Home Interviews Tales of Dr. Segun Omosule Pt 2

Tales of Dr. Segun Omosule Pt 2

Here, wisdom nurtures sickness
Oh comfort! I’ll soon fetch the calabash.
Tell her a love basin contains bees,
They sting to death at once,
Tell her the sun shines at the dead night
And the moon only at mid-day
Here a bitch bears no offspring
But a he-dog does.
Here rain falls no longer in March
If does only in December.
Tell Comfort to lay a bed of gold
Tell her from life’s winter I hope to escape
The living might pity the dead
Here the led are games unto their kings.

I doted on mum, and celebrated her. I was convinced of her exemplary life devoid of whatever malice. Her devotion to my welfare alarmed me. I could not help worshipping her. I was convinced that she was a gem. The confirmation came thereafter. Her people sent for me and begged that I would forgive them for the treatment they meted unto my mum. She was buried with fanfare.

My other muse be physical
She in that eternal submission
Compelled an unyielding breath
LEGBEN, moulder of perverse mould
The stump in eclipse that sprouted an oak
The rebellious, iconoclast known to time
Further spur she gestates
And that readiness to yield
To the chagrin of brothers and all
Whose wicked desires were nipped?
To LEGBEN be this muse
The prime motivation to enforce a legacy.
She yields,
That her bits of fingers might thrive

Was LEGBEN’S spur wrought by love?
Or a mere accomplice in nature’s pranks
In this quest for artistic rejuvenation
Known to different ages but in specks
Through Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
Prime movers of rational postulations
The heaven or nature conditioned her
In that mindless submission
That her ebbing-son might be
To dish saner rules and virtues
To perverts inhabiting the climes
While she relishes above with the divine
In that inimitable satisfaction
As her unqualified being littered a genius

Even when she was persecuted and denounced, I stuck to her. I knew her sufferings were on account of me. She only wanted my retrieval from the clutches of filial foes. She would not want me to be wasted. She had her vision for me. And that was to make me attend on immortals like Shakespeare, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka; Ben Jonson and his classic arrogance; Byron and his sleek mien, even if I could not share their cups. I annexed Soyinka, and made him my creeds. Every step he took enthralled me. Every wobbling gait stirred me to activity. I conceptualised him, and soon began to dream of him. At times, I would prostrate for him in my dream. Many times, he would hold my hand. Pardon my effrontery at such annexation of his laureate palm. Let no one envy me. I really held his hand in my dream and not in reality. At first, I sent a collection of my poems to his department. Someone told me he alluded to some of them in the class. When a second folk mentioned it, I felt it was an honour least deserved to echo from the rare voice of a rare gem. I held unto the belief. I wanted to give him a chase and if possible dare his traits. Perhaps that might arouse his attention upon a lowly figure. I picked up more books intent on giving him a distant chase. I needed to bulldoze much books before I could behold his threshold and attempt to rap on his door. It was difficult to cultivate his art.
Soyinka was not ordinary. I should pray to pass through the same vicissitudes should I attempt to clean his shoes. I needed to drop my first degree and allege a complicity to rob me of my rightful place in the field of scholarship. I needed much money to start all over again at Leeds to emerge with a first class degree in English. I couldn’t grapple with the demand and challenges of great feats. So, would great deeds elude such diffident individuals. I headed for school and grabbed more degrees intent on becoming a mere speck before his monumental rock.
I soon graduated and served at a village named Owena in Oyo State. My life was more meaningful. I could feed myself on the N250 stipend given to me. I quickly sent for a sister who had sojourned to Lagos selling foodstuffs upon the death of Legben. She came and I envisioned the end of the relationship. The service year came to an end. And with the boldness of an ignoramus, I registered her at a private continuing education centre at Osogbo. She made all her papers there after two years.
It came to pass. At last when she held her degree and a job to tend, she denounced what she termed the inadequate care I gave her when she was in school. I wonder how many parents could bestow western education on their children at the time. She ought to have blamed her own father too for not deeming her worthy of a university education. That sums the nature of man. No matter the good intentions in offering a helping hand to climb, the climber no sooner sheds the garb of dependence than calls your bluff. It is not strange.
IBADAN it was the only application I wrote and turned out to be the a divine encounter. The final interview was slated for the following Wednesday. I clutched my discharge certificate and headed for Okitipupa. The day came, and after series of hassles, I bagged the job. It was exactly a week after my National Youth Service. I was considered lucky.
I kicked off as a reporter with the defunct AURA magazine. We were four newly recruited hands. Emman Chukwu-Anukwu offered me accommodation at his Akanran home. Edward Dickson was another. Yemi Ogunsola was the most interesting. His area of interest was metaphysics. He tutored me on Flying Saucers (UFO) and other sundry creeds in his possession. With the demise of AURA within six months, we were seconded to the stable of Nigerian Tribune. Chukwu and I were under Wale Ademowo, the entertainment editor. I was to serve from the Lagos bureau. I spent about a week in Lagos and lived unsuccessfully with my cousin at Agege. I could not grapple with the nocturnal visitations of armed robbers to his Agege residence. I left for Orile Iganmu. It was from there that I travelled to Ado Ekiti to attend Toyin Kayode’s convocation. She later became my wife.

