EXPERT IN WATCH REPAIRING
His name was household name in Owo , Ondo State in the ’60s till early 2000 , for he was among the best few watch repairers in the ancient town. In his shop located at the Late Pa Oladoyinbo Ojomo’s house opposite St Patrick’s Anglican Church, Ijebu-Owo, where one could see different types and sizes of ancient wall clocks, table clocks and wrist watches for repair where the high and the low come to repair their watches.
He is a man of average height, rich in Òwò proverbs and poetry . Not only this ,the octogenarian could speak Òwò dialect fluently despite the fact that he is not a native. Popular and loved by the old and the young because he is jovial and had never been angry.
He was so popular that if he contested for the post of a Counselor he could win. When hailed ”Obè Àkùko’!, Obè Akuko!! Obè Akuko !!!” his response would be”You will partake from it”. “You will be great” .You will not faint”, “Your wife will not run away”, ”you will not fall down like coconut” etc .
The 80 -year -old man said “My names are : Alfred Wadai popularly known as Obè Àkùko. I am from Ohodua in Ishan , South – East Local government . I was born in 1939 but I don’t know the day for my parents were illiterate and did not know the date either .
” I learnt the watch repairing skill from an Ibo man when I was young and after my freedom in 1955 I came to Òwò. I did the work for over 50 years before I pensioned myself .Today things have changed as nobody repairs watches again. I am married to one wife. I have one head and as God created Adam for one wife so I am “, he said as everybody in the vicinity burst into laughter.
” I came to Òwò in 1955 after my training as a watch repairer under an Ibo man in the then Mid -Western state, and started my job as a watch repairer”.
my real name”.
IN LOVE WITH DATES
Whenever he is praised or hailed as ‘ Obè Àkùko , ‘ he will respond by saying ” wa a jobe”,( you will eat sumptuous soup), ”we nii jabo”( you will not fall), ”Òrò re ti dayò ”( your case has turned to joy ) , ”Waaaaye”( You will survive) etc.But when you shout Obe opolo (toad’s soup) be ready to hear his response like ”Your father will partake in it”.
WHY I BURNT MY MATTRESS AND BED
As the old man was walking back to his residence, those who met him along the way and those who were in their houses and heard his voice continued hailing him saying , ”Ooobe Akuko! Oooobe Akuko!!”, the old man too was responding ” Waa jeun pe, aya re ni salo, waaa dagba, weee ni we sun oran”, [ meaning You will live long, you will grow old,your wife will not run away, you will not be in trouble ).
But when a rascal boy cried ” Oobe opolo,Oobe Opolo‘ (toad soup!, toad soup!!) he too responded ” waa gbede B’are, waa jeee”[ When he was greeted toad soup, he replied ” You will keep it for your father, you will eat it ). What a wonderful and a witty man loved by everybody.