Tag Archives: Courtship

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)

‘Cali’: Part Three

Cali showed up outside my gate the next day. His knocking ‘Gbam! Gbam! Gbam!’ rattled the gate and brought me to the window of my ground floor flat. My landlord who had been celebrating Independence Day clinking glasses and eating suya with some of his friends around the guava tree, let him in.

“Yes?” he stood to the side, looking him up and down. He smiled as if he had just relieved himself. “Which one are you looking for?”

“Good evening, sah. I am looking for Chielozona,” came his voice.

“Shit,” I muttered, hiding behind a curtain. How on earth had he found me?

My landlord’s smile disappeared. “We lock this gate at nine o’clock, sharp,” he said in his retired-gateman voice. “This is a respectable yard.”

Cali stepped in. I saw him frown slightly. His mouth said, “Thank you, sir, I will be out of here by then.”

I started to feel bad about my toad of a landlord harassing him so I went to the front door. Cali turned when he heard it open, talking even before his eyes had verified I was the one. “I just came to return your wallet,” he said. “It fell down the other day and you ran away as I was calling you.”

My landlord was still eyeing Calestous which made me strangely territorial. “Come in,” I said, grabbing him by the arm. I shut the door in my landlord’s face.

“Thank you. I have been looking for my wallet since yesterday. I would have had to cancel all my cards.” Not too bad when you work in a bank but a nuisance nonetheless.

“Ey yaa,” said Calestous sympathetically. He did not take his eyes off me. I opened the wallet. He moved about the flat, picking things up and setting them down again.

“There is too much money in here,” I said. I felt my nostrils flare. “Did you put extra money in my wallet?”

“Yes,” said Calestous, still wandering about.


“For your blouse now. I told you I would buy you another one.”

“I don’t need your money.” I counted out the surplus cash and added a few more notes for good measure. I stood where I was, holding out the money, forcing Calestous to come back to me so that I could get him out the door. He turned slowly. Smiled. Walked towards me, counting his steps. When he reached me, he took my hand in his and traced the lines on my palm with a finger.

“When are we meeting your parents?”

“Excuse me?!” I squeaked and began to cough. I snatched my hand away and thrust the wad of bills into his. I knew then Calestous was mad. I blamed myself for my earlier jealousy. I should have just let my landlord lure him into his upstairs flat full of disgruntled wives and hungry daughters who waited for marriage to give them their own rooms, to save them from their father’s mad desire to keep procreating. It would not be the first time. He’d got three of his daughters married off the same way – bloated and pregnant, looking like laden ships as they glided down the aisle in virgin-white gowns. One of the husbands had been my neighbour Ngozi’s boyfriend, the only other single girl in the compound and by that virtue my friend. She had moved out soon after.

“I said, when are we meeting your parents? I want you to be my wife.”

“I think you should just leave.” I opened the door. The noise suddenly died down. I knew my landlord and his mates were watching and listening to every word. I didn’t care. I had to get rid of Calestous. Ignoring the ridiculousness of the situation, the man said ‘Pelents’ and the more I heard him talk, the more I replaced Rs with Ls in my own head. Even ‘bitiful’ didn’t seem to annoy me as much as it previously had. The man had to go.

“I will go,” he said. “But I plomise you, you will dleam of me.” He had the audacity to look sad. “You are my wife, Chielozona, and I am your husband. I am sure you feel it. Inside ya heart.”

He left. My landlord watched him go with eating eyes.

I slammed the door for the second time that day, locked and bolted it. I was agitated. I plugged in my electric heater and warmed up a bucket of water. Before it was properly hot, the power cut off. I did not have the energy to put on my generator. I scrubbed my body hard with my sponge trying to make up for the lukewarm water. I lit a kerosene lamp and put it in the hallway, dusted mentholated talcum powder all over my neck and settled in for the night.

When I slept, I dreamt of Calestous.

Ogoli nuo di n’abo, omara nke ka nma – A story in Igbo (with English translation)


So I have been practising my storytelling in Igbo for a long while now – mostly it’s Tot who is the beneficiary of my stories as you all know. However I thought I should share my latest efforts with you guys ; not only do you get to read one, but listen to it as well. I’ve uploaded a sound cloud file below.  It took about 6 takes and it’s still not perfect; I had to pause to read what I had written.

(I can speak Igbo well and write it too but reading it takes a bit of effort. Reading it aloud can be tough.)

I have also included the English language version which has taken A LOT LESS TIME to write (about 10 minutes). The Igbo version took me 25 minutes for just 700+ words. I have a long way to go in  the speed of my written Igbo, obviously!

Stories below.




