Just as I was playing keyboard on my phone’s QWERTY pad, I caught up with a friend and we got talking. A very long chat it was and trust me, it got me thinking. And so, the journey into the world of “what used to be” began.
Once upon a time, to woo a lady, you had to go through an alarena, you would sit down to write beautifully composed love letters even if it had to take you reading a dictionary over the night. The times when you would sneak out of the house unnoticed to meet your ololufe at your secret abe-igi hideout. Times when your intended would never have the guts to crane his neck too close to you for fear of being stricken down by the magun gods. A time when all the damsels in the neighbourhood looked forward to the moonlit night when they would showcase their hard-practiced dance-steps in front of the prospectives. Then, the prospectives would watch with pride and admiration as these damsels advertised their innocence with wriggling waists saying “catch me if you can”. Of course, the men knew the implication, “untouchable until you are capable”, if the men were adiyes, the damsels were agbado inu igos, awomoju for them. These damsels were the bush meat the hunter couldn’t catch except he had an AK47, if you know what that means. Those days, good old days. Those days when the crowd would patiently wait at the door while finally the groom made his triumphant entry into the holy of holies, eagerly expecting the blood-stained aso funfun, a true evidence that he and only he had passed through the gates of Hymen and had successfully broken the chains. Good old days indeed. Then on sighting the blood-stained aso funfun the crowd would burst forth singing a song in far contrast from the intro of Beautiful Nubia’s Ikoko Akufo or Asa’s Bamidele, as though they also shared in the pleasure of breaking the gates of brass.
Unfortunately, that blood-stained aso funfun has been replaced with sagging waist-lines and stretch mark ridden bulging twin towers struggling to survive in less than one-quarter yard tops (for real I saw that one day and you cannot imagine how disgusted I was). Those echoes of innocence have been drowned by the floods of unending weekend vacations at the intended’s house like one running sea-patrol on the Niger-Delta. This leaves me wondering if there would be any honey left at all in the moon at the end of the day. Not to forget that despite the several rehearsals of the wifely roles of cooking for him, making his bed while he’s away at work, doing his laundry while he enjoys Saturday soccer, our divorce rate in this part of the world is fast taking a meaningful position in the world divorce marathon. So pathetic!
I cannot totally agree that the days of Ijapa and Yannibo were the best of days but what we have right now is a sham, a total mockery of love and relationships, marriage and family. We are living in a time when a mother just might forget the baby sucking at her bosom though the scriptures say otherwise. A time when a bride will spend so much throwing a lavish wedding rather than invest on building her character, the very thread that holds the fabric of her home together, a time when what the elders would term esoteric has become regular for all, a time when sacrilege has become the norm, a time when fugitives are celebrated and even awarded publicly. A time when the Fesobis of this world do not have any eso left in them. A time when even the Suruleres of this world only have as much patience as getting noodles cooked, talk more of waiting for the palm tree to fruit. A time that Olorunsola has no regard for God who gave the wealth in the first place. Come to think of it, how far has our “Facebook love” and “2go fever” (mindless pinging if you ask me) taken us? Despite our “packaging and paroles” , all we have to boast of is less relevant than the closing price on the floor of the stock exchange is to a toddler, afterall biscuits mean the world to him. If the good old days was our biscuit (be it digestive or cabin), we would chew at it joyfully, relishing its taste and sending it in with the water of contentment, at least the world would be much better and more habitable.
I do not condemn advancement and development, don’t get me wrong please but when the sounds of the chirps of birds and the crowing of cocks at daybreak are being replaced by gun-shots and bomb explosions, we could replace Ayi Kwei Armah’s “Why are we so blest?” with “Are we so blest afterall?”