Archive - January 2013

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An ‘Amen’ Moment
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Baby Walakolombo

An ‘Amen’ Moment

Though barely two years old, Chairman is already displaying smile – worthy intelligence. He sees steam emitting from a hot plate, pot or bucket and goes ‘e ot’. It’s hot. His hands are always clasped together as soon as he walks into the bathroom with an accompanying ‘and’ pronouncement because he has witnessed his sister washing hers countless times before. He says ‘poo poo’, goes ahead and does the deed, then returns, reeking, to repeat ‘poo poo’ signifying his accomplishment. Displaying the beginnings of a gentleman, he utters an endearing, baby ‘na nu ’,thank you, (my beau says it sounds more like ‘daalu’) when given anything. To his dad’s chagrin, Chairman calls him by his first name or the endearment I use for him. However, it is his perception of some prayer times in the house that strikes a chord with me. He says ‘amen’ when food, in a plate, appears in front of anyone because he knows that there will be praying before eating. He does the same when he notices, at night, I’m done making beds and sleep is next on the agenda for his sister and him.  The only difference here is that he also attempts to imitate a kneeling posture. Lately, he has taken to clasping both hands together and saying a few words of prayer (in Chinese! Unlike his sister who is very clear on God blessing her kin, classmates and cartoon characters!) before either his father or I round it off. Last night, after sleep brought peace and quiet into my home, that chord struck again and got me thinking. Was I aware of my own ‘amen’ moments?  Besides the obvious accident –, pain – and robbery – free days and nights that I’m grateful for or the gift of family or friends. Yes, my life (every waking, breathing, walking moment of it) is a massive one but what about the seemingly insignificant fragments that make the puzzle of my life complete? The ability to walk, to talk, make and receive calls, write this article, read a book…basically counting blessings that have no end”more

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Baby Walakolombo

In the middle of the night after feeding Chairman, if I thought he was going to go right back to sleep, I was so wrong. He burps, waits for me to lay him down on the bed before saying ‘Baby, baby.’ That’s when I know it might be a looong, middle of the night. The hook of Alex Zitto’s Baby Walakolombo became his soothing song while he was still less than a year old. It popped out of my mouth the day before his naming ceremony, and has since been a hit with him as well as all family members – nuclear and extended. For T, the following words – Toluwani o/ I beg you, don’t cry o/ Toluwani, wani/… — sang to the tune of Olufunmi by Styl – plus got her attention. Until my beau stopped me from singing it, saying he didn’t quite like the original words of Olufunmi which were what he heard every time I rendered T’s version.  I replaced it with Chris Mba’s Baby Don’t cry as imported from my elder brother’s house. Imagine his two year old singing it to her baby sibling! Now that I think of it, why didn’t I ever use conventional baby songs or lullabies for my children? Maybe because I don’t know any. And I can almost say the same for some of my siblings! The earliest baby song I can remember went thus: ayodele o / ma suku mo/ ma sha e so/tu ba go no ba ba ba/…or something to that effect as coined by my neighbour for her first son. By the time my younger siblings came along, I used any R & B tune that was the rave for me at the time. Luther Vandross’s hits featured prominently. Small wonder this accompanied me into motherhood. Though my mum had some traditional songs that did the trick some times. Now, that’s a thought. ‘Mummy?’ A tiny voice in the dark brings me back to the present [night]. ‘Baby, baby,…’ The voice repeated in a sing song. Yep. Confirmed. I was in for it. ‘Baby, baby,”more

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