Bamidele

Somewhere deep in the community of Ilu-Awun, dwelled the most perfect Christmas market. It opened on the 1st of December through to the 23rd, every year, for all from far and wide to come in and shop for their Christmas needs.

This market was such that you could find everything needed to make your Christmas holiday memorable. From wears to wares, everything was there. And the best part; everything went for half the price!

There was nowhere in the community of Ilu-Awun, let alone the entire town of Jejeleko, anyone could find better prices. They called it Oja Ole.

Oja Ole ni Ilu-Awun.

Like many unexplainable phenomena, there were many stories as to why things were so cheap in that market at Christmas. The most popular and logical tale had it that the Oba of Ilu-Awun paid sellers, annually, to bring their prices down to the barest minimum for more “tourists” to come in. People said the returns from the tourists – who usually spent more than a few days in the community – was what kept it top notch to date. Others said it was something more mysterious.

The mystery of it were words not spoken, facts not proven, occurrences no one came to terms with, until it happened to them.

***

Abiodun – just like her name implied – was born in this season, the season of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. She was the first and only child of her mother; Temidire. ‘Biodun and Temidire lived together in one of the less known communities in the town of Jejeleko; Agbekele.

‘Biodun had never met her dad – or felt the need to. Her mum had told her some story about how he was no longer here, sometime ago. It had had no impact on her thoughts or curiosity then, still doesn’t now, because this woman she had lived with for the past 18 years was and continued being all she needed.

‘Biodun and Temidire were twenty years apart, but best friends like they should be. You could hardly notice the age gap between them. Their preferences on all the basic things that mattered – food, style, people – synced.

As expected, they never fought on anything really, except Christmas. From the year ‘Biodun turned ten, she started nagging her mum to make Christmas more meaningful. Temidire would listen to her speak, grunt and move on. She never really made any effort. When ‘Biodun turned 15, her new chant was how they could go to “Oja Ole ni Ilu-Awun” to make Christmas more meaningful. Temidire still grunted and made no effort. Because of the fight it caused between them year after year, ‘Biodun compromised and stopped nagging about it when she was turning eighteen. She had made up her mind that she had come of age and would have a home soon, then, she would have the Christmas she desired.

***

It was the Christmas season of 2010, ten years after ‘Biodun said she’d have the perfect Christmas when she had her own home. She did have her own home now, but hadn’t gotten that perfect Christmas she always wanted. A part of her knew it was tied to the fact that she still hadn’t visited Oja Ole ni Ilu-Awun. She decided to do just that.

She travelled back home to Agbekele with her 9 year old only daughter; Modupe, to spend a few days with her mom – Temidire – and shop to her fill for Christmas at Oja Ole ni Ilu-Awun.

‘Biodun could not suppress her excitement when she got back to Agbekele to meet her mom. She was bubbly when she asked that Temidire came along. Temidire said in a clear voice and a straight face:

“I would not go to that market and I command that you do not, as well”

When Biodun asked why, she had no answers.

The next day, still without Temidire’s approval, ‘Biodun, clutching Modupe’s hand, with undeterred excitement, headed to Oja Ole ni Ilu-Awun.

***

It was their third and final day in the market. The first day had been a drag because they didn’t know their way around. By day two, they got the general picture and were half way down their Christmas list. They intended to get it all done today and return home to (grand)mom.

‘Biodun and her daughter left the guest house they had stayed for the last two nights, still as pumped as they were when they started the quest. Their first stop was the Christmas Decoration booth. They had seen the most beautiful tree ornaments there, yesterday. They had split the quest from the first day; ‘Biodun held the money and Modupe’s hand, Modupe held the list, telling her mommy what was next.

Decoration booth at the Christmas Market - Bamidele

As they approached the already crowded booth, ‘Biodun struggled to get the money out of her shopper bag with her one free hand. When she reached it and pulled it out, a few notes slipped out of the already loose wad of notes to the floor.

“Modupe, please quickly pick those notes up” She said.

Just as Modupe made contact with the first note on the floor, she disappeared.

With the busy hurrying shuffling feet in Oja Ole ni Ilu-Awun, no one noticed.

No one noticed when ‘Biodun screamed or the fear in her eyes with seeing her daughter disappear before her or her running around the market with her clothes askew. No one really noticed, let alone believed, they were too busy having the cheapest buys for a memorable Christmas.

‘Biodun left the market, still incoherent, leaving everything behind. She ran straight into Temidire’s arms crying and screaming;

“Did you know this and not tell me?! Did you?! I am finished!”

Temidire held her close and wept silently. Her only words brought an understanding silence between them.

“Oja Ole ni Ilu-Awun is as literal as the names can be. It is the market for thieves  in a stingy land. The mystery of it are words not spoken, facts not proven, occurrences no one comes to terms with, until it happens to them. This is how your father left.”

***

One year later, ‘Biodun had another child. She named her Bamidele.

