‘You are the Iron of my Bra': An Igbo love song by Chigul Omeruah

I have not five minutes ago been made aware of the comedic talent of this person, who goes by the name of Chigul Omeruah on YouTube. I watched her ‘Gus-ip’ round-up of the Gulder Ultimate Search competition, a Nigerian show sponsored by Gulder beer that is a cross between ‘Survivor’ and ‘I’m A Celebrity’ from what I have heard. I laughed. Then I went on YouTube and stuck gold. Maybe I find her so funny because of her ability to improvise, her gift for observation – we all know someone, an ‘aunty’ who sounds or acts like she does. Maybe it’s just because she sounds like she’s a crazy Igbo girl which is right up my street.

Or maybe it’s that catch-phrase: Ngwa byeeee! I mean we all say it, especially at the end of phone conversations but somehow she’s just made it hers.

You watch the video below and decide. I’m off to watch some more myself, in a rather uncharacteristic fashion. Ngwa byeeeeee.

(I am so getting that printed on a t-shirt.)

Update: I thought this one deserved to be seen so I tagged it on.

The Hero Series: ‘Why do Igbo men want you to get pregnant first before marriage’?

Number of times searched – 1

Related queries (last 7 days):

Does Igbo men have feelings love? – 2 times

What does it mean when your Igbo boyfriend wants to take you to Nigeria to meet his family? – 1 time

What is it about Igbo men? – 1 time

I’m sorry, but as my grandmother would say, this question di nkilinka. Why should a man not want his future wife to be pregnant before marriage biko nu?

Bia, let me tell you sontin. You are mistaken in comparing  your Igbo man, that prince among men, to any others. He is unlike no man you’ve ever known (yes, I see it too). An Igbo man is special as are his circumstances and should be treated as such.

First of all, congratulations! An Igbo man who wants to give you the gift of his seed has only the highest esteem for you. Do you think it is every woman who is entrusted with the task of bearing strong Igbo sons? This is the way that an Igbo men shows you he loves you. All those flowers-and-perfume things, he did them just for you, to get your friends to envy you and agree for him (that way, if you are foolish enough to have another boyfriend they will tell him). He demands the bouquet of  your womb in return because and if you truly love and trust him, you will comply.

Igbo men does have feelings love. They just have a different way of showing them.  I’m not sure why anyone would doubt enough to type this query twice.

An Igbo man is ever pragmatic. Is he to continue in love nwantinti that childlessness shall abound?

God forbid.

What is he supposed to do with a woman who cannot bear children? The main purpose of Igbo relationships is to bear progeny. Not to do loving. Your man has just told you the most romantic thing any Igbo man can ever tell a woman. And you still want to know why? I don’t understand some women.

Okay, imagine your favourite proposal scenario: he is down on one knee, there are candles everywhere. And a white horse. A few white horses. A huge ring. You’re in a tight, flattering dress because you knew this was coming because you always look your best anyway. Ditto all your friends and family and their cameras and phones and tablets. And maybe one of those wedding bloggers to report on the whole thing. Your man says the magic words: “Will you marry me?”

Do you tell him, “Wait. Let me consult Nwunye to ask her why you want to marry me”? Because that is exactly what you’re doing right now. Don’t be ridiculous. Hopefully, you haven’t ruined it all. Go over to wherever he is, kneel down and beg him. Then lie back and pray that his seed finds you worthy enough to take root. Remember, I said lie down. If you stand up at this point, any child you have nine months later will be crazy. Ask anybody.

And before you buy your ticket for Nigeria with your Igbo boyfriend, I suggest you learn how to cook and enjoy onugbu soup. 

‘What is it about Igbo men’? Girl, I can’t answer that one. I still have no clue. Let me know when you figure it out.

(Found in draft folder. First written March 13, 2013)

Computer saaaay, I write like Chuck Palahnuik.

So I took this test last year that is supposed to tell you who you write like – for kicks of course. It was winter. I was bored, I went on Facebook and it was there. Normally I wouldn’t bother with such tests, believing as I do, that everyone writes as themselves even when the idea has been done to death – everyone is unique. This time I took it. I put in a sample of my writing, something short and I got ‘Chuck Palahnuik’. (Just embedded the badge over there —–>)

“Who the heck is Chuck Pala…Pala…how do you even say this name sef?” I tsked, went on Amazon, bought one of his books and became a believer. Yes, algorithm you are indeed all-knowing. Who am I to reject your results? Chuck Palahnuik is awesome! Thank you very much.

