Today, On My 64th Birthday Anniversary
On my 64th birthday anniversary, I celebrate my mother, the one person most responsible for who I am today.
She does not even know the date of her birth.
My father, Oladejo Okediji, is the known one. He is the famous author, who wrote novels, plays, poems, and essays. When he passed last year at 90, nobody even mentioned my mother once, as they poured deserved eulogies on him.
But my mother Christiana Omolola, produced him. It is impossible for an artist to emerge without adequate care and support. My mother was the support for my father at the most productive days of his career, and also at the very difficult start of that career.
When my father became really absorbed in his writing, he stopped teaching to be a fulltime writer. At that point, my mother took up the task of financing and raising the family.
My mother single-handedly supported the entire family, as she threw all her energy into textile trading. Anybody who grew up in Ile Ife during the 60s and 70s knew The Boys’ and Girls’ Shop, the brand of my mother’s shop. She worked day and night, and my father got the opportunity to produce his first novel, Àjà Ló Lẹrù, because he had the chance to work full time on his writing. Without the financial support that my mother provided, he couldn’t have had the time to do his writing without any distraction.
And she also produced me as an artist. At a time when nobody allowed their children to study art, she supported me. She always told me, “I know you will be successful. You have no peer. Nobody on this planet is more handsome or brilliant than you. Don’t let anyone deceive you that you are less than you are.” I still remember her words, and her dreamy eyes, when she cuddled me as an infant.
Wherever I go, guess what soundtracks play in my head? They are the songs my mother sang as she breastfed me, bathed me, massaged me, and cared for me when I was growing up.
Hip, hip, hip to a perfect mother, Christie.
Interested in some of my published works?