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First Love

For me there were many firsts. As a six-year-old my first spell of romantically-tinged admiration was for Biyi Bandele-Thomas (playwright and novelist, author of ‘The Sympathetic Undertaker’) at the time a student of my father’s at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife. It seems I had a thing for writers. I remember really liking Odia Ofeimun, renowned and celebrated poet (‘The Poet Lied’); and I so enjoyed learning and speaking often the lyrical name Adewale Maja-Pierce. I think I fell for his name before I even met him. I couldn’t believe someone could have such a magical name. I liked how speaking the name cajoled my tongue to dance! I eventually found out that the name belonged to a tall friendly man with a generous moustache who wrote a book, amongst many, called ‘In My Father’s House’. Of course I was a kid to them all, so I had to set my sights a little more in line with my own height. Gbolahan, the class genius, had big teeth and even bigger glasses, add to that a squeaky voice and how, in my opinion, that particular shade of Staff School green complimented his dark brown eyes and there was finally a reason for my seven-year-old heart to flutter. I vaguely remember either not being invited to his birthday party or not going. While it seems important to know the difference – one of course requires a life-long store of hatred and the other guilt – I cannot recall the detail. And maybe this isn’t such a bad thing, perhaps, in matters of love, occasional bouts of amnesia are actually for the best.


(Also published in the ‘Sunday Independent’ July 8 2012)

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,
  1. September 11, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Love this! Awww to be 7 and in love all over again 🙂

    • September 11, 2012 at 7:06 am

      It seemed simpler then, didn’t it?! Maybe.

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