Friday, November 06, 2015

The “Aso Ebi” is N60, 000 only!

I have often been misjudged as complacent. The more diplomatic critics say I’m lackadaisical. This ought to bother me but I wave it off with the thought that it doesn’t really matter on the scale of things.

I have made it a principle I live by….that I will not bother or worry about circumstances I have no control over or cannot change. Depending on the situation, I’ll just cut my losses and move on.

I sat down there and stared into oblivion, bored out of my mind as my Oga, Chief Tega rattled on for the third time in two months about how wasteful we are as a people. His ‘sermon’, usually delivered in high pitch, goes something like:

“I don’t understand where this country is going to. We are just damned wasteful as a nation! Why do we feel obligated to always pick a colour theme and then still go ahead to pay for Aso Ebi?! We pile up a truck load of souvenirs we really don’t need at the end of a party when there are people starving and homeless. It’s simply pathetic!”

Of course some of the words vary each time but it’s still the same message every time. I often wonder why he subjects me to such torture since I’m not in the position to answer any of his questions nor can I wave a wand to change people’s mentality.

What makes the scenario hilarious is the fact that he would, after his sermon, write me a cheque and send me to pay for the Aso Ebi anyway! Sometimes, he would even drive with me to the ATM to withdraw the money.

I understand him though. Regardless of how he feels, he is a rich and influential man who can’t afford to decline the proposal of Aso Ebi. It would make him appear cheap and his wife can’t bear to wear something different at parties.

This Aso Ebi is for Mrs Hadizat Billings’ 70th birthday party. As I drove to her house, I reminisced about how Oga had told the same story last two weeks when Chief Onubogwu’s daughter was to marry …and last month when Mr Adekoya was to be buried …and six weeks ago when his own niece was to christened her son. It kinda makes him a hypocrite, doesn’t it?

We talk too much in this country and get absolutely nothing done. If you flip through local channels every morning, you will see lots and lots of breakfast shows where one or more guests have been invited to discuss issues affecting our nation. All that talk for only-God-knows-how-long and we are still where we started.

As I parked and walked into Mrs Billings’ home, I thought to myself that in fact, we are worse off than when we started. The entirety of the Nigerian situation has caused everyone to become highly analytical.

I put a pause on my thoughts as I make the necessary transactions. Where was I? Ha….yes! Poverty, NO income, high cost of living has robbed us all of whatever measure of sentiments we ought to have.

People die of hunger and malaria in our country…can you imagine that? We are still struggling with Polio after almost 30years of battle! Our presidential candidates still use mundane things such as water supply, better roads, steady lights, improved medical services and provisions of social amenities as campaign strategy…what a shame! Talk my a**!

I stop over at a supermarket to buy some groceries that madam needed and headed to the house. I called out to the cook as I brought the grocery bags in. I overheard talk of Chinasa’s graduation in two weeks and smiled. Oga must be really proud! His last baby has just finished school…it must be quite a relief!

As I walked into the parlour to hand over the Aso Ebi to my Oga and sign off for the day, I halted as I heard him say,

“We should pick Ankara for Chinasa’s graduation party oh! It’s a special occasion now!”


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