Tuesday, June 12, 2012

For Grandma

by Jonas Dogara
Those days when we still dey primary school, TV no too plenty and coloured TV dey very hard to find. You sabi how some of those children dem, wey get coloured TV for house, go come school come dey tell us how Rambo blood na green if we see am for their TV, abi? Since na for black-and-white TV we dey watch our own Rambo, how we wan take drag with dem na? The coloured TV wey I dey talk about na proper coloured o. No be those black-and-white TV wey dem go carry purple waterproof cover and dem become coloured o. Anyhow, we dey like to watch WWF (wrestling) in those days and e dey sweet to watch am for colour. The wahala be say na black-and-white TV we get for house. Anyway, e get one house for our street wey dem get coloured TV. So, na there we dey like go watch am, but the wicked people wey dey live there no dey like let us come full their parlour to watch TV. The solution na to gather for their window, and na wetin my grandmama hate be that. She no fit understand why I go leave TV wey dey my house, go stand for another person window to watch TV. She warn me tire make I no dey go there but I no dey hear word. Once I see say wrestling time done reach and she dey sleep for house or she done comot, me sef done run with my friends to that house and take position for the window!
Courtesy: ClipProject
One day wey I waka that kind waka na him devil punish me. That day she go market and as she dey go she tell me say make I no go anywhere o. Say make I dey our house front dey play with my friend dem. As she comot, na him we run go that our favourite window. The wrestling just dey sweet us and I forget myself. I no look time. As Hulk Hogan done begin charge and dey ready to nack one man wey been dey beat am since, na him hand from nowhere just grab my hand. I turn look and na my grandmama. Her face done rumple! E be like say the woman no go to buy plenty things for market and she return quick. I no fit believe wetin I dey see. She just drag me comot for the crowd of small pikin dem wey dey watch wrestling. Nobody even turn look me sef. All of dem dey look Hulk Hogan! Wicked children! As I open my mouth to explain myself, my legs dey shake and the thing wey comot for my mouth na ‘Mama welcome’. She just say ‘Thank you’, one slim cane just appear for her right hand and she begin tidy me sharply! Na my leg she dey flog o! As she dey flog my legs with the cane for her right hand, she hold my hand very strong with her left hand so that I no fit bail and she dey talk ‘These your legs (whack!) wey you no (whack!) fit take stay (whack!) for one place (whack!) I go cut am today (whack!)’. I just dey jump dey shout ‘Mama! Mama! Mama!’ She flog me until we reach house. No be just the flog pain me o. Na the shame say as she dey flog me for road dey go house, people dey look me. But na that day me and window business end o. I come dey watch am for black-and-white abeg! Black-and-white Hulk Hogan still correct. Afterall, where coloured Hulk Hogan dey when Mama dey gimme samba?

E get so many other things wey my grandmama been do me o. Strong things wey I no go forget. Those people wey say grandmama dem dey spoil grandpikin dem no meet my grandmama o. She go tell you say ‘I dey sweet, but I dey bitter too!’ You no go understand wetin e be until, one day, your cup go full and she go treat your mess up like I just describe or in another way. Which one I go talk and which one I go leave? Abi na when she been dey come find me for football field and pursue me go back to our house with cane or na when she dey threaten to pour one girl (wey been dey come find me) water, if she no leave me to read book? What about those 12 midnight flogging dem? You know when you done shit big shit for church (that na your house) and you go just dey avoid your house dey hope say if dem no see you dem go forget wetin you do, abi? My grandmama no dey forget o. When I play outside tire, I go quietly enter house for evening. She go tell me say make I go take my food chop. When I chop finish, na TV and sleep. Around midnight, hand go just tap me. When I wake up, na my grandmama. Then we go siddon and discuss the sin wey I commit that day and depending on wetin I been do, the cane fit show. All that hide wey I been hide? Rubbish! She no dey forget narthing!

I think of my grandmama sha and smile because of the kind work wey she and many other grandmama dem done do for our lives. Work wey we no dey really thank dem for. Anybody wey get correct grandmama, go understand wetin I dey talk. The kind wahala people dey give their grandmama dem no be small thing. I know one boy wey been sabi cry well well. When the boy don begin dey cry anyhow and nobody (including him mama) gree answer am again e go waka go meet him grandmama. Wetin you go hear na ‘Mama tell me sorry’. Mama go do like say she no hear. ‘Mama tell me sorry na.’ Mama still dey chew chewing stick dey look another place. ‘Mama naaaaa, Mama….’ E go dey cry dey drag him grandmama wrapper. Mama go come say ‘Hey, this pikin! You wan naked me? Oya sorry, no cry again’, then she go carry am. The things wey grandmama dem dey see! This boy now done tall like dongoyaro tree and dey drive big motor, but thank God say e no dey drag him grandmama wrapper again. Na skirt and jeans e dey drag these days and e no mind who wear am!

Na as I siddon for house, late in the evening on the last Mother’s Day after I done address that girl Facebook status message finish (you remember her, abi?) na him I begin think of these things…. While everybody busy dey write plenty status messages and tweets about dem mama, I no see any message for anybody grandmama. Abi people wey dey use Facebook and Twitter no get grandmama dem again? Or maybe on that day everybody grandmama na winch! No, I no mean everybody. Your grandmama no follow o. Na those other people own I mean. I sure say your grandmama too take care of you like my own do me. The thing wey fit different na the ‘pattern’ wey she use. 

As I look back now, I realise say without all these strong things attached to their love, care and devotion, some of our lives for no be as e be today o. My life for scatter scatter like Terry G dada! So I dey remember my grandmama on Mother’s Day too and I say ‘Mama, thank you and continue to rest in peace where you dey. When I reach there, Mama, I go try to behave myself as you always want am. But just to dey sure, I go also try to hide that slim cane (Yes, na me been dey always hide am!). I dey make all these plans because something dey tell me say even though dem no dey allow cane for that place, you go done manage find your slim cane and you keep am somewhere dey wait for me!’

This na @nfsqueezed on Twitter


  1. Dis na very interesting read. I enjoy am well well. Make u continue e ya.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Make you back again and check out the other posts.

  2. My Wanne,na wetin I dey call my grandmama.Ur story just remind me of my Wanne,She dey swEet,n she dey bitter too...if I start to write abt her na tmr I go finish..I just happy 4 d training wey she gv me,happy pass cos nw my mama don dey behave like her mama,e mean say my pikin dem go enjoy...
    Me,I no jam black n white tv days oh,I knw say I be small pikin!!! Hahahhahahahahahaha

    1. You no jam black-n-white tv? Chai, you miss! Those days the TV dem dey big like Siverbird Cinema screen and the actors dey jump come out come follow us chop garri. Also, the....

      No mind me, abeg. Na lie I talk. You no miss anything. Thanks for reading.

  3. Una don make me dey miss my grandma.I LOVE MY Grandma,Even though she is late now.