Monday, November 22, 2010


We all have memories from childhood that make us laugh or cry, become upset or become contagious when they are shared. My best memories come from holidays shared with my cousins. Cousins from my mother’s family though, we never spent holidays with cousins from my father’s family and I barely even knew them, I say that is segregation when a mother has the power to quietly and naturally sideline one part of an extended family (in fact it should become a topic for Debate in the lower house).

Well back to my memory, this particular one happened while we were on holiday to Gulf (now Chevron) estate in satellite town, which is somewhere along the Festac, Agboju axis, on the way to the Trade fair complex along the Badagry express way I think it’s called, but not directly on that axis, so you had to turn off into that general area. So you think, ‘what are a couple of cute kids doing all the way from home’, home being Ilupeju at that time, so yes it was far and yes we were cute. So my mum’s elder sister lived there, with two of her three sons and it was tradition that Kayode the youngest and my age mate who I was only two months and a couple of days older, either spent the holidays with us or us with him, or we hooked up at another cousin’s home Ibukun, if he was in the country. Oh by the way, my cousin Kayode, died in about 1991 in a racial killing in England. So at this time of this particular memory we were with Kayode.

My best memory comes from a particular game we loved to play, come to think of it I wonder why we spent so much time outdoors, when in my opinion television was more interesting then (ok if I’m wrong blame it on old age) well it was the era of the video and my uncle Olu a connoisseur of films always supplied what every child should watch then; the Herbie series; Herbie goes bananas, Herbie goes to Monte Carlo and any other Herbie film that was made then there was Banana Joe, Break Dance, okay if there was any movie children should watch we watched it. But with our tendency to become Cool movie Buffs, we still played outside a lot.

So it was play time, our all time favourite game was Mr. Wolf; a simple yet complex game played with any number of children but in this case it was usually Kayode, my brother Femi and I.

Game plan: Kayode and Femi or any of us, would stand in an enclosure or open space known as the ‘house’ and the wolf who was any of us yet again, would stand outside knock and try to get in. So it was basically went like this;

Wolf: Knock, knock, knock
Children at home: Who is that?
Wolf: Mr Wolf
CAH: What do you want?
Wolf: I want some colours
CAH: Which colour?
Wolf: Colour... (at this point wolfie had to guess which colour any of us had chosen, if he made a right guess, the owner of the colour would have to come out of the house to be chased by wolfie and if he was caught he/she would become the next wolf)

On this day however, I was Mr. Wolf and at first I had gone through the regular colours blue, red pink, yellow, gone on to the others; light blue, light brown, light green, gone on to our own creations light pink, light purple, light yellow, light orange, green grass and on and on I went making up what I could and refusing to give up.

An hour later, and yes I mean an hour later when I had totally run out of ideas and Femi had lay down to sleep, Kayode asks if I was ready to give up, I ignored him and asked him to tell me which colours he had chosen instead, he simply asked that I officially give up which would end the game before he spilled, I finally did and with a dead pan expression he says “my colour is Flamingo and Femi’s colour is Flamingo Fly Fly”.

I just stared in utter amazement, Flamingo and Flamingo Fly Fly I repeated that’s cheating, where did you get them from? And he replied “what, those are the colours of a Flamingo didn’t you know”.

Dedicated to my cousin; knowing we never forget certain things...

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