Ayine is my sister. She’s married to a brother of my husband. A few years ago we didn’t talk much but on my most recent stay at home we connected a lot more. We spoke together, laughed together, sang together and danced together. Really, this woman can dance Frafra. She’s got the clapping, little hop-steps and downward motion down pat it seems effortless and easy.
One night at the house Baba had ordered a sacrifice to be made and so the men were preparing the goat whilst the women sat around waiting to cook. I had been filming my daughters, 22 and 19 years old respectively, do some traditional dances for my classes back in Australia. The kids were hanging around expectantly now as it was early evening.
Suddenly, there was blackout. ‘Lights out’ as they call it in Ghana. Ayine looked at me and said in Frafra, ‘Sorry, Asanempoka, lights out.’ I looked at her quizzically and kept taking photos because the video camera had a flash. Ayine repeated herself with such empathy and concern I then realised what she meant.
She’d thought the lights out meant I could no longer use my camera!
One of our daughters realised too and began clapping her hands and laughing. She loudly proclaimed to everyone what Ayine had said while I looked at her and said, ‘Ayine, batteries.’