Monday, May 05, 2008

Playing with fire


Today was dad's birthday.

My father is funny. Nowadays he sometimes almost gets angry with me (like for not phoning)...then he melts and starts to laugh.

My mum told me a story, she doesn't tell me many stories, about when I was really little and reaching out to touch the candlelight. Back then, candles and lanterns were our only defense when NEPA worked its the many years before we could dream of affording a generator.

Anyway, as you can imagine, this chubby black baby was hugely fascinated by the light of the candle. My mother was losing her cool because...what if I knocked it over, what if I burned she kept warning me away from it. I kept crawling back until my father appeared and solved the problem: he took my hand and helped me touch the flame for a second. :)

I can just imagine the scene - me crying at the top of my lungs, my mother mortified at my father's tactics of harming the baby, my father laughing and explaining I just needed to learn for myself.

He's always been a good teacher.

By the way, I still enjoy playing with fire.

Happy birthday to my smiling and dearly loved father.


t said...

1. The music is Osondi Owendi, by Osadebe (The Late Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe)
Find the music, with video AND translation here: Osondi Owendi
An Igbo friend explained that the song just says live in peace with the next person.

2. NEPA = National Electric Power Authority, creatively renamed No Expect Power Always.
Its successor PHCN, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria was promptly renamed Problem Has Changed Name, or my favourite, Power Withholding Company of Nigeria. The withholding continues, as "they" debate targets and plans for 2010 or 2020.

t said...

Love my papa.