She struggled hard to believe that Fadeke could be so callous to make such decision without letting her know and then pretend like nothing happened when asked. She felt that it was heedless for Fadeke to behave the way she did.
Mrs. Onifade often carried out routine clean-up of the apartment, when she entered Fadeke’s room to do some cleanings. She discovered Fadeke’s prank as she found the application slip for the Jamb examination on Fadeke’s table. When she saw it, she was riled. She struggled hard to believe that Fadeke could be so callous to make such decision without letting her know and then pretend like nothing happened. She felt that it was heedless for Fadeke to behave the way she did. She immediately confronted Fadeke.
“Are you out of your senses? Why did you register Psychology instead of medicine? Her mother queried angrily.
Frightened Fadeke stammered “I, I, I thought Psychology is fine, it is in the medical field”
Mrs Onifade retorted with rage in her voice “don’t you dare. Do I look like a fool? So, I don’t know the difference between psychology and medicine abi? I don’t blame you, it is my fault, I should not have trusted you to do this on your own” there was no hiding place for Fadeke, her mother was infuriated. She felt her mother’s anger was unjustified. Fadeke believed she had the right to choose her career path.
“Mummy, I have said this many times, I don’t want to be a doctor? Fadeke responded with a hint of bitterness in her voice.
“You don’t want to be a Medical Doctor? is that why you deceived me ehn? Your future is bright, you this girl study to become a doctor. Iro ni, orin ni sha. Is it this music that will put food on your table?
“Yes, Mummy, with music I will do well, and fame and money will come, even better than a Medical Doctor” Fadeke responded sharply.
“Look I will not sit down here and let you ‘spoil’ your future sogbo? A ngba omo adiye lowo iku, oni won je ohun lo atan lo je. Nko ti o ye o poju eleyi to ye o. You will change that course, you have no choice, you just have to.”
Fadeke looked at her mother with teary eyes and blurted out “I don’t understand why you are trying to force me to do what I will probably regret. Why do you want me to live your dreams?” She ran out of the houses crying profusely.
After she rushed out of the house, Mrs. Onifade sunk into a chair, tired and exasperated. Before long, she began to cry for the past she wished she could have created and the future that seem evasive and elusive to achieve at her age. She had undertaken a Nursing Education program out of frustration, after three years of waiting for admission into the University to study Nursing. Her plan was to proceed to study for a Nursing degree after her National Certificate Examination but she lost focus of that dream after she got married. It was not that the marriage in itself was the hindrance but she on her own lost focus and got carried away with other matters. She could not understand why Fadeke would not be interested in pursuing such a noble and interesting profession.
Later that day, Mrs Onifade sat Fadeke down and told her the reasons why she desired medicine for Fadeke.
“Nothing will make me prouder. I agree that it is a partially selfish decision because I want to be called ‘Mummy Doctor’. This decision is however out of sincere love for you”
Fadeke then explained that her dream was to become a well-respected and best-selling musician. Mrs. Onifade reasoned that it was wrong for her to insist that Fadeke study medicine, even though her intention was good but the end result may not be favourable. Despite this, she thought to still to push the idea further.
“Mummy, I love you so much and as much as I want to make you happy, I want to do the right thing for me. I know people say that I act older than my age and that you give me too much freedom. I know that many of my classmates are going to read law, or medicine, or engineering, but for most, it will not be what they really want to be. They will simply be living their parent’s dreams and not theirs. Fadeke urged her mother “please let me choose my path, please. I promise I would not disappoint you”
“Fadekemi, try to understand. I really do not think that music is the path for you. And let us even assume that it is the path, how do you intend to do pursue your dreams? Go to music school? How many musicians and artistes studied at music schools? So why not study medicine so that you can always have something to fall back on, in case music fails. Mrs. Onifade said, in a bid to persuade Fadeke.
After much tears, Fadeke reluctantly agreed to change her application to Medicine. In return, her mother agreed to let her attend more concerts and be free to participate in any of them.
After she wrote her final senior school examination, Fadeke and Tade’s usual love-meet could no longer continue as it used to. Having graduated from St. Agnes, Fadeke had full access to a phone her mother had bought for her as her last birthday present. Mrs. Onifade had insisted that she would only have full access to the phone after her exams. Tade also bought a cheap Techno phone from the little savings he had. They would speak on the phone for as long as they could afford. Sometimes, Fadeke would creep into her mother’s room to take her phone so they could use her call credit to continue their conversation. Half the conversation was usually Tade listening to Fadeke sing. Tade would critique the songs as much as his understanding could comprehend. Just simple “I don’t think that line makes sense” or “why not add this? Although there were little rain drops, they helped Fadeke improve. She was always excited to sing for him and to him. She looked forward to it every day.
Fadeke informed Tade of the conversation that ensued between herself and her mother over the phone. Tade responded “I agree with her. Don’t get me wrong, I think you have a good voice and that you will make a good artiste but what if it does not work? What will you fall back on?” Tade asked Fadeke.
“I have agreed to change the course but deep within my heart, I know that I won’t do well.” Fadeke whispered to her phone.
“I don’t think you should say that. I think you are one of the smartest people I know” Tade responded.
“Hmmn! I hear you o, keep flattering me. Well, the good part is I have negotiated for me to be able to perform at shows. So I have to start looking for shows where I can get to sing. Will you accompany me to Liberty Park tomorrow evening?”
“Of course” Tade replied.
Apart from the calls, they found a location close to Fadeke’s house where they could sit and talk. It was on one of those occasions that Tade came out clean and told Fadeke his story after much persuasion.
He told her that there was no chance of him ever attending a tertiary institution and that St. Johns was the final stop for his education. He also told her that he depleted all his savings on call credits and that she may have to do most of the callings going forward. Fadeke was deeply touched by the efforts he made to stay close to her. She hugged him and cried on his neck.
“What will I do without you? I will miss you when I go to the University” she whispered. She looked at him with teary eyes and continued “You must pass your WAEC examination, something can happen. I can get my mummy to support you. You cannot give up after secondary school. Please?”
“Number 1, she does not even know me, number two, she has enough on her hand, you are handful” Tade teased.
“I’m serious” Fadeke said with a straight face.
Tade looked at her and maintained the gaze for a while, heaved and responded “I can only be hopeful, I can only be hopeful”.
“Yes” she said excited at her victory in the mind game. “But I will still miss you though” she poked him.
“Me too” he said shyly.
Iro ni, orin ni sha – All you do is sing, everytime!
A ngba omo adiye lowo iku, oni won je ohun lo atan lo je – We tried to save the chicks from death, its only concern was that we prevented it from finding food at dunghill.
Nko ti o ye o poju eleyi to ye o – Your ignorance far outweighs your knowledge