[ Drawing boundaries ]

I happen to be one of those who can’t stand people who don’t mind their own business, I mean – I very honestly don’t like what I hate.

I’m someone who loves and cherishes his privacy so much and I don’t dabble into affairs that don’t concern me – You therefore, wonder what guts some people have to stick their noses in affairs that are of no concern to them.

‘How much so, when they’re even subordinates ?’

I readily remember hordes of former workers under my friend, Hamza while at the mortgage bank, particularly one of his drivers, who not only listens to our conversations while being chauffeured by him, but also makes unsavoury and unwelcome comments into them.

‘What effontery ?’

I don’t think my friend ever really minded, at least I never heard him complain, openly.

For me, talk about courtesies and drawing boundaries, no-one expects someone else to blare his opinions into discussions he’s not been invited to be a part of. 

I think it’s absolutely rude to do so too and the funny thing is that you’re not even supposed to be listening to certain conversations in the first place, how much more – expressing an opinion. 

Folks out there should learn how not to burn bridges, don’t cross the Rubicon – and that’s a personal principle of mine. 

Recently, I had heard from the top of my house as one of my young neighbours, Tope was about to be driven to work, early in the morning. 

It is a regular and common sight for him to be busy talking on the phone as he’s being chauffeured and as he was about to climb into his suv, his driver’s phone also rang – the quite gentle and obviously well cultured guy, quickly picked and quipped into the phone mouthpiece in Yoruba:

‘Je kii mpe e pada . . . ‘

(Let me call you back . . .)

Knowing quite well that his having to pick his own call would have also disrupted his bosses’ conversations – That for me, without being told, was respecting boundaries and knowing how not to cross a line.

The bottomline from that singular act, was that he sure cautioned himself, or maybe he learnt his lessons the hard way. 

There can never be two captains on a ship – it’ll sink.

It’s as simple as a, b, c !

@ O’Shine Original . . .

[ World Famous ]

I am an ardent football follower, appropriately put – a keen Man United fanatic and most times while watching top matches and there is always a momentary camera spotlight on someone – The point in time a guy notices any such, it usually comes with shouts of:

‘Yeeeeeah; Yeeeeeah; Yeeeeeah’

With loads of excitement written allover the person’s face.

An experience similar had happened to me the last time I was at Alao’s, my barbing salon – he had told me excitedly in Yoruba, how he saw me on a t.v. show in my United jersey:

‘Se ero bi mi oni moyin ni ?’ 

(Do you think I wouldn’t have recognised you ?)

Days after that revelation, I also ran into my plus size neighbour, Vicky and she had similarly screamed from across the street:

‘I saw you on TVC, you went for STAND UP NIGERIA.
(Stand Up Nigeria used to be a monthly comedy show at the Muson Centre, Onikan – Lagos. I swear down, I didn’t know the cameras picked me cos I woulda ‘denge’ pose). 

A parishioner had also seen the t.v. show and made a scene of it when he saw me in Church:

‘Can I have your autograph sir ?’

The totality of all these is that, henceforth, I’m goin to be walking about the streets with a lot of swagger . . . Lol.

I’m FAMOUS !

@ O’Shine Original . . . 

– 17th May, 2013

[ The Whiteman ]

I eventually was able to start my small garden recently, aided by a set of exotic flower pots gifted me by a childhood friend – they had been quite old and abandoned at their family house over a period of time.

I had the mallam next door to mine, Nasiru assist in bringing them over to my place, quite dirty and the paints peeling off – I went to work, cleanly scrubbing and washing off all the stains and dirt.

Then, I went to the building materials market to secure a gallon of paint, brush, scrapper and sandpaper. One after the other, cleaning up each of the 8 pots and painting them a glittering silver colour.

Having achieved that, I put a call, the first time and then a second time, without success to my neighbour; a gardner already, trying to secure her services as my consultant, this I did unsuccessfully as on both ocassions she wasn’t available. 

I waited a couple of days, then hit a public garden nearby to make my personal enquiries and also decide what and what my preferences would be – I’d in several previous discussions taken these decisions with my gardner neighbour, though. 

I made my purchases and was in the process of preparing my black soil for planting when neighbour and I ran into one another and she insisted on being part of the journey. 