Anwu chara Adaku n’isi mere ka osuso wee dabaa ya n’ime anya. Oji azu aka ya fichaa ya n’ihi na obere akwa ojiri ehicha okpofu ruru inyi. Adaku tara ikikere eze wee chee uche ojoo n’ebe enyi ya nwoke bu Ikem no.

“Moto onweghi, credit nwa, onaghi enye mmadu. Anwu anoro ebea n’acho ichagbu m. Kedu ka osiri buru so so mu na ndi ibe m n’ile bu onye na ata odiri afufu a?” Ka o na ekwu otua, were aka ya n’ehicha anya, owere lote na otere ihe n’anya. O nenere azu aka ya were fu na umu ihe n’ile ojiri cho nma n’ututu ahu etesasigo ya n’azu aka.

“Oo! Kedu kwanu odiri ahuhu di ihe a?” O wee maa nnukwu osu. O kwusiri n’akuku uzo, meghe akpa ya, choo ugegbe aka ya, ka o wee hu ma iru ya ajoro njo. Ihe ohuru mere ka o maa osu, were mkpisi aka ya detu ire ya, wee jiri aso mmiri dozibe ihe okara mebiri emebi.

Ka okwu ebe ahu, otu ugbo ala n’egbuke egbuke jiri oso gafee, gbasa ya apiti. Adaku nere anya n’efe ya odere ede n’ututu ahu wee tie mkpu akwa. Odi ya ka o ya gbuo onwe ya.


Adaku wenyiri anya ya  hu na ugbo ala gbara ya doti nachighataru azu.

“Baby gini? Maka gini ka ijii gbaa m mmiri doti?”

“Nne, ndo amaghi m uma. Odi m osiso. Ahuro m gi.”

Adaku wee si ya “Kedu ka iga esi hu mu? Ebe ina agba ka onwere ihe n’achu gi? Oburu na ikuturu m, okwa otua ka nke m kara isi wee ga?”

“Chukwu aju, nne oma m,” nwoke no n’ime moto were yipu ugegbe anya ojiri dochie anya. “Nne iwe gi adina oku. Omalicha nwata nwanyi di ka gi ekwesiro idi na ewe iwe otu a, inugo?”

Adaku mara osu ozo. “Zuzupuo m n’iru biko! Onye bu nne gi nwanu? Kitaa aga m eje letu na lecture m. Onye kwanu nwee ike inachigha azu kitaa?”

“Ngwa bata na moto, ka m buga gi n’ulo akwukwo gi. Ngwa bata bata, inugo? Mgbe emesiri anyi ejee na butiki gote akwa ozo. Nke obula ichoro, aga m egotere gi ya. Ka m nye gi number mu.”

Mgbe okwuru okwu otua, Adaku gee nti obere.

“Enweghi m credit nji akpo gi. Biko ejego m late.”

“Bia ka m buje gi. Bata na moto. Anwu a ekwesiro icha udi mmadu gi.”

Adaku runetara isi, nee anya n’ime moto ahu. “Kedu aha gi?”

“Aha m bu Chuma. Mana ndi enyi m n’akpo m Chu ma obu Chu-Boy.”

“Aha m bu Adaku. Anaghi m aba na moto onye m n’amaghi. Mana idi ka ezigbo mmadu.”

Chu-Boy riputara na moto, gazite n’ebe Adaku no. Adaku lere ya anya, hu na otoro ogologo nke ukwu, gbaa akpu obi. Ohuru n’ahu ya di ocha ka okpa waawa. Ngwere bido gbaghariba ya n’ime afo n’ihi na Chu-Boy di ya uto n’obi.

“Nne, imaka o. Odikwa m ka m buru gi laa be m kitaa kitaa, ka nje gosi mama m nwunye m.”

Adaku siri ya. “Koghelibe ebe ahu.” Mana isi bia buo ya n’ihe Chu-Boy kwuru.

Chu-Boy meghere Adaku uzo owere ba n’ime moto. Ahu ya n’ile bia dabaa n’ime oche moto ka o no n’afo nne ya, ma obu n’ime nri ji. Adaku bia kudaa, negheria anya n’ime ugbo ala ahu. Ihe n’ile di n’ime ya n’egbuke, di ohuru. Tupu Chu-Boy wee bata n’ime moto, Adaku atugharigo ya n’uche ya na o ga arapu enyi ya nwoke nke ozo sorozie Chu-Boy.

“Biko tinye seat belt nne, n’uzo ajoka. Aga m akpochi uzo n’obu otu nsiri anya moto, maka ndi ori imeghe uzo na go-slow.”

Adaku mere otu osiri kwu. Chu-Boy gbanyere ikuku n’ime moto ahu, owe kuo Adaku, aru ya wee juo oyi. Adaku chiri ochi, gosi eze ya n’ile n’ihi na obi n’eme ya polina polina.

