Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Fish

A good number of my earliest and fondest childhood memories have something to do with fish.

Growing up in England, we always had an aquarium filled with fish of all shapes and sizes.

I can still picture our black rimmed fish tank and climbing up on the chair to feed them for the first time when I was 4 or 5.

I remember putting my hands in the tank to see if the fish would bite or come to me… and my mom reprimanding me time and time again.

I remember feeling so proud when people visited and crowded around our tank to admire our gorgeous fish

Fish meant home… beauty, happiness, tranquility… family.

In the 90’s, we left England… and our fish.

In the 7 or so years that I spent in Nigeria, I never once saw an aquarium that wasn’t being used to store ‘food fish’:

’120 Naira for this one madam… na titus fish… e sweet well well’

’ok because you be fine madam, I go collect 105 Naira for your hand…. 90 too small… abi you want make I waka go back house?’

My fish:

From a ‘pet’ to my ‘pot’

In the one year I spent in Ghana, I never once saw an aquarium that wasn’t being used to store ‘food fish’:

‘chale… e be the correct protein this I want sell you… 20, 000 cedis.. the ‘price’ that’

‘chioo… yellow lady wey di ye… wu ha aduni paaa… mi ma wu 18, 000 cedis… last ‘plice’’

Then I came to Canada on a freezing February night, bundled up in my ‘Ghanaian bought leather jacket’, black kangol hat, dark blue jeans and ‘Canada sent sweater’ and saw something that warmed my heart… told me I had arrived:

It wasn’t the beautiful house we were ushered into, the beautiful room that became ours, the beautiful gifts on the bed in that room…

I saw an AQUARIUM

Once again… beauty, happiness, tranquility… family.

I was home!!!

But right now, I am heartbroken…

Last night, my mom mistakenly turned off the water supply to the aquarium.

We woke up this morning to a tank full of dead fish.

My beautiful, beautiful fish… DEAD!

  • Celine was 9 years old gold and black and white and huge and absolutely stunning… the queen… and oldest in our fish tank. She was a bit of a bully and had a very hearty appetite. RIP my darling… I hope you’re in a better place where you can gorge on ‘fish cheesecake and vodka’ much tastier than your earthly ‘nutrafin’

It was a testament to your size and beauty that every Ghanaian person who visited our home always made a half-meant joke about the possibility of frying you to eat with kenkey and hot pepper… although I’m sure it must’ve been an affront to your dignity.

  • Awilo was 8… and the ‘Tony Blair’ of our aquarium… RIP my gorgeous... everytime I dance to ‘Coupe Bibamba’ from here on out… it’ll be in memory of you.

  • Shina P was 5 years old… and the loner of the tank. He ate when he had to and moved only when he had to... he had a very quiet dignity about him and just took his time with everything. I think he was an orphan or nursing a broken heart or something… and a bit of a pretty boy … I never once saw a string of poo hanging out his ass… his stripes were always fresh to death. A Versace of a fish… our Shina P was.

  • Dr. Evil, Chinua Achebe, X, Nicole, Cashew, Kweku Abrewa Kojohoho and Tombo were the other members of our fish tank family… full of personality and energy… full of life.

… and now they’re ALL gone…

Only two of our newest fish… the 1 year old ‘Rita’ and ‘Geography’ survived it…

We found them struggling to take their last breaths… probably writing ‘fish wills’ and mentally releasing life insurance documents…

We turned the power back on immediately… and so far they look alright.

Celine, Awilo, Shina P.. Dr. Evil, Chinua Achebe, X, Nicole, Cashew, Kweku Abrewa Kojohoho, and Tombo… azu e ji eje mba… ono na iru ona na azuyou are gone but will never be forgotten.

When you get to fish heaven, remember to remain a family and use all the lessons we taught you while you were here…

I love you guys with all my heart and I grieve your loss

Overwhelmed

(on behalf of the ‘Naija Babe’ family)

REST IN PEACE!

33 comments:

femme said...

i love the names of ur fishes.very original.
when i was little, an aquarium felt like the ultimate aje butter thingy.
sorry about ur fish dying and understand that to u, they wern't just fish esp since they symbolized home and happiness.
p.s
was awilo a good dancer?

Nilla said...

Chei ya, sorry about the loss of your fishes.

Gosh...you guys had a wide variety of names for them.

Have a wonderful day Missy!

Idemili said...

I'm usually to jump on the morbid celebration train. Right now, I don't even want to talk about death.

Fatoumatta said...

hurry me first!!memories are nice arnt they???ur poor fish...RIP..

O.šeyï said...

