I’ve begun creating my solo theatre piece
So far, I’ve called it “Connie Speaks”.
My first character is based on one of my grandmothers in Ghana. She is a strong woman who I don’t actually know that well. I didn’t grow up with her and we are not close in proximity or in spirit, unfortunately. But there is love there and of course, there is unity in our blood line. I am from her.
She is the daughter of a hard working family. She is one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. She is covered in beauty spots. She married by grandfather Beattie Casely-Hayford. This union had complications – language blocks, cultural clashes. They were united, having four sons and then divided by differences that were unavoidable. All these men and then my grandmother – I know that my grandmother and my grandfather were always wishing for a daughter. They were convinced each time my grandmother was pregnant that a girl would arrive and they used to call her “Ayesha”. They would say “she’s coming, she’s coming, Ayesha is coming!” but, she never arrived. It was boy after boy after boy after boy. In tribute to that girl, the daughter that never arrived and in respect to his parents, my father called me Ayesha. I was therefore named for my Casely-Hayford grandparents. Beyond the blood line, I have always felt connected to them because of that. I don’t know all the facts, I wasn’t there, I wasn’t born and I don’t speak to my grandmother now…but I can imagine and create and that is what I have done. From the seeds of information that I have, a character full of hope, joy and dreams for the future of her family has been born.
Putting a character I have created on stage is exhilarating. The more I go through the process and acheive results I’m happy with and that get a good response the less I want to jump out of the window as the performance date approaches!
This is a tribute to my grandmother Connie from her little girl.