|FOURTEEN YEARS ON 'BALOGUN EGBA'
IBA BABA MI, OKUNRIN OGUN
Tribute to my father
My Father the Great
My Father is not easy to describe, I remember his robe of many colours and I remember his long Gold chain that touches the ground. I remember is long warrior cap with thistles at the tip of it. I remember his various walking sticks of different shapes and sizes, his name and title written on top of his shoes, his title is written round his cap, his rings bear his initials.
My Father the great, he wakes up to the sound of drumming with a feast awaiting him. For every tear in my eye, a feast of chicken stew is made especially for me. For every pain I feel, a celebration is held to celebrate my recovery. For every tear in my cloth a new wardrobe is specially created just for me. My father the great how can I ever forget you.
My father the great describes me as a special person, he said my birth brought him fame and money, he said he named me to commemorate and celebrate the honour his kinsmen bestowed on him, he said anytime he hears someone call my name, he feels so honoured and special, so am very special too, yet I have never given him anything, how come he made me so special Oh! My father the great how I miss you so!
On New years eve we dance into your room from church with songs of praise to say happy New year to you, you pray for everyone of us, you sing with us. Come morning 3 sets of kings drummers arrive to drum and celebrate the New year with my Father, we sit down to eat New years dinner and sway on our sit to the sound of the drummers ode to my father. Ah! My father the great how can I repay you!
You preside over the morning feast and look down on us with so much love and tenderness, you are ready to forgive and forget all our shortcomings for the whole year and give us another chance to make amends, even in death you still stayed around for 40 days to grant our wishes. Oh! Oh! Oh! My father the great New Year has never been the same since you’ve gone, the drummers have ceased to drum with joy, the sound that comes from their drum is so sorrowful that we all start to cry and your wife cannot just bear it any more and I your special baby can also not bear it anymore, so I decided to go on a long journey hoping to find the love and care like yours, but I have come to realise that no love can ever be equal to the one you gave me, you are one of a kind and I think you only come round once, please when you come back pick me again as your special daughter.
I remember once, my mother went on holiday and one of us fell ill, you told us we were going to our hometown to spend the weekend with you, and we found ourselves at the airport enroute to London to meet our mother. My father the great full of surprises and kind thoughts.
My best friend became your daughter, you treated my best friend the way you treat me, whatever I have my best friend had, through your loving kindness and compassion my best friend family became our family, my best friend is Muslim, yet come Muslim celebration time, no one knows the difference between us. You allowed me share her life, her world, you exposed me to the other side of life that I would ordinarily not know anything about in a very gentle and compassionate way, you made me see myself through my best friends eyes, though I was too young to notice, so I took it for granted. But thank you father, am a better person for it as I grow older I can now see what you saw then and why.