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And Gbenga my Nephew was left in my care to foster temporarily. He barely knew me; the only familiar face was his dad’s. That au fait was scheduled to fly out to South Africa that very night he flew in from US. I was a bit concerned about how he would cope without his dad that he stuck to like an adhesive. His dad snuck away when it was time to depart for the airport. Mercifully, he slept off not realizing that his dad had gone on another of his numerous trips.

The next morning, he woke up scramming to his dad’s room to look for him. He searched from one room to another ‘’daddy, daddy, daddy, he repeatedly called but dad was on aeronautical journey thousand miles away. He stood still when realization dawned on him that his dad was not home, and bawled loudly. I clasped him with comforting embrace, until he stopped weeping. Well the fostering started.

He tapped me “wxurifhfjsjsks milk” I understood only milk I did not understand the words before that.

Instinct translated the words into idea. He wanted milk I guesstimated. He spoke with American accent, very fast with a drawl. While no problem, the father had come with all sort of assorted American food, chocolates, sweets and snacks gbogbo e.

I opened the massive box, I brought out what I thought was milk, but he shook his head to indicate a no.

“Binga, you want milk right? We called him “Binga” that was the name oyinbo people called him because they couldn’t pronounce “GBENGA” and he said ‘’wzxghjkkllljjddj milk”  e gbami o. wetin this boy dey talk? This is milk ke.

I plumaged the box and voila, I saw a pack of milk shake, brought it out and he smiled “sxhnmmebjjbe milk shake’’ so I cerebrally engraved it for the future.

The fostering continued. It was experimental and boob.

“mbxuegddbfjnshjmn wet’ I looked at my mum who looked back at me with the expression that says ‘’if you didn’t understand him how do you expect me to understand’’

“Wbwneurbemw wet” wet? “Diapers wet” he had replied. ’’oho! Your diaper is weeeeet’’ We call it pampers in naija. All products are pampers o. I changed his diapers.

“Qwnmwjwjwn chocolates” okay shokolate abi? I would fetch some for him.

“wjwkwdnjdiemmdndn biscuits jakkshjdj” biscuits? I would get some for him.

My mum worried over what food he would eat, he cannot subsist on snacks alone, she said our naija food na pepper lacing o. we decided to play safe. Not to introduce naija pepper in other not to have casualty on our hands. We treaded cautiously, we gave him rice with ketchup. We gave him oyinbo foods, food that would not niggle or upset his system, intermittently with the biscuits and chocolates. Of course, we were also communicating back and forth with the mother for direction. It was a real manual on “HOW TO TAKE CARE OF BINGA” No one understands the language of a child better than the mother does. The first day went by and the fostering became easier after that.

Three days later, the mum called to speak with him, while his mum was speaking; thoughts were visibly forming questions all over his face as memories churned in his mind. He looked at me wondering ‘who is this woman?’ he was literarily confused.

Prior to that time, he had begun to think I was his mother as the face of his mother was becoming foggy in his child’s mind. Recollection slowly began to put the pieces of puzzle together. The image of his mum emerged in his mental sub consciousness. He brows lifted and knitted together as he muttered ‘’mammy!’’ giggled with joy then looked up at her picture on the picture stand apparently to match the voice with the face. When the call was over, he went bawling all over the place. ’mammy, mammy, mammy’ it took ages before he calmed down.

Slowly he began to eat our Naija food; I had begun also to decrypt his accent. I became adept in translating his words to everyone we came across.

Then he finally came home and lost his accent, his accent became hybridation of naija and Oyinbo. A couple of years again flew by and he relocated to US. On his father’s 50th birthday, he was home to give a toast. Yes, his accent had returned Yours sincerely understood just quasi words of what he said.

It went thus  ’sjaldhfkdjdkdj dad djdkdkdkdk birthday wwhwhwhw wonderfulhajajaj daddy” I have long relinquished my fostering rights. I just danced bi mummy and I danced bi olowo.

Blessed earth strong Binga! Hallowed robust world! Cheery anniversarie

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