THE BOY CALLED “OJEKOYO”.

In the small town of Agbetedo in Kogi, Nigeria lived a man named Ojekoyo. Ojekoyo was the only son of his parents. His mother gave birth to him when she was fifty while his father was sixty. His parents were married for twenty-five years before they were able to conceive and produce him. His parents have consulted various spiritualists and non-spiritualists for help regarding conception for twenty years. That was two years into their marriage and three years before his birth. Ojekoyo was born at a time his parents have lost all hope. His mother, Iyemi and his father, Opemi had eaten all sorts of herbs and concoctions in a bid to conceive. The parents have worn different types of recommended clothings to appease the “gods” to no avail. They have also done different kinds of hair styles including absolute shaving and rubbing of chalk on the head to no avail. Hence, when Ojekoyo was conceived and born at a time they have stopped all that, it came as a great surprise and was bigger than a miracle to them. It was also difficult for them to refer to any of the “gods” they had patronized as the giver of the child. This is because they had stopped trusting in any of the “gods” for their problem of lack of conception.

Ojekoyo had an insatiable appetite for food. He started taking corn pap after two days of his birth as opposed to exclusive breastfeeding the health professionals advised the parents. His mother’s breast milk could not satisfy him. He drank her breast milk dry within the first two days of his birth. The corn pap he started taking was not the cup quantity but it was the twenty litres bucket quantity per day. The parents, relations and neighbours thought he would outgrow his gourmandize nature but it continued. His gourmandize nature became more apparent when after 6 months pap and liquid food could not satisfy Ojekoyo again. His corn pap had been blended with beans, crayfish, dried eggs, fish and meat to enable him grow well. Ojekoyo started eating one bag of beans daily by month seven of his birth. At other days the bag of beans was alternated with a bag of rice, a bag of maize, a bag of wheat, a bag of yam, a bag of potato, a bag of cocoyam and a bag of bread. A bag of beans is what a family of five would eat for four months or less. Same for other bags of food items. Ojekoyo however, consumed these large amounts in a day. His feeding pattern was telling on the economy of his parents. The saving grace was that his father had the largest farm in Agbetedo town. This made it easier for him to meet his son’s appetite needs.

Aside from food itself, Ojekoyo drinks water like a fish. He does not drink water before or during his meals. Once he is done eating he would shout “momu”, “momu”, “momu”, meaning “I want water”, “I want water”, “I want water”. He would run to the village river and drink about one hundred and fifty liters of water. During the drinking process he swims in the river and on all occasions he takes a sack full of fishes home. The village fishermen and women stand in awe of him as they do not understand why the fishes move towards him and run from them. The village fishermen and women normally go home with less than half a bag of fishes on their lucky days. Ojekoyo’s fish affinity and bags of fish gradually turned his mother to a fish merchant. The startling aspect is that Ojekoyo and his parents do not eat from the fish he catches but sells them. People come from neighbouring villages to buy fishes from Ojekoyo’s mother.  Aside from the “Agbetedo” the town is known for, it’s also called “ilu iya eleja pupo” meaning “the town of the woman with plenty fishes”. As far as Opemi was concerned, the overeating of his son was not to be compared with the amount of money and fame the family makes from the sale of fishes brought home by Ojekoyo.

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