Is My Name Okolo Too?

In the Summer of 2015, I met and briefly befriended an interesting and pretty British-Nigerian lady in London for a couple of months. She was a focused intellectual type and an ardent seeker of knowledge. She was introverted and I extraverted. For some inexplicable reason, we had a lot to talk about. Unexpectedly, in September 2015 she announced to me she had gotten a scholarship to study for a PhD in the USA and promised she was going to miss me. That was the last I saw of her and her company. Despite having spent so many hours talking with her about a variety of topics, we never exchanged surnames. It was a sincere Platonic relationship we had.

She returned to the UK on the 25th of July 2019 having completed her PhD and decided to immediately visit her one-time talking buddy. She had bought me a book for my birthday in 2015 and thus remembered the day. She bought me another birthday present, a high capacity pen drive for 2019. The present had a tag which read, “Happy Birthday, Gret Okolo xx, From ***** ******”. This was quite amazing besides my full appreciation for the gift. Okolo is a common name among Delta Ibos but not the Urhobos, I am an Urhobo.

I had to ask her why she thought my surname was Okolo. Her answer was both simple and apt. She explained that when she used to visit me for discussions in 2015, she had observed different guys who came to my flat call me “Okolo”. This was the highlight of my birthday. It made me laugh uncontrollably and after a while, she laughed along with me. It was then my turn to explain to her that my Brethren usually called each other Okolo. She sharply countered my remark, stating she never witnessed me call any of my Brethren, Okolo. She was right. I usually called many of my friends back then “Guynes” or “Akpunwa.”

Life is full of unexpectedness, great and trivial. For four years an acquaintance of mine had thought my name was Okolo. This simply because I did not reject it when my regularly present Brethren used it to address me or catch my attention. “What’s in a name?” is now a much bigger conundrum than I used to think. Well, I have put the thought in a capsule for now and curated the memory.

 

Grimot Nane

A Song for Reassurance: Okpan Arhibo Verses

 

Oruru ro w’egbedere ko taghra

Oruru ro w’egbedere ko taghra

Obor ri guono ughwume ‘sonobrughwe rovwo na’a

Obor ri guono ughwume ‘sonobrughwe rovwo na’a 

 

Oruru ro w’egbedere ko taghra

Oruru ro w’egbedere ko taghra

Abortu ri guono ughwu r’Okpan ‘Oghene rovwo na’a

Itu ri guono ughwume ‘Oghene rovwo na’a 

 

Translation:

Threads that don’t pass [through] the eye of the needle tangle

Threads that don’t pass [through] the eye of the needle tangle

The hands that want Okpan’s death, the Creator will not grant their wish

The hands that want my death, the Creator will not grant their wish

 

Threads that don’t pass [through] the eye of the needle tangle

Threads that don’t pass [through] the eye of the needle tangle

My peers that want my death, God himself will not grant their wish

My peers that want my death, God himself will not grant their wish

Interpretation: the “eye of the needle” represents the vulnerable point of one’s existence which when compromised can cause expiry, sudden death (cf. Achilles Heel). The eye of the needle has no specific location in the physical or spiritual selves. The “thread that tangles” represents an ineffectual weapon, physical or spiritual, the tangling means failure. The only thread that can pass the eye of the needle and cause expiry, has to be ratified by the Creator for one’s expiry to occur. However, the defiant declaration of will or faith by the target is that God will not grant permission for weapons such to be effectual. Fortitude! Continue reading

Yankius on The National Cake

Windfall: Yankiokwa! Yankiokwa!!! Anytime you are this quiet we know you are up to something. How is you, Boss?

Yankius: Windokwa! The Windfall maker himself! Your potbelly has dwindled seriously. Is everything okay?

Windfall: Leave my stomach alone. I am curious. That bakery where the National Cake is being baked does still exist?

Yankius: The National Cake is crude oil. It still exists only nobody really wants it anymore. At least not for now.

Windfall: How can crude oil be the National Cake? Crude oil is a fossil fuel. Why do you have to be figurative about everything? Can you not just call cake what it is?

Yankius: In that case I will not talk any further about the National Cake. Continue reading

Yankius on Nigeria’s Looming Collapse

Deadly Cuts: O Pally, I am so scared for Nigeria at the moment. It is more than tragic what is happening.

Yankius: Corona virus is…

Deadly Cuts: Who is talking about Covid-19? It was bound to devastate Africa especially Nigeria one day. I was talking about the potential economic and political collapse of Nigeria now that oyel no longer has any value on the global markets. Hungry go wire Nigerians O!

Yankius: Oyel! Ha ha ha! All the trillions of dollars Nigeria made from oyel openly and solid minerals secretly was never treated as anything other the personal “kpoke”.

Deadly Cuts: What is kpoke?

Yankius: Pocket money. Money for luxury housing, luxury cars, private jets, designer clothing, luxury tourism, maintaining girlfriends and concubines, hosting grand parties, spraying obscene amounts of foreign currency. It was all pocket money, kpoke. It was never invested; all investments were funded by loans. Now Nigeria cannot service the over$100 billion it owes. Continue reading

Paramole Returns on His Birthday

 

Saturday the 25th of April 2020 was cold and blank in the Davy Jones Locker. A few sailors had passed through the rendezvous to the other side after becoming victims to Covid-19 and other causes but this Saturday there were no forgone sailors arriving. For the first time in my experience there, a special case of forgone reversal occurred. The Great Door had open and solemn song could be heard accompanied by restrained okombo [drum] beats. I became very concerned and might have tricked myself I was not scared. The Great Door only opened when a sailor was about to cross the Great Gangway. Why had it opened without a forgone arrival? I began to hear footsteps, they got closer and a man emerged, Paramole himself. About 7 feet away from me he stopped. His face was listless. I was frozen all over with amazement and he did not seem happy to see me where I was.

Saturday the 25th of April 2020, was his birthday; Paramole a.k.a. Ayo Odebisi would have been 64 years old. Due to my proclivity for formality, I first wished him, “Happy Birthday.” I wanted to hug him but he stopped me by firmly saying, “Don’t!” “Because I passed on you left the fold, he queried. I said nothing. “And because I passed on the fold is splintering asunder”, he added. This time I responded, “that is true.” “I know you have a lot to say about that. But I don’t want to hear it. You and your crapious Association, how dare you!” I said nothing. Continue reading

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