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The Slowdown

In the family’s hometown of Abeokuta, Mike-O finds himself in a slowdown mother has been all over the place, trying to solicit all the necessary help to try and get her husband back to good health. Having gotten pregnant for the man in her late teen years, of which the child would later die, he indeed was her “first”. She had not known another man before or besides him.

They had been legally married now for over 20 years and in that time, she had grown to absolutely love him and devote herself to him completely. Despite the fact that the relationship had been, especially in the recent decade, more rocky than rosy, the thought of life without her husband terrified her. This was all the life she knew, and she would not just sit back and give her husband up to sickness.

Mike-O had not been properly informed by his mother, of the nature of his father’s sickness, except for the fact that it wasn’t just a regular sickness. It was not until after he arrived home that he learnt that his father had in fact, had a stroke. This left Mike-O confused and thinking thoughts like “Stroke? How come?? What stress is he going through??”.

Mike-O’s father had been retired for a while and had a small business that he ran to sustain himself while his wife remained in active service. From Mike-O’s limited knowledge of a stroke and its causal factors, he didn’t see any particular reason for which his dad would have suddenly had a stroke.

He had however learned, during a brief session the attendant doctor had with his mother, and in which he was present, that there was a variety of causes of a stroke. In the case of Mike-O’s father, it was a result of his diet, lack of exercise, and his recent consumption of tobacco.

Mike-O was somewhat angry about the whole situation because here he was, having sworn to never return home unless and until he had made something of himself. His dad had constantly breathed down his neck about “doing something tangible” with his life- implying that his decision to become a music producer and DJ was a waste of time.

Mike-O did not think it was fair at all that his dad only deemed it fit to have him around because he was in a precarious situation that potentially threatened his life. Switching to slowdown mode seemed like too much of a sacrifice for someone who did not respect his life decisions.

He was going to be here, however, for whatever needed to be done, because no matter how badly he felt about having to do it, he owed it to his parents, especially his mother, to come through at such a crucial point in time as this.

***************** **************** ******************

Back in Lagos City, Timmy has just finished a Sunday morning football session with one of his friends, Shola “Shollz” Adeoti, an upcoming semi-professional football player who usually spends as much of his time on a football pitch as possible.

As they both put their stuff together and prepare to head back to Shollz’s apartment, where Timmy has opted to stay for the weekend, Shollz asks “How far Mike-O now? What’s the update with him? You don follow am talk?”, to which Timmy responds, explaining that they had a bit of a text chat but not much was said. “

“He talk say na stroke him popci dey battle, but we no too yarn much after that. He says he’s good though and we agreed to talk again later”.

Shollz simply nods and says “Hmmm”. As they finally make their way from the premises and towards the next bus stop, Timmy receives a notification on his phone. It’s a reply to a message he had previously sent in soliciting a rap “gig”. He is initially excited as he has waited on the reply for days now.

His brief smile however suddenly fades off as he reads the content of the message. Shollz, who had begun to say something, suddenly realizes that his intended audience has not been paying attention. “Wetin sup again?” he asks and Timmy responds saying “Omo, na another rejection o. Third one in two weeks. I don tire my guy”.

Timmy has had his own personal struggles in recent times, having been making efforts to reach out to anyone who could potentially give him a platform to showcase his art. Recording sessions are quite pricey and even though he has done that in the past, he has taken a break as his first project was not much of a success.

The pressure to actually put something out musically, has weighed heavily on him as he has lately been feeling like he can do more than just design album covers for other artists.

He has however since realized that trying to “climb up the ladder” through the connections he has made from the few artists he has worked with, is not particularly working out as he had expected. Of course, it was going to be difficult. These were upcoming artistes themselves and very few of them would be inclined to “put you on” while risking their chances of becoming mainstream.

Timmy now has to find a way to get his head up, and lift himself mentally and otherwise from the slowdown he’s been experiencing in recent times. At this moment though, he is feeling a particularly gripping urge to eat something heavy. He turns to Shollz and says “How far Shollz, make we go chop pounded yam for that Iya Alase place abi?” Shollz smiles his agreement saying “You sabi ball”.

By Oluwamayowa Akinyemi

Oluwamayowa Akinyemi

Oluwamayowa Akinyemi is a digital and web content developer with experience in web content development and management as well as research and writing. He is an avid reader of random subject matters and a sucker for movies and video games. He is also passionate about youth empowerment and is a global affairs analyst and enthusiast.