For the first time in quite a while, Ramadan in Ghana has lasted for 30 days with an arbitrary consensus amongst all the sects in the country. The custom has always been the Chief Imam setting a date for Eid long before time to start the sighting of the moon and those belonging to the Ahlusuna grouping choosing to follow what they deem is the prophetic method by not setting a date ahead of time and depending on the moon. The former usually prays a day after the latter has.
Experiencing 30 days of Ramadan serendipitously fell in line with the plans I had for myself this Ramadan. At the start of the month, I gave myself a challenge to write a story each day of the fasting period. Primacy was to be given to Ramadan motifs but any other issue worthy of discussing could sneak its way into my stories for the month.
It was not easy finding 30 themes on Ramadan. The first few days exhausted my stock of contents. Writing on the moon wars was an easy one with that phenomenon recurring every single year. And then we quickly run down the list containing Sahoor, Iftaar, Salat, Tarawih, Tahajjud and Laylatul Qadr. It was now time to stretch the limits of my already constricted creativity.
Why not write a Letter to my future Khadija, I queried myself on the day I was suffering from writer’s block and simultaneously in my hopeless romantic feels. The letter covered a lot of the things I wanted the girl playing hide and seek with me to know. But I think it missed one thing. I prefer getting married in the month of Ramadan. Why? Because it is the cheapest type of marriage in our age of extravagant unions!
Bentil got drafted, Adisco won the NSMQ and Presec was sabotaged by Merries who connived with Accra Academy. And then the ominous Gandhi statue was erected just behind the building housing a wealth of knowledge and wisdom accumulating dust on shelves built when my father was a toddler. Not forgetting my piece on the National Service Scheme being plagiarized with the culprit yet to even apologize.
It was a bit worrying for me to digress from Ramadan issues. Maybe with a bit more drive, I would have been able to come up with more issues to talk about on the month. But nonetheless, I did give people a thing or two to understand about Ramadan and why the Muslim gets engulfed in it.
Committing myself to average a story each day of the month is a personal victory for me. I have been inwardly struggling to correct my commitment deficiencies. I am the type to easily give up on people and things so seeing this through to the last day is a bit reassuring for me. I tried to do something similar three years ago and failed after the first three days. This time around, I told myself that regardless of how mundane the stories were, they had to make it to the blog.
What was more satisfying and played a key motivating factor in all of this was my audience. There is my pro-bono editor who sends me screenshots of my lazy grammatical works. What will I do without you, my magaajia? There were times people asked me why Day 15 was not yet published. Some wondered why I was no longer sharing the links onto the whatsapp groups I was on with them. And guess what? These were Christians who apparently enjoyed reading about Tahajjud.
#30Days30Stories has been a pleasant journey for me. As a wannabe writer, it has simulated the demands and pressures career writers experience. Finding time to write a 500 words or more story while having to read the Quran, train for a debate tournament and stay literally hungry molds you in ways which makes your keypad become your best friend.
The moon has been sighted and it is now Day 1 of Shawwal. I am not about to skid off into another writing challenge but I am equally not ready to sleep on the job. The story telling continues with a touch of zongotude!!!