Going Back Home: Yesterday, I Went Back To My Old Lagos Hood
I went to my old Lagos hood yesterday, just because sometimes, it is good to look back and take stock of how far you have come. Nothing much had changed, just that quite a lot of people had moved out
I got to the house and met the landlady. I was about to introduce myself when she said “wait! I know you”. She grabbed my face as I was knelt before her at this time and took a closer look. Her eyes lit up as she recognized me. I saw surprise and excitement. She immediately hugged me and began to pray for me
Her prayers elevated my soul, her excitement and joy in seeing me made me cry. As a cry baby that I am, I couldn’t stop the tears. She held me for a long time and a flood of memories came back
We called her “Sisi mi”. She absolutely refused to be called mummy. She liked to party, she liked to get involved in the lives of the kids in her building so when she saw us fighting and arguing, she would gather all us by the stairs to intervene. Read:Back to The Basics: For The First Time Since 2009, I Used A Public Transport in Lagos
She reminded me how one day, I seized the bucket we used to pull water from the well. Why? Someone had shunted the line and I wasn’t having it. She said I ran around the compound as kids threatened to beat me up if I didn’t release the bucket. I was ready for a fight unless the person who shunted poured her water back into the well.
I had forgotten but her detailed recollection brought the memory back. I hated and still hate when people cheat me. I take it to heart and when I can’t make it right, I break down me wail. That day, Sisi mi intervened and I removed her sitting by the stairs in he wrapper saying “sometimes people get away with cheating. You have to understand it. But the day they get caught, they’ll suffer for all the times they’ve cheated. So at the end of the day, they still suffer. It may take a while. But they do”
I felt I hadn’t gotten justice so I dropped the bucket, sat on the floor and cried.
Sisi mi also reminded me about my own faults. “You were very stubborn. Instead of cleaning the street like everyone else on environmental day, you’d shower, dress up nice and walk around to gist with your friends who were working. You’d rather make money than do dirty work. When people correct you, you pretend like you’re not listening but you eventually take correction. It was pride then. You didn’t want to seem weak by accepting your wrong immediately.”
Oh well, I guess people rarely change but we grow and hone our strengths and try as much as possible to do better when it comes to our weaknesses.
This journey was a spiritual one for me. When I got back into my car, my spirit went blank, my mind refused to think about anything, I just simply remained quiet. I needed to calm my heart, the flood of emotions came on too strong, I couldn’t break down in the car with my driver on the wheel.
Today I rejoice in who God made me, warts and all. Going back to my Lagos Hood, I know now, when I have kids, I will never try to shape them into who I want them to be. I’ll understand that their character is what will make them who they’ll be in future.
God is good, His mercies endures forever, our journey in life is never a mistake and our weaknesses are actually part of the things that shape us and our destiny.