Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Like oil used to fry eggs!

...Omonoba...
Our people say:
Yoruba: Kànìké tìtorí oókan kùngbe.
Eng: Kànìké set fire to the forest on account of a single cowry shell. - Yoruba Proverb.

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There is not a day when I am not writing or thinking about what I would like to write. Touching the ever real issue of inter-tribal marriage(s), I have decided to share an excerpt from an on-going work of mine. Here is a rant from a Yoruba woman whose daughter has decided to bring home an Igbo man...Ha, I have stories to tell sha!

When my daughter told me that she was getting married to an Igbo man, I scolded her for making jokes with weighty issues such as inter-tribal marriage and when she persisted, I told her that I would not believe her until I saw them in my compound. As if she dared my sarcasm and the anger laced intricately into it, she did ask him, Obioma and his relatives to bring palm wine to my house asking for her hand in marriage. But where was it heard of before that the Yoruba men were insufficient or the eyes of a well-trained Yoruba girl would see an Igbo man and behold beauty within him? Or assuming she did behold beauty within him to perhaps admire the creation of God, would her eyes deceive her unto admiration and then love? Love ko, love ni? Anyway, after I spat beside my husband’s grave in disbelief and disgust, I was almost sure that his body turned in agreement with me. I tried to be polite to the Igbo suitors though I must confess that pushing my daughter, Laide through my tight pelvis during labour and mourning my husband after his sudden death were much easier for me to do.

“Did Laide say that she will marry your son?”, I asked the oldest of the men.

“Yes ma. Our son beheld a beautiful flower in your garden and informed us that he would like to pluck it.” 

“You have not answered my question. Did my daughter say to you that she would like to marry your son?” 


As I spoke, I fought the cuticles beneath my fingernails like they were the ones I had anger for. I glanced at the boy, Obioma. I saw him looking at my daughter from across the living room, the side where the Igbo suitors sat. He was smiling, almost blushing and they were exchanging facial expressions as if to mock me that I didn't understand their secret language.

“Yes, your daughter and our son have both consented to marriage and that is why we have come here with palm wine to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage. We thought we would meet some men from the family here today.” 

I laughed within myself even though my wrinkles were finely spread out across my face in the most deceitful grin.

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Conflicts based solely on culture differences forever remain SHALLOW to me. Shallow, like oil used to fry eggs!
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Please go ahead and nominate your favourite bloggers for the Category B of the NigerianBlogAwards...Bless, my beautiful people.

12 comments:

  1. 3 gbosas for you for a well scripted excerpt piece...Gal! you hit the nail on the head with just that short story!.. Inter-tribal ain't easy!..it took persuasion on both i & my hubby end to allow our parents agree to our marriage!..Am ESAN..& the only daughter..my hubby is YORUBA..from a royal lineage..so MUCH was expected from us!..At least there are still similarities in our culture judging from history BUT for a YORUBA gal to marry an IGBO guy ..is WAR O!..My sister-in-law is married to an igbo man..which my mother-in-law is not so happy about....INTER-TRIBAL MARRIAGE TAKES TWICE THE EFFORT TO MAKE IT WORK!.. SO THAT PEOPLE WOULD NOT SAY...WE TOLD YOU SO!weldone..

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  2. You have done it again NakedSha. I must say, one thing I particularly love your writing is the rich and thick descriptions you often use to relate the message. Keep on keeping on so gbo?

    I can never marry someone tht's not yoruba too o talkless of akata. lol

    -LDP

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  3. Wow!!!!I LOVE IT!!!Want to read the whole thing!!!!Naked should write more!!!!
    Its seems like a lovely excerpt to a great story. Love the descriptions and the mother's witty sarcasm,like she's just waiting to explode-now or when the igbo family leaves.I love it love it love it!!!U write beautifully!!!!

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  4. As per tribal marriages. I'm of the opinion that what matters is the two people involves, tho,therefater one now has to be fully aware and educated of the implication/differences due to the decision.Fairy tales aside,its not an easy battle even in these "modern" times. God help us Africans sha.

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  5. Once again I love your new piece. It reminds me of my mother's initial reaction to my fiance!

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  6. Lol.. I like this POV a lot. You rarely get to hear such stories from the POV of the opposing mother/father. Good (albeit brief) work!

    I agree with you that cultural differences alone aren't enough to completely oppose inter-tribal/inter-racial marriages. Sure, marrying someone within your culture might be easier, but whoever said marriage was supposed to be easy? Parents usually know better than we do on matters like this, but at the same time, I believe God's approval is the most important and often the only one you need when push comes to shove.

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  7. i enjoyed this...u write well

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  8. It is not an easy battle to b won, my younger sister is datng an igbo guy and my mum is already voicing her non-acceptance...love the decription...beautigul read

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  9. I am definitely taken by the character of the mother, lol, interesting.

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  10. couldn't help laughing at the " we found a flower in your garden..we wanna pluck.. " the mother must have said in her her.."you should kuku carry the whole tree **hiss**" lol...
    lovely story.. yeah you killed it ..

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  11. Thank you all so much.

    @IphyIgboGurl, I love you too babe!

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Your comments are my maggi!