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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Granny’s Bag of Lil’ Tricks



We really need a day between Saturday and Sunday. There’s always way too much going on on Saturday and just when you’re about to properly bask in the beauty of Sunday and the rest that comes with it… it’s Monday. Something in that entire set up just doesn’t seem fair, so if anyone knows where we can sign a petition to have an extra day of rest, hook a sister up!

Anyway, what did you guys get up to this weekend? I woke up on Saturday feening for a breakfast of yam and fried stew.  You see, yam and fried stew is one of the most delightful legacies my grandma left me. Her fried stew was the true definition of ata dindin. She would lovingly break slices of yam into tiny cubes that make it easier to chew and she did it EVERY time. I spent the first 7 years of my life with my grandma and it was the best time of my life. She loved all her grandchildren and spoiled us silly. If you got in trouble, all you needed to do was run over to my grandma and report yourself. She knew how to smoothen all the rough edges with our parents and it was just nice.

I’ve always wondered why we don’t have a special day dedicated to grandparents like we have Mothers Day and Fathers Day. Grandparents are so markedly different from parents. If you pay close attention to how strict your parents were with you, you’d notice they’re so different when they’re relating with your kids. Because I had such an amazing grandma, I have always assumed that all grandmas are angels on earth. So, a few years ago, when my friend lost her grandma, I imagined that she’d be quite distraught. She replied that she didn’t really know her grandma as her mom has told her that the Mama was a witch and had never wanted them to get married. That was enough to snap the bubble and drop me hard on the asphalt of reality.

My granny was anything but a witch. Many years ago, when my brother was in between secondary school and university; he must have been bored poring over Ababio and the Additional Maths text books, because somehow the devil entered his mind to go drive my Dad’s Mercedes Benz. This was in the late 80s so you can imagine how the Benz 190 was a prized possession. Anyway, he took the car out for a spin and as the devil will have it, he ran the car right into the wall of the gate on the way back from his yawo! Using his strong Command Ibadan face and voice, he warned my cousin and I that if word of this got out, he would dismember us and feed us to Castro and Gaddaffi (the dogs!). He shouldn’t have bothered because we wouldn’t have even tried ourselves. We feared our NMS and Command cousins more than the parents sef!

So, he went and submitted himself to my grandma to confess his sins. No way was he going to the onslaught of my Father’s wrath if he didn’t have back up. It was the smartest thing he could have done. My grandma came to the house that evening and gisted with her son. After getting the easy stuff out of the way, she told him about the sanctity of life and how “emi lo ju” in all things.(Preservation of life is paramount).

I don’t know how she worked her magic but the bobo got off with just a stern warning. My granny was an angel and I loved her silly. (Absolutely nothing to do with all the Choco Milo the woman stuffed me with).

Please share some of your most memorable moments with your grandparents  (good or bad). Have a fabulous week ahead. Don’t let anything get you down. Keep a smile on your face and remember to touch lives positively.

Love, peace & cupcakes!

Photo Credit:

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. eniola

    May 6, 2013 at 11:22 am


  2. Vanessa

    May 6, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I didnt really know my paternal grandmother but my maternal grandmother was great. She used to sing for me(i had a special song), she used to say mass for me(she was a devout catholic). Somehow, I felt she loved my mother more than me. She preferred my mother’s company, she will send me to the parlour to eat while they gisted. One funny event i remember was when a guy came to visit me in her house. i was about 17. She pleaded with me not to have a boyfriend at that age. That i didnt need one. That she didnt have any. It was funny to me bcos Mama was over 65 then and widowed. Mama didnt beat us, unlike my mother. Grandparents hardly beat.

  3. eniola

    May 6, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Well, i don’t have any fond memory of all four them as i only saw my maternal grandma once, maybe when i was five or six and my paternal grandpa too.

  4. maday

    May 6, 2013 at 11:36 am

    i totally agree, some grandparents are indeed great sources of blessings and inspiration. i am not close to my parternal grandma but my dearest ALHAJA(maternal grandma) is someone i don’t joke with. we talk about everything and anything. even things i won’t share with my mum, she gets to know. i pray the Lord keeps her alive for me so she can meet her great grand children.

  5. Karonwi

    May 6, 2013 at 11:36 am

    What is a Monday morning without Atoke’s Monday morning banter?

    • Bleed blue

      May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm


      The smile her articles bring to my face is a constant reminder of how life’s simple pleasures make all the difference.

  6. Enty

    May 6, 2013 at 11:37 am

    My gran on my mother side always has a smile on her face. Always ready to cook what ever us gran kids wanted. She contributed to making me the foodie that I am today by exposing my palate at a young age to a variety of local and international dishes.Spending holidays with her when I was little was such an adventure, always something so fun and exciting happened around her. I remember her extensive wig collection that I must have tried on everyday of my holidays. I remember her house has an old smell, like old perfume.
    Such an awesome women!

  7. The Fairy GodSister

    May 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

    I didn’t meet any of my grandparents (sadly), I hear one of them died the week I was born and I do a lot of things the way she would.

    I have a nephew now though and the way my mom fawns over the boy (never mind that he’s the cutest baby on earth) is amazing. He’s 10 months old now and one day she saw him in his pen playing with Tigger (his teddy) then she says, “this my grandson is just lonely. I can feel his heart crying out in his loneliness”. We nearly died of laughter! Of course there’s the regular things like when she visits he’s not allowed to cry, etc. After she finished omugwo it was a lot of work getting him to sleep because he had gotten used to my mom singing to him EVERY single time he slept. My sister and I had to learn to start doing that (of course we’ve weaned him off it now) but he always knows when his grandma is around.

    Each time I watch them together I really miss not having grandparents…. Your story tells me I really missed out on stuff.


    • Just me

      May 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      saw him in his pen??? he an animal?? Lol..

    • a

      May 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Im sure she meant a play pen!!!

    • Sexxie

      May 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Haba! That’s rude! I’m sure u have never heard of a PLAY PEN before.

