Hey guys, it’s not business as usual by Chinyere Obi-Obasi

Hey guys, it’s not business as usual by Chinyere Obi-Obasi

‘The Conversation’ held at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja on 7th of June 2014. It was organized by an NGO and anchored by Joy Isi Bewaji. The aim of the program, I believe, was to get all of us talking on issues bordering on relationships between men and women.The Conversation

The hall was filled to the brim. Though I expected a higher number of people than I met. I met a lot of facebook friends and as you stood up to announce your name, there was excitement from people who  have been reading you. A lot of the speakers were either separated or divorced and the population that came were young people; a lot of whom were ready to enter into marriage and of course looking for answers to the many questions bothering them.

I went with my first daughter Adaeze who was covering the occasion by taking photographs and my 9 year ‘handbag’ Nedu. Nedu is an extra intelligent girl who I know understood a lot of the adult things going on. At the end of the day, I wanted to test her knowledge and asked her, Nedu what did you understand? She said I understood that divorce can be bad or good depending on the circumstances.I was happy that The Conversation held. I wish also that there will be more conversations. I wish however that there were more men than women. The average woman is the conversation2already bombarded with many articles aimed at getting her to fix herself for a man who it appears from the tone of these articles does not need to do anything. The woman has to learn and accept these men warts and all. Of course the men expect she undergoes changes for him. There are so many strange headings;

  • how to make a man happy?
  • Want your husband not to stray do these ten things?
  • The ways to reach your husband.
  • A happy home depends on you doing these ten things.


Maybe at first the women were reading these things and working hard at them but now, they are beginning to question. They are beginning to wonder. Did they not say it takes two to tango? Am I not a human being too? Why do they say I can multitask and my husband cannot? Are we not from the same womb? What exactly does this submission mean? Is it slavery? Is it keeping quiet when I should talk?

I want to announce to the men including my 11 years old son Chukwu Chukwu, it is no longer business as usual.

The years of subjugation during which we left the women with no choices are no longer here. The current women now have legions of examples of women who said enough was enough and walked away and are living happily. You can call it end times or whatever you want.

Yes I am a Christian, a born again, and I recognize these things. I also know like people in the meeting remarked, submission is not subjugation or slavery. Again the bible said submit one to another. Yes. All men take note. If you are intending to marry, take note  and if you are already married take note.

The women I met yesterday are a reflection of this growing army of women saying, look, we are not like some of our mothers who pined away in silence. Some of our mothers, who had many children and fed this ‘lazy, draft playing’ men. Our mothers who had scant education and little economic power. Our mothers who suffered plenty of abuse in the hands of their husbands and with no place to go and knowing they wouldnot get any sympathy from the society, stayed in their marriages, pined away and died.

We are different we are educated, we are resourceful and sometimes rich. We know our rights and we intend to stick to them. If you think that multitasking is in our blood think again. It is in your own blood too. Hey why can’t you fix a meal? Why can’t you work and make money? Why cant you take care of a home too? Why is it me that has to kneel and apologize.

These women are smoking hot. They have heard, they have read stories of battered dead women. Stories of women generously given HIV by their irresponsible husbands hiding under the cloak of African men are polygamous. They have read stories of jobless men living off their wives and still demanding to be treated like Prince Charles and they are saying, hell no. Those women died with their generation. Don’t ask me if I approve. I am just telling you what is going on. Those class of women who kneel down and serve you drinks are gone. Maybe not totally gone. They have become endangered species.

I don’t know whether you the men like it or not but while you slept and dreamt of the past, radical changes took place. You must therefore wake up from these dreams and face real life situations. It is time to listen to these women who are saying, we are going to be good wives the best you can ever have but hey, fulfill your own side of the bargain.

That image of a wife that you have in your head must be erased and forgotten because we have erased the images of the suffering women of old and replaced them with images of confident women who understand the times. Well that was the message I think I got from the conversation and the media space.

So men start your own conversation now. Hire people to write and tell you the 10 things you need to do to make your woman happy. The 30 things you need to do to satisfy your woman and the 15 things you need to do to keep your wife from straying.

My conclusion; no bi small thing.

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photos courtesy #the conversation and Bunmi Adedipe

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  1. Mute

    The only issue I have with such meetings is that it does not solve the problem. There is nowhere in the world where divorce is a good thing. Yes I recommend divorce when it is obvious that the marriage is not and will not work. But that does not make divorce a good thing. So at the age of nine you have already started indoctrinating your daughter with the wrong gospel.

    My suggestion. The next time these separated and divorced women gather before single ladies, let them teach them how not to get married to the wrong man. Let them share the red flags they saw in their spouses and ignored that later became a thorn in their flesh. That will be a step in the right direction.

  2. Victor

    Let me commend the effort made during the Conversation, but must add that the general views being projected as the bases for a wake up call may not be sustained as balanced. The impression appears to diminish the distinct and generous virtues of most of our mothers that distinguished themselves while applying the principle of true love in their lives and marriages . It must be recognised that true virtue supports a fruitful relationship; whether we celebrate our freedom or right we must recognise the true nature of love in every context and its reward. In the words of Fulton J. Sheen “the more the soul is clothed with virtue, the less is the need for outer compensation.” And “No one sins against love without hurting himself” or herself if I may add. He went on to add “….This fidelity is not born of habit which is akin to organic or economic necessity, rather, it is an affirmation that this person has an absolute significance for life. This kind of zeal not only crushes all alien biological desires; it also is based on the fact that the other person is the one whom God has willed for us, ‘for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, until death do us part'”. In the words of Europides, “he is not a lover who does not love forever” .
    We must recognise that life is not entirely under a self or selfish control but requires a calling with courage to do good and recognise the God factor and presence, without allowing irresponsible suffering or death. We need courage and the virtue of true love in our lives to show and practice love in marriage and other relationships. In context, let us be reminded of Shakespeare’s words as reflected by Sheen:
    “Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove:
    O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
    That looks on tempest, and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

    Love is not Timer’s fool, though rossy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle’so compass come:
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
    If this be error, and upon me prov’d,
    I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.”

    We must act with the desired zeal and courage in love as against pretence and ordinary calculations. Marriage is a mystery manifested in human act requiring Divine service of one another. I agree with Chinyere on the matter that ‘ee..’, “… no bi small thing”. However I must in conclusion commend to all the words of Fulton Sheen that “…in marriage, therefore, there should be a generosity that goes quite beyond the limits of justice”.


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