My Love of Numerology or #233moments

I am not sure how it started, but it feels like I have always had a love for numerology or finding meaning in numbers. For instance, it makes me happy to see the time is 12.34 (AM or PM does not matter). 

Further, I feel good about facts like:

  • The date having an interesting sequence like the 11th of December did a few years ago, 11.12.13.
  • The city Tema (where I live) lies smack on the Greewich Meridian and hence on longitude 0.0…the centre of the world. A good place to live for a numerologist!
  • I am born on the 7th in a month – as 7 is an age-old magical number (like 3, 13, and 21).
  • I graduated from high school the year 2000.

In Ghana, as most of readers of this blog will know, the weekday of which you were born is important and many Ghanaians have a first name relating to it. This also gives rise to beautiful parallels:

  • My husband is the third Kweku or Wednesday born on his father’s side. Hence his father and grandfather are both Kweku as well.
  • Our first daughter was born on a Thursday, just like the first born daughter of my husbands grandfather (Kweku the 1st), and inherited her name, Nana Aba Adua.
  • The same daughter had two different nannies, both born on a Thursday, just like her! My second daughter is born on a Monday and when she was born, our previous nanny had quit and we had to find a new one. Only after she was hired, I realised she is also born on a Monday.

A problem with this love of parallelism, is when it does not occur and the deep discomfort it brings. For instance, when we were getting married, the date 29th March, 2008 was decided on for a number of practical reasons. Twenty-nine-zero-three-two-thousand-and-eight. It was so random. So non-special. It had no parallelism. I just did not “feel” the date! Almost considering rescheduling for a “better” date, suddenly my mother-in-law pulled me aside. She told me that the 29th of March, 1967 was the day of her first date together with my husband’s father! The parallelism had been found! I never reconsidered the date again.

When our second child was born on the SAME DATE as our first born, as an avid numerologist I was ecstatic! The birthday, is also a beautiful number as the 21st of the 7th month! It is hard to explain, but in my numerology brain that makes it feel like it was somehow meant to be. On top, the water broke at 2.33 in the morning, I’m not joking, the quintessential #233moment (hashtag created by Ato Ulzen-Appiah for all things Ghana). Our second child’s birth was almost on the hour exactly three years later from the first. On top, my first born is born 30 years after I was born, and my second born, 30 years after my younger and closest sister.

Maybe it is a human thing, this looking for meaning and symmetry in a chaotic world. While I enjoy numbers looking neat and organised around me, at the same time, I can of course see that so many other things were not beautiful, numerical coincidences, but have worked out anyways.  I do not officially subscribe to any numerology faith, I am definitely an atheist. But coincidences, numbers and parallelism do have an impact on my emotions.

Recently, I realized I have never really discussed this with anyone. Do you think the same way? Or do I seem mad to you?


This post is part of my new series of more personal posts to be posted on Fridays, Personal Friday




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One Wedding and One Funeral: Ichafu or Gele and Kente

In the last month, I have been both to a wedding and a funeral. 

The wedding was a Nigerian one, so I invested in a headgear for the occasion, through Chimamanda I know now it is called ichafu – but here it is called gele  (for a fantastic experience, picture-Google any of these two terms). The wedding was held at a beautiful venue with full attention to detail!

The funeral was an Indian/Ghanaian funeral and though it was very sad, I also found comfort in being there and in the beautiful details such as the kente strip the ISAG community was wearing and the flower that was pinned to my dress as I walked into the chapel.

I wanted to share some photos from these beautiful events, getting an ichafu/gele tied, the wedding and the funeral.My gele collage

Wedding collage  Funeral collage

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Back in Ghana or When I Met Kofi Annan

So my Swedish summer is over and I am back in Ghana with all that it entails. So far:

1. A Ghanaian wedding in which a vuvuzela played an important role.

“Do you take this… VUUUU! VUUUU!”

2. Getting the updates on our backyard farm from my husband.

“…And here we have tomatoes, watermelon, two kinds of plantain, cassava, paw-paw and there ginger. Don’t step on the pepper!”

3. A visit to the drivers licensing office, DVLA. I was there for an hour and did of course not get my license. I did however read an article about the corruption at the DVLA while I waited.

4. Returning to work where E-V-E-R-Y-B-O-D-Y greeted me whith a heartily:

“Akwaaba! How was your trip?”

5. A function at the University of Ghana where I, to my surprise, got the chance to pitch my research idea to Former Secretary General of UN  Kofi Annan.

“I am interested in why Ghanaian students leave this…” Kofi Annan interrupts me excitedly:


“Yes, exactly, this wonderful country”. When he found out I was married here in Ghana to a Ghanaian he and his Swedish wife Nane Annan smiled and said a warm “congratulations!”

Yes, I am back in Ghana! This wonderful country!

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