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Category Archives: Relationships

Stephanie and Josh: Love’s Growing Pains III

Stephanie and Josh: Love’s Growing Pains

Stephanie and Josh: Love’s Growing Pains II

“Hey Steph,” Josh began, jolting Stephanie back to reality away from her flurry of thoughts; “I want to tell you that I am actually happy to see you again.  You are looking very stunning by the way” Josh said in a soft measured tone. It was as if in the stillness of that evening’s drive, Josh had begun to think seriously about his future with Stephanie. He took a sideways glance at her and smiled.

“Thanks, you are not bad-looking yourself. All you need is to take a shower after and you’d be as radiant as I used to remember” Stephanie said smiling.

The discussions flowed from there as they began to talk in somber and serious tones about their present lives. Stephanie spoke about her company dramatically downsizing and letting a significant number of former employees leave. She spoke about how her drive and work ethic were the only things that helped to persuade her employers to keep her even though she took a little pay cut to retain her position. She also wasn’t too happy with the fact that they moved her away from New York City. But with the spate of firings going on around her as businesses began to crumble and disappear, she thought it best to remain with a guaranteed job until she could find something better. After all, it wasn’t as though she was not earning enough money to be very comfortable. She suggested rather comically, while looking at Josh, that it was providence that brought her back to Indiana, for she queried, if she hadn’t returned, how indeed they could be having this date.

Josh listened attentively and smiled whenever Stephanie chuckled. In his mind, he was remembering the spontaneous and free-spirited woman he used to love. As the discussions carried on, it became clearer to Josh that she was still fun to hang out with.

He looked sideways again at Stephanie who had strangely fallen silent, staring intently, as he began to talk about himself. This was because the cute smile on his face had disappeared and was replaced with a sad, somewhat pained expression. It was as if he was having great difficulty expressing himself. That keen expression struck a familiar chord in her. It was that same dazed, innocent and painfully-obvious look that he had when she first met him in New York.

He began by narrating about the loss of his mother to cancer the year before and how it completely devastated him and his only sister. Then he recounted the stress of his job, and how it severely impinged on his social life. He talked about his desire to leave Indiana for one of the really big cities out there where he could actually get to enjoy life in between the hectic hours at his current job of saving lives. Then he spoke of a recent heart surgery that he and his medical crew performed which failed to save a young girl—how the loss of that poor girl’s life sent him into throes of sadness and guilt for many days. It didn’t even help matters that he did not have a serious dedicated woman in his life at that time to help him out in his time of great emotional distress.

As he spoke in such soft earnest tones, he struck a sympathetic figure that Stephanie’s heart went out to him. She fell in love all over again. Here was a man who is loved and respected amongst his colleagues, adored by many, and who could probably boast of having accomplished quite a lot in his life; here was a man who had many beautiful young women eager to date him—so eager in fact that they could practically do anything to curry his favor. Here was a man that was always full of smiles and laughter and an easy-going disposition as though he had no cares in the world! But despite all that anyone could have said about him positively, he was altogether vulnerable—behind the laughter and the chuckles was a man who had deep worries and concerns, and who was clearly in need of a good woman to love and support him when it mattered.

That at least was the impression that Stephanie got as she watched the keen face talking at length about his personal life. Suddenly overcome with great feeling, she gently placed a hand on Josh’s hand which was resting on the car’s gear.

“Look Josh, I have no right to suddenly appear out of nowhere to tell you what you should do with your life. However, I think you need a woman who cares for you to be by your side when it counts; someone to reassure you that everything is going to be okay” Stephanie said slowly trying to mask the depth of feeling she was experiencing.

“Thanks sweetheart” Josh began. What? He called her sweetheart? Stephanie’s heart skipped a beat because it was the first time Josh had used such an affectionate term to address her since she came back to home. As a matter of fact, Stephanie felt the sincerity in his voice at the moment, for it sounded not like those casual terms of endearment that people might regularly bounce around their supposed paramours.

“I agree with you Steph. I don’t know what I could have done if Katie was not around all this while” Josh said emphatically.

“Katie? Who is Katie?” Stephanie shot back quickly, slyly moving her hand away to her forehead as if trying to scratch an imaginary itch.

“What do you mean? Don’t you remember Katie? I was merely agreeing to the sentiment that I needed someone around when times were rough. Katie was there for me” Josh answered with an air of aloofness as though he did not realize what Stephanie was getting at.

“You must forgive me, but I don’t quite remember that you’ve ever mentioned this Katie to me. What, is she your girlfriend or something?” Stephanie asked trying to sound somewhat amused.

“Catherine—my younger sister Katie. She’s been living with me for a while” Josh replied with a smile.

“Ohh, you cheeky devil!” Stephanie shot back in relief as she playfully smacked his arm.

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Iwe – Flavour’s Tribute to MC Loph

Obiajulu Kenneth Nwaozor a.k.a MC Loph

Obiajulu Kenneth Nwaozor popularly known as MC Loph—one of Nigeria’s rising indigenous crooners, and a dear friend to Flavour N’Abania—was returning to his hometown of Ugwuaro in Anambra state from Lagos State, in the company of his only sister and sibling Chinwe, and his fiancée on September 14 of this year, when he crashed his newly acquired SUV at Benin-Ore road. He died with his sister before help came. He was returning home to his parents in order that they could go about the normal Igbo traditional marriage rites to be fully married to his fiancée when this most unfortunate thing happened to rob some grieving parents of their only children.

This is a very tragic loss to the Nigerian music industry, and it represents yet another example of precious lives that are lost on Nigeria’s dangerous roads—roads which are in dire need of serious repair, but which have consistently been ignored by the state and federal government.  How many lives would be swallowed by Nigeria’s ugly death traps pretending to be highways before a tough-minded dedication towards road rehabilitation occurs?

At any rate, MC Loph and his sister were buried on October 28, 2011. It wasn’t surprising therefore that Flavour dropped a soul-stirring and emotional farewell tribute to a dearly beloved friend. Here, I’ll try to translate the song as faithfully as I can, and in as much detail as is required to help any non-Igbo speakers understand what’s being said. The original words of the song are in bold; I’ll underline the direct translation of the original lyrics into English. To further expand, I’ll give a background or contextual deeper explanation in curly brackets. You may discover that you’d have to listen to this song several times while you read the translations for it to adequately sink in.

MC Loph is fondly remembered for his hit song ‘Osondi Owendi’ which was itself a remixed tribute to the late great king of highlife music Chief Stephen Osadebe.

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Here’s Why She Won’t Ask

Shy Woman--She's definitely thinking something but just won't say.

On Bunibuni Facebook group page, Misweetie suggests:

‎13 things a girl wants, but won’t ask for:

1. Touch her waist. 2. Actually talk to her. 3. Share secrets with her. 4. Give her your hoodie. 5. Kiss her slowly. 6. Hug her. 7. Hold her. 8. Laugh with her. 9. Invite her somewhere. 10. Hangout with her and your friends together. 11. Smile with her. 12. Take pictures with her. 13. Pull her onto your lap. Boys repost this if you would ACTUALLY do it. Girls repost this if you would love a boyfriend like that.

