By: Adedokun Seyi
Note: This story is not intended to dent anybody’s image or call for a head. Your discretion is highly important in this. If you find it real, fine, and if it’s unreal, the essence is just to alert the sand that something happened on it.
Oraye’s phone rang for like five times, but he couldn’t answer his calls. He was inside a mould house with another group of people preparing for a journey that would take them thirty weeks to land. He rushed the meeting but could only pick the call at later hour.
Maruwa was so depressed for he needed assistance at that time. It was time for the calabash team to have a separate body that would help it to create meaningful presence in the community. The community Chief, area elders and companies had to be available for the process to be successful. He needed the assistance of Oraye, but he was far from near.
“How far? I saw your call but I was busy. Any problem”, Maruwa finally picked the call.
“Nothing really, I need your presence here now. It is urgent because we need to meet these people before dusk. Please, come down immediately”, Maruwa relayed his concern to Oraye.
“Ah! I don’t think I would be fast because I would have to trek down there. But I’ll be there in the next thirty minutes. Wait for me”, He replied
“Please, be here in the next ten minutes. It’s really demanding and you’re the only person that can help me out”, he pleaded.
“Ok”, Oraye replied, “I’ll try”
Oraye was later part of the body, he was given a preference because he had told Maruwa earlier that he would join him. The body was constituted after some days.
Some weeks passed, no activity came up, everyone was preparing for the rigorous duties. Some were thinking it would be easily done along with other activities. In order to ease communication, everyone had to introduce him or herself in a virtual meeting.
“I am Kerebùjé, you can call me Kébé”, replied, one of the members.
“My name is Alábùkún Àríyò, you can call me my name”, everyone laughed as he introduced himself.
“Káróunwí is my name”, one sardist-like, who doesn’t like familiarity said.
“Ejalomo Àwònlabí”, another replied
“Kàkànákì is what people call me”, others looked at him with bored wonder thought. Immediately, Káróunwí rebounded, “What a wicked parent he has. When he’s not a monkey”.
Everyone partook in the introduction and without a forethought, strategies started pouring in.
“Please I have something to say”, Oraye objected. As if Ejalomo knew what he wanted to say, she forwarded “we know what you want to say”.
Oraye replied, “okay, tell us one”. “We should not waste time abi”, she replied.
“As if you know, as you can see, it is not advisable to be too forwarded, thinking you know anything about anybody. Ejalomo, your name is real. You swim anyhow”, Oraye gave a shocker, and Ejalomo refused to talk till the end of the meeting.
“Well”, he continued, “What we have discussed is okay, but let us have it in mind that it won’t be easy. Many of us would be persuaded here and there before we can make any sense. Let us just be flexible enough with time because there are other things to attend to….”[Maruwa cuts in…]
“Please, please, please, enough of the disorderliness. We’ve heard from all sides and I believe we would be able to deliver. Thank you. Good night”, he said
They all shared the palmwine that Wárápá, Òrayè’s intimate friend brought for him, singing along “Emu l’ògùrò emu gidi…”
Everyone gathered in one spirit to split and gather every possibility. They left their personal issues and moved to attend to their commitment. Maruwa had not arrived, Karounwi was the first person to show his face. His tone of greeting was sleeping around everyone’s subconsciousness. It was cold to the extent that all ideas started hanging at a brain-view unable to be spoken. Ejalomo came along with a wrapper, but the meeting must hold to avoid procrastination.
After some minutes, Maruwa arrived, asking about others and check his watch at the same time. His wristwatch stopped beeping a week ago, but the fake material seemed good on him. It was become high of him to feel he comes earlier than anyone.
“Where is everyone?”, he asked. Nobody replied. He looked at everyone present and noticed the weather effect. Others began to arrive early as they slipped in second after second.
“So, you guys were together, and you still arrived late! Anyway, that’s part of our discussion”, Maruwa whined.
“Guy, wetin you dey tell me? Did you force me to come here? If I decided to absent myself, nothing will happen. Don’t tell me you’re not affected by the weather, and if you’re not, all the best for you”, Karounwi snapped.
“Okay. Good afternoon everyone. Let us attend to this issue on time. Everyone is not present based on some hindrances, so pending the time we would have a full house, I want to bring up some salient issues”, he continued after looking at Karounwi for some minutes.
“The weather is bad, but I want Ejalomo to tell Oraye that he should measure the height of the statue on the pinnacle and respond before dusk. I don’t want ocnjecture. Also, if we call for a meeting, and whoever would be absent refuses to send a notice, he would be fined”, he said, adding that, “this calabash team needs to provide enough palmwine for people to eat. If not, we’ve got ourselves to blame”, he concluded.
