“i repeat ham, dem no born me well, to speak those thoughts out, when is not that i want to go and dine with my grandfather in heaven.”
This is a very dicey topic, i know a lot of mothers will be reading this (including my one in a million mum), ejo, it is not that i lack respect o or i don’t have home training. It’s just that there are somethings you mothers do that make us (your children) go like ” jesu, is this my life?”
Abeg this just for fun o, i know you all go through a lot but please see the humor in this small piece.
I remember sometime ago, when a friend of mine (in the states) told me she had a “fight with her mum” (something you never do in a Nigerian mum’s house) and locked herself in her room until her mum came apologizing to her. Let her try that in a Nigerian home, three weeks you never chop.
I remember a story my brother told me; he said he had a misunderstanding with our mum (just misunderstanding o, not a fight) and she wanted to discipline him and he ran away in ‘defense’ (he didn’t raise a finger back o). She didn’t pursue after him o, she played it cool like she had forgotten, he came back and had his dinner (my parents never use food as a medium to punish us, i guess it’s so that you will have enough energy to withstand their punishments (most times you can’t withstand it sha)).
So that fateful night, while deeply asleep, he suddenly awoke as a result of cold water being poured on him, he jerked up suddenly trying to adjust his sleepy eyes to his dark surroundings, he could make out our mum towering over his bed with a bowl of water in her left hand and belt in her right.
Then she spoke
“So i wanted to discipline you, and you had the guts to run away abi,
oya run now (sarcastically), run.”
But before he could put one and two together (and he is a very good mathematician), he heard the rush of the wind, the belt go up and down with the speed of lightening and before he could blink his eye lashes, he felt the sting of pain as the belt landed on his body.
Three of those followed successively. After hearing that story i learnt how not to sleep whichever night i had a misunderstanding with my mum.
Enh! it was only the last Saturdays of the month the State Government declared to be the official environmental sanitation but in my house, every Saturday is community sanitation. It’s always like someone went to pack the dirt outside and dump it inside.
No matter how much you clean the house this Saturday, there will always be somewhere else to clean in the house the next Saturday. And you can’t dare say you are through before 3pm in the afternoon. Anytime before that time another work will automatically be generated the way google always generate search results to some stupid questions.
That’s when you will start hearing
“go and clean the fan blades”
“go and clean the louvers”
“go and clean the back of the television”
“go and mop the compound” ‘like the ground there is made of tiles’
“go and sweep the whole street” ‘like i belong to the landlords and tenant association’
I thought it was only my mum who use to mix up our (her kids) names together. At times she would want to call my younger sister (her youngest child) and she wouldn’t mention her name until she goes through the names of her first three children (myself and my brothers included).
Sometimes she would have called me and then go like
“sorry it’s your younger brother i wanted to call”.
That’s how one day i was in the same room with my elder brother then she called me and went like
“shalom go and call your boda”
In my head i was like
‘were we not together, you could have just called him directly’
dem no born me well,
i repeat ‘ham’, dem no born me well, to speak those thoughts out, when is not that i want to go and dine with my grandfather in heaven. )
But this night, i heard a new dimension. A sister (fellowship things) shared her story with me.
She said it got to a time that her mum got tired of calling their names and mixing them up, that she decided to start using a tap code to call them (you can imagine how funny our Nigerian mums can get). For those of you who watched Escape Plan you will know what am talking about.
So whenever she taps a table once, it meant that she was referring to the first born. If she tapped it twice then the second born was meant to surface and if it was thrice, the last born was being beckoned to.
She said at another time she would just ask for whoever was the closest child (distance wise) to her or farthest at that moment in their native dialect to come until there family friends concluded that she must have being referring to them with their native names.
Do you see how weird these our mums can get at times enh. Sometimes i just look at mine and be like ‘what are you made of sef where did you come from’. She’s so distant from my dad (but i won’t be writing anything about that, at least not until i can start fending for myself financially.)
I love my mum, deeply. Sometimes i get angry at her, most times she doesn’t just gets on my nerves she crushes them. Then when i have a ‘big contract’ to bid to my dad, i can always trust her to cut it down to the size of cray fish.
I just guess Nigerian mums will always just have to be Nigerian mums.
Maami of life, I love you.