MFON THE JOKER
I saw my mother fall some months ago and that sight just broke my heart. We were on our way from church; she was wearing a Gray coloured suit, a black flat shoes and was holding a portable sized handbag. I was walking behind her. I turned to look at something; can’t remember what it was , but by the time I turned to fix my eyes on my mum’s oversized skirt, I found her on the floor-face flat. I quickly moved to pick her up but two guys had gotten to her before I could; it was in front of Oando filling station around Obalende bridge, where people board BRTs. People had gathered, (some would have started taking pictures sef)the tears had already called for a meeting in my eyes when I saw Mfon laughing. She said “me and the way I walk”, I looked at her and said “when you will be walking like someone that wants to fly”. We walked past the crowd laughing as we spoke about the times she’ll hit her leg or wrist or toenails or something. I don’t know what they were thinking but we looked really weird. I teased her about being Humpty Dumpty who had a big fall and she said “na real humpty dumpty“. That’s Mfon for you!
MFON THE WARRIOR/STALKER.
Some months ago she came to Lagos to visit. She always travels back with a fight. The fight might be because I didn’t pick her call three times on thursday (probably because I was sleeping) or on Monday (probably because I was studying) or some minutes before she entered the house (probably because I already saw her getting out of the car). Lets be clear here. My mother is a ‘caller for the world’. Eh!!! Mfon can embarrass you with calls. One day Tutu and I went out, my phone was off, so, I mistakenly called her with Tutu’s phone. If you see the way Mfon called Tutu that day..chei!! I think it was close to 50 times..just to ask ‘what is happening??where is Esther?” Some days, I just lift my hands to God and say “thank you because Mfon is not on any social media”.
Anyways, our fights always has to do with me not picking my calls which she has translated to mean “you don’t care about me. You are not concerned”…even when I call Mfon, she will still complain that the duration of the call was not long enough. Sha, she came home that day to fight and I was not ready ( I’m never ready for a fight). So, as she yelled and complained about any and everything..I repeat ANY AND EVERYTHING, I just sat there, reading. Then she walked up to me and said her favourite phrase “you don’t feel concerned about me” and I just burst into laughter. Mfon likes to fight. I started chatting her up but she looked at me and said “you wil not ask your mother what she will eat. Change o!!!” Ahan!!! I smiled and said “oya what do you want me to prepare for you?” She now said “this girl!!! O!! How have you been feeding. Look at your stomach, it has finally rested on your back!!! Do you even eat. You’ve not grown taller. Since the last time I saw you, you don’t look the same. Change o!” I was already getting tired, so I went back to read. She looked at me and said “ahan, where’s the food?” I said “when I was asking you, you were using me to practice English” she said “I know you don’t want me here. But this is my house.” It took my mother hours to decide. But then that’s Mfon for you.
MFON THE SPIRITUALIST
One day, we were having our gossip session. It was going well, no drama, no complains. Just stories of the men in our lives..(see as I sound like a committed girlfriend..I think I should let you in on my men dramas and the boys who are supposed to be men but are not because they are still caught up in the ignorance of what it means to be a man..let me just begin with ‘males’ you people are funny sha!). Anyways, that day, we were sharing stories of men and their dramas when Mfon jumped from the chair, ran to pick a shoe and started saying repeatedly “I’ve caught you today, I’ve caught you today” I was lost. She tiptoed to the wall and hit what seemed like a Cockroach to me. As soon as she hit it she said “ahan! Finally, I’ve caught you”. Something weird happened. The Cockroach did not fall..it didn’t move, it just stayed there! My mother was freaked out. She yelled “Jesus!!! This is a broad day light display! What have I done to deserve this. Baby!!! Go and get anointing oil for me. Devil is a liar.” Let me not lie, I was scared o!!! But somehow, I just chilled. I looked at the thing again and noticed it was a shadow! The Cockroach was outside and what now appeared to be the devil was the cockroach’s shadow!! I started laughing so hard. It was the funniest thing I had seen all week. I cracked up but o!! I was so wrong. Mfon thought the spirit had entered my body. She started saying “blood of Jesus! I rebuke you in the name of Jesus” the more she said it, the funnier everything became. I finally found a voice, and I said “its the shadow”. She stopped “what shadow, spirit?” Ewo o!!! This woman will not kill me today. It took me approximately 20 minutes to convince Mfon it was a shadow she had been dealing with. When she was finally convinced, she laughed till tears rolled out of her eyes and said “afo!”meaning “you”.
“..INCASE THEY ASK US TO LEAVE NIGERIA..”
