No woman can take the place of a mother in a child’s life. This is true as the mother of one of Nigeria’s famous entertainer Steve ‘Yaw’ Onu affirms this much on this week’s edition of the popular reality television show, Supermom, the celebrity edition.
Yaw, a renown on-air-personality, actor and comedian rose to fame while featuring on the TV comedy drama, ‘Flatmates’ with his character’s humourous refrain, ‘Uwa bu paw paw men yaw’ which kept people glued to their television sets every Saturday.
The seventh of 10 children who hails from Awka, in Anambra state, Yaw has since become one of the most sought-after entertainers in the country. Recently he was selected as one of Nigeria’s Olympic torch bearers. But his road to success was not smooth.
According to Yaw’s mum, whose turn it is to share her story on the popular celebrity show which airs on major terrestrial television stations in Nigeria this weekend, it was indeed very tough feeding ten hungry children and having to pay rent in their squalid apartment in Lawanson, Surulere, Lagos.
“Whenever the rains came,it fell directly on us because the roof was leaking.” A second hand clothes dealer in Yaba market, the 62 year old woman narrated how she took to petty trading to compliment her husband’s income. She also ensured that Yaw and his siblings hawked cold drinks and ‘pure water’ to support the family. “She would tell me she was teaching me business instead of her to just say she wanted me to help her out in the market,” Yaw added jokingly.
Narrating further, Yaw’s mother recalled the day she was arrested and detained while on an itinerant hawking in Aswani Market, Lagos, by town council officials. I go prison because I deh train my children. That day, my children no see me. she narrated in pidgin English.
According to her, on that fateful day, she did not return home because she couldn’t bail herself. A good Samaritan came to her rescue.
The family would also suffer another adversity when the matriarch was involved in a tragic accident in a ‘molue’ heading to Iyana-Ipaja from Maryland. The vehicle had a brake failure and somersaulted several times. Mrs.Onu who was standing in the bus sustained minor injuries but was unconscious which made many mistake her for dead.
“I was taken with the other ‘corpses’ to the mortuary. It took a man who came to identify the casualties to discover that I was still alive.”
Ironically,when her children came visiting, the youngest of them said, mama we never chop o even before asking how she was faring.
Despite her initial objection to his choice of career, she now prefers to be called Mama Steve because he had brought her suffering to an end. “My children made it; thank God I did not suffer in vain.”