By Oluseyi Dasilva
It was an epoch making celebration as guests were there in their numbers, wining and dining, rejoicing with the celebrant whose fiftieth birthday coincided with her twenty five years in marriage. Engineer Fola Kuti and his wife Dr Adediwura Kuti were invited to the floor for the couples dance, but Dr Adediwura told the MC that she has something to say before the dance. I looked into her direction and saw tears rolling down like water from a broken pipe. “Honey, are you alright?” Her husband asked but the more she was asked questions, the more tears flowed down her cheeks. She managed to reach the podium where she cleared her throat and took the Microphone.
“If you have a mother that is as virtuous as mine, consider yourself blessed by God and lucky; take care of her, adore her and worship her like small god,” said Adediwura in her opening speech. She further added: “My mother is a God sent angel, by God’s grace, her guidance and unrelenting effort brought me this far to become what I am today.” Pointing to the direction where her aged mother, Madam Fehintola Atolagbe, was seated she said “Maami, among the several mothers in this world, you are the uncommon vessel, full of virtues. Some women just gave birth to children and leave them to their fate; when these children are in trouble, they have no one or anywhere to run to; challenges of life gets the children frustrated and destinies are eventually troubled while some of these children die not achieving destiny. My own mother stood by me all through my childhood and guided me till I am where I am today; she’s been with me even in my twenty five years of my marriage. She remains a dependable back bone after God. Despite that I am her only child, Iya Wura, as people fondly call her, told me that aside Jesus all she has is me and nothing more. Initially, the way she talks about Jesus, I always think that she refers to one of her children, older than me. I was raising hope to see this Jesus someday in the physical until the day I asked her about my other siblings especially Jesus and when he would come back. My mother started laughing, she understood my level of ignorance and explained:” ‘Jesus is not your siblings; he is my Lord and Saviour, my father and my maker. My knowledge about him gives me consolation in all situations and guides me in all challenges of life. He is my husband, my friend, my son, my father, my all; just name it, he is my all in all.’ Adediwura continued: “I looked into my mother’s eyes and she saw that I still didn’t understand her anologies then she sat me down and tutored me as she usually does. My mom loves Jesus so much, I hope I will be able to share that trait as her child. She personalizes Jesus as if he belongs to her alone.”
Then she asked her guests in the hall “Hope I am not bogging you with my long stories?” But a roar of “nooo, please speak on” filled the place. She then continued: “My mother taught me all that I cannot learn from any school book, particularly how to relate with others. On a particular day, when I attained the age of fifteen, Iya Wura called me and asked me, I think she was guided by her instinct. She asked me:” ‘That boy, your friend, the one in your class, what is his name?’ “She had always taught me never to be afraid to tell her anything no matter how hard, but I was reluctant to speak that day. I tried to change the topic but she pinned me down to the discussion and said as she used to:” ‘My heaven made alloy of Crown turned Gold, Adediwura, tell me about that boy.’ “Then I opened up that he is fine. His name is Gbolagade Adeosun. I saw her feign some smiles that I cannot explain”, ‘Adediwura, you are coming of age, how do you feel when you see Gbolagade?’ “I replied that I love him. I love it when he holds my hands on our way going to school because I always branched to call him from their house. Again my mother smiled and drew me to close to her in a warm embrace. She held me by the shoulder as she signaled that she wants to hear more. My mother allowed me to complete all the stories then her mood changed as she exclaimed:” ‘Adediwura, feelings for a male at this stage of your life is an attempt to kill me. You want your mother to die? Do you want me to die?’ “Then fear gripped me and I jumped to my feet as my lips turned pale and dry and I called her, Maami, you shall not die. I didn’t plan to kill you, please. I looked into her eyes and I saw it swollen with tears, I became more terrified, confused and regretted my actions in secret with Gbolagade. I felt that I have done something that puts my mother’s life at risk.
Still narrating her story, she said: “I quickly confessed my secret sin of ignorance to her. I told her how Gbolagade kissed me at their house and how I enjoyed the kiss. I told her that I would have loved him do more other times. I never knew it could cause her to die. I begged her, maami, please don’t die. As I confessed what happened between Gbolagade and myself my mother looked again into my eyes and to worsen the matter, I saw the swollen tears dropped off her cheeks, I broke down in tears too; I could not hold back my tears, fear gripped me as my knees could no longer carry me. I fell to the ground, holding her legs, shouting, maami, please you will not die, and nothing will do you. My mother wept bitterly but later, she lifted me up, held me close to her body in warm embrace, saying” ‘If you don’t kill me, I will not die.’ “She then reminded me of my experience the day that I ate an uncooked walnut. I quickly remembered the unpleasant feelings that rendered me helpless almost throughout that day. How my teeth ached me for almost a week. She told me that allowing a male, of any age to touch my body at that tender age was like eating unripe fruits and it will not only harm my teeth but will make me uneasy. She also said:” ‘Please don’t put me to shame, don’t kill me, you know that you are my only child. My hope and prayer to God is the grace to pilot you to a place of honour. Please, don’t let me down. One who has a long way to go doesn’t mingle with those who have no destination. You are a child of destiny, dedicating an essential part of your heart to loving a man, at this age scares me for you; it’s like passing a death sentence on your mother. If your desire is for me to die shameful death then allow people call me names, then go on and play with that boy.’ “Throughout that day, I could neither eat nor step an inch away from my mother. The only time I saw her shed such tears like that was a day when she held my father’s picture and said,” ‘Michael Atolagbe, you left me all alone with your daughter. I am doing my best, God helping, me to pilot her to where your heart desires.’
“My mother further warned me that if any male tells me that I am beautiful, I need not answer them but that if I must respond, I should just tell such a person that my mother already told me, so I know it. She said:” ‘ If the person still continues with his story telling effort, feign being in a hurry; stage a walk away. Escape from that devil, such men are evil. Men are dangerous, they would laugh with you, pretending to admire you by saying sweet words but it’s all deception; the devil has been using them to truncate the destinies of many unsuspecting females. Adediwura, If anything happens to you, I will just die.’ “I quickly held her and promised that I will not let it happen again.”
While Adediwura narrated her teenage experience, the whole event hall remained in pin drop silence as her tears and outpour of emotion arrested everyone. Some mothers were seen tapping their daughters to listen to what she was saying and all movements came to a halt. Adediwura continued her speech saying: “My mother told me that Gbolagade is a good boy, but expressed her reservations about him. She said,” ‘A young man of his age, who had started kissing a girl, holding a girl by the hand and knows how to pass his emotional feelings to a female cannot go very far in life because that attitude already show what takes prominence in his life. What caused the ship of several men to capsize in life is their inordinate urge for the opposite sex.’ “My mother halted for a while and asked:” ‘what was his last position in class?’ “And I quickly replied, Sixteenth position.” She exclaimed, ‘Sixteenth position? How bad it is for that young chap? You see what I mean? You came first in your class and the dirty boy with low mentality, who came sixteenth behind you, is kissing you. Do you know that class accomplishments has created a big gap between the two of you? What happens if in another six or seven years after now you see him and you are ashamed to even greet him?’ “My mother went away as if in anger and entered our library, sitting all alone but as I went close, I still saw tears cover her face and I became more sober.”
Adediwura said that from that day she distanced herself from the boy, Gbolagade though she still likes him because he dressed neatly, combs his head elegantly and almost all girls in their school wants to associate with him.
To continue on Friday