1. No, she won’t want you to be grabbing her waist anytime you feel like in public. Guys don’t buy this especially if you are not even her BF. She’ll more than likely shove you off angrily, call you a pervert or call the cops. She only wants to her waist to be grabbed when she is in a tender sexual or romantic mood, not whenever you feel like it.

2. No, what a girl wants is for you to listen. That’s what they complain that guys don’t do. She is perfectly capable of talking all by herself till your ears bleed. All you have to do is sit there and pretend to listen.

3. Guys, the only reason she may be afraid to ask you to share a secret with her is because, if you reverse the positions and ask her to tell her own related secret experience, it would turn out to be a disaster for her. For example, she will be afraid to ask you to tell her if you’ve slept with another girl while you 2 were still dating. This is because if you ask her that same question, the truth would be that she has banged all your guy friends, your younger brother plus the postman.

4. Why would she want to ask you for your hoodie? Why would she want a hoodie in the first place? Get your own miserable hoodie, girl. I don’t come asking for your blouses and things. Yeah, you better not be asking for my pants next. Guys, you better make sure she is not a tranny.

5. Girls want to be kissed passionately. Agreed. Now, why would your girl NOT ask for that? Or rather, why would you not ask your BF to do that? One of you better start paying closer attention to your dental hygiene.

6, 7,8, 9,10. Why would a girl desire to be held, hugged, laughed with and invited to functions and yet refuse to ask her man to do these things? The least she could do is ask; it is not like you’ll get what you ask for always but you should at least be able to ask. If she doesn’t want to ask then chances are that 1) her shoulders are too narrow that hugging her is nigh impossible(she’ll slip out of your embrace like an eel any time you try), 2) You don’t want to appear like a doting adult holding her hands like she is some 6-year-old 3) She laughs like a hyena; or whenever she laughs and bares her dental braces, you find yourself shutting up in fright at the sight of all those metal wires in her mouth 4) The last few times that you invited her out to hang out with your colleagues, she flew into a jealous rage whenever you tried to talk to your female associates. And so she wisely knows not to ask now because you would sooner agree to stick wild and unpeeled pineapples up your rectum than invite her anywhere near the respectable company of friends.

11. Smile with her? What—people go around smiling for no reason? Girl if you say something truly hilarious then I’ll smile. And it would not be because you asked. This is an involuntary response. I can’t be made to smile with you when I see nothing funny. If you want me smiling more than I care to, you better be as funny as Russel Peters, Patrice O’Neal, or Earthquake.

12. If she wants you to take pictures with her and somehow is unable to ask, don’t worry because this is  perfectly fine. Guys please do not suggest it. Trust me you don’t need all these pieces of evidence lying all over the place. She wants her picture on your phone, on your bedroom walls, on your desk, in your car, on your desk at your job, everywhere; even dogs do not wear their owners’ dog collars every time. Another reason she may not ask that is because she has some self-esteem issues and does not want to be seen in pictures. You know what I mean: she may think her nose is too big, or that her hair is a mess, or that her teeth are crooked, or that her breasts are of uneven size, or that her clothes are tacky, or that her acne, blackheads, pimples, eczema, warts, mole may not reflect positively on her, or that she is not in a charitable mood, or that she woke up on the wrong side of the bed, or that that the planetary bodies are not perfectly aligned, etc. You know how it goes—the list of potential excuses is inexhaustible. Guys just thank your lucky stars if she hasn’t started bugging you with picture requests. When she gets over her paranoia, she’ll definitely want to figuratively pee all over you to mark her territory—and that would come in the form of strapping you down with every visible reminder that she is your girlfriend.

13. This is a no-brainer. If the girl does not want you to pull her onto your laps, it must be because if that were to ever happen, her weight would cut out the circulation in your legs and possibly paralyze you. In this case, she is being considerate and you should reward her reticence by letting her be. She realizes that she is not a laptop, your cat, an infant, or your favorite book, newspaper or magazine, and so has no reason to ask you to put her on your lap. Her happy tushie belongs on a sofa and not on your lap. If she fancies your lap more comfortable than the sofa around, she either needs to lose some weight, or it may be her indirect way of suggesting that you may consider changing the old and uncomfortable upholstery you have. Either way, if she does not ask, you don’t have to bring it up. Just count your blessings and keep it moving because chances are that while she has seemingly neglected to colonize your lap, she’ll definitely be coming up with some bizarre request later on to make up for all the little concessions she had already given.

Cheers.

The Woman’s Private Part

A friend of mine brought an article to my attention recently. It was an article written by Amara, a Nigerian woman, for African women in general and other Nigerian women in particular. The subject matter of that article was at once arresting, and I found that I couldn’t stop until I had read every word. It turned out that I pretty much already knew the stuff contained therein and I agreed with pretty much everything in it. I am using this opportunity to spread this educational write-up hoping that it might reach and positively impact as many as there are who might read it. At any rate, I will not be surprised if there are differences in opinion with the author of this piece.

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Considering Mildred

One day, during the past 90 days, whether in a vision or a trance I cannot tell, save that I was transported out of my busy and familiar bearings to some peculiar and distant land. As I looked around me wondering what manner of place I was, an unknown voice speaking in rich cadences called out to me and urged me to observe a certain damsel which was to be revealed to me shortly. I knew not what manner of assignment this was or indeed why I would be thus chosen to undertake this task but there was something quite urgent about the voice that spoke to me, which altogether ruled out the possibility of my disobedience.

I did not have to wait for long either—for soon after that imperious voice came to me straight like a bolt from the blue, I could see clearly in front of me, a damsel that I had come to know as Mildred. I looked at her and called out her name, temporarily forgetting my ethereal state, but when she looked in my general direction and then walked past me, it dawned on me immediately that she could not perceive me. I could follow her everywhere she went, overhear her discussions with the people around her, and even occasionally be privy to her innermost thoughts and feelings –all without her faintest knowledge about my ever-present supervision. This fact struck me with singular force; and for a while, compelled against my will, I was granted the ability to trail a friend so as to observe her in close quarters, for reasons which are, as far as I could decipher, unknown.

Mildred—that verily is her name—I soon came to discover was a complex daughter of Eve. At this juncture perhaps, I should attempt to describe her outward form. She was roughly 5feet and 5 or 6 inches, with a chocolate brown skin which I can imagine might be described as flawless in some fashion circles. Her face was oval or perhaps more accurately round, with the cutest pinchable cheeks ever. She had a full shock of flowing jet black hair which she styled as differently as her mood permitted—sometimes, all shifted to one side of her head concealing one jewel-adorned ear; at other times she would let them drop gradually in front of her face scarcely concealing her somewhat prominent but expressive forehead. Set in that beautiful rounded face were a pair of bright, oval-shaped and as I beheld them, very earnest eyes. She had a piercing glance when she looked at you as though she could see into the very innermost recesses of your soul.  If, as they say, the eyes are a window to the soul, her window though being large were somewhat covered with a blind—so that even though you may look upon her face, and see the expression dictated by her expressive eyes, you may not fathom what strange, shatteringly complex thoughts were roaming freely in her mind.

