Sunday, November 20, 2016 9:29 pm
So early in life, because we were “aje butter”, with house helps, laundry men and gardeners at our beck and call, we the children were given some “Britico” upbringing. And despite the fact they were our domestic servants, we were taught to give them utmost respect. They must not be disrespected. And we related to them with utmost courtesy, like any elder. And this has paid off today.
We were taught how to use and arrange the cutlery set on the dining table and also how to prepare salad delicacies. It was a taboo to walk bare footed, even in the house. And when going to school, you must put on your socks and canvas and well- ironed uniform. My late dad, Chief Olu Akinnola, was a stickler for neatness. When you washed his Hings white pants and singlets, you must iron them, iron the washed socks and handkerchiefs. And when you polished his shoes, your face must reflect on it like a mirror.
At very early age, we learnt how to thoroughly wash the cars, top-up the water in the radiator and check the engine oil. And as a rule, you must observe the siesta. When in school and we wrote him letters, he would use his red biro to correct any grammatical errors and keep the letters for us till we came on holidays.
He related with us like brothers and sisters. As a matter of fact, till sometime in the 70s, we were not calling him daddy but broda. We were very free with him. I would sometimes sit on his laps and start playing his bald head. And he would laugh. Then, they called me “Abobo Odole” (Odole’s pet). Odole was his chieftaincy title.
A strict disciplinarian, l can’t forget one day l told a lie when l was in primary three. As a rule, you must not walk barefooted. I went to school one day and went to play ball during the break time and l removed my shoes. In the process, l got injured with a broken bottle on the field. When l got home and he saw me limping, he enquired why and l told him that a broken bottle entered my left foot.
He asked if l didn’t put on my canvas and l lied that l did. He said l should go and bring the canvas to see how the broken bottle penetrated the shoe. In my panic, l went to pick the shoe, quickly used a sharp object to puncture a hole in it and brought it to him. Unfortunately for me, l went to puncture the shoes of right foot, while my injury was on the left foot. After he found out my “wayo,” l got the beating of my life. Since, that day, l stopped telling lies.
Happy 90th posthumous birthday my guy.