What Traits Are You Willing To Overlook In A Partner?

Hello. It’s been aeons. Creating content for a blog on a regular basis, I have realized, is not compatible with working a full time job. I have been kept on my toes by my “real” job in the past few weeks and frankly, there were times I even forgot I had a blog, let alone think up something to post. Couple this with malaria, and….. I hope I’m forgiven.

This post was inspired by a discussion Mother had had with one of my uncles. He had had it with his wife’s loud and uncouth behaviour and Mother a while before then, had noticed traces of frustration in his demeanour, which he couldn’t hide anymore. He didn’t even know when, in a moment of heightened annoyance he blurted “I don’t even understand this woman anymore. Why can’t she just behave civilized for once”? Living in bitterness and resentment, he is. Let’s hear a bit of their history.

Uncle John(not real name), at the age of 36, is still searching for a wife. He is light brown in complexion, a secondary school certificate holder, soft spoken and about 5ft 6″ or 5ft7″. He decides to tell his mother back in the east to find him a good Christian girl who is from a good family and who must be at least 5ft 9″ or 5ft10″. His emphasis on the height of the girl is not missed because his height is one of his insecurities (a phenotypic trait which he doesn’t want to pass on to his progeny)and so they begin their hunt for the perfect wife for John. In a couple of months they succeed and introduce John to his betrothed, Aunty Jane. Aunty Jane(not real name either, duh) is ebony black, 22 years old, a secondary school certificate holder, 6ft plus, slim as a model and from a good Christian home: The perfect match, or so we thought.

Fast forward 12 years into their marriage. Uncle John is still as trim and handsome as ever, albeit with a few white strands in his hair. He is still soft spoken, and with his increase in age he stands with a quiet dignity even more pronounced than before. Here lies the problem: Aunty Jane is a complete antithesis of him. She is loud, i.e, she enters a room with her mouth first, she is now probably three times his size after having 4 kids for him, and while he is as composed as a statue, she is as disorganized as anyone can be. They both had their schooling in rural areas, but her absolute lack of modern manners is glaringly evident in her carriage, even after 12 years of big city life.

You know what my response was when Mother confided her worry about their marriage to me?

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No, I wasn’t being deliberately mean. I mean, I was a kid when they got married, but I can still remember clearly how smitten he was by her glowing skin, her slim body and her height; her height was probably enough to blind him to her other err, flaws. She is as loud now as she was then. She is as disorganized now as she was then. What gives, people?

Here’s my theory. He was so obsessed about a particular quality, that he was blind to the presence of flaws big enough to make his obsession wane quickly over time. I don’t know if I made much sense just now. What I mean is, he placed undue emphasis and interest in a particular trait, without giving room for other behavioural traits that would make it work with his kind of personality. Now don’t get me wrong, we’re all allowed to have criteria in choosing our [future] spouses, but apart from the physical, many things should be considered.

As an example, lets say Me, Chibugo. Physically I do not like men with too much facial hair, and on a good day I am just unable to fancy a guy whom I am taller than. On the other hand, I value good conversation, confidence, intelligence and a broad worldview, similar values (practicing Christian, book lover, etc), and last but definitely at the top of the list, a good sense of humor. These, for me, will trump facial hair or shortness, any day. Dear Uncle should have thought in a similar line before accepting his betrothed. So what if his kids turn out the same height as him? His peace of mind first, methinks.

The thing about physical features I have discovered is that, the rate at which they fade will astonish you. I have been told by different people(married) that “inasmuch as aesthetics matter, the bond of marriage is largely dependent on a similar value system. If he is as handsome as Ramsey Nouah and she is as beautiful as Genevieve Nnaji or as endowed as Amber Rose, when the strength of a marriage is tested, none of these will hold up. Show me a couple who can agree together on most things and I’ll show you a happy family”. There is a 14 year difference between them but right now they could pass for age mates, since she does not pay as much attention to her physical fitness/appearance as he does. This may have been a very minor issue if they could actually hold a conversation for a reasonable period of time without one person zoning out. I wondered how all this could have slipped his notice at the beginning! He was glad that he would not have short children and she was pretty much eager to become a wife. It’s a trend around here, you know, being a Mrs. Somebody. The part that is most painful to him is probably the fact that his kids have inherited her loud and disorganised behaviour, except one.