I had a stop – over at the Tribune headquarters on my way from Ado Ekiti. By then, I had exhausted my money. As I made for the gate, I met the editor Mr. Folu Olamiti on the way. He queried me.
‘Akin Onipede said you’ve absconded from the Lagos bureau office,’ was his bombshell.
‘No sir, I went to Toyin’s convocation, and I have exhausted my money. I thought of……….’
Before I could finish the last sentence, Mr. Olamiti delivered his verdict. ‘That is all right. It is good that you serve in the headquarters.’
That meant I had to work at the Imalefalafia’s mad – house for another five years. We soon wedded, and had our first daughter who now spelt her name in capital letters IFE. She was to be the only issue for several years afterwards. My service at the headquarters opened doors of opportunities. The first was my introduction to the nuances of journalism. I could edit, write stories and plan pages. The greatest of all was the opportunity to daily edit a page called “Variety and Leisure”. It later became two pages.
At Ibadan, I took an imaginative sojourn back to the factory where I earlier worked as a young school leaver in 1980. I was then a clerical officer in the personnel department. I was confronted by the incongruity that characterized the relationship between employees and the employers. I penned all for all to read.

FATIMA ONI. Lagos is, indeed, a centre of opportunities. Whichever way one bends, Lagos becomes a gold mine; a metaphor of human mental system that keeps yielding more gold, depending on the level of exploitation. So, was I a member of the crawling folks in Surulere, till I came across a dame named Fatima Oni. She hailed from Abeokuta, and was then living with her uncle at the Power-line area of Ijeshatedo. She ignited my quest for further studies not through any serious tilt but subtle approach that has since been yielding further gold.
It was a normal day, and she had visited the Wosilatu street residence of my benefactor. We began to gist, but she suddenly changed the topic to something else.
‘Olu, your education is not enough yet,’ she declared.
‘I know, I shall study further,’ was my own response.
That encounter marked a turning point in my romance with education.
I became a metaphor of Tennyson’s Ulysses. I kept assuaging my unquenchable appetite for knowledge. Each time I completed a task, or at an eclipse, Fatima’s observation reverberated. I became more armed for further tillage. Her words urged me on. They kept recurring.
Fatima Oni was a student of Muslim Teachers’ College, Randle Avenue, Surulere, Lagos. She was more mature then, and it was rumoured that she had given birth to a baby, even if we never discussed the issue as long as the relationship lasted. She was the flame that consumed my will power; and in its flow drenched me in a conscious motion.
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bounds of human thought.
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.
In 1981, I left Lagos on the strength of Fatima’s charge, and headed for Ijebu Ode.
The two-year programme soon came to an end. Fatima visited me often at Ijebu Ode to supervise my progress and the holiday made her conclude about my positive development. We were at a primary school compound at the Powerline area of Surulere when I began to dish out my little knowledge of English. Fatima could not contain her fascination. She called me and said,
‘Olu, this mastery of English is superb.’
I must confess the few years I spent at the H. S.C. were glorious sessions. I had everything that could facilitate my development. We were introduced to many classical authors such as Milton, Homer, Chaucer, Charlotte Bronte, D. H. Lawrence and Thomas Hardy. The result was a mastery of the English language. At least, it was an improvement on my earlier ability.
Upon resumption at Ijebu Ode, I came to Lagos to buy books. I was at the Exam Success Correspondence College and paid for my tutorials. Thereafter, I visited Fatima. We both let for Yaba where I bought some books at Today’s Acada Bookshop. I kept the books in a bag provided for that purpose by Fatima. We later posed for a photograph. It was an instant collection guaranteed posture.
The following holiday came and I went to Lagos as usual for my holiday. I visited Fatima. I was offered a seat somewhere at the big compound. I was alone while Fatima was busy taking care of another man somewhere at a visible angle. I quickly concluded that the man was her husband to be. I did not wait to bid her good bye. I left the compound and made straight for my friend’s place. That encounter marked the end of my romance with Fatima. She was believed to be living at the Agege end of Lagos when I made enquiries about her whereabouts. I later visited her home. The visit was meant to express my appreciation for what seemed a divine encounter with her. The story would have been different without her to wake me from my lull.
I soon completed the Higher School Certificate examination with passes in the papers. I was then adjudged qualified to teach in a secondary school. My first point of call was Igbobini. I taught Literature, Economics and Commerce. I had a firmer grasp of my desire to forge ahead in my intellectual drive. I made some frantic efforts to study at least a novel every day. It was a development that made me overcome the stigma of language from a second language environment.
My father could not hide his revulsion. He called me one day and wondered why a fool like me could be teaching in a secondary school. He blamed it all on the dwindling level of education. Whatever his feelings might be, the will of God was fulfilled in my life. He, however, stuck to his gun not to have anything to do with my education. He was more interested in building an estate instead of sending me to school. It did not matter that Mama died as he amplified his resolve not to pay a dime on me. I quickly picked my bag and walked out on everyone. I did not return home till the end of my Bachelor programme.
PART II: TRAGIC BEGINNING. It was on a day like this that the bloody foetus was received. I was the seed, and named Segun. My early life was characterized by unparalleled stubbornness. Legben blamed it all on filial foes; and she consequently addressed this with uncanny rites and prayers. Such pacificatory undertakings informed a peace of mind that quickly translated to academic interest.
