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Every Child Needs A “Baba Fali“ In His or Her Life BY …Kyke Davies

Every Child Needs A “Baba Fali“ In His or Her Life BY …Kyke Davies

Baba Fali lives in a wooden house opposite my house in early 80’s . We shared the same compound with about 15 other families. The House was located at Awoyokun street by the narrow path leading to Fagbile street. Baba Fali was a very tall man, dark skinned and dimples rightly placed on his cheeks. He was married to Iya Fali who was a hairdresser. She fixed her clients hair just by the side of the house. Coincidentally she had dimples too. She was quite short and laughs very loud . Iya Fali was so interesting and her amebo gist is always accurate she doesn’t carry fake news.

Opposite our house was a 3 storey building second floor was occupied by one abroad returnee whom we call “50 kobo” Once you run errands for him, he will give you a very rich can drinks and 50 kobo. It’s not always about the drinks but the can is always so cute that you will keep and take it to your local primary school to show off. Most times you will get mango or orange juice . Sometimes he will give tomato juice…yuck!

On the 3rd floor were two Fulani men. We call them Alhaji Agba and Alhaji kekere. They always clad in white attire and their Buhari-like hat. Very handsome and generous duo! We liked them a lot. And they also speak Yoruba. There was a young beautiful girl living with them then and we all assumed she was their younger sister. She was about 5 years older than us, we tried to play with her but she was too timid to mingle. She was always at the balcony waving down at us when the Alhaji’s were not around. She does her hair at Iya Fali’s place . Our darling Iya Fali was able to extract information from her. She was a bride in-waiting for Alhaji kekere! My mother exclaimed. Haba! Iya Fali o de beru Olohun “ fear God” this little child? Few months after the whole neighborhood got the gist our amiable Alhajis moved out.

Alhaji Agba got married to a very beautiful Fulani girl and Alhaji kekere got married and the little girl we knew . We met the new bride at the ojuwoye market and she pointed her new house to my mother at Olowo street. Of course we stopped by and had a drink of malt. The bride already had a son by then. Because of their generosity their home became a stopping point after market runs . I am sure of a cold maltina always . Awesome people! I miss them .

Baba Fali was a bus driver and a very decent one . He gets back from work around 7pm, he will buy his bottle of guilder and listen to his loud music by Haruna Ishola
Dawuda epo akara
Ayinla omo wura

He has a nickname for me which I will not mention here, as I am aware of the evil people on my list. They will not let me be.

As a child when I get punished by my father especially to serve all those mad punishment of ….
stoop down
Ijoko idera
Kneel down and stretch your hands
All these punishments will be served without hearing my side of the story. Eventually after an hour of punishment Dad will asked me to get up. Me ke? Rara ko jo! I will not bulge and continue the punishment. How dare you punish me before? I no go gree! Baba Fali will come back, without even hearing what happened will take me away from the punishment and buy me Fanta. He will ask for my side of the story and go to my father to explain that I wasn’t wrong in the first place .

While all my siblings came home with 1st and 2nd position I will come home with 33rd. Baba Fali will still deliver my Fanta. He will tell me how he believes I can come 1st and not that he’s complaining about the 33rd position oooo. Just that he knows I can do it. Each term I will make little progress and come home with 15th position. He will praise and dance around me for a bit and give me drink and sometimes money. My mother will be upset how dull I was and my father will be angry that I was getting spoilt by baba Fali as I don’t deserve a treat after such poor performance.

To a little child like me who cares? Baba Fali said I can do it and he’s not complaining. The only one to please was him. So eventually in my third term in Primary 4 in Christ Centre, I came 5th position. I ran home from school to my house in Awoyokun street . Dad asked for my report card and I told him our teacher went to have a baby so we didn’t get our report card . It was true my teacher went away but another teacher stood in and gave us our cards. Dad believed me anyways 😜😜😜😜

Immediately I heard Pon-pon-pon I knew baba Fali was back. I went where I neatly kept my report card and showed him . He was elated, as tall as he was, I saw him jumping up. He bought me 3 bottles of drinks and ever since my result never enters two digits again .

The way this illiterate bus driver “Baba Fali” celebrates my progress is what most of our children needs. Especially in Nigeria where you all think examination is the true test of knowledge . Be careful the pressure you put on your kids. Life is not a competition, everybody will run their own race.

Thank you all for making 2017 a great year for me. I look forward to a wonderful 2018.


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Posted by:- on October 12, 2018.

Categories: Literature

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