She had a pair of full lips—the kind that many white girls of her age would fain kill for. As a matter of fact, when she parted her lips in a smile or a laugh, revealing a gorgeous set of white teeth, she struck you with her angelic beauty. And here, it is only fitting that I add that there was something about her that is at once sweet, tender, and innocent; something that impresses itself firmly on you when she smiles, chuckles or even laughs. Her neck leads down to a well proportioned body; nevertheless, if I were to be dreadfully honest, I’d reason that she was somewhat endowed with bigger breasts than her physical stature would have demanded, or that her slender fingers were perhaps longer than it should have. She was outwardly beautiful judging by the number of the male-folk who plied her daily with their obsequious requests for friendships or a relationship.

Moreover, it would be an utterly incomplete narration if one were to leave out the intangible, non-visual aspects of this damsel. And here, I am reminded of the sound of her voice—soft, childlike and musical. As a matter of fact, her voice rose or fell according to the plethora of emotions that coursed through her. For when she was genuinely happy and excited, though the number of times she is with this cheerful disposition seems to be growing lesser lately, you could hear the loud peal of her voice with the accompanying melodic laughter. And on those rare occasions her countenance shone with delicate all-encompassing warmth; a warmth and friendliness so sincere that you’d have to be hewn out of rock not to be touched or affected by it. Conversely, when she was sad and downcast, her voice assumed a husky essence—faintly audible and transparently tinged with deep emotion. She would sit at such times pensively brooding over matters which I have come to learn, she had apparently little or no control.

On some occasions, she would open her mouth and sing, and for all her flaws (which I will later speak on), you could not help but be captivated by the simple sincerity and earnestness of her carol. It would appear that she knows that people appreciated her singing because as often as I could remember, she would burst forth into song like a veritable cherub, her cares and worries dropped momentarily, her eyes closed, as her being seemed consumed by the tremendous power of music or else transported onto some kind of celestial plane. With the help of a good vocal coach, and the right contacts into the erratic world of music, I think she has the potential to be a great singer.

At any rate, Mildred was not without her foibles.

Like all fallen creation, she was without question, a slave to the dictates of her baser nature. While she was kind and gentle, she was also obsessive about a number of things and would not hesitate to speak either in anger or in spite if she felt that the objects of her obsession were being taken from her. Though she firmly denies this, I could sense that she was also quite materialistic in the sense that she places a huge premium on her physical appearance, clothes, jewelry, and fashion accessories. She has to have all the accoutrements of a modern day fashionista and you could tell by the way she carries herself that she fancied herself somewhat of a fashion police or a fashion trend-setter. You may wonder why I would consider an obsession over one’s appearance to be quirky but you only need to have seen a promising young woman’s devotion to her looks to see how that leads to a downward spiral; it gradually eats away at the pursuit of intellectual and spiritual excellence and replaces it with crass, insipid materialism which exalts form and fashion over substance.

Furthermore, her mood was erratic and turbulent by means of the various reprehensible passions that gripped her. She could be hauntingly jealous, petty and small-minded. It is perhaps useful to say that her nature tended to be quite carefree and impulsive, as she has confessed that on many occasions she had regretted some of her actions or words which were not carefully considered. She was to the best of my knowledge also an attention hound—she craved the indulgence and the attention of the male species; an attribute which has unfortunately landed her in a string of loveless and dare I say, dour and directionless dalliances with dudes.

But there was something strangely fascinating about this young woman. If she were to tell you her life story, it would be a surprising tale of emotional hardship and pain. Beneath her childlike face and her elegant beauty lay a bruised spirit. As I watched her, I began to see an emotionally insecure and painful childhood, and in some ways, I surmised that they played a role in shaping her present personality. I could see that as a young girl, she lost her mom early and was thus denied the warmth and motherly affection that only a mother could provide. I also noticed that once or twice she was sexually assaulted by people that were close to her—a very painful ordeal which she stoically kept hidden from everyone, choosing to bear the shame and indignity of it all rather than expose the people who audaciously robbed her of her childlike innocence and purity.

Then as she grew older there was the emotional roller coaster of living with strict and morose guardians; of dating some young and unprincipled chaps; of running after emotionally unavailable guys; of losing her virginity to a bumbling and beastly boor; of feelings of inadequacy and unrequited love; of low-esteem occasioned by a super-critical self-evaluation of her physical form; of stress and strain with her academic work even though she was easily gifted with raw smarts; of indecisiveness about what her life would amount to or when she would get married (if at all); of loneliness and feelings of not being loved; of crushing disappointment at the treachery of her boyfriend-stealing female friends; of confusion and sometimes deep suspicion  and revulsion at the male species; of her father’s new marriage to a woman whom she had neither met nor indeed met her children;  of nights of intense sexual arousal with no apparent source of relief; and above of all, of the conflicting inner battles between the angels and demons of her own nature.

Thus it was that on one day, feeling utterly forlorn and incensed with despair, she wept some bitter tears.

“Why me? Why must these things always happen to Milly?” she said, apostrophizing herself in particular.

Then in communion with me afterwards, she recounted in painstaking detail, another intriguing but doubtlessly commiserable account of betrayal at the hands of a most trusted ally. But as I watched her, I could sense that she was torn between her righteous indignation at the unpronounced but stolid audacity of her buddy and her own conscience which elected at that moment to remind her of her of her unbridled selfishness and her callous disregard for the legitimate feelings of her dearly loved pal.

Then spoke I to her in accents grave and sonorous, urging her in so many words to tame her hurt feelings of betrayal and her desire for retribution because things, especially matters of the heart, have a way of sorting themselves out in the end, if patience becomes our watchword. This appeal to the better angels of her nature produced a very interesting and strange phenomenon.

Herein was the profoundest of things—hitherto, I had esteemed her brash, unpredictable, impulsive, emotionally scarred and sometimes exasperatingly juvenile. In a moment’s notice however, it was as if a veneer was lifted from her general comportment and an amazing transformation happened before my very eyes. Suddenly, the once proud head bowed in humility; her blazing fires of wrath were replaced with wells of compassion; her contemptuous tone gave way to a forgiving mellowness; her clenched fists relaxed; she took a deep breath and reached down deep into the recesses of her soul and mustered the courage to forgive whatever wrong she felt she had previously endured. And in so doing, she found peace and a momentary respite from her downward spiral.

Therein lay the mystery to this damsel—for quite apart from what I was led to believe about her general vanity, I discovered in short notice, the magnanimous and Godly attributes which took possession of her faculties with such child-like innocence and simplicity that defied understanding. Indeed, in a moment’s flash, her youthful exuberance was replaced with a sagacious candor; in a twinkling her sometimes shy weakness were replaced by a gentle strength of character.