    • Nomy

      May 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      ever heard of play pen?

    • sexy

      May 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      lol….we will 4give ur ignorance…..aje pkako tinz….lmao

  8. Yinkz

    May 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Shortly b4 reading this, I just got off the fone with maternal gramz and she was telling me how I had forgotten her and my response to her was that “Odo o kin gbagbe orisun e” meaning “A river never forgets his source”. My gramz was sumone who wld travel miles very early in the morning to get to Lag b4 8am in all dese “Tanlese” (Who owns this leg) trucks to bring us foodstuffs when my parents were separated and things were hard for us. My grams was the one who would appear on our visiting days with cooked food and ice block wrapped in aso-oke back then in secondary school when the only provision my parents could afford was garri, sugar and N200 pocket money for the term. My grams was the only person who would feed my younger brother a bowl of eba early in the morning to prepare him for the day (No wonder the boy is spoilt). My grams is the same woman who would gather us all at the end of the year to kill chicken for us to celebrate as we did not have a functional home. My grams is the witch of her family cuz she vowed her grandchildren will all go to school and not learn a trade. My grams is old now and she keeps ailing and yet, we cant do much both financially and physically but I can plead with U all to spare a prayer for her as U read this post. Tnx Atoke for the insight and for making me relive these memories!!!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 6, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Yinkz, your account of your grandma made me cry. I pray that she will live to enjoy & rejoice in the fruit of her labor because such a selfless woman deserves the best care and comfort in her old age. May God remember her as we recall her works before Him and bring her divine healing, as was done in the life of Dorcas (Tabitha) in the Bible when many recounted her good works. Please give her an extra kiss & hug on my behalf whenever next you see her.

    • Raving

      May 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      A prayer has just be said for her!

    • Lin

      May 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      *tears rolling down my eyes*…. Yinkz we are both have the same story!
      Here is my story!
      My grandaunt was more than a grandaunt (we call her mma). She made sure that we have everything we need. When i was in secondary school, whether it is my visiting day or not she will come visit me and bring all sorts of goodies from the village *crying as i’m writing this* she never missed my visiting days and every week she made sure she sends my cousin who comes from home to bring food for me. I remember when I was in primary school she came to PH to spend time with us. My parents were always late to pick me up from school and she didn’t like it. On this particular day, it was raining so heavily and I have been waiting in school for hours for my parents to come pick me. Lo and behold I saw my grandaunt under the rain with umbrella. She walked all the way home to pick me up *uncontrollable tears* She gave me the umbrella while she wanted to walk under the rain. I told her mama no use the umbrella but she adamantly refused and I made a deal for her to share it with me. During my junior secondary school she started having problems with eyes due to glaucoma and she stopped visiting me in school BUT she made sure I still had food sent to me every week. With this, my grandmum took over and never missed my visiting days. Throughout my secondary school (6 years) my dad visited my once and my mom twice. My grandma did everything and more to make sure that i and my siblings have what we need. I pray day and night that God will keep them for since their health has been deteriorating (they both have glaucoma and cataracts respectively) and right now we are not financially fit to take care of them properly. I pray that God will sustain them to reap the fruits of their labor. Atoke thank you for your write up!

    • Joyce

      May 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      You account just broke me up. I offered a prayer that God will bless you very soon to be able to help your grandma in whatever way your heart desires. She will surely live to reap the friuts of her labour.

    • Derry

      May 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm

      Yinka and Lin, I am crying right now. if just for their sakes, your financial doors will miraculously open. AMEN. You will bless and take care of them.

    • boomie

      May 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Awwh yimkz,reading about  love for u grandma touched me deeply as  can see a grandchild willing to help in any form but witout  adequate resources @ hand.God in his mercies will grant ur grandma good health and long life so that you all will take care of her better.Meanwhile u can keep calling her,sending her recharge cards,visiting even if its just one tin of milo and milk and am sure she will be ecstatic with joy.U don’t ve to be a millionaire before u shower her wit love. Cos  can sense that she is a very good woman that truly cares.

  9. mia

    May 6, 2013 at 11:57 am

    @ Yinkz, may God touch her.
    My grandma died last year and I didn’t even cry much until one evening when i remembered the songs she used to sing to us and I burst into tears. everybody around me could not comprehend what was happening but that was when it dawned on me that i had lost my beloved grandma. she loved us all equally! love you grandma…

  10. Abana

    May 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Awww. My grandma made the meanest pounded yam and egusi soup until she had dementia and started putting frog meat into the egusi soup. Where she got the frog from, we still don’t know. My dad had to ban her from entering the kitchen.

    • jcsgrl

      May 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      I’m sooo laughing out loud at the frog bit…I know I’m sorry about the dementia but a hilarious comment nonetheless.

    • Partyrider

      May 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Lmao @ frog meat…

    • ZimChick

      May 9, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Oh my goodness!! This comment should have come with a warning that we’ll burst out laughing once we read it……. that was too funny, kikikikiki

    • Ese_sleek

      June 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      oh no, dis is it…my God, dis had me banging my table..couldn’t help it…
      lmao at d frog thing….

  11. X -factor

    May 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    ‘ That was enough to snap the bubble and drop me hard on the asphalt of reality’ …Atoke oooooo….. Mistress of expression….Nice One again….

  12. salsera

    May 6, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    @yinkz do all you can whilst she’s here
    I had greatmas and i met them both till they were 75 and 93 so i was really privileged. alhaja would never let me leave her place without taking something and one day i told her i didnt want biscuits she started crying. but i said i really didnt want biscuits but she said its not nice when i refuse stuff so we had a deal i’d tell her what i did like and choose from that whenever i came. my other granny was just a beautiful soul and a beautiful woman. my grandpa maternal was just inspiring in how lived his life and his investment but he was strict though but softened in his eighties.

