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Share a special moment from GABRIEL's life.

MY ADVANTAGE AS THE LAST CHILD

Shared by AYOBAMI (YOBAMS) ALAYANDE on March 18, 2021


Being the last child also connotes that I had less house chores to do at the time. My older siblings were there to do them. My father was a man of the farm,so not until I was five or six did I start to follow him to the farm.

Mama might not afford the luxury of delicacies, but the local supply of snails, little games, and edible fungi (olu) always made her food special to a child like me who had been trained from birth to be contented with what you were given: no query, no comparison with any other. In fact, you dared not be covetous over anything. Playing round the village was a common thing with other children of that age group who had not started schooling or whose parents either could not afford it or did not believe it. Moonlight stories enriched the ready tender heart to learn and to explore.

The vegetation around my village was a thorough tropical rain forest, so densely packed that rain falling on the canopy could take as long as two to three minutes to reach the ground. Thus, fresh breadfruits and english nuts (@pz Oyinbo) could be available during the season.

Hunting for snails, small games and fishing in the stream were part of my early life. My older brother served as a link to these ventures.

The raining season had its own effect on the villagers. I could vividly remember my father calling on God to save his house from storm on such occasions. It could be extremely cold such times, especially during the May to August downpour.

Walking bare-footed was not a big deal. From childhood to my teenage years, I wore no shoes. From the earliest consciousness, the church bell was fascinating. Going to church, there was orderliness. The songs would always make a soul-searching and drawings to God. Then, from my toddler stage, the fear of God was instilled in me at home, around the village and the church. Then, it was a taboo to work on Sunday or go on a journey.

I cherished and loved my village environment though not civilized; simple but thoroughly natural.

Some of my older village mates with whom we played together then were Brother Olajumoke Makinde, now a retired educationist, Brother Isaac Olusola Fadiran, nowa prophet, “Anti” Adesoye Fadiran, and Susanah Adufe Alayande, also a retired educationist.

LIFE IN A MUD HOUSE WITH THATCHED ROOF

Shared by AYOBAMI (YOBAMS) ALAYANDE on March 18, 2021
Like every African rural setting, I was born in a mud house with thatched roof. The cosy bed of a new born-child was the local mat with the old clothes of the mother and, or father as the cot. Such was mine too, with the mother lying beside, especially to breast-feed the child.
Child spacing then was between three to four years and I, being the last child, breast-feeding lasted as long as I wanted. No competition coming in terms of another pregnancy. That my mother was a petty trader, made me to always be around her at home even when I started to walk. I enjoyed her closeness and affection.

My humble beginning

Shared by AYOBAMI (YOBAMS) ALAYANDE on March 18, 2021
Born without a silver spoon, without any kingly pomp, without any royal majesty, my birth was far from my future. At the beginning of the journey of life, nothing, physically, environmentally and indeed, from all fronts gave, a glimmer of hope or thought of excellence. Only God, the Giver of life could have known what I laterbecome. The beginning was rough, tough and nothing but soul and body.


I was born on the 22nd of February, 1944. That another male child was born gave my father great joy, a future hope that another farm-helper had arrived. I was named Ope-Oluwa Mojisola Adeleye, among others that faded away with time. Gabriel was given, as I supposed, as a baptismal requirement by my father. Mojisola was given by my maternal grand-mother, I supposed, because I grew up to hear these inspiring words from her, (which we call “Oriki”) that she used to shower on me anytime she was around. 

This was borne out of her impression about the colour of my skin that was then neither black nor light as a young child. This might further be interpreted spiritually as the uncertainty of what my future has in stock.



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