Aging is like taking a cool evening walk through a garden, with sweet scents caressing your olfactory senses and not being able to pluck any of the beautiful flowers.
I am a happy man still.And having my beautiful wife Oluwatosin; the mother of my lovely children at this evening phase of life makes me happier and fulfilled. My grandchildren are simply lovely. Though, sometimes I get sweet trouble when they visit.
My name is Obiora Ibrahim Ogunleye. Tomorrow October 1, 2040 marks my Eightieth year on earth. Once again, like it has been since my Golden Jubilee in 2010 my calm cottage would lose its calm and quiet. Those little feet would plant their prints on the dusty crannies of my old house. And John, the house help would have a lot to clean when the party is over in the evening.
Temitayo my first granddaughter; a Lawyer is sure to steal one more book from my library tomorrow. She always does. Even with all signs that she would have the library to herself when I leave, she still picked my books. But it’s ok. There would be libraries in heaven. I hope.
I am not comfortable with the birthday ritual. But it is the cheapest way to get all my children and grandchildren together, around me, around a place that was, and still home.
My 50thanniversary in 2010 was a happy one. That day also marked the 50th Independence Day anniversary of my country. I was happy for the strength of the country’s citizens; their determination to succeed even when they had little. Many questioned the celebration for it wasn’t the best of times for my country. We didn’t have light. Doctors were on strike. And the jobs were still available mostly for the foreigners; the ones that live in Ikoyi and Lekki, and drive big big black jeeps. Well, Nigerians actually drive them around. So, I would say the ones that sit at the owner’s corner and smoke cigars while calculating Naira and converting same to pounds and Dollars.
Goodluck Jonathan’s government spent a huge sum that October. I can’t remember the amount now. But my Casio calculator couldn’t accommodate the digits. Huge.
Tomorrow’s celebration would be a bigger and happier one. My country has a female president; Dr (Mrs.) Uche Akunyili. Her mother served as NAFDAC boss and information minister and gave the importers and producers of fake products a very tough fight.
I would watch the 80th independence activities on my Dangote TV; it’s a made in Nigeria TV. And it shows as fine as the Sony 3Ds we had before.
The president would present a report on how the country easily achieved constant power 30 days after being sworn in. And on the miracles she performed to change our hospitals and schools to world class.
“Grand Pa we are here.”
That should be Ada, my youngest grandchild. She knows where best to find me; in my study.
Well, I think my party starts now.