Many years ago, I saw this 7yr old boy at a Baby Shower. He was pacing around the food table. He looked so lost. However, there was so much to choose from! So…I walked up to him, to see if he needed help and I said:
“Hi. How are you? Would you like something to eat?”
He did not respond.
“Are you okay?”
He looked at me, with a grin and still said nothing.
“Where is your mom…dad?
He was still starring at me.
I thought maybe he was lost, and obviously hungry. I asked him if he came with someone. He was still quiet, and now looked even more confused. Finally, he busted out & said;
“a ka m she Aba wee bia.”
For non-Igbos, this statement means: “I recently came from Aba.” Aba in the Eastern Nigeria.
Apparently, I was rambling to myself. This little boy did not understand a single word I was saying in English. Unknown to me, he totally understood, just the Igbo language.
He quickly started to stuff his plate with food, fruits and snacks on his left hand, then, grabbed a bottle of Vitamalt; tucked it in armpit and, walked away.
At this point I, looked lost & confused!!! Then I said in a low tone;
“Oh! Awww!! Eyaa!!!”
He moved away from me, as fast as his feet could carry him, of course, with his food & more. He was probably thinking I was the Food Police.
Something amazing recently happened!!! I accepted a Facebook request, from an unknown individual. We have more than 18 friends in common. Guess who it was? You guessed right. It was him. The little boy from Aba! WOW!!
The question for me was: How did he know who I was? I never mentioned my name to him. It has been 15years. I have grown, obviously.
He inboxed me, saying: “That same day, at the Baby Shower, after I was done eating, I went to my mom & told her about a lady that was trying to help me. I had pointed you out to my mom. She knew who you were. I do remember your face. It ‘s still the same, kinda. Thank you for that day. I apologize for my rudeness. So…how are you doing?”
WOW!!! I am still amazed.
I bet ‘this little boy,’ who is not so little anymore, has lost his ‘Aba’ accent, and has become one of the ‘Digital Natives.’
I love the uniqueness in every language/accent.
The rainbow needs nothing else, but the sun to shine. Time was all it took for ‘him’ to be transformed.
Time flies; & things change…and people do too.