Shoboroko says “Nigerian parents are at it again!”

So this story caught my attention on the Aunty Bella feature on Bella Naija, and for the first time in a while I had nothing to say……..or may be I do (we shall find out). I do not understand why, and how, Nigerian parents have come to believe that their opinions are extremely important when it comes to who their child chooses as a spouse *eyes rolling*.  Just the other day, I was telling my mum about a wedding I was going to attend, and somehow the conversation swayed to how the groom was from Delta state. As soon as I said Delta, she did the God forbid it thing ( you know that thing where they hold their thumb and middle finger together on one hand, take the hand around their head in an anticlockwise motion and then snap – yh that one!) and she said “me, I don’t like that one. people from that side are very wicked”- like fam, am I getting married for you?!

See me see trouble o! who told her its her choice? and what exactly makes her think that she can dictate the tribe I marry from? Anyway today is not about my mum (that will require a whole blog series), so lets not get lost in the stew, let me give you a summary of this lady’s situation.

Miss Bella is an Indian potato, who found love, during her masters degree programme, with a Nigerian cookie. Without informing his parents, Naija cookie decides to propose to this Indian potato, who at that time had already spent a holiday with his family….then katakata bursts! His family want him to marry a girl who is from the same village, and clearly she is not even the same nationality, talk less village (and no! they don’t want her to do some karishika moves to become a member of their village, after existing as an indian for 28 years)…….eeewwwwoooo! Naija cookie loves his potato, as such he has fought his family over this issue. I guess this experience is what triggered FOB’s memory that Nigerian in laws are wicked, anyway, now he is also against the union of this potato and her cookie. The wedding preparations are still in going on, but as a result of this brouhaha, Indian potato has asked Bella Nigerians for advice on what to do. Shoboroko being an active member of this wonderful group, Bella Nigerians, has decided to give her own opinion.

Dear Miss:His family does not want us to get married,

  1. Press PAUSE – Wedding and marriages are an investment –  a lot of expenses – and so before you continue to invest in something that won’t yield your principal(your emotional dedication & money) talk less of the interest (happily ever after & a bella naija wedding), you should pause wedding preparations. This is not an eternal pause, no!, it is to give you time to re-evaluate how much this relationship is worth. You have said his family is strongly opposed to this marriage, and your parents, who initially agreed, are starting to think otherwise. This means that if you decide go ahead with the marriage, it is possible that both parent will remain opposed to your union…..not a great sign!
  2. ‘What Kind of man is he?’ have you even asked yourself that question? Family can be very useful in questioning a man’s behavior. Can you honestly vouch that he will never treat you badly or that there are other people outside of his family who he respects and listens to?……think deeply. You do not want to end up in a situation where he starts behaving badly and there is no one who you can ask to talk to him…….if you have not heard things gets spiritual sharply in Nigeria! 
  3. There is no point in trying to force them like you – you have to realise that it is not something you have done that has caused their hostile behavior, rather, it the fact that you are not what they expected for their son….and so, you can beg from now till rapture comes, it will change absolutely nothing!
  4. Beware of RESENTMENT. He may decide that he wants to go ahead with the marriage i.e. he is willing to become totally estranged from his family for you guys to be able to continue with this marriage. Really and truly, he may mean it, but he is only human. He can love you  more than life itself, but deeply resent you for leading him to have to make that choice and this hint of resentment may only become visible when there are little cracks in your marriage. What I am trying to say is, it is not enough to get him to thoroughly convince you that he is ok with this decision, go to COUNSELLING. In counseling, will be able to work through this situation until you are both happy with your decisions
  5. kill them with kindness – How do I cope once we get married e.g. at family functions? is a question, I am sure, is running through your mind. And you may also think that staying away from such events is the best way to go about it, but you’re wrong. In the comment section of the Aunty Bella post, someone said “kill them with kindness”, and I couldn’t say more or better…………on to number 6!
  6. What is life without taking risks: Love indeed is most important and sometimes it can be worth risking all, but imagine Love as a brick wall, and all the other little things, like finances & family, as nails. Every time any such issues arise, a nail is hammered into the wall. Sometimes, these nails are hit strong enough to chip off little bits of the brick, overtime, enough bits to form a block will have chipped off, and the entire wall will start to breakdown. 



