Friday, March 11, 2011

Abara toh behd!!!

This is dedicated to my mother. Maami! Action lady fun ra e! Momsie toh behd. I luff you plenty plenty. You too mush jor! Another mama is a counterfeit!!! I also dedicate this to Dame Patience (Patience pronounced Pachyence or Patient) just cos I'm loving her swag right now. Unblerra today! Unblerra tomorrow!! Unblerra forever!!!

I am 100% naija. Omo eko gan gan via Abeokuta! So this post is a homage to my roots and I will be speaking in what some of you may term 'a razz way' but na you get ishoro. If e no gree you, abeg fly commot my blog one, two.
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So, omo yoruba ni mi o!!! Swagger!!!! ( I don dey digress. No vex. 'Bet' omo k'omo ni Kas! Omo ake!!!) I was on my lunch break yesterday and I saw one child acting the fool and his mother was speaking softly to him "Tobi, behave!....Tobi....TOBI" and I'm sitting up expecting small action particularly when the child stuck out his tongue. I was so excited, I almost pissed myself! I said to myself "ehen, this is the very moment!!!" But the mother just rolled her eyes and freed the boy to run amok in Ceddi Plaza. Pa-ga!!!! I said to myself again 'Lakuli!!!!! Mo* ri nkan' (for my non yoruba readers, Lakuli is the highest form of shock for me, Mo* ri nkan na my eyes don see ) this aunty don too watch Super Nanny o!

At that moment I remembered my mother! Maami fun ra e! Sweet moda! Behave bi ti bawo? ( as how?) Do you even need public service announcement to behave? Na who pound yam for you tell you say to get soup no hard? (Yoruba proverb) Nobody will tell you to behave. Na two options you get: behave yaself OR face heaven go dey gist baba God wetin bring you come. Simple. My mama no dey for too mush talk, talk. In fact, she no dey for any talk talk sef. Wetin be the neighbor of Pachelli school for the Blind? The deaf and dumb one? Ehen! That school. E be like say na dem train my momsie. Na sign language my mama dey take talk. Whish one be sign sef? Na EYE language. By the time she give you eye, you sef go don soji yourself. One eye mean say sit down, na another one she go take tell you: shut up, na another one she go take tell you: no eat that food. Any eye you no recognize, no even ask question, just maintain yourself. No do ANYTHING! No chop, no sit, no stand, no talk, no breathe sef if you fit manage am.

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Na because of my mama I believe in the existence of Ninja. Momsie na ninja! Her weapon of choice, you ask? Well it is known as the 'ABARA' (CherryDictionary Abara: (pronu: A-ba-ra~ verb~ a hot, stinging slap delivered by the palm of the hand to any area of your backside)
Don't test my mother and the accuracy of her abara. To my mother the abara is personal. Yes, she can cane you, but why? You won't know how deep her anger is. Caning is like shooting someone, everyone can shoot a gun if need be and run away. Abara is like stabbing someone. You need heart to stab someone. You must get up, close and personal; look the person in the eye and deliver it and it requires some sort of skill.
Well my mother is a skilled abara marksman! Iya! I hail o! In too mush..again. If my mother handle your back with abara, your life will not be the same again. The kain abara wey be say your first reaction na to hold your back and form one kain shape wey be like say you dey dance makosa! The stealth sef is legendary, before you realize say she dey come, she done give you like 5 abara pa,pa,pa! Sharply! You know those abaras now, you're feeling the first one when the third one is landing. The cry sef go confuse for inside your body. She don do the thing wey she wan do finish like 5 minutes before your brain go begin dey command the water wey dey your body : "my guy, you no go come out? Work don dey o" you go come dey shout like otutupoyo baby wey dem just born, smack im yansh! Jesus! My mama try well, well. Me wey I be first pikin, na me suffer pass. E remain small, I go don join wishcraft people because my mama don turn me into mind reader. One thing wey my mama hate na make you begin sentence with 'I did not' or 'I don't know' Before you finish that sentence, she go just land give me one or two slaps quick,quick.
One crime wey be say my mama fit take finish your life na the crime of 'sluggish' Mama Cherry no dey take too kindly to person wey sluggish o! Sluggish be say you no add 6 hands join the 2 wey God give you come from heaven. My mama go stand on top stairs, begin dey shout command like Army General: do this one, do that one, wash this one, cook that one, sweep this one, mop that one, do everything before 2. The time go be around 1.30. If you know say no be my mama born you, feel free to no do the things. Infact, to say you go regret am, na play. The one wey pass regret no go even do you. The fear of Abara, is the beginning of wisdom.
The one wey dey even pain me na when my mama go dey give you proverb to punctuate the abara; her favorite one is : aya omode ni were di si, egba de ni ogun e. Translation: na the chest of small pikin craze gather pass, and na cane be im only remedy. When she don talk that one, I know say she don ready for me that day. Me sef, I go quickly accept my fate.