It was also an ordinary day that I began my primary school education. I can recall we went to the St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Primary School Ode Irele in company of Modeayo, the first daughter of Legben’s half-sister named Ola (who later got married to Lubokun Adegoke) whose marriage to Abudu triggered off the latter’s abduction. I missed everything I wrote that day. I arrived home and showed the day’s exercise to Legben. She took the note to a relation named Olorunfunmi who was a little bit exposed to western education in order to understand the difference between a mark well – deserved and another that went with a correction. I must have torn the original in order to receive mum’s praise, but the under-hand attempt was revealed.
The daily romance with academic continued unhindered. At least, the degree of truancy in the first two years was minimal. I was too young to join any clique. As such, I did not run away from school. I cannot recollect if I did master my alphabet. Really, I must have done so because I could spell ‘because’. However, there was trouble in primary three. Alhaji who earlier changed his name from Nathaniel to Wahab took me to a farm far removed from my ancestral roots.
He pretended he was going to enrol me in a private school at Ondo. It was all a lie. I went with him. He took me to Onisere. Legben did not suspect any foul play. She took him for his words, and did not raise any eyebrow. If she knew I would be taken to the farm to assist Alhaji’s third wife, Legben wouldn’t have allowed me to go. Indeed, the subtle diplomacy would have been capable of dismantling Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Legben was an apostle of intellectualism. She did not believe that there was any other way to the top except through education. As a wife, traditional folk that she was, she would have reported the matter to the traditional head of Lemikan. Perhaps his adjudication would have redressed the issue. Even if Alhaji had made up his mind that I could not come to any good in the field of education, Legben would have insisted that I be allowed to taste knowledge for a number of years before taking to any vocation. That was, in fact, what she did later in life when the question of secondary education was raised.
We left for Onisere area. I prowled villages around with my stepmother. She was into petty trading. Among such villages were: Oketiti, Ajana, Obasasa, Pakunla, and others. I mingled with traditional folk, and their stock-in-trade was farming. There was no school in the neighbourhood. My friends must have travelled far to school. I cannot remember. After all, most of my friends such as Ife, Gbenga and others attended school. I was a part of the inconsequential league.
We never knew that we were wasting away by the day. Rather, we were contented with the access to basic ingredients of physical growth. We never cared about any mental development. Our knowledge was limited to the folk-tales we used to hear after an arduous task in the farm.
It was on a day like that. Alhaji informed me of his intention. He had made up his mind to make me the private secretary of the family. I would take care of his imaginary vault, and be the mediator between my younger ones and the leader of the empire. He hinged his analysis on my abysmal performances at school, and he insisted they were pointers to my inclination to a different vocation such as carpentry.
It was all a proposal from a mortal whose dominion over me was subject to fatalistic intervention. We packed our things one day and left for Irele. I missed my own farm within a farm. I had about three yam tendrils that leapt on a tree. I expected they would yield bumper harvests. That was, however not to be. The fact has since been the case that I never planted and cropped a yam tuber all my life. My desire to nurture one was always scuttled.
We returned home. Mum had just put to bed. As it was, the baby was a girl. The following morning, I hurriedly took my bath, and clad with my uniform that Legben had neatly tucked somewhere since the day I left for the farm. I fraternized with my mates. Dara and Biodun were magnanimous enough to retain my seat. They knew I would return, and did not allow anyone to displace me during the long period of my absence. I must have been away for about two terms. I returned to my original class in primary three. It did not matter if I was not acquainted with the academic tempo of the class. No one could deter my movement from one class to another. In fact, I legitimately earned my promotion once in six years. That was during my primary five to six. I stormed other classes on the strength of my stubborn posture. In most cases, the headmaster was not vigilant enough to detect that I failed the promotion examination. All he would say on the first day of resumption was:
‘Those of you who passed the examination should form a new line.’
Some daft mates would remain on the original line while I readily took the lead in the new formation, whereas I did not go home with a report card all through. I began my career at St Peter’s Roman Catholic Primary School. My second year was spent at L.A. Primary School. There too, I took the last position. My mates jeered at me when I was the last person to leave the stage. I did not betray any emotion. Rather, I jeered back at them. I returned to my original school the following session. The movement to L. A. Primary School was enforced. The population of Catholic School disturbed the Ministry of Education inspector. He felt that sanity would be restored if some of us could be merged with L. A. Primary School that had a lean population. Each time our class teacher got wind of his coming, he would hide some of us in a cafe. He must have done that thrice till nemesis caught up with him. The inspector’s arrival was unpremeditated. Our master could not carry out his usual practice. The Headmaster of L.A. Primary School was at work. He was irked by the non-compliance of our teacher. That was the day I bowed out of St. Peter. The following session saw my return to St. Peter as earlier said. I later spent a day each at C. M. S. and Cherubim and Seraphim schools. I was not content to stay at school for a whole long week without visiting the market and the rivers in search of diversions.
The long association with the bushes and brooks left me dazed one day and it dawned on me that I was wasting my time. I came to my senses and wondered where I could begin my reconciliation with my studies. I guessed that singular recognition became an antidote against whatever filial enemies must have summed against me. My consciousness stirred me to my quest for excellence. The positive trait of Jesus overwhelmed my snag. A triumph came that all could recognize. Every desire to gestate an icon should better be sought in the threshold of His throne. I tried all rituals and devolved meet rites to household gods and ancestors but to no avail. However, a visit to His throne sometimes on June 12, 2004 put a seal on my inhibitions.