I love the way you make anything sound "Readable" and interesting. : )
RIP to your fish buddies lady!

Chronicles of a Naija Lady said...

Awwwww, how sad!! I'm sorry for your loss girl. I felt a lump in my throat while reading this.

:(

LittleGirlLost said...

Aww Rest In Peace little fishys.

Azumi♥ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naija Vixen said...

Sorry for your loss...may OWNB's fish rest in peace... have a great week babes!

kokolette said...

lol...you're so silly and everybody else that's helping you mourn your fish, lol!!!...i'm sorry they're gone sha...and the names are a classic!
pele :(

catwalq said...

u had a fish called awilo?
LMAO...
oops, I am so sorry for your loss. If there is anything I can do...
How big did u say your fish were again?
Ndoooooo

Calabar Gal said...

I was about to grieve with you and laughing in my heart that I was grieving over the loss of fish. (Some screws are getting loose in my head) LOL!! But thankfully they are alright. LOL @ 'Food Fish'.

When is Fish SP releasing an album? LOL!!

AIVY said...

**sob**... sorry for your loss.

30+ said...

Bloggers put your lighters up for Awilo,Shina P, Chinua Achebe, X, Nicole, Cashew, Kweku Abrewa Kojohoho and Tombo.

Deepest sympathy to the family they left behind especially Rita and Geography.

30+ said...

@Overwhelmed don't mind those folks talking about kenke with your fish, pele

Anu boy said...

awww... poor buddies,

יש (Yosh) said...

Awww, how sweet! Reminds me of the incident when my brother dug the earth to bury a goldfish we had when we were young.

I love pets but have so far in life, only kept one dog. I find myself getting too close to these things that if for whatever reasons they "leave", I'd be devastated. So I take my time before getting "involved". But that doesn't stop me from getting some feline love as soon as I can.

May the dead r.i.p!

Unbiased said...

Overwhelmed you are crazy!!!!
The names of those fish? From now on i do solemnly swear never to read your blog in the office before i am commited.
Cant stop laughing. When i do i migt leave a sensible commment. lol!!

Uzo said...

Oh..pele love...The names of your dead fish are quite ingenious...

Omosewa said...

Yahooze-http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=65418409789F38A3

My 2 cents said...

Rip to your fishes, I know how your feel mourned mine 10 yrs ago, swore off fishes cause I loved deeply. I'm glad you are doing well.

Azumi♥ said...

My baddd! I meant ONB's Fishes. . . . Knew I made a mistake but it was too late. OooopS!

STREETBRAND said...

Sorry about the loss; good post though. Reading about it brought back some memories of growing up...once again pele oh and RIP to your little sea friends.

Zephi said...

this gal, the terminalogies you come with ehn......serious kolo...But thats why I love you

lol at fish cheesecake and vodka’, fish heaven and fish will... and then the names you gave the fishes, Only God knows why you gave them those names...


oops I got carried away and forgot about the resaon for this post which is to mourn your dead fishes...may their fish souls rest in fish peace

uknaija said...

Great post, sorry for your "loss"

Tayo said...

Very Funny! You no serious ... anyway, may their fishy souls rest in perfect peace .. and the people say ... AMEN!

God's child said...

eeeyah overwhelmed eti senyi? wo ho te sen? u sound like my sister and her fishes. It has become family joke as to who takes care of them when she's out of town, noone likes the responsibility least the fishes die under their care. Momsie wont ask me if I have eaten yet she's up early and late feeding fish! My sister knows her fishes would die if she left it for me, me wey no dey remember to chop na to feed fish.

Very lovely names sha, sorry to hear about them all, many may laugh but I know my sister is sentimental about hers too.

Mepaakyew piiiii
I'm a Nigerian-West African transplant in the US, Ghana is my 4th home lol

Kaydey said...

am sorry about your fishes..hope they rest in peace

although their names are funny tho..aWILO LMAO

Ms-timi said...

I read this just before going to sleep and I had dreams about being chased by fish...Sorry about ur loss babe...

Nyemoni said...

Lol...reminds me of when our favourite alsation died... We buried him with china white, a wooden cross and hymns in our garden, complete with tears... LOL, LOL, LOL.. you'll bet it didn't seem so LOL then...

Justme said...

At least your fish survived for years! I had fish that lasted for a week each and they were both named Aaliyah.

Teediva said...

i'm trying hard not to laugh as i remember that u're mourning...but it does sound abit tongue-in-cheek to me...u do realise that the names are extraordinarily weird right?

sorry bout ur loss.

LurLar said...

Congratulabia on ya bloganniversary!!!