First off, since Ore practically threatened me into doing this, I’ll break all the rules and do it my own way. I can’t particularly think of songs that changed my life, I’d love to think of them as songs that take me to “a different place” whenever I listen to them.
As I start to write, I can only make out three in head and I doubt that my stories would be juicy (sorry Ore, but you asked for this).
Love Don’t Cost A Thing – J.Lo
Hear Your Mama Hear Your Papa – Mike Okri
Agolo – Angelique Kidjo
You are probably wondering what decade I was born in, not to worry, it isn’t that far off, and yes it’s all three songs put together as one.
So here’s the story – I danced to these songs in my early days between primary 3 and 6. The good kind of dance oh! real cheerleader pompoms, amazing costumes, large crowds (unilag stadium to be precise), face it my primary school was lit!!! I wasn’t much of a dancer, but back then if you could put your right arm up and arrived in the same spot after a twirl like everyone else, you got with the program.
But talent always stands out, and that’s exactly what Morayo Aina did. While the rest of us lined up in rows blue jeans and white tops, Morayo would stand alone in black and white front line and center, she was a good dancer. But beyond that, Morayo was my friend (one of the squad members). She has really good black skin-the kind people refer to when they say black is beautiful, she had perfect white teeth and was just the right height. Morayo also seemed to know a lot about adult life (which at that time was what junior secondary school was all about), looking back I think her elder sister filled her in on all the details.
I like to think that Morayo and I shared a special friendship outside the squad thing. At the time I lived in one of those houses you passed on your way to everywhere, so practically everyone knew where you lived (so annoying). Morayo would stop by my house on the way to block rosary meetings and we would talk about the last episode of Passions and who we thought had a crush on who in school. One of my favorite memories of her was this thing we used to have in school. Once a year, a white Reverend father would come to school and we would have a mass right there on the assembly ground under the hot sun but at the end there was always communion. Although the “white flat thing” like we always called it was no substitute for bread, we still always lined up to receive it (after hours under that sun, even chalk started to taste like bread). Morayo would argue that we had no right, we were not baptized and many other reasons (like I said earlier she knew a lot of grown up stuff). But this oyinbo man came only once a year and when has a little bread ever hurt anyone, so we took it anyways.
Like every other process in life, we all moved ahead to secondary school and off I went to boarding school. Towards the end of 1st term holiday, two of my primary school friends “stopped by” to say hi. They went to day schools so they kept up with what went on in the neighborhood. “We just came to tell you that Morayo’s family was involved in an accident and she died”. I can’t remember which one of my friends said it or how I felt afterwards. I look back on that day and wished I didn’t live in that house that just happened to be on the way to everywhere else, then maybe they wouldn’t have stopped by. At least then I could tell myself that Morayo moved to another country and she is married now that’s why I can’t find her on Facebook. I could also tell myself she still loves to dance and perhaps like me she is wondering how the dab became a viral dance move.
But Morayo did leave earth, some would say a little too early, some would say she had not achieved anything. I would always remember my amazing friendship I had with Morayo in the short time it lasted, it measures up to and possibly surpasses some of my friendships that have lasted 10 years and longer. Only good friends would check up on you every single time they passed by, never taking offence that you didn’t return the favor, only good friends would warn you of how wrong it seemed to take communion without confessing your sins and not get mad when you took it anyway.
So to those who think Morayo didn’t achieve anything because she never got to pass JAMB or graduate from University, or get married and have kids, I say she was a great friend and an amazing human being. I would always remember her for bringing laughter my way, and I can’t think of a better way to be remembered or a better achievement.
Sorry it had to be a somewhat sad story.