My village was located in Navrongo a town in the northern region of Ghana which has a desert like weather; with droughts on dry season, scorching sun and barely rains. The main source of income my village generates from was farming and cattle rearing. The rich and influential are the only ones who could afford the cattle as it was very expensive .
local families like mine mainly planted yam which we sell off to the traders from the city who come on weekends to buy truckloads of them and resell it in the city. Any family which had cattle was very much respected and those who didn’t, set bride price as cattle on their young daughters as if it was worth more than a humans life. Other young boys who wanted cattle acted as caretakers of the cattle for a six-year period and they are awarded one by the owner upon completion when he feels you has served enough or nothing when feels you haven’t.
Most men are filled with rage and anger when after serving the term, their cunning masters gives them no reward on basis of not enough labor which is common. My step brothers were caretakers of a cattle ranch in efforts to be awarded one, they said education wasn’t worth it and doesn’t even know the alphabets to their name, all the cared about is cattle rearing and marriage. Most times I don’t blame their mentality as traditions and society instilled that mindset in them.
Father had a big yam field which he lost through the drought and now all family are depending on the farm mum and I cultivated. I go with mama most times to weed around the yam farm on the small piece of land father gave her when he married her My step mothers cultivated vegetables since the feel growing yam is a difficult job and they were too old for that but are the heavy eaters of yam; creating different recipes from it ranging from pounded to dried.
Father wanted to go into cattle rearing but couldn’t afford it and I was his ticket to it, he was waiting patiently for someone to show interest in me then he will marry me off to the potential groom who gives him cattle as my bride price. He constantly had quarrels with mama over my education as he feels is a waste of time and will decrease his chances of getting cattle as my bride price since most men in my community didn’t like the idea of girls going to school. He said I should stay home and learn the secrets of womanhood but stubborn and reluctant mama made me go all the same.