Simi Ogunleye: What will I do without my mother? (30 Days, 30 Voices)


It’s almost impossible to win a regular conversation with my mum, much less, an argument. If you say something that makes sense and she has no comeback, she goes…”Stupid.” That in itself is a classic come back.

Dear Readalot,

I urge you not to be concerned about my introduction. My name is Simi. My alter-ego is Rantalot. I have begged her profusely to help me with this lengthy note. And she tends to think everyone else is named Readalot.
I thought deep and hard, while I was tweeting (yes, I do my best thinking while tweeting), about what oh-so-profound event in my life I could share with you. I was blank for a very long minute. To be honest, I’m still about 50 percent blank. However, I intend to go with the flow. So please, stay with me.

The first thing that comes to mind is my mother. She is the most amazing person I know, except for the time she told me not to wear her shoes. That time, she wasn’t too amazing. But my mother of life and destiny – she’s a gem. She’s hilarious. She’s strong. She’s hardworking. Oh, so hardworking.

There’s this Yoruba saying, “Omo alagbara lo’n y’ole…” If you don’t understand Yoruba, I pray the Lord gives you understanding. I kid. It means: It’s the child of a strong-man that is lazy. I’m not saying I’m lazy; I’m saying work is not my type -_-.

It is very unlikely that you would find my mum not doing anything if she’s awake. She’s always doing something. Like that isn’t bad enough, she expects you to be doing something. If there’s nothing to do, scatter something you already did and do it again. So, while we were preparing for my niece’s naming, after they had paid a caterer to do the catering job, my mum spent half the night doing most of the work. She noticed everyone else was upstairs doing nothing and she wasn’t comfortable with that. So, she came upstairs.

MUM: Oya, everybody downstairs. Go and help them.
ME: Help them do what?
MUM: They’re working. Just help them
ME: Do what na?
MUM: I don’t know. Just stand there until there’s something to do.

My mum hates that I’m always asking questions. So, one day, she said I was adopted, that in fact, she found me somewhere and decided to take care of me. She later changed her story and said she exchanged me for her real baby in the hospital because she was looking for a female child. I personally think she kidnapped me from my superstar parents in Hollywood.

Anyway, that’s just one of the sides to my mum. When I graduated from school, I decided I was not of those destined for a white, blue, orange or pink collar job. For the record, I’m a singer *big goofy smile*. So, I told my mum –

ME: Mummy, I’m not going to work for anybody. I can’t. I’m not wired that way.
MUM: E say? You’re not what? After all the money I used to pay your school fees?
ME: It won’t waste now. Now, I’m an intellectual.
MUM: You better go and submit your CV and pay me back all the money I spent on you. You’re owing me.
ME: Sigh.

I happen to be a very strong-willed person. If I do something, it’s usually because I want to and vice versa. But, my mother made it tough. She would say out loud in the middle of several people –

MUM: Simi, shey I said you should go and look for job so you can pay my money.
ME: Mummy, you’re embarrassing me. Stop it na.
MUM: I can do whatever I want. I gave birth to you. I’m your mother.
ME: Sigh.

It’s almost impossible to win a regular conversation with my mum, much less, an argument. If you say something that makes sense and she has no comeback, she goes…”Stupid.” That in itself is a classic come back.

I could go on and on, but YNaija will use half and delete the rest.

People say – “Everyone is going to die.” Still, I hope my mama lives forever.

Yours truly, Rantalot.


Simi Ogunleye is a Nigerian singer/songwriter. She’s had hits like “Ara Ile”, Ogaju, Chocolate Brown and is currently working on new singles. She is a Covenant University graduate of Mass Communication. Simi is also a blogger, under the alias ‘Rantalot” at


30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians to share their stories and experiences with other young Nigerians, within our borders and beyond, to inspire and motivate them.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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