Were you born in the era when the best chewing gum ever was sold for only two for 5 naira?
No, not Sprint chewing gum, that was two for one naira. *eyeroll* Bomky!
Bomky was in a shiny blue wrap with circles of pink balls all around. The chewing gum in itself was pink. It had this rare quality of being able to blow the largest of balloons, having it burst all over your face and not leaving the littlest trace! It was simply the gum for all! And then it fazed out so quickly *one minute silence*
That’s hardly the story to be told.
Now, at the age of about 8, I was ready to be Bomky’s brand ambassador. I bought it, shared it around, chewed it, proclaimed the gospel about it, dreamed of it…. Name it, I did! Bomky was the deal!
There would be four characters in this story. I should introduce them now before I go on, ’cause they would take on peculiar roles in this tale.
Bisi: If you aren’t new here, you should know her. She’s the only sibling I’ve got. But here she played the villain. She’s been a sly sister for as long as I can remember *eyeroll*
Ruka: She was an eleven year old Cotonou girl who stayed with us to help out with chores.
Child trafficking thingz! She played the dimwit 😐
Mother: She’s who she is, here
And of course, me
I’m as much a hero as it can get.
So, to the “epic” story.
It was a Saturday morning. My sister and I generally spent Saturdays studying and working momma/lesson teacher given homeworks. My dad was out. My mum was about to go out too. Before she left, she stated specifically : “None of you should go out, if I hear that you went out while I’m away, I’ll beat the hell out of you when I get back” (She is who she is, here) and then she left.
Only three seconds after she was out, Bisi said: “I want Bomky”
Now, y’all realize that I’m the ambassador for this brand, I mean what else is branding about if it isn’t’t ensuring a potential consumer is conversed to a loyal one, huh?
I took that statement with all seriousness and said “I’ll gaan buy for us”
“What if mummy catches you?” she asked.
“I’ll be fast, she won’t” I replied.
“Me I’m not there o!” the sly one said.
From somewhere, Ruka adds “I’ll go with you”
I should have known better.
We took 10 naira to buy four and we set out – Ruka and I.
We ran the whole stretch with me singing “Just be limbo, just be quick….” from Fragle rock – in my mind – the whole time. We bought it and turned around to run the whole stretch.
I was a very fit child, there I was basking in the euphoria of “dusting” Ruka while she tried to catch up behind. And then in a moment I looked back and saw my mother’s blue Peugeot 504 bending at the corner. I shouted to Ruka in Yoruba “Mummy’s coming, run!” I don’t know what she heard, but I saw her retreat and head to the car and do a courtesy like she was saying “welcome ma”.
I was rooted to the spot, entranced by her stupidity.
I heard my mum say “I was checking if it was both of you, I wasn’t sure, thank you for helping me confirm, now go and wait for me at home, I’m coming for you.” And with that, Ruka ran back to me, crying in advance.
You know the rest of the gist, my mum did beat the hell out of us and asked us to face the wall, kneel down and put up our hands for the next one hour. Bisi snickered behind with the “I told you so” look.
And yeah, the bomkys, they stayed in the medicine box on the dinning table for the next 6 months till someone threw them out.
I lost my brand endorsement.