The only parent I knew for the first seven or so years of my life was my mother. I didn’t know my father when I was born and I didn’t ask questions. Knowing my mother was enough for me at the time and that wouldn’t be surprising considering my mother is a woman of strength.
It wasn’t till I got to the latter part of primary school that the question of “father” became prominent. In fact, it came in the form of an insult against my mother and I made sure the lad paid dearly for it. He paid such a princely sum, I was practically banned from his street in Abule Oja where I pursued him to with my gang of nerds and besieged his home for hours. It didn’t even occur to me that my parents would be married soon and that I would miss the wedding!
After that wedding ceremony, my mother moved away to live with my father while I went back to living in Bariga with my daddy wa. I saw my mother only on Sundays at church where she was a steward.Daddy wa had spoilt me from my childhood and was the foremost father figure in my life. He would sometimes bend over backwards, almost literally, to get me anything I wanted (including, but not limited to, kulikuli, ekanna Gowon, tanfiri, and OK pop) and I would reward him by sitting on his laps.
When I finally got to meet my father, it was on a Sunday afternoon. My mother took me to visit him in the bungalow in Alausa that I still consider a beautiful place for any one to live in. He had not returned from church when we arrived and while my mother prepared lunch, I sat on the porch, posing on one of the chairs like those rich and vain people on the cover ofOvation. I was still in my daydream when he drove up to the gate and Gbenga ran to open the gate for him. The gates seemed to open in slow motion and then I saw him. He had half stepped out of the car and was standing with one leg still in the car. His hands were on the open door as he responded to Gbenga’s greetings. He had on a blue cap and his agbada was pure white. His face was round and fair and for that moment, with him standing there (in all of his majesty), I felt like I had just seen an angel. He was so handsome!
When he finally came over to shake my hand, my heart skipped several beats when he said “I am your father”.