YELLS OF A YEMETITE: GETTING USED TO THE GHETTO PART – RIDWAN ADENIRAN

Residents are mix of characters, maybe like every other place. But, their attributes are actually different.


A little introduction about my title I consider necessary. Maybe this article is an exposition to fate here – fun there, fracas there. Interestingly, every individual here still lives with hope of a better tomorrow or better someday. As tomorrow as proved to be a lie, every coming day.

Your dictionary will tell you “Yell” is a relation of cry, shout, holler, call or any word close to those. Yemetite is what you will not find in your dictionary. It is my own way of describing any individual habiting my present area in the ancient city of Ibadan called Yemetu. It is one of those part of Ibadan with glaring evidence of the brown roofs. 

The community has a police station, schools, hospitals, market, shops, event centres, gas stations, canteens, churches, mosques, electricity and water, to some extent. But, sadly, despite things you considered social amenities, it will never be your best place to stay for long or to even stay at all. Later in this series, I will tell you my experience in/with (actors from) those places. 

Residents are mix of characters, maybe like every other place. But, their attributes are actually different. The religious ones are religious in their own way. The smokers smoke special weed. The drunkards drink variant liquor. The parents have different parenting style. The one selling sells with a new way of cheating. The lovers do their things in their own way. The good ones are distinctly good. The bad ones are brilliantly bad. And the ugly ones are unique in their wowoness.

It would be very important to know the categories of humans residing here. We have hardworking businessmen, dedicated businesswomen, teachers, students, artisans, government workers and crude politicians (crude because they are involved in pasting posters, disbursement of election money and they fight their neighbours for pitching tents elsewhere – this has got to the extent of mocking the physically challenged, youngsters ridiculing the elders, exposing deadly secrets and sadly, they will never be involved in policy making. The other day it was a physical combat we watched, because certain individuals were accused of corruption for not sharing fairly the election money from a political candidate. Beggars come around for alms too. Yemetites are generous too.

It is here the not-so-rich ones have more children than the relatively rich ones (the rich ones are not here practically, they only come for businesses). If they could follow Fashola cry on managing our numbers, but the ones with many children are not privilege to this information. So, at least there are three naming ceremonies in a week. A friend once said the state hospital close records the highest number of births in the whole of Ibadan. If the fact is not true, it is very close to the truth. The children work for the stipends they spend too. 

There are good food sellers whose stew would keep you coming. Sadly, there would a pond close to her kitchen. I mean a gathering of dirty, stagnant water with different sizes of plastics embedded and flowing on the surface. The stench battles the aroma of the kitchen, the aroma wins every time. Abi who cares about smelling gutter when the gut is hurting already? Pay a visit to the backyard of the market and witness an eyesore. 

Because it bothered my sanity, I asked questions. But I was answered by different individuals with same response: arakunrin, the rain would come and it’s the powerful force of erosion will carry all these you see away. To where? Would have been my next question but brethren I have to be a Roman in Rome. Ironically, no one comes down with health issues like that. Maybe small small Malaria sha.

A male teenager, late in the night, is lying to another of female teenager, in one dark corner. He would make many promises depending on the spirit of infatuation that possessed him. The most sort after lady would dish out smiles too. She would think happiness is all about night and the lies growing men tell. Later, you would find what she is looking for, have baby 1, baby 2, baby 3 and sometimes, still stay around with her parents in same roof. It does not happen that way every time, some move to another roof within the community or leave for Lagos, the land where they fetch wealth from lagoon.

To be continued……..

Yemetu on google map

Account of a resident traveler


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