The novel I bought was ‘Haunted’ (Amazon says I bought it on March 31st 2013). I am still scraping off pieces of grey matter from where he BLEW MY MIND. Chuck Palahnuik, man. I see you. You complete me. You had me at ‘This was supposed to be a writer’s retreat’.

I have since bought and read ‘Fight Club’ (which the film is based on. I have not yet seen it but I know who’s in it), I am reading ‘Choke’ and have ‘Survivor’ stashed away for Christmas when all the fake cheer becomes too much and I want some good old psychological, mind-bending shit so that I don’t lock my parents in the basement and torture them by withholding their coffee and making them watch Corrie.

‘Haunted’ for me is still my favourite Chuck Palahnuik book because…well…you never forget your first. It is based on a group of people who answer the ad to a writers’ programme that reads: Artists’ Retreat: Abandon your life for three months which becomes the overarching plot that links the stories. The 23 short stories are the writers’ back stories, each one as unique as a fingerprint and twice as horrifying. People are known to have passed out or thrown up when Chuck read ‘Guts’ at book tours. The whole thing is totally mad. Dark, crafted, hilarious madness. The man knows his stuff.

What’s my point to all this? I don’t do book reviews on this blog. I guess the point would be to say, don’t place too much stock in quizzes if you’re a writer. Do your own thing but do keep an open mind. Sometimes, it leads you down unexpected paths and your life is much richer for it.

‘Cali': Part Eleven

Hot yellow light sliced into us from nowhere.

It blinded me. I flinched. The asshole drew back. He turned towards the light. A look passed over him. Anger. In that split second, it seemed to me as if he was baring his teeth.

“Chielozona?” The silhouette behind the car headlights was a welcome relief.  I walked quickly towards Cali, almost skipping in my haste to get to him. I threw myself in his arms.

“Cali…my car died and my phone died and…”

“It’s okay,” he said. He held me a little away from himself and scrutinised me. “I waited than I drove down here slow-slow to see if I would catch you on the way. Sorry I wasted time.”

“No, it’s not your fault,” I shook my head. It was just like Cali to apologise when he was the one helping me out.

The dizzy feeling had all but dissipated. I cleared my throat but Cali was no longer paying attention. His gaze was directed at asshole behind me who now slammed the passenger side door and came towards us with my things in tow.

“Here,” he said, thrusting his arm in my direction ungraciously. He bared his teeth again, not quite a smile but not a grimace either. I could not tell what it was supposed to mean but it made me uneasy. I looked at Cali. He was unmoved, casually brushing his jacket aside to slip his hand into his trouser pocket.

“Cali this is Mr…” I almost said ‘Mr Asshole’ but checked myself at the last minute. “He’s a customer. He was just going to give me a ride.”

“Tenk you,” said Cali. He held out his right hand.

“Later, stranger,” said the asshole ignoring the hand. He walked towards his car, started it up and drove away.

A frown creased Cali’s forehead. It disappeared when he turned, smiling to me. “Ngwa let’s go, mummy.”

On the drive home Cali was silent. I didn’t say much too. My brain buzzed like a hive of bees. Something had nearly happened or had happened but I couldn’t figure it out still and it bothered me. If Cali hadn’t come would I have…what would I have done? Would I have gone with him? I felt myself wanting to, in spite of myself. And what did the asshole mean by ‘unaffected by me’?

“Mummy? Are you okay?” asked Cali. I could tell he was searching my face in the lit spaces between the darkness.

I looped my hand around his neck and pulled his face towards mine. Cali pulled the car over.

***

My fears seemed unfounded the next morning. I felt like one of those women tied to train tracks in old black and white films, screaming ‘Help!’ and waiting to be rescued. In other words? I felt foolish. So when Cali offered to drive me to work, I refused.

“It’s cool, Cali. I can get to work by myself. There is nothing wrong with my legs,” I joked.

He tweaked my nose. “Did I say there was something wrong with your legs?” His eyes jumped about in his face. I could tell he was glad to see me. “I just want to take you, that’s all. You’re my darling wife.”

I rolled my eyes. “It’s like that the men in your village marry? No bride price? No palm wine on my head? You’ve tried.” I grabbed my bags.

