In line with silver and gold, another thing I don’t have is a permanent signature! After several attempts to own one, I resorted to using my finger prints unashamedly.
Regardless the fact that simple signatures of strokes & curves can be hard to master, some people will still go as far as drawing their family problems in one tiny sheet all in the name of signing a signature.
One time, I asked a man to lend me his pen at the bank. He said he would give me as he was almost done signing so i went to the toilet to pee. Brethren! I gave my life to Christ inside that toilet. I did fasting and prayer, praise and worship. I did exercise, squats,yoga and finally offered kolanuts to Amadioha. I came out and lo and behold, this man was still signing! Y’all should have seen his aggression. He sure needed an extra sheet! The ink in the awaited pen was almost finished yet oga was still carving something that looked like the road to okija shrine simply bcos he wanted to withdraw ”common” N5,000!
The spirit within me almost pushed me to ask him if the pen & withdrawal slip had offended him in his past life or if he had been a victim of circumstance or it was just in his nature to be complicated, but the only thing I ended up saying was ”Oga, your thing is long o” to which he replied ”you don see am before”? 😭
My first real encounter with a signature was at the passport office in Festac, Lagos. At first, I was asked to fill a form and sign. I tactically asked my friend who accompanied me how i’d sign and he said I should just write the name of any person , animal, place or thing on top of each other and then cancel it like it was a mistake. I did as he said, returned the form to the woman and she commended my signature, saying it was too mature for my age.
Later that day, I was in front of a man who asked that I repeat that same signature in order to validate my passport. I had already forgotten the names of animals I wrote and how I placed them. I kept shading and carving and in the end, what I drew was almost looking like the man’s flat head. He was too offended. He asked me to disappear into thin air & cursed me that I would never own a passport in this Nigeria. If not for the anointed people of God who came to plead on my behalf, I’ll probably still be in prison for head harassment.
3 years later, I went to the bank to apply for a new ATM card. There were 2 customer care attendants with about 5/6 customers queued up infront of them respectively. The first customer care lady was pregnant. The other one was a 21st century Goliath. She was really gigantic and if Jesus wasn’t by her side, she would have broken the chair she sat on or even collapsed the entire bank building.
Still confused on which queue to join, one man with plenty ATM cards from different banks told me to queue with the pregnant woman. In his words ”queue with her, don’t you know you’ll be pregnant soon?”. Even Though it sounded like a rape threat, I didn’t pick any offense bcos judging from his plenty ATM cards, he could be one of these Otedola people and probably had a son who was desperately looking for a Miss right. Following my assumption, I started smiling sheepishly. I licked my lips, twirled over & over again, flipped my hair, and then I decided to fake phone calls to advertise my 100 yards wife materialism.
I pulled out my phone from my bag and placed an imaginary call to my imaginary friend, Agatha. When she imaginarily picked, I went;
”Hello Agatha. I keep telling you, you have to wake up 5a.m to cook for your husband. You need to get use to this Agatha. I don’t even have a boyfriend but I am use to all these. Call me if you need more marriage advise. Ok dear bye!
Immediately I dropped Agatha’s call, I called another imaginary friend, Agnes.
”Agnes, Have you checked our results? Wow! I made all A’s? Oh! you had 10F’s. Your only A was in the course you copied me? Ehya! but Agnes why do you like copying? Is this how you want to be copying in your marriage? Agnes, I have always told you to read! You have to be a good wife material!”
My otedola man smiled at me ”you must be very intelligent and a good house keeper”. I grinned from ear to ear while trying so hard to compress my invisible shoulder pads. I was about placing another imaginary call to my doctor so that the whole world would hear that my womb could carry twins. But then, it was my turn to be attended to.
I told the pregnant customer care lady what I needed to do & she tossed me a form. After I filled the form & stroked signed, the lady said my signature didn’t match the one in her system. I silently pleaded for a second chance. She flinged me another form and while filling, i tried to recall the food I ate the day I came to open that account. The people I met on my way or the boy I was dating then as I may have mumuly used his name as my signature.
After all attempts to remeber but to no avail, i wrote Jesus on my name and cancelled it. I returned the form to her and she yelled, ”Do you want to waste all the forms? If this is not your account get out of here! you don’t even look like the person on the account profile. fraudster!”
On hearing fraudster, the security men were at alert. The manager came out. One man from the queue said the A.C was probably affecting my brain & Others laughed. My otedola didn’t talk. I guess he wanted to scream at them to leave his future daughter In-law alone but then again, he was a man of few words. The bank manager asked me if I suffered Amnesia sometime in my life. I told him it started on my way to the bank. He called me to his office for questioning and after he realized i was too much of an Angel to be a fraudster, he walked out with me and told the customer care lady that I had been vindicated. I was this 👌 close to swallowing that lady alive for all the embarrassment she had caused me. I was enroute to removing her name from the book of life when i heard My Otedola father Inlaw’s voice, ”It’s such a shame that a young girl like you only cares about being a wife material. you have all A’s but can’t sign a common signature? What is the name of your school young Lady? You can’t sign but you want to marry? How will you even sign your wedding certificate? Which man will want to marry your type?”
I was in shock! How an old man like him could prematurely jump to conclusions baffled me. Oga otedola, how are you sure your son isn’t attracted to women without signature? Why are you trying to destroy what God has joined together? I mean, why talk like you are not a Christian? Still looking at him with questions in my eyes, he heartlessly walked out of the bank without writing me a common cheque for me to travel to London to enroll in a signature school. Until now, I am still struggling to forgive him. What was more hurting was all the imaginary airtime I wasted for nothing.
I wrote this article for a magazine at a time in my life when i had no signature. And even though I now have one very permanently hot, sultry & Tonto Dikeh looking signature, I want to know if any other person had a signature challenge while growing up. Did y’all struggle to have a signature abi na only me waka come??