“So, Adaku. Kedu ihe I na agu na mahadum?”

Mana gbe Adaku meghere onu iza ya, ochoputa na ohiara aru tupu orote ihe o na agu.

“Em…ana m agu Sociology.”

Chu-Boy nesiri ya anya ike. “Ya bu na irozobeghi ihe ina agu?” Owee gbanyesie ikuku oyi n’eku na moto ya ike. O juru Adaku ozo, “Kedu aha gi?”

“Aha…aha…aha m…bu…bu…” Ura bucharu Adaku.

Chu-Boy chiri obere ochi, gbanite egwu n’akpo na moto wee gbasie ike, gafee iru mahadum, ebe ndi enyi nwanyi Adaku n’eche ya ka obia ulo akwukwo.


ENGLISH (very literal translation).


The sun shone down on Adaku with such heat that a bead of sweat dropped into her eye. She rubbed the sweat away with the back of her hand as her handkerchief was already dirty. She gnashed her teeth and thought bad thoughts about her boyfriend, Ikem.

“He doesn’t have a car. He doesn’t give me phone credit. Why am I the only one out of all my friends to keep suffering like this?” As she thought these thoughts and rubbed at her eyes, she remembered too late that she had make-up on her eyes. She looked at the back of her hand and discovered it was smudged.

“Oh! What the hell kind of suffering is this?” And she hissed.

Adaku stopped by the side of the road and pulled out her mirror from her bag to examine the damage. What she saw caused her to hiss again. She dabbed a bit of spittle on her finger to wipe away and correct the lines she had draw around her eyes.

As she stood there, a flashy car sped past, splashing mud on her. She looked at her dress, the dress she had so painstakingly ironed that morning was speckled with mud. She wanted to die.

“Hey baby,” said a voice.

Adaku looked up. The car had reversed, stopping in front of her.

“What do you mean, ‘Baby’? Why did you splash mud on me?”

“Sorry, girl. I didn’t mean to. I was in a hurry and didn’t see you.”

“How would you have seen me, speeding like something was chasing you? If you had hit me down, is this now how I would have died this morning?”

“God forbid, beautiful creature!” The man took of his sunglasses and looked her up and down. “A lovely thing like you should not be prone to such anger. ”

Adaku hissed again. “Get away from me. Beautiful creature my arse! Now I’m going to be late for my lectures. Who has the time to go home and change?”

“Come in, I’ll take you to school okay? I can get your dress replaced later. We could go to a boutique…I’ll buy you whatever you want. Here’s my number.”

Adaku simmered down a bit at the thought of shopping. “Whatever, man. I don’t have the credit to call you. Excuse me, I’m very late.” And she pretended to walk away.

“Com’on, I’ll take you. The sun is too hot for a beautiful girl such as you.”

Adaku leaned on the passenger-side window. “What’s your name?” she asked.

“My name is Chuma. But my friends call me Chu or Chu-Boy. ”

“My name is Adaku and I wouldn’t normally take rides with strangers. But you seem normal enough.”

Chu-Boy climbed out of the car and came around to open the door for Adaku. She saw that he was very tall and broad-chested, his skin was fair like okpa waawa. Adaku felt as if lizards were scrambling about inside her belly. Chu-Boy’s looks pleased her greatly.

“Girl, you are fine,” said Chu-Boy smiling. “I feel like taking you to my house right now and introducing you to my mother as my wife.”

“Quit talking rubbish,” said Adaku, but she was secretly pleased at what he said.

Chu-Boy opened the door for her and she sank into the car seat. It cradled her as surely as if she was in her mother’s womb. It was like sinking into fufu. Adaku sighed and looked around. Everything in the car was brand new and smelled of wealth. Before Chu-Boy had even come round to the driver’s side, Adaku had decided she was going to leave Ikem and make a play for Chu-Boy instead.

“Fasten your seatbelt. I’m gonna lock the door okay? It’s how I drive. You know, I’d hate to stop and get robbed in a traffic jam.”

Adaku did as he asked. Chu-Boy switched on the air-conditioner and it cooled Adaku’s spirits. She gave a little laugh because she was suddenly very giddy with possibility.

“So, Adaku, what it it you’re studying?” asked Chu-Boy pulling away. But when Adaku tried to reply, she found out that she had difficulty remembering her course.

“Erm…erm…I’m studying Sociology….yes”

There was silence. Chu-Boy looked her in the face, hard. “I see you still remember what it is you’re studying eh?” He popped a tablet in his mouth and turned up the air conditioner.

“What did you say your name was?” He asked her again.

“My name…my name…my name is….” Adaku fell asleep.

Chu-Boy looked at her. He laughed and sped up, past the gates of the university campus where Adaku’s friends were waiting for her.