By Ayesha Casely-Hayford
Performed by Ayesha Casely-Hayford
This monologue is about the culture of silence in Ghana. I wanted to put my monologue to dance because African tribal dance is a way of communicating efforts to understand God, the world, the universe, surrendering to spirit. Is silence helpful? Perhaps it brings a focus on faith and trust or perhaps rather than silence, education and the way HIV is discussed should be the focus? Through this monologue I do not want to judge my culture but present the choice that is made to not speak to children and young people about issues that are difficult, in an effort to try to protect them.
[“Daily Routine” dance begins]
We have a way in Ghana, here. Perhaps it is in other places too, but if you are African, you will see what I say.
We don’t give bad news. Oooh.
If someone is dying in hospital, you tell them “you are fine! There is nothing really wrong. You are just a bit ill - and all will be well soon”.
Then f anyone asks you “oh, tx, how is Mr So and So faring?” (the one who is dying in hospital), you say “oh yes, they are doing quite fine thank you - all will be well soon”.
Can you understand that? Can you see what I say?
Chale, it is not lying...it is not deception...actually, this is our loving way.
[Introduce “Freestyle Love” dance - section repeats x 3]
It means, I love you and I want to protect you. It means I love you and I want you to have HOPE. It means I love you...
it will be well soon.
[End of “Freestyle Love” dance]
Oh, this way works and it lasts because it is rooted in trust. MmmmHmmm!
We respect our elders and listen to them. They are the ones who have been before and are leading our way.
Even if I know...
[“Daily Routine” dance distortion]
I am HIV positive.
No-one has told me this but I know it to be true. Tx.
I know because I am living in my body and I know I am not well. I know because I am takig injections. They give me some pills. I wake up in night sweats, I have cold sores that wont leave, constant headaches and this rash...that also - just wont GO AWAY.
So that is why I know. MmmHmmm.
But in Africa - we don’t give bad news! Eh-heh.
So nobody is talking to me, but I know something is wrong.
Some days if I push hard, my mum says my heart has holes. But that I should not worry - because all will be well soon.
In Ghana - we do not give bad news.
I am HIV positive but that is bad news, oooooh.
Nobody is talking to me about it.
Nobody is talking to me.
Nobody, is talking.
I suppose I will die. Because I know there is no cure.
If no-one is talking about it...
all will be well...
miracles happen - and all will be well soon?
Who am I to ask these questions? I am just a child. Let me trust and have faith.
I believe you, mmmhmmm.
All will be well soon.