To be honest, it took me years to finally believe they will never announce on NTA news that Nigerians should leave Nigeria. As a child, Mfon will tell me to switch the channel to NTA so that incase they ask us to leave our country, we will be aware and we’ll know where to run. That story, apparently was a con to get me to watch news too..I always wondered what it will be like to be chased out of Nigeria. I know better now!!! Tell your mother I have caught her!!!
MFON THE TOWN CRIER
On our speech and prize giving day in F.G.C.L Ijanikin, I invited Mfon because I had some awards to receive that day, the biggest being from an old student who lived in America. It was for the Best graduating Student in English Language. I was excited because Mrs. Kusimo (remember the story of Ore? Kusimo was the one who said I was ‘juseless’ and had no future ambition. She was my English teacher) my English teacher was dumbfounded, apparently, she never ever ‘experred'(expected)it. It was a norm, when every student is called out, his/her parent comes out to ‘famz'(take a snapshot with the child). The first time I was called, Mfon didn’t come out. The second time, she didn’t. The third time, she didn’t. The fourth time I was called to receive the ‘Abroad guy’s’ award, Mfon didn’t come out. I was so mad!! After the program, she now came to ‘famz’; I asked her where she was and why she didn’t come out at least once, Mfon, patted me, smiled and said “remember when you were in pry4, when you had to come first in class in order to get a T.V for the house and how tough things were for us then? You came back home one day saying your pants fell on assembly ground (true story). When you were in jss3, I thought I couldn’t afford sending you to school again but seeing you on that podium today, how you shook those ‘big big’ people and your principal, I have never been more proud of you. I didn’t come out because I had tears in my eyes and I would’ve spoilt your picture”.
Tell your mother I am proud of her too.
MFON DROPS ITS LIKE ITS HOT
One day, a woman..(the mother of a girl who used to be my friend) came to visit my mum. Actually, she came to tell my mum that she has warned her daughter to stay away from me. That herself and her husband has worked really hard to make the girl who she is. She said stuffs to my mum that day and I prayed in my heart for a war not to break out. Apparently, her point was she doesn’t trust children from single parent homes. The response my mother gave her was epic she said “I’m sure your child is old enough to decide for herself. Lets not get involved in children’s matter”. When she left I said “did you miss the part where she called you irresponsible because you’re a single mom?” My mother answered “I heard everything she said. But I also know she doesn’t know me. And I know that in life, you don’t defend yourself, you prove your worth”
Funny, that lady was around on the next speech and prize giving day. The next time I went to see her daughter, this lady personally welcomed me into her house, served me a drink, chatted with me about school and ‘what have you’ then, she asked why I wasn’t around for my awards that year. I told her I got admitted into school. She said “Whao! Your mother must be so proud of you”. And in my head I was like ‘you cant even imagine”
Now, she attends my church..guess who her first friend was? Mfon of course! She saw our worth I guess!! Imagine what would’ve happened if Mfon picked up a fight with her.
Tell your mother that soon you will make her proud.
As a child, I was made to think like an adult. Mfon will say you cant have everything you want, ask yourself what you need then tell me. So when I had #5, and I wanted sweet but needed a pencil, I would go for the pencil..well, it didn’t happen all the time sha. But that lesson has never left my heart.
LESSONS FROM MY MOTHER
Before she left Lagos, she told me these things.
1. Snakes never go near bitter kola. It is pure and the edges makes it impenetrable.
2. He who bears the light is never afraid of darkness.
3. Love is not measured by what you give but the sacrifice you make. “Remember that even when you think no-one loves you, God does but you have to consider yourself lovable first..so it starts with you”
4. A man’s heart is where his money is. When a man you like wants to spend on you, allow him..it’ll bring him again because in a way he is making an investment.lool!
5. Do not compromise. Its either he is up to your standard or not. You are not a therapist or life coach!! (Lmao!!) Know what you deserve and dont compromise. Then she added “be realistic too”
6. Eat and sleep!! So you don’t look older than your age and your stomach doesn’t hug your back (her phrase for a flat stomach)
7. Don’t forget where you’re coming from.
So, tell your mother I am grateful she is alive..or that she visited earth and gave us a gift of you.
Tell your mother whether single or married that she is strong and I’m praying for her.
Tell your mother to smile at the camera because her smile outlives NTA news ( that’s pointless I guess)
Tell your mother Mfon has told me she is strong and capable of anything she lays her heart to do.
Tell your mother she is love..she is love.
Tell your mother today is Mfon’s birthday and her birthday too.
Tell your mother to hold on…you will make her proud soon.
#I’ve learnt a lot about mothers from Mfon. For everyone who has met her, she is amazing and its not because she is my mother..Mfon has taught me to pray for mothers. She will say “never judge anyone even when you know them ‘into to’. “So, I’m sending this to your mother..yes your mother. If she is alive, God bless her and keep her but if she is not…I can’t wait to meet her when this world is over”#
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