An African City: S2E10-Forwards Ever

*This episode deals with a serious subject. I have decided to place a trigger warning when I am talking about that scene for those who might need it*

 

Nana Yaa is outside having a meal and on the phone giving “Ghana directions” [You use landmarks to tell someone how to get to you. Ex: pass by the mango tree. You will see a blue house on your left keep going all the way up until you see a plantain seller. On the left of her you will find me.] for Sade to meet her at a chop bar. On arrival Sade asks why they are meeting at this location and Nana Yaa explains she is dealing with the break up with Edem and needed comfort food. Nana Yaa tells Sade the worst part of their break up is the fact that she is single again. She goes on to say that all her relationships have been a waste of her time. Sade tries to comfort her by reminding her that she at least had great sex but Nana Yaa says she is looking for real love and feels like it is unattainable. Sade tells her that kind of thinking is of no benefit.

Nana Yaa goes on to talk about being single shamed. Sade has never heard the word before and asks her what it means. Nana Yaa explains that on different occasions since breaking up with Edem, she has run into her auntie who asks her numerous questions about her love life. She asks if she has a special guy, when she is getting married, if she is engaged yet and tells her to hurry up so the family can get grand babies. Nana Yaa doesn’t know what to do during these situations but to smile and bare the awkwardness.

E10-nana yaa-sade chop bar6E10-Nana Yaa-Sade chop bar7

Sade tells Nana Yaa that being single is fabulous. Nana Yaa questions Sade’s logic since she desperately wants a baby. Sade reminds Nana Yaa that she wants a baby and not marriage. Sade talks about how her views have changed. She once use to see a woman and eye her designer bag, but now she sees a woman and she cant keep her eyes off their baby (that biological clock is real and no joke).

E10-Sade n Herman

E10-Nana Yaa-Sade chop bar8

Nana Yaa asks Sade about Herman and how things are going between the both of them. She says things are great except for one thing, every time they have sex Herman would ask her if she had climaxed over and over again. Sade hates that question and says Herman shouldn’t worry about asking her that because she always makes sure she gets hers. Nana Yaa says she appreciates a man who asks her that question, it makes them considerate. Sade feels only insecure men ask that question. Nana Yaa interrupts the conversation to tell Sade to help hide her from her aunt who has just walked into the chop bar, she doesn’t want to be single shamed again.

Makena decided to do different activities to get her mind off being newly single. She played tennis every day and also decided to rebound date. She was dating David a banker her uncle introduced her to. David was everything her uncle and aunt wanted in a spouse for her. Makena didn’t care about that, she liked that he was fun. They went on several dates.

**************TRIGGER WARNING***************

 

On one of their dates they ended up back at David’s place on his bedroom floor making out. Makena tells him that she wants to go slow and take their time getting to know each other. David doesn’t listen. Makena tells him to stop. David calmly tells her to stop playing games with him. David slowly enters her. Makena tells him NO and to stop, but he says he can’t because it feels too good. She begs him to at least put on a condom but he wont listen.

**************TRIGGER WARNING***************

 

E10-Makena-the day after

The next day Makena is out with the girls having lunch but it seems like she really isn’t there with them. Ngozi tells her she forgot to add a tip and Makena explains she must have not been thinking and apologizes.

Sade asks how much of a tip they should leave and Zainab says 20 percent. Sade is shocked and says that is too much, she reminds the girls they are in Accra and not Manhattan. Sade suggests they leave 5 Ghana Cedis. Zainab cant believe Sade said that and tells her that is not even a 2 percent tip. Ngozi says she tips 10 percent.  Nana Yaa feels like that is a good amount. Zainab wonders why Nana Yaa is willing to pay a higher tip in Manhattan but not in her own country. Nana Yaa says she pays 20 percent in New York so she wont be accused of being black and cheap. Ngozi says tip depends on how good the service was. Sade chimes in to remind Zainab that waiters in Ghana annoy her. Zainab explains she isn’t annoyed but frustrated when things get lost in translation. She claims the same thing occurs to her even when she is in the States.

