I remember the day mama Sykik found a love letter in my closet.
Back in the days, love letters where the “ish”, it was the means through which boys wooed babes. I have mentioned in some earlier posts that I was a late bloomer so I didn’t get boys paying attention to me till my undergrad years........there was the random boy, here and there but Mama Sykik played her “breathing down my back” role so well and co-opted my brothers into saving their sister’s purity till marriage.
There was this boy who had taken a big brother/boyfriend role over me in school, come to think of it he never toasted me sha. The boy had to change schools in our second year and so we were separated and there were no GSM phones then. It was a tough time for me, I felt lost and so when I got a letter from this bobo (he sent it through a student who had visited his school). I read the letter every day and mumuishly took the letter with me home during the holidays....somehow Mama Sykik poke nosed through my stuff and read the letter, this was a letter I kept well folded inside my bible (I had to keep the letter holy abi nau). Mama Sykik doesn’t understand that there is anything called boundaries or personal space. After this incident, I learnt the trick of Eneke the bird that “since men have learned to shoot without missing, he has learned to fly without perching." I learnt to keep my privacy from her prying eyes.
I got home from my Mum’s store that day and met Mama Sykik at the door, brandishing my love letter (she doesn’t waste time attacking) immediately I saw the letter, I died and travelled to heaven..........it was easier facing God than Mama Sykik, I swear. She was gangster like that.....all I heard again was
Mama Sykik: Sykik am I not talking to you
Sykik: Ma, what did you say (My heart was skipping and I still couldn’t make sense of what she was saying)
Mama Sykik: are you listening to me at all, since you are deaf, let me explain myself better
Mama Sykik delivered one of those her “abara” slap, “abara”- is a back slap that brings you out of a coma. It works; ask any Nigerian Yoruba girl who grew up in the 80s and 90s. That “abara” brought me back from my coma and I can’t remember what my explanation was, but I must have confessed to sins committed and uncommitted. I was made to promise to break up with this bobo and cease all form of communication. After the beating and threats of that day, I am sure I never spoke to any man except my brothers for weeks.
How do you break up with someone who never toasted you sef? I told bobo about the incident and we just remained discreet until Mama Sykik caught us again and this time around she drafted Papa Sykik to cast the “spell of boyfriend” from my life.
I love Mama Sykik and wouldn’t trade her for anything, though back in the days I had no “relationship” with her because I felt her parenting methods were cruel but I won’t be half of who I am today without that strict grooming. Papa Sykik blended her parenting skills with his modern methods which she felt was “ajebutterish” but see me today, I turned out right even if I have to say so myself.
Will I trade my growing up years for anything......NO......will I train my child(ren) same way......not really......but I am certainly going to do some “abara” giving or how else will they know I am a Yoruba mummy...lol....and God loves a cheerful giver :)