JAMBite Chronicles.

My sister, Yemisi introduced me to a lot of artists that I now love but which I hated then. Her musical taste was quite mature for the 13/14/15 year old that she was then. She it was that introduced me to Roberta Flack… Anita Baker… Bill Withers… Alexander O’Neil… Jazz… And she even became a Pentecostal Christian briefly when she discovered Ron Kenoly. I don’t even know who I listened to before she introduced me to all these artists. Maybe disco? Michael Jackson? Dolly Parton? Abba? It was when we moved from our colonial detached house with the massive garden and tiny bedrooms at 13 Child Road Apapa to our colonial semi detached house with the big garden and big rooms at 6b North Avenue, Apapa that Yemisi suddenly would not let us rest! OMG! Anita Baker first thing in the morning, Roberta Flack in the evening and Bill Withers at night. Apart from Anita Baker, I hated the other artists initially. Don’t blame me! Yemisi had those songs on a loop! I hated Roberta Flack. I hated Alexander O’Neal with a passion.
And Yemisi and I? We fought like cats and dogs. When we were growing up and it was just me, her and Seun, Yemisi and I were extremely close and Seun was the outsider. But along the way, when it became obvious that Yemisi was Mummy’s fave and I, Daddy’s fave, we started fighting each other like cats. Oh my God! Yemisi and I could fight. She was one of the reasons why I wanted to be far away from home. My Dad was often away from home as he would be posted in one port or the other so, Yemisi held sway in the house as the fave child. If there was anything that could be fought over, trust us, Yemisi and I would fight over it. And even things that couldn’t be fought over, somehow, Yemisi and I would still find a way to fight over it. She was the out-going one while I was the introvert so, we clashed. A lot.
Anyway, I got my admission to the university of my dreams, University of Jos and my mum went with me to the airport. It would be my first time of getting on a plane you see. Indeed, apart from one or two day trips to Ibadan, I had never left Lagos. I finally arrived Jos and took an airport cab to Bauchi Road campus for my registration. The stress of registering and getting a room is better imagined than experienced. Luckily for me, I was able to get a room in Village, the hostel for JAMBITES and Post-graduates, compound 14. In those days, when the other universities like Unilag, Ife, Ibadan, Nnsuka, Zaria and all the supposed big name universities were having 50 students officially and 100 unofficially to a room, Unijos, my darling Unijos had 2 students to a room. Yes TWO. TWO STUDENTS TO A ROOM. I got my allocation and met a lovely girl called Olanike Famodinmu. She unfortunately could not get a room that day and I asked to come ‘squat’ with me. She would end up squatting with me for the whole year. So, we became three to a room. My official roommate was Grace Adai. A very beautiful girl from Benue. I think she was a direct entry student of Theatre Arts. The three of us got on extremely well and we did not fight at all in the whole year.
We settled down to a year of freedom… fun… parties, fun… clubbing… fun… hanging out with each other till late… fun… trying to learn how to smoke…fun… trying to learn how to drink alcohol…fun… attending lectures.
My first toaster was a guy doing his masters. I shan’t name him as we have a lot of mutual friends and his wife is also my Facebook friend. This guy was the perfect gentleman. Chivalrous and intelligent. He made settling down very easy for me and I think I kinda took him for granted. I saw him more like a big brother. I did not want to date him. Why? I wanted a bad boy. Lol. Ode ara mi. Idiot of me. Because when I eventually got the bad boy, my eyes saw WEN. So, one day, my gentleman toaster took me out for dinner that was my first proper dinner. And when we got to the restaurant, after a while, the restaurant management put on Alexander O’Neals’ ‘if you were here tonight’. And the dam broke! I did not know that I loved Yemisi so much! Oh my good Lord. As soon as the intro instrumentals came on, even before Alexander opened his mouth to say ‘as the night moves in…’, I just started howling! My toaster was shocked and confused. What’s wrong Bunmi? He asked as he left his seat to come to my side and hold me in his arms. My… My … My sister… Yem.. Yem… Yemi… Yemis… I misssss her… I misssss my sister Yemisi. I want Yemisi! Na so o. I come begin dey cry like a baby. I could not believe it! That Yemisi that tortured my life? I missed her with a physical ache. Kai. My toaster sha told me that it was natural to miss home people when one first gets in Uni. I never stopped missing that my troublesome sister Yemisi till the end of the semester. And of course, when I got home, we went back to fighting.
I did not deserve this lovely guy and I did not know how to tell him. He did not even so much as try to kiss me. He was just always there for me. Then, I met my first bad boy. And my lovely toaster saw us kissing…