The title is so apt in so many ways that it’ll be a shame to find another title for this article. I have to admit I borrowed it though, from a compilation of short stories by the ironically always busy Franka Maria Andoh.
If the name Franka sounds familiar then it means you have had the opportunity to visit Cuppa Cappuccino in Airport, Accra which Franka owns and manages. Between that and taking care of her pre-teen daughter among other endeavours, it is surprising that she found the time to write a book of short stories titled, “I have time and other stories”.
When you do find time to read the book though, you will be glad you did. Franka manages in the most entertaining ways to serve her readers a very true, very accurate picture of the contemporary everyday Ghanaian living here and abroad. If you’re Ghanaian you’ll find yourself giggling at typical occurrences as only Ghanaians can experience, like the young man in “One In Town” who was stopped by the same policeman four times because he drove a fancy car, or the unfortunate seeker of greener pastures in “Connection 1 & 2” who was duped by a 419 operator but risked it again because he believes his destiny lies abroad, or even the Ghanaian woman living abroad in “Chicken Soup Trouble” who caused commotion just because she craved her mother’s groundnut and chicken soup.
Ghanaian idiosyncrasies like Auntie Eno ready to make her home in the office of the man who owes her money or the fearful patriarch in “20 Steps”. These are only some of the stories you’ll be regaled with when you pick up a copy of the 150 page book.
If you’re expecting action and adventure in the traditional sense or a thriller, this book is not for you. If, however you have time and want a relaxing afternoon or evening of some easy reading then you’ve got it.
Franka’s style is simple and witty, very easy to read. You are bound to have experienced at least one of the situations she so eloquently narrates in her book. My favourites are “Josephine”. A deceptively frail looking Fante girl who shows the school bully who is boss and “Connection 1&2”; the hero of which I admire for his blind faith and determination.
Copies are available at Cuppa Cappuccino, you should get a copy and find out which story best recalls a truly Ghanaian experience you’ve had in the past.