Many years ago, I was fishing off a rock when a lowly canoe pulled up alongside. The fisherman, his name Mohamed, asked me to help steady him in as he dismounted amongst the rocks and rolling water. His catch was being delivered to the local club some meters behind me. As we dragged in, I couldn’t help but remark on his catch of barracuda and grouper (about eight in total) every one of them HUGE.
I offered to swap my three snappers for the one with the biggest teeth… a brief pause between his laughter, he said,
We a dɔn go lɛf dɛn wan ya, a de kam chich you fayn genjin
After I’ve dropped these off, I’m going to teach you a really good rig
I continued to barter hard as he unloaded, finding every excuse to at least hold a catch that was nearly the same size as me. None the less, a deal was set; I was charged with looking after Mohamed’s canoe and in return he was going to grant me enlightenment; guiding my pathway to legendary status in the Aberdeen area of Freetown. This genjin was my evolutionary bridge, the one that would most probably change my life permanently.
After what seemed an eternity, The Fish Whisperer was back and I was ready…
Kam bɔbɔ, kam sidɔm
Come here boy, come sit
This was it…. my 10 years on earth was about to change…. forever!
Mohamed pulled out a ball of tangled line and placed it between us as he started to softly whistle…
Ol na ya… ɛn ya, so…
Hold here… and here, like this…
Mohamed, na wetin wi de du so? Na layn nɔmɔ wi de pan lus..
Mohamed, what are we doing? We’re only untangling some line…
Bɔbɔ Perr, naw naw naw, yu na fishaman
Pierre my boy, right now at this very moment, you are a fisherman
After the lines had be re-spooled, Mohamed washed his hands and taught me how to rig THE BEST EVER fishing line…
But that wasn’t the bit that stuck. That wasn’t the bit that stayed with me throughout my life.
Be patient. Life can sometimes become unravelled and left in a mess. With time, nurturing and a correct pair of hands to guide, teasing a bit here, threading a bit there, much can be learned and much can be gained.
Mohamed paddled off quietly as I continued to fish…
Line is Cast
Acrylic on Canvas
24 x 30 x 3.5cm (unframed)
© Pierre Bamin 2019. All Rights
Read ‘The Rock’ narrative
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