Tales of Joy
The sunset behind Mama’s house was showing it’s face when Segun the son of Oni arrived. He was not alone. This time, he was in the company of Baba Ope and Mama Ope. Mama welcomed Segun, ignoring greetings from others. Joy stayed with the couple in Ibadan but the wife made life unbearable for him during his stay. The elders have a way of proving points with proverbs. Mama Olole said that no matter how bad your child is you can not send the child as a meal for the leopard.
Joy returned from Baba Elero Ori Oke to meet the august visitors. Baba Elero Ori Oke operated a grinding machine. Mama Olole preferred grinding beans for her moi moi with him because his machine was always clean and for Joy, he enjoyed going to his place on the hilly part of the town because it was fun for him. He also got to meet his classmates staying up there like kings. They tended to see all the vicinities around the town.
Joy prostrated to greet his uncle when he saw him. He usually refered to him as father. His uncle responded well to his greetings and appeared happy to see his lost but found son. He asked: “Why didn’t you tell me you’ve not been going to school in Ibadan?” Joy did not answer because he had assumed telling him would had yielded no result because he was not there when his wife made him hawk on the streets without allowing him go to school. However,Joy had communicated despair effectively those days through his looks but his uncle had missed it.
While every other person in Mama’s house were talking, Mama was busy with cooking her ‘moi moi’. She was too consistent to let her customers down. Joy joined her and soon the ‘moi moi’ got ready. She served the visitors before her first customer arrived. It was hot and tasty. She served the moi moi with eko and everyone ate heartily except Mama Ope who was still swimming in the river of regrets for all the bad things she did to Joy in Ibadan.
There was flash from the moon. Segun had retired to his father’s compound. Mama Ope and Baba Ope had gone to bed after a long day’s travel. Mama and Joy sat in front of the house and Mama asked Joy again who cleaned the marks on the wall. He could no longer hide after Mama told him the tale of who stole palm oil from the roof and the accomplice who supported the thief in the act. Joy told Mama how his uncle from the boarding house then during one of his visits had invaded mama’s treasury in her absence. He was not aware of the marks but Joy the accomplice, had helped him by altering mama’s marks. Her own method of keeping accounts of her money. She scolded him a little and sent him to bed. She then looked forward to the next visit of her son.
Written by Funke Awodiya