Thursday, 20 February 2014

Troubles of a single lady

I sat under the canopy watching as guests arrived at the party. I was too early which was not customary for us Lagosians. We love to make grand entries so we arrive at parties late in order to make a statement. I watched as guests arrived in droves all dressed in the chosen aso ebi of the party which added colour to the occasion. Nigerian ladies love to dress up. The men were mostly in buba and sokoto; simply dressed but they all looked gorgeous. Food and drinks were being served and there was a huge array of dishes from the regular dishes like fried/jollof rice and pounded yam to the ceremonial dishes like ofada rice, yam portage, ewa aganyin, tuwo, amala, fish and dodo or fried yam chips etc. there was also asun as well as assorted drinks ranging from minerals, beer, stout, wine and spirits made their rounds. People had their fill.  Lagosians do know how to party.

The music boomed while people greeted on top of their voices trying to outdo each other. The only thing I hate about these parties was the noise. Discussion was always impossible. I looked around searching for some of my friends. Then I saw her as she walked towards my table. A broad smile on her face. “Aunty Ose!” she called out as I got up to hug her.

“Titi, it has being ages” I said as I stepped back to look at her. “You look good” I said admiring her. “Tell me the secret of your beauty” I inquired jokingly.

 “Ha aunty, it is God o! Who do I have but God” She responded laughing.

“Ehn, who is the bobo?” I asked laughing with her.

Bobo, which bobo, there are no bobos out there o!” She replied as she took her seat next to mine. I raised my eyebrow at her to indicate that I did not believe her. She kept quiet for a while.

“Aunty, why do people always think that you need a man to be happy? Titi asked. “I am always asked that question everywhere I went and it’s so irritating! People will show some respect only when you are married.” She said annoyed.

I was shocked at her outburst. “I am sorry Titi. I was just teasing.” I replied embarrassed. “I know you are capable of taking good care of yourself.” I found myself explaining thoroughly discomfited.  

She stared at me with a half -smile on her face. “I am sorry for my outburst. I know you didn’t mean it that way but I am just fed up of people asking that question.” She explained. “The other day, I was with my friend when her aunt asked me when I was going to marry or if I wanted to become an old maid. Aunty Ose, can you imagine that in this day and age? My mum queried me on why I changed my name and if I could not use a compound name instead.” She said exasperated.

 “How?” I asked.

“You know now, combine my marital name with my maiden name. I have been divorced from this man for ten years now and my mum believes I should live in deceit. What more should I expect if my mother is ashamed of my status.”

“You know people care and that’s why they ask these questions.” I said trying to re assure her.

 “I know some people do but most are just nosy. What people don’t understand is I am not in a hurry to get married. You know as a young girl one is pressurised into marriage. At every turn you are reminded that all your mates were married or about to marry. That’s why girls rush into marriage only for them to wish out of the marriage soon after.”

“I do agree with you.” I replied.

She grinned at me. “I remember a joke I read somewhere of a young girl that her aunt made it a point of duty to remind her that all her age mates were married. Sometimes at marriage ceremonies, she will walk up to her niece and say, ti e na a de o! The niece suffered in silence for a while until the day they met at an uncle’s funeral. She promptly looked at her aunt and said, ti yin na a de o! That was the last time the aunt greeted her that way.” We both burst out laughing.

“Don’t worry, I know how annoying this can be but just know that they mean well.” I said still laughing at her joke.

“Ha! Titi, long time! Where have you being hiding yourself?” shouted someone coming towards us. We turned to look at her. Titi got up to greet.

 “Ha! Moni, it has being ages truly o! She replied hugging her.

“Titi, you look good.” Moni said appraising her. “Who has being taking care of you? When are we meeting the bobo?” Moni asked. Titi and I exchanged looks and burst out laughing while Moni looked confused.

Meaning of Words
aso ebi-uniform worn at parties. It is customary for guests at parties to wear the same clothes or headgears
buba and sokoto- top and trousers for men
ofada rice-rice grown at ofada village in Ogun State. Its prepared in a special way-mostly served in leaves.
ewa aganyin- beans cooked in a special way by the aganyin people of Badagry in Lagos
Tuwo- rice pudding.Largely eaten by the Northern part of Nigeria
Amala- Yoruba meal made from yam
dodo- fried plantain 
Asun-barbecue goat. It is a delicacy eaten by the Ondo people of Ondo State.
Bobo- Boyfriend
ti e na a de o- we will also celebrate with you


  1. i tagged this 'Woman's world'.A good one

  2. Sis Yem. This is a good one. I love it

  3. Intriguing as usual... Rosemary

  4. I love this story. Lola

  5. Nice one, Yemi. I look forward to a Nigerian community that gives women the free choice of lifestyle without bias and stigmas. Meanwhile, keep being strong ladies. You are in control of your life decisions.

  6. Nice one.delectable

  7. Hmmmm.....