Before we begin, pick up your phone, call your mother and wish her a happy Mother’s Day. I know, you forgot. There are what, 50 Mother’s days? To be honest, I only remember when I see others posting pictures of their mothers, and even then I can’t be bothered to unblock my mother. No, don’t judge me because you blocked her too. Hypocrite. 

Anyway, it isn’t really Mother’s Day today, so you can relax. Don’t worry, you’re still a terrible person and only a mother can love you. That’s why there are so many mother’s days; all the unconditional tolerance mothers have to muster. Combine that with the stress of being Nigerian and you wonder why O&G clinic days are so long. There are few human experiences as unique as motherhood, and in the midst of it all, you have the Yoruba mother.

If your head automatically dipped or your knees bent slightly when you read “Yoruba mother”, you probably have one. Mummy Brother Gbenga is big on respect and you better respect that. The floor is dirty and you just ironed that white shirt? Prostrate anyway. You’re a southpaw? Rewire your brain. You have something to say in an argument? The Lord be with you. Yoruba people are big on respect, yes. Every law needs an enforcer, and our mothers are the enthusiastic Gestapo of discipline and respect.

“Three good weeks ni Gbenga gba lowo e.”

The Yoruba mother can be found at event centres and churches at the weekend. She always knows where a knot is being tied, where someone has died or where someone is naming a child. She might not know these people, but she knows they are celebrating, so why not share in their happiness? After all, if you celebrate with others, they will celebrate with you. So, you better eat all you can because she will not cook that night.

Yoruba mothers in their natural habitat

Your Yoruba mother loves you, but she would never tell you. Actions shout, and the real ones have good hearing from all the ear pulling they got; in love of course. That extra meat was not because you were looking skinny. When she called to ask if you’re still on the Lord’s path, she actually missed you. She wants you to bring her bag because you’ve been cooped up in your room all day and she needs to see your face. Your Yoruba mother loves you, you’d best believe it.

It’s not Mother’s Day, no. But do it anyway. Call your mother right now and tell her you love her. She might not say it back, she might reply with sarcasm or even insult you. Smile anyway, your mother loves you. If she says it back, she’s been kidnapped and is trying to let you know. Start saving up for the ransom, and may the gods help you. Also, call your dad. It was Father’s day on Sunday and I know you forgot. You’re most welcome.

  1. Priscilla Oyinola says

    Tomi, I love you!
    And a little more because…this is just beautiful.
    It’s apt, heartwarming and the style of writing is a lovely finish.
    Thank you.
    And maybe you should tell us what mummy said when _you_ told her you love her ✨

    1. Tomisin Abel says

      Thank you very much! I really appreciate your comment. Well, she said it back. My Mum’s cool like that.

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