As kids, there was always a myth or belief that was followed. One of the popular ones followed back then was ‘’Don’t call my father’s name’’.
I was a very gentle (quiet) and shy girl in those days, not that I’m the opposite now, but I can’t exactly say I’m shy or quiet anymore. As a matter of fact, those who know me well, know I’m quite blunt when it comes to some issues dear to me. I never had any reason to drag my father’s name with any classmate until I got into Secondary School. It was my first year. I started quite late because my parents wanted me to attend a Federal Government College but after all the examinations, I was told that I was too young to be admitted. The disappointment on my parents face was second to none but I was kinda happy, probably because I never wanted to leave home.
Anyways, I had to attend this particular school as a last option as my parents didn’t want me to miss that year. As a result of resuming late, I was shown to a back seat. Of course, there were just about twenty-five/twenty-nine of us in a class. The chairs were in a pew-form…adjourned so we didn’t sit separately. I sat next to a boy…a son of a prominent man back then in Ibadan, known for his hospitality and all sort.
He had always been a troublesome one but I managed to stay at peace with him until he crossed the sacred line…he called my father’s name!!! I can’t remember what caused out argument that fateful day, but instead of calling my own name, he called my surname and for no reason, that act got me mad. So mad that I struck his face with my left hand! Immediately I did, I felt remorseful and started to apologise but his demon had been roused. He braced up to give me the beating of my life but thank God for ‘body’ LOL. I was quite bigger than he was… we wrestled until a staff came in to separate us. We were served some punishments in the staff room but not before he asked us what the cause of the fight was. You can imagine how I answered with all boldness: ‘’Akeem called my father’s name’’! The man looked at both of us in bewilderment and asked us to serve our punishments. I was rescued in time because it was close to the ‘closing time’ and my father had come to pick me. But Akeem was severely punished in his dorm (as he wasn’t a day-student) for trying to beat a female.
When I remember that day, I shake my head at myself and laugh at how stupid and naïve we could be as kids. Imagine if the boy had beaten me to a pulp and given me a permanent mark or disability for life? That same father’s name is what is used in some formal settings and you dare not move a muscle! That same father’s name is dropped once joined in holy matrimony with one’s husband! Whoever invented such a silly belief?
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