I was on my normal daily call with my mum when she gisted me about my baby brother-yeah, baby brother because he is my brother and a baby although not so baby anymore. You know how we never grow old in the eyes of our parents? He hasn’t grown older in my eyes though he is not a baby anymore but he is still my baby, you get the drift? I feel like a mother already. How did I get here? Let’s go back to my story. Well, she was gisting me about how my baby brother collected a substantial amount of money from her various colleagues at work. I don’t know the jazz he used oo neither do I know the soap my mum bathed him with that morning because shey sapa no reach those people side nii? I mean do people still give out money because of greeting? I haven’t met any one like that. Could it be due to the fact that I’m not a baby anymore? I digress too much. Back to my story. He collected a substantial amount because according to them, he is a very courteous young boy. She proceeded to tell me how being courteous pays and how she had always rang the importance of simple courtesy in our ears. I don’t know why she thinks I’m not courteous because I’m the most courteous person I have ever met (Argue with your keypads, please). My mum’s courtesy is out of this world. She makes you feel you’ve known each other for a long time even if you’ve never met before. She calls every female ‘my sister’ and every male ‘my brother’s regardless of your age. This is not the story I want to tell you. Follow me as I show you how simple courtesy almost got an innocent woman into debt.
Mrs Ashiru sat in front of her shop reading the newspaper when one of the maids of the food vendor situated few blocks from her shop came to ask for the payment of her sister’s food. She was stunned because she doesn’t have a sister who lives nearby talkless of having one eat close to her shop. She told the poor girl it was a case of mistaken identity. Few minutes later, she saw the food vendor coming towards her shop with anger written all over her face throwing curses into the air like a missile with her maid trudging behind her. Trust Ibadan people now, they have no chills. When it comes to insult, they no dey carry last (apologies to all Ibadan people, the civil ones at least). Mrs Ashiru dropped the newspaper she was reading on the stool next to her chair. She stood up and met the food vendor, Iya Tawa, midway. Iya Tawa told her how her sister had been coming to collect food worth #800 everyday for the past two weeks claiming that she would be paid by Mrs Ashiru, her good sister. She had come as usual that morning and reminded her, iya Tawa, not to forget to collect her money that day as her sister may not want to pay because she is a stingy rich woman who derives pleasure in owing people. Mrs Ashiru opened her mouth in Surprise and explained to her that she had no sister in the town. Iya Tawa wouldn’t have any of it as she kept on throwing the insults like missiles. She told her how she had seen her call the lady in question ‘my sister’ on numerous occasions asking why Mrs Ashiru had no integrity of any sort. She kept on talking about how she would not be deceived by anybody neither will she be cheated. By this time, Iya Tawa’s loud voice had attracted a crowd. Mrs Ashiru stood there trying to explain herself to anyone who cared to listen how she has no sister in the town neither does she know the person in particular because she called many people ‘my sister’. Iya Tawa described the woman and someone in the crowd shouted that she just described the mad woman who just ran away from a psychiatric hospital. This woman in question would always greet Mrs Ashiru fondly whenever she passed by her shop and Mrs Ashiru would respond with ‘my sister’, good evening. How is family?’. Some times, she would sit in front of her shop discussing with her but all this while she never exhibited any trait of mental disorder. Iya Tawa’s mouth that was running like a tap water came to an abrupt stop after the discovery. Gradually, the crowd dispersed leaving the two of them to look for a solution to their dilemma.