Nana Yaa notices that Makena has been quiet and asks her legal opinion on leaving a tip. Sade interrupts to say Makena has been shacked up with David and has no time to think about tipping. Ngozi asks her how things are going with David. Sade jumps in to talk about how David is a wealthy, gorgeous guy her uncle set her up with. Makena tells the girls that he hasn’t been returning her calls. Sade ignores what Makena is saying to say that David and Maken have been probably having tons of hot sex. Nana Yaa interrupts to ask Makena if David has a brother because her aunt is bugging her about having babies (I can’t believe they haven’t noticed she isn’t her normal self this whole time). Sade wants to know how David is in bed. Zainab reminds the girls that Makena has a strict “I must have known him six weeks policy” before sleeping with anyone. Sade says that isn’t true and that when Makena divorced her husband she couldn’t say NO to anyone. Makena blurts out that she can say NO. Sade laughs at her reply and says only if NO means yes can Makena say no. Sade calls her a bad girl. Makena’s facial expression changes she looks upset and hurt.

Zainab was at work when one of her workers named Akwasi entered the room to let her know there was no fuel. Zainab was confused by his statement thinking he meant there was no fuel in her car. Akwasi explains that the country is currently going through a shortage and he can’t find any fuel at any filling station to fill up her car or for the company to use. Zainab is perplexed by the news. Akwasi tells her it was on the news that morning. Zainab didn’t watch the news that morning she watch The Kardashian’s instead.

Ngozi was at pre-marriage group sessions with Robert (he better marry her). While at the session the pastor is talking about marriage and how women are lucky to be married these days because the average is 1 man to 7 women. The pastor goes on to say that marriage is a privilege for women that helps to take away their shame. Ngozi and Robert look confused and uncomfortable by the words of the pastor.

Sade was in a work meeting with the CEO of her firm briefing him on a potential client named Legacy. Her CEO suggests she bring Herman on board for her next presentation with the client. The CEO calls Herman to enter the board room. Sade is confused to see Herman there. She asks Herman to leave so she can speak to her boss in private. She tells him that she doesn’t need Herman’s help with the client. Her boss disagrees saying the client will take them more seriously if they have a white man with them during the presentation. Sade is livid at this explanation.

Nana Yaa is in the grocery store when she spots one of her aunties. She tries to avoid her and sneak out of the store.

 

At the gym Ngozi asks the girls where Makena was. Zainab explains Makena told her she wasn’t feeling well. Nana Yaa talks about going into exile to get away from her aunties that are pestering her for being single. Ngozi chimes in that she hated being single but now has Robert. Ngozi continues talking about how amazing Robert is but Nana Yaa doesn’t want to hear any of that (can’t blame her). The girls talk about all the expectations that are placed on women and how exhausting it can be.

Sade talks to the girls about how she can’t believe she has to do a presentation with Herman based solely on the fact that he is white.

Zainab changes the subject and asks Nana Yaa about the fuel shortage. Nana Yaa says it’s complicated. Zainab asks her to speak with her father about the issue since she can’t run her company without fuel. Zainab says she is worried she will have to close her business if it goes on any longer. Nana Yaa is upset with Zainab for implying that her father is to blame for the fuel shortage. Zainab reminds her that her father is the Minister of Energy and they are currently having an energy crisis.

 

Makena was still trying to reach David on the phone. Each time she tried he would not answer her call and it was frustrating her that at one point she threw her binder.

 

Ngozi and Robert were back at pre-marriage classes. The pastor was telling women to respect their husbands and to submit. He claims the failures of modern day women occur because they refuse to submit. When the pastor once again says women should submit, Ngozi jumps up and says “no” (So awkward. The pastor probably thinks she is a demon). She tries to explain herself by saying that both men and women should submit to one another in love. Robert stands up beside her to say that he agrees with her statement (So cute. Once again he better marry her).

Nana Yaa goes home to visit her father and ask him about the fuel crisis. He tells her that they are working hard to solve the problem. Her father tells her he has a problem himself he needs help with. Nana Yaa is shocked and asks what his problem is. He asks her when she is going to get married. She can’t believe her father has now joined the group of people asking her that question (it is not easy being single and of a certain age that is the only question you get asked).

Zaianab was so frustrated with the fuel crisis that it lead her to complaining about the issue on Facebook. While online a friend posted about there being a station opened late that had no lines and had fuel. Zainab rushed out of the house to find the station. Once she got there she was so relieved to find out her friend was telling the truth. She asks the attendant to fill up her tank to the brim. While waiting for her tank to be filled she talks to a handsome guy about how the station is a life saver. He asks her how she found out about the station she tells him through Facebook, he tells her he found about the place via Twitter. He tells her his name is Kwamena and instant sparks fly. Zainab found fuel and a man.

