This is part of an epic tale of growing up with my Yoruba monarch
My parents generation today have witnessed at least two different Ile-Ife monarch reigns so sometimes they are best to tell some stories given most of our stories were not written and those that were, are seriously skewed to the benefits of the writer. Not everyone in that generation thought anything would ever change, most complained of being tired of asking for what is right, others feared they’d be at risk.
Either way, I believe we can not keep going the same old way and expected different results. If we want improvement in the way that land ownership is being dealt with, then there must be a change, a defined and fair one.
I get excited about things – new experience, new places to explore so naturally visiting Thailand excited me more so that I have plenty of time to see and learn. For my six weeks there I saw plenty from the beautiful Grand Palace, to riding elephants in the north jungles. Really, you guys have palm trees too? That sort of knowledge filled me with innermost joy.
The biggest surprise of all came two days before leaving. I was in a big market in Bangkok, Chatuchak market, just window shopping but when I spotted a group of African shoppers, the veins in my head popped. I remembered the saying that 1 in every 5 black person you see is likely to be a Nigerian so I thought, I’ll keep walking around to see if I’d see some.
Before long I found myself in a Nigerian restaurant eating eba and egusi – incredible. Spoke to an Osogbo woman who has African prints shop, the type and quality that you don’t get back home, so I stocked up for my parents.
Then comes the biggest surprise of all. Adegoke walked into the restaurant, ordered his food, and sat opposite me. He has been in Bangkok for a while, so decided to settle there, not easy he told me. “Compared to home, what do you say?” Goke chuckled and looked me in the eye saying between us both “Hell is better than home he left behind.”
Nigeria is not that bad, maybe not enough opportunities but really not that bad. so I asked him, tell me “where are you from that is that bad.” He hesitated because he thought I could never understand, but I urged him to trust me. Then he said the most unexpected town ever, “Modakeke” No way, I yelled and gave him the biggest hug ever.
After getting over the shock, then come the familiar stories, we both shared tales of our beloved town, we knew each others primary and secondary schools even knew a few people in common.
It was the 1997 – 2000 crisis, he went to secure the borders for a few days with a gun, the experience was just a bit too much for him so he swore to get away from it all and here he found himself. Goke was in his early 20s at the time.
Meeting Goke gave me hope. He knows the true story of what has happened and continue to happen till today and the aftermaths on people. This negative effects is not just on one side, it affects everyone from both communities.
Hope it is.