I am not married but common sense is not that expensive. Never overlook the important for the unimportant. You may end up as frustrated as Dear Uncle John. Even as marriage is between two imperfect people, let yours be a compromise based on a joint action of your head and your heart. Would you be able to bear that person’s bad habits in the long run? If you’re still in a relationship, great! But have you asked yourself whether you would like to spend the rest of your life with this woman because frankly you believe she is your lost rib or will you say yes if he were to propose tomorrow? The things you have decided to overlook/tolerate, are they greater in magnitude and importance than the things you admire about him/her? If your answer is yes, I believe you have some questions to ask yourself, boo. So, tell me: what can you tolerate, and what is an absolute no-no for you? For the married, how do you deal with your partner’s bad habits? Any advice for us still single? I definitely do not know it all, so please feel free to leave your comments, educate me!

The relationship between husband and wife should be one of closest friends – B. R. Ambedkar

Sincerely, Chibugo.

Monday Humor: Town Union Meeting!

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Just when I thought the worst would happen, i. e, I would have to hang my head and say “No Monday Humor Post Today”, Mother narrated an event to me that made me laugh and almost fall off my chair.

If you’re Igbo, living in a town that isn’t your hometown, you’re probably aware of the periodic town union meetings that we do have. Its not just an Igbo thing, I see even tribes from the South-South with similar dress doing their thing on Saturdays or Sundays. Its usually a simple affair in most cases, but there a variety of activities that some unions include in their agenda to spice things up a bit. Now, my townsmen and women hold their meetings in different locations and the men really have no dress code; they are all most likely to wear one traditional dress or the other. But the women! They compete so much with each other that they have to be given a dress code to adhere to strictly. Anyway, that’s not the reason for today’s post. Usually, at the last meeting of the year, they carry out what we call “bring and share”, whereby everyone brings a different food item ranging from simple western snacks, to the most complicated traditional foods.

It happened that at the close of meeting last year, they had agreed to meet as usual, bringing all the goodies. Now, know this: Mother is one of the greatest cooks when it comes to traditional food, and in my honest opinion, her meals are unrivalled. *Time was, when she was the CEO of a small but quite popular restaurant in the commercial area of Yaba, but that’s a story for another day*. At this annual event, Mother was sure to outshine everyone with her culinary prowess, and in her words, she would rather be late to the meeting and pay a fine, than present a substandard contribution. Nah, today’s laugh isn’t on Mother.

The Chair lady of the Women’s wing of our Town Union is what I would describe as a woman of great Charisma. She speaks, and everyone automatically keeps quiet to hear what she has to say. At this meeting, they had only gone quarter of the meeting when a foul smell permeated the hall. “Who did that?!” Chairlady bellowed. “Why can’t we just control ourselves? Please excuse us if you need to relieve yourself and stop polluting this environment. I won’t repeat this warning”. The meeting went on in relative peace before the wind brought in another wave of the putrid smell. It threatened to scatter the meeting because the intensity was three times stronger. She gave out the warning a second time, adding that a penalty would be imposed on the culprit, since she had refused to behave like an adult. The third time the smell hit, the meeting was already about to end and refreshments served. It was so intense that Chairlady had to ask if there was an exposed gutter around the area because the smell had gone beyond a human fart. She investigated but there was none. As she came back into the hall, everywhere was silent, with murmurs going on here and there. The refreshments were being served, but something was amiss. Eyes pointed at her accusingly, and the smell was there, fully present, and with no intention of leaving anytime soon.

Turns out it was actually the food contribution she brought that had threatened to smell them out of the place. She had prepared a meal of  “Abacha na Ugba” an Igbo delicacy made from sliced cassava and fermented and sliced oil beans. Now, Ugba has a tendency to smell, and in fact, I do not know her method of preparation, but it seemed she had prepared it before going to church and stored it in a cooler. She had probably come back from church and simply packed the cooler to the meeting without checking its contents, but, I guess a second phase of fermentation had taken place because the cooler was really airtight and it had been in there for so long. Another member of the meeting had probably come in and on keeping her contribution on the food table, managed to mistakenly tilt the cover of Chairlady’s cooler, hence the “brain-damaging aroma”. To hear Mother tell it(she’s a natural clown so its possible she overdid it), this is probably how her facial expression was when she found out she was the cause of the confusion all along: AWKWARD!!! LOLuncomf

I felt sorry for Chairlady. What a way to end a meeting. Mother outdid herself, of course. Kidney beans porridge…yum. She was the star of the day, that’s not to say she won’t have her day here too. Lol. Have a fab week ahead.