UNITED GRAMMAR SCHOOL. The year was 1974. I obtained an entrance examination form to United Grammar School. I was in primary six when I sat for the examination. By the middle of the third quarters, the results were released. My own result was sent directly to the school’s headmaster. We were on the assembly ground one day when the headmaster introduced the subject.
‘The following announcement concerns those of you in primary six. This is the result of one of you who sat for the entrance examination to United Grammar School.’ My name was mentioned, and I humbly stepped out to collect the result. Everyone murmured. I couldn’t ascertain what they said. Some of them must have praised my effort, and many others became disgruntled as I later summed up from my inter-action with my mates. Some girls were greatly disturbed. They alleged that my mum must have facilitated my invitation for the interview. However, Agofure Mutalo, now deceased, placed his right arm on my shoulder and gave me succour. He told me to disregard their ill – conceived comments, and that it was already a fait accompli.
Alhaji would still want clarification on my career. So, it was that he invited all his wives one day. I was equally there when Alhaji demanded from me what I would like to choose as my career. He specifically mentioned bricklaying and carpentry. I was to choose one of the two.
‘I would like to go to school,’ was my reply.
‘What if you fail?’ he further queried.
Legben was irked at that stage. She suspected foul – play, and the fact that Alhaji had already fixed his mind on a vocation for me. She could no longer contain herself.
‘He will not fail. How can you think of failure when a task is being gestated? She demanded.
Alhaji flared up at the effrontery. He would not allow Legben in particular to display any soundness of mind before him. Her bold resolve to defend her son to him was nothing but a calculated attempt at undermining his authority.
‘I am not interested in his education. You can go ahead and send him to school,’ he declared.
Legben took the declaration as a permission to solely educate her son. The meeting ended. Legben and I left for the backyard. There, she could not curtail her emotion. Rather, she wept, and subtly alluded to my prankish inclination. I begged her, and promised to be studious.
‘Do not weep any longer. As from this moment, I shall face my studies, and I will fight against whoever challenges you,’ was my final submission to be useful, pliant and dedicated.
‘This is not a matter of fighting against anyone,’ Legben tactfully counselled me.
There began a movement towards reconstructing my wobbled gait. I was indeed a pervert. I kept bad company; many of them are today cobblers, bike-riders, and tenders of odd chores. Our new location at the United Grammar School compound was far removed from the town. I lost contact with the traditional company I kept. I doted after about twelve finalists and their girl friends that lived in my father’s home. They altered my life for good. I copied their lifestyle, and listened to their kind of music. Folksongs were then in vogue. I cannot but listen to them till this day.
Legben prayed for me without end. Her prayers made me. I had no other commitment except my academic. Within a twinkle of an eye, my intellectual history changed. I quickly covered all the books that I glossed over in the primary school. I read through my English books. I did not need anyone to put me through. However, it was not easy to apply the same logic to Mathematics; I needed someone to put me through. So it was that I quickly altered my inglorious past in other subjects except Mathematics.
The fourth year marked a new beginning. I had a dream that altered my academic outlook. A lady promised that I would no longer lag behind. She gave me a cup of beverage and I quickly gulped it. I woke up and informed Legben. She congratulated me, and prayed that I would be more studious. I followed her counsel. I would read all through the day and night. I slept sparingly. My elixir each time I read into the night was Shakespeare. It was my means of relaxation. His characters in Macbeth thrilled me, and I tried to memorize every line.
An unknown teacher accosted my father and charged him to educate me. It was one fine morning that Legben informed me of Alhaji’s decision to augment my school fee. I was then in form four. He gave her N7.00 as part of my school fee. He based his resolve on the strength of the advice by the teacher whose name he did not mention. The teacher must have alluded to my efforts in the class and the need to get me educated. I advised mum to return the money, but she refused.
‘After all, you bear his name.’ She concluded.
I became more dedicated. I was not satisfied with any superficial knowledge of any subject. I needed to know everything. It all culminated in my success in the examination.
LONG VACATION. The year was 1975. The long vacation came. I had won the heart of Alhaji through divine programme. I approached him about my desire to travel to Lagos. I was to visit my uncle who lived in the flood-infested part of Lagos Street. The number was 19. His name was Sunday. The will of God in all things is always attended by uncanny success. The man that would take me to Lagos came to visit his relations and an agreement was quickly sealed about my visit to Lagos. He agreed to facilitate the visit. I introduced him to my mum and she was thrilled that the man in question was a child of her friend. In fact, she used to store her goods in the woman’s kitchen at the end of every market.
The journey was to take place on a Monday. The vehicle from Irele to Lagos used to move once in a week. It was then known as Gbayegun No. One. It was owned by a group of farmers who pulled their resources together to buy the vehicle when their cooperative society became so vibrant and had a lump sum in the bank. We did not board the vehicle as a result of the rumour making the round that the vehicle was jinxed. The rumour was then widespread that members of the cooperative used to afflict the vehicle at night. After the day’s business, the vehicle would be parked at the chairman’s residence. The driver would turn up the following morning only to observe that the vehicle was steaming hot as if it was driven all night.
We boarded another bus. The vehicle took us to Ore without delay. We later boarded a kombi bus to Lagos. We, however, had a stopover at Ikorodu. We alighted there and bought some chips. I arrived at Ojuelegba. It was the period when the overhead bridge at Ojuelegba was being constructed in anticipation of the visit of Elizabeth, The Queen of England to Nigeria. My uncle who was a carpenter was busy with his own part of the business when I was ushered into his presence. He took permission from his boss and quickly led me to Ayilara where he had his apprenticeship. I was there till the close of work when we both left for home at the waterlogged area of Lagos Street. I arrived home and began to pass a stool. It must have arisen from the chips I ate at Ikorodu.
The holiday was cool and I became exposed to so many things such as the aeroplane, train and other state of the art devices. My arrival at Irele opened my senses to the opportunities that abounded in academic. I longed to go back to Lagos.
I made another attempt to visit Lagos in 1978. It was at the completion of my class four. I approached Alhaji for permission but he dismissed the idea. I quickly picked my cutlass and some clothes. The most valuable among them was my copy of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and headed for Lamudifa. It was the time the palm estate there known as Ore-Irele Oil Palm Plantation was under construction. It was a market day, and I went to inform Mama about the decision to go for vacation job. She gave me some money and I headed for the place. I was lucky to be offered employment as an adult member of the gang. It was not clear to them that I could only function effectively as a juvenile and that my height was a result of Mama’s un hindered attention. My cousin named Tayo who was some years older than I was a juvenile employee. The task was tedious but our foreman named Olugbenga Odulaja from Ijebu whose parents were residing at Okitipupa did not allow me to finish the daily task. I would take care of his bag while the day lasted. The holiday was soon over but at the end of it, I had gained mastery of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I could recite quotations from the book without much ado. Thus, the refusal of Alhaji to let me go on holiday to Lagos was a blessing.
THE BLITZ OF LOVE The prophetess alluded to this when I was a corps member. She warned me. Yet I was too engrossed on the substance of a pact to renege on a promise. I had the notion then that a man’s words were his honours. Again, the death of Mama created a vacuum that Talabi could not fill especially with the inglorious part played by Alhaji. She could not wait to play any useful role even if she had any good intentions. The arrival of the lady was considered a boon. Indeed it was till the relationship received the sanction of her parents and the marriage was sealed. Her true colours manifested. It was unbelievable that the girl that would dote on me for as long as the courtship lasted could turn a rebel. She stood her ground and would rather enlist herself with my detractors. She did not hide her hatred for whatever I represented. It was indeed a curse. I found a haven in poetry and penned those traumatic years when I would be stripped naked in public glare. The truth is that my love was my blitz. When my contemporaries could boast of love from their beloved, my own quest developed wings and took its flight. Another affliction it was and household folk decreed that if he would shine undeterred, a mis-match must be found for him. His stir and struggle to undo the situation would make him keep a harem. He could then be dubbed an irresponsible loafer whose quest is anything in skirts.

