Thursday, 8 December 2011

Does a man really have to decide for you?

So last weekend I went to get my hair done and in between all that salon gossip and cheery laughter I was able to stumble upon a topic that quite got my attention and has begged for my perusal.

There was this other lady woman that came to get her hair done and brought along her three and a half (possibly) year old child. The salon girls were talking about their friend *Ireti that had just gotten married. They said she used to be an apprentice in the Salon but didn’t wait to the end to finish her training. The woman who was also getting her hair done asked why and the ladies answered that it was probably her husband that told her to stop. They had no evidence, but they were 100% sure he was the reason why she had stopped. I just shook my head in my mind and just when I was wondering if everyone was going to start arguing among themselves that they wouldn’t do that for a man, the woman mentioned that most men usually dictated for their wives; that once you entered the ‘trap’ of marriage you were really in for it. She went on to say that for example her husband didn’t allow her to wear trousers out of their house. He preferred her wearing it within the home. The owner of the Salon was seemingly surprised and said rather jokingly, ‘Men sef. But if they see big bombom outside they’ll look o, but they won’t allow you look at the one they have at home’. They all laughed. I just pondered.

The woman continued talking. She said her husband was like that o, stating wht he wanted for her to be and what not. She said he honestly did not even want her to work and was always complaining that she didn’t have enough time for their two little children. Then she went ahead and made one statement that actually annoyed me; ‘If my husband was a rich man, I won’t even be working sef. If he ‘hammers’ now ehn, I will just stop working, sit down at home, rest well, open shop sef and start selling drinks nitemi jo’.

Really? An educated woman. A 21st century woman. What did she now go to school for? I mean she really sounded educated. She spoke impeccable English......*thinking out loud*

Well, seriously in my own opinion the woman did noy try sha.

For one, I will not stop going to school for a man (comparing it to the first scenario-the lady that stopped apprenticeship ‘cos of her man). Secondly, a man shall not dictate for me what I can or cannot wear. Thirdly, if a man does not support my dreams, I cannot marry him o. He should go and hug the nearest transformer (ooh that’s too cliche, I should have thought of something more intelligent and unique). Fourthly, I don’t believe marrying a rich man is where it all ends or that if my husband becomes rich I should become obsolete, somewhat. There is nothing a man can do for me, my Father in heaven has not already done for me and will still do for me. And lastly, me, open one soft drinks shop like that and sit down to a monotonous, less challenging life after five gruelling years of Pharmacy school? Ko ma possible  ke!!!

As the role of the woman has drastically shifted from solely homemaker to career woman plus homemaker, of course, I am however still of the opinion anyways that she should always take care of her home and her children, i.e juggling work with homemaking. It’s not easy, yeah, but man needs to survive. Women are becoming increasingly more independent, goal oriented and actually have dreams of their own, separate from their men. So, there is no reason why a man should insist that his educated (even if she’s not educated sef) wife, who probably has dreams of her own should ‘lose her life’ to be accustomed to his. A man should always respect the fact that a woman has dreams too and if he really loves her like he claims to, he would want to see her achieve those dreams and be happy.

IMO a man doesn’t have to decide for a woman how to live her life.

So what do you think?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Lagos Wahala

A Story I originally posted on


Moji opened the main door and stepped out. She was immediately greeted by the harsh sun. It was stark raving hot outside. She stepped back inside. She had to apply sunscreen. If her brother was at home and she had told him she wanted to use sunscreen, he’d have immediately said ‘sunscreen ke. You think you are Oyinbo. Your skin’s made for sun’.

Yes, she knew black people had enough melanin in their skin to protect them from the sun. Especially she who was as black as charcoal; her melanin was over plenty, but she was more knowledgeable than that. She had read that just because black people had melanin did not mean they were completely protected from the sun. It didn’t mean they weren’t prone to skin cancers too.

She went back to her room and splattered sunscreen on her ebony face. She put the lotion in her bag and looked herself in the mirror. She was wearing an embellished gray tank top on a black pencil skirt. It wasn’t too workish or too playish. She patted her weave-on extension that rested on her shoulders and wrapped her scarf around her arms before making to leave again. She was going to visit Tunde for the first time. Ever since they started dating 8 months ago, he had visited her so many times at home and she had never for once gone home to visit him. He was excited about her coming and she was even more excited. He lived about 45 minutes away.

