The DJ who was garbed in full Bayelsan outfit had the popular Omawunmi track ‘if you ask me?’ playing as my family arrived.
I could see my younger brother mouthing the lyrics of the song as he stepped into the sitting room, his eyes wandering, probably searching for me.
Who plays that in a naming ceremony ?
It was meant to be a small get together for a naming ceremony and as the mother of the new born baby, I can tell you authoritatively that this ceremony was not a very small get together.
There was a set of traditional music makers who seemed to be testing their percussion instruments as the popular talking drum gave out its usual deep grunts as it was being stroked.
My dad was not a happy man as he wore a serious look on his face even as Rotimi’s family came to pay their compliments to him. He seemed out of sorts in the scenery.
The MC finally handled the microphone and tried some dry jokes which nobody laughed to and he wisely discontinued the trend.
‘We will go to the business of today’, he announced after the opening formalities, ‘and I will at this juncture call on our guests to tell us the name they have given our new son’.
I glanced at my dad as he shifted uneasily in his seat. I had so far successfully prevented him from catching my eyes but I could feel his gaze scorching my skin as I pretended to be busy attending to the baby.
From the corner of my eyes, I saw my mum nudge him as his reluctance was becoming noticeable by everyone present and becoming really embarrassing.
As he rose to his feet, I could hear a few sighs in the room.
My Dad’s voice was crisp and clear, just like I had always known it to be.
‘I sent Yewande to school,’ He began, the anger not lost in his voice, ‘and if everything has gone to plan, she should have been writing her final exams right about this time, but instead what do we have?’ He asked no one in particular, scanning the silent room with his gaze. ‘Here I am being asked to give a name to Yewande’s baby with Rotimi, one of my drivers’, He said almost sadly.
‘It is said that its a fallen fence that the goat climbs upon and I believe it better now, but much more than blaming the fence, I would blame the bulldozer that fell the fence. Without much ado, I will call the baby the name of his father,’ my father said much to the excitement of Rotimi’s folks, who engaged in back-slapping.
Let the man finish his talk, the MC said as he urged my dad who had stopped talking to continue.
‘I will call the boy Junior,’ my dad continued.
Rotimi Jnr. the family clown said gleefully, once again interrupting my dad.
Rotimi’s folks had another minute of happy chatter as my dad waited patiently to drop his bombshell.
‘Rotimi didn’t impregnate my daughter,’ my dad said.
The sighs were heavy in the room as everyone sat up in their chairs.
I even raised my eyes to look directly at my dad for the first time that day.
‘I will call the boy ASUU Jnr.’ My dad said with a steely resolve that made you realize he meant every word he was saying.
‘It was ASUU that impregnated my daughter by their strike not Rotimi,’ my dad said, ‘so his name is ASUU Jnr.’
Immediately the talking drummer and his group went into action as they began to dish out heavy danceable beats, synonymous with victory. They were clothed in overalls with the letter A,S,U,U inscribed on them.
While everyone was still trying to figure out what just happened, the DJ picked up the microphone and began to speak, ‘this is not acceptable to us,’ he started, ‘ASUU Jnr. is not an appropriate name for the boy,’ he protested.
Oooh, Rotimi’s family chorused.
‘You should either call him Jonathan Iweala or Okonjo Goodluck but to call him ASUU Jnr, Never!’ He said with a show of brash authority.
Who is he? Members of Rotimi’s family and mine started whispering amongst themselves as my father stared on with a confused look.
‘Oya Jam music for me,’ the DJ ordered his assistants who responded almost immediately like they were waiting for his order.
if you ask me, na who I go ask, the matter wey we see so…
Not wanting to be out done, the talking drummers started off on another round of boisterous beats, combining well with the DJ to form a loud cacophony.’
It was clear that this had become a competition of which noise could be louder as each group pressed to subdue the other to the horror of everyone present.
It’s enough! It’s ok!! Members of both families screamed at the noise makers but to no avail and just then my phone rang…
If you ask me, na who I go ask, the matter wey we see so…
That was the familiar ring tone from my phone as it stirred me up from sleep. My head was pounding like the fight was still going on right inside my head…what kind of a stupid dream is this?, I asked myself as I picked up my phone from the bed.
‘Mstcheeew,’ I hissed as I saw the caller, I cut the call and immediately switched off my phone.
Can you guess who was calling me?
Of course you’re right, it was Rotimi, my daddy’s driver. ‘I don’t care the message he’s trying to deliver, I’m not picking that call. Not in this life, I bind every spirit of Rotimi and I jump this matter pass by the settlement of ASUU and Jona.
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