Tag - Sibling

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Oniovo: 10
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Baby Walakolombo

Oniovo: 10

There used to be 10 of us: Four girls and six boys. Picture growing up with this number of siblings; sufficient brothers to protect you, and just enough sisters to bond and be mischievous with. Now we’re nine, and the males still outnumber us by one. Cue our family portrait. 10 cheeky offspring grinning from ear to ear, and two parents smiling through the crowd. Then a shadow glosses over one of us, blanking out his image. Rest in power and peace, bro. Before the term ‘blended’ came to be, we were the visual attestation of it. Our mum, a widow, with four children. Our stepfather, a widower, with four of his own as well. They were also both ihwo Urhobo; their villages not very faraway from each other. Their native content was even a perfect match too – 99.9%. Coincidence? ajo, OboOghene. Together, they doubled the amount of competition and camaraderie amongst us, and went ahead to add two more offspring (a gender each) to douse that fire, rounding us off to a neat number 10. With this many people dwelling together – different personalities, unique perspectives, peculiar habits – surely it resulted in stifling accommodation, and less personal space per[…]

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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[…]

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