I can’t imagine the great union that has made our families this strong after many years. Just at the normal thought of going to see a schoolmate and it has eventually became a family. I have some fond memories of this family. I remember when Adeola was a prefect in Abadina College, her neatness was the first thing that attracted me, she has a good gait no matter the situation and firm when it comes to duty and responsibility, I am sure that is why she is so close to Mr Adegbola, our one and only Government teacher and author.

Bukola and became first more when we were in JSS 3. We wanted study partners and this was the beginning of it all, fortunately, my younger brother and Folabi were classmates and Debo his friend. The meeting point was getting much more broad. I met Aunty Titi, that day and she looked at me as I asked of Bukola, her response was nice but I was a little scared because I can’t imagine such a treatment, however I had no elderly sibling. I sat still.

As events unfold, the house of the Ajewole’s became the annex of our rented apartment. We know how to steal out of home and pay them visit and at time leave our mother’s meal for Iya Aje’s own as she is popularly called. We became foster children. Our visiting father, came home one day to hear of this family, there has been time when he made met Debo. He asked of where the family hails from, he eventually heard Efon-Alaaye. He has friends from this town too, where he was also adopted, meaning that an adopted father from Efon has got his children adopted too without his consent. The bond grew stronger.

My concern was Iya Aje and her concern I tried as much as possible to make mine. Most especially days when I left the University without the NYSC ritual, the post-NYSC days without a job, the days I got a NGO job in Ilorin with a paltry pay, the days I spent waiting again before I finally found myself here in Lagos. The joy of the story is her way of saying you are her son, the passion with which she will keep you in mind at all time and the concern she expresses at everything yours.

My promise to Adeola at her departure still glows in me. Iya Aje once said, “Iya wa ni yen”, meaning that is our mother at your departure for the States. I know you are truly and Emmanuel and your new daughter can tell more now. I jealously kept the bag I picked from your personal effect and I still told Doyin, the one who made away with all your clothes that she wants to inherit this bag from me. My joy was full when Iya Aje told me she is on her way, which she is still on.

My joy is this the train that saw you off to Lagos that day changed this time, Bukola has her baby now, so her husband came, father Ajewole who drove you to Lagos got the driver and myself, came to see Iya Aje in Lagos and her husband was her companion to the airport, and your in law, Abednego has moved from the Mangoro-Cement on the Iyana Ipaja axis to Ebute Metta.

I wish Iya Aje a fruitful stay and I wish you the best in you motherly care to her, remembering the myth of the Okete and her child now. May better events come that we allow you to celebrate greater seasons.

I care and appreciate this family.



(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria
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