Sade was presenting to her client Legacy with Herman right by her side. Sade did all the talking. When the presentation was done Herman, the client and her CEO all clapped for her great effort. Back in her office Sade and Herman have sex on her desk. Once again Herman asks Sade the question she hates the most. Sade decides to break up with Herman because of how her company made it seem he was the only reason they could get a contract. Later that day she received an email that Legacy had decided to go with her company and only wanted to work with her on the account. They enjoyed Sade’s presentation and the feminine perspective she brought to their product it had nothing to do with black or white.

The following night the girls go looking for Makena. They find her in her bedroom. Sade opens the door. Makena asks her what she is doing there. Sade explains that since Makena had not been returning their calls they came to see her. Nana Yaa enters the room and complains about her aunties pressuring her. Ngozi walks in ready to talk about Robert and Zainab walks in asking if Makena is stuck in her room cuz her car ran out of fuel. She tells her she found fuel and has a full tank now.

Nana Yaa asks Makena why she is bailing out on girl’s night. The girls tell her to get up and get dressed so they can go out. Sade brings up David, saying that is the reason Makena has been ignoring them. Ngozi tells Makena her aunt and uncle informed them all about David when they were downstairs and how great he sounds. Nana Yaa tells her that her aunt and uncle are expecting David to perform the traditional wedding and white wedding very soon, she once again asks Makena if David has a brother or cousin. This whole time Makena has not said a single word. Sade tells Makena to not wear David out before he performs her knocking. She calls Makena a slut. That word triggers Makena, she tells Sade not to call her a slut. Sade, confused apologizes and says she was joking. Makena yells at her saying it’s not a joke and she refuses to be slut shamed.

Nana Yaa asks Makena what is wrong. Makena tells the girls she had sex with David. Sade tries to speak but Nana Yaa stops her. Zainab asks her if it was not in her plans to sleep with him. Makena says it was in her plans to eventually sleep with him but not then. They ask her what she means. Makena tells the girls that she enjoyed kissing and fondling with David but didn’t expect to have sex, that it wasn’t supposed to happen then. Nana Yaa asks if she regretted sleeping with him. She tells the girls she kept saying NO and wondering why David couldn’t hear her saying NO. She tells them her NO didn’t matter to him.

Nana Yaa asks if he forced himself on her. Zainab says that’s what it sounds like to her. Makena explains that it didn’t feel like force because he was so gentle and sweet. Nana Yaa asks her how she said NO. Zainab gets upset and says NO cant mean yes. NO means NO. Ngozi asks if she was screaming NO, why wouldn’t David have stopped then. Makena in tears says she wasn’t screaming. Zainab says Makena doesn’t have to scream for it to mean NO. Makena explains to the girls that she thought about screaming, about hurting him, but was worried he would hit her back. Zainab tells her that she doesn’t have to explain or justify her actions to them, she said NO and that’s it. Ngozi seems confused and brings up how Makena’s uncle made David seem like such a great guy. Zainab is furious with her statement and says handsome and wealthy doesn’t make him a great guy. Makena tells the girls he was gentle. Ngozi says if he was gentle how could it be rape. Zainab tells her that rape is not always violent and the main point is she said NO.

Makena tells the girls that David wont return her calls. Nana Yaa asks her why she would be calling him. Makena explains to the girls it might sound stupid but she was trying to make a relationship out of the situation. She felt being in a relationship with him would redeem everything. Zainab tells her that there is nothing for her to redeem and that none of it was her fault, but all was David’s fault only. She goes on to talk about how women shouldn’t be walking around learning what not to do to get raped. Men should not rape. Makena tells them she feels ashamed. She cries telling the girls repeatedly that she said NO. The girls surround her.

The girls then argue over what Makena should do. Nana Yaa wants her to see a doctor immediately. Zainab feels she should go to the police. Ngozi wanted them to call the elders and Sade wanted to beat him up. Makena just wanted to get away. So the girls decide to get away from the city. They go to Nana Yaa’s grandma’s village where they pounded fufu, ate by fire light, talked and laughed.

 

*When I heard the show was dealing with a delicate subject matter for episode 10 I some how assumed in my mind they were going to talk about depression or something like that. I don’t think I have watched a show based in Ghana that has talked about rape. I know for sure I have never seen a show talk about rape the way they handled it in this episode. I applaud the writers and cast for doing such a great job with such a difficult topic. So many people on the continent don’t talk about rape. Rape is seen as something that happens by a stranger and even in those situations we are so quick to blame the victim for putting themselves in a predicament where they can be harmed.* 

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