  13. purplepearl

    May 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Just last night i saw some pics i took with my grandma, i am so blessed to have my grandparents alive. i remember when things were really tough for me after high school. My maternal grandma will sell her farm crops and send N500 to me (Tat was alot of money) and she’s always an angel, this and many more she did for me. I am deeply grateful to God that atleast i can support her in every way i can while she is still alive. I LOVE MY GRANNY to bits.

  14. Just me

    May 6, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    My grand mum was a staunch catholic..we would wake up around everyday at the sound of her bell (God help you if you don’t stand up when you hear the we would pray till then she would give us all house chores..after we were done..she would put our breakfast in this huge tray with enough meat for all her grandchildren to eat.. She was really strict but the sweetest woman was fun then.. I loved going to visit her. RIP grand mum.. I love you always!

  15. Anne

    May 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    its funny how almost everyone is talking about their granmas…
    I loved my maternal grand ma soo much…she was soo funny and full of fond stories. i would laugh soo much when ma cousin will bug her to narrate world war 1 & 2 and she will narrate like she took part in the war. Then she got sick and we would still play with her…she got even worse and couldnt walk or do anything. I thank God because I was able to take care of her when she couldnt do anything on her own.may her soul rest in peace

  16. Princess

    May 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Un4unately, i didnt meet any. Bt i tink granny r d best bcos seeing d way my mum who was vry strict pamper her grandchildren marvel me. Tanxs 4 d write up

  17. Princess

    May 6, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Un4unately, i was nt opportune 2 meet any. Bt i tink granny r d best bcos seeing d way my mum who was vry strict pamper her grandchildren marvel me. Tanxs 4 d write up

  18. Neo

    May 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    “Met” only one granparent. Papa Koko, my Mom’s Dad. He was so tall with a grim face, all of us were scared of him. He died when I was 5 and i remember thinking to myself “so Mummy can cry” and feeling so happy at the thought. My mother was a serious Hitler-Ninja hybrid with her 12 shades of koboko. Kai! My paternal grandmother was a renowned jazz woman, infact her idol “Eruke” is still in her house in the village, i remember my Dad trying to get a pastor to come and “evict it from the house. That was when pastor remebered his phobia for the Atlantic Ocean and how we shd bring Eruke to PH for proper binding and casting. Dey there na, we jejely left the thing in the house, who want village house should go and contend with her. Apparently my cousin who grew up with grandma used to go and serve Eruke her food. Abeg Atoke, let us leave this grandma matter, not all of us had Granny, some na real GrandMaMa!

    Anyways i never “felt” the lack of granparents, My Dad was everything to me. the child of his old age, the man spoiled me silly, never beat me, constantly bribed me and was my best friend till i went to boarding school. It was in secondary school that i grasped the concept of grandparenting, like grandparents actually came on visiting day and one was supposed to cry when they died. I found it all very strange.

  19. teedee

    May 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I grew up in a family house with my paternal grandparents and 2 other families with lots of uncles and aunties. I love my grandpa so much, he smiles alot and he is very welcoming. I can’t say the same about my granma, she treated my mum like they are oroguns(rivals), it was always one fight after the other. My mum never complained about her behaviour to us her children but we saw it all ourselves, it got to the point that my siblings and I started avoiding her so much she thought my mum asked us to. Its such a long story but i thank God we finally moved to our own house after so many years of drama. That is why till today I will never marry a man who lives or has the intention of living with his parents after marriage even if its a mansion, I just can’t go through such drama again.

  20. skinnygirl

    May 6, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    My paternal grandad was the best ever! He’d cross the highway just to come see us with fresh or dried fish, sweets and crabs! Ah! The good days.. He had to improve on his “pidgin” english as we don’t understand our dialect! When we visit the village, enough goodies… My maternal grandmum was great! She pet us silly, after school we’d go to her house picking my cousins on the way just to eat her famous beans and plantain (it was great). She made us eat beans sef! That continued till my mum got a little jealous… Hahahahahaha. They died one week apart! Horrible month 🙁

  21. Mz Socially Awkward...

    May 6, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I don’t know if this is just time-of-the-month or some other emotional trigger but I’m practically bawling at all your stories about your grandparents! Family are just an amazing treasure when they share truly selfless love.

    I heard stories of my mum’s own mum from 2nd hand sources as she had died before I was born but she sounded like an amazingly liberated & determined woman, even for her time. I feel a lot of her strength in me sometimes (don’t ask me how I know, I just know its a piece of her). My mum’s dad was a lovely old pops, very kind and just a sweetheart. His heart of kindness is the thing I miss the most about him, God rest his soul.

    My paternal grandma on the other hand… Let’s just say that she never really wanted to lose control over her son and it affected her relationship with his wife and his kids up until her death (although an uneasy peace reigned in the final years of her life, God rest her soul as well). However, I will always remember the best thing about visiting her – she made a mean pot of ‘Ofe Owerri’, enriched with dried fish and just thinking about it triggers my saliva glands… no matter how I try, I can’t replicate her interpretation of that dish….

  22. Annie

    May 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Met both grandmas but have fond memories of my paternal grandma, she was sweet, too sweet to all her grand children, gave us each a name, mine was a funny one cos i wouldn’t do any hard chore at home. May God bless her soul. Amen

  23. jcsgrl

    May 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Oh Atoke you just made me cry this morning thinking of my maternal grandma. If I begin writing about that woman, I will occupy the whole BN page. Was it her cooking? Pampering? Sacrifices…oh the sacrifices! That woman gave of herself so her children and grandchildren could have the best. How she longed to carry my children in her arms. Though I wanted her to live forever but I couldn’t bear to see the pain cancer was causing her. I’m grateful to God that lived at least to see me get married. I tried in my own little way to show her appreciation while she was alive by buying her things from obodo oyibo which she soo cherished. Kai! I miss that woman. O death where is your sting. Mama continue to rest in the lord and I’m sure you’re looking down at us and proud of all we’re becoming. Please never stop interceding for us. The only sad thing that breaks my heart is that your children are no longer on speaking terms since your death. May God help them to heal and restore their relationship…amen