Facades – Part 3: Her

Yes, I said finishing school! According to him, that was all that could make my lack of a pedigree, somewhat, better. Imagine your father-in-law to be saying that to you in your presence. This and the fact that his mother and sisters never liked me, is why reporting him to his family was impossible. He tells his mother everything, one thing that always leaves me rolling my eyes – like when he told her the sex of our first child against my instructions, and so I know she probably already knows about her. I cannot believe that I once thought that he was a man’s man with utmost regard for his mother and by extension all women, but now I see him as no more than a 42-year-old mamas boy.

We were a very close family, not just because of the limited space we had in our one bedroom apartment but because we had love. I remember my father massaging my mothers feet while watched soap operas at night and I remember how much effort my mother put into preparing my fathers clothes and food before he went to work. Tunde and I started out in a similar fashion. I remember an instance while we were dating, when I had to go on an official trip for two days and I came back to meet a very hungry Tunde. It was no hidden fact that Tunde could not cook, but at least I expected he’ll eat at his parents. Turns out all Mr. K had eaten was Suya all under the excuse that he was looking forward to my cooking. That night, I made him my minced meat spaghetti and he did not fail to show his appreciation with the love he showered me after. I used to derive joy in cooking for him, as my mother also did. Now, I no longer cook for him on my on terms, it’s usually forced in order to save my face from another trip down to the Kola Walter-Smith gallery.

My mother was a petty trader, a business that sustained the family while we waited for my father’s employers to pay him and in times after my father had exhausted his salary. My mother never spent any of the profit she made from her business directly, instead she gave them to him first – it was like she was a shopkeeper who was paid on commission. I remember my 5-year-old self once asked her why she did that and she said “I started the business with his money, so he owns all of the profit for now”.

Iye e always preached submission to me. One day, mama Risi, who lived in the shack next to our’s was shouting at her husband accusing him of cheating, Iye e said to me in Yoruba “look how she is shouting at the poor man, I don’t blame him for cheating on her. Husbands are supposed to be Lords, so a woman should never be caught screaming at her husband”. Back then I took whatever Iye e said as gold and now, even when she is no longer around I still do and I wish I didn’t.

“She is here to stay, so you had better behave yourself” Tunde said to me the first time he brought her home. It was two weeks after the kids went to school. Initially, she was here only a couple of nights during the week and on those days I stayed in my room. That only worked until one day he told me that I had to entertain her whenever she came around. I wanted to tell him off but I remembered Iye e words and I kept mute. Every time she came around, I organised with Victor, the cook to extensively entertain her. I did not have anything against her, after all she was not the one who married me, neither is she the one who is giving the rounds of pounding.

Every time I want to voice out my opinion, I hold back because I feel it will go against what Iye e had told me. But I how long I can keep this going.

Facades – Part 2: His..tory

I grew up in abject poverty. I mean abject poverty, my brain got me educated and that was my only savior.

My parents died when I was 9 in a car accident. I was sent to live with my blind maternal grandmother, Iye e. My mother was her only daughter and after her death, there was no one to take care of Iye e, plus she had the added burden of taking care of me, and so we took to begging on the streets. We lived in a shack in the Amukoko slums of Lagos with almost nothing and all the proceeds from our begging was dedicated to paying for my education. We ate anything edible, often times what we were gifted whilst begging and on days we did not receive anything edible, we ate whatever we picked in dustbins, plucked on trees or went to bed hungry.

At the end of my secondary education, I was awarded a two full scholarships to study economics one at the University of Ghana and the other in a University in the United Kingdom. I decided to stay closer to home by taking the one in Ghana. That summer before I left, I worked at a shop in the afternoon and hawked akara at night to make money to hire a help for Iye e whilst I was away. Iye e died when I was in my third year from a lung infection she never told me she had, for the fear of adding to my burden. From then on I became alone until I met Babatunde.

