The Nigerian woman is a peculiar being…
To be a Nigerian woman, you can’t get too angry. You’ll never be able to get rid of that label no matter how many smiles and triumphs follow after that one time you matched a subordinate’s disrespect word-for-word once you got fed up of hearing him say, “I have a wife like you at home, you know!”
From that day forward, you shall shall henceforth be labelled “the angry black woman” who is perpetually embittered with the world. When people hurt you, you are expected to smile, wish God’s love upon their lives and take the whole episode in with warmth and calm. No more.
If you are robbed, raped, accused falsely… if an Ex throws the word “slut” in your face, you cower, you cry, you call him and ask “why?”. You do not throw back the words- “dickhead” and “cunt neophyte”, no! None of that. You pray for him and you walk around quietly so as not to disturb the peace of the earth.
To be a Nigerian woman, you cannot be too ambitious. This would mean that you are avoiding other more important things like having a husband and popping out a few good children. Any ambition beyond that is almost ridiculous and would be met with a lot of nodding heads trying to empathise with your predicament. It is impossible to expect the Nigerian woman to find fulfilment behind a desk when she should be craving the weight of a man on top of her, pummelling her virtue to shape and bestowing her with crystal seeds for the amazing process of reproduction. Any other ambition is secondary to the sex you must have with a husband that must produce smart kids.
Your ambition is a distraction from the food you must cook and matrimonial floors that must be kept clean. Your ambition irritates everyone. People want to see you at the immunisation centre clutching your healthy, almost obese African child with happiness that subdues everything around it; people want to see you with hair-net on by 7.52am cruising with jolly kids as you drive to school. There’s completeness to such women. The ones we find rushing to work by 6am are met with smiles of sympathy; that God be kind and answer her prayer for a husband.
Work does not complete the Nigerian woman. A man does.
Look at Genevieve Nnaji for instance; she needs to get married because, can’t you see, all of her success falls like a pack of cards beside the other-Nigerian-woman with five children, a husband and a big kitchen.
To be a Nigerian woman, you cannot have opinions. She is seen but not heard. What have you got to say? Whatever you have to say is already in the Bible; go and read it.
Can you not read and imagine how upset St. Paul must have been to see women without scarves on their heads or padlocks to their lips? Have you not heard, oh ye stubborn Nigerian women, that your hair is an ugly mess of wool nesting the earth’s dirt? Please cover it up. And while you are at it, close your mouth. If you have anything to say, turn to your right and speak to your husband. If you are unfortunate to have none, please turn to your left and seek the counsel of any man- be it a plumber, a carpenter, an executive, a vulcanizer, a palm-wine tapper, a chief; pour your question into his ears and let him translate your babble to the understanding of the rest of the world.
Save the world from your womanliness.
To be a Nigerian woman, you must desire the approval of every single individual you come across. Their assessment of you is what will determine how much of a woman you are. Like the okada you take every morning. When the Okada man drives like a drunken goat, just stay calm and hold on to his shirt. Inhale the sweat on his back and let him drive you to heights unbelievable. When you alight, with a gentle spirit, tell him to go forth into the world and drive with caution.
You never know where he’d be next- probably at the bar near your house having a drink. One day you’ll walk by, and he’ll see you again. He’ll turn to the man next to him wearing a nice watch, and tell him how much of a Nigerian woman you are- how warm your breast felt behind his back during that rough ride, how smooth the words fell out of your mouth; and your rotund buttocks- how one flesh slapped against the other in rhythmic accord. The next-man-wearing-a-nice-watch will then leave all behind- plates of pepper soup and bottles of Gulder, and follow you into the night with hopes of nuptial bliss.
You don’t believe me? Go and ask Nigerians how they get married; is it not by referrals?
“Ah! That woman is a very calm and godly woman. Yesterday a man fondled her breast and she turned with tears in her eyes and asked, “but why?” and went her way as calm as a dove. Such virtue, I have never seen. She deserves a husband.”
Followed by the Nigerian chorus, “eeeyaaah! Such a godly thing.”
To be a Nigerian woman, you must be able to accept and suck in everything that happens to you.
When your man tells you to leave your job because he thinks corporate women are promiscuous, you accept without question. Well, you can cry a tear and then pray about it; when you are done, you keep your certificate safe in your mother’s wardrobe, return to matrimony and become a fulltime house-madam gaining happy weight.
To be a Nigerian woman, you must fit in. When you walk into the presence of praying mothers, for instance, asking God for a boy child after six girls, you join in prayer. Do not ask stupid questions.
When they tell you to buy Ankara and travel to the village with the “other wives” in the family for the burial of your husband’s fifth cousin’s stepmother’s brother’s cat, you buy that damn Ankara and go bury the cat!
When they instruct you to drink the water used to wash a dead body in the family to confirm your innocence, you do it. Lick the cup and belch with satisfaction.
To be a Nigerian woman, you must find everything away from your wonderful existence a mystery.
“Ha! So Chichi travelled to Dubai and left her husband alone for three days?! Three whole days! Na wa! If he cheats on her, who will blame him?!”
“Ehen! Do you know Bola bought that jewellery without her husband’s consent? Why would she do that?!”
“Wow! Can you see that Esther is driving a bigger car than her husband’s? How arrogant! Shouldn’t she give the man the bigger car and collect the smaller one? There she is driving around feeling cool. Sad!”
You see, I was going to write about the Nigerian Woman, but I ended up talking about the Nigerian Married Woman.
So I have come to this conclusion: the Nigerian Woman is nothing except she be married.
Cheers to all the arguments you wish to have on this subject that interest me…NOT.
Follow sabinews on twitter @sabinewsnaija.