Sunday, 16 February 2020 05:26

Mama Igosun rides on the Amotekun wave - Tatalo Alamu

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To the modish and trendsetting Sasangele Television Station in Shangisha where Mama Igosun is fielding questions on Yoruba cuisine and ancient culinary culture to wild approval and approbation from the excited audience. Nativism is in the air in the old West. The entire region is swamped by what can only be described as Amotekun nationalism.

Amotekun has become the omnibus vessel for distilling ancient and contemporary grievances against the Nigerian post-colonial state. There are now Amotekun caps, Amotekun vests, Amotekun undies, Amotekun charms and Amotekun soothsayers. Amotekun has taken a life of its own carrying everything before it.

Mama Igosun has been riding the wave with aplomb. After a local radio show in which she enumerated without blinking or stumbling over her words sixteen different native ways of poisoning an adult, she became an instant celebrity and much sought after traditional savant and consultant on metaphysical conflagrations.

The only exception to the rule was the old recalcitrant and Stalinist nationalist, Baba Lekki who dismissed the whole Amotekun brouhaha as nothing but bourgeois claptrap and neo-Tarzan razzmatazz by failed politicians. Based purely on account of her frail and fragile health, snooper had advised Mama Igosun to take things easy. But the old Amazon was having none of this civilized humbug.

“Wo, Akanbi make I warn you. Even your papa no fit tell me where to go. You be gentleman like your papa, but me I no be gentle lady at all at all. I been dey follow Funlayo Daley before before”, the old warrior exploded.

“And who is this Funlayo Daley?” snooper asked in alarm fearing the onset of dementia.

“Sebi you say you don read history past ten books? Yeye boy, no be Fela’s mama him name be dat before him come marry dem Daodu man?” the old woman sneered at a deflated snooper as she stormed out, pointing her walking stick contemptuously at the sky.

Mama Igosun was still poking the air with the same walking stick a week later as she arrived at the stylish postmodernist studio of  Sasangele Television Station to field questions on the contents and discontents of Yoruba cuisine and the uses of horticultural hostilities in times of nomadic aggressions induced by climatological changes. After heavy makeup and preliminary pleasantries, the old woman who now resembled a fearsome cadaver, began raising hell.

“Ma, how about some cake and tea?” an angelic-looking hostess with a sweet voice offered.

“Me I no dey take yeye pancake and dem Sambisa tea. He good say I don branch for mama put to whack dem orisirisi before I dey waka come here. Or you get Bandaranaike tea?” the ancient contrarian demanded with a haughty stare. The hosts and hostesses exchanged anxious glances of horror and disquiet wondering what the mumbo-jumbo meant.

“Ah you see dem yeye people? Bandaranaike na original tea from Ceylon. Na dem name of them woman first president be dat after dem pieces him husband,” the old woman crowed and burst into a devilish grin even as she pressed her advantage.

“Bia, if you no sabi dat one how you go sabi dem next one? Wetin osculate me come mean?” the fiery old woman demanded even as members of the audience shifted on their chairs to avoid her searing and coruscating gaze.

“You see now, osculate me mean kiss me. Na dem thing we dey stich for our pillow cases and him dey make our oga go gaga like dem mad goat. After dat na real Iponkiri”, the ancient devil sniggered even as she giggled like a naughty girl. The audience clapped in wild rapture. An excitable man jumped up and began to chant her praise with feverish relish.

“Iya mi osoronga, afinju aje ti f’agbari omo tuntun mu’ko l’oru” (the great witch who drinks pap with a child’s scalp in the dead of the night), the crazy man crooned. Mama Igosun nodded in appreciation as the crowd roared in approval. It was at this point that one of the hosts, an uppity-looking young man in his mid-thirties, decided to force the rowdy proceeding by returning to the original purpose of the interview.

“Iya Agba, how many types of yams do we have in Yoruba land?” he demanded.

“Ah dat one we get am for ewura, igangan, esuru, odunkun, anamo, coco, gbere or iyanfoworogi….”

“Ha Iya, no be dat kind yam him dey talk about, na Kollington kinda yam him dey talk about”, one hilarious clown suddenly erupted cutting the old woman short.

“Ha dat one na your papa’s grandma yam be dat and like dem mad sheep na only you fit whack am”, the old woman retorted without being fazed. Pandemonium ensued as a figure dressed in leopard camouflage suddenly jumped on stage. Everybody fled in different directions leaving mama to tongue lash the savage interloper. It was Lambert Alekuso aka Baba Lekki.


The Nation