A child should be taught basic things from a tender age. From how to eat, greet, appreciate gifts, and apologize for wrong. The way a child is brought up is mostly the way the child will go. This wasn’t an exception in the case of Ridwan, my friend, nicknamed “Ridi the cooler.”
Ridi grew on the streets of Ota in Ogun state. From age 3, his aunt, aunt Risi, the LEA primary school head mistress, always said he is a replica of his mother’s father and should be accorded respect. He was an orphan and she had no child. He was nicknamed Ridi the cooler because he was an epitome of knowledge. Whenever Ridi gathered his friends at the backyard of his late father’s compound to teach them something new, they returned to their mothers with the phrase: “Mama, Ridi cool us.”
One Saturday evening, during one of Ridi’s informal lesson for his friends, his aunt who was passing by, heard: “You put in a finger or two depending on the size, you rub it till you can’t feel it dry on the inside. If it is still dry, you take out your finger, add a lubricant and continue to scrub gently. When you are satisfied, make sure you leave it wet so the lubricant doesn’t stain it.”
His friends fled at the sight of his mother (aunt) with a 2-mouthed koboko. She constantly repeated “Mio pa iya mi, omo kankan ole wa pa mi.” as she lashed his 9-year-old skin mercilessly. As to why she beat him that day, he never knew. All she said was he was saying bad things. How else had she expected him to explain washing of a cup with soap and water to his friends? It remained a mystery to him. Till he got to biology class in SS1 science at Kings College, Lagos.
Mio pa iya mi, omo kankan ole wa pa mi. – I didn’t kill my mother, no child will kill me.