Indeed, as I chronicle these thoughts, I cannot but think that Mildred, or Milly as she preferred to be called, reminded of a fallen angel. It seemed to me as I observed her that every now and then, like an abased angel, she would set her gaze skyward, raise her wings towards heaven and rise as though desiring greatly the former purity, innocence and strength that characterized her former estate. It was as though she sought redemption. Verily, in those moments, she did show a remarkable strength of character and a selfless kindness that gave true assent to the meaning of her name. Nonetheless, with tiresome and predictable regularity, the effulgent spark of the Divine that I perceive in her wanes, and somehow, powerless as she would seem, she would once again be enveloped by a deep and gathering darkness. She would once again find herself in the throes of painful and remorseful inner disquiet. Bubbling to the surface, no matter how masked they may be, will be the familiar currents of vice. In that lowly and downfallen state of affairs, she might even scoff at scripture or question the Uncaused Cause of all things; she might even be offended by those who strive no matter how haltingly to live above the dictates of the carnal flesh—you know, this trumpery clod of kickable matter!

I recovered from my trance at the behest of that imperious voice that summoned me earlier. In a matter of moments, the memories of what I was shown struck back at me with incipient incisiveness. I had faithfully noted the vision. I found Milly a few days afterwards and observed her hoping desperately to find a picture different from that which I had been given.

Here is the final verdict going forward—Heaven and Hell are still locked in a vicious conflict for the mind, heart, soul and desires of this comely, once-chaste daughter of Eve. I know not what side will win the battle for her soul. If peradventure she comes across this missive and reads it, she should take the words to heart lest some careless indiscretion overtake her and spell long-lasting ruination.

Of Ethnic Chauvinism In Nigerian Circles

(A Fashionable Restaurant and Bar in Lagos. As usual, Nigerians of different ethnic groups are present. They are having a discussion in between copious servings of Peppersoup, Amala, Isiewu, and other Nigerian dishes, and of course lots of beer)

(Yoruba man): I just broke up with my girl. She is Igbo, and so, I cannot date her any longer or marry her. Igbo women are ridiculously expensive and high maintenance. They are too materialistic and stubborn. Besides when you eventually marry her, you are also marrying her entire family! For what? It is not like there is anything special about them!

(Igbo woman): Shut up! Who the hell are you? This is why I won’t even consider marrying a Yoruba man. Yoruba men are notoriously unfaithful in relationships. They can cheat on their wives with their wives’ sisters. They leave the entire job of running a family to their wives because they are like cowardly little boys who never want to grow up or accept responsibilities!

(Yoruba woman): Go to hell! See how you are flapping your gums here? May Sango bend that your neck for you! How about your Igbo men—are they any better? Igbo men are uneducated market touts; unsophisticated greedy traders. They are too bossy; too controlling and unromantic. Why would any woman want to date or marry a caveman? That is why whenever they think their girlfriends or wives are doing better than they are financially, they go insane and KILL them. Abegi jare!

(Igbo man): May Amadioha dislocate your jaw there, you ugly woman. You have the mouth to come here and rain insults on Igbo men. What about you Yoruba women? The truth is that Yoruba women have poor personal hygiene. Yes I said it—you Yoruba women are dirty compared to the rest of Nigerian women. Besides, you are rude, loud and uncultured market-women. No wonder your Yoruba men are always running after Igbo women. It is not uncommon to see a Yoruba man being chased around by his crazy pestle-wielding Yoruba girlfriend or wife. Your cooking is horrible—you are just like bush women. Go and tame your men—those little player wannabes! But maybe this is futile. Look around Lagos. All these Sisi Eko prostitutes you see around are Yoruba women.

(Edo man): Haba, why are you Igbo and Yoruba people always at each other’s throats all the time? You Igbo and Yoruba people are the two biggest tribalists we have in Nigeria. The day the two of you will learn to get along in Nigeria, maybe the better Nigeria will become. Anyway, I am an Edo/Bini guy. We are the best. We are smooth, rugged and handsome. And Igbo and Yoruba women like us.

(Efik man): You Bini guys are irresponsible serial cheats. You Edo people are just juju-minded irresponsible cowards, and your women are a dime-a-dozen sluts in Europe! Comot for here abegi!

(Edo woman): Come Akpan, so you get liver to talk abi? Why would anyone want to date or marry an Efik woman anyway? They are good for nothing except to be housemaids. And even at that, they are terrible housemaids because they always want to open their legs for the Oga. Are all Efik women bred by their mamas to be little whores? As for you dog-eating Efik men, what else can I say other than that you guys talk funny and you never amount to anything more than blue collar workers and apprentices?

(Hausa man): Wallahi, I am keeping out of this discussion.

(Everyone laughing): If you like don’t keep out now. It doesn’t mean that no one will talk about you backwards Northerners.”

(Ijaw woman): Mallam, is it true that you Hausa men have long gbolas because you people are not usually circumcised? I am just curious.

(Hausa man): Shege, if you want to know, come and find out.

(Itsekiri man): Baba eleran, why you dey vex? I hope this crazy man no go dagger us here o. You know how emotionally unstable and violent Hausa people generally are. Now, why would anyone want to date or marry a Hausa man?

(Idoma woman): You will have to ask a Hausa female to get that answer because Hausa men rarely marry non-hausa or non-muslims. And when I say “Hausa female”, I mean little 11 or 12 year old Hausa girls because as we all know, our friends to the Core north are like little pedophilic deviants drawn to the tender undeveloped bodies of barely teenage girls.

(Urhobo man): Woman, abeg let us talk about the over-18 Hausa girls. I don’t like this ugly visual of an uncircumcized Hausa man with a very long joystick ravaging an 11 year old girl. Don’t make me throw up into my fufu and egusi soup. I think I like Hausa women—they are nice, gentle, loving, conservative, chaste and will not cheat on you. It helps that many of them did not go to school.

(Tiv man): Urhobo wayo! Chai—forget that thing. We middle-belters know and understand the Hausa people more than you Southerners. I have messed with many Hausa women before now. Forget the veils and the scarves—hausa women are very freaky. Behind all that modest and conservative apparel are crazy sexual tigresses. They are just very good pretenders. In public they act like angels, but when you get to know them better, you will find out they are scheming, cruel witches. They deserve their barbarian men I swear. I call them ‘slow poison’.

(Hausa man): Mutum banza, banza barawo, Shege! Allah punish you idiots! Why are you people so hateful of Hausa people? See all the yeye things you are saying about us. I no blame una. Na ignorance and bigotry dey worry una. Madam, give me my bill make I comot here!

