Anyone wouldn argue more on the fact that if it hadn been that I had to wait until when Tade was through with her university education before furthering mine then I wouldn have resorted to being my fathers apprentice. Though, in all honesty, his idea was excellent and resourceful. And him being a man of order does things at his very own convenience. Subsequently, I had no option but to comply. Meanwhile, for close to four years I worked, hand in hand with him, I became a skilled furniture worker he was greatly proud of. More so, I got a blatant exposure to the reality and basics of life.

Because life can be all sweetened as an orange, and will it not be boring, less adventurous, and challenging a world if it is without an extract of the bitterness of a lime? Hence, one shouldn presume life to be all good and sweet even when it appears so. In a nutshell, we must be ready for lifes opposite.

On one fateful day, a day bombast with the loveliest serial, but inarguably, the day which marks the first moment of our misery, and woe to I who torched every single peril! Both my father and I had just finished working on a contemporary type center table when Mr. Donatus Chinaza popularly known as Naani oka mkpisi aka oshie nke arochukwu alaezein , meaning in English translation The only skilled palm wine tapper of Arochukwu kingdom wheeled in.

Mr. Donatus, a palm wine tapper and seller by profession sells confirm undiluted palm wine plying from place to place with his old racket bicycle. He does echo his presence with these popular remarks, Confirm palmi wey no dey water water. Naani oka mkpisi aka oshie nke Arochukwu alaezein don land. Draw your pami! As I was told by my father, Mr. Donatus disproved the use of a bicycle horn plainly because he considered Lagos to be though a more advanced but widely open and loud city unlike the village thereby, he had to do his marketing by speech for this can cover a wider range of distance and space in time. Moreover, he couldn bear the risk of not confessing his remarks. Risks best known to him.

As he unmounted his bicycle, he came away to where I was polishing the table. He then patted me on the back, and brushed my head vigorously, smiling. Better boy, I no say na you do this veli veli fine table wey dey shine and no be ya papa , he boldly confessed. I only managed a smile, uttering zilch. He had loved me like his own dear son. And over the years I had worked at my fathers workshop, I found out that both men were more of comedy friends too.

Naayin oka mpisi aka osie ike Arochukwu alaezain , my father would confess this remark, but not as correctly as it should be. His mispronounced words would make Mr. Donatus laugh his heart out. I do envy his laughter anyway; he does laugh blatantly but eccentric.

I don dey tell you no be today say make you kum mali for my place so you go fit hear and dey talk my language welu welu but you no dey ever glee , he would seldom poke this fun at my father too.

Mali ko, Togo ni. You no well… Wetin I dey find wey go make me kum go Mali for Igbo state. Besides, my lovely wife is ever sufficient for me , he teases him right back, mimicking Donatus homily viz.

Everyone present at both mens comics does laugh their heart out. And as people do say, wherever Mr. Donatus stopped to sell the mood there changes. He causes a more colorful and lively atmosphere. Hence, he is loved by many.

Oya serve us palmi make we for put something for belle joor. Nnayin okaka , my father ordered, as he pranks him more.

Dragging his feet, he walked his potbelly along, laughing at the spot where his bicycle was parked. He then drew liters of palm wine for father and everyone present. It was amid that days jollying, palm wine drinking, cracking ribs jokey, and fun that my fathers handset rang. It was an anonymous caller.

” Ello , a tout voice rocked. Ṣe Mo n sọrọ pẹlu gbẹnagbẹna? ”

” Emi kii ṣe carpenter ṣugbọn ni awọn ọna kan, oojọ naa jẹ kanna. O n ba ẹnikan sọrọ ti o ṣe awọn furniture , my father corrected. My father abhorred being referred to as a carpenter man. He would further enlighten whoever it is on the differences between both professions. Mo wọ inu ileru ati awọn ile-iṣọ. Bii awọn apoti ohun ọṣọ ibi idana, awọn aṣọ wiwọ, awọn ijoko aga… ”, as he tried explaining further, the tout voice retorted. My fathers corrective manner had incensed the man that he spoke angrily at him all through the call section presumptuously.

cmon, kini gbogbo idoti yii? Ṣe o ro pe o sọrọ si ọmọ kekere kan? Emi, ẹru ati ẹru! Ko si ọkan gbiyanju igbesẹ lori iru rẹ! Bayi, nitori Mo pe ọ fun iṣẹ tumọ si pe o gbero lori tabi sọrọ lasan. Ẹnikan fi mi pamọ kuro ninu aṣiwere yii, ọmọ irikuri ti bishi! Ati pe kii ṣe ẹbi rẹ. Ti kii ba ṣe fun Irunmole ti o ṣe iṣeduro iṣẹ rẹ, ṣe o ro pe Mo ti ni akoko fun omugo bi iwọ. Ṣe o le jẹ lailoriire lailai! Gba ** kuro laini, aṣiwere aṣiwere , said the man in full vexation, hanging up the call on father.

Ijaya Iberu- ijaya ati ẹru! Ko si ọkan gbiyanju igbesẹ lori iru rẹ! , everyone exclaimed. All mouths were left wide open except mine. Every one of us had the privilege to hear both mens conversations because the call section was placed on speaker.

One who doesn know Ijaya Iberu too well would think he is a renowned NURTW executive. Even I knew him less before those years spent at my fathers workshop. But the fact remains that neither is he a renowned NURTW representative nor a street rascal but a fierce dreaded tool, an indispensable one, to execute politicians dirty jobs in political times and affairs. He had, no doubt, executed so many dirty jobs in time past. The man with no past nor background recognition as he was noted for was stinky rich. Ijaya Iberu, a faceless man, one who anyone barely knows, was an unmatched professional in his field.

Although all my fathers friends and work colleagues tried their possible best to talk him out of the job yet, he went on to make the deal possible. He was unskeptically unflappable.

Before I hit the sack that night, I reminisce on the earlier event. I praised my fathers courage. How he had read and managed the situation so quickly despite a series of related ills, and unhealthy experiences, although ones not new to him which everyone sighted was a class. Also, I gave full credit to my mother who though with a full understanding of the compound matter still gave her unmerited support too.

I couldn possibly picture what Ijaya Iberu looked like. Right on the bed, I laid focused, scrambling the ceiling and hoping to get at least a painting of him. I ended up getting zilch but conjectures. However, because my father and I were both expected at his place come morrow tide, I anticipated the night wishing morning arrived so quickly.

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