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CHAPER 17- Sweet Success

The years gradually rolled away and then came the day of Beatrice graduation. Early that morning Beatrice received a phone call from overseas it was Aunt Helen and her family congratulating her on the occasion prior to this day she has received a parcel sent by Aunt Helen and her family in which was included the new gown she was wearing this morning and a cell phone.
Uncle John and his children had came all the way from Lagos, the previous evening, laughing in an hotel, just to the celebrate this memorable occasion with Beatrice, Aisha refuse to come with her family saying she has better things to do than embark on a useless journey.
The entire village of Abaoloke has been aging for the past two days as able bodied man went into the bush to cut down fire wood which excited boys on girls carried to the village square to be deposited in a corner there while some were busy using bamboo sticks to make shelters in the open square, all this was done in preparation for Beatrice’s graduation ceremony, the Kabiyesi has made known his intention to host the entire village in honour of this young ambitious daughter of their who has added another feather to the village’s cap.
Among the four villages that made up Oke-Nla local government, Aboloke was the first to produce a female doctor, Beatrice’s achievement was therefore the entire village’s success and every body was proud of this laudable achievement. The remaining three villages has caught the excited fewer Aboloke to them should be given to whom honour is due and Beatrice deserve to be honored for her determination to make it in life.
Mrs. Adams and her family were treated like royalties even little faith hope felt like a little given as everybody hover around her. As one old woman rightly remarked ‘there is nothing that determination can not do’, she wished he father was alive however to witness this occasion because the old man was among those who has stubbornly rejected the idea of the missionaries settlement in their village, he has refuse to allow any of his children to go to school. The old woman recalled how she has envied those that were sent to school then how she has begged her father to send her troop, the old man has retorted that it was a waste of time and money to send female children to school only for them to end up in another man’s kitchen, when asked why he did not allow his some to benefit from the white man’s knowledge, he asked who was going to help him on his farm if they do said the old woman now lavish I had been more insistent “may be you would have turned out a doctor too, “her friend teased her.
No, not a doctor replied the other, ‘but somebody one that works where money is kept in the town. A young boy standing near them said ‘that’s an accountant in a bank. “Yes’, beamed the first woman nodding her head ‘clever boy’ she praised the boy who under normal circumstances would have been rebuked sharply for interrupting his elders.
None of those, present could fault the fist woman’s claim to turning out an accountant because they all knew from experience that mama Olu was adapt of keeping and counting money a task none of them could do successful.
Even though she could neither read nor write member was the only woman in the village who collects daily contributions a job known to be the exclusive preserve is men, she uses charcoal s her pen and the four corners of her room as her paper to record her intakes, she has never been known to underpay or over pay anyone at the end of the specified term of agreement be it on a monthly basis or at the end of each season, she was so accurate that whenever she meet anyone of her customers on the way or at a function in the village she would tell you how your account was standing as at then.
Mama James said ‘Beatrice has shown us that having children does not disturb you from archiving your goals in life ‘yes’, mama Ireti replied, ‘and that women are not only, for rearing of children and cooking alone, I hope baba Ireti will see the light end let her got to school soon.
I hope so too, said mama James because that girl has what this oyinbo people call latent. The young boy said again, it is called talent ‘an not latent but this time around he got a sharp look of disapproval from the woman he has corrected. Mama Olu asked ‘what do you mean by saying Ireth has got talent.
Mama James explained that with paper and pencil Ireti can draw the picture of a person as if the person was actually pasted on the paper. I remember at daughter’s ‘oh, yes’, mama yearn joined in at Badmus, wedding one and see everybody was passing her and given money as the birth her paper and pencil in hand, she would stand in front of you for a moment she wold look at you they bend her head to her paper, only to give the paper to you and you sum discover that you are starring at your self on the paper, I was so impressed that I was forced to give her one naira.
At this everybody present laughed because they know mama Yemi to give anyone money no matter how small means that the person has really deserved it because she does part with her money that easy. A girl suddenly detach herself from the waiting crowed shouted ‘thy have come at last on, signifying the arrival of the bus that has been charted to carry the people to the city for Beatrice graduation ceremony.
Akigbemare Kabiyesi’s messenger asked the people to line up as the crowd surged towards the coaster bus Mrs. Adams and her family was the first to board the vehicle, then came the four drummers, the five acrobatic boys and three of the dancing girls it was after this that a few noble man and women in the village were allowed to enter while Olu and Iyalode who represents the Kabiyesi were given the honour of sitting in the front with the driver, the bus drove offended others from the crowd that were left behind.
Beatrice was grateful to Uncle John and his children for being in town since the previous evening else there couldn’t have been anybody from her family to witness his memorable occasion of her life. She wondered what has kept her mother and the twins from coming, whenever a cab appears she would strained out her necks to see if it was them only to sign with disappointment.
Uncle John sensing his niece anxiety has tried sorting her by saying that may have met hold up or that probable the vehicle developed some mechanical fault but he was sure they will soon be from them.
