Okon bids Tam David-West goodbye - Tatalo Alamu

It has been a monsoonal autumn of patriarchs and matriarchs in Nigeria with the heavy floods sweeping away many of the nation’s illustrious sons and daughters. The toll and harvest of death has been heavy on the soul. To think that one would never meet some of these vibrant souls again except in dreams and daylight reveries. Life is a wonderful mystery indeed.

Unconcerned with any lofty abstraction or hoary philosophical grandstanding, Okon has been very busy as he bade some of these great Nigerians farewell in his own practical and pragmatic way without any grammar or turenchi. A day after the death of Tam David-West became public knowledge, Okon suddenly barged into snooper’s bedroom without any formality and with a fuming Baba Lekki in tow. As usual, the old crook was reeling off a litany of social complaints before the crazy boy cut him short. It was one of those rare mornings when snooper was in a great mood.

“Ha oga, I wan quickly reach Agbowo for them UI, Ibadan with baba make we sign dem condomless register for baba David-West as he don kaput”, the mad boy crowed.

“Okon, I have told you that word is not condomless. It is condolence”, yours sincerely observed with suppressed mirth. No one can be sure when the mad boy is feigning ignorance or playing some linguistic pranks. Before Okon could respond, the old crook leapt to his defence.

“Whether na kondo or kondom na the same thin”, the old communist contrarian whined as he began to roll his tongue like a savage reptile. Sensing trouble, snooper pretended as if he didn’t hear the senile curmudgeon.

“Ha Okon why Agbowo now? I thought they say Tam lived on campus?” snooper queried.

“Ha oga, dat one tory come get K-leg oo. He get time like dat when baba don retire and them UI Ibadan people wan take him house but baba come chase dem away with him double-barrel. But later dem UI people come bring dem shakabula hunters from Igbo Agala. Naim baba come come run to Agbowo. Na there him dey manage”, the mad boy chortled.

“Tam was a great virologist. But he was also a master of political virus”, the old crook suddenly interjected amidst fake hiccups.

“Baba se you don come with your jibiti grammar again?”, Okon demanded with a merry twinkle.

“You see one Yoruba boy also described Sanya Onabamiro as the guinea worm professor from Ago”, the old man noted and began laughing hysterically.

“Baba I been dey hope say no be dis kind nonsense you go put for dem candorless register becos dem Okrika boys go send you go rest for Sango cemetery”, Okon observed with malicious relish.

“So, Okon what will you put in the register for David-West”, snooper asked.

“I go tell am say if him wan come back he must to change him name to David-North”, the mad boy noted with a wicked smile.

“Okon, why now, why?” snooper demanded, trying very hard to suppress his mirth.

“Becos dem mala boys don corner all dem better job and better contract. Otherwise suffer go whack baba Tam well well again and him go dey see vision when suffer don whack am. From Agbowo dem go transfer am to Lalupon and from Lalupon to dem Igbo Elerin”, the mad boy intoned.

“Okon, why was David-West jailed again?” snooper asked the crazy boy.

“Ha oga no be wetin we dey say? Dem come say baba drink tea or abi na coffee sef?” Okon noted with false exasperation.

“Okon, na dat one dem dey call kaputchino”, the old sadist interjected.

“But didn’t he make some money while he was in government?” yours sincerely inquired.

“Ha oga as for dat one, I sabi where you dey go and I no fit follow you. All I know be say na God almighty go punish all dis dem Lagos peperenpe women,” Okon lamented as he led Baba Lekki out of the room.


The Nation

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