Many friends have preferences for different foods depending on the times they become free to feed themselves or when they feel hungry and wish to consume some amount of food to get more energy for their work.

In terms of food preference, kenkey, banku, ampesi, rice, yam and others may be made available to food consumers. However, in early times of the day some people prefer to take in coffee before consuming other kinds of food.

This is what made Maame Ama’s coffee shop popular and widespread. The coffee shop is located at a place close to a taxi rank at Abeka Lapaz. The location made it easy for many people to be attracted to the shop even for those whose preference may not be for coffee but for something else.

Customer service

The truth of the matter is that Maame Ama was well versed in customer service and will do anything she can to attract any visitor to her shop. In spite of the description of her place as a coffee shop, she was involved in selling all kinds of food namely red-red, kenkey and others.

Thus, the coffee shop was a place of a kind that dealt with all kinds of foodstuff. About three months ago, one man, attracted by Maame Ama’s pleasant behaviour, went to her shop to buy coffee and ended up taking in more than necessary to his discomfort. Since his stomach was empty except the coffee which he took, he began to feel very uncomfortable and so asked for kenkey which could make him heavy for the morning.

“Heavy food man”

In the course of eating the kenkey he began to throw up, soiling his clothes and, in a way, embarassed himself since there were some ladies around. The truth of the matter is that he was not a “coffee man” but rather a “heavy food man”, meaning that he was the type who was used to taking in heavy meals rather than light ones like coffee.

It means that we should not force ourselves at any time to take in things that do not match our taste simply because we want to please someone.

The young man concerned here is Abubakar whose behaviour in this direction is very common though not good for his personality. Instead of standing for what he prefers Abubakar would be easily influenced by people especially pretty young women just to satisfy them.

“Do you take okro?” a friend asked him one day at a food joint at Kasoa. “Yes, I do”, Abubakar replied even though he was not used to taking okro soup. On that occasion, too, Abubakar started vomiting the content of what he took after a few minutes to the disappointment of his friend who took him there.

The truth of the matter is that we need to be bold enough to insist on our preferences rather than taking in things we may not like just because we want to please other people.

Here the lesson in life is that we should always be prepared to do what is acceptable to us rather than “killing” ourselves as sacrificial lambs to please others.

Hard liquor

This behaviour put up by Abubakar appears to be a trend in his family. One of his siblings, Joseph Dabo, underwent a similar experience about a year ago when he also decided to consume about half a bottle of hard liquor known locally as “Akpeteshi”.  Joseph Dabo pretended he had great capacity for the local liquor. After consuming about three glasses with others who were with him, he fell and collapsed. Here again, three of his friends who went with him had to carry him home after anxiously pouring water on him several times to revive him.

On waking up, Joseph Dabo realised that he had nearly destroyed himself with the local gin. He was advised to keep away from “Akpeteshi” from that day, an advice he obediently kept to himself until another time when he decided to take in three bottles of Beer mixed with Guinness together with some friends who had greater capacity for such things.

Loss of fiancée

But going back to Maame Ama’s coffee shop, Abubakar who had vomited at the shop was also carried away home and made to take his bath. This behaviour caused him to lose his fiancée known as Namoale. Namoale is a very pretty lady who lived and behaved in accordance with her name. Her name in Ga means “who knows tomorrow”.

She was influenced, many people believed, by the meaning of her name. Having tolerated Abubakar for two years for his ugly and unacceptable behaviour, she became fed up and decided to stop the relationship and move on with her life even though she did not find it easy to do so since she was in great love with Abubakar. After leaving Abubakar, Namoale concentrated on her petty trading for nearly a year when a young man about two years older than her, met her and expressed interest in her.

The young man took her to Maame Ama’s coffee shop from time to time. The two would usually go for beverages like coffee or porridge and top them up with some other food. They go there at weekends when each of them is free from work.

Made for each other

The two partners appeared to have been made for each other, fighting hard and jealously to protect the interest of the other. It, therefore, came as no surprise when two years after they had met, they decided to unite in marriage. They were not very religious, but their lifestyle was pleasant. This also raised another question on the lips of their neighbours that whether it is religion that influences people’s morality, or whether it is the moral nature of people that results in good behaviour.

Unpleasant behaviour

Various opinions can be expressed on this issue. However, one thing that is clear is that by nature a person should be morally upright in order to find him or herself attracted and acceptable to others. Being religious is good but if the religiousness of a person who is by nature immoral, makes him or her put up unpleasant behaviour then such persons will not be found to behave well in society even if they live with the Pope in Rome.

The point being made is that keeping to the tenets of religion such as Christianity, Islam or any other religion may be good, but the moral nature of the person concerned is equally important. In certain parts of the country, many religious people can be found all over yet it is difficult to understand why at the least provocation they engage in fighting even though they are generally inter-related as a people.

Everyone concerned should be morally upright and be involved in the fight against squalor and deprivation but not engage in things that may lead to the destruction of life and property.

Good example to everyone

Maame Ama’s coffee shop should serve as a good example to everyone. Being a polite and well-trained person, Maame Ama had shown the world that you can attract all kinds of people to your shop if you exhibit an open heart and also demonstrate that you are prepared to move with everyone irrespective of where they come from. Our society must learn from this to make the country peaceful and attractive to all.

The coffee shop owned by Maame Ama is comparable to an island of good behaviour in a world of

confusion but it is never too late for everyone to change and follow Maame Ama’s behaviour so that

together, Ghana can become a great country to the glory of God.

By Dr. Kofi Amponsah-Bediako

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