This is an adaptation of my memoir. It’s about 3450 words long. Brace up for a long read but you will enjoy it👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆👆
Dad thought I was his mother. He kept telling people, you see that my quiet daughter that’s always in the room reading her book, she’s my mother. She took all of my mother’s nature. My mother was a very quiet woman.
I’m trying to talk about how favoritism started and I’m continuing from the last post.
I don’t think favoritism can ever go away in families. Because sometimes, it’s an unconscious thing and it’s not the fault of the parent or the child involved.
Take for example, you have your teenage child in SS2 walk into your room and say ‘dad, I just won a scholarship and they are going to pay me. I need to open an account with UBA.”
“Who are these people who gave you a scholarship. How did you do it?”, By then, he sits up on the bed, looks at you in utter shock and disbelief, wondering how a girl who doesn’t go out can win a scholarship from her bedroom.
“Dad, it’s from President Obasanjo”
“Yes. And I applied when I saw it in your newspaper”
Or, on another occasion, you walk up to your dad and say
“Dad, please can you take me to Lagos?”
He laughs, looking at the skinny 14year old talking about lagos.
“You think Lagos is easy? Lagos is not a place you can just go to. Why do you want to go to Lagos?”
“Well, I just won an essay competition and I came first in all the southwest states in Nigeria. The event will take place in Allen Avenue and my prize is 50k.”
Dad struggles to rise up from the bed. He begins to yell and call mother, telling her to leave everything she’s doing and come quickly. When they are both settled, he says, repeat what you just told me.
That was the first time I ever set foot in Lagos. When we came down at Berger, I began to look for the magic on the street, I thought Lagos was London with the way it was so hyped. I got to the popular Allen, and it looked ordinary. Lagos disappointed me but it welcomed me with open arms and before long, dad was sent back home and I was lodged with several other students across the federation in an hotel and by the next day, I was on the news. Dad and mom came back the next day in the morning. The event was slated for 4pm at Muson centre so they went back home.
You see, all these events set me up as a Joseph with a coat of many colours. So dad became an advocate, saying ‘where’s Yetunde’s food? Is this the small meat they gave you? Come and take my meat.😁😁
Or he begins to shout at his younger kids who love to play football. “Can’t you see your sister always reading in her room? Why can’t you be like her. Emi n so temi o”
Those ones began to hate me unconsciously😁😁
He began to make open comparisons. He told visitors, family members, his colleagues at work, anyone who cared to listen such that those who never met me already knew so much about me. However, he never knew that all I read in my room were novels and newspapers, not even school books.
He eventually began to drop his newspapers with me after reading and if kidbrother or the dark one picks his newspaper (na only the football page at the back dem dey find), he would shout at them-“is that your book? Have you finished reading all the books I bought for you?”
They will see him walk into my room afterwards, drop the same paper and turn back. They saw all these things.
I was a picky eater. I was(still I’m) the skinniest in my family. So, while my siblings never had a problem eating Amala, iyan, iresi it was a problem to me. So, he would get me Milo, milk, fruit&fibre/coco pops and say ‘go and keep it in your room. Don’t let them see it.
He began to say ‘dont let them see it’ when he noticed that my siblings could also throw me into a tubu or sell me to the Egyptians just like Joseph.
One day, the fair and dark one broke into my room while I was away in school and stole my provision. They did it angrily and they left footprints so that I’d know.
I got back home and cried. Dad called a family meeting. The two for them, myself, mom and dad. They were not sorry. They complained that ‘everything was all about me’.
You see, he always gave them a baba Sala Milo&Milk too but the boys would finish it in one week and come for mine.
I was a rich kid growing up. I always had money. And I started earning from my writings at 13. 50k was big in 2001. I stashed it in my UBA account like an abacha loot. My previous scholarship money was in this account as well.
When Mom needed to buy her first car, she borrowed from me. When there was no food at home, I bailed the family out. I started taking all these responsibilities as a young, rich teenager.
In my part five, dad needed to travel from Lagos to Port Harcourt and his DTA hadn’t been paid. He called me. I had an exam by 2pm. He called me by 1.15pm. He needed like 20k. Flight was between 8-10k those days.
I stood up from my bed where I was reading Parasitology and Public Health, Par 502 and travelled to First Bank Taki to pay into his account. First Bank was and is still notorious for long queues.
I saw the manager of my hostel on the way while I was running towards college of medicine on foot to get a cab. He said ‘where are you going under this hot sun’
The sun was really harsh that day. But I didn’t mind. My dad comes first. I can’t let him be stranded in Lagos.
Because manager wanted to be managing me and was completely smitten by me, he turned his jalopy around and asked me to hop in. He drove me to first Bank and later dropped me in school. I never told dude that I made him drive like Jackie Chan between Adenike to General-Sabo-Apake-Taki just so I could send my dad some money. I even thought it was shameful. Who sends money to their dad to buy plane tickets as a student? I never told anyone. I miss Ogbomoso sha. But our office is at ilorin maybe I should get a transfer to ilorin and start living at Ogbomoso.😆😆😉
I paid that money and went straight to the exam Hall at exactly 2pm. My heart was beating fast. To God be the glory, that was the day the invigilator chose to come late with answer scripts. We started 30mins later.
