I had an AHA! moment during the night about my paternal grandfather. I sat up in bed and could not sleep again. Such was the force of the realisation. The first five years of my life was spent in my paternal grandfather, Papa Idunmota’s house before my parents came to England and we moved to my Maternal grandmother, Maami’s in Surulere. I loved my Papa Idunmota as he was a benevolent patriarch of the family. I remember his house at Idunmota. The house had a courtyard to which all the rooms opened up to. My parents had a room and some of my aunties, my dad’s elder sisters had a room each too. Each auntie with her children. I think it was only my dad that had his spouse with him. My aunties were there with their children but not their husbands. It was such lovely time in my life. I should write a story on that time of my life.
Anyway, fast forward to some 25 years later when I was doing spirikoko upandan and I was told that I had ‘ogun idile’ – family battle. Some of the pastors said that my father’s family had ogun idile of girls not marrying. Some pastors said my mother’s family had ogun idile of spirit husband. I once followed my friend to Anwuzia of Zoe who told me that my mother was a witch and was the person who was against me marrying. Unfortunately for him, my mum was dead. Apparently, the spirit left that bit out when it whispered that sheet into his ears. And I was also told that Maami was against me getting married. I cringe when I remember that I actually confronted my grandma on the phone about this revelation and the poor old woman was crying on the phone and begging me to not believe that she did not want me to marry. Sigh! Bunmi! You were such an idiot! But along the line, I started believing that my father’s family had ‘ogun idile’ of girls not marrying because well, my aunties were back in their father’s house. So, that confirmed the ogun idile then. Please note that my aunties had been married o. And when my friend also told me one sheet like that of my father being against me marrying, and coupled with the fact that JOPA was more interested in us his daughters being financially empowered than in being in any anyhow marriage, I well, I kinda believed it.
My father always told us that if ever our marriages were not working out, we were always welcomed back home. I suspect that his father must have told his daughters the same thing too. Now, I know that my grandfather was a rare breed. Especially for that time. And of course, JOPA was a feminist. Now, with my work of DV where constantly I hear of families telling literally and metaphorically die in the marriage, I realise that my Grandfather, PA SAMUEL OGUNSEYE AJAI was very much a greater man that I thought!
I wish Pa Idunmota was still alive. God knows that I would be smothering him in kisses now if I could see him. My grandpa, Samuel Oguneseye Ajai was indeed a great feminist.