Soon the ceremony was over and it was time for taking pictures, Frances father came over to congratulate Beatric e followed by his children Mrs. baling based herself with entertaining the people who had come with them but when she heard that John Oju was the director of operation at the most prestigious oil company in Lagos, she come over the introduced to him while calculating in her head how this could further help her business because she has a filing station.
It was Frances who first saw the troops from Abacha, ‘look mama and the others are here at last!!, he shouted they all turn to see the people of Aboloke in their colourful regalia getting out of the bus, there were shouts of welcome, congratulations and general introduction all round.
The drummers, the acrobatic display boys and the dancing girls went into action amidst cheers and applause from the people present some people left their own camp for Beatrice to watch the acrobatic display.
Frances’ father dig some bata dance to the admiration of his children and his friends sprayed him with naira notes which he in turn pasted on the fore head of the drummers and their troop.
The people from Abaoloke really stole the show that day and Beatrice who has been worried at seeing them was actually happy and delighted that they have come to honour her while the people were busy taking pleasures and refreshing themselves, Frances father called Uncle John and Mrs. Adams aside to ask them when his family could come over to formalize the relationship between Frances and Beatrice.
Mrs. Adams replied that she was not the only one she gave birth to Beatrice and that although Beatrice’s father was dead he has family and relatives who has to be informed first. They however preached the conclusion that John Oju will keep or Balingo on informed as soon as the family members were notified and then they could fixed time for the introduction of both families.
Some months later the introduction was done, then came the engagement and soon after the date was fixed for the wedding proper. despite Mrs. Balingo’s insistence that the marriage should take place in Lagos Beatrice and Frances has insisted on having their wedding in the village to show their appreciations to the village fro the honour given to Beatrice during he graduation ceremony and because both wanted a quite wedding and not the kind of elaborate society wedding that Mrs. Balingo has in mind.
Some months prior to the wedding tractors were seen on the road leading from the man town to the Aba-Nla community with men busy working night and day to ensure that the road was motorable before the occasion, although all the roads leading to the four villages that makes up Aba-Nla was leveled only the one leading to Abaoloke actually has coal tar spread on it, the village can now boast of a tarred road which was another achievement for Abaoloke and boosted the prestige of this village among the other villages.
Where the other villages could only boast of one bore while courtesy of the communal effort and government assistance, Abaoloke have two bore holes the second was made possibly by Abaoloke social elite club to which uncle John belongs and which Beatrice too would soon be privileged to join, this group consisted of industrious for sons and daughters of Abaloke, who are leaving out sides the village who has no doubt make through because before you are envied …………………
This group has also seen to the building of a big meetings when I the village but it also serves as a receptor who came home fro one ceremony or the other. The group also went as far as building a church and mosque in their village with the view that as the people draws nearer to God, they will discard most of their taboos and fetish ideas as the fear and knowledge of God paves the way for better ideas and new ways of living.
The next thing that has been on the agenda of the social elite club was to build a grammar school and to bring electricity to the village in other to give their people more access to government and information but new thanks to Mrs. Paul Balingo who has bought a big transformer for the Aba-Nla community a few months after the introduction ceremony of both Beatrice and Frances family each village has quickly looked themselves to buy poles and service wires for the light and as usual Abaoloke was the first to start enjoying this privilege as the club promptly came to the aid of their people to get light into the area.
It was therefore pomp and pageantry on Beatrice’s wedding day as each village tries to outshine one another they display their cultural heritage to the visitors. The vicar of the village has been given the honour of officiating the
There was a loud ovation Dr. Mrs. Beatrice Balingo stand up to speak, having acknowledged the presence of all present, Beatrice said ‘I would want you all to help me thank my uncle for his financial moral, and unflinching support through out the period of my education in fact he has shouldered our responsibility of ever since the demise of our father, she then went on to lead the song ‘for his a jolly good fellow’ after which three hearty cheers was said his group John Oju.
Beatrice also went on to thank Aunt Helen who has allowed in all the may from London to witness the solemnization, ‘I am also very grateful to my mother who never waver fro a moment from her belief that I can still make it, she’s a mother in a million, all the women present went very proud and happy and they started to sing the Yoruba song ‘Iyaniwuraiybiye in honour of motherhood.
My gratitude also goes to my twin brothers Beatrice added ‘ whose slogan is ‘is that the end of the world’ when ever any thing unpalatable, happens and to little Faith hope because she was an incentive that I can still make it in life no matter what’.
Last but by no means the lastly I would like to thank my husband Frances Balingo very much for his encouragement and love despite the past. his word for me was always ‘ I know you can still make it, in fact you are already doing that. She then went on to charge the youth that were present out to waste their youth, she encouraged them to be well focused and to set a goal for themselves, she added that they should allow the fear of God, to govern all their action so that they can reach their ultimate in life.
Finally, I want to encourage the youths never to be discourage even when passing though difficult times but to take the bell by the horn, face life squarely and the sky would be the limit for you, never allow anything to weigh you down, never flea in your real to attain greatness to fall or two is not the end of the world as my brother used to say how prepare are you to rise him.
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