No Sweetness Here Summary
The narrator of this story is a Westernized woman working as the schoolteacher in the Fanti village of Bamso. She is known only as Chicha, the Fanti pronunciation of "teacher." As the story opens, she
is visiting the hut of Maami Ama, whose ten-year-old son Kwesi is Chicha's favorite pupil. Chicha commends Maami Ama on Kwesi's physical beauty, teasing that she is going to kidnap Kwesi and take him away with her; Maami Ama appreciates the compliment, but also expresses her fear of losing her only child. Maami Ama explains that, although she is his first wife, she has been completely neglected by her husband of seven years, Kodjo Fi. She has been given his worst piece of land to farm, been personally ignored by him, and been shut out of the rest of his family; both his two sisters and his mother treat her badly. He has also taken no interest in their son Kwesi, who lives with Maami Ama. Maami Ama says to Chicha, "Our people say a bad marriage kills the soul. Mine is fit for burial.’’ When Kwesi arrives home, Chicha observes the joy his arrival brings to his mother: "All at once, for the care-worn village woman, the sun might well have been rising from the east instead of setting behind the coconut palms. Her eyes shone.’’
On the following day, which is a festival day of Ahobaada, the divorce proceedings between Maami Ama and Kodjo Fi are conducted in the center of the village. During her students' recess, Chicha goes to observe the divorce and learns that Kwesi has been awarded to his father's custody. The people of the village seem to feel this is a fair decision. In addition, Kodjo Fi has not been made to pay Maami Ama a fee he officially owes her. The two sides of the family, Ama's and Kodjo Fi's, argue among themselves regarding the details of the divorce decision. Yet Maami Ama accepts these decisions with complete passivity,...
(The entire section is 502 words.)