Tribute to a mother.
Most times, I don’t have the words to explain who my mother was. It’s really hard to condense her whole being and the different sides of her I got to experience into a few sentences. But I will try.
I’ll share a story with you. A moment I keep very dearly in my heart.
Backstory: The school where my brother and I attended didn’t have a class primary six and my mother was not down with skipping classes so I moved schools when my brother finished primary five. I was about eight years old moving into primary three. (This information is not relevant to the story but just roll with it for my sake).
I was in my new class one day getting that education. Let me just let you know that the teacher was scary af. She had a mean attitude and face. You know those teachers who brought their frustrations from home and poured it on unsuspecting children? Yeah, that was her. Anyway, during the class, she told us that we were going to start learning a harder concept in primary four. I believe it was ‘algebra’ but I’m not too sure. Everyone in the class (or what sounded like everyone), groaned loudly but apparently, her hearing was selective and she only heard me. She walked to me and then *gbam!* this woman slammed my head on the table. It’s so weird thinking of it now. Like, what were you thinking ma? Does this look like WWE to you?
Anyway, that thing hurt so bad and within twenty minutes, I had a bump on my forehead (Koko). The bump made my forehead hot and my friends took turns at trying to rub it back in because a big babe like me couldn’t be walking around like that. By the time of closing, the bump had gotten bigger. At home, I told my cousin about the bump after failed attempts to hide it and begged her not to tell my mother before going to my room to pretend to sleep before she returned.
A few hours later, I heard my name. My cousin had run her mouth as usual. My mum called me to her room and asked what happened. I told her it was nothing and covered my face with my hand. She pulled my hand away and probed more. I didn’t budge and that angered her more. A useless teacher put so much fear in her daughter that she couldn’t get her to speak up? So she called a woman she knew in school and narrated what my cousin had told her; telling her that she was coming to school the next day. I started to cry and beg her not to go to school. Imagine oh, I was so frightened of this lady that I was begging my mum not to bring up the matter in school. That poured more spice to the anger. (Think about water touching a dry, hot fry pan on the cooker. See how it bounces and sizzles? yeah, that was how my tears affected her.)
I hoped that when she woke up she’d have forgotten and life would go on. Of course, she didn’t. She was waiting for me outside my room and we headed to my school.
In the car, my body was shaking uncontrollably. I truly believed my life in the school was over. She was definitely going to be meaner to me in class. ‘Ogigbigigbi’ (Who watched papa Ajasco?)
My mother got out of the car, like a warrior and walked straight to my class. The lady she had spoken to yesterday was with her. The woman most definitely already warned the teacher of my mother’s visit because her face was drained of blood once she set her eyes on her.
All hell broke loose in the school. I had never seen the cold-hearted woman so scared and sorry in my time there. She just kept on apologizing to my mum and me. She was crying and begging my mum not to tell the principal. As for me, I couldn’t look at her face. I was still scared shitless about what she was going to do to me after my mum left.
To cut the short story shorter, the teacher apologized again when my mum left and was super nice to me after that. I left the school after that year though. Partly because I moved houses and partly because of the bump.
So yeah. That’s one story about my mother. Fere bi ekun. My warrior. Fighting my battles when I was too chicken to do it myself.
- Fere bi ekun translates loosely to ‘strong/courageous as a tiger’.