Download PDF
Back to stories list

Granmaa banaana dem Grandma's bananas

Written by Ursula Nafula

Illustrated by Catherine Groenewald

Translated by Georgette McGlashen

Language Jamaican Creole

Level Level 4

Narrate full story The audio for this story is currently not available.

Granmaa gyaadn did nais-nais, fol a sogm, milet, an kasaava. Bot di bes a did di banaana dem. Alduo Granmaa did av nof granpikni, mi di nuo anda di kwaiyat se mi a did ar fievarit. Shi mek mi kom a ar yaad aal di taim. Shi tel mi likl siikrit tingz. Bot shi did av wan siikrit we shi no tel mi: which paat shi mek ar banaana dem raip.

Grandma’s garden was wonderful, full of sorghum, millet, and cassava. But best of all were the bananas. Although Grandma had many grandchildren, I secretly knew that I was her favourite. She invited me often to her house. She also told me little secrets. But there was one secret she did not share with me: where she ripened bananas.

Wan die mi si wahn big schraa baaskit inna di son outsaid a Granmaa ous. Wen mi aks ar se a we it fa, di onggl ansa mi get a did, “a mi majik baaskit.” Said a di baaskit, a di nof banaana liif we Granmaa ton uova evritaim. Mi did wel waahn nuo a wa. “We di liif dem fa, Granmaa?” mi aks ar se. Di onggl ansa mi get a did, “Dem a mi majik liif dem.”

One day I saw a big straw basket placed in the sun outside Grandma’s house. When I asked what it was for, the only answer I got was, “It’s my magic basket.” Next to the basket, there were several banana leaves that Grandma turned from time to time. I was curious. “What are the leaves for, Grandma?” I asked. The only answer I got was, “They are my magic leaves.”

It did intrestin fi wach Granmaa, di banaana dem, di banaana liif dem an di big schraa baaskit. Bot Granmaa sen mi go tu mi mada fi go du sopm. “Granmaa, du, mek mi wach we yu a go mek…” “No bi aadiez pikni, du we mi tel yu fi du,” shi se siiros. Mi ron go.

It was so interesting watching Grandma, the bananas, the banana leaves and the big straw basket. But Grandma sent me off to my mother on an errand. “Grandma, please, let me watch as you prepare…” “Don’t be stubborn, child, do as you are told,” she insisted. I took off running.

Wen mi kom bak, Granmaa did a siddong outsaid bot sho neva av no baaskit ar no banaana. “Granmaa, which paat di baaskit de, we aal a di banaana dem de, an we…” Bot di onggl ansa mi get a did, “Dem de inna mi majik plies.” Mi did disapaintid!

When I returned, Grandma was sitting outside but with neither the basket nor the bananas. “Grandma, where is the basket, where are all the bananas, and where…” But the only answer I got was, “They are in my magic place.” It was so disappointing!

Tuu die afta dat, Granmaa sen mi inna ar bedruum fi ar waakin stik. Az suuhn az mi uopm di duor, wahn schrang raip banaana smel lik mi. Pan di insaid a di ruum a di Granmaa majik schraa baaskit. It did wel aid wid wahn uol blangkit. Mi lif it op an tek iihn di nais-nais smel.

Two days later, Grandma sent me to fetch her walking stick from her bedroom. As soon as I opened the door, I was welcomed by the strong smell of ripening bananas. In the inner room was grandma’s big magic straw basket. It was well hidden by an old blanket. I lifted it and sniffed that glorious smell.

Granmaa vais fraitn mi wen shi kaal mi, “We yu a du? Ori op an bring mi stik kom.” Mi ori op an kom out wid ar waakin stik. “We yu a smail bout?” Granmaa aks se. A wen shi aks mi riyalaiz se mi stil did a smail bout ou mi fain out ar majik plies.

Grandma’s voice startled me when she called, “What are you doing? Hurry up and bring me the stick.” I hurried out with her walking stick. “What are you smiling about?” Grandma asked. Her question made me realise that I was still smiling at the discovery of her magic place.

Di neks die wen Granmaa kom vizit mi mada, mi buolt go a ar yaad fi chek di banaana agen. Wahn wel raip bonch did de de. Afta mi kova di baaskit agen, mi go biyain a di ous an it wan kwik-kwik. A did di swiitis banaana mi eva ties.

The following day when grandma came to visit my mother, I rushed to her house to check the bananas once more. There was a bunch of very ripe ones. I picked one and hid it in my dress. After covering the basket again, I went behind the house and quickly ate it. It was the sweetest banana I had ever tasted.

Di neks die, wen Granmaa did inna di gyaadn a pik vejitebl, mi sniik go iihn an luk pan di banaana dem. Nieli aal a dem raip. Mi kudn elp bot fi tek a bonch a fuor a dem. Az mi a tiptuo go a di duor, mi ier Granmaa a kaaf outsaid. Mi bieli manij fi aid di banaana dem anda mi frak an waak paas ar.

The following day, when grandma was in the garden picking vegetables, I sneaked in and peered at the bananas. Nearly all were ripe. I couldn’t help taking a bunch of four. As I tiptoed towards the door, I heard grandma coughing outside. I just managed to hide the bananas under my dress and walked past her.

Di neks die a did maakit die. Granmaa wiek op orli. Shi alwiez kyari raip banaana an kasaava go sel a di maakit. Mi neva ori op fi go luk fi ar da die de. Bot mi kudn avaid ar fi lang.

The following day was market day. Grandma woke up early. She always took ripe bananas and cassava to sell at the market. I did not hurry to visit her that day. But I could not avoid her for long.

Lieta inna di iivnin mi mada an faada kaal mi, an Granmaa. Mi did nuo a fi wa. Da nait de az mi lie dong fi sliip, mi nuo se mi kudn tiif agen, no fram granmaa, no fram mi pierens an fi shuor no fram nobadi els.

Later that evening I was called by my mother and father, and Grandma. I knew why. That night as I lay down to sleep, I knew I could never steal again, not from grandma, not from my parents, and certainly not from anyone else.

Written by: Ursula Nafula
Illustrated by: Catherine Groenewald
Translated by: Georgette McGlashen
Language: Jamaican Creole
Level: Level 4
Source: Grandma's bananas from African Storybook
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 International License.
Back to stories list Download PDF