I visited Ghana Post the other day to pick a letter and was surprised that there was less traffic coming and going than there was when I was in JSS. Maybe mobile phones and internet have slowed down the business but I think they have also shut down the golden years of our sweet letter-writing days. Those days of libilibi and labalaba! Eisshhh!! Those days! Please, Ghanaian JSS and SSS sweetheart letters are some of the biggest tragedy papers in all of literature. How we loved our lines!! Here are some of the best 10 opening, insert and closing lines that we copied and hid in our back-pockets so that we can use them on our next letter. Shieeh!!!
1. Dear Sir/Madam: If you are Madam, I love you…
Oh, no! Don’t laugh! It’s not funny. This is exactly the type of thing the government pays teachers to discourage.
2. It is the seven colours of the rainbow: black, blue, red…… that have given me the opportunity to pen you this missive [sic]
Black?? In the rainbow?? Unbelievable!! I met one guy at the mall the other day who actually got his high school nickname from this line. They call him Black Pen.
3. The brightness of the sun has given me the warmth to jot down these words ….
I can’t imagine how warmth has got anything to do with writing any sort of thing in this world. I think the sun was created for other things. Or?? And to jot?? I shake my head at all victims of this line.
4. By the grace of God, I love you…
Please, young man, if you have the grace of God, use it for other things, eh? Don’t try to conspire with the old man up there.
5. You are the only sardine in my chop box, the only mosquito in my net, the sugar in my tea…
Seeing how important it is for a boarder to have tuna in his box, the first one is totally accepted. Granted! But how can you call your sweetheart a mosquito in your net?? How good a thing is that? The health people will pay you a fortune to swat that intruder and make the insect number count one less, thank you!!
6. You are my Angelina…
This one was made popular by a chant my boys used to raise on our way to the stadium back in the PRESEC days. Something like “Angelina, the boys are coming. Angelina” 2x. Then the crier will continue… “Aawo, Aaawo, Angelina!! Aawo, Aaawo, Angelina!! Heeey, Angelina!!!” We used to die for this one. And also for the fact that many of the highlife bests of the day used Angelina as the central principal beauty to die for in their hits, it only made this line weighty enough to tell your sweetheart. Any young lady who wants to change her mind about you and you include it in your letter that she’s your Angelina, you have settled the scores. Period!!
7. I love you 99%; just add 1% to make it 100….
8. I love you like harmattan pawpaw…
If you haven’t tasted harmattan pawpaw before, you have slacked big time. The fat, juiceless, hardened brand that even the dry season birds are afraid to peck at? Yes, that one. To look in your girl’s face and compare your love for her to harmattan pawpaw!! Not fair koraa. I hear this one has a success rate of about 70%. Not bad, eh?
9. On the back of the envelope: “Guess Who?”
It always came up. It always did.
10. I need to pen-off here with much greetings….
Greet on, my brother. And as for penning-off, freshly Ghanaian.
So, those dudes at Oxford and co. who add words to the dictionary should take a vacation to Ghana, don’t you see? It will swell the English phrase vocabs by a mighty leap. There are countless sweetheart letter lines that we used to use. I can’t even remember them all. I bet you have some tight line that I missed. Tell me, and let’s update the list, or what do you say?