Beautiful people, I have a confession to make.
The obvious is that I can’t speak Yoruba. Now, the occasional trendy pidgin phrases like “Ko le work” and “Naija no dey carry last” has slipped out of my mouth a few times, along with the basics like “Ekaaro” and “Omi” to name a few. But when I need to reply in Yoruba to the JJC (Johnny Just Come) who is wittily trying to test my Yoruba aptitude for baseless comparisons, I freeze up and the words get stuck in my throat. I mean, I can understand what they’re saying, for the most part, except that Ondo dialect that no one really understands except Ondonites, but to give an eloquent reply like a learned Nigerian is a challenge.
Ododo isn’t a word I heard too often growing up in my Yoruba speaking household. I guess “flower” isn’t a word anyone uses too often in communication unless you are a florist of some sorts or a bright-eyed lover. At least I wouldn’t. Growing up, I was a tomboy. I climbed trees with my brothers, kept my dad company at the mechanic and abhorred dresses and frilly things. Flowers were no exception. I didn’t see what the fuss was about. I was hardly captivated by any floral scent and the thought of its short life span annoyed me. Until, I started playing with flowers as an event designer. Bouquets, centerpieces and arrangements, they were everywhere and I feel in love with them. Now, ododo seems like a necessary addition for my vocabulary.
“I know who you are?” “An Ajebutter.”
I have been mistaken, yes — mistaken for an Ajebutter, one too many times. I can’t remember when I first heard the term used on me, but I do remember one instance. I was on a date (not really…I don’t believe in dating, but so you can visualize the scene…I was at dinner), sitting at a nice restaurant across from what appeared to be a cultured man who was sizing me over and said, “You are an Ajebutter.”
Growing up in the US, I didn’t hear it often. So unashamedly, I asked, “What?” “What does that mean?” He explained that it was a person who grow up pampered, privileged…to some spoilt. But he didn’t say it in a negative way, he wanted to actually say I appeared prissy. LOL. That I can be at times, but I most certainly wasn’t born privileged or was I spoilt. Every time I heard the terms, I resented them…the people that spoke it and the terms themselves. Because it discounted the late night work sessions, the endless note taking and tea drinking over life plans and strategies, the hours spent praying, fasting and studying my Word, so I could assure myself that I was staying in God’s will for my life. It got to a point where I complained to my pastor about my appearance of a charmed life even though my upbringing and constant grind was far from charmful. His answer? It’s the grace & favor of God over your life.
I thought and pondered over what he said. And realized, it’s the same grace & favor that sought out Esther from the other women and “pampered” her until she was positioned to save her people. So if God’s grace & favor makes me look “pampered,” that’s because I am and continue to be until my purpose is fulfilled. And I accept it.
Are you pampered?