Some readers of my blog posts prefer to send me mails, text messages, or call to make comments about my submissions. Those reactions are quite encouraging but I wonder why they don’t insert those “comments” against the articles themselves. Well, they probably want it “private” with me.
In case you are wondering why I am starting this article with that observation, let me quickly state that it’s because I’m sometimes amused by some of the feedback I receive. So in starting this post about Lagos ladies, it would do a great deal of good to first clarify what I mean by a “Lagos lady.” Here, I am referring to any woman, married or unmarried, who live in Lagos. I have just checked my Microsoft Works dictionary which defines a lady as a:
- refined woman: a woman of refined family background or upbringing;
- polite dignified woman: a woman who behaves very politely and with dignity;
- wife or usual woman companion: a man’s wife or usual companion (informal).
I think the third definition has my vote. If you fall within any of the three definitions above, or you know someone who does, come along with me as I pay my respect to Lagos ladies.
As you head for your place of work every morning, most especially between 6.30am and 9.00am, try to observe what goes on in the vehicle you are in, or those beside yours. You will see our Lagos ladies sleeping soundly; some of them snoring to your hearing. Believe me, no pun is intended here. It is just the plain truth. That is not to say that men don’t sleep in the vehicles too. I do, and many Lagos men do, if they are not driving, that is. But men often drive the cars, and their ladies sleep off beside them.
Wait a second. Don’t run off this page yet. This post is not about any yabis, It is actually a tribute to our ladies – the beautiful Lagos ladies. I respect them, and I pity them. Why won’t a lady sleep off on her way to work every morning? This is someone who most likely wakes up as early as 4.00am everyday as her man continues sleeping and dreaming. She rushes off the bed straight to the kitchen to prepare her children’s breakfast; and her husband’s too. That’s right; some men demand and command that they take breakfast along with them to work. Hey, man with food!
Our Lagos lady does not only cook, she takes care of the children too. She baths for them, dresses for them, and probably drops them in the school, most especially if the school is on her way to the work place. Trust, most men have a way of shifting the school-run responsibility to their ladies. They will bring up every available excuse not to do it. “Honey, you know the school is not on my route,” they will rationalize.
Some will claim that their resumption time is earlier than that of their ladies. So the woman has to bear the burden. As if that is not enough, the man will pick up his office bag, laptop, the breakfast basket, and rush out before the woman finishes her morning house chores. Imagine! She wakes up before everybody, but she leaves the house after everyone.
Let there be a PTA meeting at the children’s school; she will be the one to attend. Let the pastor declare a special prayer program in the church, she will be there without her husband. A close relation has a social function; she goes there to represent the family. And where is her husband? He’s working! You know he’s a very busy man. After all, he’s the breadwinner so he must work hard. But doesn’t this woman work too? Hmmm, don’t ask me oo, ask her husband. Maybe he will tell you; not me.
Oh, I doff my hat for Lagos ladies.
You’ve seen a woman’s early morning chores. You can now guess why they sleep in the cars. Is that all? No way! How about evening hours? She must just get back home before her Chief Commander, otherwise, hell would let loose. She must be back on time to prepare dinner, because her husband will be hungry. Yes now, husbands are always hungry. You keep wondering if their wives have a special vaccination against hunger that prevents them from also being hungry. She dares not complain of tiredness in the evening. Yes, a woman must not be tired in her husband’s house, or else…
It is quite easy for a man to look at his watch, phone a colleague who had left the office earlier than him and then ask, “Oh boy, how road dey? Traffic dey for Third Mainland bridge?” If the response is “yes,” he knows what to do. He heads straight for the nearest joint or Silverbird Cinema. He phones his wife to announce that he would be late home because of traffic. He even goes ahead to ask, “What are you preparing for dinner?” Let the woman mention what he doesn’t want, you will hear him say, “Ooooh, Sweetie, you know I will be late home, why not make it something light?” Can you beat that? As if the poor woman knew he would be late home before heading for the kitchen. Now she has no choice. She must start all over again. The food she has started preparing must be wasted.
Our man finally gets home after 11.00PM. He settles on the dining table as if he’s about to devour the woman’s delicious and tantalizing food. But what does he do? He takes the fork, picks on the food twice, and declares, “Honey, I’m okay, it’s already late. I can’t eat much.” What can his woman do other than watch and keep quiet. I needn’t tell you what must be going on in her mind as she packs the “debris.”
Her man doesn’t know the havoc he has caused. He has simply dealt a big blow on his wife’s face. But he’s a man; he doesn’t know anything! Another food has been wasted. Let this woman declare at the middle of the month that there aren’t more foodstuffs in the house; he would start querying her annoyingly; not knowing that his own nickname is Mr. Foodwaster.
Let our Chief Commander get home before his lady one evening. He would be complaining as if he’s about to faint. You will find him phoning his wife every five minutes, “Where are you now? Are you close to the house now?” If his lady should talk about traffic, he would respond, “But that road is usually free.” What are you inferring, Mr. Man? Didn’t you pass through the same road yesterday? You are now doing gragra just because you left your office earlier than usual today. I beg, leave the poor lady alone. Wait for her. If you cannot, don’t you know the road that leads to the kitchen?
