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Listen my dear, I do not understand this question.
When you’re Igbo you just know. In fact the first rule of knowing that you’re Igbo is to wonder if you are. Our culture does not favour everyone and if you’re feeling the pinch of it in a particular area of your life, the fact that you cannot escape is probably causing you to fantasise that maybe…just maybe…you might not be Igbo? Ha! Tough luck! You are.
If I am not an eight-year-old lying asleep on my mother’s couch, waiting for my Uncle Israel to pick me up for a two-week holiday at his house (Long story. More on this later) then you don’t get to have an alternate reality either. This is your life. Suck it up.
If you are adopted or something and are simply wondering if you could be Igbo, I think I can help. And don’t worry, if the majority of these symptoms have not manifested, they will. In time. As with all medical advice, having one or more means you are definitely Igbotically inclined.
- You have to resist the urge to blind, maim or even eviscerate your suitors: This means you like them. In fact, the more you like them, the more likely they are to end up dead. It will be sad if they die, yes, but your honour and Maidenhead will be intact.
****Of course we cannot disregard cases of rape and ‘forceful loving’ from centuries of cultural ‘Stop-it-I-like-its’. In those days however, there was a code of which both males and females, young and old were aware. There were signs that women gave if they were genuinely interested and merely testing your mettle to see if you would be a strong husband – if you genuinely wanted her as opposed to just anyone in her peer group. I would like to say there was no rape but it is likely that the consequences were more severe. Unlike today, rape could be punishable by death. But – and I say this as someone who has been on the receiving end of many a persistent bugger convinced he is being tested – there is a need for the language of courtship to change. If women are still reading from the scroll of courtship and men aren’t, there is a problem.
- You are relentless in your pursuit of degrees/independence: You mustn’t blame yourself if you are still stuck on your 10th postgraduate programme long after your mates have finished theirs. It’s a genetic condition. Do you know the science of evolution? Well, you are programmed to behave like that because in the not-too-distant past, your ancestresses married one man and had to look after themselves and their children with whatever they sold, sowed or bartered. The only thing they got from the men apart from social standing (and if your man was an akologheli like my Awka brethren would say, not even that) were yams and seed yams. You get where I’m going with this. Still…
- Marriage matters to you. Deeply. And so…
- In spite of your independence, you don’t want to appear too independent/smart. I know, I know. It’s annoying isn’t it? You have all the answers and you’re forced to hold your tongue while the men lumber around making all the mistakes and generally wrecking everything. You know how to hold a car distributor together with the under-wire of your bra and you have to watch your man fiddling with stuff under the bonnet and muttering “I think it’s the manifold.” And this, after refusing to call the mechanic twiddling his thumbs across the road. Stuff like that.
- You find yourself: Sitting down to cook (who was the imbecile that came up with standing up to cook anyway?), saving the best pieces of meat/fish for whatever man is closest during meal times, even if they are strangers. And if no man is available? Well, no wonder your freezer is full. Get a man ASAP. In fact, even a male dog has a penis and is more deserving than you are. Get one.
- You may have an innate hierarchical system: Men first, then male children, women and girls. The Marrieds over singles. This will determine how you treat them all the time. Contrary to the UN’s idiotic beliefs, all fingers are not created equal. You may also hate yourself for this, seeing as you’re educated and all. Don’t be silly. The minute you surrender to your Igboness, this internal conflict will be resolved. You’ll accept your place. Which is…
- A little above a child’s: Your man, whether temporary or permanent, has the right to discipline you as he sees fit. 50 Shades of Grey is your template. You can’t understand these people who hate it so much.
It might sound like your existence is dire; you have all of the responsibilities but none of the benefits but that isn’t always true. I’d say it’s split 80/20 but that is true in the rest of the world. The difference is that we’re Igbo. We are more honest about things than everyone else is. Keep your head down and do your duty. That is your reward for living.
But if you feel a bit blue, consider this: Amadioha is so merciful that he has given us a silver lining. Most of the men your age will probably be dead twice over before you even dream about popping your clogs.
May be the odds be ever in your favour!