When I was in part 3, dad would call ‘there’s no money or food at home’. I would go and send 2k to him. My pocket money was 5k. So I’d be having 3k left but it’d never be hard for me to send him 2k and hold 1k till the end of the semester.
While dad was at Ikoyi, that bougie part of Lagos and I was at Isolo on IT, dad would call me ‘yetunde they’ve not paid salary. I’ve not even had breakfast’
My salary was 7k but I’d remove 4k and send to him. Going out of my office was like a camel going through the eyes of a needle but I would go to Mr Ola’s office and say ‘Sir, there’s an emergency sir. Pls, I have to go to the bank sir’ . Then he would give me a pass to present at the gate. Bless his kind heart.
On my way to the office some mornings, at Oshodi, I’d see some fine Ankara designs. I would walk into the shop and pick two for my mom. You see, I was borrowing her cash too once in a while but not like dad.
You see, all those ones that some people’s parents would die and they’d start crying about how they didn’t do anything for their parents while alive bla bla. That’s not my story because I don’t have such regrets. I started doing when I was a teenager till the final week he gave up the ghost. I didn’t have to wait till I have millions.
Lastborn had this type of regret when his mother died. Awon Rolex geng😁. He said he didn’t do anything and that when his money come, who’s he going to spend it on? Spend it on me, baby boo.
The way dad used to call me ehn, as if I was his mother true true because how can you call a 20year old on a 7k salary and say ‘send me money, I’m broke’ or we’d be driving to ibadan on Friday and papa would say ‘yetunde, there’s no fuel in this car. Give me 5k there”
Papa had so much respect for me. I saw that he treated me like a deity, one who has solution to all money problems. Set awon irunmole😂😂. He saw me as his age mate or an elderly woman in a child’s body. He legit thought I was sent to him by the gods 😂😂 and everything I was doing made him rock sure i was truly his late mother.
In a very light mood, I told Mom one day “has dad forgotten I’m just a child? Where does he think I get money from? He knows I’m a student but he’s always calling me when he’s in trouble. Did I give birth to him? And are you not his wife? Why is he not disturbing you?”
She laughed and laughed.
When he died,
Of course, I was the chief mourner. And everyone left me to it. It was a case of ‘omi ti gbe leyin eja’. While I was running mad, sleeping with neighbors, moving from there to the hospital, by the way, that was the first time the ‘poison’ drug was prescribed to make me sleep and I’ve signed for it three times now. God epp me. I was trekking long distances without feeling it. Later when I started work, they were sending me away from work to resume when I get better. Sometimes a week. Because I never really cried when he died. I tried to cry. But the tears only came when I resumed work.
When it was time to move the body home, last born said no, he wasn’t going. He had bar finals.
So they left me to his dead body🙁🙁
The morning after death, I needed to go to his office but I needed someone with me. I looked round but I didn’t see anyone. I called a friend who wasn’t in Abuja and he called a friend to accompany me. Friend never showed up. These friends were gisting and laughing in the car on my way back from ibadan after they picked me from airport road. I was boiling. I was like ‘dont they know the sky is dark for me right now? Can’t they sense that there are no more rainbows, no sunshine, no rain? Can’t they just pretend for me and laugh when alone? Dude even said he’d lost his way and didn’t know the road to my house again. That was when I lost it. One was begging, one was shouting at me.
They quietly dropped me at home and quietly slipped out of my life. I didn’t even notice. That was the last I saw them until almost two years later 😊😊
They left me at a T-junction at the most vulnerable period of my life. At that time, those were the only people I knew in Abuja then. I didn’t have friends.
So lastborn also chose his bar finals over his father’s dead body. So, I became a man. Fuck patriarchy.
I led an ambulance and an official car back to ibadan. You’d have read what happened on the road on this blog before.
The children of my mother did ‘yokolu yokolu, ko a tan bi’ and ntorr to me. Honestly I’m laughing so hard now😁😀😀. Not that they ever did that physically but their action was an ntorr action.
As the chief mourner, nobody called to check up on me. Till today, they don’t know how I fought to stay alive. Or how I slept in hospital and was really scared the day I was discharged to go home. I didn’t want to go. I felt safe in the ward with plenty people.
Was it not on the very day I was discharged that I got home and the roof of my apartment was gone from the inside? It was like a film. I don’t know the kind of spirit that came to visit while I was out😂😂😂
Was it not that period that dad was seizing my hand in the dream and telling me to follow him? 😂😂😂not today, Bros.
But in the midst of the aloneness, something great happened. So unprecedented.
This is where I will conclude the story of last borns and entitlement.
The very next day after dad’s death, the heavens opened. The president of the court called and asked to see us.
He looked at me and asked
‘is there anything your father ought to do for you that he didn’t do?’
