The Hero Series: Part Five

A vocabulary lesson

I have noticed that the same search terms keep recurring. Basically, there is not an Igbo dictionary out there that can help you say what you want to say to this kain Igbo man that you really really want. Well, call me Mgbeke Ekeresimesi, because your Christmas has come two weeks early. Yes, Cinderella put down that ogbo igwe cutting into your hands, fling that ite ona cast iron pot away and find your glad rags, for you shall go to the ball. (Pardon my mixed metaphors, I haven’t had my daily dose of palm wine today and I am seeing things).

Bear in mind though that Igbo is a very tonal language. Unless you’re going to be writing whatever it is you’re going to say, this will not help much.

Here we go:

  1. ‘You hurt my feelings’ – I gbawara m obi  (Literally, you have broken my heart). You can also say ‘Ihe i mere m di m njo’ or ‘I mere m ihe ojoo’ – What you did to me was wrong/bad. (Note: Not to be used after sex when ‘Bad’ means ‘Good’ to an Igbo man).
  2. ‘Do you love me?’ – I huru m n’anya? (Asking this to an Igbo man without a ring on your finger is tantamount to GAME OVER. And I don’t mean finger rosary o. Use this wisely.)
  3. ‘Are you well husband?’ – Di m, aru adikwa? – My husband are you feeling alright?/Are you well? Preferably follow this up with rubbing his head or shoulders before you ask him for money. (Note: May lead to sex. Do not touch him if you are not in the mood. Do not say you have a headache when he is in the mood. He will buy you Panadol extla extla and wait for it to work before getting well and truly jiggy with it. If you are not in the mood, best to say ‘Ndewo’ – ‘Good morning’ like a normal person as you leave for work. The money can wait).
  4. ‘I will marry you’ – Aga m alu gi (Use ONLY in response to the question, ‘Will you marry me’ or the statement ‘I want you to be my wife’, ‘I ga alu m?’ and ‘Achoro m ka i buru nwunye m’  respectively. Anything other than this scenario will send the man to those churches convinced that you are trying to bewitch him. He will stop eating your food as well because we all know that a woman that is bold enough to propose to a man has been cooking his food with the special water she’s been using to cleanse certain parts of her body).
  5. ‘Good woman’ – Ezigbo/Ezi nwanyi. An Igbo man will only call you this when you have repaid your bride price to him. You do this by bearing him strong Igbo sons to carry on his strong Igbo name. If you have girl-children be prepared to bring them up, clawing for every kobo you can get from their father until someone comes to pay their bride price at which point they revert to their father’s property.
  6. ‘I want to have a baby’ – A choro m imu nwa. I’m going to assume that you mean ‘I want to have a baby for you’ which is ‘A choro m imuru gi nwa’. Say that out loud. Sound out the words. Good. Now look around. You see that dust rising from the carpet? That’s your guy vanishing at the speed of sound.
  7. ‘There is no problem’ – Nsogbu adiro/adighi. So what if you’ve just seen evidence that he has another woman? Shrug it off, nsogbu adiro. It’s not as if he’ll marry either of you anyway. He has a girl in the village who is just finishing Class 6.
  8. ‘I love you’ – A huru m gi n’anya. So your man has just said these words. Congratulations. If he said it after eating nkwobi, ofe nsala or chopping…ahem!…it doesn’t count. Wait…don’t tell me you’re going to tell him this first? Have you learnt nothing?!
  9. ‘I’m tired’ – Ike agwugo m. 
  10. ‘I don’t want’ – Hahahaha! Good luck with that!! Igbo men are the most persistent buggers you’ve ever met in your life. It will be simply better for you if you just marry him and give him like six or seven children. You’re going to do it anyway. OK, if you really must know, it’s A choghi m, but it rarely ever works. Your best bet? Buy a club.

Enjoy the ride!



9 thoughts on “The Hero Series: Part Five

  1. I don laff finish!!
    Nwunye m, that your #3 is soo on point. especially the “He will buy you Panadol extla extla and wait for it to work before getting well and truly jiggy with it”. I have heard wifely/gf stories like that. lol.
    I’ve noticed that umu nwoke Igbo praise their wives ‘as reward’ after they’ve gotten what they want not as incentive. What’s that sef?

  2. ok. now i can

    i meant: If he wants ofe nsala. he tells his wife ‘onye bem, i want to eat ofe nsala today. When she makes it…and flawlessly at that, that’s when he praises her with ‘ezigbo nwanyi’ nwanyi eji eje mba’. while for the woman, she does the praise singing before her demands are answered.

    Sometimes though, they are two sides of the same coin. Cos when he is happy and praising, then will the wise woman make her own demands :p

  3. Ehen, Ginger nwa mama, I have given your issue much thought and I have come up with an answer. You see, the same way Igbo women the world over are teaching their daughters to ‘tear eye’ and not be ewus for any man, Igbo men are doing the same to their sons. It’s the equivalent of ‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free’? If you praise the Igbo woman BEFORE she does something for you tomorrow she will start to expect praise all the time. Before you know what is happening she will start ‘having sense’ like those Kenyan women that denied their husbands sex. Mba nu. That will not do. To prove my point, how many Igbo men do you know that praise their girlfriends or fiancees?
    I rest my case.

  4. #5 had me cracking up!!! My dear you see as you carry boy 1st, if not by now a yr later, they would have been asking you when u go born the next one. Igbo ppl and male child syndrome no get part 2!! Its Igbo person that will ask for 1st preg “What did she born” without shame, when they hear “boy”, they’ll now say “Chukwu aluka”, when you say “girl”, they’ll say “eeeeyaaaah”. LOL

  5. I just stumbled upon your blog when in search of the return of my Igbo language (for some random reason, I feel Google can help me more than my parents. maybe it’s shame. those words: “i maghi igbo a su” with that tonal disbelief can be very daunting…)
    anyhow… enough of me. YOU GOT SOME GOOD STUFF HERE!
    now I shall keep it moving

    ka omesia.

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