(Everyone starts talking at once; some rebuking the Hausa man, others are laughing hysterically. The exchanges continue…)

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As you can see from the exchanges above, many Nigerians harbor deep and often negative stereotypes of each other based on ethnicity. In many cases, these prejudices even color the way a Nigerian of one ethnic group might interact with a Nigerian of another ethnic group. It is not surprising to hear about prospective marriages that were annulled because the parents of one of the couple refused to have any extended or family dealings with their son’s or daughter’s love or marriage interest simply because said love/marriage interest hails from a different ethnic group. The same blinkered mindset shapes the choice of partners in business dealings, political affiliation, friendship or social circle etc. This ethnocentrism—sad, ignorant and regrettable—is a cancer that has eaten deep into the hearts and minds of many Nigerians.

Even sadder is the fact that the younger generation has absorbed the xenophobic inclinations of their elders. In a time like this when technology, travel, education and exposure are reputedly breaking boundaries between formerly separated peoples and making nonsense of tightly-held tribal prejudices, it is rather painful to find many members of the younger generation afflicted with these unflattering misgivings about Nigerians of an ethnic group different from theirs.

I have noticed that when you try to talk to many of these latently xenophobic Nigerians, they’ll quickly deny any tribalism on their part. As a matter of fact, if you allow such a person to explain why he or she feels such reprehensible ill-will about others, you will often discover that a great number of such persons have no immediate or direct personal anecdote to draw from. You will be usually regaled with the stories or suspicions passed down to them from their friends or elders. In some cases, you may have some who might have had a genuine negative experience at the hands of a few members of the targeted ethnic group. But what sense does it make to use the unfavorable impression created by one or a few members of one ethnic group to negatively tar the rest? These unfortunate generalizations reflect poorly on those who employ them because it marks such people out as being too fatuous to understand the wide ranging complexities of human nature and behavior.

For example, by the most conservative estimate possible, there are more than 20 million Yoruba people in the world. The same can be said about the Igbo and the Hausa. If there are respectively more than 20 million of each, you can already see that by European standards, each of these ethnic groups is more than qualified, by a strict game of numbers, to be regarded not as mere tribes (as one might simplistically reference some forlorn primitive hunter-gatherer society in some remote corner of Africa) but properly as individual nations. If that be the case, how can one harbor such uncharitable generalized assessments of the members of  another ethnic group when in reality one has never even met and interacted extensively with as little as 1% of that ethnic group? And if one were to stick to such persuasions, contrary to logic and basic decency, how can such a person stand excused of accusations of ethnic bigotry or tribalism?

Why then do people continue to prevent or at least discourage their friends and relatives from dating and marrying people of other ethnic groups? Would it not be better if people hearkened to the wisdom inherent in judging other people individually according to the content of their character and not as one might have originally suspected based on nothing but ethnic origins?

Stephanie and Josh: Love’s Growing Pains II

Indiana

One evening, after a week of restless nights, Stephanie decided that she would ignore her fears and worries and call Josh. What’s the worst that could happen? At most, he’d politely decline and then I’d get some sort of closure here, she mused.  Trembling with anxiety, she dialed his number and listened anxiously as the phone began to ring. Sweat beads were already forming on her forehead and she wondered if she was not really being silly in attempting to reconnect with a guy she had unceremoniously let go five years earlier.

“Hello?” replied a female voice on the other end.

Stephanie felt like hanging up the phone immediately. This must be his girlfriend or fiancée, she thought. How incredibly silly she had been to call at this time of the day. She should have gone to his job—at least if he was there, and he recognized her, that would be better than having to explain herself to some random stranger over the phone. These thoughts were dashing around madly in her mind when she mustered the courage to speak after a long pause.

“Hi, my name is Stephanie. Please, I am trying to reach Josh. Is this his correct phone number?” she blurted out trying to sound as formal as possible.

“Hi Stephanie.  Please if I may be so bold, what is this in reference to? He is a little occupied now” replied the female voice excitedly.

Stephanie could hear the pitter patter of feet scampering in the background. Then she could hear an unmistakable manly voice.

“Give me my phone now!” the male voice demanded.

“No, you come get it” the female voice replied laughing.

Stephanie could faintly make out that the lady on the other end of the line was running around the living room with the phone while the man gave chase. Stephanie could not take it any longer. She felt like she was an unnecessary intrusion into another man’s life. Then she sadly ended the call. After what felt like a long time (but it really was like five minutes), her phone rang.

“Hello”, she replied dryly.

“Yes, someone called my phone from this number a few minutes ago but my sister was toying with the phone and she made me miss the call. So who is this again?” replied the male voice.

“My name is Steph…” she started to say.

“Stephanieeeeeeeeeeeee. Is it really you?” Josh shouted.

“Yes! Long time Josh. How have you been? You sound happy” Stephanie replied.

“Of course I am. What did you think? It’s been five years!” Josh intoned.

On and on, they talked for well over two hours. At first, it was awkward because no sooner had they started to chat than memories of their painful breakup started to flood back to their minds. To make matters worse for Stephanie, Josh pretended that he was still bummed out by Stephanie’s rejection five years ago. He recounted the events as faithfully as he could remember; taking special delight, in between hearty chuckles, to remind Stephanie that she was the one who had ended the relationship earlier. Soon afterwards, they began to connect as the awkwardness disappeared. Stephanie felt more at ease when she tactfully asked and was informed that Josh was still single. She narrated her story, taking special care to omit her extensive dating history. Apparently, Josh was finishing up in medical internship and was thinking of moving to a big city to practice there. He was not currently attached to any girl even though he had a few close female friends. On and on and on….

They called each other several times over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Stephanie kept on wondering why Josh was not eager to ask her out on a date. He had not even as much as suggested that he wanted her to be his girlfriend again even though they now discussed the most intimate things. What’s more? He had not even thought of asking her to visit him at home, nor has he suggested that he would visit her. Why was he seemingly blinded to all the subtle overtures she had been making these past two weeks” She knew that she did not want to appear desperate, pushy or overly aggressive,  but she knew she had to act fast while there was still time or their relationship would permanently slip into the friendship zone. She had to find a way to make a love connection, she thought, before it became virtually impossible to make him think or view her in any other light other than that of a long-lost but now thankfully recovered ex-lover. If she had come this far, and made these in-roads already, she would be very disappointed if she did not pursue this to its logical conclusion.

At any rate, what kind of guy was Josh? It is true that he was tall, athletic and handsome and seemed to have made something of himself professionally, but what sort of man was he? How did he regard the “fairer sex”? What was his dating life like before Stephanie came back into the picture?

The truth was that after Josh got dumped by Stephanie, something tender, naïve and innocent died in him. In its place was the wily wit and words of a seasoned car salesman, the most charming smile with which he effortlessly ingratiated himself to the bevy of ladies that seemed to run after him, and a manipulative, difficult-to-read exterior. He became the quintessential ladies man. And boy, did he leave a few women heartbroken in the past! Rarely does nature conspire to deposit in one specimen of the male species such physical attractiveness, such finesse and sophistication and such old-fashioned street-smarts. He exploited it to the hilt, having decided that it was probably impossible for him to ever fall in love again.

One day, as Stephanie and Josh were bonding on the phone, Stephanie casually remarked:

“Do you realize that we have been talking to each other for 3 weeks now and I don’t even know where you live?”

