On Tobi’s 13th birthday last year, we bought him an IPhone 5S. On an unlimited talk and text tariff with 2GB of data. He constantly runs out of data and has to use the home internet or my hotspot. What does he do with his data when he is mostly at school you ask? B’a she’n bini niyen o. That is how we used to aks sombodi o. When he gets home, he is Facetiming his school friends till they all go to bed. His friends, Mounashay and Ibbi. They do their assignments together by Facetime. They watch TV together by Facetime. They play on their Xbox One and yep, by Facetime too. Sometimes, they even sit in companionable silence, not talking to each other, doing their house chores, leaving their Facetime on. Lol. Those boys are tight as thieves.
This last weekend, his data ran out again. The house internet was down and I could not give him my hotspot as I was going out for my old girls’ association dinner. So, I called his network provider, O2 and asked them to give him some more data. After that, I started feeling like an African mum. I just started shouting on him all over the place. ‘TOBI! DO YOU KNOW WHY WE BUY YOU ALL THESE THINGS! SO THAT YOU WILL REWARD US WITH GOOD GRADES IN SCHOOL’… Bla bla bla. ‘YOUR DAD AND I WORK OUR BUTTS OFF TO GIVE YOU A GOOD LIFE’!!! I was now really feeling myself as a strict mum! The boy let me finish my shouting then he said ‘Thanks Mum. But you know I don’t force you to do those things. I don’t even ask you to do some of them’. Yepa! I started shouting again! OMO AKEH! IZ NOT YOUR FAULT! YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY MOTHER’S CHILD AND YOU WILL KNOW THE MEANING OF NOT HAVING THINGS!!! And so on and so forth I shouted till I got tired.
I just did not feel like letting him have fun this weekend.
So, on Sunday morning, I heard him on Facetime again with his friends. Na im I call am! TOBI! HAVE YOU DONE YOUR ASSIGNMENTS!? ‘Yes’ he said in a ‘I am tired of this woman’s wahala’ tone of voice. I was not to be deterred. ‘TOBI! GO AND READ NOVELS’!!!. ‘I don’t have new novels mum. You have not bought me novels in a while’ he said. Isokay I thought. Kai! I. JUST. DON’T WANT. THIS BOY TO HAVE FUN TODAY! ‘TOBI’!!! I yelled again. ‘Yes, Mum’ he answered in that same tone. ‘OYA! COME HERE! COME AND READ ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY NAIJIRIYA’!!! Lol.
He knew not to argue with me. He just jejeli told his friends that he had to go and read a book on Nigeria. So, there he is. Lying down, reading about Nigeria. And when he finished reading, he came and regaled me with the nuggets of info that he had gleaned from the book, he felt quite pleased with himself when he told me things about our history that I did not know. Like the fact that Nigeria and Cameroun fought against each other in WWI because their colonial masters were opponents – Nigeria was British and Cameroun was German. I did not know that! And how our Colonial masters, spent so much more money on setting up prisons than they did on setting up schools.
I had bought that book last year to read but Facebook won’t let me be great again in regards to reading novels. I used to be a voracious reader. Alas, Facebook ti take over. Back to back.