Monday, 9 December 2013

Decade Blogs - Babatunde Rosanwo - The Market‏

The Decade Blogs
This is the first of blogs written to celebrate my 10 years of blogging, my friend, Babatunde Rosanwo has honoured me with a piece about the market and life as a market place of many interactions of decision, determination, discrimination and discernment.
In this, I find a story, one I had never written before, for when we lived in Kaduna, my mother too did have a market stall.
@Rosanwo is his Twitter handle or you can read his blogs here.
This is Babatunde’s story, please read on.
There are many routes leading to the market
Depending on your mission to the market
I dreaded going to Oja Oba (King’s Market) with my mother
It was a confluence of all manners of men and women
From the rich who bought the produce in bulk
To the average ones who came for their daily supplements
Those who came for the leftovers stretched across the market
Yet the was a constant buzz and noise across the market
I wondered why my mother spent such considerable time at the market stalls
Greeting the sellers and exchanging banter
I thought we should buy from the first stalls and leave
I would often look away to catch the expressions of the market
Intrigued by the alabarus
(market porters) who labored to make a meaning out of life
My mother would insist that I accord everyone with greetings and courtesy
I wondered why it was so difficult for her to make up her mind
Why do we have to move from stall to stall, from bargain to bargain?
I would wonder where my father was at that moment
The one who worked all day was saved from the theatre of this market
The contrast between his alakowe
(academic) office and the market
The contrast between our modest home on Ring Road and Oja Oba
I wondered what my father would make of this market
Would his job afford him the daily encounters of engaging so many people?
My mother said the market had many reflections
That one day I would understand that life itself is a market
People come and go but the market remains
I would have to bargain to get the best of the market one day
The bargains would determine how far I go
Some spend the whole day at the market without a bargain
Some spend just few minutes at the market with the best bargain
Again, I asked, why have your stalls inside the market?
Why not at the entrance to catch the customers as they arrive
My mother laughed at me, she held me in her arms
She said one day I would start my own journey in the market of life
I would never be satisfied with the first things that come my way
Neither would my first love end up as my wife
There would be days I would love to curse the market
And there would be days I would love to bless the market
In all, the market remains part of me
Now I reflect upon those days with my mother and our sojourn to the market
I look at the journey I have embarked on in life
I am no longer satisfied with the first bargains I have made
Sometimes I am confused
Sometimes I have cried
Sometimes I danced away my sorrows
Sometimes I have made poor bargains based on my poor judgment
It has dawned on me that life is a market
That my father had his own version of the market in his alakowe
way
I don’t know if I am lost in the market
I don’t know if I am making the best bargains
I don’t know if the tinned tomatoes are better than fresh tomatoes
I don’t know if cooking with olive oil is better than my mother’s palm oil soup
I don’t know which route is best to leave the market
I don’t know if the market even knows I am here
The only thing I know is the market is still open
I am still looking for the best bargain
One day I will exit the market
I shall be gone but the market shall remain

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