As my mama dey so, she no dey negotiate with terrorists: terrorists na you, the pikin. If she tell you enter house by 7; no african time dey there o. No go come. No "abeg na". 7 na 7. No be the 7 wey even dey your wristwatch, na the one wey dey the wall clock for the sitting room. Before you leave house, e go pay you make you synchronize your watch with the clock. If 7.01 knack meet you for inside compound, please believe that nothing can help you. You must chop at least 2 Abara as you dey enter house.
Even now, I dey see some children wey be say they go talk say they no chop the food wey them mama give them, she sef go come dey beg them "eat now, don't you want to grow big and strong like daddy?" Na you sabi whether you wan grow abi you wan shrink. How dat one take concyn my mama? You talk say you no chop; sharply she don pack the food commot your front before you fit say 'I go chop'. The one wey come bad pass na when the next day, she go just do magic, the food go just appear in front of you. Maybe every body dey chop rice, na yesterday eba with im soup you go dey chop, dey cry join. And if you give am one kain eye she go tell you "if I'm too wicked, go out and look for another mother and see the difference. Omo ti o to ile oko meji wo, o le mo iyato(translation: if u never try two husband house, how you go know the difference.)" And as she dey so, na the number of pikin wey she fit handle she born. She go handle 3 of us comfortably, without sweat. By the time she take my sister hook my neck, come turn my brother to cane to flog all of us, we go dey alright.

Infact, I dey suspect say my momsie dey use one kain juju. You know why? If she wan beat you, you don know say she wan beat you, una dey one accord, she go just talk one thing "don't let me chase you o, just stand where you are" e fit take am 2 years to reach where I dey, walahi, I no go move. Maybe no be jazz, na because I know say if she corner me after I don run finish na dat day I go meet Bros J. E better make I just respect myself, chop the Abara and go cry for room.

And my mama na comedian. Basket mouth no sabi near momsie. After she don use Abara take tattoo your back, wey be say na the last breath wey dey your mouth you dey take cry, she go just crack joke say "why are you crying? Did I beat you? Common, shut up there before I give you something to really cry about!" Shuoooo! You never beat me? The next stage after this na to kill me now. But as somebody who knows that, that was not a threat, that she's capable of even more, sharp,sharp I don shut up,begin dey make that noise like pig when you no fit cry out. Una know the noise na! No form butty for here.

Final thots: now that I'm older, my mum and I have become friends (and she has become softer to the benefit of my little brother) and it's been years since my last abara but I still remember how it felt. Even now that I'm older, there's no one I respect more than my parents. It is that ingrained thing from all those years of training and nurturing. And I'm still not old enough to attempt rudeness or something to my parents face. I may mumble but I must not be within their hearing range. My mum likes to joke that you're not too old for her to beat. 90% of me knows its a joke but 10% of me feels she can attempt one last hurrah! I've seen her 'buga' my brother a few times.
My mother was trying her best to make sure her kids tow the line. The bible says : spare the rod, spoil the child. The rod was never spared on me or my siblings. And I am her first child, so I was the guinea pig. Now that I'm older, I can differentiate between strict and wicked. She was strict and loving. Iya ni iya mi. And the way she raised me is my blueprint to raising my kids. Some of you may be too advanced for hitting kids but I totally subscribe to the idea. Not in an abusive way. It didn't make me fear my mum cos she hit us, it just made me respect boundaries and not trivialize anything I was asked to do. It didn't kill me either. Time outs and naughty corners may work too but a smack is more time tested. I'm not shitting on the way you may want to raise your kids but I like the old fashioned way and I will perfect my abara so that it will be just as deadly as my mother's. Future Cherrylings, oro le gbo yen.

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