My Ghanaian day name is Adjoa, I’m a Monday born Ashanti girl. Go Google Ghanaian day names if you’re interested to know more. Growing up, one of my dad’s nicknames for me was Adjoa bassa bassa. Not speaking the lingo, I’m told that “bassa bassa” is slang referring to something messy, disorganised, not put together well. Hmm. My parents often despaired of me because I wasn’t very “ladylike” in my dressing and I seemed to pair everything with trainers or heavy boots.
Very little has changed. The nickname didn’t upset me, I liked to taunt my dad with my scruffy, sometimes ‘boyish’ dressing. And he liked to taunt me and say that I looked like I was going to work on a farm. Please don’t be too hard on my dad, we love each other very much, it was all a bit of banter.
The picture at the top of this piece is my WhatsApp profile and recently, it caused my dad to bring up the old nickname. “Adjoa bassa bassa, are you going horse riding” was his comment. But then he said how much the picture made him laugh as it reminded him of younger me and he loved how happy I looked.
Younger me and older me have always struggled with footwear. I really don’t like delicate shoes. Many people have tried to convert me over the years, but to no avail. When I was planning what to wear on my first date with my now husband, a couple of older friends tried to help me and they despaired that I didn’t own a sensible pair of court shoes. I ended up wearing a chunky pair of Kickers.
What can I say, I just like a sturdy shoe. I can’t be doing with teetering about on heels with my feet pinched. I’m all about foot freedom!
My footwear choices do impact my clothes choices though. I guess I’ve always felt that I couldn’t wear certain clothes because I just didn’t have the right shoes. All my shoes seemed too casual or hefty for delicate dresses and smart trousers. It’s taken me a while to shake that off and say I don’t care. Having discovered clogs a few years back, I think, a pair of Lotta clogs are the smartest I’ll go with footwear.
I was really pleased a couple of years ago when sturdy shoes, dad sandals and trainers were doing the rounds on the catwalk with beautiful dresses- I always knew I was on to something!
Being comfortable is a huge part of my style. If I’m not comfortable, I don’t feel confident. Making my own clothes has been a big step towards a more comfortable wardrobe and not listening to the shoe gods has been another important step in that direction.
So here’s to many more years of being Adjoa bassa bassa, pairing big shoes with a big smile 😀