Ibukun To Whom My Dedication Belongs

That beautiful afternoon, mama was cooking in the wooden made kitchen outside our small house, which she inherited from her late father in view of being the first born of her parent, though mama wouldn't have been opportune to possess the house if any of her younger brothers was still alive...


That beautiful afternoon,mama was cooking in the wooden made kitchen outside our small house which she inherited from her late father in view of being the first born of her parent,though mama wouldn't have been opportune to possess the house if any of her younger brother was still alive..

"Good afternoon Mama"; I prostrated the same way it is expected of me as a male child,our culture demands that every male must prostrate and female on their own side must fall on their knees while greeting the elders. "Káábò Ayomikun".. Mama replied.

I could read the amazement written all over mummy's face,I know she wasn't expecting me to be home so soon.

"Hope all is well and where is your sister?"..I pretended not to have heard her, so I swiftly dashed out of the kitchen to my room where I had a change of my school uniform to a crazy Jean and a blue top. Earlier before that day,I was told by a friend during our labour period in school that if one must be recognized as a big boy, then one must always endeavour to follow some pattern of dressings. He listed some certain dresses,I was very glad he made mention of crazy Jean because that was the only dress among the dresses he regarded as "sophisticated" that I currently had. I was resolved to always put on the Jean regardless of whatever the occasion may demand because I was so passionate to be rated as one the big boys of my community..

No sooner had I changed my uniform than mama stormed the entrance of my door.."kor kor kor.. Ayomikun open the door,why were you so in haste that you did not wait to listen to what I was about asking you"? Mama asked eagerly.

"I'm sorry ma". I was in short of words.

"Where is your sister and why are you back at this time of the day"?.Mama asked again.

"Oh!, you mean Ibukun, she should be in the school,they've really got a lot to do in their class today unlike us". I shrugged...

I sighed after mama had stolen a deep glance of me,she would have caught me if I was not skeptical enough. I wondered..

My intention that afternoon was to come home early and stroll around the street with my new outfit so everybody could clearly see me before the day gets dark.

At the end of the term,Mrs. Folasade my class teacher came home with me, mama nearly knelt down just to exchange pleasantries with her. Teachers are the most respected set of persons in my community. So It is wisdom that one should bow in reference whenever one comes in contact with any of them. 

"Good afternoon Mistress,sé dáádà nì".. Mama greeted. 

"Adúpé mama,Ekún ìlè ma" Mrs folasade elegantly replied.

Immediately, I knew I had to excuse the both of them for courtesy purpose,So I walked gently to the back of the window beside our pit toilet so I could eavesdrop whatever they would discuss. 

As soon as I walked out of their presence,Ibukun whom by then was full of happiness ran inside the living room with a shout of victory.. "I made it I made it"... This girl must of have come out first this term again I thought. Ibukun is known for her excellence,she haven't for once came second ever since the course of her schooling at St. Mary memorial high school. Though my case is different,I felt I was being pressurized to do what I was not passionate about. Schooling is not just my calling,I was sure of this. And that was more of the reasons I always have a poor result.

The thought about Ibukun's incessant excellent performance really got my mind distracted that I could no longer listen attentively to the discussion Mrs. Folasade was having with mama. I knew mama was going to punish me again not only because of my low performance but also because Ibukun had done exceedingly greater than I did yet again. "I should be the one to set a standard through which my younger sister could emulate"..Mama would say while flogging me with koboko every term.

I was amazed mama did not ask anything concerning my result that very term. She kept on acting as if everything was fine. Though I wouldn't know the kind of game Mrs. Folasade might have instructed her to play. Weeks later, in the middle of our holiday. Mama made it compulsorily to my notice that we would both be going to Mr. Simon's shop. This particular man owns the largest mechanic shop in the community. Some female teachers had earlier talked about him during the school hour,both of them weren't aware I was coming to pick some pieces of chalk in their staff room for Mr. Ogungbe who was taking us mathematics. "I really enjoyed hanging out with Simon the engineer yesterday". One of them was gisting. " He is so caring,even the way he kissed my fingers melted my heart, I'm looking forward for a proper proposal from him,I can't just wait Òré míí". However, I acted as though I didn't know what the were talking about.

"But mama,why do I have to accompany you to Mr. Simon's workshop"?.. I ignorantly asked. With that look on mama's face,I knew she would have hardly hit my head with the frypan she was about placing on the three set of local cooking stones arranged adjacently to one another if not for the considerable distance between us. 