Love springs in life’s summer
That dotage on another
Transcending gender, clime and taste
Mostly conjured by swelling blood
That threatens sight, discretion and rationality
Till the grim truth severs its hinges
Upon the dawn of twist and prattle of the self
A missile’s head reared very late
When nature withdraws its shade
A concept mostly celebrated in error
Which noble Shakespeare accorded divine status
That no sooner springs than it bends
She whose blindness is momentary
And its frame conditional

If love you dress in loose-robes
Sentimental qualifications or peerless anecdotes
May the ensuing joy last beyond your shadow
Which demise comes at dusk
And except cooked up illumination be about
The fancied-joy might crumble like the shade
That love engenders in its tumultuous leap
Characteristic of an indiscrete jumper
Who attempts to fly upon a slippery path
May such tasks be laced with unfettered bliss
The aching taunt of love is momentary
Like the flimsy joy, insubstantial
Love’s nakedness isn’t in doubt
And its joy faintly filters unseen

The duo fashioned a pact
Ill-conceived assumption of love knitted them
As they revelled in the claim of love
Ill tide steered them to the dais
And the duo fashioned a pact at last
At home a gulf emerged, the flesh built a bulwark
As each contested for supremacy
Like these aspirants, each stirred the hornet’s nest
And rallied the offspring into two camps
And potent missiles of war amply devolved
Manifold casualties, bounty harvests of putrefying carcasses
Yet the duo meant to fashion a pact
Whose principle shall be love and venus.

His cultural right to rule the home
Which claim he backed up with pride
His gender was his right
And his right made him supreme
Unacceptable to her this became
As she struggled not strength for might
Her defence brain not brawn, sure and simple
Aggrieved indeed she was
To bow and submit to a lesser partner
Who prided in gender but lesser in genius
Unequal endowment, gender notwithstanding
Makes some greater and others lesser
Gender right nor clownish might
Her unrivalled genius made her loathsome.