Be My Valentine, Will You? Yes, you.

The only problem I have with Valentine’s day is the fact that many people do not really know what they celebrate.9568333-happy-birthday-beautiful-young-black-girl-sitting-on-the-floor-at-home-with-a-big-smile-holding-a-wr-stock-photo

Ask a random person what Valentine means to him or her and observe the response and you’ll know I’m not far from the truth.So many memes and jokes have been made around this singular event, and I’m not surprised that many have gotten into trouble they didn’t bargain for, all because of Falantine.

I have not the strength to begin narrating the history of Saint Valentine and how he died for the sake of preserving true love in the sanctity of marriage, but if you’re interested, you can read it up  here.

I’m sure you all are probably already sick of reading different things about Val’s day, but one more wouldn’t hurt, eh? What does Valentine’s day mean to you? A day to get cards and chocolate and red teddy bears? A day for a random hook-up? A day to go out, party and get weisted? A day to visit the motherless babies’ home or an orphanage or some other charity home to show “love”? A day to do something special for boo/bae (married/in a relationship)? I am not here to discredit any of these choices, but the concept of love should not be an occasional practice. In fact, left to me, EVERYDAY SHOULD BE VALENTINE’S DAY!

Some may argue that to married couples it should be a day of renewal of marriage promises but I beg to differ. If a man is a wife beater or a woman is a lousy homemaker, will it suddenly change for the sake of Valentine’s day? Of course not. Why do we even have to wait for val’s day to share gifts? To take boo/bae out to somewhere special? To visit a charity home? To renew our wedding vows? If you are a Christian, then I’m here to tell you that you have been called specifically to practice love everyday. That was the point of Father Valentine’s death, wasn’t it? That was the whole point of Jesus death on the cross, right? Since you claim to be Christ-like, you can’t save all that love for February 14th, boo. You’ve gotta share the love every blessed day. In fact, personally, a gift or an act of kindness given/shown to me on a random day carries more weight in my eyes than whatever someone does for me “for the sake of Val’s day”. I believe then, (and you should too) that:

  1. You do not have to be in a relationship to celebrate Valentine’s day.
  2. You should not feel bad if you do not have a boo/bae during this period. You didn’t have one before, so why should it matter so much now? Suck it up and stop having crowd mentality. Not everything you see on Instagram is as it appears.
  3. Give yourself a standard of love. Challenge yourself to do an act of random kindness everyday; if not everyday then every week. Direct it all round: your spouse, a neighbour whom you normally ignore on a daily basis, your extended family, a random stranger, your friends. When you open your hands to give that love, you’ll be surprised at the overflow that will come into those same hands because they’re already open. 
  4. You do not have to be in a relationship to celebrate Valentine’s day. Did I say that before? Oh well, I’m saying it again.

Romance is all great, but even the married people will tell you that the bed of roses called marriage has its own share of hidden thorns, and the wounds caused by these thorns are healed through the action of deliberate love. Loving people even when its terribly hard. That’s what Valentine is about. Renew those vows everyday and watch things change. Make it a daily affair and you’ll never have cause to lack true love in and around you. It helps that this year, Val’s day fell during lent. I think the Lord is trying to tell us all something. Lol.

May your cup of love overflow from now…. Okay let me make a small concession. Oya chop kiss:

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“…Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto Me” – Jesus

OLAJUMOKE ORISAGUNA COULD BE YOU!

 

From this….

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Olajumoke the bread seller walking into the shoot

To this….. 😀

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Olajumoke… Now the subject of a shoot!

Can you tell that I’m really excited putting up this post? It’s about 4 days late but the message behind it is never late.

I follow T. Y. Bello on Instagram and on Sunday she put up a series of posts about this grass to grace story of a young lady called Jumoke. Now, Tinie Tempah was in Lagos for a shoot, and ace photographer T. Y. Bello decided on a street themed shoot for him. While the shoot was going on, an Agege bread seller happened to walk by and even as she was trying to walk fast out of the scene of the shoot, T. Y. Bello urged her to be slower so she could capture the presence of the Agege bread seller. To her, she was simply adding some spice to the photo, trying her darnedest to capture the essence of “the real Lagos”; little did she know that she had just discovered a diamond in the midst of dirt.

