle

I saw a gleaming object in the distance

It stood out because I was craving a drink

Sure enough it is a bottle at the shore

YES!! It sure does contain a white paper

 I have heard about messages in bottles

And this might be an old age message

A well folded paper in a vodka bottle

Shaking with excitement I did open

 I stared at an ancient message that read

“I send you this message like a fortune

Telling Chinese cookie to let you know

You will find love and age beautifully”


You, it was you I saw on that lonely dusty road

You who did not take a second look at the journey

You simply look lost but content in your situation

You who drew sympathy which you did not need

You laugh and run and twirl as you go along life

You who made us gossip about how unhappy you are

You made us forget to look at the sparkle in your eyes

You, yes it was you who taught us to live and love

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