The esteem wife be better savoured
When a distance clouds such a rite
That occasional visitation makes her prized
Otherwise, her value isn’t worth a dime
For the bliss in distance becomes mortgaged
And in utter blitz remains the man of letter
Unable to harness dawning spurs and tickles of poesy
Try this if you may
And sacrifice potent time on the ring
Dishing out punches from both sides
Relish in continual bachelorhood if you will
And harness boundless delicacy in loneliness
Or try misfortune if you will marry
And dish out sight and tears as breath

The era was crowned with hatred. Every relation displayed the avowed malice but it was made more traumatic through the exhibition of warfare at home. I took to alcohol. It was an unconscious recourse. Yet, the encounter with malice engendered desire for an escape that could only find expression through addiction of whatever form. The theatre of ludicrousness shifted to my abode. Every idle folk sought fun on my threshold without a previous announcement. The gate fee was equally free. The period was a gloomy one. The dead night could be the time for the display. It did not matter if a large crowd was there to witness the orgy. The larger the crowd, the better, because salient secrets would be unveiled that would further expose my irresponsibility. A night came, and the dream featured an exposition that seemed unusual. My folk were betrayed to be possessors of uncanny spiritual capability with which I was afflicted. Except for His grace, another harvest of death would have been reaped. The bouts were further revealed to be a conscious quest to tie me to my tethers. His grace has been my sustenance and so the will and the power of darkness did not prevail.
SPIRITUAL ENCOUNTERS. Tobi deployed the second missile after the viva voce. The same day, a Saturday witnessed the scuffle that was to mark a turning point in my relationship with members of the extended family. The dawn was ushered in with the first nakedness. I was stripped naked by the best half. Not quite long thereafter, a man came and wanted to know if I owed Tobi some amount of money totalling Nine Thousand Naira. Tobi was a bike rider who found favour in the eyes of his former mate. The young man named Akporemu bought the bike for him with the promise that he would pay the sum of Nine Thousand Naira every month. The month of July came and Tobi did not redeem his pledge. He was accosted. His excuse was that I took his money to Ibadan without his knowledge when I went for my viva.
I arrived at the park and duly reported the case to the chairman of the unit. Tobi came and went to the toilet on sighting me. Thereafter, he came back and zoomed off with his bike. At that stage, I boarded a vehicle to Irele in anticipation of the arrival of the bike owner. He came and brought Tobi. My reaction was a sharp one. I wanted to exert my power over him. He resisted ferociously. The stage came for us to swear. I made up my mind not to do so. It was on the strength of an earlier vision from a man of God not to swear no matter what the case could be. I told Chief Oyewoga that I was not ready to swear and that I was ready to pay the money; after all my ten thousand naira was with Tobi’s wife on account of a contract for the supply of school badges for the pupils of my school since the year 2000.
The day came when God gave me the opportunity to arrest him. I did. The bike owner came and I told him point blank to go and collect his money from Tobi, as his money was not on me. That encounter marked a turning point in the case. It was closed for life except when the bike owner met me one day and began to beg for what he termed an assault on me. He was convinced that Tobi did not tell the truth on the issue as his refusal to redeem subsequent dues convinced him of his dishonesty in the issue. I was on my way from the family house. I duly showed him the way to the family house to report his findings. The reaction of the family head named Lemikan was the same. He told him that Tobi had not deemed it necessary to honour the invitation he sent to him. I was thereby exonerated.
Another year of pains was 2003. I was at home without means of sustenance. Friends and relations deserted me. There was virtually no one left to offer me succour. I waited patiently for the release of my result. The better half took that occasion to unleash her orgies on me. It did not matter where she met me; the ultimate was a repetition of my impotence. The year ended with a revelation that an accident was already fixed for that year and with the approval of all relations. The cruel will was dismissed without much ado. Yet, it happened, but the degree of severity was already reduced to the barest as uncanny rituals were already deployed to mitigate its severity.
2003, July: The result was released and the search for employment became another battle. The enemies had concluded that it was not to be. The reversal of spiritual priority put a seal on my quest. I reconciled with Christ and the will of darkness was negated. I was retrieved from their shackles. Mum was the word. No relation could identify with me because I saw them all in their spiritual negativity every night. Those days were, indeed dark!
I BURIED MUM: I saw them all in their spiritual nakedness. They were the mischief-makers acting behind the scene intent on clipping my wings and beam. I then severed my relationship with them; for there is no association between darkness and light. They searched for me not out of genuine love but the desire to bring me down on my knees. They came with the unyielding appetite for booze. The direction was to clip the man of letter if only he could stick to his addiction with booze.
The year was July 2001. I buried mum officially. I had some money that could have been used to buy a car. Yet, it dawned on me that I had a responsibility to bury Legben with whatever I could save. It would have been a great disservice on my part if I had refused to honour her in view of the sufferings and pains she endured in order to see me through life’s turbulent storms. The whole maternal family members supported me. They gave me the needed support. I hired a kombi bus that would facilitate the movement of the folk from Gbogi to Irele. My younger ones did not attend the ceremony. Sidi was on her youth service at Akwa Ibom State. Wole went for the marriage of Anthony’s first daughter at Ibadan. He was duly informed and even saw the posters as he later said. So the responsibility of burying Legben fell on me.
I soon got to know the extent of the enmity the folks had for me. I captured their devilish traits in verses.

