The Day My Mother Found Love Letter In My Bag – VP Yemi Osinbajo
When I was 10 years old, there was a girl in my class who I was quite certain at the time that I could give my life. So I wrote her a lovely poem over a weekend; I wrote the poem on Friday and finished it on Saturday. And it was, if I may say so myself, a work of sheer genius. It ended with the dramatic words; “your warm embrace may be the last desire of my heart before I die!”
I tucked it in my school bag and looked forward with a heart filled with love for Monday, to present to the object of my affections. My mum, while cleaning out the bag, found the letter, and all hell broke loose. Needless to say, she beat the poetic genius out of me that terrible afternoon. But that’s not the end of the story. True love as you know, will survive even the worst brutality. So, I bore my injuries as a worthy suffering for my beloved.
On Monday morning, I found the best opportunity to give her a freshly written version of the poem. I turned away as she took the letter, I didn’t want to behold the sheer pleasure as she read it, but as I turned around, I noticed that she had actually handed the poem over to the teacher and she was pointing at me! While my physical bruises have healed from that experience, from as you can imagine, what happened with the teacher, my capacity for writing romantic poetry had been greatly diminished.
The Vice President who was speaking at the Ake Festival 2018, acknowledged the importance of the creative industry, while also paying tribute to great Nigerian poets such as Niyi Osundare, Molara Wood and Tanure Ojaide.
In his closing address, he reminded participants at the festival that the story he just told them was a work of fiction.
“Did you enjoy the story I told earlier? It was fiction,” he said as the whole room erupted with laughter as he made his way back to his seat.