The city of Ibadan is a graceful lady, she has been around for a long while. She is not a young lady but she still retains the charm that attracts people to her. People keep trying to guess her age to no avail. Ibadan is peaceful and bold, she has many sons and daughters.
But she could be stubborn and rigid. She could be uncompromising at times. Ibadan does not join the bandwagon.
People say she is backward, they say she doesn’t want to embrace change, they say she sticks to her guns defiantly.
“Why don’t you want to adjust? Why are you bent on sticking to the past ways of doing things?” Lagos, Ibadan’s sister would query her.
“Leave me alone, let me be, I am not as flippant as you are” She would reply.
Ibadan knows that her charm and appeal lie in her ability to soak up modernity while retaining her antiquity. She knows her mystique lies in her ability to withstand pressure to change.
Ibadan is of average height and dark complexioned, a tribal mark is etched on her face. She wears her colourful Buba blouse and Iro wrapper with a big matching gele on her head. Her necklaces and beads complement her attire. She takes pride in her dressing, Ibadan would never step out of the house unless her dressing is perfect.
The city of Ibadan is welcoming and inviting, she cooks delicious dishes of Lafun and Ewedu for her several sons. A visit to her home will leave you salivating as the aroma of Moi-moi and Eko from her kitchen wafts through the air and hits you.
People say Ibadan is a funny woman and her antics can crack your ribs. Yesterday she went to the shopping mall to buy some items, she picked several items and tossed them into the shopping cart. When she got to the pay-point, Ibadan started haggling the prices of the goods. The cashier told her the prices were fixed but Ibadan created a scene and threatened to beat up the salesgirl if she fails to reduce the prices, Ibadan had to be escorted out of the mall by the security men while a couple of shoppers had a good laugh.
Ibadan has a caustic tongue, it takes little effort to unlock the string of verbal abuses. If anyone picks a fight with Ibadan the person should be ready for a barrage of insults.
Ibadan loves her rusty brown roofs, she doesn’t believe in building and owning flashy mansions. Her houses are old, giving her a distinctive quality.
One of her sons came back home one day and said to her,
“Mother, I want to build a new house for you. It will be an ultramodern apartment with modern furnishing and architecture, in fact, it is going to be the best house you have ever seen”
She quickly inquired, “Is it going to have a brown roof?”
“Then don’t bother! I don’t need a house that is not brown-roofed”
“Why don’t you want to change from your brown roof?” Her exasperated son queried.
“The brown roof makes me classic and exotic” She replied.
Ibadan loves partying, she never turns down an invitation to a party but if you are inviting her to your party, you have to make provisions for beer because Ibadan loves her beers.
Ibadan is a spiritual lady, she never misses her church service while doubling as an Ifa Priestess. She is always in her best elements at the Okebadan festival, she looks forward to it because she wants to preserve her culture. She would sing, clap, dance and forget her sorrows.
I saw the city of Ibadan yesterday, she is still as unique as ever.
Iniobong Leroi Umoh is a storyteller, a satirist and creative writer. He blurs the line between reality and fiction and seeks to create a connection with the reader through engaging content. His works have been featured across various online and offline platforms. He hopes to one day travel around the world on a luxury yacht, sipping expensive wine and documenting all his experiences in a journal.
You can send him a mail at email@example.com.