“Kweku, are you still in the room? Or do you think today is Saturday?,” Aunty Charity shouted from outside.
“Mmm…..Ma, I’m tired. Everyday school, school, I want to rest,” Kweku murmured as he came out of their single room apartment with a toothbrush in one hand and a cup of water in another.
“You are tired so soon? There’s a long way to go and you better make your mind up to complete school and become a blessing to this family,” Aunty Charity said and chuckled.
“Children of these days, all they want to do is to lie in bed and have things happen for them. Things were not like that during our time. You wake up, go to stream to fetch water before you can bath and go to school. Today you have everything right under your nose,” She said and chuckled again as she fan the coalpot on which she had place a pot of porridge.
Aunty Charity was a single mother who lived with her son at Amasaman, a suburb of Accra. She has been struggling since her husband died to raise their only son, Kweku Nhyira Boateng. To her, Kweku was God’s blessing who she believed would grow up to wipe away her tears. She believed this so much that she saved up the little she got from selling pepper and tomatoes at the market to cater for his education.
“Mum, I’m ready for school,” Kweku said as he stood in front of his mum combing his hair.
“Do you always have to come out to comb your hair? Why don’t you do that inside? Anyway, take this money for food,” Aunty Charity said and handed one cedi note to him.
“But ma….. What about the money for the book? Our teacher said it’s 15 cedis,” Kweku asked.
“Don’t worry, by the end of the week, I would have gathered enough for you to buy the book. Get going so that you don’t get late,” Aunty Charity said.
“Okay. Bye ma,” Kweku said and took off.
In the neighborhood where they lived, the situation wasn’t very good. Many children in the community did not attend school. They mostly walked around in panties and were always seen playing in the dust. Aunty Charity, although that was her real name, took upon himself to do charity works in the community. She would buy clothes from the market and bring it to the parent of these children who walked about half naked. As a mother, she felt obliged to ensure that such little ones were taken care of. She could have done more but the condition of her finances wouldn’t allow her.
“Ma, you know we don’t have much but you keep giving to other people. Why do you do that?” Kweku, his 12year old son, asked her one evening.
“Let’s say I do that because I have faith. I have faith in God that oneday you will grow up and provide more than all that I have given out,” Aunty Charity said.
“What if that doesn’t happen?” Kweku pressed on.
“Do you wish for such?” His mother threw the question back at him.
“No ma,” Kweku answered.
“Then don’t ask such questions. I believe what I have said,” Aunty Charity said and with that the conversation was brought to an abrupt end.
At the end of the school term, Kweku ran home in joy.
“Ma!…Ma!…Ma!” He screamed as he entered the house.
Upon entering the room, he sighed, removed his school bag and threw it on the only chair they had in the room.
“Arh…. Ma is still not back from the market. I really wanted to show her my report card,” Kweku said as he unbuttoned his shirt.
Around 5 O’Clock in the evening, his mum returned from the market and was overjoyed when she saw her son’s report card. He had come first in his class.
“Thank God! This is a sure sign that oneday, God will use you to wipe away all my tears,” She said.
Kweku didn’t really understand why his mum kept making that statement. Of course, he hoped to be very rich in future but why did she keep saying he would wipe her tears away? Did that mean her mum was shedding secret tears? He thought about it but knew he couldn’t ask her for she would just shut him up.
Soon the vacation was over and Aunty Charity gathered the money she had saved and bought all the books needed for Kweku. It was a new academic year thus there was a need to get new books for her son. When school reopened, she went to the school with her son and presented the books to his teacher. His teacher was very excited to see that there was such as parent as Aunty Charity who cared a lot about his child’s education.
From the school, she went to the market where she sold vegetables. That day, Aunty Charity returned home earlier than usual to prepare beans stews that would be served with boiled yam for dinner. As she placed the beans on fire, she sat on the stool and sang some of her favorite local hymns. All of a sudden, someone ran into the house. It was Appiah, a young boy in the community who was a few years older than Kweku.
“Aunty Charity…….ermm…. Ermm..” He stammered and was panting heavily.
“What is it?” Aunty Charity asked anticipating the worse.
