Grandfather’s chest box

“If someone has bitten you, he has reminded you that you have teeth.” Kenya proverb.

I asked my father what the deal was with his Iroko chest box. I have known this box to be special since I was little, it stays under his bed and in it were journals and diaries of my father from before I was born.

“Apoti Baami nuu” – “My father’s chest box”, he said to me. Your father’s? I was ecstatic! All of my grand parents from both families were long gone before I was born  and apart from the house in the village and the farm that belonged to my paternal grandparents, there were nothing personal around that I knew of, not even a photo! By the time I was old enough to appreciate stories about my paternal grandparents, my father had lost his voice so took solace in his pens and journals.

My mother chipped in to talk about my grandfather’s dentures and how they became his ‘little babies’ the first few weeks he got them. My grandfather had dentures? How could he have afforded those close to sixty years ago? Where did he get them done?

Everything becomes clearer by the day why there will always be endless conflicts and lots of it in Nigeria if government continue to turn deaf ears to landownership crisis like the one in Modakeke and Ife

My grandfather got his dentures fitted at Ibadan, likely to be LUTH.

My grandfather’s dentures and his chest box have nothing to do with what really is boiling in me however, they were crucial clues to the lives people of his time lived in the village – He was not rich, however, he was content. He lived well, he was able to afford the cost of his health services and food for his family.

What has changed:

My grandparents had seven children, four were male so family farm was divided between them (leaving gender inequality for another time). Only one was educated to Standard Six, others enrolled in various apprenticeships. At one point all of them returned to the village, each working on his portion of the farm.

Any mystery as to why there were ongoing conflicts when Ife insisted on Modakeke to continue paying Isakole on three hundred years old lease?

There’s just not enough to keep feeding idle hands of great grand children who relied on proceeds from informal lease between great grand parents. Simple.

The same piece of land has not and will never increase in size, however the population has quadrupled in the last century – why is our elders not seeing this and find constructive ways of dealing with the conflict in the way that a group of people are not alienated on their land?

Lease on land met brick wall in the 1980’s after Oba Okunade Sijuade decided to reintroduce his rights to absolute power for good reasons but now outright chase of people from their farms is the new strategy.

My question is, those people especially in Ogudu Village, will they remain quiet for ever? They are hurting, no one is listening or think they are making any sense.

Yet, our president Jonathan Goodluck had time to visit the “Notable Yoruba Kings” yesterday in my hometown to discuss politics – Well, we all know these Obas do not give a hoot about the common people and neither did GEJ.

I have a word for all of them – Ile ti a fi ito mo iri in yio wo – A house built of saliva will collapse when dew hit.

15 thoughts on “Grandfather’s chest box

    1. Everything you’ve heard about I-know-who is true and many more. Bigamist in literal sense? Of course – that is actually fashionable in Nigeria and to be honest not my cup of tea.

      I don’t think the guy (given the way he looks as if just been dropped on earth) really wanted to go for second term but more like answering to his godfathers/mothers now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They say he has a ‘first’ wife that madam P wants hidden from view, yet he still visits her (and their child) to which madam P frowns and behaves irrationally – but with her who knows what’s irrational- I agree, he didn’t want to run for office this time, but he is, so there you go.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As you have rightly noted, Madam P and Clueless Presido are lobsters and the news about second wife is not news to Nigerians, most of our public figures be it Christian or not practice polygamy and for the Muslims – the more the merrier plus 72 virgins await in afterlife.

          I actually think that is sensible that GEJ keeps in touch with his children from ex as most Naija men in that situation just ‘pay up’ and moved on to another Madam P

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Ouch, “a house built of saliva will collapse when dew hit” so Folakemi, tell me/us when you really think! I take it, from your reaction to the visit of my “idol” he can not count on your support. Remember, politicians, no matter where they may be (or who they may be, your friend Barack) care nothing for the ‘common’ people; except those few months before Election Day and then all the largesse of the state is bestowed upon the ‘Obas’, the so-called ‘elders’, religious (ha) leaders and other so-designated community leaders – it is hard to bite when you have no teeth, all you can do is ‘flap your gums’ and to that, no one listens, not in Lagos and clearly not in Washington

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know re teeth vs gums so sad but hey, the brainwashed guys in Borno used to flap their gums you see, then they thought, it’s only Hausas problem, few years later it is all of our issue that needs our collective inputs even then GEJ still handling with “kids gloves” and so he will until it is out of hand – already is.

      What I think? I think you can have your ‘friend’ over there in Washington, and please take Madam P along, Nigeria is rich enough to pay all the costs associated and give me my ‘friend’ with all his imperfections and please include sister M – I would be glad.

      The irony is Nigeria has plenty of Obama and Michelle – no way in hell would they ever be allowed in the ‘corridor’ because political offices in Nigeria is rotational among few people so when it’s someone’s turn as they say, it would not matter if such is Scarecrow of W of Oz, they will be installed!

      Yea, sadly we will continue to flap our gums and wouldn’t give up even if they bleed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My dear sister, if it’s all the same to you, I would gladly allow your ‘friend’ time to “discover his ancestral roots” and while he does, I’ll be more than willing (if not ‘able’) to “escort” our ‘lady’ Michelle about the sights and sounds of San Franciso and yes, please allow him all the time he needs! As for Goodluck and his cabal, brother!

        Liked by 1 person

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