We finally were able to put all together, a beautiful result it turned out too – my house, the cynosure of all eyes.

Commendations and warm greetings from friends and neighbours. 

This was indeed, all the encouragement I needed to add something extra too. I decieded to unleash, yet another of the several ideas in my ever probing mind to put more glamour into the garden space by including a railing on the long walkway into the house.

I muted this to a friend who loved the garden already and he laughed, especially that I achieved almost everything single handedly:

‘You behave like an Oyinbo man (Whiteman), with this love to DIY (do it yourself)’

Anyway, with the design of the railing already in my head – I once again faced the market, got myself 3 black metal pipes, had them moved to a nearby welder’s shop and worked with him for about 90 or so minutes to have the metal pipes coupled up – two 18 feet long poles crossing four 4.5 feet standing poles, a foot and 6 inches of which would be buried deep into the concrete ground.

Came out as I wanted and I had the unit transported home – I went to work again to give it an undercoat in readiness for it to be installed. 

I reached out to my bricklayer, a guy who had worked with me on a small project a few months earlier, to come and give me a cost assessment and when he’d have the time to come over for the installation.

The bricklayer, Femi be like it’ll cost me twelve thousand naira to install a mere railing – I laughed out so loudly to his embarrassment too, proposing my willingness to pay a three thousand naira fee. Afterall, the job is a simple and straightforward one – dig 4 holes and bury . Sefini.

He reluctantly agreed and promised to come over two days later on a Saturday. 

Saturday came and I waited all day – he never showed up nor did he even call to cancel or postpone. 

I didn’t see nor hear from him on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and so by Wednesday – I spoke to Nasiru, the mallam next door to comean see something.

I needed him to help me dig the holes, giving him the necessary tools; a jigger, cutter and cutlass.

Surprisingly, he was done in less than 2 hours – a time during which Femi, the bricklayer showed up with his boy. I told him not to bother anymore and he left.

For digging, I paid a happy Nasiru one thousand five hundred naira and I then went on to mix my sand, granite and cement to do my casting.
With the final result of the railing done and standing errect for everyone to see, my gardening consultant neighbour was like:

‘Wowowowowow . . . Our photo gallery has been transformed’

To think it’s even a hugely beautifull contrast from back in the day when herself and sister in law took photo sessions by my fence – Chuckles.

While finishing up, another neighbour’s daughter, who had been watching me as she passed by, commended:

‘Mr. Gbenga, you obviously are a whiteman with all these stuffs you do . . . ‘

A standing ovation for the white ‘ijebuman’

Lololololololololololol !

@ O’Shine Original . . .

Mmm

[ Baba Ijebu ]

Yes, I’m different and unusual. Indeed, a special breed – my ways are not your ways, my person and personality, so to say.

In this wise therefore, a couple of family and close friends see me as weird; sometimes strange too.

So, this friend of mine is usually always poking some not so funny jokes about me. For me, how can being effective than being efficient be considered ‘strange’ – I’m that person who’ll put off the air conditioner or switch off the bulb once not in the room or if I’m stepping outside.

To me:

“What’s the point wasting your electricity units while not in use ?”

Precisely, this became a practise since I got a pre-paid meter installed in my house way back in 2012, as you can see – that long.

I thereon, developed the practice – a tradition or call it, custom which has so not gone down well with a number of people.

They mostly had their days; laughing and throwing their butts of jokes my way. Then one of them, a restaurant owner who hitherto used the A.C. in her outlet arbitrarily had a pre-paid meter also installed – I was extremely happy for her cos her days of over billing by the electricity company were also finally over.

What she consumed was what’ll be paid for.

Strangely too, she not only stopped using the A.C. entirely, but you sometimes even had to ask that they put on the fans on some days – they were minimising their electricity consumption – Chuckles.

‘Until you wear someone else’s shoes, you’ll never know where it pinches the most’

Me that she used to call ‘Baba Ijebu’ o . . .

Lololololololololololol !

*

Ijebu people are Yorubas in Western Nigeria, known for their high capacity for understanding business situations and especially taking far reaching judgements in such situations.

In a nutshell, very well known for their largely, shrewd nature. 
The Awujale is the overall head and King of Ijebuland. 

@ O’Shine Original . . .