“It’s Kweku….He has been knocked down by a vehicle,” Appiah managed to say.
“Jesus! Where’s he?” Aunty Charity asked as she followed Appiah out of the house forgetting the pot of beans on the fire.
She was led to the hospital where Kweku had been rushed to by some of the community folks who had witnessed the incident. In the doctor’s office, Aunty Charity was told that her son might not survive and even if he did, he would not be able to walk for the rest of his life.
Aunty Charity shook her head in disapproval and told the doctor, “Kweku is not an ordinary child. He’s a blessing from God to me. There’s no way his life can be cut short if he hasn’t fulfilled his purpose. Doctor, my son can’t die because God would not even allow that.” And with that she left the doctor’s office and stood in the corridor offering prayers for her son.
After a few weeks, Kweku was discharged from the hospital. Indeed, he didn’t die but as the doctor said, he could not make use of his legs again. He was now in a wheelchair. It made Kweku so sad.
“Ma, you always say that I will wipe away your tears away oneday. How do I make that happen whiles sitting in this wheel chair always?” Kweku asked his mum after they were home from the hospital and his mother couldn’t help but cry.
“Kweku, I can’t give you an answer now, but I know it will happen. You are my blessing and it will happen as such no matter what,” Her mum said amid the tears.
Kweku couldn’t go to school because as a result of his handicap. However, his teachers told one boy in his class to always give his notes to him so that he can be part of the class. So, though, Kweku stayed at home, he continued to learn. On the other hand, things became very hard for Aunty Charity as she couldn’t go to the market because of his son. Daily, she prayed asking God for a change.
Oneday, as she knelt behind his bed praying, she heard the sound of a vehicle behind their house. She went out after ending the prayers and saw a gentleman come out of the car.
“Good Morning, I’m Patrick Osei. Please I’m speaking to Aunty Charity?” He asked.
“Yes, I’m the one,” Aunty Charity said and offered him a seat.
“Thank you, he said as he sat on the stool, I want to have a little chat with you.”
“Go on please. I’m all ears,” Aunty Charity said.
“I’m the manager of a Touching lives foundations which seeks to award brilliant students. I went to your son’s school and was given his commulative record. According to the teachers, he’s the best student in the school and as such deserving of this reward. But to my dismay, he wasn’t in school. When I enquired from the teacher, I was told of his condition,” He paused.
Aunty Charity sighed.
“Ma, I’m very sorry for what happened to him. But not to worry, my foundation want to send him abroad for a surgery that will help him walk again. We will take care of all the bills,” He announced.
Aunty Charity’s eyes were wide opened.
“Gentleman, are you serious about what you are saying? You will take my son abroad for a surgery? Eeei, Almighty God, I thank you,” Aunty Charity said and with her hands lifted.
“Yes ma, we will see to it that he walks again,” Patrick assured her.
God being good, the surgery was successful and Kweku was able to walk again. The foundation took it upon themselves to see to it that all that he would need to continue his education till the University level was catered for.
Several years later, Aunty Charity’s dream materialize. Kweku became the CEO of a company that dealt in the import and export of goods. He moved her mother to plush Estate at the Airport Residential Area and made sure she lacked nothing.He also set up a foundation to cater for needy but brilliant students and also to reach out to physically challenged people.
During one of their outreach to his former school in Amasaman, Kweku recounted his story to the amazement of all. Many who gathered there to witness the ceremony couldn’t stop shedding tears. After the speech, Kweku called his mother forward and thanked her for having much faith in his success.
“This woman here means a lot to me. She always kept saying that I would grow oneday to wipe away her tears. When the worst came, she didn’t give up, she stood by me and kept hoping. She thought it would be only her tears that I would wipe but God has exceeded her imagination. Today, I’m wiping the tears of many. Thank you so much mummy for believing in me,” He said and there was a great round of applause.
Kweku Nyhira, as his name was, flourished in his business and increased the reach of his foundation to several other communities in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Whiles seated at the dinning table, drinking tea, Aunty Charity reminisce on all that happened. She lifted her hands and praised the Lord for giving her such a Blessed Child.
BY: KREATIVE SANDY