Onyinye Ubah

Early this year, I was on my way to the Island. I joined one of those private cars that some men usually use as cabs in the morning. I was at the back seat and as usual I was busy with my phone. From the conversation between the driver and the passenger in the front seat, it was obvious that knew each other well. Then, at a point, this happened:

Driver: ‘Bia nna, nwa ada no n’azu, ngi na ya so wee bata motor a, o ya ka iji wee me nri-abani?’ ( this lady that is at the back seat, was she your ‘dinner’ last night?)
Passenger: ‘A ma kwa m onye obu ( I don’t know who she is). I di kwa sure na o ha nu Igbo?’ (Are you sure she doesn’t understand Igbo?)
Driver: ‘Ka m confirm o (Let me confirm)…kee afa gi?’ ( what’s your name?)

I pretended not to hear and understand them. I had my eyes popped out like an owl fixed on my phone, with my fingers swiping the screen left, right and center like the claws of a bird and my ears standing like that of an antelope. They looked at each other and smiled mischievously thinking I didn’t understand them. Thinking about it, I came to a conclusion that it’s not about me. It’s about him and his poor perception of women which is quite pathetic. 

On the flip side, Like Aunty Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, I was rather ‘upset’ that after sucking my mother’s breast for 8 and half months, someone looked at me from head to toe and the first thing that came to his mind was ‘nri-abani’ (‘dinner’). But come to think of it, after Mr.right has given his assurance sealed with a ring, what do I bring to the table apart from my pretty face, portable body and of course, ‘nri abani’?

On a serious note, wouldn’t it also be great to run the ‘wild race’ in our bedroom and still run the wild race of life together? to weather the storms of life and still look into each other’s eyes with romantic smiles and compassion? Wouldn’t it also be interesting to be each other’s friend and at the same time maintain the boundaries of love and respect? Wouldn’t it be mind blowing to grow together in our various fields of endeavours while we grow older each passing day? Wouldn’t we rather have our disagreements and arguments while at the same time knowing whatever we do, it’s about us and a compromise must be reached because we are going nowhere? Wouldn’t it rather….

On a lighter note, the ‘nri-abani’ talk knows no end. On that funny Tuesday, after the close of business, my colleague went about bidding everyone goodbye night and this ensued.

Colleague: ‘Mr. A, good night. Please go home and cuddle your wife. Mrs.B, please go home o. This is a weather for two. Don’t keep your husband waiting.’

Then, she came to me. With her head tilted to the left as she stood in front of me while I was sitting.

Colleague: ‘Onyi, so you think I will tell you good night? My friend, go home and hug your pillow. This is just the beginning. By June, July cold will wound you. This one we will increase the Air conditioner in this office,you will be shaking. Oh! You think we don’t know what’s doing you? You have refused to give us wedding I.V. Be there selecting husband up and down. Nonsense and ingredient!’

A loud laughter ensued. That laughter was the unofficial bell for the close of business on that day!

Photo credit: MIN Photography

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