Mummy mi o
O gb’omu salo
Ko gbe wale mo
I chanted the rhyme to him every night. He would sit quietly on the wine coloured three-seater that took up too much space in the sitting room, and I would sit next to him, chanting. He would be crying, because I would have scared him by lying that a cockroach was coming his way. I would be watching him, fascinated, wondering how it was that he didn’t know that if there was any cockroach in the vicinity I would have bolted out the door too fast to remember to torment him with it. To think of it now; I’ve always had a mean streak… even when I didn’t know the word, or what it meant.
One day someone else made him cry. I didn’t like that at all. He was mine. Mine and mine alone. He was supposed to respond to only me! So I stopped making him cry myself, and started troubling anyone who even so much as thought about making him cry….
Weird how that was 25 years ago. 9, 131 days; 21, 9144 whole hours. Wow! This deceptive mirage called time. It still feels like yesterday. I remember the smell of his nycil-wrapped baby self, his smile which puckered proud rosy cheeks when we would call “Olajendor”; and his gurgles… Lordy Lordy! Those sweet baby-Jide gurgles: great music even to tone-deaf ears.
He’s all grown up now; and often scares me with the things that haunt my own dreams for his villainous amusement… what goes round really does seem to come around; and mistress Karma indeed is a bitch, isn’t she?
I love him still though. Must be something about his mischievous wink, his chubby cheeks, the hair I often like to roughen, or perhaps the twinkle you can see either dancing or glittering in his eyes. Or perhaps it’s the way he laughs, or says “…you for like”, or the way you know he would never ever leave a soldier behind or give one up to the enemy, even to save his own behind. Perhaps…. Anyway, he’s mine. My own brother; to love and to want-to-‘kill’, to protect and to annoy endlesssly, to cherish and embarrass with kisses, to plot ‘coups’ and to drive crazy. Aah yes, that must be why I love him so: he’s mine. All chubby cheeks and idiagbon frowns.
Happy Birthday Olajide Jendor!
Omo Kuku n’Ijebu-Ode.
Omo Kuku tayeye!
*more of those embarrassing hugs and kisses*
I Love You: to the past world, and then to the next; now and forever.