Farewell to Abena


Abena is no more.

Yesterday, Saturday, Abena came as usual to Bridget who is now weaving at the Waaijerhall hal,  where Abena’s loom is waiting for her, waiting for the moment she is kicked off and can start work.

It could not be.

Saturday 29th august Abena was hungry and intoxicated as usual and Sala and Bridget helped her to some food, as usual.

That was the last moment she was seen alive. She died on the street.

A brave girl of maybe 19 or maybe 23, the oldest of three girls, orphans with a deceased mother and a  perpetually intoxicated father.  When her littele sister, who is retarded, got pregnant and had to deliver at the hospital, it was Abena who looked after her and the tiny baby. Every day Abena went in search for food and soap to wash their rags. The nurses in the hospital gave food as much as they could and Abena carried the tiny baby around as if it was her own.

When PCC admitted the little mother Bagei to PCC, Abena and baby Nyamekye went to our detox. unit run by Sr.Pat. Abena was an amazing little ‘mother’ or rather auntie for Nyamekye. She sobered up and gained weight. We started to discuss her future once she would have kicked off her dependent habits. The weaving loom stood ready waiting for her. Often she came to look at it after she left the detox.

Abena left the detox after two months because she was not happy. She could possibly cope with the sobriety but not with the loneliness and so she run away to a boyfriend in town who is also ‘under the influence’. Together they took uptheir old habits and Abena lived on the street or with the boy.  Always she came to greet us and say that one day she would sober up and start her life, maybe tomorrow maybe next week. She lost her weight as fast as she gained it and her skin soon became pasty and doughy again. Good Sala and good Bridget sometimes looked after her food, though ‘unofficially’ and from their own good hearts.  Apparently all of town was willing to give her the drink on credit but not so for food, unfortunately.

Abena died Saturday night 29th August 2015 of a possible alcoholintoxication combined with severe malnutrition. She was still a girl but a brave and funny, even hilarious girl who loved dancing and cracking jokes. A neglected but streetwise girl.

Personally I remember her for her courage, her care and her talent for lightness and dance in her dark lonely life. Keep dancing sweet Abena, now that you are free. And let’s remember each other! And please remember your little sister and the little boy. Your father maybe, if you can. Farewell, we might meet one day in better circumstances! Salute to you Abena!

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