“Mummy I saw Olanna today at the market with her husband.” said Aramide to her mother Asabi. “She looked so beautiful!”
“Olanna has always been a beautiful woman,” said Asabi “I always wondered how such a young girl could carry herself with so much poise and elegance.”
“Oh well she looked extra beeeeaauutiful!” Aramide stressed the word beautiful.
Asabi stopped filing her nails and asked “Aramide, what exactly are you trying to say?”
“I am trying to say that SHE IS PREGNANT!” Aramide said with a mischievous smile on her face.
“Oh that’s nice, I haven’t seen her in a long while. I pray she has an easy pregnancy term and a safe delivery” Asabi prayed.
Aramide stood behind her mum and started combing out Asabi’s hair “She seems to have everything going good for her,” Aramide said with a hint of sadness in her voice. “A rich and loving husband, husband’s family adore her, now she’s carrying her second pregnancy. Some people have it so easy.”
“Is this about your date two days ago?” Asabi asked.
“Mummy I ruined my chance! Why did his sister have to be someone I had met before in a very compromising situation? She will tell Bankole and he will lose interest in me… What am I saying? She probably already told him; he has been sounding off since that day. I might as well start trying to move on because I have made a bad first impression on his sister.” said Aramide as she started plaiting cornrows on her mother’s head.
Asabi started filing her nails again, “You know it is not cast in stone that first impressions should matter. First impressions matter but you can determine how that first impression will affect the future.
Do you know about how Olanna met her father in-law?” Asabi asked.
“No mummy I don’t… why do I feel like there is a story coming?” Aramide quizzed.
Without saying a word, Asabi blew the dust off her nails, dropped the file and picked a black colored nail polish.
“Errm mummy, you know I am waiting for the story. Please stop being so dramatic.” Aramide rolled her eyes.
“O gbadun” (Yoruba term for you are not serious) Asabi said with a laugh and continued to apply the nail polish. “Olanna had been dating Dayo for about three years before she met his father. She had met his mum and she was loved by Dayo’s family. Of course, there were reservations about her being igbo, but everyone learned to accept her.
Dayo’s father ‘The Captain’ did not stay in Nigeria, which was why she had not met him. She had already been told by the family members that he was a strict man and that most of the family members could not even dare to look him in the eyes when he was talking to them. He was also a very tribalistic man; everyone feared that he would not consent to Dayo’s relationship with Olanna so Dayo’s mum didn’t tell him about the relationship their only son had with the igbo girl, Olanna.”
“Wow! I never imagined Dayo’s dad to be like that.” said Aramide “Come to think of it, I don’t even see him around. He’s always in a tinted glass jeep and that’s the only knowledge I have of his existence. I always thought it was weird that I did not know our next door neighbor.”
“Yes my dear,” agreed Asabi “He was a very hard man and still is… only those that need to associate with him have learned to work and live with him.” Asabi spoke with a distant stare in her eyes.
“Mummy are you okay? You look lost in your thoughts?”
“I am fine my dear,” Asabi said looking at her finished work on her left hand.
“Dayo’s father was finally coming to Nigeria. Dayo was already certain that he wanted to marry Olanna but the only thing standing in the way of that was his dad; no one had told his dad about Olanna. Dayo’s mum agreed that it would be a good idea to introduce Olanna the day Dayo’s dad would arrive. He would be in high spirits, a lot of people would be there to welcome him, and he definitely will not make a huge fuss about Olanna in front of so many visitors. Dayo agreed and they prepared for the captain’s homecoming. Olanna made a nice native Ankara, spent a lot on preparing for his arrival and thought her appearance could at least gain her some credit. The day came and visitors were waiting at the house for the arrival of Dayo’s dad. Olanna was ready. She had been there all day cooking and assisting. They agreed that Olanna would be the one to serve Dayo’s dad.
Olanna was in the kitchen when Dayo’s dad came. She was scared. Visitors and family members were greeting and she could hear his stern voice from time to time. She allowed her anxiousness to get the better of her and got lost in her thoughts. Olanna was swirling a table-salt container while standing by the tray of food she was to serve the captain. Dayo’s mum called her name loudly, cutting through her thoughts and shocking her. In the process, the salt container fell, pouring a lot of salt in the captain’s soup.”
“Ah!” Aramide exclaimed.
Asabi continued. “Olanna in shock had a minute shutdown. She was confused. Dayo’s mum came in to ask why she was not coming out, saying that the captain was waiting for his food. Dayo’s mum, thinking Olanna was just scared, put the tray in Olanna’s hands and pushed her out of the kitchen.
What should I do? Olanna thought. She definitely couldn’t serve the captain the food. She tried to turn back to explain discreetly to Dayo’s mum who inattentively kept nudging her forward. She noticed Olanna’s hesitation when they were behind the captain. Dayo’s mum tried to take the tray to serve the captain but Olanna tried to take it away from her arm’s reach. In the process, the tray tipped over and the plates and its contents landed on the captain’s head.
The captain was furious! He had food all over him. Everyone was quiet. He turned around looked at Olanna.
“Who is this untrained fool?” he demanded.
Asabi looked at her polished nails, assessing her handwork and said “You can see for yourself that Olanna is married to Dayo and she is living a happy life with her in-laws too.”
“So my dear,” she said turning to Aramide who was already completing the hairstyle. “First impressions go a long way, but you have the power to change what people think of you”.
She hugged Aramide and said “Don’t worry yourself over the incident with Bankole’s sister. Just be you and who knows, you might tell your story with a happy ending in the nearest future!”
- What do you think of inter-tribal marriages?
- How much impact should a parent have on a child’s choice of marriage partner?
- First impression matters; How important is first impression to you?
- What can someone do to you to make his/her impression on you unforgiveable?
- In Nigeria today, do you think inter-tribal marriages are welcomed?
- Olanna dated Dayo for 3 years without meeting his dad. Is it a big deal?
I hope I have left a good first impression on you guys. If not, refer to the story above and don’t give up on this column just yet. Looking forward to the many comments in this section (One can hope).
Columnist Bio T.UZUMAKI (ig:t.uzumaki) A sage and member of the Uzumaki Clan Anime Lover - quite obvious to fellow anime lovers. Environmental Enthusiast- In love with mother earth. God Lover- For he gave me all my powers and I owe it all to him I like junk food and I do not get bored easily (because very busy mind!)