She was going to take a bus. There was a bus that went all the way as far as Tunde’s area of Lagos and the transport fare was just N200. From there she would just take another short bus to his house.
It wasn’t long before she was at the bus garage. Different conductors were calling out to passengers in that their characteristic hoarse tone that it seemed they had gone to some school to perfect. If one did not listen well to hear them, one would enter the wrong bus. Here the golden rule that one who asked for directions never got lost applied.

She moved nearer to one of the conductors that seemed to be screaming the name of somewhere close to where she was going.

‘You dey go Yaba?’

‘Ehn now. You no dey hear wetin I dey call?’

Moji sneered and said under her breath, ‘like I look like someone that understands your conductor language’
‘wetin you talk’

‘Nothing o!’ she quickly answered. She didn’t want to start exchanging words with any agbero today.

She entered the bus. The seats were so dusty. She hissed. She didn’t want her skirt to be dirty. She had even forgotten to take some tissue with her. Didn’t this people know anything about presentation? She called to the driver who sat at the front seat.

‘Se ni aso ta ma fi nu seat yin, do you have any rag I can use to clean your seat’

‘shey the seat dirty?’

‘Ehn now’, Moji said gesturing towards the seat.

‘Ah, no vex. Na the dust wey dey fall from on top bridge dey disturb us here. We dey clean our seat’

Moji nodded and sat after he cleaned the seat behind the driver’s. She sat close to the window

She sighed. When will this bus get full? She was the first person to enter the bus.

Later people started coming in and entered farther back. A man dressed in dirty overalls that smelled like engine oil entered and sat beside Moji. Moji hunched forward. She didn’t want to leave the bus smelling like a mechanic. Fortunately, she had applied some good perfume. She wrapped her scarf more tightly around her.
Finally the bus was full. Then the conductor started to collect his money seat by seat. People in the bus started complaining, especially people that had just entered. Moji was disgusted; she had been seated for 40 minutes already and someone that just entered was complaining about delay.

‘E de je ka ma lo. A ma dawo fun yin line by line. Let’s begin to go, we would contribute the money line by line’, said one woman who looked like she was about to devour the conductor.

‘The conductor no dey follow us. Abeg no vex’, said the driver

Moji looked at the time. It was 12:23pm. She had promised Tunde she would be at his house by 1:00pm. She had forgotten to consider all of this- the waiting and even the traffic that they were soon to experience.
Finally the driver wheeled out of the garage. There was so much traffic on the way and Moji felt even more irritable about the harsh sun which burnt on her arms. She applied more protection on her arms. She could feel the eyes of the woman behind her on her. She turned back to find the expression on the woman’s face to be just like, ‘wetin dey do this one. Which kind cream she dey rub for body. Mscheew’

She turned her face back.

She stifled a yawn. It looked like the trip was going to last one and a half hours max. She dozed a bit.

Soon enough she was immediately awaken by screams in the bus in which she was.

The bus had stopped, but they had not gotten to Yaba. In fact they were far from Yaba. They had stopped somewhere she could not even recognize. She cleared the sleepy crust from her eyes and looked at the time. It was 1:15pm. People had begun to alight from the bus and one woman in particular was pulling at the driver’s shirt and saying, ‘wo you go give me my money o!’

Moji felt clammy. She searched through her bag for her handkerchief. It wasn’t there. Oh now she was going to look all oily skinned and she was going to see Tunde. She had even forgotten her powder. What was she thinking? She always liked the dewy look on her face that’s why she didn’t use powder too often, but now her face felt so oily she needed to clean and powder it. She drew in a deep breath and alighted from the bus.
They had had a flat tire, the fuel tank was empty and they were in the middle of nowhere.

‘Give each of us N150 back. If not you go hear wen o!’, one elderly man said behind glasses that looked more like goggles.

‘You no understand. I no get money. Den don collect money from me from garage. Na N1000 I get here. In no go reach all of you’, the driver answered.

The woman who was tugging at his cloth freed him. People were more irate now. The driver looked confused.

After 20 minutes of waiting, people started giving up and cursing the driver. He had refused to give anybody money. Some people started leaving on bikes and some people even called taxis.

