Sometime in May 2016.
It was a usual day for me until I had an unforgettable experience. Simple though but unforgettable.
I was standing in my chaplain’s secretary’s office talking to the man behind the desk – Mr Emma. Sitting on a chair to right of the office was Debola, a young girl in 300level.
I was about to leave the office so I started my exit talk with Mr Emma. It was a usual kind of conversation but in yoruba. Debola courteously interrupted, surprise visible on her face – “I thought you were Igbo”(Igbo is a tribe in Nigeria).
It was not the first time I had heard this but I waited. I grabbed a chair and started a conversation.
Me : “Igbo? Why would you think so?”.
Debola : “Because you just have this igbotic behaviour(Igbotic is a word I came up with).”
Me : *Slightly confused* “What defines this behaviour? How do I behave like Igbos?”.
Debola : No. No not in terms of money(no offence intended).
Me : *More confused now* “Can you just describe this behaviour”
Debola : *probably confused too* “I really don’t know how to explain it”
Me : Wow. Well, I’m Yoruba. :).
We did some small talk and I left the office.
Many days later I’m presently on a bus to Ibadan and I’m wondering, theorizing. “What if Debola was somewhere and someone needed to know my tribe to fill in a form for me(Very rare but possible). As far as that form may have concerned, Agbede Samuel would have been an Igbo”.
Those kind of thoughts are usually ‘cute’ until some important decision hang on their expression.
I remember a discussion I had with my dad and one of the things he told me that I still hang on to this day is “Never assume”.
I’m thinking. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you think. its what you know.
Let’s put some more time into knowing and not just guessing, shall we?