Professor Lade Worsornu remains a legend in the literary circles; his famous poem ‘The Master Brewer’ is a master piece one is bound to come across if you have the rare privilege of receiving education in Ghana. Prof Captures the brewing process in a manner that takes one’s admiration for any drink to levels beyond the reach of those who some Ghanaian political party fanatics will describe as requiring elevation to comprehend.
‘its cane and malt, its hops and grains…’ Prof says in the very first stanza, after reminding us through the introductory line ‘There is a distillery in our brains’ that he intends to take us on a journey of ‘metaphor’ or better still ‘analogical story telling’ to put across his message in a philosophical manner.
I recall my first sip of this drink; may be more accurate to refer to it as a bite than drink for it was frozen and I registered my quick displeasure to my cousin who had handed it to me, ‘Ay3 blog (its frozen’) I told her. My cousin had purchased the drink tied in a white plastic bag while we were on our way to visit a family friend. I interpreted her purchase of the drink as a move to compensate us, for she had underestimated the distance we had to cover to visit the family friend. Had her predictions been accurate, we wouldn’t have trekked that distance, but rather boarded a taxi. It was some few minutes after mid-day and the sun was high up, ready to drain sweat from our skin as well that of the young lady who looked like a Muslim from her dressing. She was the retailer in this case.
I struggle to recall the year this actually happened, I am certain I was not in JHS, neither was I on the brink of entering JHS, that leaves me with the year 2004 as the year of ‘sobolo’ encounter, for I got acquainted with this cousin after primary 3.
Fast forward to 2016, sobolo is a drink I struggle to do away with; I have taken seven bottles in a single day sometime back; I don’t even recall ever taking such quantity of water within 24 hours. While I lack the fine details of Caleb Kudah’s (Host of Radio Univers’ morning show Campus Exclusive) first taste of the drink, I can say with certainty, that he is an addict!
The drink has pushed a lot of other drinks from the business of featuring as a component of the revered Item 13 (refreshment). Retailers serve it using different innovative means; in a simple bottle, a disposable cup or other ingenious means.
Back in 2004 the drink wasn’t this popular and only few satisfied their thirst with it.
Prepared with Bissap leaves, sobolo is gradually becoming a favourite drink for many. The drink’s name remains sobolo in most parts of the country where as it is referred to as Bissap by some. Water, sugar and ginger are key ingredients added to the boiled leaves in the preparation of this drink.
There are many ‘sobolos’ in our life! Reflect on this for a minute; ponder over all those you have overlooked in your life, those you quickly wrote off after your first encounter. Don’t feel bad about it, I did same when I first tasted the drink. Its re-assuring, and much better that years after realizing how wrong you were, you gladly go back, embrace, accept and appreciate such individuals for what they are.
After such a mental sojourn, make a bold decision; that henceforth you will accord all those you encounter with great respect, they may appear in the form of ‘blogs’ (frozen) (cold attitude) at first encounter like the sobolo I tasted first, may cause you to visit the loo (to be annoyed so you do away with them like faecal matter) like my first sobolo drink did, but the delight is greater, when you accord someone great respect on first encounter, when you treat that person well and years later you have no other choice than to be addicted to that person.
Sobolo is a product, the seller is the ‘brewer’. We often don’t know them, but we love their product and rely heavily on them. Same with life, there are several products we enjoy without knowing the producers. The product in this case, is the actions of people. We benefit from the work of many without ever encountering them, they however continue to serve us even though they make money. If you still think am over-hyping service providers, imagine a day when all lecturers decide to quit their jobs or tune in to radio and hear your favourite radio show host has abandoned the ship. He, (Radio Show host) like the lecturers will certainly miss out on income, but hey, we will also miss their services and might never get any that meets the high standard they strived to set.
I won’t end this piece like Shafic and Karim by directing you to the location where you could get the finest sobolo, or better still introduce you to the seller of the finest sobolo on Legon Campus, I will say ‘ Dude, I am in love with all the ‘sobolo drinks’ in my life (all those I have encountered and keep encountering), I don’t intend to wait for another 12 years of my life to pen a piece highlighting my first encounter with you or your product ( the sobolo drink), but will rather say,
I Love you’
The finest sobolo seller can easily be found.