I have a certain fondness for Ekiti people. The kind that often prompts a satisfying laugh, laughter that says — “I think you have a side that is helplessly dramatic but fascinating”. I am convinced that they share striking peculiarities —the flamboyance and loudness, the quick comebacks, the love for parties and pounded yam.
Yes, I am probably generalizing and the recognition of my own bias is the pinch of salt, the benefit of the doubt I give to every Ekiti person I meet. However, the true Ekiti, born and bred there always fit this stereotype. Always. Always, I have identified and teased them. Especially the females. They possess an aura I have felt before.
My mother is typically Ekiti and is perhaps the most interesting person I know. Interesting to watch. Even though our conversations work differently —hurried and routine, clad with mumbles about our connected challenges.
Her social media is as hilarious as her reaction to mine. She must consider herself an influencer. After claiming the strangest nomenclatures on Instagram, she prays God on WhatsApp to save her from my beard. I taught her social media in 2014 and immediately regretted it. If she knocked on my door by 11PM I would know that there was some needless Facebook post she wanted me to proofread.
My mother subconsciously preaches a truth that I now consider profound —that parents should have personalities outside their parenthood. It is good for them and their children. When my mother says she cannot let any child kill her, we believe.
All my life I have watched her perform scenes of ridiculousness upon scenes of unnecessariness. As a child I would shake my head after some dose of extra, swear I was tired of her drama. The audacity with which she announced her suspicions. The repetitions, the volume, the “I told you”. The feminine superpower of making everything someone else’s fault. The layers of meaning curiously mounted in her stares. The five, six relations she let live with us at once.
I often thought —I better not end up this way. I better not have to deal with this.
But I grew up to be thankful that I had free drama to watch, that my dear mother had personality, that I have funny stories to tell my wife and daughters. I realize that I had a fun childhood embellished with the color blot of my parents, so different, yet so in love.
These days I swear that I hate drama but do I? I love personality and consequence. I have no rewards for shyness. I love glamour and volume. I act like the whole world is paying attention. I am wildly introverted and extroverted at thesame time. I have become my mother.