Unlike most weeks in my life, not a single kobo dropped into the company coffers and like your regular guy, I was sober. I was sure though, that fun was ahead and I would laugh eventually. With maami’s 86th and “What Men Want” the stage play waiting to happen, it was surely going to be a fun weekend.
I finished my tasks at work on Wednesday in readiness to fulfill my promise to Maami that I’ll answer her request of bringing her grandchildren to celebrate her birthday with her. My brother Ray had arrived Abuja a day before without saying a word to anyone in the family. Diekolola, my first child had looked forward to the occasion since her grandma mentioned her wish months earlier. “When are we going to Kabba to see grandma?” she would ask at any opportunity, trust me; I never gave an answer all through.
You need to have seen the brightness of Diekolola’s eyes when I mentioned that we’ll hit the road for the much anticipated trip to Kabba. We packed our luggage and squeezed ourselves into my cute Nissan car and eased unto the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Just before entering Ibadan city, I lost a tire and was lucky that the tire pulled us to safety and we had a change. It was a six hour journey turned seven due to the heavy downpour five hour into the trip. A very good observation on this trip however, was the pleasant attitude of our security forces on the highway. The number of check points was annoying but the positive attitudes of the officers were commendable. The attitude of these officers on Nigerian roads has inspired me to conduct further research into their activities; I will share details in due course.
Maami called all through the journey, seeking to know how far we were or how much longer it’ll take to arrive. We arrived to our darling eighty six year old and the meal of rice and garden egg soup.
Friday morning, we stormed the market, my brother Ray and I; we haggled and priced commodities and eventually went with bags containing yam, melon, Iru, Vegetables, beef, fish, vegetable oil and other condiments. When we got home, my kids, Diekolola, Oladipupo and Olamilekan were already up and about. Folasade, my wife was busy trying to bring the coal in the pot to burn; her first ever experience at such. She made yam in preparation for pounding; the official meal for this occasion would be pounded yam and “efo riro”.
My aunty, Ruth and cousin Theresa were already around to give their full support; Folasade kick started the pounding the mortar, another first time experience for her. Seeing that yam pounding wasn’t a task for first timers, Sister Theresa took over the task.
We prayed for the birthday girl and welcomed friends and relatives as they trooped in to wish Maami a happy birthday. She was filled with so much joy that she cried, laughed and sang, all in one instance. She spent the entire day praying for everyone who showed up. Barrister Obamero, my uncle was also around to add colour to the occasion. Amina Muhammed, a friend from Abuja joined us too.
Ray and I took time off for Jumaat service at the central mosque, there was a peculiar sight as we approached the mosque; young Fulani boys were seen, well dressed with their characteristic herder’s staff. Some went into the nearby beer parlour, while others headed in the direction of the mosque; I smelt a rat but discarded the thought of it. Later in the day, we got reports that there was a huge fight with casualties. Police trucks were seen parading the town in search of the Fulani boys and thugs.
Glad to have left the scene before the fight broke out. We played with Maami till late, she told stories of growing up and her many travels and admonished us to endeavor to be good always.
We woke early on Saturday, ready to start the trip back to Lagos. It was clear that Maami didn’t want us to leave just yet as she apportioned tasks upon task. When she finally agreed to let us go, her eyes were filled with tears as we said our goodbyes. The trip back was smoother and we chatted with the police once in a while.
We stopped at Ibadan to inspect some projects and ended up entering the city late; we had to sleep over at Plot 1 Bar and Suites and proceeded on our journey on Sunday.
WhatMenWant the stage play had been on my mind all along and there was only the Sunday show left for the season, so I cleaned up and caught up with the four o’clock show. Look out for the gist in my next post.
I have to run now; remember to make someone smile today, whenever, wherever.