by: Adebola Makinde
Adeola, a whole LLB in Law. See yourself?
Damn! ASUU strike is a mess. For once, you’re intentionally home because of strike. The last time it happened, it was a year of tragic events: End SARS, Coronavirus Pandemic – hashtag Covid-19 and ASUU ; cursed country as it is!
Now, you’re in your third year. You should have stayed back in school. Whenever they call you, you just form one unfazed voice and when they bring matters like “we can’t send you money — because, what are you doing in school?”—they would say that in your indigenous language though after the longest convo in English—you’ll now act puzzled as if they were insensitive not to know you’re closing some million-dollar deals in school—you’re now pained and you abruptly hung the call. You’ve guilt-trapped them.
Obedient child like David! You came home. The first day at home after a while, your mum came to hug you. Your dad was out. You felt special and you posted “no place like home” on your WhatsApp status.
But, Adeola, a whole you is now a babysitter. Not just that, did you also marry your father because all these chores have become normalized for you — are you his wife or …? They will call you in their husky tone tearing apart as if they were in their 60’s yet with agile bodies. These people are rude. A whole one year of peace because you didn’t visit home. They badly want to provoke you.
Omo. Dem go collect oo. Dem no sabi cultist? — Of course, they don’t even know what you’re up to in school. You that you’re the Vice President in your fellowship; Assistant Prayer Coordinator in your department fellowship; a CEC for your faculty, a whole General Secretary. Na you dem dey call anyhow?
Now, you helpless fool would act ignorant. You don’t know what a typical African home is. Is it because you started school when you were15? Shuuu.
You remember Kolawole. His parents have left him to himself. He now sorts his tuition and when sapa knocks, he’s unable to seek help from them. You’ve witnessed him beg his parents and they just acted unbelievably ridiculous. They hung up the phone on him. You heard “omo ita” in an old fashioned yoruba tongue. That was definitely his mother. She cut off her feelings already. Kolawole was the same guy to ask you out when you had just resumed a month in school. He studies Physical Health Education yet unable to look fit.
Your mother sings you a song. You now try to remember. You remember a tune: “omo to mo ya re loju o, osi o to mo na pa.” — It is a warning tune in your culture. Adeola, how do you want to cope because this strike is the beginning of the end or is it end of the beginning? — You’re most likely to be back home after attaining a degree. Whatever.
You must device a plan. This way your tuition gets paid. They wouldn’t remind you of gutter attitudes you displayed when you’re back to school. Your data subscription is intact but this time you’re never going to mention anything about home. Na you f*ck up.
Here is a draft:
i.) Get up by morning as early as you can and take up your daily chore.
ii.) You might as well help in planning; parents do heavy tasks such as planning. You know they want to feel your presence that’s why you’re home. It’s up to you my dear.
iii.) Drop that phone. African homes especially parents of the 60’s are not seeing the potential in a digital globe. Hopefully, someday. Spend a considerable time on phone. You don’t want them to think you’re not reading in school.
- If you’re a lady, your mother might be forced to ask you if there’s any guy around. Your father would follow suit.
- If you’re a guy, your father would tell you not to lust in ladies. They’re not worth the attention. You have a long way to go.
iv.) Flex. You can’t be the same Adeola they knew before you left for school. At least, something as a change — something to make them believe you grew over there. Maybe, some spice up in your dressing. It shouldn’t be excessive. Something moderate.
v.) Pray. My dear, do not forget this religion thing is the authencity of a responsible person.
- Warris, you no dey go mosque again. Was that how you were brought up? Opoor o. Opoor fun Warrisi. You do not want them to have doubts in you.
- Adeola, you began lecturing daddy and mummy that spirituality is different from religion. You go talk am wella until your pastor comes for deliverance. You better keep your head straight.
vi.) Let off the “i-am-busy-tag”. Parents must really hate this. How can you get busy for them? Remember you’re still a child. Dem still fit wipe you cord for head. They want all the attention even if you’re in a zoom check-in meeting with your boss.
vii.) Keep your face down. Over time, you’ve had quarrels with your hostel mates and you’re most of the time having a point to get angry. It’s unlike the case with your parents. All fault, you must admit. If you dare look into their eye, your dead grandfather would hear the tale. Your parents would suddenly become the BBC in the family.
Now that you’ve read the golden rule, it remains that your adamamt heart listens. Few word is enough for the wise. If you like, mess up. Your strong head would always lead you back home.
Whenever Mr Idris, your father’s friend is leaving, he’d surely squeeze some cash in your hand. Adeola, you’ve trained yourself hard for this — to be called a “good child” — collect it.
Adebola Makinde is a writer who explores content in field of society and development. Other interests include arts and culture. She has written for UCJ Unilorin; Punch Nigeria and also recently contributes to Nigerian Tribune features desk. She intends to write for other international media outlets. Connect on twitter and instagram @just_debola.