- January 31, 2020
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Young Writers
“Ring ring,” went the phone in the Adeyemo house on a calm, sunny, Friday morning.
“Iyi, Iyi,” Mrs Adeyemo shouted. “Please bring the phone.”
Iyioluwa’s mum picked the call, and the conversation started with a man who had a very strong Yoruba accent and a deep voice saying, “Ekaaro, is this the Adeyomo’s house?”
“Beeni. Whom am I speaking with?” asked Mrs Adeyemo.
“Mr Banjoko from Ilu Ila. May I speak with Mr Adeyemo?”
“My husband is not available right now.”
“Okay. I just wanted to tell you that Mr Oduwole Adeyemo, your husband, has just been chosen as the king of Ila village. He would have to move to the village on or before Monday.”
“Oh! I would tell him,” said Mrs Adeyemo, quite surprised, as she ended the call.
When Mr Adeyemo, a plum, tall, dark-complexioned man, got home later in the day, he was feeling exhausted. His wife gave the news about her conversation with Mr Banjoko’s over the phone and how they have to be at the village on or before Monday. Mr Adeyemo was shocked. “How come? I thought the kingship was going to the other royal family this time,” he said pensively. “We would have to pack and leave on Monday morning.”
The next day was very hectic for the family, with a lot of packing to do.
Iyioluwa was upset that she had to leave all her friends at such short notice and life in town to go to a village. Iyioluwa was a tall, dark-complexioned, smart, trendy and modern girl. Living in the village was unimaginable for her. It was hard to leave, but her mum promised she would come for visits.
They set out early on Sunday morning. The journey took about seven hours, which meant about seven hours of Iyioluwa chatting with her friends on the phone to request that they update her on all the latest trends, gossip in school and telling them how much she would miss her friends.
During the journey, Iyioluwa saw a lot of bad roads that made her car-sick. The bumps on the road were so many that she was too ashamed to tell her friends because she believed they would make jest of her.
Finally, the Adeyemos got to Ila village late in the evening with all the villagers welcoming them in a grand style as the new royal family, with chants, prayers and traditional songs.
After all, that, which sounded like noise to Iyioluwa by the way, all she wanted to do was go to the palace, enter her room, switch on the Air Conditioner and use the WI-FI. But when she got to her new home, what she got was the opposite. The palace was dark because there was an unstable power supply in the village. Iyioluwa was so angry; she said to her dad “l don’t think I can stay here. Can I leave first thing tomorrow?”
Her dad said, “I know this is not your kind of lifestyle, but you would have to get used to it because the village has chosen me to be their king.” Iyioluwa reluctantly agreed and walked to her room, feeling very upset.
There were lots of royal ceremonies and activities at the palace to swear in her dad as the new king. On Tuesday morning, it was raining, and Iyioluwa was beginning to enjoy her sleep when her mother came in to wake her up.
“Get up, sleepyhead. We are going to look for a school for you.”
Iyioluwa was shocked because she had thought she was going to be homeschooled, from the discussion she had with her parents.
“Iyi, Iyi, wake up, you have to go to school.” Her mum called out again.
Iyioluwa was still sleepy. “Do I have to go?”
Her mum replied, “Of course you do. Now go and get ready or else you would be late.” Iyioluwa grumbled throughout getting ready for school. On her way to school, she felt very disgusted by all the mud on the road, because it was raining.
Iyioluwa felt very irritated by the looks of her new school. The school looked old, filthy, mouldy and haunted. The children looked unhealthy and not trendy. All the children were staring at Iyioluwa because she looked modern. She was the princess. She was so surprised to find so many children in a class with no fans or air conditioners. The class was very rowdy and looked like a market square. The children could not speak fluent English, and they could only speak Yoruba, which made it difficult for Iyioluwa to communicate since Yoruba was not spoken to her at home.
During her Mathematics class, Iyioluwa was so confused because they were taught in Yoruba. She failed her entrance tests and examinations, which was very embarrassing because the princess was failing badly in all of her subjects. On her way back from school, Iyioluwa saw her school mates staring at her and talking in low tones. She knew they were talking about her failure in school. Everybody wondered why the princess failed her tests.
When she got home, she couldn’t do her homework because of the irregular power supply which her father was trying to sort out. Iyioluwa ended up crying herself to bed after she explained why she failed her exams to her very disappointed parents.
Iyioluwa’s school routine became the same every day until her father decided to let her go back to the city with her mum while he stayed at Ila village. Iyioluwa was very happy but quite disappointed with herself because she could not speak her language. When Iyioluwa got to the city, she improved in her studies and also started learning Yoruba, which made her parents very happy. Anytime Iyioluwa went to the village with her mother to visit her father, he always felt very proud of her because she was improving in speaking the Yoruba language.
“I am glad you now know that heritage is key,” he often said.
Ekaaro – Good morning.
Azeema Davies is an 11-year-old student of Pampers Secondary School, Surulere. This piece is her submission for the Jordan Hill January 2020 Writing Challenge.