Between the collector and the dancing bear, a son.
He was the collector of music. But no one ever caught him dancing. To do so would have required several real time cameras all over the place.
Sadly no such machine existed in Ogharefe, my home town, back then until he passed in 1993. But he did nod his head to music. Did that pass for dancing? I don’t know.
My father, the collector.
Mr Macaulay Adjekuko loved music. Back in those days free music came via the AM/SW radio receivers. Dad was not much of a news person, though he sometimes listened to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Voice of America (VOA).
He was used to fiddling with the radio tuner (a ‘bad’ habit I picked up which my kids hate with passion). He would tune and tune and tune until he gets to a station playing the music he liked and hum along.
One day Dad upped the game. He crossed the Ethiope River to the big town and came home with a Turn-table Record Player. He came along too with a few vinyl records. There was Don Williams, Dolly Patton, and Eric Donaldson for the first take.
The list grew with time to include many more such as Micheal Jackson, Cloud 9, Ofege, Chris Okotie, Edina Ogoli, Prince Nico Mbarga, Sunny Okosun, Ebeneezer Obey, Chief Sunny Ade, and Victor Uwaifo.
There was also my local language (Urhobo) delights like the legendary Late Chief Omokomoko, Professor Johnson Adjan, Go Slow and Chief Okpan Aribo.
My friends would come around and make their requests and I would load the record player. And we would dance.
And in came the dancing dancing bear
That’s my mum. She was the game changer. Just play the music and my mum dances away. Even when the music has stopped, she would dance to the one she stored in her head.
As she danced away, she would be laughing.
Mum and laughter
Mum is musical through and through. Call her on the phone and she would break out laughing just after she says hello. That has remained something I truly appreciate about her. Mum will always laugh even if the world is falling apart. It is the music down in her soul.
My mum is now in her 80s. Has that slow her down. You must be kidding. Am sure she would dance at her own funeral if possible.
At two ceremonies last December, mum was the bomb. The mama has got moves. All eyes were on her. She danced from one part of the party to the other and from the beginning to the very end.
Boy, did she go home with some wads of cash? You bet she did! But nobody messes around with mum’s cash gifts. She does her own accounting of whatever she gets from dancing. So, no one can say how much she has received over the years.
She passed on the bug.
All her children love music and love to dance just like her. And her grandchildren? Check them out at the back of the soul train where they love to do their own thing.
So, stop asking me why I like to dance. Go ask my mum, the one I call sweet mother.