Whilst I was younger, I promised myself that my children will never have to suffer the same experiences that I did. In University, I sold male clothes part – time. One day, a trusted friend lured me into his house by promising to give me the amount he owed me and raped me. I did not want my son to ever have to pick food off the streets before he ate, neither did I want my daughter to be lured to rape before she could feed herself. I wanted them to have all the opportunities I never did, so don’t blame me for staying.

I attended Amukoko government school for my primary and secondary education while Tunde attended St. Saviours school, Ikoyi and Kings College respectively. He lived in a mansion in one of the most affluent neighborhoods, Ikoyi, and got a Peugeot as his first car at the age of 18, I inhabited a shack in Amukoko, an overpopulated and dangerous ghetto . His first job was as a manager at one of the leading professional services companies while mine was hawking akara(bean cake). His father was a Minister of Finance, or as it was known in those times a Finance secretary, while mine struggled to make ends meet doing menial jobs. Summary of the story is that he had a pedigree and I did not even have one, talkless of a bad one, so how did we meet?

I met Babatunde during my service year. Then, I worked in the same company that he did at that time. It was refreshing to find someone from a very wealthy background who was as ambitious to be a success on his own. I fell for him almost immediately, although I was a bit apprehensive about dating him considering he was 27 and I was 20, and we were from totally different backgrounds but he managed to convince me. He was my first boyfriend, and nine months into our relationship he proposed to me and I accepted. By the time I had turned 22, we were married and I was pregnant with our first child, Junior.

I find it difficult to reconcile the Tunde who fought his dad for his permission to marry me without having to go to finishing school in Switzerland, with this wife beater. At the time, I knew I was marrying one of the most eligible bachelors of Lagos but not once did he ever make me feel like I was any less than he or that I was disadvantaged because of my background. I remember him boasting of my brains to his friends, and even when they talked to him about marrying a girl with no pedigree, he ignored them. Through out the time we dated, he hardly ever got upset with me, and even when he did, not once did he hit me. And so I wondered for a long time what I did to change him?

Facades – Part 1: Our Life

For the better part of the last 6 hours, I am unable to wipe the smile off my face. But I guess that’s what spending time with your kids and then reminiscing about every moment you have had them since you birthed them, does to you. I was so proud when I found out Junior and Ewa came third and first respectively – no doubt they took after me. I remember the look of disappointment on Feyike ,an old classmate, wore when I told her I was only a house wife at 35. I have become overly familiar with that expression  but who I don’t really blame her and the others. ‘Efiko extraordinaire’, my nick name  back then because I had so much potential and even I knew it. 

I feel cold, cold with sadness, as I realise what on great opportunities I missed out on for what I thought was something, LOVE. Cold, ice-cold, at first my heart was frozen and now its on the floor in a million pieces. My LOVE for him, I now equate to the cataract in Iye’s eyes, although she could not see me, she could sense my emotions. Similarly, my love for him stopped me from seeing it, I still sensemy stupidity. 

Continue reading “Facades – Part 1: Our Life”

It’s a Shorelicious Monday…..

Dear readers of the 365 blog,

Today is a very special day for sooooo many reasons;

1. It’s the first day in the month of May

2. It’s the first month in the second quater of this year

3. It’s a Monday when Nigerians don’t have to go to work

4. It’s is a day that celebrates all professional workers

5. It’s the second day of the GT banks food and drinks fair 2017, and…………… all must go:)

But most importantly….

SHORELICIOUS is going to be at the GT bank food and drinks fair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will describe shorelicious in instagram language – #madeinNigeria #sweetbuthealthy #fitfam #soulcompanion……get it! It’s a must try!!!!!!!

Their range of products currently includes;

All of which, I 100% approve of……….So make it a shorelicious monday at the GT food and drinks fair. Kindly leave comments below on your Shorelicious experience, follow shorelicious on instagram @Shorelicious and stay tuned to the 365 blog for a review of each product.


The 365 blog…..