It was Thursday's morning. I was intermittently lifting our heavy mortal same way a weight lifter would do at the gym, mortal was the best available heavy weight object I could thought of. "Six-packs is among the criteria if one must be considered a big boy too".I could vividly remember that advice from Tomiwa my class mate. So I was already working on that aspect at the moment.

"Ayomikun, go and put on your shirt and let's go". 

This time,there was no how I could escape going with mama. I had to go and search thoroughly for a new cloth from my Ghana-must-go sack,I wouldn't want to go with a shirt which was smelling of sweat.

"Good morning sir,I've come in respect of what I discussed with you on the phone,so this is him. Tell us whenever you'd want him to start".. I was surprised to see mama speak so courageously. 

Initially I felt something which curved my lips like one who was about laughing,I felt like running and at the same time crying,I couldn't help but battle with the mixed emotion. Upon much thought, I came back to my right senses. After all,this could save me from going to school I was rest assured.

"What is your name"... Mr. Simon asked with a commanding tone. 

"Ayomikun sah".I could notice the shrillness sound in my voice.

"Okay Ayomikun,I'd like to hear from you said Mr. Simon,is mechanic a career you'd really like to be engaged in?".

At first I was confused of what to answer,though I was about saying my mind before mama intervened. "Ayomikun is not just passionate about this job,he is also curious in the area of mechanical inventions. And this has been part of him right from his childhood. I feel this stage of his life is the right time for him to be enrolled so he could be well equipped to make his dream a reality. Please sir,just do anything within your power to bring forth the genius that is in my son".Mama pleaded compassionately with Mr. Simon..

Mr. Simon gave me a questioning look to see if truly I approve of all that mama had said. I nodded in agreement without saying a word even despite the fact that I did not know what mama was talking about. I never for once liked doing anything,not even mechanic. All I've always wanted to do is to flex and chill with the big boys..

"If that is case,then Ayomikun can start on Monday,we've almost run out of the week. But you know one cannot just be enrolled that easily, there are some due processes one need to adhere before a successful enrollment".Mr. Simon was speaking this time facing mama.

"I am aware bàbá òkó mì,if it's about those things you requested the other day on phone,I promise not to betray your trust"..Mama replied with a smile.

I wondered what he must have requested from mama.."I'll make sure I personally kill him with my bare hands if he dares to do any of those crooked things he usually does with the young ladies in the community with mama". I promised myself.

Mama grasped my hand.."let us go Ayomikun,Thank you and God bless you sir".. Mama commended Mr. Simon before turning to leave.

Ibukun was already preparing breakfast before we got home,beans and fried plantain, 'wow' I exclaimed after realizing that the aroma was coming from our kitchen. 

"Welcome mama, welcome ègbòn..while on her knees,Ibukun greeted.

I was a little kind shy to return her greetings,I've warned her severally not to greet me in that manner,it makes me feel too honoured. Ibukun is loved by all and sundry for her honesty,respect and her renowned academic prowess. Some of our relatives believed that she took everything after mama and I in turn took from papa, papa was said to be a rascal during his life, he died when I was five. But Mama would tell us papa had travelled overseas and would be back in years coming.

Ibukun served the food in a large stainless steel and brought garri along side. We all ate from the same plate and drank the garri from the same cup.

"Thank you Ibukun for all you do,may you enjoy the fruit your labour". Mama rendered Ibukun her blessing for she was happy with the kind of lady Ibukun was becoming.

"Mama,what do you think you're doing and why do I have to be a mechanic forcefully?".. I interrupted.

"It's for your own good Ayomikun,I am your mother and I know what is best for you my son"... Mama said emotionally.

"But you should have thought of any other field,mechanic is a dirty job and for this reason,I'm not comfortable with the idea of working with Mr. Simon"..I protested and also was expecting an excusable point from mama before Ibukun intruded..

"Ègbòn,I'll advice you do whatever mama had asked you to do,you know our parent are the mouthpiece through which God speaks to us. Who knows if she had been inspired by the Holy spirit to direct your steps". 

I was touched when Ibukun finished talking,but was also contorted with rage because I wasn't expecting her to say anything.

"I wasn't talking to you,so shut up"..I said annoyingly. A loud voice from the next building opposite to ours broke the long silence..

"Élédùà ésè ooo,he is not dead,my son is back." Mrs. Àbíkè continued shouting repeatedly.

The rumour had spread all over the community that Tope,Mrs. Abike's only son who was taken to abroad years ago by a relative was accidentally shot by a white man. And ever since Mrs. Abike was informed,she had become more calm and speechless,she hardly come out for festivals even regardless of the fact that she was the best dancer,she started playing her card very close to her chest. A lot changed about her to the extent that she no longer return greetings whenever she was being greeted.