They beamed those deadly fangs on the driver
And their filial hatred amply devolved
To clip his beam and pluck his feathers
If the cutters they clap with ample palms
Dreadful would his gait before the computer
If the thorns they tend with scars and bruises
Painful would his gait within the dais
As he deposes the queen’s missile to divers tongues
And each scrambles to scribble a point
Which god moulded his frame?
Which blood tended his mould?
If all should tend the land
How many heads has he to derail
If the thorns they tend with scars and bruises?

Their garbs were adorned with curses
Such primordial songs seemed quaint feats
And they prided in archaic metaphors
Till this driver reconciled such contradictions
And negative praise-songs re-appraised
If such decrepit objects inhabit their sensibilities
How many sibling mount camels
When the unfettered cruise on Lexus-jeep!
If folks’ ultimate is such large barns of yams
How may siblings surmount filial bulwarks
When the unfettered tend computers on adroit tips!
My like tends not decrepit tools
Golden pen on casual inscriptions devolve
Monumental harvests of quid on a casual beck.

I kept myself from all. And I would wish that all would follow my lead if the ultimate is a negation of the evil will of the angels of darkness.
The truth was that I died, but not through any physical disintegration as the physical thrust was truncated through ancient palliative antidote. The device was such through which a beloved was snatched from the clutches of death’s fangs and made to live further as a new lease indeed he won through pacificatory devolutions. A substitute may be found in a ready ally as in Legben who gave up herself and made her meat a ready morsel for death to bruise in her own untimely submission.
It really proved my luck and blitz. The first for renewed lease to live and the other for the pains attendants on bereavement made manifest in incessant hunger and the singsong among jealous neighbours that he was a pervert. But let me on to the gist.
I have made diverse allusions before now, all pointing to the first eclipse that threatened to becloud my breath and gait but that was settled once upon a time in Legben’s resolve to rejuvenate the famished blood of her son. This, readers cannot deny except a gulf separates the code or the milieu’s traits are not clear or the readers’ ears are pierced. Let me say their eyes are blurred because if the lot to one is true, these plots to all can’t be shut. The visioners’ exactitude can’t all be faulty that such ranting of the scribbler leaves no potent spot on the mind to salivate the morsel or give them the irrigable leeway. The semantic whistle deployed is not marred by ciphers that the dogs did not discern the hunter’s message in the deep. Let me not doubt such quaint ability.
The birth of the boy named Segun became a blessing. Her love for the babe was unqualified, and by the day blossomed especially for the gift of the boy. His love for the mum through doting too daily increased Legben’s quest to nurture him to maturity. The quest was to achieve such feasts like incessant ranting and spilt of ink upon fair pages, fair tales. So that as the babe attained immortality, the ancestress might be thrilled that her lineage cropped him whose pen littered several pages. Within such milieu was the birth but the sojourn was not done yet. The cosmic realm too must be potent accomplice in the complicity and the quest to banish me from the allotted pact with the grave. If indeed the seal was real that nature meant me to live for a while, as longevity wasn’t part of that eternal order, the remission of death and subsequent banishment must be pointers to sages’ knowledge of nature and the means to thwart her gestures.
How potent were man-made concoctions! How efficacious were such libations! Perhaps a secret pact existed among primordial stalwarts that nature became their pawn; mere robots they twirled and tuned or the quest to live may largely depend on the living and his tethers with the sepulchre. His will was, no doubt, instrumental in the efficacy.
The gist went thus. At birth, mum went about and desirous of His will on the newly whelped baby. For what will be will be. My encounter, I mean what ill wind, what tender fate might beset my paths or earthly stumps on broad roads might bruise my toes upon unconscious endeavours, sojourns where my peers moved without eternal hitches or life’s stumbling blocks. The need became imperative because death prowls the streets, gathering travellers on the eternal boat orchestrated by filial disfavour. For when the pacifist does his cooking and searches for favour in his soup, then will all let him grow. Legben was desirous of nothing like that, for the farmer tended her corn to maturity and patiently waited for her yam to blossom till its soaring tendril was nipped. So must filial enemies await the gentle soar of her son as I beam like a sun that no ill favour could surmount. The resolve wore more armour and made steel by the will of iron and sewn by nothing except courage as the futility of her own fame far beyond the shoddy enclave dawned on her as she tended pepper, rice, okra and melon. Every market witnessed her onslaught and soaring name as half she sold, while half were offered as gifts to neighbours and friends. She killed not a fly for perching on her threshold or kept malice beyond the limit arising from unrequited favour but she lived like an angel. Yet, her tender nature was sacrificed in the quest to nurture her gods’ bits of fingers to maturity and sage hood.

