‘Mummy Ade Ade…! ‘Mummy Ade Ade…!
My father belowed from the sitting room; switching off the little radio he’s holding to his ears; whose sounds has become a morning culture in our home.
My name is Adewunmi Adebayo and I am an MBBS 2 student of the prestigious college of medical sciences, University of Maiduguri. From feeling awkward anytime I’m called with such name, I guess I’m now used to it, being called ‘Ade Ade’ by my own parents at home after they over heard my friends in the area calling me by that. Its three months into the lockdown caused by the global pandemic and like every other Nigerian student, I’m also at home cooling my heels, away from reading my huge medical school textbooks, a new hobby has been forced on me; sleep most hours of the day, chat on my cell phone all night, and of course, do what I dreaded the most, washing the dishes.
“Where is your mother…? He asked me.
‘She’s in the kitchen! I replied rather calmly and resumed cleaning my mother’s shoes.
Every morning like today’s; My father, Baba Ade Ade as he’s fondly called by everybody in my community would always refuse to take part in our ritual morning devotions my mother do lead with all manners of seriousness and feigned righteousnes, stressing that morning prayers and songs were for the Catholics like my mum and not for a devotee of the Cherubim and Seraphim church like him; adding, his favorite and somewhat ‘now odd’ phrase, …Who no chop for morning but go sabi pray wella…!
This very morning; he’s waken up earlier complaining bitterly about the Federal Governments’ decision to extend a stay at home order that has been in place for two months now for a further two more weeks as it aims at curbing the spread of Corona Virus disease; an illness my neighbor once told us it has claimed the lives of hundreds of people in the ‘White Man’s country’ abroad. Although being a medical student, I have paid no attention to the spread of the disease or its global effect, I am one of the disciples that still believe corona virus is a hoax and its lethality, being exaggerated.
Moreover, ‘all I want is for schools to reopen so I can finally leave Mushin, my hometown and go to school, to at least, take a break from washing dishes and other house chores i am now compelled to do at home’.
What really got him angry should also be the letter of notification that was sent to him a day earlier by the Landlord, reminding him of our rent bills for the past month we were unable to pay; threatening we did be forced out of the compound if we don’t pay on time.
His hissings could be heard loudly piercing through the early morning breeze as he tries to get hold of a much better station in his little radio as he continues to tune away Nigeria’s ‘Hip- hop’ music’s been played in other stations.
“Mummy Ade Ade…! He said another time, wearing a sour face and making his way to the kitchen where my mum sits frying plantain for the days breakfast.
” What is it Baba Ade Ade? My mum replied barely interested in her husband’s early morning drama for the day.
“It is in the news o …! Its in the news; Dem just announce am; Hey! He slammed in pidgin, with a stress on the ‘H….ey’ to show his bereavement towards the news which he’s just heard over the radio.
” Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to the president has died of corona virus just last night…! He continued; ‘wetin no go finally kill person for this country! He stressed rhetorically slamming his hands against each other.
‘Ehen, who’s Kayari? My mum asked mixing up the name in a manner somewhat that shows she doesn’t know the person that’s been talked about in the news.
“…He’s the right hand man to the president, my father started again; ‘Na him dey sit down chop food for the same plate with the president, this disease don kill am…’ He reiterated convincingly.
”Ehen! How this news take put food for our own plate here for house? Ati…! How this news take buy us Akamu wey we go use chop plantain with am this morning? My mother hissed and slammed accusingly.
” Oh..! Innocent poor people wey area boys dey kill everyday for this compound, you ever hear am for news? She asked again rather uninterested; this time with a feigned anger as she tries to wipe off the deluge of sweat that has besieged her face.
‘Make he rest in peace o! She continued, ‘And as for we wey still dey alive, I pray make hunger no kill us…; shey e don do! She walks away from him and returns to her stool standing by the Gas cylinder she uses in frying.
“Woman! My father called out; I bring you news not all newspapers can lay their hands on this morning and ….”,
‘I don hear o; go rest jhoor’, My mother cuts in.
‘As you no get work do, naso so news you dey carry upandan, mtchew! She mumbled and murmured more words as her voice grows thinner and fades through the thin air.
Writen by Ogwucheson Rabiu Munkaila (Jr_Carson), University of Maiduguri, Borno State, NIGERIA