"My son is back with a car, what God cannot do does not exist. Those of you who had been mocking me should come out ooo, My son is back"... I could notice the tears rolling down from Mrs. Abike's cheek.

Just like yesterday,I've spent four month working tirelessly with Mr. Simon as an apprentice,though it really affected my plans towards doing the things the same way big boy would do,nevertheless,I've enjoyed each moment ever since the course of my training. Day after day,the work was getting more interesting, Mr. Simon was always proud of me, Not longer I started,he was already amused at how fast I was learning. Sometimes he would send me to represent him wherever he is being called upon to repair faulty engines.

I associated with new friends,they taught me new things,I was made to understand that 'I am the captain of my ship and wherever I sail there I shall go'. Mr. Simon himself told me about a day that would come when my family would be looking up to me and I'd be saddled with the responsibility to fend and provide for their needs. Since then,my perspective generally changed about life.

"Let me quit schooling so I could concentrate more on my mechanical career". I suggested.

Mama was so concerned that she unconsciously dropped the small stool she was holding after I finished voicing my opinion..

"Be patient Ayomikun,complete your secondary school education first sé ò tì gbó".. She patted me in encouragement.   "Mó tì gbó ma"... I replied without observing any eye contact with her.   After two years,due to my outstanding ability at work,I was issued a certificate freely to show that I'm a certified engineer even when some of my senior colleagues who started before me haven't for once been recommended let alone of securing a certificate.

The certificate came as a surprise though, I never knew mama had already been informed beforehand. That same afternoon, while I was preparing to go to the workshop,mama was busy reciting my eulogy,she was praising me. "Why all of a sudden mama is doing all these". I kept questioning my bewildered mind.

"Thank you ma,I' I' I' will be leaving now"..I stuttered before moving out of the house.

On my arrival, I was so curious to meet mama and tell her I've understood what the sudden eulogy was all about and to show Ibukun how faithful God has been..

"Mama come out ooo"..Ibukun where are you too?".. Ibukun hastily ran towards me and gave me a tight hug,I couldn't recall when last she has done that.

"Where is mama?" I asked impatiently. "She has gone to get some food items from the market to celebrate your new achievement". She pronounced the last word almost in whisper.

"So mama has told you about this before and you didn't tell me abi?". I was asking her with one side of my eyes closed.

"Don't be crossed ègbón,I was instructed not to get you informed and that it'll be coming as a surprise package". She looked so sorry.

The following month, after writing my final WAEC exam. It was a double cerebration, I became respected even among my friends, though I was not sure of the nature my result was going to look like,because most of the answers I wrote were guessed.

Years later,Ibukun was given a scholarship to study medicine and surgery in abroad,Ibukun had once been diagnosed with cancer when she was barely at the age of four,she once told me her purpose was to cure herself and other people as much as possible who might also be suffering from the same condition. By then, I already opened a small workshop where I was making cool money too. With time, I started settling up a building,I never wanted anyone to know about it,the building was close to the central mosque along Ayetoro street, I intended to make it a surprise. Weekly,I would give mama some certain amount of money to restock the kitchen and buy whatever we might be of want in the house.

"Mama I'd have to visit the hospital,I've been feeling some pain in my stomach lately".. Ibukun complained.

"Pélè ómò mì, it may be as a result of indigestion,go and bring me those drugs on the shelf,I'll give the ones that would relieve you.. And again,when last did you use the toilet?". Mama asked.

"Yesterday". Ibukun simply replied.

 Ibukun was left with three weeks to prepare before travelling abroad for the scholarship,her visa and every necessary document were ready,mama had even arranged everything she would be in need "I wouldn't want you to start begging for anything from your colleagues over there"... Mama would affirm.

On Friday,in the middle of the night,I heard a sonorous scream from which I could not trace where the sound was coming from, I was really tired from work that day. I was so weak that I was overcome by a heavy sleep,I convinced myself the sound was from my dream. So I went back to bed to continue the marathon sleep. Again, I heard another scream,but this time from Ibukun: "Mama mama mama"...Before I got there, mama was already rendering supplication fervently on her behalf..."What is it Ibukun,what is it mama".. I asked with my mouth widely opened,my legs were effortlessly shaking,I never thought Ibukun could scream so loud.

"She has been feeling a pain in her stomach,I already gave her some drugs this afternoon but yet the pain keeps persisting,I'm just confused of what to do". Mama was helplessly crying this time. 

"Ibukun, how do you feel now?." I couldn't control the palpitating motion of my heart while asking.

"The pain is still serious,I can feel something piercing me in the stomach".Ibukun was breathing heavily.