I started rolling on the floor of his rugged office. He said ‘no, get up’
‘Sir, my rent is due and I’m jobless’
Dad was going to give me my rent few weeks before he died. He was trying to get me into court of appeal, few weeks before he died. See, my life was completely over. He left me without nothing.
The man said
‘what are your qualifications?’
I told him.
We were in that meeting with the former chief registrar who is now a judge and Mr N, dad’s former assistant.
So, Milord the President turned to CR and said
‘Give her automatic employment.’
He turned to me and said
‘FG won’t pay you until three months if you are newly engaged so, give her 100k to take care of herself pending when she starts to receive salary’
“Pay her money to settle her rent”
“Release money to her for her father’s burial”
“How much casket did you buy?”
“Change it and get a more befitting one. He didn’t die as a pauper. Get a more expensive casket for him”
“Who is in law school? He used to talk about having a child in law school”
“I am the one sir”, last born responded
“How much was he giving you as pocket money?”
“40k sir. Because we don’t cook in school”
“How many months do you have left?”
‘a month or two sir”
“How much is your rent?”. This is the rent of where he lived with his father.
President turned to CR again
“Give him 50k multiplied by 5 and pay him 80k to settle his rent”
He prostrated. Then to my chagrin, he decided to make a demand to the honourable president.
I was disgusted. Both the CR and Mr N were too. It was like overstepping your bounds.
“I don’t run a charity organization. I’m only doing this because of who your father was to me.”
I thanked the man profusely and prayed for him.
By the time we walked into that office, we were siblings but when we walked out, we were like two strangers. Lastborn was angry with me because, once again, I got the best of everything. My future was secured.
The funny thing is dad was looking forward to putting him in this office after his law school. He said it constantly. He kept that spot for him. Reason why he wanted me at the court of appeal.
But president told him
‘no, I won’t take you here. Go and practise. That’s the same thing I told my son. He said his father’s friend got him a job in oil and gas. I told him to go and practise law.”
Which is true because his son is in Afe Babalola’s Chambers till today and he has appeared in my court many times.
But, God has the biggest sense of humour, I got his place without asking for it, without reading law, without begging for it.
We both joined Mr N’s car on our way home, he dropped along the way and didn’t say a word to me. Mr N was so angry.
To cut this whole labare short,
That was when I saw my first one million.
How did it happen?
This CR who was present at the meeting immediately left that seat and became a judge so a new one who didn’t know about this meeting came on board within a space of two weeks.
I started going to see him. On one of the days, I reminded him money was yet to be paid so he called account
“What about the one million I asked you to pay CSO’s kid?’
When I heard the sum, I opened my eyes in bewilderment because we had calculated it together and it wasn’t a million. Twas about 700k ish or a little above.
When he dropped the call, I said ‘but sir, this money isn’t one million.’
He said yes, I know the correct sum. I only rounded it off because of you.
On the day I went for documentation in July, I was broke. That was before this other money came. It took three months before that money came though. I needed just 5k to settle something but I had less than 500 with me. No food at home.
As I entered dad’s former office which now belonged to Mr N, he said ‘thank God you are here. A contractor from Enugu just called asking to speak with you. Let me even call him back”
I didn’t know this contractor. But we spoke and he said
“Are you his first daughter, have you finished school? Your father was a very good man to me. Send me your account details let me support you. And save my number, if you need anything, let me know.
I was expecting at least 5-10k. The alert didn’t come until night. I saw 100k. I didn’t even know what to do-whether to cry or laugh.
So in the midst of the chaos, while I was left alone, God made sure that even though my heart was heaving due to grief, my akant was also breathing exponentially.
I bore the grief alone and bore the increase alone.
So while at the burial, when they were looking at me with pity, I was the one who was really pitying them.
I went to the account department at the office and told them to block payment to his accounts. His unpaid DTAs and allowances. I told them I was his next of Kin. Thank God he gave me that info himself before he died. Those people weren’t shocked but I’m sure they must have checked his file to corroborate my claim.
They did as I said so even though lastborn had all the atm cards, it was empty(all of us know our parent’s atm password). We knew who was in charge.
I began to send them money, those children of my mother. 50k here, 100k there. The stone which the builders rejected😁😀became their cornerstone and it became marvellous in their eyes.
However, life finally teaches these kind of children what our parents don’t teach. Life humbles them. They begin to imbibe all the character they lost.
He’s grown up these days and he is now a chummy boy. All of them have grown up.
So, when people look at me and say “this one is only a child” I really pity them.
If only they know, that I am a republic. That I can do good all by myself. That patriarchy got nothing on me. That when I’m making silent moves, blocking holes and pipes, sticking a middle finger at the world, I still do it with a plain unassuming face. 😁😀😂
It reminds me of balak who called Balaam to curse the people of God just because he was afraid of them, out of envy. He said they were too much on the face of the Earth and they might invade his land.
Bhet, how can you curse whom God has blessed? Aditu ni mehn.