In this guest post, children’s story writer Ayodele Olofintuade writes a autobiographical account of growing up with her brother in Nigeria. It’s reproduced her as cross posted on her blog totallyhawaya-haywire.blogspot.com.
… At five years old
“What’s the west of the stowy?” He asked staring at the pictures in the comic book
“The oko baba dudu first!” I said making a grab for the sweet.
He clutched it tighter, “Who is that man standing behind Spiderman?” He pointed at the comic.
“Oh he’s just there.” I said dismissively. “You promised to give me the sweet if I read the comic to you.” I said eyeing the oko baba dudu anxiously. In spite of the fact that I am three years older than Yomi he’s always one step ahead of me.
“How will I know? There is no balloon coming out of his mouth.” Then it dawned on me that Abayomi has no intention of giving me the sweet, so I made a grab for it . Abayomi gave the loud screech that always fetched our mother from wherever she was … I snapped my fingers at him. “I will show you! Mcheew!!” I know when to run …
“Wale! Biodun!!” he called his friends. “I have finished weading the comic. But you have to give me one oko baba dudu each before I tell you the stowy … is it me that said you should not know how to wead like me? … This is spiderman and the other one is emm… emm, …superfly…!”
… And then he turned eleven
“But why is your cousin not talking now?” Jide said, eyeing my ‘cousin’ who is dressed up in a black mini skirt with a pair of very high heels and a big afro wig.
“I told you she’s mute, she can hear you but she cannot talk.” I said smiling at my ‘cousin’ as she applied … no smeared… more lipstick on already blood red lips and added powder to a ghostly face.
“But that your cousin looks like Yomi.” Jide said staring at the huge boobs straining at the tee-shirt.
“Wo Jide, I’m tired of this jare, do you want a girlfriend or not? She will allow you touch one of her breasts, just pay up.” I held out my hand for the twenty naira. Jide reluctantly handed over his life savings to me, his eyes still glued to my ‘cousin’s’ balloons… “Are you sure she will let me touch th…the…them?”
“You can take your 20 naira back if you don’t trust me.” I watched with disgust as Jide started squeezing one of the big pimples on his face … no wonder he doesn’t have a girlfriend.
“Where is Yomi?” He asked as he dipped a finger inside one of his nostrils.
“He’s in Lagos.” I said haughtily. “Come back around 8.30pm, my cousin will wait by that door.”
“It will be too dark.” He whined
“You did not say you want to see a breast you just want to feel it, so you don’t need light. You have to leave now, mummy is back.” I said pushing him through the door.
“Good afternoon ma. Bye-bye.” Jide said as he ran off.
“Abayomi what are you doing in my shoes … my wig and my make-up?” Yomi stood up from the chair and nearly fell off the heels he was wearing.
“Get that muck off your face. Go and change. What’s that on your chest? The balloons I bought for Oba’s birthday abi? Don’t worry; I’ll get to the bottom of this later. I hope you’re done packing because the taxi that will take us to Lagos is waiting outside…”
… Yomi at 34
What fun we had in those days didn’t we?
Ayo is the author of a forthcoming socially-conscious children’s storybook titled Eno’s Story scheduled to be published by Cassava Republic.