  24. Princess

    May 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I loved my grandma! she was amazing!. My grandma, Nene as i fondly called her. She lived with us until she passed on. Every morning when i dressed to go out, she wud spend 10 mins assessing my dressing, then she would pause and start singing …… Omnomose (pickin when fine). she used to give me serious relationship advice, she wud always advice me on the type of man i should marry. she was 88 but on Sunday mornings i had to make her up and tie her gele if not wahala go dey!. she was fun and also a disciplinarian( when we were younger though). On the day she died, very early in the morning she called me to come from school that she was just missing me, and i had finished my exams, i was thinking of leaving the next day sef when i met a guy who was on his way to my city so i just joined him. when i got home my grandma was waiting for me by the gate of the house, she gisted alot that day, she praised my mum for been a hardworking mum, and pleaded with me to follow in my mum’s foot step. That night she gave up in my arms peacefully. It has been 4 years i haven’t been able to cry ……. i miss you Nene

  25. Chiomski

    May 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I love my grandmum sooo much, and I miss her a lot. Am certain if she were to be alive, she would have put my ex-motherinlaw in her place. She’s a disciplinarian but makes it up for us with much love.

  26. Chelle

    May 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    My grandmums are still alive. there was a time i bought two eye pencil, immediately i came back from the market one of them *not knowing that i had just bought an eye pencil* started complaining that she needed one. Two days later the second one told me to buy an eye pencil.TWO DIFF LOCATIONS. They were both above 70 the other was even above 80.

  27. Fifi

    May 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I only met my maternal iye as we called her,she n my mum had an unbreakable bond,my mum is her only daughter n im an only daughter as well myself ,anyway my grandma had apple trees in her compound(native apples) and used to send me a bucket full everytime…we were not close n i dont remember her coming to lagos often but whenever i went to benin to see her she always made me seat on her laps n feed me.i know my mum misses her alot.wish i bonded with her when we had time.

  28. Enitan

    May 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Oh no i dont even knw where to start from…grannies are the best ever, i met 3 of my grannies my maternal grandpa and both grandmas but so sad dey r dead now ‘sobs’ may their gentle soul rest in perfect peace (amen). I grew up with my paternal grandma (Iya Logbo), she was so loving she wouldnt let me do any house chores, cooked my favourite food for me, washed my dirty clothes…she died 7years ago RIP to her. my maternal grandma was so great too she wrote my baby’s name and wrapped with 1k wen i was pregnant to God be the glory i gave birth to the boy on her birthday. shes dead too….may mum’s dad was the and will always be the most handsome man ave ever seen blessed memory…Atoke thanks for this i really need to write a book on grannies.

  29. tope

    May 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    i just lost my grandmum about a month ago. she was 84. My grandmother was strict and sweet at the same time. she always remember all important occasions and she made sure she attended all weddings and convocations. One of the highlights of my childhood was spending summer holidays with her. their was always so much food to eat. she was a very prayerful woman and she prayed till she died in the presence of 3 of her children. Grandme. we will miss u

  30. nnenne

    May 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    lovely and touching stories. my maternal grandma was just an angel in human form. such a hard working woman who single handedly raised my mom and her sisters when her husband died. i remember her sending someone to my secondary school on our visiting days with her delicious rice and the little provisions she could afford. i clearly remember one time she came to our house and i was looking for my #200 and cursing whoever took it.looool. precious grandma calmed me down and later brought out #200 from her wrapper and gave me. when she was alive, my dad will gladly bundle us to my maternal village cos she was such a good woman. God bless her soul. *cryingrightnow*

  31. Miss Yinx

    May 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Awwww. Nice piece Atoke. I only met my maternal grandma and she was very sweet. she cooked the best “ata dindin” I ever tasted. She would sing to her grandchildren and teach us our “oriki”. She also taught me to read and write in Arabic. May Allah bless her soul. We never liked to get in trouble with her because she would fight our mums for spoiling us. I also learnt from her that my paternal grandma was very caring and kind-hearted. She would know because they were good friends.


    May 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    My grandma was a strong woman. I can boldly say that she affected my life,the most. She was a woman of virtue,wealthy and had substance. I guess that was what earned her the name “omenyi nwanyi”. After a great calamity befell my family and our house was gutted by fire. Mama resorted to selling her possessions, wrappers, jewelries and a host of other things to sustain everyone. She would rather remain unclad rather than see you suffer. Mama had a lot of men and women servants yet she thought her children to do things themselves. She touched the lives of others with her love and generosity. She passed on 3 years ago at 83. May God continue to rest her soul. Sleep on omenye nnem!

  33. pearl

    May 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Grandmas are such great cooks!!!!!…they tend to complain about maggi and seasonings we use these days… Also, there’s this weird look on their face when they see us eating noodles…..some call it ”’ worm”…lol

  34. Partyrider

    May 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I never met my paternal grand mum told me how close my dad was with his mum,he still slept in the same bed with her every time he was home even as a grown up man.he named me after her..

    As for my maternal grandparents,I didn’t meet my grand dad.oh but the stories my mum tells me about him,I wish I had met mum was the closest child to him.he used to say he had boys and girls but in her he had a man..sigh over 30yrs after his death my mum still misses him.anytime she goes to the village she goes to his grave to chat with him 🙂

    As for my grand mum, as long as I am at home,every meal she eats I have a share in the meat 🙂 if it’s just one she will share it for the both of us.she calls me by my native name which she gave me. We have hilarious conversations,and don’t get me started on the prayers when we talk on the phone.ah the woman can pray,especially her rosary.

  35. Evagreen

    May 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I didn’t know my paternal grandma cos she died before I was born. My maternal grandparents are alive and I just love my grandma so! I’m a irst child so I remember a lot from the times my grandma would visit for omugwo or other reasons. That woman is the funniest old am I’ve know. From trying to speak proper English to stories and all sorts, we’d crack our ribs all day. Now I’m married with a daughter, I’m so grateful to God that they have seen about 8 great-grand children (from my sibling and cousins). My grandma rocks! Love her so much.

