Thursday, February 14, 2013

My 'Accidental' Twenty Fifth Birthday Gift to my Parents.

It was lazy on Monday the 11th- February; I would turn 25 the next day and decided to take work a little easy. I thought to myself, I must do something different: buy my parents a gift; after all, you do not turn 25 twice.

Indulging in the slow pace of work I created for myself, I brood over what gifts to get, and then it hits me. My boss publicly presented his book, ‘The Accidental Public Servant’ 6 days ago, I decide to give them copies of the book.

Both my parents love books. When we were a lot younger, they would force us to read them. I did read, for a while, and then settled for just the freshness of new books. On occasions, I would sneak into bookshops, open books, take in the fresh scent, and then leave. How mischievous I would feel!

Starting out as a journalist, my father always had a passing interest in governance and my mother long ago dedicated most of her life to activism, it only seemed appropriate that they would be very interested in the memoirs of a politician. One as controversial as Nasir Ahmad El- Rufai nonetheless.

I climb down two flights of stairs to a colleague’s office where I buy the books. A bookshop agent waiting to be attended to keeps smiling at me and I wonder what is wrong. I feel good; the thoughts of buying the books make me feel good. I think to myself, remembering how much of a gift my parents have given me.

For the 25 years I have lived, the one love I have counted on and known would always be constant has been my mother. At times when I took advantage of my parent’s separation, and collected fees from both parents, amidst scolds, my mother’s love was constant. I remember fondly a time when I took money out of her purse, she pondered over it for days, and then finally asked,

‘Is there anything you want that I deny you of?’ She had not accused, but I knew where it was headed. I apologized and her forgiveness was quick.

Thing is, for mothers like mine, my tongue would not cease to sing their praises. I do not doubt her strength for a second: the things she went through, struggles she survived, anyone with will not strong enough would have broken down. And I see this will in my 2 sisters, it reminds me of a T-Shirt design I had seen previously ‘Protect Your Woman, Broken Women Raise Broken Girls’

‘Momoh’! my colleague calls, knowing my attention for a few seconds was stolen. I compliment his shirt, say it is very impressive. He squirms happily like a puppy offered treats.

1 paperback and 1 hard back? Yes. I pay him the N14,000 due. Collect the books and thank him.


  1. Incredibly, this piece just stroke, inspired, and eked a spot in my solitude to write something on "my first valentine gift from my dad".despite the pains of a seperated family, many mums like mine, have fought so hard to cloth there kids with the toga of love....five stars adejoh

    1. I am filled with gladness that my writing would in anyway inspire you, I think that's the aim of every writers writing. Our mothers are 'rock stars' 'amazing women'. God blessed us with them.

  2. A candid, heartfelt piece. I can relate to certain areas..the part about having separated parents and the gratitude for the undying love of mothers is really indescribable except you've been there before.Thankfully, we all turned out right. Well-written. More power to your elbows

  3. An eye opener,,,,,,can see where the traits from,..u should do a piece on single motherhood,,,,my mother made me, i owe her plenty....thrilling and suspensful, i was sinking in m y couch, subconsiously ascending to my prose reading state, but was caught off guard.......Sim