Diary of an Ibadan Girl: Entry 15


I’ve looked back on my life this past week and I’m honestly impressed that I’m still alive.


Shebi that’s how Ijangbon slept jejely, I now went to use my own two hands to drag it. It all started when I asked Daddy if I could start learning how to drive and he said no wahala. I was shook. No wahala ke? Me that I was even joking.

I said Daddy, just like that? He said Ehn, Iwo naa ti de stage yen. As per, I’m old enough niyen o.

That was how me I sha told whoever the man that was posing as my dad to go back to where he came from and return my Daddy because I knew Baba Morenike very well and he would never ever have said it was okay for me to start driving.

The man then said, “ahn ahn, Shey o ro boya mo n mu e shere ni? Do you think I’m messing with you? It’s been on my mind lately since you got back from NYSC camp. I think it’s high time you learnt how to drive, kinikon kinikon.” He now said that he would talk to Booda Gani the next morning so that he may come to take me on driving lessons. That was when I realized that my daddy was serious o.

Ah. Because the thing is, once you hear anybody in my house mention Booda Gani’s name, it could only be driving related. Booda Gani is Aunty Abeni’s husband and Aunty Abeni is one of my mother’s siblings that my grandma did not give birth to.

The reason why Booda Gani is famous like that is because he was once a professional driver that used to drive one of those Dangote trucks before he was laid off all of a sudden; due to some random issue. I don’t exactly know what the issue was but word was that it was Dangote himself that went to meet Booda Gani on that fateful day and told him to be going home. When Booda Gani came back home like this, he became a superstar. People would go to him and start asking orishirishi questions because they heard he had seen Dangote face to face.

This Booda Gani story that I’m talking about took place a while ago o. It was when things were still slightly different and jobs were not as cherished because time weren’t this hard. I was about 6 or 7 years old at the time, I don’t even know how I still remember the gist.

Anyway sha, it was Booda Gani that also used to drive all of us to school while we were still staying at Owode. Most of the kids in our area went to the same school because it was the only good school in that place at the time. The rest were all these jeleosinmi unaccredited schools. Our school had one big bus like that, that they were using as the school bus. We used to call the bus, Black Maria because it really did look like the kind that they used to carry prisoners. Booda Gani was the man my school employed to be our designated driver.

Booda Gani was a really nice man. He would wait and wait for us even when we were extremely late. Whenever the school bus got to school slightly past the allotted time for assembly like this, Booda Gani would never tell on us that it was our fault and we were never punished.

My parents took a liking to him and that was how they started inviting him to the house for any ceremony or party. See ehn, Booda Gani aside, my parents do the most when it came to people. Our house used to look like army barracks that time when we were staying in Owode because they would invite everybody and it was everyday we used to do party. It was when I started getting older that I realized I am actually the first child of my parents because the amount of booda and sista that I had while growing up? Out of this world. When I was younger, there were times when I used to wonder why my family was so large compared to my friend’s. I just wanted to wake up one day and see normal nuclear family for once, no be we accommodating pass abeg.

One thing I’m glad for about Akobo, where we live now, is that it’s not accessible to most people again. I can live peacefully on most days.

That was how Booda Gani sha became another household name o. I don’t exactly know why I’m using my whole diary to talk about Booda Gani’s life but it’s just so that, I can properly lay everything on the table.

That was how I sha entered unforeseen circumstances o. Booda Gani has been coming to our house every morning for the past week to come and teach me how to drive and he has been annoying me terribly. Whenever he gets to the house, the first thing he does is to tell me to go and make Eba for him to eat. I mean, first thing! That one does not even annoy me as much as the manner in which he says it.

Morenike, Eba da?”, “Where is the Eba?” As if I should go and pluck Eba from the tree.

You may not understand where my anger is coming from but this man used to be one of my favorite boodas. I used to really adore him because of his calm demeanor and the sense with which he always handled stuff. All of a sudden, he’s out here being a ruffian talking about how he is trying to help my life and how I should be grateful. I’m like, please who sent you errand? Please? Is it me or my Daddy?

Why do people always hold on to whatever they want to do for you just so you can feel indebted to them eventually? I don’t get it. Like, if that’s the whole point, why do it initially?

We will now be on the road driving, he would now be shouting at me for everything. If my leg is on the accelerator like this, he’ll be shouting ni. If I suddenly press brake, wahala ni. I mean, what’s the whole point of this thing, is it not to teach me how not to get myself killed? Why are you shouting at everything that I manage to do?

Maybe I’m an ungrateful child but please don’t be teaching me something under stress abeg, you would just be wasting both of our time. Because, even if I understood what you were teaching me, I would be doing as if I still don’t know it ni. We are going to see who can frustrate one another best.

The driving is not even as chilled as I thought sef. Especially the reverse part. Perhaps, it’s because I’m learning how to drive with a manual vehicle. I can’t wait to be perfect at it and rub it in Booda Gani’s face, along with hot Eba.

PS: I apologize for not writing last week. Gbogbo rada-rada yii noni ko je kin le deliver.



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