  36. Andre

    May 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    My maternal granny died in a car accident before i was born, but i heard she was a fashionista and she sold clothes back then in Ibadan… My maternal grandpa was just the best man ever, he had a really pure heart and he loved my mum soo much as per last born nw. lol… His house had this old people smell but it wasnt offensive and the man had really good taste in clothing. while he was alive, we’d all go to Ibadan for easter and xmas every year (gosh i miss those days, all my cousins and uncles and aunt wud cme togeda and it seemd like they were united bcos grandpa was alive) ok i was young then, but grandpa wud always call us individually to his room and count money for us. apparently the old man was blind due to cataracts(its funny how i just learnt that piece of info a few years back..i was in shock) but he knw hw to navigate through the whole house without help atleast his quarters. Baba died at the age of 91… after he died, his room was raided by my uncles and cousins and a few years back we went bck to his house cos my uncle had just passed on, and i enterd his room, walkd around and tried to recall old memories and i stumbled upon 2 blazers in his wardrobe and they were in perfect condition and it fit me like a glove. i still wear them till this day. gosh i miss him soo much.

    my paternal granny was an angel,she could cook for africa, she got me hooked on salted popcorn that she wud make with her pot and stove back then. she loved my mum like one of her own children mehn! and my mum was always there for her. my granny was a wonderful woman i miss her too much (granny mistakenly hit her leg by her bed and the leg got badly infected due to diabetes she was recovering until my dad had an accident where he cudnt walk and granny was told and a few days later she died and my dad got better, she loved my dad like no mans business and he wasnt even the last child. i never saw my dad cry until dat day. i was home and suddenly the bulb in the kitchen fell … ok lets just say after that mumsi comes home later and annonces her death. i was numb. paternal grandpa died months before i was born and he had predicted where i wud be born and even went as far as stating my sex. this was even b4 my mum told him she was preggers oo.. the man was a prophet. RIP to my wonderful grandparents the ones i met and the ones i didnt. sorry my comment is long i got carried away… lol.. thanks atoke

  37. Gorgeous

    May 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    My own Paternal Grandma was a gangster o. She no send anybody at all. If you try her, na there you go hear how your papa dey fuck up. The woman had a bad ass shape. See mama mi. If you see her hips ehn? In Old age, she couldnt walk too well, so she would stay upstairs. They were one of the first people to have an upstair building. The woman mouth sharp die. But one thing i remember is every morning, she will sit each child down and pray for us. Then sing our oriki for us. Grandma could no longer go to her kitchen downstairs to cook, so na soso correct buka. ANything you want. The lady was just a force to be reckoned with. Everyone was afraid of her and my paternal grandpa. Those two were a team, my grandma’s sharp mouth and my grand pa’s loooong koboko’s. Which he wouldnt hesitate to use on his over 40 yr old sons if they step out of line or any of us. They were just a hilarious couple. LMAO. They didnt take any nonsense o. Grandpa didnt like one of my brothers as that one looked too much like him, and it was a bad omen to him. That the brother had come to take his place in the world. After grandpa died, Grandma couldnt let go of that my brother. Shows how much she loved her husband. She would spoil and spoil and spoil the boy. My own Maternal Grandma was a hustler, she was young and with kids. Managed to travel abroad and hustle to provide for her kids and her sisters kids. Its a pity we really didnt know her. She is said to have been a wonderful soul.

  38. Yogurt

    May 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    To be honest, my grandma and I weren’t the coolest but I still still love and miss her…God rest her soul. She was very strong and outspoken, more than most men. She also had a very good command of English. I rememeber one of her visits to our house and when we served her lunch, she said she wanted the drumstick, we told her sorry that its for mumsi and she responded ‘you are talking arrant nonsense’ got up, stormed in to the kitchen and helped herself to the drumstick. My siblings and I were all in shock. Mehn, you dare not mess with her, she was known as ‘nwanyi gbuefi in the village which means ‘ a woman that killed a cow’.

    Another time I went with my friend from school to pick up a book I had forgotten in her house earlier in d week. It was already dark so she asked us to spend the night and leave early the next morning. I didnt want to as that meant 6am mass the next day, I told her we couldnt as we had a 6:30am quiz the next morning and quickly dashed. we still heard her shouting ‘what kind of stupid 6am quiz is that, these children can lie’. lol.

    • sexy

      May 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      lol….we will 4give ur ignorance…..aje pkako tinz….lmao

  39. Tinuke

    May 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    My grandmother, mum onicake was the best! She was a fantastic grandmother. I remember asking her if her daughter was my real mother, because my mother use to beat me so much and grandma never beat me. I remember grandma making hot milo and milk for us on raining days after school. I use to enjoying going to the mosque with her on fridays, cos mossa alagbado was for sure on our way back home. Her food??! I owe my business today to my grandmother’s variety of delicacies that she use to prepare for us with so much love. Rest in peace, Alhaja Bamgbose

  40. Summie

    May 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    My paternal Grandma passed 20 years ago when i was just 4 years old (paternal grandpa passed when my dad was just 11). Met my maternal grandparents but grandpa also passed when i was 2. The only Grandparent left is my maternal Granny. A whole book is how i would describe her. I remember the first time i slept out, she was the only one i confessed to afterwards…Can never forget the day she gisted me about how my granpa “toasted” her, he worked with Julius Berger and she sold food close to their office ( a fantastic cook). He would buy the least portion of food but pay the most and tell her to keep the change, *Sharp guy*. He finally summoned courage a year after and traced her home, the rest is history. she’s still alive and i love the fact that she’s still as strong as ever, still loves to do lil bits of gardening and can walk from here to jericho, ! and Oh, she still loves to wash for the whole house and doesn’t understand why she should now pay to see the ocean. lol

