Weekend Chronicles: I Paid For Aso Ebi Yet I Wasn’t Served Any Jollof

Just yesterday, I had my own first epic moment of how jollof finished after I paid for aso-ebi. Well, not that jollof even finished outrightly like that. The hungry, famished, yawning guests were made to go through a long queue before they could be allowed to devour mounds of semo, jollof and other strange ‘epic’ meals which I was not in the least familiar with while the people(family) who invited them were busy dancing ‘osinachi’ and some Igbo songs I couldn’t comprehend.

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You see, it was my first time at an Igbo wedding ceremony. A wedding between Edo and Imo people. So, I noticed that even at the white wedding reception, they were still breaking kolanut. I thought this was usually done at the traditional engagement ceremonies. In this case, the bride gave the kolanut to the groom who in turn carried it to the elders.

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It was a mixture of fun and excitement when the groom moved away from the choking crowd who had gathered around them to a far distance and began to dance. It was really fascinating to see a groom so excited on his wedding day.

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Picture credit: naij.com

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Most of them usually wear deep frowns. While those who won’t frown would most likely be very stiff and they won’t be able to twist or twerk to the beats.

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When the bride begins to dig it alone on the dance floor, then it looks as if she’s the only one getting married to herself.

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As I was saying, there was this merciless queue for food under the hot sun. People who really needed to eat had to dare the scorching Abuja sun in exchange for a bowl of EBA, jollof or semo. FYI, Abuja/Maiduguri/other core northern part sun is hotter and harsher than the kind of sun you probably experience in other parts of the country.

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I reckoned that people had been eating party jollof before I was born and they would continue to eat it forever and ever. So, dying or becoming half baked under that sun wouldn’t have done me any good. So, I borrowed myself some brain, carried my two legs and went home to the moin moin(bean pudding) with nine lives I had cooked that morning. I had breakfast delivered as well. A steaming plate of rice, beans, meat, fish and yoghurt which I kept in the fridge. I quickened my pace out of the place when I remembered all the things waiting for me in my fridge.

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How will I buy your aso ebi(which you forced down my throat), pay a tailor to sew it, waka to your event from church to reception, manouvring in the serious traffic and then, you would still ask me to go and queue to eat a plate of rice? Common man’s food? In a party where you don’t have up to 500 guests and you couldn’t employ servers? And you couldn’t make sure your guest had eaten but you had to be dancing?

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To my chagrin, It was even only one serving point that was available. And when I saw the other guests that were there in church today, they told me the food even finished before it reached their turn on the queue. Very bad. Rant finished

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So, I had been harping on the need for mortar and pestle for a while. I told the men in my life that I needed to start eating pounded yam at home. So, it was finally delivered yesterday morning by the best of them. Immediately I saw it, all the hulk hogan and warrior in me immediately calmed down.

Mortar and Pestle

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I unconsciously looked at my tiny arms and small frame and concluded that I must have been out of my mind when I kept rapping about mortar and pestle. Now, this M&P is small and convenient and very nice looking but I just can’t deal with pounding my life away just like that. Who was I kidding? I would rather go to Iya Oyo’s canteen at Wuye for a healthy meal of iyan devoid of stress, sweat and fainting spells.

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I had suddenly started craving iyan after my mum’s passing. I could recall that when I was home with her, we used to eat it every afternoon. It became our lunch almost everyday. That was the only solid we ate then because there was none other at home. I also felt like going to Oje market to buy Tinko meat(I don’t know tinko in English).

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I have not been to Oje in years and it was not as if she ate this particular meat in her final years but I remembered it was part of her delicacies while we were young. So, all those strange things like M&P, Tinko, began to fascinate me lately and I didn’t know on time that it wasn’t ordinary.

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I read about someone who started eating dry garri after her father died because that was her dad’s best food while alive. So, the strong urge came to her such that whenever she started missing her dad, she would unconsciously go and get a plate of dry garri and munch on it before she would be okay. The habit eventually resulted into low iron in her body and she had to stop after she visited the hospital.

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It was when I remembered her story that I knew that mine probably wasn’t ojulasan too. The fear of mortar and pestle is the beginning of wisdom. The only thing it would be useful for now is for self defence if an unwanted visitor should gain entry into my house at night(lol).

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After I came back from church today, I called my publisher and I have been giddy with excitement since then. I mean, really happy. You see, the birthing of this my book is just like the case of a woman who had been seeking the face of God for the fruit of the womb for a long time and God finally answered her. You know how you can’t quantify the feeling you get while expecting that kind of baby and the excitement over the events that would occur after the birth of the baby? That’s the way I have been feeling. This book is a big deal to me. It is the next big thing that’s happening in my life right now. And if you want to be happy with/for me, contact me to pre-order your own copy now.

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Tomorrow is public holiday and I am excited. Its only that I will still work anyway, even far into the night just like I am doing now.

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A friend had messaged me on Facebook about two nights ago after I posted a work. He was asking me what I was still doing awake at almost 3am or thereabout. Infact, I started feeling the urgency to tidy up everything I was doing and leave cyberspace because we have tagged some hours as the ungodly hours of the night. I really don’t know why. Once its 12am, I start getting this wild feeling that I shouldn’t be working at that time of the night because its sacred, ungodly, dark, sinister ……but who says? I have decided to erase that mentality from my working brain.

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The fact that its dark, silent, eerie doesn’t mean it’s bad to work at night. So, I won’t be rushing to finish my work again whenever it stretches beyond 12am.

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Happy May Day in advance.

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Yetunde Olasiyan

April, 2017

Author

nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com
She has won many awards in writing and poetry amongst which are CLO essay competition (1st Prize Southwest) NDIC essay competition(5th Prize in the southwest) and a World Bank Essay Certificate of Participation She has worked with woman.ng as a content editor and a host of sites as a ghost writer. She has written great inspirational content for fashion brands/blogs. She has been featured on radio and recently added public speaking to her portfolio. You can hire her to write a professional/business profile for you, online content editing, book editing, guest blogging, ghostwriting, content creation or if you need copies of her book, contact her via nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com Facebook.com/Yetunde Olasiyan instagram.com/Yetunde Olasiyan Follow her business page on Instagram @officialladywriter

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