or Narratives Around My Childhood, a guest-post by Ibukun Babarinde, a Nigerian published poet, and friend. His first collection of poems is titled Running Splash of Rust, a sort of journeying around Ibadan and its human landscape. He sends this from Wolverhampton, United Kingdom, and he can be found on Facebook. Enjoy.
One of the questions that troubled my young days was the mystery behind the enthralling view of the top of the rocks that peeped into the sky lines over my home town, Saki. There are many mountains towering into the sky in the town, and all of them stood in different positions. Their view like an alluring drama set, offer different scenes and sights at different time of the day, and also different views throughout the seasons of the year. The most fascinating to me is the morning view of the mountain tops, especially in foggy and hazy weather conditions. The cloud formation on the mountain would literarily make the mountain top look as though it had poked into the heavens.
On sunny afternoons, a clear view of the mountain appears in the brightness of the tropical sun, and the scanty vegetation along the mountain steep would flaunt its greenness and all together a very lovely scene to view.
The most prominent of the mountains is the Asabari, Asabari is believed to be to Saki as what Olumo Rock is to Abeokuta. History had it that the people of Saki had sought refuge in the Asabari in times of war, another rock of equal relevance is the Oloogun rock, but with a singular distinguished attribute, it is only natives of Saki that are allowed to climb the Asabari, while Oloogun accommodates every one.
Other mountains and rocks also exist; Isia, Otun, Aganran, Efun, Sangote, Ayekale, Ofeefe. These rocks sit in places as though they are survey pillars mapping the whole Saki town into quarters.
At different times of the year and season some of the mountains are worshiped, the tradition of the town ascribed some element of deity to the mountains. But to me, every day I worshiped them.
Some Christian sect also do their picnics and some other spiritual gathering on one of the mountains, they had some kind of legacy in a particular mountain called ‘Oke Adagba’ the Baptist missionaries had settled on the mountain side, and left some old college buildings and beautiful premises behind. Every Easter, all Christians in the town would gather on the mountain from morning to evening, in simulation of the Galilee where Jesus met His disciples before he ascended into heavens.
As I moved from one junior class to the other in my early school days, I had a profound preference for chairs by the window side, so that I could view of the mountains any time I wanted to. I had very close view of the Isia rock, and at quite a distance, the view of Adagba rock which has the pinnacle of the first Baptist church towering out of dark of its evening shadow.
By evident reasons, I chose to go to Ayekale Community High School, as though to retrace my ancestry. The school was built in a valley, with the Oloogun rocks on the hind side, Ayekale rocks merging into ofeefe rock, at left and front. The secondary school had a small entry road, steeply and winding, as though folding into a valley. I spent the first two years of my secondary education in this school environment before I was snatched away by the city life.
One of the most fascinating and point of my attachments to this environment is the echo that naturally occurs as a result of reverberations caused by the guardian rocks. Even now, I still remember how the period bells in the school would resound, echoing twice or more, and how the voice of the then school principal, Mr. Afonja would be snatched by the waves hovering over the valley.
You can find previous guest-posts here. Thank you Ibukun!