IT LIVES HERE TOO …
I noticed it was living in our next door neighbour’s house before I realized it also lived in our very own house.
Even though I knew of its existence, it still came as a shock to me one evening while in Yetunde’s house; when it reared its ugly head in Yetunde’s father and I began to take a second look.
“Look, look Alade I have told you repeatedly that I do not want anything to do with any tenant that is not Yoruba, period.”
“But Sir, Itsekiri’s are like Yoruba’s.” Alade explained.
“Maybe you still don’t understand me; I may have to employ someone who does.”
Alade was Yetunde’s father’s caretaker; he took care of all Mr. Mayowa Adegun’s properties scattered across the metropolis of Lagos.
I looked myself over as my name was Oluchi it meant I was not eligible for Mr. Adegun’s house, I had to be a Yetunde or someone from Yoruba land.
I am bi-tribal (my personal coinage for a person from two tribes), my dad is Ibo from Delta State and my mum is Urhobo also from Delta State, so maybe even my bi-tribalism made me most ineligible for Mr. Adegun’s house, pure breeds or mono-tribal candidates might stand a better chance of clinching an apartment in his house.
After Mr. Adegun’s utterance the chair I sat in began to burn a hole in my skirt and I couldn’t take the heat so I got up and started for my house.
“Goodnight Sirs.” I greeted Mr. Adegun and Alade, while I beckoned on my friend Yetunde, to see me off.
“Goodnight, Oluchi my daughter, please greet my friend for me and remind him about our game of tennis tomorrow afternoon.”
“Okay Sir.” I muttered and tugged at Yetunde’s arm for her to lead the way, the Adegun’s had all types of dogs from Alsatians to German Shepherds, and I was not an avid fan of guard dogs.
Yetunde saw me off to our usual spot- my gate, as the lock on my gate clicked my thoughts went back to Mr. Adegun.
“He calls me ‘my daughter’ and in the same vein is averse to people from my tribe living in his house, sounds like insincerity to me.” I muttered.
My dad was seated outside on his lounge chair pretending to be asleep, if I passed by without greeting him, he would snarl out a ‘where are you coming from?’, so I greeted, “Daddy good evening, Yetunde’s dad said I should remind you about your game of tennis tomorrow afternoon.”
“O.K.” he grunted.
In our living room my mum was glued to a movie on Africa Magic with my Sister her co-critic of Nollywood by her side.
“Mummy, good evening. Mummy see what happened at …” , I made to tell of my experience at the Adegun’s house.
“Silence, let me hear what Ramsey wants to tell this girl. All these lying Casanovas, you and Amarachi had better open your eyes and watch this film.” She said while gesticulating with her hands.
I smiled to myself as I slinked away and Oluchi winked at me, we had concluded that our mum felt she had to justify why she deprived our dad of watching CNN; we were her sole concern, we had to see reality and only Nollywood could do this for us.
When I got to my bed the thoughts kept niggling at me; I had heard of tribalism, sure, but racism was big deal never tribalism so how come Yetunde’s father was averse to ‘us’. My parents were from different tribes and they loved each other, they had clearly scaled the tribal barrier or had they? This I was soon to find out. I nodded off to sleep with thoughts of a mono-tribal country in my head.