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•••Still on Oshogbo

The solemnisation mass of the Makinwa twins at St Benedict Catholic Church, Oshogbo had just ended and the announcement: “If Dr. Enabulele is this hall could he kindly see the father of the brides” was made. I suddenly realised that I had been done in. Mr. Francs Makinwa knew that I was in the hall because we were in communication throughout my journey from Lagos to Oshogbo. He even politely asked me not to bother attending the introduction that took place in his residence that same morning. So, on the announcement, I said here they go again. Immediately I realised that three families were involved in this event.

Firstly, the last time I saw Mr. Makinwa was 26 years ago! How was I going to pick him out from the fathers of the grooms? “Sorry gentlemen, I am Dr. Enabulele, who among you is Mr. Makinwa?” No way and I immediately banished the thought. I will wait for my opportunity. I quietly stood up for whoever bothered to notice this visitor, declined to leave my seat to approach the altar to save me from any embarrassment. The time hadn’t come. Besides I knew that he knew that I was there. So at the end of the mass I laid an ambush and as soon as the newly weds got to the entrance of the church, on their way out, I pounced on them and whispered Dr. Enabulele. Immediately they went down on their knees in ecstasy, joy and sincere appreciation. Their husbands were surprised at this gesture. It was Kehinde who told them that I was the doctor who took their delivery in Jericho Nursing Home, Ibadan. I used the opportunity for a quick photograph session before the arrival of the paparazzi.

Having gone through a hectic day up to this moment, my next instinct was to go back to the hotel room for a well-deserved rest, in preparation for the journey back to Lagos the next day. Honestly, I was tired. It was my pilot who reminded, saying: “Oga na wedding we come for.” With that, we headed for the reception venue. And I was glad we did. The venue for the wedding reception was designed and built as an event venue. Located on the outskirt of Oshogbo, the sprawling outfit has a capacity for at least 2, 000 seated guests. And believe you me, by the time we arrived, the crowd from the church had more than tripled. As you would expect, there were different types of ASO EBI. Staff of Nigerian Breweries, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, families and friends, all had their colours. You really needed to figure then out. But it was a galaxy of colours and beauty. Funny enough, when I got the invitation, I had asked Mr. Francis about aso ebi; he had politely declined, saying I should not bother. He only asked me to send him the measurement of the perimeter of my head for the cap. That I did. So I was not completely left out, as I was given my cap in the reception venue, which fitted on my white lace.

When I looked around the hall and saw the crowd, I wondered how all these guests were going to be entertained. I was in for a pleasant surprise. The high table had not even been constituted when the food and drinks started arriving. For the mention, the high table was occupied by the parents of the brides and the grooms and the chairman, a professor. There were no long speeches, as Item 7 was already underway. Then my moment came. The master of ceremonies had invited the father of the brides to dance with his daughters for the last time. And when he started what was obviously an emotional farewell dance, I gate-crashed into the stage and introduced myself. The excitement on the stage drew the attention of camera men and the guests, who wondered what was going on. And the word went round the hall that I was the doctor who delivered the twins.

The cameras clicked and clicked and clicked. It was simply amazing what just doing your job can result to 26 years after. On getting back to my seat, I was called out to dance with the latest couples in town. Surprisingly, they were still thanking me for what I did 26 years ago. I understood that part very well. It has to do with the robust culture of the Yoruba. This time I was glad to be the father of the day without being on the high table. The Prof. even congratulated me on his way out.

I noticed that there was no spraying of cash throughout the event. People just sat down, ate, drank to their fill, indulged themselves, dropped their presents, if they had any and then walked away. For me, I couldn’t figure whether it was as a result of the economic recession or the current trend. In all honesty and modesty it’s been quite a while since I attended an OWAMBE. I sincerely welcome it as a novelty.  The variety of food dished out would make you dream of a wedding reception every day. My friend ate fried and jollof rice. He topped it up with amala, ewedu and goat meat. When I reminded him that we were in public, he simply replied in Lagos pidgin lingo: I NO SEND. We all had a good time.

At my hotel room at Ilogbo, with the serenity of the environment I prayed for a long night sleep. The thought of going back to Lagos was foreboding. I honestly was not looking forward to the complimentary departure breakfast by the by hotel. That night I slept very well without bothering about phone calls. On Sunday when I woke up I realised that I had not taken my pills for hypertension and had no headaches. Oshogbo is such a serene and peaceful town. The people are all too willing to help and show you round. It was with reluctance that we hit the road. We had arrived Friday night and were leaving midday on Sunday.

It was when we got to outskirt of the town did we see it….food. There was yam and palm oil, snail and bush meat. Because we arrived at night we did not see all these and made no provisions. When we got to Ede we couldn’t but stop to buy some of the groceries. When we were through, our car refused to start. Luckily, we got a car electrician who did some magic but warned us not to stop until we got to Lagos.

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