"Mama,stay with her,let me seek Bro. Tope's assistance so he could help us with a ride to the hospital with his car". 

Bro Tope was Mrs. Abike's only son who just came back from abroad.

"knock knock knock"... "Who is it by this time of the day?". Mrs. Abike sounded disturbed.

"It's Ayomikun, it's me ma. We need your your assistance. I hurriedly replied.

"Ayomikun from where?. I'm coming anyways". Mrs. Abike replied with a sign of indifference.

"Please ma,we need your help,my younger sister is not doing so well,we would want Bro. Tope to help us take her to the hospital with his car"... I pleaded hoping she looks with pity.

"Enheeen..And since when had my son's car became an ambulance,that aside,Is that the reason you barged into my house this time of the day"?. Mrs. Abike was looking straight into my eyes.

"I'm sorry ma,but but". I stuttered.

When I realized she wasn't going to cooperate,I quickly rushed back.

"Can you manage to to stand up so I could back you?" I asked Ibukun who helplessly was turning left and right on the bed.

"Where is Tope,where is the car?" Mama was much more worried now.

"Mama just help her up,I'll back her. After all, the hospital is not that really far from here." I was already growing out of patience.

In matter of say thirty five minutes later,we got to the hospital. Unfortunately, we were told the doctors were having some issue with the federal government and that has made them go on strike.

"Oh!, how can you help us sir,my younger sister is at the point of dead. please".. I requested. 

"I'm only working as a security here,I have absolutely nothing in my power to render".. The man humbly replied.

"Mama,I think the pain is gradually reducing,égbón,stop panicking. I'll be fine. Ibukun finally opened up.

"Ólórùn ésè..Jésù Kristi ésè,óbà Íyánú módúpé. Mama was full of appreciation to God whom she believed had saved her daughter from death.

The next day,with the way Ibukun was groaning in pain,I knew she needed a serious medical attention,so I called Mr. Simon my formal boss,I explained everything to him,I was glad he was able to convince one of his friends who is a medical doctor to help us out. Fortunately,the doctor came earlier than we expected. He conducted every necessary test and reported that Ibukun is suffering from a thyroid cancer which is as a result of uncontrolled reproduction of cells around the thyroid gland. 

"We've been told about this years ago doctor,we were also directed that each time she feels any pain,we should ensure we give her the drugs which was being prescribed as at then and the drugs have really been working not until yesterday. After taking them,the pain kept persisting". Mama explained.

"Oh! mama,I'm sorry to say but I just have to. This condition is now beyond the control of drugs,just continue praying, we doctors only care,only God cures"...

"So what do you mean doctor" I subconscious asked.

He patted me and said: "don't be worried young man,your sister will be fine. I'll be on my way now" he added before turning to leave.

"Why is it now, why is it when Ibukun was about travelling for the first time outside not just our community but the country,why is it when I am doing very much okay as a young man that Ibukun is sick, why is it during the period mama is about enjoying the fruit of her labour that we are all suffering from this unrest". I kept wondering.

"Máámì,I love you, you're a rare gem. You're simply the best,I can't thank you enough for all you have done. May God reward you. Ayomikun ègbòn mí,when next I'll be coming back to life, I promise to come through you. By Then, I am going to fulfil that purpose which I think I wouldn't be able to fulfil at this present time. I'll till eternity be grateful for having lived with mama and you".. Ibukun confidently attested even amidst the severe pain.

"Stop all that rubbish Ibukun, stop talking as if you're are faithless, I reject every form of untimely death from you in Jesus name,you shall not die but live to proclaim the goodness of the Almighty"..

Mama strongly rebuked in a voice which by now was already coarsed because of her incessant cries.

"Ibukun, you know how much we cherish you, promise us you're going to make it,please do not let us down. Be reminded you're God sent and stop being pessimistic" I was crying uncontrollably too.

"Mama,God Himself knows I have to do this,I've been keeping this pain for years and now I can no longer bear it.. I'm sorry for failing you this time".. 

Not quite long Ibukun finish saying the last word that she was made to wrestle with the messenger of death,she fought so hard but all to no avail. She was was overshadowed by and gave up the ghost..

I had to be strong for mama,I ensured she found solace in me,I made sure she didn't stay too idle so she wouldn't see the cause to think about Ibukun's death. Weeks later, after the director of the scholarship board which Ibukun happened to be a beneficiary heard about her death. They transfered the offer to me,they also promised to provide a place where mama could stay in London where I'd be schooling in the university as a medical student. 

"Everything at the end of the day,I'll dedicate to Ibukun." I reached a final resolution before our trip to London.

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