“Any question?”, he asked
Because of his first impression, they refused to reply.
“Okay, if there is no question, let of dismiss till another meeting is called”, he concluded.
“By the way, every Friday would be for our meeting time. Are we agreeing to that?”, “yes”, they chorused.
There was an emergency meeting which needed the presence of everyone. The other meeting was earlier than the latter because they didn’t know which attitude Maruwa would display. Everyone came late, and those that came earlier didn’t bother to say anything.
Depressed and nervous, Maruwa angrily asked if nobody would say anything.
“Note that silence means yes for me. We called a meeting for deliberation and nobody would still say anything. Is it that you’re expecting plamwine or kolanut? The calabash man could not get it, maybe I would use that to appease you. When you’re not Sango, you’ve now turned to Kolanut freak”, he said, everyone laughed.
“Next time, I won’t condone this silence from everyone and I won’t care to take that. Thanks”, he added. Others wondered at his words, thinking if he needed something else.
Concerned for the tone with which Maruwa instructed, Oraye decided to keep it low, but he couldn’t respond earlier because he had to meet his thirty weeks journey group.
“Hello Oraye, I noticed you didn’t participate in the last meeting. Let me speak my mind, it is disgusting and intolerable. At least, if nobody would participate, I didn’t expect your absence. I don’t care whatever you were busy with, your presence is very important in this. Please, don’t let me decide on something else”, Maruwa expressed himself through a text message to Oraye.
After checking the text, Oraye didn’t say anything, instead, he faced the work that Ráyéwú brought him for assistance.
“Please, we need to talk”, Maruwa texted the next day. “I don’t have the chance. I am presently on a duty which would take thirty weeks to complete. Retiring home would be late and I can’t be thinking about a physical meeting, only if you can text me, I will reply”, Oraye responded.
“The discussion would have effect if we see. Virtual meeting can’t settle anything. I want us to trash some things out and move on. Please come to my house and I’ll find your transport. I’m feeling cold and I can’t come outside”, Maruwa texted back.
Oraye was already feeling his time was getting out empty. He had a lot to attend to before the whole community resume carnival. “Even if we’re going to talk today, I can’t come as far as your house, try and understand me too. It’s either we meet in this same weather or nothing for the day”.
“Can we meet very early tomorrow?” Maruwa asked.
“I must be out before 7:30am, so that’s impossible. Let us meet in the afternoon if I come back early”, Oraye proposed.
“What time will you be back?” Maruwa grilled
“I can’t tell. But let me put it at 1:00pm”, Oraye replied.
“We should see by then of course”, he said
“I really don’t know what you want to do about this. The reason for being my assistant is for you to be available whenever I need a help. You have to think about this again unless, you’ll make me to do what is in my power”, Maruwa backlashed.
“Hope you get what you’re saying? The work would be rigorous under the naked sun for hours and when I come back, I would sleep to regain my strength. Calm down on this please. Let me decide when I would be okay. Well, since you always have the power to do anything, go ahead, I’m not stopping you”, Oraye reacted.
“Okay then. Thanks”, Maruwa retorted
The time was far ahead their meeting on the second day. Oraye texted Maruwa to apologize for the inconvenience and proposed if they can meet early in the morning.
“Yes, we can. I would be in my room. Thanks”, Maruwa replied.
He bounced downstairs and spread to the street, moving towards Maruwa’s house.
“Morning. Sit down”, Maruwa replied.
“Why I called this meeting is not farfetched. It is what you know, I just have to explain somethings that you don’t know”, he initiated. “You see, there is something about leadership that you don’t know. I know virtually know everything about leadership if you care to know. I have seen movies which have explained enough about leadership. I read a book where a leader of a firm had to be hard at his employees so that they would know he meant business, that’s how it should be. Things shouldn’t just be simple. Do you expect me to give palmwine to the people anytime they ask for it? No of course. You’ve always said I have the power to do anything. Yes, I have the power since I was young. They’ve known me since my primary classes at Aladewura kiddies school, in fact, all teachers know me when I was at Edumare senior school”.
“Okay. I’ve heard you. The only problem you need to solve is your bossy attitude. You may not know it now, the way you related at the meeting was too hard and not funny. The fact that you head the unit doesn’t make you the father of them all. Many know more than you know. Office doesn’t mean wisdom. So, softpedal and rethink. I don’t know why you said you didn’t like my absence, but why didn’t you bother to ask why, instead of coming for my head? I really don’t care because there is always an antidote, but about others, please, you have to engage them. You may know everything about leadership, but you have to exhibit it. What belongs to the brain without action dies a useless death. That’s okay. The group is what matters and let’s put aside any personal issue. Thanks”
To be continued