Rants & Bants

Writing Contest

My eardrums were adequately covered with headphones, but the sound was alarming enough to pierce my reverie. It was an annoying falsetto like the cry of a strangled cat.

“What is it again báyìí for God’s sake?”

I tried to return to sleep but it continued.

“Egbére wo nìyẹn!?”
(What Bush baby is that!?)

Mama Micheal shouted from her room out back as she came out to the passageway, tying a scarf around the tufted mass on her head she still called hair. Àbí it’s dàda dẹ̀ ni (or maybe its called Dàda).

I stood up from my bed and headed outside. Even then, I tried not to dwell on the pitiful state of my room. A schlock of frippery here and there.

I had resigned to my fate in this house, person go sha must talk everyday.
Let’s hear what this is about. Nigerians and wàhálà.

As I entered the passageway, I noticed a load of wares by Mummy Destiny’s door, we called her “ìyá alájé”. You’d think a Yorùbá woman would be more suited for the title, but Mama Destiny’s deft hands were indeed blessed by Ajé (the Yorubas’ god of Wealth). It is amazing how trials only bring out the strength in some women.

And would you believe the egbére that was making the atrocious noises? Exactly what it sounded like, a cat. Mama Michael’s dog was trying to get down with the cat!
Abájọ, the cat’s shrieks sounded strangely human.

“Ta ló ní number Lábé Ọ̀run o?”
(Who has the contact number for ‘Lábé Ọ̀run’?)

Written by Kéjì Akínnúsì for the Writers For Humanity Instagram contest.

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About One Yoruba Girl

Morẹ́nikéjì Olówóyọtán has had 10+ years of cumulative learning and teaching experience, with 400+ hours of online tutoring experience in Yorùbá language. She is a published researcher in the Journal of Yorùbá Studies Association of Nigeria (Vol. 11, No. 1, 2022) and promotes Yorùbá language learning online with her brand, One Yorùbá Girl.

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