I went back to my childhood area today and it sparked off a myriad of emotions. I saw my secondary school and felt a rush of blood. I traveled through familiar yet strange streets and memories began flooding my eyes. Wonderful snapshots of a not too distant past.
I left Mafoluku as a boy, barely out of secondary school, I was in SS2. ‘We have to move’, mom had said, ‘it’s the only logical thing to do’. So we left our house behind and forged ahead to uncharted territory. An unspoken adventure. I will tell the story of the adventures later, today, let us focus on my nostalgic trip.
I got down from the bus at 7/8 bus stop on on airport road, the rush of blood I always experience happened again, I was back to being twelve. I shrugged, as I always did and trudged. One step after the other, one feet in front of the other, and the nostalgia will pass. It is a trick I learned in another life, don’t worry, I’ll share… another day.
I hailed a bike man, ‘okada, I dey go Ogundele’ I had absolutely no idea where that was, just that I’d have probably been on the street severally.
‘I no go Ogundele’ the bike man said. I moved to the second the third and fourth bike, same answer, so I moved away.
Sighing heavily, knowing what I must do, I started off. The route was enmeshed in my memory though I had to refresh the names of the street in my memory it was all familiar territory with alarming change. I went through Ogunyinka Street to Old Ewu road, made my way to Omilade Street and came out on Mafoluku road.
My heart had sunken by this time, I was weeping for dearly beloved area. See, though it’s been over a decade, I still carry Mafoluku with me. So when I saw the deplorable condition of the area, let’s just say weeping was child’s play.
I got an okada on Mafoluku road and it took me on a childhood adventure, a journey to my past. As it went past my alma mater Mafoluku Grammar School (rechristened Mafoluku Senior Secondary School) I engaged the bike man in a conversation about the school and relived my secondary school days with him whilst the bike ride lasted.
He dropped me off with a friendly smile, we had bonded over that trip. I thanked him for listening to my rants and rehashments and I paid him. I went into the street and asked for direction to the place I was going. Alas twas a former classmate in secondary school. The trip in time seemed to be an unending one.
We shook hands, joked a little and he gave me the direction I sought. I left him wondering how our lives had gone in opposite directions and he had arrived where he was, whilst I was still transiting. The day couldn’t get any stranger I thought as I located my destination.
Upon entering however, snapshots frozen in time, repressed memory I did not know I had sprung out and became melted. As I sat resting my body, my soul switched on, and I was treated to a movie I had acted in. A past I had denounced that found a way to pop up at the most inopportune time. I sighed and gave in, watching as the reel of a distant live replay…