  41. Dolapo

    May 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    As a child, My grandma (maternal) and I were so cool that I forgot she was eons years older than me. One day, we had a fight. I don’t recall clearly what led to the fight, but I do remember warning grandma sternly “never to repeat that as I wasn’t her mate.’ LOL, I said that and forgot completely, but grandma surprised me when I got into the room after bathing, she quietly locked me up and gave me the beating of my life. What was funny was the fact that while she was beating me, she was screaming for help. Saying that her grand daughter wanted to kill her. My cousins had to break in to ‘rescue’ grandma from me but surprisingly, it was I who was receiving the beatings. Regardless, grandma was a very cool woman. I remember her staying up late pleading with my mum to let me go to bed one night. My mother wanted me to cram the multiplication times table that night. Grandma stayed up crying, telling mother I can’t learn everything in one night that I was only 7. She died on her late 80s. Now that I read this, I just realized how fortunate I was share my growing up with her.
    My paternal grandma on the other hand is fashion inclined. She taught me how to rub powder as a teenager to avoid early wrinkles. She told me this ‘do all the shakara you can now, because when you are old, you will be left with only fond memories’ Grandpa is in her late 80s with a great skin. I do hope to be as fulfilled as my grandparents in of age.

  42. A

    May 7, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Awwww…. this really pulled at my heart strings. ‘don’t think I’ve ever commented on any of Atoke’s posts but this one keeps whispering my name (despite that I have a big day tomorrow abi today deni…. *sigh*). Anyway, I’ll keep it short.
    I loooove my paternal grandma…Ma’ami as we so fondly call her. She practically raised all 6 of us and it was a struggle. She especially used to cook for me and my bro when we were younger and it’s not like she had plenty of money….. She really is a rare gem plus she never failed to bring home small edibles after outings for us to nibble on lol…. She still lives with us actually but sadly, she’s not very mobile.
    Aside from my big sisters, she was like the mum I never had, I remember when I first started growing my breasts *embarrassed face* then, I’d just heard about cancer…. so I went to meet her and said I have lumps in my chest, that I think I (God forbid) have cancer but she should not tell anybody (Gosh! I was such a hypochondriac back then) She was like: ki lon je cancer? je kin wo…. so I showed her….she was like: koko oyon niiii! Loooool so she broke it down to my ignorant self.
    So many lovely memories 🙂 and speaking of memories, she has such a vivid memory even till now, she hardly forgets a thing (unless she’s pretending lol) bless her. Love her to bits #honestly. I pray God continues to bless through each and everyone of us cos she truly deserves it. She’s a legend in my books 🙂

  43. onyeka

    May 7, 2013 at 3:01 am

    nice article atoke. i lost my grandparents b4 i was born but i av some old aunts so i can relate. good work

  44. Abimbola Dare

    May 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Atoke ‘toke. My fav writer on BN- no jokes.
    I loved my grandma ( from popsie’s side). She died when I was 8 and I still remember exactly how I felt when I heard the news. She was an amazing woman.

    • Atoke

      May 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      S’tam’Bimbo e ma de sheun gidi gan ke! Eriii mi wu. 🙂

  45. sexy

    May 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    nice one atoke….never met my dads parents cos they died b4 i was born…my mums dad died about 10 yrs ago and he was such a gentleman…he had been a pastor since i knew him and was very generous…his was so annoying that sometimes if you gave him anything before you leave his presence he would have started sharing out to others..He was ever smiling and loved by all in my village..He had this bell that he rang every morning at 5am in the family compound for all to come out for family prayers..he didn’t believe in women wearing trousers nor loud music in church so he always had a word or two for us when we wore our trousers home..the last time i saw him alive he was in hospital and had not eaten for like a month…..he was forced there cos he told my mum his time was near so no need for hospital. on his hospital bed he could not speak but i remember him looking into my eyes and i knew he recognized me, he had this peaceful smile on his face and had lost so much weight. He passed on days later at 96…..i wasnt very close to my grandma but she is old now and always has one complaint or the other about her body….

  46. ore

    May 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I like you atoke.

  47. funto

    May 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    I’m sitting on my desk in front of my laptop and memories of my nana (maternal grandmother) just come flooding in

    Right from birth, she has and still is a HUGE part of my life. My mum recalls how she singlehandedly took care of us while we were infants-toddlers (feeding, diaper changes, naps, bottle cleaning etc). She NEVER allowed the help to touch us, while she was there.

    All through my formative years, I always looked forward to going to hers,(I vividly recall my elder brother telling my mum, he wants to live with Nana cause she would spoil you silly. (Domino stores was just 5mins away from her house) So,as far back as the early 90’s chocolate and treats were always a done-deal when you were at Nanas. Anytime we were around, she had an ongoing contract with Abu (the sweet malam), so whatever and I mean whatever you wanted (Google, GoodyGoody, Allbutter, Chocomilo, Robot chewing gum, shortbread…..( need I go on)) was always available.
    Also famous for her white rice, palm oil stew (I can die for this) and her garden egg sauce .
    Every birthday she would call you, pray for you and give you a bundle of clean N50 notes from her paltry pension (Her sole source of livelihood at the time.)

    She would be silent if my mum scolds you, but would come and beg you behind and say (Ma binu oko mi- Dont be angry my darling!)

    (This is really amazing cause my mum says she was a mean old Margaret Thatcher while she was growing up)

    When my parents split in 03, and we literally had no where to go, my grandma took me, my mum and 3siblings into her 3-bedroom apartment (At this time she already had a family of 4 ‘squatting’ with her)-So you can imagine how horrendous that was,but she never ever ever complained.

    When we were peniless because my mum was out of a job and we were all still were in school, my grandma will take care of ALL of us from her paltry pension. Infact once she collects the money, she will hand it over to my mum to distribute as she wished.

    She has sacrificed ALL for us, her heart, her money, her home and life!

    Hearty cheers to an amazing Nana at 88. (She turned 88 in February.)

