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My mother was and is still a caring woman but back in those days I never really gave her a choice. The ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ policy was sacrosanct in our home and my mother only enforced it when necessary (if she didn’t only God knows what I’ll be by now). However, she also introduced a warning sign – ‘The Eyes’, in order to caution and prevent me from crossing the line (What a loving mother).

This was a wonderful way out for me, anytime I was about to cross the line ‘The Eyes’ always set me back on track. The fact is ‘The Eyes’ was a magic wand preventing me from carrying out acts that attract trashing. On certain occasions, I ignored the message of ‘The Eyes’ and damned the consequences – I just wanted to be free.

‘The Eyes’ served as the ‘pankere’ in public places. My mother will never beat you in public ‘cos people will either interfere in the correction process or plead on my behalf. No mother wanted to be tagged a wicked woman. ‘The Eyes’ also told me the punishment that awaited me at home; if the trashing was going to be super the eyes will no longer sparkle. Only I could decode the message of the eyes.

Whenever we visited neighbours, friends or family, the eyes were my guide during such visits. If I was offered anything I always consulted the eyes for direction; to know if I’d spoken out of line or behaved like a spoilt child I consulted those beautiful eyes. Whenever it was time for us to leave a place and I was reluctant to leave, these same eyes will flash and I’ll get the message loud and clear.

But one fateful day, on this very glorious Sunday afternoon, we went to visit a neighbour but I considered her an aunty. Before I left my house, I refused to eat my lunch claiming I wasn’t hungry (and I really wasn’t hungry). On getting to our neighbour’s flat, she offered me fried rice and chicken and from nowhere the spirit of hunger descended upon me (wahala don happen); But I couldn’t refuse such a tantalizing meal.

Instantly, she caught me looking at my mother and assured me my mother was ok  –  but from what I was decoding from the visible oracle they were no longer friendly.  Now, I was in a dilemma but I decided to eat the food and damned the consequences (in my head I thought better to go down with a very content stomach). So, I happily ate the plate of fried rice and drank a very chilled bottle of Coke. After the deed was done with my greased lips and shiny fingers, I looked into those ‘Eyes’ and I knew my fate was sealed.

Later that evening, the trashing sentence was carried out and I had no right – none whatsoever to be angry as it was expected. I had ignored the code of the Eyes but that was the last time it ever happened. I even had to pass down my decoding knowledge to my brother to avoid beatings.

PS: Training a child is already a difficult task and some kids just don’t make it any easy.



Regular guy with countless thots going thru his mind. Simple, jovial, easy-going always wondering why things are what they are. I’m different things 2 a lot of people -a son 2 few, a brother to sum, a friend 2 many n enemy 2 none(frm my angle). Believes in God. A realist always trying 2b objective*a difficult human trait*, however I’m simply just ME (no definition 4 that).


  1. OMG,those eyes. I am older now but the thought of those eyse still sends cold shivers down my spine. Now I can laugh about,but there was nothing funny about Mama`s eyes back then. And I still get it once in a while too.
    Thanx Abido for capturing those memories so well.

  2. I couldn’t stop laughing all thru..it reminds me of d past,d eyes alone was a death sentence if ignored…nice write up..

  3. Eyes?? my mom could send me telepathic messages trust me….there was this one time we visited a family friend and then, my mom was in their living room when Aunty offered me food, i could swear that i heard a voice in my head saying”ti o ba je ounje yen, mo ma lu shege si e lara”…needless to say, I ate it and got shege beaten into my body…YORUBA mommas go hard i swear…

  4. ‎​ℓoℓ..Goodness me!the ‘eye’ thing with ‎​​my mom,her eyes could practically open & speak unheard words,gosh..momma didn’t need to say a word,her eyes did all the talking..&still does till tomorrow. Nice read!

  5. I can’t relate to dis(wit m ma) but my dad had his ‘eyes’ too…
    Choi! I don chop beatings tire for this life o!

  6. Wow!…can see a lot of people got d “eyes” education.so did I…and sometimes it still happens.mother’s always see us as kids,even as adults some still get d eye treatment.u did hit d nail right on d head…lol.

  7. Lol so funny. I think we all got the eye message as kids and I wonder how dey did it been practising it on ma nephew but the lil boy just laughs as if I was trying to make a funny face.

  8. My mom didn’t have the eyes. Matter of fact she’s never touched any of us till date. My mom can’t lift a finger against anyone. But she had something deadlier than the eyes. THE MOUTH!! That mouth reported us to my dad at every opportunity it got and my dad never spared the belt. My dads belt always came off his waist in exactly 2 seconds. Dang! Still got some belt scars.

  9. Yes o those eyes had a language of their own and misinterpretation meant sure disaster it was gud training in retrospect sha but see children these days no fear whatsoever in public I have heard them ask to the hearing of the host o “mommy why are u looking at me like that abi I shud not take?”. Infact my dad expected us to decode so well that even when his mouth said go ahead take now we were to know the eyes had veto power

  10. @maanadee…I also laugh about it now but the eyes no longer bother me

    @tyna…I believe the mothers belong to the same association


    @lare…I’m with you on that Yoruba mothers go hard

    @b*tch of happy hour…tanx

    @village maiden…I guess the beatings paid off.

    @aitch…I’ll like that,tanx a lot

    @modee…I guess the eye education is an essential of child training. Mothers will always think of their children as kids

    @iknow iknow…Get an older woman to teach you the art of the eyes.when you’re done your nephew will sit tight

    @lady Ngo…the eyes and the tone are key components of their build up

    @lusea…yes,they should be proud

    @nonamesneeded…the eyes are there to guide

    @igho…I like that, the mouth is a unique mechanism. I like your mother’s choice

    @Nicole…that’s a lovely idea

  11. @Stranger…The parents of the 21st century are more friendly towards their children so the kids tend not to fear them. The power of ‘the eyes’ was sustained by fear and back then people feared their parents

  12. LMAO…. I remember those killer eyes!!!
    @Stranger,’…mommy why are u looking at me like that abi I shud not take?”Lwkmd… In dose days, na 2 die remain!!

  13. Ma mother wasn’t much of a beater bt mehn did she use those eyes, still does, nd will continue 2. She did it soo much nw ma sister nd I speak volumes wiv our eyes nw. Nd sme day ma kids will learn nd hopefuly appreciate those Eyes!

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