Hey Book-ti-ful, sometimes I wonder how some people find it so easy to do house chores without grumbling. How I hate to do house chores! As an adult living all by myself, I find it a bit easier to do house chores every now and then; but growing up you had to pull me by the ears to make me do chores that were assigned to me by mom and dad.
I grew up in a household where dad — who we his kids have nicknamed ‘bro’ — cannot stand any of his children sitting down and doing nothing; you just have to be doing something. The moment ‘bro’ catches you doing nothing, he will give you something to do, and you will end up cleaning an already cleaned window, washing an already washed toilet or washing all the abandoned napkins in the house.
I often wondered: were all African parents built this way or was it just my daddy?
‘Bro’ is a missionary whom we rarely saw at home but we all got excited when we had him around for few weeks, and if we are lucky enough for few months; but the excitement started to fade away after three days of having him around. You want to know why? The chores (yeah right). This man will not let you just ‘relas’ and be ‘taken kiaruf’ … Lol.
You couldn’t even play ‘Suwe’ (the Nigerian version of ‘hopscotch’), or build a sand castle in peace without hearing ‘Bro’ screaming your name and asking you to come do something in the house.
How I fell in love with books
So, how did I escape those chores? Let me gist you: I would pretend to be reading a book and, like magic, daddy will not ask me to do anything. But my siblings were there cleaning all the windows and washing the toilets and napkins (cunny man die, na cunny man go fit bury am…Lmao). And anytime my siblings grumbled about me not doing anything, my ever loving ‘bro’ had a standard reply: “can’t you see she is reading”?
From a ‘make-believe’ reader, I became a true reader. That was how my romance with books started. My hatred for chores drove me into books and I fell hopelessly in love with books, and what a sweet relationship we have had so far. And just like every relationship, we do have our fights and crazy moments but Mr. Book has never ever broken my heart.
I am tempted to tell you how I used to ‘steal-read’ (is that even a word? lol) my elder sister’s books, especially her HEARTS and HINTS magazines as a primary school pupil (don’t get a heart attack over this, please); but wait, what exactly happened to those two erotic publications? (Maybe I need to do some research on that and bring you the ‘amebo’ soon).
I should add: Bro is a book lover too and, at 68, he is still an excellent reader. Interestingly, it was also my dad who unconsciously introduced me to the beauty of African arts – that’s a story for another day.
How did you fall in love with books? How did you come to hate books? Do you agree with me that house chores are a bore and books can be an escape from them? Feel free to share in the comments.