Friday, March 28, 2008

Ohenewa-Olympic Wrestling Princess

dorothy, justo, adwoa, ohenewa and fule at Bollywood Bistro
Bollywood Bistro in Guelph is our favourite place to dine, especially when there is something to celebrate and this week there has been much to celebrate. Bollywood Bistro is owned by our friends, Guelph citizens, Harish and Neena Naidu. There's history spanning at least seven years which bind Neena and Harish, in love, to our hearts. Watching Bollywood Bistro rise from the dreams of our friends into the place of eastern beauty and culinary excellence it is now is a story which I hope will one day be told! I am always inspired when I eat there!

But this blog is not about food. It isn't even about a remarkable afternoon of recording Justo's Bubi songs and thererafter, a celebratory dining among friends, sistahs and brothas; it isn't even about the delectable samosa, or butter chicken or Dorothy and Justo's rapidly spoken Spanish breaking up the English spoken on our table, it is about meeting Ohenewa.

It happened just as we were done dessert, Fule, Justo, Dorothy and I, and done discussing the French president, Sarkhozy and his wife Bruni on their recent trip, when I used a twi phrase, "Ye n'ko?" translated "Shall we?"

I had already noticed the black woman sitting on the next table waiting for her food to be served. She swung around and asked, "Are you Ghanaians?"
"Yes," I said. Then in that instant it dawned on me. My eyes grew as large as oranges..."You are the wrestler", I said standing up. And she was.

I had passed her months ago on the 401 headed for Toronto and had read her name and Canadaian Olympic advertisement on the back of her car. It said something like Support your Canadian Olympic Athletes, beneath WWW. OHENEWA. COM. That same day I had googled her name and read everything about her on her website. I knew I wanted to meet her!

So I went over to her table and hugged her. Dorothy had read about her in the Mercury and she likewise hugged her, we moved her over to our crowded table and devoured her news, every bit of it. It was as satisfying as the samosas and chicken tikka masala I had eaten. Then we had to leave. Outside it was snowing...again. Spring was in Bollywood Bistro but outside it was winter. We know that in the end Spring will win over winter so we are making plans to connect again with Ohenewa and are planning to watch her wrestle in June. I was quick on the draw like a tourist with camera in hand. Here we all are at Bollywood Bistro making friends!

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