Moji stood perplexed. There was no way she was calling a cab. She won’t have enough money on her way back home and neither did leaving on okada sound pleasant. She was wearing a pencil skirt for Pete’s sake!
Well it seemed like a bike was the only thing she could afford. Not many buses were driving past and the ones that did drive past were not going anywhere near Yaba. She started to walk down the road leaving the other perplexed passengers that were still struggling with the driver.

‘Pssst’, she called out to an okada man



‘Ehn wetin, abeg go jo’

The okada man didn’t waste time. He rode away.

‘Okada’, she called out to another bike.

The okada man finally agreed to take her for N200 all the way to the top of Tunde’s street. The only problem was how to sit on the bike with her pencil skirt. She would draw up the skirt, sit on the bike and then cover her black laps with her scarf.

She drew up her skirt and got on the bike. Just then she heard a tearing sound.


‘Wetin happen sister?’

She got down from the bike. She had miscalculated. Hope it wasn’t a large tear o. Curse the spirits that had informed her decision to wear a pencil skirt.

She turned the back of her skirt to the front. Thankfully it was just a very tiny tear. She drew up the skirt even more. She felt ashamed. Well at least not many cars were passing. She didn’t hear any tearing sound again. She wrapped her scarf around her laps and told the okada man to move.

Just then Tunde called. She told him she’d be at his place in 30 minutes. She was nervous. Hope she didn’t look too tired or sleepy or too rough. This Lagos wahala sef.

The okada man gave her a helmet, which she placed on her bag.

‘No sister you go wear am o! Police dey everywhere’

Moji heaved a sigh.


She looked at the inside of the helmet, smelled it and immediately withdrew her nose. It smelled sweaty. More like sweaty underarms. She didn’t have any handkerchief or any other scarf she could place on her head before placing the helmet. She hesitated a bit.

‘Sister oya now. Abi you no wan go again’

Moji placed the helmet on her head, grimacing slightly.

Finally they got near to the top of Tunde’s street. She was about to retrieve her phone and call him to say she was close by when she looked up and saw Tunde standing there at the top of the street smiling at her.
She felt like disappearing in thin air. She freaked out inside of her. Why was he standing there? Did he think she won’t be able to find his house? Was he supposed to see her like this with this smelly helmet on her head, her skirt drawn up almost as far as her hips and her face shining so much? She had hoped she’d have some time to quickly tidy herself up before he saw her.

She told the okada man to stop.

‘Na your boyfriend?’

Moji was annoyed. She muttered under her breath, ‘abeg mind your business’

Tunde walked up to the bike grinning from ear to ear. She got down from the bike carefully. She didn’t want her fine skirt tearing even more.

‘Hey baby’

‘Hi love’, she answered nervously, drawing her skirt down. She was really embarrassed. She didn’t like him seeing her like this.

She removed the helmet from her head hurriedly and immediately caught her reflection in the okada man’s side mirror. Her hair was very rough now and sticking out. She had forgotten her brush. Well this was no time to brush one’s hair, but how she wished. She payed the okada man and started walking with Tunde down to his house

‘How are you babe?’

‘I’m fine, she answered nervously while straightening her hair and trying not to make it obvious that she was doing so.

Tunde laughed. Was he laughing at how ugly she looked? Was he irritated by…?

‘You look so beautiful’. She strained her ears. Was she hearing okay?


‘You are acting all weird. Your hair’s okay. Stop touching it’.

‘……..can’t you see how dirty I look, how rough…’

‘It is you who say so’, he laughed even more. ‘I love your look today’

She sighed in relief. She had been so nervous about seeing him after all the stress she had been through today and here he was saying she looked so beautiful.

She didn’t understand. But she was relieved.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Aunty I dey greet!!!

O ga ooo

Na wa for me o

I can’t even keep up with this blogging thing. It’s been like....(counting)...4 months since my first post. I just wish I could be committed to blogging. I’ve been so busy with stuff and too lazy to write, but I’ve decided that even if it’s once weekly, I’ll post something on this blog.

So here’s my second post :

Greeting as a form of courtesy has been practised since time immemorial. I might not have any substantial evidence, but I know that way before when, man has always used greeting as a way of respecting people, showing them they matter, recognising another’s presence and for any other reason they could think of. I remember being taught in my Yoruba class when I was in primary school how men and women of various occupations and those in different situations are greeted in Yoruba land. To the woman who is a hair plaiter, Yoruba people greet “e ku oge”, to the pregnant woman, “e ku ikunra, a so kale anfaani o”, to the new mother, “e ku ewu omo”, and the list goes on.

