A QUICK NOTE TO MY UNBORN CHILD(REN):

Ours is an insane world. I fear what yours would turn out to be. So, be prepared.

It is certain you won’t meet a perfect father…or a perfect mother. But you WILL meet parents who would love you more than any mortal would ever do.

I promise that I will find you a mother whom you will be proud of EVERY moment of your life. She might not be the most beautiful, or the most intelligent or the most fun. She will even be cranky at times (I will be too) but I guarantee you that she will put your interest above hers and above mine.

No. She won’t be a society woman. Her future husband isn’t one, anyway. Rather, she will be, in the truest meaning, a family woman.

Even though we’ll do our best to hide them from you,

once in a while you might see or hear us argue. Don’t worry, it WON’T go beyond that. Such moments will only end up making OUR bond stronger.

Depending on how stubborn you decide to be, I may employ the services of “atorin” on you (you don’t know what that means? Ask around for a Yoruba dictionary). I will try to make it as seldom as possible but I will need your cooperation on that.

You WILL speak Yoruba. If your mother is from another tribe, you WILL speak her language too. Keep that at the back of your mind. Also, you are not permitted to dump your native names (you will have quite a host of them) for foreign names we didn’t give you (each of you will have just one of those). If your mum and I think you should bear names like Tasha, Pearl, Tracy, Bieber, Kim, Al, Seal etc, we would add them to your names upon your christening. If we don’t, you can live without them and we’ll expect you to.

Heterosexuality is what will bring you into this world, so please, na God I take beg U(na)!

Your success in this world won’t be determined by how much wealth you gathered. It will be judged by how many people genuinely mourn your exit based on how positively you touched/transformed their lives. So, drop that Ghana-must-go now!

If (any of) you happen(s) to be a boy, for your good, start learning how to play PlayStation. I take no prisoners in that. And…erm, I will baptize you as an Arsenal fan. Therefore, get familiar with words and phrases such as “Gooner”, “Emirates”, “COYG”, “SheWore”, “St. Totteringham’s Day” and so on. Either that, or I send you back to where you are coming from!

– ‘Segun Odejimi (June 2014)

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