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« Governor Kalu of Abia State Should Shut Up! | Main | Foreign Accounts is where Revenue Allocation Goes: Ask Governor Alamasiegha of Bayelsa State »

September 21, 2005

The Long Cold Winter Again

by Uche Nworah (London, UK) --- London’s long drawn summer is gradually coming to an end, this eventual transition to the cold winter months will obviously evoke certain feelings amongst folks living in London, most especially Nigerians and other African immigrants who may have grown up in the sunshine continent. These feelings may be those of nostalgia, despair, loneliness and even satisfaction, yes, satisfaction! Especially for those of us that have recently done the 1 +1 = 1 equation, so at least there is a nightly assurance of a second pair of feet to warm one’s cold set under the quilt. This ‘no shaking’ feeling is one that brothers and sisters have long yearned for.

Along the way, they may have adopted several strategies, and consulted many oracles and pastors, but then for many still waiting to exhale, this coming winter will be another cold and bitter reminder of the futility of self endeavour in searching for a life partner, wife or husband. It may lead to the re-awakening in the subconscious of the need for a total surrender to the Almighty and for His will to be done.

The spirit of the cold season has also made me to reflect on my brother, Sabella Abidde’s many writings. In his In search of a wife piece, he narrates the story of the four women in his life (Annabelle, Ebierere, Mikoyanna and Fatima), and the joys (sorrows, any?) they all give him. He appears to have his hands full I would say, and seem content with the juggling act, ride on brother!

But something deep inside tells me that this may be another example of men behaving badly, just like we all did in our days of ‘ignorance’. There are some risks, or danger in ticking women off, as if on a shopping list, we can’t expect to eat our cake and still hope to find it later in the fridge. Sabella after stating the reasons why none of his four women will make the ultimate wife for him throws in the icing on the cake by saying that, ‘The ability to engage in hallucinogenic sex would be a bonus!’ Well, I am sure there will be lots of women out there who will love to hear this, and who may be interested in being Sabella’s wife, so please, if you are reading this and you know anyone, kindly pass on their details to him, but please just don’t forward the names of any of my friends, sisters or cousins.

This is not personal against Sabella, but from the part of Africa where we are from, there are still some levels of decency and morality left, though they may be remnants. Sabella writes that he has been divorced now for eight years, but I am wondering if maybe he is not already brewing for himself another recipe for disaster if we are to go partly by his expectations from a potential wife, I also wonder how great my brother’s libido will be and how flexible his waist will be in the coming years, when the engines which have been working overtime start to slow down, and he can no longer indulge actively, what will be the fate of the woman then? Meanwhile, I would love to know how these four women thanked Brother Sabella for this ‘kiss and tell’ expose. Did they come back begging for more?

I belong to the old school, such that my sojourn abroad hasn’t taken away my taste for Onubu (bitter leaf soup), the type that my mum cooks with ogiri (a native spice) ede (cocoyam), okporoko (stockfish) and ukwu nama (cow leg), argue it anyway you like but I don’t believe that any male cook anywhere, not even those pretenders and regular winners of Maggi national cooking competitions in Nigeria can cook bitter leaf soup better than an Igbo woman, and so I wasn’t ever in doubt where my wife was going to come from. And so when I read my brother Sabella’s other piece titled why do African men go home to marry?, I not only chuckled but also wondered aloud if maybe Brother Sabella is not slowly carving a niche for himself as an authority and avid writer on issues relating to Nigerian wives, husbands and marriages. This assumption is supported by Sabella’s other writings, for example Nigerian men and their foreign wives, The problem with African men and The problem with single African women. I honestly don’t think that my brother, Sabella is doing himself any favours amongst Nigeria’s many singletons; he appears to be seriously on their case; rightly or wrongly.

In response to Sabella’s question of why brothers go back home to marry, well, I can only say that it may be in conformity with their plans for the future, some of us don’t particularly want to retire in Europe and America, if we all do, then who will drink those freshly tapped palm wine in our villages?.

I believe in the law of natural selection, that like attracts like, my friend Precious Osuala would argue that water will always find its level, As I understand it, there are advantages, and disadvantages of marrying a Nigerian wife or an Oyibo wife, but it is just about a question of choosing the lesser ‘evil’ (apologies to the women). Some of us saw the light a long time ago, how our relatives that studied in Europe and America in the 50s and 60s came back to Nigeria with their degrees and foreign wives, most of these women have since gone back to their countries, and the men? Well, the brave ones have since re-married while the rest are still walking about with sullen and sunken faces, plus the broken hearts, this obviously is not the situation that one wants to find himself when the sun sets.

This is not to say that I have got issues with mixed race marriages, for me, it is a
question of who wills, then let him. Just like my younger brother Charles did, but then
wait till you hear about this incident which happened recently.

It was his daughter’s first birthday anniversary, a thing of joy normally in traditional
African families. My brother had planned a small party on behalf of his lovely
daughter and had invited family and friends. I went along as big brother and uncle
with my wife, and also with a few friends I had invited on my own. My sister
Chinyere had laboured all day to prepare pepper soup, fried and jollof rice, plus other
Delicacies for the party. The party was billed for 5 pm but we all got there for 6 pm,
which by our own ‘African time’ standard was still early.

Halfway into the party, just when we were about to pounce on the different
orishirishi on offer, we received a marching order from my brother’s wife to leave the
house, yes, all of us were commanded to leave, else the metropolitan police will be
summoned. Now, I still didn’t know what pained me the most, the insult? Or the food
that I couldn’t eat?. Any way, we took it in our stride and left knowing that we had
visited what had happened upon ourselves, The Igbos have a proverb which says that
the man who gathers ant infested firewood also throws an open invitation for the
lizards to come out and feast.

Uche Nworah is a freelance writer and lives in London.

Posted by Administrator at September 21, 2005 06:14 AM


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