My Mum- Christmas Stories-Pt. 2

“1-2-3- Go! B***** Onye Ohi!!!!” We would scream, as we approached our compound in the villa.

Finally we were home and the excitement for Christmas was gradually getting to it’s peak.

Well, we only had that priviledge to shout if we were riding in my Mum’s car. Those who rode with my Dad usually sat all nice and pretty until they arrived the villa and disembarked.

My Dad is a chronic builder. He was either always building or renovating a built house and this showed in compound in the villa. everytime we came home, something new had been added or remodelled. As kids, we didn’t mind, we had enough rooms to play in and enough places to run around in, until, well, we grew older and became part of the cleaning team.

A few days before we travelled for Christmas, Mum would usually arrange to have the house cleaned out. Sometimes, they would lay clean bedsheets on all the beds and all we did would just be arrive and unpack. As we grew older though, we became of the dusting, scrubbing, cleaning and bed dressing team and ofcourse, I started to wonder if we really needed all that space. Talk about knowing where the shoe pinches.

We would barely settle in when the visitors would start arriving to greet my Mum. One look at your face and they would go ‘o nke a bu…‘ ‘is it this one that…’ and my Mum would fill in the gap with the appropriate story while they mocked a frown if the person didn’t remember them.

I can never forget my Mum’s long explanation of who was who. I can’t claim to ever remember.

“Mummy keduzi onye bu ife a?” We would ask, wanting her to help explain who a relative was. And she would go like; “Mama onye a, na Mama m, mu nwadiana na Nkwelle” meaning “This person’s mother and my mother are cousins from Nkwelle”, or she would say “o ro nna m ochie” and I would nod without understanding. So some of these people turned up for her burial and I didn’t know who they were…

As soon as we settled in, my Mum would insert the Boney M Christmas Carol in the Radio player. She always had one for every Christmas, an orange cassette back then. The deep bass belting “May your days be merry and bright…” and many other Christmas songs helped set the tone for the celebrations. She would later on start adding Christmas lights, strung on the Christmas trees pine trees already growing in the compound.

On Christmas day, we all got dressed and drove to St. Dominics Catholic Church, Uke, a Church her father served in diligently as the treasurer and helped build before his demise. We flocked around her after service and greeted her friends before heading into the cars and heading home.

The rest of the Christmas was generally spent entertaining guests, and when we were younger, visiting our Grand Mum and Great-Grand Mother. We were allowed to indulge in soft drinks, Mum would say, “rapu fa, oo Christmas ka a na-agba”, asking whomever to let us be, we were celebrating Christmas. Lol.

Going back to Onitsha was usually a drag, Mum loved it in the village. She would postpone our journey until we absolutely had to go back and then the packing started again, but this time around with less enthusiasm and vigour.

Laid to rest in this compound where she provided so much warmth, her grave would forever be a reminder that once upon a time, Lady Bene was here.

The Storytela

#LadyBeneLivesOn

#InEverLovingMemory

Take A Trip To Navy Town

It’s countdown to Christmas day. Season’s greetings everyone as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

If you are spending the holiday in Lagos, and you are looking for somewhere unique to go, then Navy Town might be it for you. Here’s an article I wrote on my trip to Navy Town, posted on http://www.davinadiaries.com. Enjoy!

**********************************************************

20150809_140921I had to visit the Old Navy Town recently and it wasn’t exactly a trip I looked forward to. This was a Sunday and my idea of a great Sunday is to get some rest after Church Service, Sunday Cooking and all. Well, I had to go to Navy Town and to Navy Town I went. The Navy Town is located at Ojo (Your GPS should tell you the exact location) after the Kirikiri Prisons.

As we approached the Barracks, my apprehension turned to excitement as first of all we had to drive past the Kirikiri Medium and Maximum prisons. I didn’t know the area around the prison could be so peaceful and quiet. Then we entered Navy Town and my jaw dropped open.

20150809_145959

Seriously, I was expecting the kind of chaos that would usually accompany the Police Barracks but men! Was I wrong?! The entrance to the ‘Town’ was a well paved road flanked by green vegetation on both sides. Wow! I tuned in to Nature immediately. Before then, we had driven past some really old buildings (I love old buildings!).

As we cruised into the town enjoying the scenario, the person we were taking there mentioned that there was a Sailing Club. So I went like ‘Sailing Club?’ I gotta see that men! So we drove towards the Sailing Club. On our way, we couldn’t help but notice how calm the town was. Everywhere was quiet and we saw some Naval Officers enjoying a game of Golf! I wondered if this was rowdy Lagos and then Ojo to be precise.

20150809_141817

We got to the Sailing Club and it blew my mind. You see, I love water, I really do love water and then I love to watch the Sun Set at the beach and all of that stuff so being in that place, I was completely in tune with my inner self. I was almost beginning to ask that we build three tents and remain there when it occurred to me that this was not the Transfiguration. LOL

20150809_141748

We lingered in the area, took in the scenery, bought some Suya from the Memorial Kitchen while I took as much pictures as I could before we headed to complete our journey. We did drive past some old buildings that weren’t so well kept and looked a bit dirty but then, we saw several modern buildings and several other new ones being constructed.

20150809_142004

All in all, I was so glad that I went to Navy Town and I’m really impressed that in a country like ours where things are usually left to fall apart, some degree of sanity was retained in that place. Kudos to our Naval Guys!