“I wasn’t aware that you wanted to know where I live. Who are you—the IRS?” he replied jokingly

“Joshhhh! Be serious. You play too much” Stephanie replied feigning annoyance at Josh’s antics.

“Hey easy tigress, it is not like you offered to show me your place and I declined” Josh said laughing.

“You didn’t ask for it. Ok, don’t you want to see what I look like now?” Stephanie queried.

“I think you have put on a lot of weight. Who knows, you might be walking with a limp these days. If you want to convince me otherwise, come and pick me up after work on Friday” Josh answered.

They both laughed about his last comment. Stephanie knew that he didn’t actually mean that last comment. In any case, if he did, then he would be pleasantly surprised when he sees her because she had managed to keep her figure; she was still attractive by any standard.

“Ok, deal! See you on Friday” she said.

She knew that she had to look even more ravishing than she currently did if she was to make a lasting first impression. Stephanie was not dumb. She knew that she faced a very stiff opposition from other women who wanted Josh—if not for the fact that he was a medical doctor, then for his boyish good looks and his superlative sense of style.

Friday came, 2 days later, but it was ample time for Stephanie to have visited her beauticians or to have gone shopping for clothes and accessories. She was looking remarkably elegant when she drove up to Josh’s workplace. Work over, exhausted and in need of a shower, Josh grabbed his things to go home when he remembered that he had a date with Stephanie. He fumbled in his pocket for his phone as he walked down the hospital stairs towards the exit. His aim was to call Stephanie and ask her to delay her coming so that he’d have enough time to go home to freshen up. As he came to the main entrance lobby, there standing in elegant and effulgent apparel was Stephanie with a half-amused expression on her face.

Josh stood still as if he was struggling to absorb the glorious spectacle that confronted his eyes. In his mind, he was trying to remember if at any time in their past, he had ever seen her as dazzling as she was today. He whistled in surprise, but rather than stretch out a hand for a handshake, or go for a hug, he just stood transfixed to the spot staring at her. He slowly started to smile, and Stephanie who was suddenly feeling self-conscious because Josh’s inexplicable motionless paralysis had started to draw attention, asked:

“Like what you see? My car’s outside, but gosh, you look really worn out”

“Actually, I was going to call to ask you to come later after I might have freshened up. Seeing you now, I really feel terrible that I had not adequately prepared myself for the date” Josh said as they walked to her car.

Stephanie looked at his face and seeing the handsome earnestness in his eyes, was touched by the simple sincerity of his apology. “How keen those eyes were!” she thought. It was a Friday, and if things go according to her plan, she would be with him for the whole weekend. That was a good way to start rekindling amorous fires.

“All right. But you owe me one. Hop into the car, Doc” she said matter-of-factly, trying hard to disguise her excitement.

“No, I’ll drive” said Josh with an air of finality.

A few minutes later, Josh and Stephanie, were driving—not to Stephanie’s place, like was previously agreed but to Josh’s house.

What sort of riotous weekend would this be? What lies in store for me? Would I find myself falling back madly in love with him again? Could this really be the beginning of something new and beautiful? What if his sister was at his house? What if she doesn’t like me? What if….

A thousand thoughts chased themselves around in Stephanie’s mind as they drove on that summer evening to Josh’s house.

Related Reading:

Stephanie and Josh: Love’s Growing Pains

Her Name Is Bethel

She walked over to her bed, climbed in and pulled the covers up to her waist. I was sitting at a considerable distance watching her and trying my best to understand this young woman. She lay on her side facing my direction, and then she flashed a smile as if she understood the quandary that I faced as I tried to understand her in greater detail. She wasn’t going to make this easy for me—she wasn’t going to make it uninteresting as well.

Her name is Bethel.

Who exactly is Bethel? Well that is the million dollar question isn’t it? That is the question that I wanted to discover an answer to. Outwardly, she was beautiful. She had a nice set of teeth and her smile lit up a room. Her large seductive eyes were set in a round face with lips that suggested it had uttered many strange things. She was soft-spoken (most of the time), and carried herself with an innocence that could deceive. She was sweet, friendly and kind. Above all, she loved to help people in need and nurse or attend to people that are injured. She was by all outward appearances an angel in human form—tender, gentle, caring, beautiful, sweet and charming.

But there was also something very fearful about Bethel. The first time I noticed it, I was horrified beyond words. It was the reason why I came closer to her, to study her so that I can fully understand her better.

Bethel had a dual personality. She was the classic Jekyll and Hyde. Behind the gracious, kind and well-behaved outward exterior lies the soul of something cold and sinister; behind the nice, tender appearance is the rugged imprint of a fierce character; behind her angelic nature lies a monster of horrifying proportions. How could a vessel be possessed of such conflicting and contrasting attributes? How can one explain the strange cohabitation of light with darkness? How indeed can I unravel and understand this mysterious woman who lay before me—filled as she is with genuine simplicity and at the same time seductive mischief? What sort of battles does her mind wage on a constant basis to balance the good with the bad—her aim of being a presentable lady of virtues with her deeper, lustful desires?

She lay there winking at me seductively, her eyes smiling in mischief as she spoke in very soft tones. She dared me to take a peek at her wild side. There was something strangely fascinating and terrifying about that smile. You could not tell what thoughts she was thinking. Was she setting a trap for me as she lay there inviting me to come and take a peek? Or was she just trying to allow me to take a simple journey with her perhaps to see how much the discovery would change all my previous perceptions? What is that mysteriously dark subtext that gives greater meaning to the mental and behavioral struggles of a split-personality like Bethel?

She beckoned me closer. I drew closer to her as if propelled by some strange magnetism. Then she closed her eyes dreamily and became silent for a moment. When she opened her mouth to speak again, it was as if some dark entity had overtaken and captured her faculties. The tender angelic and innocent young woman before me had disappeared. In her place was a seductive temptress filled with fierce carnal passions; what lay before me was animated, petulant, violent, tempestuous and burning with flickering memories, emotions and desires. I watched the transformation with great curiosity.

Her serpentine eyes opened presently and she looked at me and smiled. I smiled back in return. Then suddenly, as if overcome by her emotions, she covered her face with her palms. She dropped her palms and her countenance and mood fell. She looked away distractedly. I stared at her intently; very curious to understand what had helped to shape her.

Bethel began by telling me of her wishes. She was not craving for a relationship immediately, but that she was willing to date because she loved to meet new people. She was open to dating anyone from any ethnic background except her own. For some weird reason, she considers the eligible men from her ethnic group to be nothing more than greedy, uncaring bastards. She volunteered that if she is to marry, she would much prefer a man who is also friendly and easygoing as she is; a man who is faithful and respects his wife; but above all, a man who is in her own words a “freak in the sheets”.  I pressed on, clutching my pen and paper and drawing my chair ever closer to the woman lying on the bed. By this time she was chatting rather excitedly even though her voice was still scarcely above a whisper.

