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“MOTHER TIGHTUS”

It is almost impossible to work with young people without getting an alias or nickname from them.  They would always give you a name according to how they judged your character.  It is very true that we are often watched by others and people form opinion about us based on our actions, inaction and how we have dealt with them.  Mother Tightus as she was fondly called was fond of saying that the situation is tight.  She had never acknowledged in her life before that her situations had ever improved.  For her the economy has always been hard and will ever be hard.  What is most worrisome about her is that whenever she had something to give out they were either spoilt or worthless to the receivers.  Therefore, the young people in her locality called her Mother Titghtus.
Mother Tightus was a retired permanent secretary.  Her husband served as the Vice-chancellor to a federal university and at various times served as an ambassador to foreign missions.  As for her children they had all graduated from the university and were gainfully employed with some managing flourishing businesses.  Mother Tightus had a reputation of a very ardent prayer warrior.  Whenever she was called upon to say the opening or closing prayer at a function, as young people would put it in their slang, ‘she no dey carry last.’  She could spend as much as thirty to forty minutes while saying the opening or closing prayer at a meeting.  Because of this attitude of hers, the women avoided giving her the task of saying the prayer.  However, if the conductor of the meeting mistakenly got carried away and asked somebody to volunteer to take the prayer, be sure that Mother Tightus would steal the show.  She does not care at all if people begin to clear their throat or shuffle their feet to call her to order during a long prayer.  In fact when she notices this, she would elongate the prayer further with choruses and worship songs.  Therefore, if Mother Tightus was praying, just be patient with her.
Mother Tightus however was an influential political figure and well respected by those in government, especially those her husband had helped.  Anybody she endorsed for political office had the chances of winning in the electoral contest.  As a result of this people fell over themselves in a bid to get her favour and endorsement.  In so doing they came with a lot of material gifts which Mother Tightus indirectly demanded from them.  A visit to the store of Mother Titus will reveal lots of bags of rice, cartons of tin tomatoes, bags of stockfish, cartons of vegetable oil, cartons of assorted wine and several bags of salt.  It seemed her hobby was keeping all these which were more than enough for her, until they expired.   If Mother Tightus was therefore being generous by sharing these things out to the less privileged, then definitely it was because they had expired.
Mother Tightus had three big deep freezers which she stored with meat.  On the day she died, her yardmen were called to evacuate the meat from the deep freezer.  While they were doing this they were able to identify each goat head and meat at the time it was slaughtered and how long it had stayed in the freezer.  (Do not get me twisted, you know these yardmen have a way of exaggerating things, but as for being stingy, Mother Tightus was ultra stingy!).  On that day as the yardmen were removing the meat, they recalled that the oldest meat had been in the freezer for six years.  It was a large cow head which they said was the cow given by a guber aspirant.  That was Mother Tightus for you! No dull moment in her ‘Tightusness.’
Mother Tightus always quarreled with her 5th daughter who never got married until two years after her demise.  What was the source of her quarrel with her very nice daughter?  Her daughter would always rebuke her for what she termed as wickedness and insensitivity.  There was a particular day a big turkey was brought to her be a woman seeking endorsement for the local government councillorship election.  Her daughter insisted that the turkey be given out to the yardman whose wife just put to bed.  She bluntly refused.  Two days later the turkey died.  Mother Tightus quickly called the yardman to carry the dead turkey and cook for his wife.  She said it as if she was doing the yardman a favour.  When her daughter learnt of this she shouted her heart out, screaming and calling her mother wicked woman!  Now dear readers look around you, do you know any Mother Tightus or are you one? Happy Mothering Sunday in arrears!

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