“Okay, okay. Don’t be angly. You’re my wife-to-be?” Something in his tone made me turn around. Cali held out a box. My heart skipped a beat.

“Cali…what is that?”

“I was going to keep it until later but I think that now, you should take it. From me to you.”

“Cali…”

“Okay, okay. You don’t have to open it now. Just…take it.”

The box was a bigger than your standard ring box when I looked closely and my heart descended from my throat.  “Thank you,” I kissed him.

“I know you will like it….you don’t want to open it?”

My phone started ringing. I smiled at him, and raised a finger. “Hello?”

It was the bank manager. I handed the box back and raced for the front door.

***

“I swear I didn’t park my car in your spot, sir. I tried to get home yesterday and when it wouldn’t start, I just left it where I had parked it. By the wall.”

“I do not appreciate having to walk a long way through the car park with sensitive documents flying about because someone, a junior member of staff for that matter, takes it upon herself to displace the manager.”

I wondered what one had to do with the other but said nothing.  I had not parked in his spot, but  did he not have a briefcase for his documents?

“Mr Elendu sir, it won’t happen again,” said the floor manager, cutting eyes at me. I rearranged my face so that my thoughts would not show on them.

“See that it doesn’t,” said Mr Elendu. “It was very embarrassing.”

“I’m sorry, sir. I’ll move it now.” I left quickly before the floor manager could run after me to breathe fire down my neck.

I slipped my keys in the ignition and turned it. My car roared to life.

‘Cali': Part Ten

I groaned. I could have sworn it was inwardly but the man laughed, so I knew I had done it aloud. His teeth gleamed unnaturally white in the dimness of his car.

“No, thank you,” I said. “I don’t take rides from strangers.” I started to walk away. He followed in the car.

“Ehh, let me guess. You can run your mouth when you’re behind the safety of your precious glass but now that I am here, I’m a stranger?”

“You were always a stranger,” I said, in spite of myself. Something told me to shut my mouth and just keep walking. I looked all about waiting for the okadas coming behind me or towards me on the other side of the road. Nothing. Only cars. Buses zoomed past without stopping. No conductors shouting for fares. They were all full. What time was it?

The man laughed again, as the last car whooshed past us. Darkness. I realised I had walked past the bank’s lit fence. My heart beat with so much force that it shook my body. I began to walk faster. I turned. The car remained ominously silent behind me…

“You’re being stupid,” said a voice.

I walked straight into the man. In front of me. I screamed.

“How did you…? Jes…”

“You’re going to break your neck,” he said. “Stop being a smallie. Get in the car. I’ll give you a ride. Okay?”

The asshole was almost murmuring now. I felt dizzy. I couldn’t think. My nose hurt from where I had bumped it against his body, like walking into a padded door. How had he got in front of me?

“I’m waiting for someone. My boyfriend. He’s coming to find me…”

His face was above mine. Way above mine. But I felt a disturbance in the air as if someone had sliced it in two with a hot knife. He was smiling again.

“No he isn’t,” he said. “Com’on. You don’t want someone to attack you, do you?”

What he said made sense. Perfect sense. Would I not be better off with someone I sort-of knew? But something in me was screaming. I backed away. I had been intending to get away and cross the road to the other side but somehow I got to the car and he was opening the door, standing near me, helping me in.

“You know, you really intrigue me,” he said.

My saliva turned to paste in my mouth. “I do?” I could see flashes of colour in my mind’s eye. Red mostly. Some silver. I knew I was afraid but it was as if my body could not feel it properly.

“You do. You seem…unaffected by me. Almost.” The asshole sniffed my ear, my neck. He backed away. “Listen. I’m sorry I called you a bitch. I didn’t mean that. And I don’t mean to scare you or anything. You are scared. I can tell.”

As he backed away, I felt a jagged feeling run though me, as if I was finally connecting to my brain. “Look, I’m sorry but I can’t…my boyfriend will pick me up.”

“We’ve been here for twenty minutes . Would you get in the car already? I’ve never had to work so hard to convince a woman to let me help her.”

A thought occurred to me. “No.”

“No?” he sounded surprised.

“No, thank you. I think I’ll…I’ll wait.”

The man stood there. I could feel the heat coming off him as he leaned in again. “Are you sure?”

Flashes of red. Silver. Sweat soaked into the wings of my bra from my armpit.