    (All I can pray , is God to keep you in perfect peace and health, and like I always pray you will leave to see and take care of my children and go be with the Lord at a ripe old age.)

    I love u, MRS J.O ADEBOMI!!!!!!!!

  48. molly

    May 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    My dad’s dad died when my dad was 2. My mum’s dad died when i was abt 5/6 but i remember how we used to fight because back then i hated bread. so i always threw my bread under my bed. he promised my siblings and i goats but sadly he never fufilled his promise as he died three days after leaving our house for d village.. my dad’s mum is late she was very much involved in all her sons marriages. she wasnt really liked by her daughters-in-law. she died in 2004. My mum’s mum is still alive. i remember two weeks ago when i was abt to leave d house for my ppa she gave me 200 naira but i refused she started crying saying that i refused d money because it was too small. i had to take it. i love her. she is my money lender!!

  49. Cee

    May 7, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Atoke I absolutely love reading your articles. You are an amazing writer. I heart you to infinity.

  50. Anon+1

    May 8, 2013 at 12:12 am

    Gosh! Just this weekend I shed a few tears for my Grandma, I really miss her.
    My paternal Grandma was our rock!! Mama the mama is how we hailed her, and she LOVED it. She was the nicest, most hardworking, terrorist I know!!! My grandma did not need to have a reason to throw a party, chicken or ram and a Shina Peters tape in her sound system was enough. After I was born, she became really close friends with my maternal grandmother but that didn’t stop her from giving my mum a couple of headaches. She would visit all her grand children, even grand children-in-law (my maternal cousins) in their different secondary schools on visiting day and we were all over the country. Enugu, Benin, Sapele, Sagamu, Lagos and Ibadan. I now see why she always had a new driver every time I saw her, all that driving must have driven them insane. Church for my grandma was an opportunity to show off her grand kids, she wasn’t even a christian at the time. Every Christmas she sewed aso-ebi for all of us with matching gold jewelry. She never understood why we always wanted to eat spaghetti and cornflakes instead of pounded yam and black soup or beans, but she indulged us anyway. I remember the Epsom salt days and the endless diarrhea afterwards. Yuck!!! Dementia coupled with a bad stroke, that was how my grandma spent her last few years. Sad! I miss you Grandma!!

  51. Damy

    May 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I actually met my Maternal grand dad and My parental grand mum; my Maternal Grand dad was a very cool rich dude he left a huge estate for his kids and they are still benefitting from the inherintance which even trinkles down to us grandkids;. while he was alive he always prayed and gave us lots of coins whenever we paid him a visit in Abeokuta and i loved running up the hill behind his crib with my siblings and cousins. My Paternal Grandmum was a very interesting character, she was too strong for her age and I still doubt if she was really in her late 90’s, back in the days i.e. 80/ 90’s we would travel to our hometown for almost every Easter and Xmas breaks and we would visit her first before heading to our country home. The next day she would stroll from her house which was like a kilometer away to our country home; My dad used to complain but she always refused being chauffeur driven from her house to ours but eventually accepts when we join her in the car only when she has to leave in the evenings. The lady was too fit, too caring and She was a lovely cook I so miss her chicken stew, Amala with Gbegiri. She loved drinking a bottle of stout a day to the extent a bottle of guiness stout was lowered into the grave alongside her casket. I have fond memories of us gisting and watching movies together even though I could hardly understand her deep ogbomosho Yoruba language which was always laced with proverbs and parables I still loved listening to her, she was always warning us to read and play less. Miss my Granny she was the best.

  52. Joshua

    May 8, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Grandmothers are angels sent from God. I love my maternal grandma gan ooo. I remember her home-made pap and egusi soup which i hardly take nowadays (God rest her soul). She embodies LOVE. Waiting for the grandpa version, cos my paternal grandpa was the man ooo…I have fond memories of him and how he calms my dad (he can be stubborn but he got it from grandpa) down…..chuckles…

  53. MamaDMama

    May 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    My Grandmother – God Keep her. God bless her. Abi amo oti to ni. She’s been through a lot. A lot of abuse, from mother,husband, siblings and even children. But she still stands. God is and has always kept her. He will continue to keep her. Although she should be bitter, she’s not. She’s lost a lot too. I pray for my Grandmother’s strenght. I pray for her tenacity. I pray Lord that you forgive her so that when she does leave she will be with you. I love. Alhaja Olajumoke mi. Despite recieving so little and being judged easily – she gives where she cans. When I think about all she has been through, I stand in Awe. They say I am this family’s generation of her. I hope and pray I dont go through what she has but if I do, God give me the grace you gave her. I love her singing me songs and my oriki. I love using my oyinbo to disturb her so she can call me alakowe or alakori. Love her.

  54. Amie

    May 8, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    My paternal & maternal grand mas died pretty early but I had this solid Aunt & Uncle to call Mama & Papa…..even as I write this I remember moi in my cute dress and matching red pants that couldn’t zip up after all the bottles of fanta per visit (Distended tummy things)….We would hail her Mama the Mama; JP and she gives thumbs up with her succinct reply, “Na me biko”….she had this funny habit of removing & tucking her footwear after awhile under her armpit to prepare for her journey back to her house….JP passed on recently yet I can’t forget the treats of basins of ROASTED yam with palm oil (garnished with ukpaka, hot Pepper & onions) This was a real delicacy cos my Mum with her “nutritional vibes” said it wasn’t a balanced diet….(what did she know, pulezzzzzeeeeee) Papa was a different ball game with his Raleigh bicycle brought out only in the evenings to ferry us in turns. Ohh! I forgot to mention he was the culprit that supplied all the bottles of fanta that left us with distended tummies…How can I leave out the last bits of all the folk tales under the full moon, world/civil war stories, idioms & translations, stories of how he chased & later captured Mama….and please I use his exact word “Captured”. Papas specific response to any greeting with his rich baritone is a double “Ollo Ollo” (Translation = Hello Hello)

  55. B

    May 9, 2013 at 2:37 am

    There is actually a grandparents day in the US, it’s September 8 this year.
    My grandparents were phenomenal though I only knew 3 of them. My paternal grandmother died before I was born, I heard she was a disciplinarian and successful business woman. My grandfathers were distinguished gentlemen who loved their children and showed it (even as far back as the 1930s – 1990s). You can then imagine how they LOVED and SHOWERED their grandchildren with affection in their latter years. My maternal grandmother was a Princess, beautiful and regal, strict but caring and above all God fearing.

