When I was growing up, Blue Band Original was crème de la crème of spreads. The ads were everywhere.
There was nothing more delicious than some rich Blue Band on two slices of white bread in a kid’s lunch box. Who didn’t want to be a strong Blue Band kid?
A while after I moved back to Lagos after university, the rich premium spread became harder to find.
Why? Perhaps it was the country’s slowly rising food inflation, or the battle against imports and FX rates. Maybe it was the ever-diminishing purchasing power of the middle class, or this regime’s benevolent effort to keep us in shape by depriving our arteries of all that rich.
I’m not an economist, but I did notice how Blue Band Original was replaced by the sad Light Spread for Bread.
A few months ago, I was getting my groceries in an overpriced supermarket when I witnessed a rare sighting. Blue Band Original. Oh, happy day.
Forgetting the price tag, I threw it in my cart, and I picked up an extra tub for my mum.
They were teeny tiny tubs, but this was the Blue Band of my childhood.
The next time she saw me, she pounced on me (more excited than usual) with her million and one questions
“Where did you find it?” “How much was it?”
I rolled my eyes in the usual fashion to say, “Damn lady, just eat the butter”.
A few weeks later, she dropped me off on one of my mini-adventures. “Buy something nice”.
I stopped at the supermarket for snacks and bought her the biggest tub of Blue Band I could find.
This was our expression of love in our home, getting useful, practical things for the other person.
“Which year will I finish this” she laughed on the phone.
“Whenever you finish it naw”, we had all our lives to finish the butter.
I made her sandwiches for lunch; not because I was a good daughter, but because she’d wake me up with all her shuffling around at 6 am getting ready for work.
We’d make toast on the Saturday mornings I was home, with yet a new toaster – because I kept breaking them (don’t ask how).
Any way to run through that butter.
That was almost 3 months ago.
She’s been gone for 30 days now.
Her giant tub of Blue Band, sits on my kitchen counter, only halfway done.