So, long was it envisioned that her bits of fingers would blossom and wrestle with queens not in duel but through romance and pacts. She wanted them among earth shakers as equals but not bombers and warriors that meant to truncate earthly fabrics into rubbles. But such kids might blossom and set several paces be they in literature, queen of art; for which a toddler might find his level and dine with queens at banquets and dare kings, if they err. Such dreams she fancied. She rustled leaves and pealed oak’s coats so that her seeds might blossom and never a cutlass hold nor forming sweat on their brows in order to inundate bellies with meat. Not within the least sweat would she tolerate them or such pines attendant on peasants; a quest prevalent among her kinds whose offspring marked registers among soaring oaks and biting ants; an unending romance with nature dotted by hoes and axes.
Bold was Legben’s resolve; a trait she won from birth and buttressed by accident of domesticity because destiny’s reins are further stirred by environmental vagaries. The inclement weather may surely breed a demented sensibility, this I mean. Or a fair weather might engender bumper harvest as the farmer smiles, sauntering home in absolute satisfaction that his assuaged hunger from success may not receive much tilt because a handful morsel his conscious ego could admit. Such is man at the tethers of birth, association and opportunities that one might safely conclude that destiny is not regimented. Or that the labourer’s yield and the commensurate wage from tillage might be probed on the altar of the milieu. Or further allusion may worth the pain. I mean survival or otherwise hang on the threshold of time. What ailed and maimed a multitude at the dawn of time may with a wave of tablets be dismissed as time batters its stigma, and reveals quaint clues. The truth is that this scourge, now insurmountable, may soon yield to scientific probe.

My other muse be physical
She in that eternal submission
Compelled an unyielding breath
LEGBEN, moulder of perverse mould
The stump in eclipse that sprouted an oak
The rebellious, iconoclast known to time
Further spur she gestates
And that readiness to yield
To the chagrin of brothers and all
Whose wicked desires were nipped
To LEGBEN be this muse
The prime motivation to enforce a legacy.
She yields
That her bits of fingers might thrive

Was LEGBEN’S spur wrought by love?
Or a mere accomplice in nature’s pranks
In this quest for artistic rejuvenation
Known to different ages but in specks
Through Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
Prime movers of rational postulations
The heaven or nature conditioned her
In that mindless submission
That her ebbing-son might be
To dish saner rules and virtues
To perverts inhabiting the climes
While she relishes above with the divine
In that inimitable satisfaction
As her unqualified being littered a genius
May these lines be a parallel of gratitude to Legben who nurtured this driver and retrieved him from his prankish rebellion. For what else could be equated with a favour unrecompensed; an ingratitude so chilling and stultifying like a blow on the face during a stroll in the dark!
A Reviewed Conclusion:
2002, I employed a paternal relation to oversee the finance of my school named Omosule International School, comprising Nursery, Primary and Secondary. The pupils’ population was enough to make a businessman smile to the bank. I was saddled with the responsibility of administering the school as well as the collection of fee. The burden was too much, as it would tell on my academic in view of the impending viva voce. I drafted an old man of about seventy years to collect school fee on the basis of the fact that his age would make him invulnerable to dishonesty. Alas the almighty time has robbed everyone both young and old of the least moral scruple. He was named ME-RO-KO. I was wrong. He siphoned the entire fee that year. He brought some paternal relations to beg and returned about Five Thousand Naira. It was a kind of coincidence that we lost almost all the students that year, as an agent of darkness came in the dream and locked the main door to the school. I was left with about twenty students to teach.
I thanked God all the same that I was alive. August came and I did my defence and my doctoral degree was awarded to me the following year in view of the industrial action that overwhelmed the academic affairs of the University of Ibadan since December 2002.
2003, November, I went for my convocation. It was minimal joy in view of the financial dearth that tended the ceremony. My wife brought all she could to bear on the ceremony. My aunt who was the younger sister of my mum Janet and her son Daniel who was staying with us and schooling in my school graced the occasion. Aunt Janet provided Gaari, yam tubers and money during my education especially immediately after the demise of Legben. Wole Omosule, my younger brother was there. Olorunwa Omosule, my half-brother and Ibrahim, another half-brother from the same father were there. Two other friends went with me namely: Akinluwa Akin (Ilaje), Igbala Ijiyemi (Texaco) from Idogun Quarters. Iya Elepo named Mrs. Funmilayo Samuel from Ekiti who saw the scanty number of people in the convocation train quickly contributed money towards paying for the chartered bus. She put on her best attire and went with us. Mama Samuel another sympathiser from Ekiti also graced the occasion. Olaiya Balogun (Mogambo) from Ogbomosho, who had earlier taken the place of a father, came with pomp and pageantry. He came along with his wife in a posh jeep car. They searched every nook and cranny of the University of Ibadan to fish us out of the crowd. They brought crates of beverages and other food items. He posed for photographs with me. His wife was exceedingly glad to spend her money on photographs. Thank God that some dotage could still be found in spite of the rejection from all quarters. My colleagues had dinners organized for them at Premier Hotel, and other classy five-star hotels in Ibadan. In my own case, I had no one to pat my back except strangers. While at the convocation ground many strangers came to have handshakes with me. They did not know me but they must have been spurred by the dearth that tended my brow as well as the relative age at which the degree was awarded.
The next round of spiritual struggle was how to release myself from filial inhibitions. Well, they yielded at last and I got my first job in 2004 October 11 at the Covenant University, Ota. What gains can one count ever since? Un-quantifiable!

Glory be to God. (Que sera sera -what wil be will be)

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