Growing up as a child, I was taught by my family and inevitably, society to always show respect to my elders by greeting them and in the proper way too. Whoever one came across on a daily basis, one greeted, especially if the person was an older person. You referred to those who were not your parents, or any of your family at all for that matter as Aunty or Uncle, if they were a woman or man respectively.

However and however, as I’ve grown older and come of age (even if I say so myself) I’ve seen greeting move from being a form of courtesy (which it still is) to being a way of getting people’s attention and getting ‘something’ from them. One particular story my mother told me comes to mind, which I’ve polished a bit to illustrate my point. My mom usually takes her car to some car wash place (a lot of which are springing up quite a lot lately) close to home. She told me about her first experience there. She took her car for washing, fine. On her getting there the boys were so helpful and courteous, ending all of their sentences with ‘ma’. ‘Welcome ma’, ‘How family ma’, ‘Please sit down for a while ma’, ‘It won’t take long ma’, ‘E ku ijooko ma’, ‘should we buy you a drink ma?’, ‘mama the mama’. My mum was overwhelmed by their seeming hospitality, but she was definitely not new to this form of harassment which most people practised under the pretext of being courteous to and greeting one’s elders. She waited patiently as they cleaned the car and threw in an ‘E ku ijooko ma’ once in a while and dispensed good advice to her on how to take care of the car. Finally they were through and my mum was ready to leave. They started again, ‘mummy! Ah you’re going ma’ (apparently!!). My mum said she was so embarrassed with the way they were being so nice and helpful that she reneged on the promise she made to herself previously. She had more or less vowed at the beginning she was not going to give the boys any other money apart from the one meant as payment for washing her car. But, she had no choice. She felt guilty, just a bit. Oh, they made her feel guilty for attempting to leave without leaving a parting gift. To cut the long story short, she gave them an awesome tip that day.

I guess all their manipulative courteousness paid off! I shake my head. Some people are so hilarious!! I love this country!!!! Na real wa ooo.

People at one’s service, especially at their places of work, usually greet not because they are really wishing you a good day or they really want to know how you feel (as least not in this part of the world), but because they want you to drop ‘something’.  We usually experience this when we visit banks or eateries and security men are helping with getting one the ‘best’ parking space or opening the door. They greet you as you enter and as you are leaving. Some of them are not shy at all and will tell you how they really feel, “Aunty I dey greet na; something for the boys’. I love those types. They make me burst into laughter because of their candid attitude.

Anyways me I used to think I was still a small geh and that there was no way anyone was going to try to manipulate money out of my hands, when until recently I learnt the opposite. I recently just finished working at a community pharmacy as part of my training and during my stay there those security people did not give me any rest o. I would have thought they would be ashamed to ask a small geh like me, what with my stature and all, for money. But they were not o, even as old as they were. Well I never gave them money and I’m proud to say so, for after all they are paid for their job!!

I’m not wicked joor..

But that still doesn’t mean it’s every one that greets that way that wants ‘something’ from one. I’ve been guilty of judging some people that way until I realise they honestly just wanted to greet me.


That was long. Anyways bye for now


Friday, 24 June 2011

It's official!!

So, I've decided to start my own blog.

The first time I really got interested in starting a blog is........ Oh I can't remember. But I've noticed there are a lot of blogs and it would just seem like I'm following the trend. The real reason I've decided to start a blog is because it's fun, it exposes one to a lot, I can get some of the stuff I write on the Web without having to worry about them possibly erasing if my laptop ever crashes (Hopefully it won't. But it has once) and lastly and most importantly, because I JUST LOVE TO WRITE!!

I've been writing since I could say 'da da' (baby voice). Okay that's just exaggerating. But seriously I think I've been writing since I could read. From little sentences, to short stories and hopefully one day I'll publish a book. I loved writing all those 'My Best Friend' and 'My Family' compositions in Primary School and then in Secondary School more serious essays. I LOVE WORDS. I always liked when it was time to have Dictation exercises in class. I always did very well (even if I say so myself).

Anyways let me cut the long story short.

It's official!! I'm now a blogger. Yay me!!