Fast-forward to the publication of the shoot. Everyone kept asking: who is the model beside Tinie? Is she a Nigerian? Why isn’t she popular already.? She’s a natural! Boom! A star had been born. T. Y. Bello instigated a search on social media for this Agege bread seller who had photo-bombed her way into everyone’s heart, and of course, she was found. (The power of social media!)

Meanwhile, Jumoke our Agege bread seller had continued with her business of selling hot bread on the streets of Yaba. The day of the shoot was just another day with a weird occurrence. But alas! Going along and minding her business, she was one day presented with her own photo by someone(a customer, I presume) who had stumbled upon the picture on Facebook. Jumoke coincidentally happened to be wearing the very same dress she wore on the day of the shoot, and so she was easily spotted.

She was taken to the studio where T. Y. Bello’s intuition was confirmed. The girl was a natural model. Her short curly hair extensions were removed by top hairstylist Zuby to reveal a beautiful short afro, while she was given an amazing makeover by Internationally known makeup artist, Bimpe Onakoya.

Know this: Jumoke is a 27 year old mother of two, who left her sliding door-installer husband in Ire, Osun state with her five year old child due to hard times to come to Lagos with her 14-month old baby and try to make a living, hawking bread from a relative’s bakery.  Her dream is to be a hairstylist and to one day act in a Yoruba movie. She speaks little English but communicates fluently in Yoruba. Currently, as a result of the buzz she generated from the shoot, Jumoke is now close to starting an internship at Make me Salon and has been offered an additional internship at Sari’s signature, a famous Lebanese salon on the Island.

To pay Jumoke her first model fee from her first gig in front of the camera, she was paid exactly what a top Nigerian model would be paid. She’s been offered a modelling contract with the help of Godson Ukagbu from FEW Models. She has also had Pay Porte reach out to her to be a model on their next billboard campaign. A mentor of T. Y ‘s has offered to foot the bill for her accommodation, education, as well as her child’s, making it possible for her to be reunited to her husband and older child.

Just as T. Y. Bello concluded, it may seem accidental but it’s definitely divine. This event was definitely a miracle. You can follow her on Instagram @tybello to read the whole story and get its details.Screenshot_2016-02-11-18-45-05.png

Now, here are a few things I learned from this event:

1.You may have a dream but lack the resources to make it come through at the moment. This is no excuse to relax and become lazy, relying only on dreams. Jumoke knew she had to make a move to at least survive. That was why she came to Lagos. Survival is the key to staying alive long enough to sustain and achieve your dream. Do something! You never know, that next step you take might be your breakthrough.

2. Make a move to survive and sustain your dream but remain legit! Jumoke sold bread. How much does the average bread seller earn daily.? It can’t be more than what some of us pay for a bowl of coldstone ice cream. Yet she wasn’t tempted to dabble in less noble trades*if you get what I mean*.

3. Above all, be true to yourself. This particular lesson I learnt from Bello herself. That woman has been my role model for as long as I can remember and I’m glad it’s so. Remember her from her days in KUSH together with Lara George and the third lady whose name I can’t remember? Their song,”Come let’s live together” still packs a powerful message today.

Head on to Instagram to get the full gist. You’ll be glad you did.

This “Falantine” breeze is blowing hard oh. Hmm. See you in my next post… Really soon.

Kisses, hugs and kuli kuli,

Sincerely, Chibugo.

Monday Humor – Pride Cometh Before A Fall

How are you doing? I have been a lazy blogger, I know. I can even see some weeds growing around this space due to neglect. Nor vex. You know, this blogging sumtin is not easy fa. I will be (or at least try to be) a more frequent poster from now on. Also, feel free to subscribe to my mailing list so that you get an email alert each time a new post comes up. It’s on the right tab, you can’t miss it. Tainkiu.11615503-laughing-out-loud-emoticon-stock-vector-smiley-face-cartoon1

Now permit me to take y’all back, way back into time. I’m talking about more than a dozen years ago, give or take. Now it so happens that this girl called Chibugo was moved from primary three at her private Catholic mission school to a different school, where due to her high IQ *cough cough*, she was made to skip a class. It so happens that from that class (primary five), she managed to pass the NCEE with good grades such that at 9, she was admitted into a renowned Catholic Secondary School.

