The friendship between Fofo and Odarley is one that is built around the following core values:
- shared needs
- emotional support
- shared interests
So close is the friendship between Fofo and Odarley that they do many things together.
Interdependence between Fofo and Odarley
As close friends, Fofo and Odarley trust and depend on each other as a means of coping with the daily challenges they face on the streets of Accra.
For example, Fofo and her friend Odarley form an efficient pickpocketing partnership that none of their victims can survive. Thus, Kabria is only able to escape being robbed of her purse due to the absence of Odarley on that fateful day,
Another example of the closeness of the friendship between Fofo and Odarley is that they usually go together to respond to nature’s call on the refuse dump.
We cannot easily forget the deeply moving and most revealing conversation between Odarley and Fofo on one such occasion.
Perhaps, the greatest proof of the closeness of the friendship between Fofo and Odarley is when Odarley happens to be the first person Fofo runs to and confides in after Poison’s unsuccessful attempt to rape her.
And, in fact, these two will go together to visit Fofo’s mother, Maa Tsuru, soon afterwards.
At the time MUTE take Fofo into their care, Odarley never abandons her friend. On one occasion, Fofo actually asks MUTE to consider helping her friend, Odarley, too.
Major Revelations From the Friendship Between Fofo and Odarley
- Street life in Sodom and Gomorrah is a frightening experience.
You cannot survive life in Sodom and Gomorrah all by yourself. You need a trusted friend to be there for you anytime the need arises. Powerful gangsters like Macho and Poison are there to remind you of this unpleasant fact every second, day and night.
- There is hunger, malnutrition and deprivation among the street children.
The commonest meal that the street children can afford is bread and water. We realized this fact in the conversation between Fofo and Odarley at the refuse dump.
Humour as an essential aspect of satire
The friendship between Fofo and Odarley provides occasional moments of humour in the otherwise serious narrative about the difficult social problems in Faceless.
At the refuse dump, Fofo and Odarley touch on very serious social issues in their innocent and lighthearted conversation.
Just listen to Fofo and Odarley here as they speak about the way Macho has been harassing the younger street children at the dump.
“He wants us to go to the public toilet up there. Where else?”
“Nonsense. Then why doesn’t he and his gang also go there? Who can walk that long distance to up there when the thing is coming with force?”
“Ask again. And look at the long line of people too always there. Ah! Even if you go there at twelve midnight you would find a queue.”
“That is why people sometimes do it on themselves while waiting for their turn. This is not like hunger where you can force small and say like oh, let me hold on a little. This one, when it says it is coming, zoom! It comes. Bum! Like that! What does it understand by holding on a little?”
The serious problems that come up in the above conversation include the following:
- hunger among many of the nation’s children who have been neglected by their parents
- lack of social amenities like toilet facilities
- environmental pollution
Here is another example of how Fofo and Odarley turn such daunting challenges as hunger and malnutrition into objects of humour.
“Fofo”, Odarley called.
“I’m about to finish oh.”
Fofo didn’t respond.
“Are you also about to finish?”
“Ah, me do I know why? It’s refusing to come.”
“Oho! What did you eat yesterday?”
“Yesterday, what time?”
“Yesterday morning, what did you eat?”
“Bread. Tea bread.”
“And in the afternoon?”
“Bread. Sugar bread.”
“Eibei! And in the evening? Don’t even answer. I am sure it was some of Kwansima Fante’s butter bread. No?”
“Hm. You ate bread, bread, bread like that. With what?”
“Water. Yesterday was a bad day.”
“Then give up and let’s go ….”
Thus, humour, apart from being a technique of satire in Faceless, helps these two friends and other street children like them to cope with their problems.
As we have seen, the friendship between Fofo and Odarley is one that is built on trust, companionship and interdependency. The friendship is a coping mechanism on its own.
Perhaps, without this kind of friendship, Fofo and Odarley would’t be able to cope adequately with the harsh realities of their rather young lives the way they do.
This could be the explanation for the high premium both friends place on their relationship. Fofo’s asking MUTE to assist Odarley the same way they have done to her proves this point.
Again, Odarley’s readiness to continue seeing Fofo despite her own misgivings about MUTE’s motives should tell us that this is a friendship both Fofo and Odarley value a great deal.