Names of Noise Makers

*Period after break, before Mathematics class*

Class Captain: “You guys should stop making noise! I’m writing names” -__-

*Noise continues*

Class Captain: *tears paper out, looks around for people she loathes*

NOISE MAKERS

1. Yinka Dada (She was chewing gum noisily)

2. Stella Chibuzor (Dancing in front of class)

3. Tolulope Adebisi x 10times

4. Tosin Adeola (Snoring while she was sleeping)

5. Fatima Abubakar (She helped everyone go to tuck shop and caused a lot of noise)

6. Temitope Olasewe (Putting on lip gloss in class)

7. Nkem Makonam (She eyed me when I said everyone should stop making noise)

8. Adokiye Agunbiade (She was flying her shirt)

9. Moyin Oluwade (Her shoes were making noise)

10. Valerie Okpara (She was reading a novel instead of her school books)

***

Where is the noise love?

#ThatAwkwardMoment

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Definitely the fourth.

 

Today is one of those days when the reins of the number of things I get to cover with work and how my day goes belongs to anyone but me.

After concluding my first meeting – the only detail that worked as planned – the fire alarm goes off and we’re immediately told to evacuate the building and stand on the other side of the road.

That took forty five whole minutes.

After I’m back in my chair, I get an email from the company we leased our office space from; saying an end of the year thingy has been planned for all their clients and organized a bus to take us to the location. My colleague – who should deal with this with me – isn’t in today, so I had to go alone.

Problems are:

1. I’m clad in a mickey mouse t-shirt and brown pants, totally unfit for anything really, but I HAVE to go.

2. I stick out like a sore thumb when I’m alone in a gathering. Don’t do good with mixing and stuff, because, mickey mouse-tshirt-wearing-aunty-is-shy.

So, I’m seated alone at the far corner of the round table, looking ahead and praying it all ends as fast as possible.

In all of this, there’s this guy,  he keeps giving me the eye and I don’t know why!

Weird stuff.

When we’re on the way back, he comes over and sits beside me in the bus and we start talking. He’s enthusiastic and saying all the funny things and it’s so cool.

Then suddenly he asks what university I finished from and what year. Then I say. And he says he went to CU as well, and he’s sister was in my set.

I ask for her name. And Dom. Dom. Dom.

She’s my cousin!

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I’m like we’re cousins! – And no, I do not mean those cousins that originate from being from the same village or being neighbours from birth. His mum and my dad are related, somehow.

He’s like “huh”

Then I explain the connection – to the best of my knowledge – pointing out mutual family ties to him and he sits there between disappointment and amusement.

So we’re seated there, for a long silent while – except he said wow and dammit twice each – wondering.

Very awkward moment, I say.

Note to self:

Know your cousins. And your cousin’s cousins. And your father’s brother’s daughter’s baby’s pet as well.

This is how incest happens!

*Cue in African mother’s voice; you cannot marry her, it’s an abomination! Incest! Tufiakwa!!!*

*Fade out*

Of P-Square and QC girls

It’s #TBT, let’s indulge a little!

***

This happened in the early years of P-Square’s career, before they had uncountable hit songs and the main jam was “With your bizzy body ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh”

It was far back 2005 when they dropped the Get Squared album and everyone was crazy about it.

We were having one of our many social evenings in QC, I think it had something to do with T&P club (Talents and Potentials) – the main details are fuzzy now. I’m 9 years older.

To the matter!

So we were having a number of artists perform on stage in the hall, I do not remember them ’cause they didn’t cause so much stir like P-Square did.

P-Square got on stage and started with the main jam we were all crazy about – Bizzy Body.

(Let me quickly mention here that they got on stage like Micheal Jackson would have – bless his soul. All the confidence and swag and everything mehn. And QC girls had reacted like Micheal’s fans would have. We were screaming, fainting, tearing our shirts!!! )

While Bizzy body was going on, all the seniors – with already awesome bodies – had pulled out their tucked-in shirts from their skirts, unbuttoned it halfway, tied it up and found their way to the front, where they could be within sight from the superstars as they belly danced.

We the flat ones, we stayed at the back and waited for a more accommodating song, then suddenly, Get squared was up and we moved our masculine bodies in glee 😀

Somewhere between all this fun and excitement, Peter had thrown his head band into the crowd and someone had caught it and was screaming in triumph. The reaction had warmed his heart so much – or so I’d like to think – he decided to go a notch higher.

So he ventures;

“Would you like to go crazy?”

We scream: “YESSSSSSS!!!!!!”

He goes again;

“Would you like to go crazy?”

And we scream even louder!

“YEEEESSSSSSS!”

Then he lifts up his tee-shirt to show us his well sculpted abs!

Somewhere between my gasp and my intention to scream, the stage was filled with girls – with tied-up uniform shirts – struggling to touch those abs!!

Yes, we went crazy!

Oh! It was crazier than either of them would have expected. It was like a mob! I heard they had been slightly injured.

In all, it’s still one of the best live performances I’ve had.

Crazy fun!

***

If you were in QC at this time, say “Whoop!” beneath :)