Many many years ago, after mum retired from NIPOST, her husband gave her money to start her business. So she went to the market and bought the goods….mostly daily needs, provisions and sundry.
When she got back, our entire living room was filled with goods. Everywhere was scattered as my siblings were trying to help her arrange the stuff and label with price. They were also recording all the items in an exercise book.
The excitement was too much. Everyone was involved in something; sorting, checking, writing, labelling, clearing etc
But where was yours truly?
I was in the bedroom all alone, on my bed staring at the wall.
Ok, let’s just say I’m here to officially declare my eccentricity because I am now tired of myself too.
I could barely stand the excitement in the air. I saw them briefly doing stuffs but I didn’t get what the fuss was all about because she got a shop and was starting her business.
I didn’t know that iya yet noticed. All of a sudden, after like two hours, she marched into my room and in carefully selected words of a pained mother, she lashed out at me.
“Why are you here when everybody else is helping me out in the living room? Did I give birth to you? What kind of bad behavior is this?”
I honestly felt sorry for her because she was not happy about it but yet, I still wasn’t sorry. I mean, every other person was there including some aunties she sent for. The living room was overcrowded with people and littered with stuff. She had more than enough help so why should my absence bother her so much?
I was 14 years at the time and didn’t think it was wrong. Now I know it was bad.
However few months down the line, after getting jambed by jamb, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere till another year or even more than.
I became the sole administrator of that shop. Not because I was trying to prove a point but because I really wanted to. I had the highest single sale whenever I went there. I opened even on Sundays when everyone had gone to church. I stopped going to church that year. Because I told myself I didn’t have enough fancy clothes😂😀
So my sales tripled on Sundays because only my shop was opened on the street when others were closed. Iya yet used to be so pleased whenever she’s counting her money after church.
During the week, I made sure I did contribution for her. The alajo used to come and at the end of the month, I would trek to collect the money at their office.
I went to oritamerin, agbeni ogunpa to get different things, carrying loads from ogunpa to itamerin. Let’s just say, I laboured the most in that shop eventually.
I would wake up in the morning and after sweeping the house, my major assignment was to go and open the shop which I would sweep both inside and outside, then, bring out the goods to display. They would later send my breakfast.
I remember one time that I carried heavy cartons of soap, detergent, drinks etc on my head in agbeni market. There was no alabaru and I just told mum to place it on my head. She was shocked. I carried it to the car where Mr Banji was waiting. Mum couldn’t stop talking about how her undergraduate daughter helped her to carry load in the market. I had gained admission by then and was home on holiday.
But to iya yet, not showing interest in the whole camaraderie the first day meant so many bad things to her and she must have gone to bed that night depressed. Those who were opening and closing, writing and recording didn’t stay one day in the shop. Infact, they would only go there to eat her stuff. She had to ban them at a time 😂. Turns out they were happy that first day because they saw it as a chance to be drinking coke and eating biscuit. But the one who didn’t engage with them was seen as the sadist.
You know, many times, my mom would say “but I didn’t go and beg for your pregnancy from irunmole, sango or ifa so why are you like this?😀😂
At other times, I would decline to eat certain food she cooked and she would say “but I didn’t give birth to you abroad. Why will you be demanding for nnkan inu agolo? Abi iru omo wo leleeyi? Afi nnkan Inu agolo ni gbogbo igba. She referred to coco pops, fruit&fibre, Milo, that I loved to eat as nnkan Inu agolo. However, she would still give me money to go to cran chemist to get those stuffs.
What am I trying to say? I am a very weird person and I know it. Big things don’t move me. Most things that move people will not move me. I may not outrightly be warm over certain things but eventually I’d be your biggest fan and most loyal supporter. I’d sing your praises to the heavens. I would make a meaningful impact more than the people who were so much expressive with their emotions more than me. I’d eventually outdo them. But at first, you will most likely see my lack of interest as traits of sadism, as being unkind. That’s where I’m weird.
On Thursday, I accompanied someone to Aso Radio, Abuja. I actually work with her as a publicist. She came to my house, picked me up and drove us there.
And what did I do when we entered the studio, I scanned the room full of women(voice over, anchor of the show etc), the coldness of the room swept my face and I walked out. I told her I’d be waiting outside. Just like that. I lost interest. It was a live radio program and I was supposed to be there. She actually called me the previous night and told me I should be there with her.
And what did I do? I went to sit outside under the shed, gazing into space. The station is situated on a rock. You’d be terrified driving on that rock. I saw the streets and road from above. Some white folks came to take pictures. I yawned. I was bored.
She finished. Came out and I dropped from her car on the way home. She must have been wondering if I was an ogbanje or emere. However, I’ve written great stuffs for her, one of which recently got her an invitation to speak at NTA Abuja. I wrote the speech she delivered when she won an award recently at radio house. I’ve done really great stuffs for her. I have publicised her shows and events.
Since I started working with the court, I have NEVER attended any of their ceremony either by staff or board if it’s not a training or intellectual stuff like book presentation or public lecture. I have never paid for any aso ebi(that’s a matter of principle though).
When the past president of the court was leaving, there was a whole lot of activity lined up including a dinner at Sheraton, the popular Ladi Kwali Hall.
I attended all the public lecture at international conference centre, shehu musa yaradua centre but I failed to turn up for the dinner. All my colleagues couldn’t believe their ears. There was massive food according to them. They ate, drank to stupor, packed food home. I didn’t even care. I was in my house, just staring at the ceiling. I had no strong reason for not going.
I pondered on all these and I decided to make amends even if just once. So, our new president was sworn in as the substantive president at the supreme Court yesterday and we had the reception at an event centre in Gwarimpa.
So I decided to go.
And it was fun.
And I ate jollof with green leaf. It was ugwu leaf aswearugad! They didn’t cook it.
Jonathan Eze left for Lagos on Wednesday night and thank God I didn’t travel yet. Because on Thursday, after leaving aso radio, I was called to come to the office.
I went. They were sharing rice.
I already got a half bag of rice, vegetable oil from the contribution I did. I’m getting the meat this week. So, this makes it two half bags. What will I do with a full bag of rice ntori oloun?
I eat half bag for a whole year. That’s after giving out parts of it.
Some are sending it to their parents in the village. Even if my parents were alive, I would never send them rice. Nah. They are the kind of parents that’d rather send me rice, full bag of wheat, meat and other condiments. In short, if they were alive, I would never be found contributing for rice and meat sharing. Dad would get at least three bags this season. Two bags from the office and one bag from any of his contractors or well wishers. He gives out rice at Xmas too.
Anyways, after collecting rice, we had cooperative meeting at the office. They were going to share dividends. So they gave us jollof again. Let’s just say I spent the rest of this week eating upandan. I ate that jollof in the staff bus and came home happily.