A LESSON WELL TAUGHT
I was visiting a family late Thursday evening. Coming from work heavily tired and seriously famished, I met the family having a dinner of my favorite dish which was Amala with ewedu soup. My nostril quickly inhaled the aroma raising my hunger to an extremely high level. I sat down quietly doing my best to subdue the hunger.
‘Come and join us’ the father who was eating with his little son requested.
As if that was the impulse my brain was waiting for, my hand suddenly made for the plate but the look on the little boy’s face made me stop and humbly declined the offer.
This reminded me of an incident that happened a long time ago. I wasn’t older than seven years then.
There was this friend of my father who I had a special hatred for because of his attitude of never saying no any time he was invited to dine with us. No matter how small the food is, he will always eat at the first invitation.
I once questioned my father why he often invites people to eat with us no matter how little the meal is and he answered me that it was customary in Yoruba land. His answer found no meaning in my ears and I planned to deal with the always hungry man myself.
The day finally came, it was on a hot afternoon. I was sitting opposite my father eating pounded yam with egusi soup on a mat under the shade of an orange tree. This man strolled in, as usual, chanting my father’s nickname as he approached us. My father greeted him and I followed suit. He replied smiling and I saw his eyes pointing at our lunch.
My anger rose as I realized what may become of the food I had thought my father would soon leave for me. He sat together with us starting up an unnecessary conversation with my father as he waited for the invitation. I prayed papa won’t invite him but he did and this man made for the plate without the slightest hesitation.
In rage, I spat into the soup and the man withdrew his hand. Even though I received a terrible beating that day, I taught the man never to join us in dinning again.
Written by Oluwafunminiyi Komolafe