A friend brought her kids over to mine for a visit. They attend one of these private schools where they are taught to speak English better than the English man. Those kids can talk for Africa!
Soon the gist got to food matters. They told me the different foods they eat; sandwiches with smoked turkey filling, steamed vegetables and different kinds of moulded flour, beans pudding etc. The list got me scared.
So I got confused when I had to make them something to eat. One, I was out of energy to make any complicated meal and also, I was broke. So I decided to come clean; give them what I have.
“Wow! Dry cassava cereal from southwest Nigeria submerged in milk with sugar to taste, roasted groundnuts and fried mackerel.”
Hian. All this english on Ijebu garri with milk, sugar, groundnut and fried Titus fish. Na wa o.
I called their mother.
“Sabrina, you no try o, what’s all this architectural and geographic description of food your kids are doing?”
“My sister na so o. If you don’t confuse them like that they won’t eat it. Tell them to eat amala and ewedu they will be looking at you like you want to poison them. Besides let them justify the expensive school fees we are paying. Enjoy.”
Enjoy what. I was getting tired of all the big big grammar jor. I was getting hungry too. So I fix myself a meal and sneaked into the room to eat before they lecture me how it is not hygienic and archaic it is to eat with my bare hands. But the aroma of the soup will not let me be great.
They traced it to the room.
“Wow! Steamed fermented cassava molded into balls. Slimy vegetable, smoked fish and beef in tomato sauce.” Said the older boy.
I ignored him.
“Can I have some please?” Asked his younger sister.
I decided to be a little mischievous.
“You can have some only if you call it what it is. Fufu and Okro.”
They were startled. They started staring at me and frowning. Watching as I ate on. I pretended not to notice. I no send them(I couldn’t be bothered).
There was something about their presence in the room that made the food sweeter. So I cut the fufu with dexterity and squished it in the okra. I will dribble it into my mouth and lick my fingers. It was fun.
The mountain of fufu was fast disappearing. They couldn’t endure anymore. This delicacy must not pass them by. They needed to act fast.
The boy asked his sister something. She nodded approvingly and pushed him towards me. He was walking in a funny manner. I didn’t even raise my head.
“Are you coming to say fufu and okra?” I asked again. It is that or nothing. Don’t waste my time. I couldn’t understand how learning to speak english should prevent them from using the proper names of local dishes.
“Anty, we know it is fufu and okra. Some people even call it akpu, others call it Santana or loi loi. Abeg, give us make we chop.”
Hei! See the power of fufu.
Sabrina’s son is speaking pidgin!
Somebody please go and buy mattress, I want to faint!