Did she have any hobbies? Well, it turns out, she says, that she is usually too busy to carve out meaningful time for recreation. Then she chuckled and informed me that she loved to dance. She loved music from different genres: Hip-hop, Nigerian music, Ivorian music, reggae, etc. She loved to meet and discuss with new people. Occasionally, she loved to watch interesting romance movies.

Suddenly, she raised her eyes and caught mine. The excitement was gone. Her eyes searched mine; it was as if she was unsure as to whether she should continue her revelations. I smiled weakly and then laughed; pretending to be amused by her sudden change in mood or temperament. Her voice became even fainter. Her voice was husky and tinged with deep emotions now. She spoke of having been raped at a tender age and how that killed whatever innocence she had and filled her with some vile revulsion for men. It helped me understand why she had practically lost faith in the men-folk and treated all male entreaties with disdain. It helped me understand why her eyes dazzled with deceit as she laughed and flirted with men on the numerous occasions that I have observed her—for I knew that she only thought of men as disposable walking pieces of skin that should be milked for whatever good they can temporarily provide and discarded when they cease to be useful. Herein, lies the dark soul of a partially damaged woman—beautiful, well-mannered and alluring until you interact with her to draw out the demons of her haunted past—demons which have indeed made her into a formidable femme fatale.

She spoke of having gone to an all-girl boarding school when she was much younger and how she found out that she was also bisexual. She told of graphic sexual intercourse with several young women in her boarding school. It was in boarding school she revealed to me, that she found out that she was extremely good at cunnilingus. She looked at me when she said that expecting to see disdain. I knew that I had to affect a total air of indifference if I did not want the darker side of this split personality to quickly disappear behind the angelic façade that I was used to seeing. Seeing nothing but empathy from me, she continued. She spoke of her sexual exploits. She laughed hysterically when she narrated how she used to date 4 men at once. She would talk to one on the phone, then go out and visit another, and while there, she would talk to a third; when she was done with the second, she would waltz over to the 4th—all in the course of one evening! There she was in all her beguiling glory, burning with lusts and full of dark fearsome passions. It was terrifying to behold but you just couldn’t pull away.

She also spoke of her threesomes with the latest man in her life as she laughed gently. Then she spoke with fire in her eyes of the fights she had gotten into; how she brooked no nonsense and could very well stab a person to death if push came to shove. On and on she continued with the strange and incredible aspects of her deeper darker nature. After a while, I was utterly silent as I watched her go back down memory lane; her face and appearance was a curious blend of happiness, excitement, sorrow, confusion, sadness and sometimes rage. All in all, it was more than amazing.

How indeed could such a tender, soft-spoken and gracious creature be capable of such things? How was it possible that such raw sexual passions, such mind-blowing violence, such wanton disregard for the feelings of men, such forcefulness of speech, such repressed rage, such blinding fits of jealousy, such cold reptilian calculations of vengeance, such laughing deceit, such haughtiness, and such seductiveness could be packaged into that delicate angelic form? How could she be so kind, so friendly, so easygoing, so sweet, so caring, so affable and yet in a manner of seconds, as if a switch was flipped, go from these endearing attributes to something dark and sinister?

When she was done, she looked at me again as if to make sure I had not completely fallen apart at the seams. She smiled again and wondered why I had gotten very quiet. I told her that I was breathless at her revelation. Then I stood up and stretched. Sensing that I was getting ready to leave, she licked her lips and she looked at me. I stopped dead in my tracks and looked at her wondering what she meant. Then her eyes gradually went from my eyes and trailed downwards to my nether regions. Then she smiled. I knew exactly what she was hinting at.

“You know, I am very tight” she said huskily.

“Really? Okay. Why should I know this?” I asked puzzled.

“Don’t you want to find out? Come on, you seem like someone who can take care of a lady” she replied.

“You are bad, Bethel. You know I am already taken” I replied laughing. The truth is that she knew that I wasn’t going to yield to such temptation. I suppose she wanted to know how far she could go when turning on her sexual charms before I would jump back in shock and horror by her brazenness.

“Don’t blame me. I’ve been on a dry spell for 3 months now. Besides the men in this city are nothing to write home about” she said.

“But you have a new man in your life. You told me so” I replied calmly.

“Well, I am beginning to see that I can’t describe him as my man any longer. He is just a close friend to me and he has helped me in many countless ways. It is just a friend-with-benefits kind of arrangement” she explained.

“In that case, why don’t you try and reap the so-called benefits of that friendship arrangement? Why go on a dry spell for 3 months?” I asked.

“He traveled” she returned flatly.

“Hmmm…okay. Well, I’ll see if I can help pair you up with a good guy because I think you deserve a good man” I replied.

We both laughed at my last comment. With that, I got up, waved goodbye at Bethel and disappeared from her room.

I know that I will yet spot her again in that virtual place of concourse as she smiles and charms her way into the hearts of many a guy who may not yet be privy to her dark secret—the fact that behind the smiling and adorable angelic face, behind her congeniality lies the soul of a damsel pavilioned in deception and girded with vice.

For Nigerian Men: Tips For A Successful Marriage

Husband and Wife feuding

Look around you. Look at the Nigerian marriages here in the US. Look at the Nigerian couples found in many communities here in the US.  Have you noticed the increasing rate of divorce and separation between Nigerian men and women? What is responsible for this rising trend? Is there anything that can be done to remedy the situation? This is a huge topic so I am going to limit myself to discussing just a few things. I am going to offer a few suggestions on how men and women (potential spouses) can better understand each other so that relationships may continue to survive.

For the Men:

A)  Nigerian men in the US need to understand that by living and operating in the US, they cannot claim to be insulated from, immune to or unaware of the effects of decades of a sustained push for gender equality and women empowerment. This means that even though the Nigerian cultural practices and norms are a guiding principle for many Nigerians in the US, one cannot completely ignore the altering effects of the American society ideals on the perceptions and actions of Nigerian men and women who dwell there in. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise to Nigerian men, if Nigerian women in the US, seem to be more assertive of their rights; Nigerian men should not be flabbergasted when their wives demand for equality in all things pertaining to the marriage. This is usually a tougher pill for men to swallow—the very idea that their wives would have equal and sometimes greater say in how the marriage ought to proceed, or how the home should be run. From a Nigerian man’s point of view, it is tantamount to losing his natural position as the head of the household, but it doesn’t need to be so. It is time to drop the authoritarian or dictatorial mindset. Your wife is not chattel—she is not your property for you to talk to or treat anyhow you deem fit. A little flexibility coupled to an attitude that listens to and considers the opinion and contribution of the woman would go a long way in fixing many broken Nigerian homes.