Eh eh, that is coming from your mouth? You are telling me that husbands don’t cook in Nigeria? Why did mama teach you how to cook when you were younger? Who cooked for you when you were still a bachelor? Girlfriends? Sit down there. Just fasten your seat belt; you are in for a long wait for dinner tonight.
The lady finally comes in. She walks up to her husband, gives him a kiss, and keeps apologizing for the lateness as if it was all her fault. She must just apologize for everything. Thank God her mother-law has gone back to the village. We would have witnessed Iraqi war in the house tonight.
She drops her bag on the couch, removes her jacket and runs to the kitchen. Her third duty of the day has started. Yes, third duty. The one of the morning before she left home, the one she did at her place of work, and this very one she’s just starting.
As she does the work in the kitchen, her man suddenly remembers that he forgot today’s papers in the car. He goes for them, returns to the living room, crosses his legs and starts reading. He has worked so hard today so it’s time to relax. His office is one. His daily duty is one. It’s time to rest.
Not so for his lady. She is sweating profusely in the kitchen. When she finishes and dinner is served, she has to freshen up and start looking forward to a sound sleep. She’s so tired now and all she wants to do is SLEEP. But will her man allow that to happen? Never! The only way she can escape her fourth duty of the day is to lock herself up in the bedroom. But we all know she can’t do that. Her husband owns her body. And when he needs her, she must just submit. Yes, submit; that’s the word.
Oh, I doff my hat for Lagos ladies.
If her man’s parents are still alive, the Lagos lady is in trouble. She must be responsible for anything that her husband does wrong. If he fails to give money to his parents, it must be her fault. If he fails to visit them at home; the wife must be responsible. If his brother does not have a job, the woman must be blamed for not prevailing on her husband to “do something” for his brother.
And the big one: If God says He can’t bless the couple with a child yet, our Lagos lady is in a big soup. That automatically means she must have committed so many abortions in the past, or she must be an ogbanje who keeps destroying her own pregnancies, or donating them to her mates in the spirit world. Oh Lord, have mercy, Lagos ladies are trying. I throway salute for them.
How about the unmarried ladies of Lagos? I mean those who are still searching for Mr. Right. Well, I have given them some advice in my previous sermon which you can read here. I hope they take to my advice. But I so much feel for them. The Lagos lady treats her boyfriend like a king. She doesn’t want him to run away. She endures and accepts all insults from him. She worships him like God. She clothes him. She feeds him. She satisfies him with almost everything. Ask her for her ATM card; it’s been given to her guy. Check the face of her mobile phone; his lover’s picture is there. Mention any pet name under the sun – Honey, Lovee, Deee, Sweetheart, Babyboy, Angel etc – she has them all in abundance for the lucky boy.
But what happens at the end of the day? The cowboy starts misbehaving. He starts by avoiding her phone calls. He has caught another prey, or one Sugar Mama has caught him in Lagos. So this one has to go! He starts avoiding his gal; the same gal that has been waiting all this while. And when she asks with tears on her face, “Baby, I can’t understand you these days, what have I done to you? Why are you treating me like this?” The playboy paces up and down the room, hands in pockets, face frowned.
He stops suddenly and drops a big lie, a bombshell for his lady, “Sweetie, you know I love you. But the problem is that Mummy says I can’t marry you.” Just like that! It’s a convenient way of getting rid of the poor lady. Afterall, everyone knows that mummies and daddies dictate who to marry, and who not to. I can count so many “adult kids” in Lagos. They just refuse to grow. “Mummy said this, daddy said that,” is forever on their lips.
Then the trauma starts for the Lagos lady. She can’t sleep again. She can’t concentrate any longer. Her heart is lost. Her bed pillows become her weeping bags in the night. What a shame!
Hmmm, o ga oo. In any case, weeping does not last forever. Our Lagos lady finally puts herself together. She draws closer to God and her Pastor. She continues to pray for the real Mr. Right to arrive. But something has been lost in her. She has lost the sense of pity. Yes, she may look so innocent outward, inside her is vengeance. She hopes to deal with one man one day. “That would serve men some lessons,” she says. When another guy then comes around with his “I love you, I will die for you, story,” the Lagos lady smiles and mutters, “Eleyi na tun de; this one too has come.”
It becomes so difficult for her to fall in love again. You then keep wondering why she remains unmarried till date. Please, don’t blame her. Counsel her instead. She needs the confidence. She must watch before she leaps again.
To all the Lagos spinsters, I say unto you, take heart. Don’t change your attitude because of your cowboy’s misbehaviors. For every woman on the surface of the earth is a man. Yours will come. Just relax and don’t become miserable. Being miserable will not help your health, neither will it do your figure any good.
Yes, I know sir; you don’t have to remind me. I know that you are already fuming because I’m praising our ladies. You say to me, “Has any lady ever dealt with you before? If so, you would have known that Lagos ladies are Jezebels.” Calm down, Mister, we will talk about that some other time. Stop looking at me with those terrible eyes; today is for the ladies. I have decided to pitch my tent with them today, and I think I’m at liberty to do so. Truly, some of them are as violent as vipers. But what turned them to that? Who caused it? Probably you!