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Oniovo: ofe dey run belle

Oniovo: ofe dey run belle

It was December ‘93` Three of us – Cy, Jnr & Idolor – travelled to Lagos to attend a relative’s nuptials. The ceremonies – traditional, church, reception – were all successful, the way typical Nigerian weddings go. For the youth amidst family and friends gathered to celebrate with the bride, the substantial number of adults present made the occasion even more so. Their presence meant more money. It had become a growing norm of sorts for adults to share cash upon their departure at the end of joyful gatherings. This was no different; in fact, this stood out as one of the biggest pay – outs (if we could call it that) ever. The inflow of money seemed endless to our delight. It was as though every new day, after the end of the wedding, brought in more naira notes to increase the pile we already had until the last adult departed. Five days later, it was our turn to head back home. Though aware of the amount of money that had swirled around his house, our uncle (whose house was the centre of all the activities and where almost every out-of-town relative stayed) still added to that stack by way of transportation fare back to Benin. Grateful and truly loaded, we were heaving travelling bags downstairs when one of his ex-employees, BJ, arrived and announced he was going in our direction. Would we want to ride in his car with his wife and him? Does the Sun rise in the East?! Of course, we would! More money to spend on frivolities. But first he needed to check out the durability of his car for the three-hour long trip. We didn’t mind waiting for an hour or two, did we? Eh…no. That would be no problem at all. Two hours wasn’t a long wait; it was just 10a.m. anyway. We had all the time in the world. Except the two hours stretched out for longer and longer and longer. We finally drove out of the house at 4.55pm to the disapproving scowl marring our uncle’s brows. That frown would have”more

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