B)  Nigerian men ought to appreciate their wives especially if such wives are also working to take care of the family. I cannot understand why some men feel particularly threatened by the possibility or the fact that their wives might be earning more than they do. Granted, when this happens, it is often the case that the wife becomes more impatient and sometimes disrespectful to the man, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Any self-respecting man who cherishes and respects his wife’s commitment and contribution, and moreover shows by his own actions and efforts that he is also doing the best he can to provide for the family, will usually compel a loving and respectful wife even if the wife earns more. Nigerian men therefore have to show in words and deed that they appreciate and love the woman for bringing something to the table no matter how big or how small. A little appreciation for a wife can go a very long way. Buy her something of sentimental value—doesn’t have to be expensive; just something that shows that you really care. These things are not much, but it is these little gestures that cumulatively form the bulk of her fond memories and feelings for her husband.

C)  It is true that times are hard and that people have to work perhaps longer hours these days to make ends meet. It is also true that the job of providing for the family falls squarely on the man’s shoulders even if it the case that in most families the man and woman are working. However, that should not turn men into work slaves. It should not detract from the commitment given to the marriage or to the family. Sometimes, Nigerian men fall into the trap of thinking that just by working insanely long hours to put food on the table and to put a roof over the family’s head, he has fulfilled his duties and thus he ought to be congratulated. He forgets that he also has to make time for his wife (or for the family if the man already has some children). Take her out every now and then. Make time from your busy schedule for you and your wife to spend quality time together. Take a vacation away from the hustle and bustle of daily living. Find a recreation, sports or exercise you can do together with your wife. The benefits really cannot be overemphasized. This is not asking for too much, is it?

D)  In Nigeria, or in Nigerian circles, sex and bedroom matters between couples are usually not discussed publicly—or if there’d be discussions to that effect, they’d have to be done ever so discreetly and with a lot of pretend decorum. Now that is good: we wouldn’t want any discussion of marital sexual relations to spiral into a most obscene and tasteless display of carnal lechery. But this is a double-edged sword in that sometimes, men and women are denied the opportunity to truly learn what works. It is no secret that for a marriage to thrive, a man and his wife also have to be very intimate sexually—and this means that it is very important that they be able to truly stimulate and satisfy each other sexually. This view is sanctioned by most schools of thought, including most rational religions. Now, many Nigerian men will quickly and eagerly boast of their virility and stamina or perhaps of their previous sexual conquests. For them, sex is never a problem; they are quick to make you recognize their libido. But I want to suggest that wholly separate from having the urge to have carnal relations with your wife, is the dexterity or skill with which you execute it. This means that what is worth doing is worth doing well. Nigerian men have to be sincere and humble enough to actually listen to their wives if their wives have suggestions about what the men could be doing to make the sex more enjoyable for them. If you are the easily-provoked type of guy, or the easily-suspicious, you run the risk of having a sexually-frustrated wife who is just too scared or too resigned to let you know how you could be a better lover. If need be, buy and read some books about the female anatomy and how you can truly please her. Fantastic stories recounted in pepper-soup joints, men’s locker rooms and other all-male gatherings are hardly ideal if you really want to know what makes your woman tick. Learn to listen to her. Sometimes, it is the simple soft touches, the kisses, the petting and caressing that will ignite the fire in her—not your caveman’s exaggerated emphasis on the frequency or forcefulness of your penile thrusts.

E)  Effective communication in marriages is very important. Whenever there is a misunderstanding or a disagreement, the mature and adult thing to do is to approach each other and TALK about it. There is no wisdom in a man deciding to keep his feelings and emotions bottled up in him as he continues to burn inwardly from rage and frustration. Already, men know that by nature, women love to talk especially when it concerns their feelings, relationship or well-being; frankly some women talk entirely too much. However, just because your wife always wants to have “the talk”, that should not mean that you should begin to disregard the importance of these talk sessions. Therefore, it is very crucial for Nigerian men to talk (no matter how sparingly) whenever an issue needs to be discussed and resolved. She is not a mind-reader and so you cannot expect her to automatically know how badly you felt about a certain issue or how some of her actions or words annoyed the living daylights out of you. You have to tell her and at the same time listen to her as she also expresses her concerns. No slamming of doors please; no running off to sleep on the couch while leaving the bedroom to her; no running off to go sleep in your single male friend’s house; no sleeping on the same bed but turned the opposite way; no codes of silence until you feel like you can talk to that “annoying wench” again; no refusing to eat the food she cooked; no temper tantrums. Be a MAN. That means that you have to confront or face the situation and be humble and considerate enough to understand your role in the misunderstanding so that you and your wife can resolve your differences. This is not rocket science—this is just commonsense.

F) Finally, do not allow others to dictate what should be done in your home. It does not matter how close a person is to you. Only your wife should count in any decision you want to make regarding your home. This means that you shouldn’t be listening to the suggestions of friends, colleagues or associates with regards to your family at all. You should also not have meddlesome brothers, sisters or your mother coming in to dictate or suggest what should be done in your family. Nigerian men tend to love and cherish their mothers to the point that they may often invite their mothers to come and stay/live in their own houses. This is usually seen in cases where the man (and his wife) has a new child or have children that may need the services of a nanny. Unfortunately, in many cases, these mothers-in-law or sisters-in-law needlessly undermine, berate, harass or annoy the wives in these families to the point that separation or divorce begins to look desirable. While you may get suggestions on other peripheral relationship issues, you should jealously guard the secrets of your marriage with your wife. Your best male buddy has no need for the details of your relationship and should never be told any confidential information that pertains to your wife no matter how hard they pry. If there is a personal husband-wife misunderstanding that is so huge as to make you require a second opinion, then together with your wife you should make an appointment with your pastor or see your marriage counselor—of course, the pastor or the marriage counselor in question has to be married and be seen to be living harmoniously with the spouse. If the pastor or marriage counselor is unmarried, divorced or separated then do not bother taking your problems to him or her! Yes, because “Nemo dat quod non habet” meaning that you cannot give what you don’t have. You may additionally seek parental advice on general matters, but never on specific and intimately detailed issues concerning your wife and marriage. They have lived their lives and made of their marriage what they wanted; now you are a man, learn to deal with your own problems on your own without running to daddy and mommy for every single issue. I say this because I realize that a lot of people value and cherish their parents, but if it were left to me, under absolutely no situations would parents be consulted for any personal problems at all!  By all means invite them over on special days to eat and celebrate with you but never to come and settle intimate marriage problems or vexing husband-wife misunderstandings.

Later on, I’ll give tips to women for a successful marriage.

Poem: What Is Love?

I saw this poem and decided to share it. Please enjoy.

What is Love?

Love is wonderful, heartbreaking,

pointless, breathtaking.

Like dopey smiles and walking for miles,

love can take your breath away

Like not noticing a pimple,

but always the dimple,

love never lasts for just one day

Like fighting because you care,

and meaning it on an occasion thats rare,

love is not something I can just say

Like tying up phone lines for an hour,

believing that you really have power,

love is a chance to quarrel over who gets to pay

So as I sit and depict my thoughts,

my refusal to love just rots and rots

For love is something you should never turn down,

not a feeling to toss around

Love is wonderful, heartbreaking,

pointless, breathtaking.

And like dopey smiles, and walking for miles,

love-it takes your breath away.

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