Chibugo was one day sent to pick up little Kano, her brother, from her former primary school. Now, know this: Chibugo’s former classmates were all either in primary four, five or six, and she happened to be the only one who was already a “big” girl in secondary school. She got ready, putting on decent clothes, combing her hair and putting on her spanking new watch, and went to the school. On getting to the school, she came across most of her classmates most of whom looked with envy at her because she was now a secondary school girl, but she paid them no mind. It would have been a wonderfully perfect story if one of her perpetually “hembarrazing” situations did not decide to come up that very day. *facepalm*

As she walked out of the school with Kano’s little hand in hers, talking to her former class crush Ari, who was now two years her junior, the most unexpected happened. A stone happened to be in her path but a swelled head, plus the presence of her former classmates fawning over her new status (and envying her sparkling new watch), plus her crush walking beside her, were sufficient to blind her to it, such that she had a fall AS GREAT AS THAT OF HUMPTY DUMPTY! Her crush helped her up, old friends cleaned her up, but her pride was never the same. It had just received a thorough beating. It was battered to tatters, in fact. She has since learnt her lesson, believe me. Pride went before this fall, literally.

I still have the mark from that fall on my elbow. The memory remains very vivid. I hope this post gave you a good laugh, or at least brought you a smile to help de-stress the week a bit. Even as the “Falantine”  breeze is blowing all over the place, have a Fanta-bulous and Coke-astic week ahead!!! See you in my next post!

Kisses, hugs, and kulikuli,

Chibugo.

Monday Humor : No Monday Humor post today

piqkdl7i9Y’all know I type and publish most of my posts on the go right? My job is one that involves a lot of walkabout to meet people and a lot of talk talk to convince folks. That’s not the gist for today. In fact, there will be no Monday Humor post today. I’m not even close to that mood.

That’s how I was jejely going on my own o, to see client 1. The conductor said “wole pelu change yen oo!” As I did not have change, will I now come and go and kee  mysef away? I entered and the Bobo collected my 500 note and refused to give me change. As if I was the only one that gave him 500. When it was my time to alight, I did, and the mischievous man flung 400 Naira at me and his driver zoomed off before I could say “Otapiapia”. The 50 Naira was actually not the problem, only that I had planned my itinerary such that I was with the exact amount of money it would take me to get to all my locations. Chai.

I Sha moved on to like nothing happened even though I was pained by it. Taking people’s money makes one a thief, and no one likes to be stolen from. *long hiss*

As if that was not enough, enroute my penultimate location, I had to board a bike. I asked the aboki mallam if he knew the place and he said yes. Ngwanu, we were going on our way to the kain location when we had to enter a road through a corner. Due to the harmattan dust, a woman was wetting the roads with water and she had overdone it in some areas as they were quite waterlogged already. Oga Okadaman decided it was the very same place that was waterlogged that he would pass. “Igbagadam!” That was how we both fell in a pool of black water. I was already seeing red at this point and I know that of I had opened my mouth to say anything, I might have wounded someone with my words. The water-pourer woman was there too and I honestly felt a slap coming out of my hand if I didn’t check myself. She brought the same water and my aboki mallam, apologizing profusely in a mix of broken English and Hausa, proceeded to clean up most of the mess that was on me actually, since it seems my left leg broke the fall of his bike. I just remained mute and allowed him do his thing.  That was how all my baffing up this morning was in vain. Smh

I was hoping that would be the end of the series of unfortunate events that wanted to welcome me into February, but lo! Aboki mallam didn’t actually know where he was taking me to! After we went in what seemed like unending circles and asked about 3 people for directions to no avail, I gently asked oga Okada to drop me so I could find my way myself. I eventually did and successfully completed my business in that area. I had to go home straight. The pains from  my “accident”  are only just getting to me and before I finish this rant, at least let me have something beneficial to give to you: some advice. If you’re going anywhere by bike, ensure that the person taking you actually understood what you said and knows the way to your destination.

Imagine me, going out this first morning of February with a smile on my face and a spring in my steps, only to return with mud-spattered sneakers and looking generally frazzled and smelly. Everything and anything that tries to tamper with our joy this February ehn, Fayaaaaa!!!

Have a great week, friends. I hope your day goes better than mine did.

Body nor be firewood – Nigerian proverb