  56. fysti

    May 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I meet all my grandparents and have lost 3 of them .Out of them all., i love my maternal grandmother who happens to still be alive but cannot remember me.It pains me that iyoma as we call her has partial amnesia(only remembers my mum and some of her children).I remember her like yesterday when she was healthy n vibrant,her trips to Lagos where we will always ask her never to return to her house in Agukwu Nri n she will answer that her goats and hens were missing her to her always killing us a chicken when we visit her, to her jokes.We take good care of her but every day i see life ebbing from her due to old age n i know she is still hanging on for us.We love u iyom.My children re lucky to see their grandmum who helps me out by staying weekdays with them when i am out.Strict though but nevertheless spoils them from time to time.Pls lets make a day in Nigeria for grandmothers like the mothers day.

  57. Aisha

    May 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I never had a relationship/ met any of my grand parents but I do have a very beautiful relationship/friendship with my grand mother-in-law (husband’s grand aunt). She is such a strong woman and exceptionally diplomatic. She was able to bring together siblings and relatives who had not been on speaking terms for over fifteen years. She makes the meanest moi-moi, egusi soup and buka stew! This is a woman who will call me just to let me know that she made soups for me to pick and keep in the freezer because she knows I will be tired from work! She will call me just to pray over the phone with me and “gist” a bit. She will make blouses, tops and skirts from Nigeria and send to me, just because she thought I would like them!
    My husband bought a wrist watch for her and she said anh anh, did you not see those watches with bold and big faces that are now “raining” to buy me, instead, you got this one that I don’t know if it is a string!!! Yup! mama knows what is is vogue oh!

    God bless her.

    There is none like her and I pray God preserves her for many, many more years for us.

  58. Eve

    May 10, 2013 at 8:01 am

    My paternal grandmum died at the age of 110. I rmb her, but most of the memories were of her being in bed, and us going to her room to visit. She would touch us and call our names.

    However my maternal grand mum was much younger, so I rmb spending so much time with her. She died on Christmas day 2008 at the age of 86. Everyone called her MaMa Nne! She made a mean pot of okazi soup. Until we went to college, all her grandchildren used to come and spend christmas at her place. You need to see her during the holiday, she would tell everyone who cared to listen that her house was full bc her grandkids were around. She would come visit us, she would spend weekends with us. I have such good memories. I rmb when my mum called me early 25th morning and told me she had passed, it was such a sad day for me. The next day I went to bed, she appeared to me looking so radiant and elegant. I told her I was so pleased to see her, she told me she was going to the other side, and wanted to wish me well. I hugged her and told her I was going to miss her. We said our goodbyes and she left. I still see her sometimes in my dream, and it is such a peaceful feeling. I know she is in a good place, and I do not worry anymore. I love u so much MaMa Nne! Even though some times we butted heads, but I know where I got that my fierce spirit and drive from!!! xoxo

  59. Hurperyermie

    May 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    if i start i wont be able to finish so let me seal my lips but grandma i love u so much u are the best

    • b

      May 27, 2013 at 7:24 am

      U Know, no tales by moon light. hehe love my grand parents too!!! 1

  60. Yeni

    May 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    My paternal grandma always always spoils me, I was sure when I went to her house I must get a gift and nothing less than 1k, her prayers for me, always saying my oriki, I’m her abeke.. How she has planned my wedding

  61. Misspurrfect

    May 10, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    When I hear people talk of their grandparents with love or even cry @their funerals,it always feels weird to me.i met only one of my grandparents and she’s my maternal grand mum.she is still alive but practically has a non existent relationship with my mum even though my mum takes care of mum had a very abusive childhood from her mum and they never had a relationship up until’s more like a very formal kind of obligation on my mum’s part to take care of her so we never really got to be close.the few times I try to be nice to her she either doesn’t flow or says negative stuff dt makes me run far cos I don’t want any curses from as much as we r related there’s nothing more there but my mama and I, we are five and six…so erm for those of you with sweet grandparents enjoy them while they’re still here.As for me, I have no idea what it feels like to be close to a grandparent.

  62. Kbaby

    May 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    All the stories are touching n makes tears roll down my eyes. I av a maternal grandma n she is so wondaful n the most beautiful. Words cannot quantify her. I LUV her so much n pray the Almighty God gives her long life nd sound health to eat d fruit of her labour cos she has laboured so much frm her children to grandchilren nd even to great grandchildren. And to my departed grandparents, loved once nd my dad, may d almighty Allah grant dem Aljanat Firdaus…. I luv n miss u all.

  63. topz

    May 21, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    My maternal grandmum; Mrs. Deborah Mosunmola Akinola was amazing, a fantastic cook, superb planner and a spendthrift when it came to her grandchildren My mum could not reconcile the love she had for us compared with the strict upbringing she gave my mum when she was growing up. from a muslim background, she became a christian upon marriage to my granddad; i heard lovely stories about her mum, Alhaja Rabiatu Awele Salako who spoilt my mum and her siblings silly.
    my grandma spoilt us silly. from ipaja early in the morning she would come to ketu and shout at the gate ekaaro oo. She taught me how to cook beans. her ata dindin was to die for. We lost her 11 years ago. Her favourite song- ope lo ye o, baba oloore, is a lingering platform. i remember how she dressed us up for school, with her famous adin-agbon applioed to our scalp. she taught us many stories. my grandad was such an english man, though the two of them had different characters, when it came to us, they would bond. I pray the keep resting on in perfect peace.

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