My Mom's Agbo-Cola


I had just got back from school. I was tired and thirsty. The sun had been unusually hot and I was forbidden from taking cold water even though I still sneaked into the fridge and steal a sip or two and then replace the stolen sips with ‘ordinary’ water so no one is none the wiser.

“E ku ile ma” I greeted my mom who was sitted in the living room and went to drop my bag in the room. My mom would remind you not to drop your bag even if you tried to sit down after walking in. Of course, that rule evaporates when she is not in the living room when you walk in.

On getting back, I noticed an empty bottle of Cocacola in front of her and a half full glass of a dark liquid which I naturally assumed to be the Coke. Reaching for the glass, I just hailed her “Mommy, mommy” and took a gulp without waiting for her to give me permission as I was naturally expecting her to say no.

Reality dawned the moment the liquid touched my tongue, the sharp and coarse taste of agbo jedi was revolting. I couldn’t spit it out so I don’t mess up the floor tiles and more importantly so I don’t spit it in her face. The next thing I knew, I was on the chair with my face contorted like only local herbs knew how to. My mom’s laughter got through to me in a deep subconscious state and I slowly look towards her while wondering what was so funny.

Apparently, I forgot to remove the bottle from the table top the night before and I have always avoided agbo anytime we were all given. So the two incidents conspired with my mom silently to set me up. The hilarity of the situation didn’t come to me till I had brushed the after taste of the agbo away and then I couldn’t stop laughing as well.

The first thing I did was take the bottle back to the crate and I have been more careful with food and liquid left unattended to, no matter who is with the food.

PS: Why did this story come back to me? My friend poured Orijin into my empty Pepsi plastic bottle and left it beside my PC. Yeah, you guessed right. I fell for it again! For those who don’t know, agbo is a herbal mixture that people take for different reasons depending on their ailment? There is agbo jedi, agbo iba and so on.