The City Will Love You

By Nii Ayikwei Parkes

Stories that peel the skin off cities to reveal the beautiful dramas within.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Who The Cap Fit

I've never started a message by saying thank you, but this feels like one of those messages that needs to break rules. Thank you! 

I mean, I'm a logical man most of the time and - of course! - I expected to get at least one person to back The City Will Love You, but I still can't describe the feeling of eupho-relief I had when I go my first funder. And then, when I realised who it was (this kid I used to argue with all the time in boarding school, whom I now count as one of my closest friends) the Bob Marley song Who The Cap Fit came to mind "your worst enemy could be your best friend...". Ergo the title of this update.

Friends and enemies is a theme that also resonates with the story I tell in my introduction to this project. The boy who took my football in 1979 is also still a friend, and our relationship taught me about giving without losing; a lesson that helped me when I moved cities again when I was older - in the opposite direction – from light to darkness, Accra to London.

What my football friend had taught me was that to survive the city, even when you give you can't lose. Because of that lesson, when I arrived back in London in 1993 and within minutes of leaving Heathrow, while changing trains at King's Cross Station, some Despairing Man was giving me a sob story about needing to catch a train home to Peterborough because he had been robbed, I knew enough to look flustered, rifle through all my bags and give him 20 pence for my peace of mind, but no more – giving without losing. When I saw Despairing Man a few weeks later at Paddington, still raising money for Peterborough when I was catching a train to Reading, I knew my city radar was tuned right!

Anyway, we're at 9 percent for the project, we're getting there! In the meantime I've been playing around with Adobe Premiere (and kind of proud of myself) so here's a video for you. It's the opening paragraph or two from one of the stories in the collection, Scotch Bonnets. Enjoy! And don't forget to tell people about #TheCityWillLoveYou...

(I attached audio for Scotch Bonnets too - for lovers of ear stimulation.)

And thanks again!


December Love!


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