Tag Archives: THS

The Hero Series: ‘How to please my Igbo mother-in-law’.

 Number of times searched  – 1

Alternate searches – Igbo mothers-in-law (1)

I don’t have an Igbo mother-in-law. I do have an Igbo mother though. And Igbo aunts, cousins and grandmothers, so hopefully I know what I am talking about.

See, pleasing your Igbo mother -in-law is simultaneously the easiest and hardest thing to do. To survive, to even get through your marriage and come out the other side ready and waiting for death to ‘do you part’, you first have to accept one simple fact: You do not own your husband. She does.

You must also accept that the Igbo mother-in-law does not hate you – unless you genuinely catch her trying to do away with you and I mean without a doubt, everything she is doing is for the good of her son. And you love her son right? You both want the same things. Stop fighting her on everything and just get on with it.

The Igbo mother-in-law is merely trying to show you how your life will be. In a few years, you would have morphed completely into her that you will have difficulty knowing where she stops and you start. Learn from her. The reason she is the way she is comes from the fact that her own mother-in-law had the ideal marriage with her son, as she had with your husband before you came along and spoilt everything. Every sensible woman knows, the only perfect husband out there is the one you give birth to yourself. Why do you think you’re having such a hard time, going on search engines, trying to find out a way to please her? You’re the other woman. Deal with it. You can have your own marriage once you bear a son.

Which brings me to my next point: BEAR SONS. I cannot stress this enough. Try to only have one more son than your mother-in-law has or there will be hell to pay. Are you trying to show her up? You only need enough sons to convince her that her name will not be forgotten. You need to also show her that you are not barren and what other way is there, than to beget individuals that will later on beget others? It’s like a living spring, flowing and flowing.

After you have borne the boys, bear her some daughters because your mother-in-law has found out the truth a painful way: you may smother them with affection but the sons always leave them and take up with someone like you with your French manicure and lace front wigs. The daughters on the other hand, stay. Besides, when the girls grow, she will have a relationship with them that she never managed with you, your husband will be released into your care and you can start the ‘happily ever after’. If you have only boys, you’re screwed. It doesn’t matter if she has a daughter of her own, your mum-in-law. A daughter is not a son, neither is she a granddaughter.  Apples and oranges and ube are not the same fruit.

Then of course there is the normal stuff; agreeing with whatever she says, not spending too much of her son’s money beautifying yourself (yes, even if you earn a salary, it is her son’s money), sleeping in her room/hut/wing whenever you’re back in the village NEVER MIND that as a woman who has borne children, you have by Igbo law, earned the right to your own room/hut/wing. This is an assumption of course. If you have not yet borne children, you’re to sleep where she tells you and shut up. Relinquish the rights to your kitchen. Whenever she comes around, seek her permission/counsel on all matters including what her son should eat. It’s not as if what he’s been eating from you could technically be called ‘food’. Put yourself down at every opportunity and do not ever have a different opinion to hers. You want her to like you right?

Of course you could always see this for what it is and stop trying so damn hard. She’s not God. She can’t create or turn you to dust (again, physically harming you is the exception). She’s a woman who’s been number one for the past 30-odd years and has recently had to contend with her son thinking the sun shines of another woman’s bum. That look he used to give her –  the look that told her that he trusted her with his whole life –  he bestows on your frequently and in non-life-saving conditions. You could see things from her point of view as well as establish yourself in your home/marriage/family. You are the mother/wife  and she is the mother-in-law. You could let her know by your actions that it is a privilege to get to her position, to be somebody’s mother-in-law. It is your time now. You should not have to apologise for loving her son. Some women liken the wifely role to that of the neck. It’s your duty, now CARRY THAT HEAD.

The best way to please your mother-in-law is just to be yourself.  No woman wants a lickarse for a daughter -in-law. What sort of sons are you going to raise then? Them of the feline variety probably.

But most importantly live for your time. Live in your time. You don’t want to be that woman whose daughter-in-law stays up at 2:34am asking Google for ways to please her mother-in-law.

The Hero Series: ‘My Igbo husband wants to marry an Igbo girl’

Dear Igbophilia readers,

Ndewo nu ndi oma m,

Kedu ka unu mere? I’m so glad that many of you have been waiting patiently for a new post since Easter. Thanks for all your messages and comments.

I’ve been up to my neck in deadlines but the the nearest one will be done soon and I will be back with more articles and stories for you to read.

In the meantime, here’s a dilemma for you to solve. This search term landed on my dashboard a few weeks ago and I was going to address it, but I thought, ‘Why not hear what other people have to say?’

Please take the time to read respond to this because someone’s life could depend on it.

What would you do if you were non-Igbo married to an Igbo man who wanted to marry someone else?

(I know hundreds of you read posts daily. The figures don’t lie. I’m asking you to please type a few words. Don’t do a browse-by. Pass it on.)

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!



The Hero Series: Part Four (A genuine problem from a reader)

Hello people,

I got this genuine, non-fictional dilemma both on this forum and replicated in my inbox and I thought you guys would like to give her your opinions. Remember, be nice. This is an actual human being with real feelings and she would really appreciate some help. I will put in my two cents when I hear what everyone has to say. The letter is below.

I stumbled upon this site and happened to find it very interesting as well as informative. I couldn’t find a place to submit a new inquiry so I hope it’s ok to leave it here.After reading your Hero Series I think I’ve violated some of the golden rules. Hopefully your advice can help get things back on track.

Well, I’m African American & I was recently introduced to an Igbo man through a mutual friend. Initially we talked on the phone to get acquainted and arrange our first meeting. He wanted to meet that same evening, but I declined and opted for the following day.

So we met the next day, sparks flew and we seemed to click instantly. We talked and developed a really good vibe. So much that we arranged to meet later that evening. This time he invited me to his home. He and his friend had just arrived shortly before I did from playing tennis. When I drove up he welcomed me in and introduced me to his friend. He had some Nigerian food prepared & asked me to join them for dinner. I wasn’t really hungry but I obliged & asked him to give me a very small portion. Over dinner he gushed to his friend over my beauty, I was flattered but slightly embarrassed, but concealed it with pleasant smiles. I joined them in dinner conversation which went over quite well. So after dinner his friend left. Afterwards we watched movies, downloaded music and played online for a bit. He wanted to become FaceBook friends, so I accepted him via my Blackberry and he immediately started to troll my page, wall and photos, while I was sitting there. He then asked me a lot about my family background, etc. After talking about our families & an array of other things we started to make out. One thing lead to another and we had sex, without even knowing the golden rules I was very hesitant & he had to try very hard to convince me to proceed.

Afterwards it wasn’t awkward at all. He practically begged me to stay overnight but I declined, although I didn’t leave immediately, I left about 2am or so. He called me on my drive home and we talked more. The next day he wanted to hang out but I had a lot going on so I had to decline. Now here is where I sense things started to get shaky. The following day we made 10pm reservations for dinner. So we last spoke about 4pm. I hadn’t heard from him all day thereafter, so I texted about 6pm, no answer. Then I called about 8pm, no answer. So I never got dressed for the date. He decided to call at 9:45pm. I didn’t answer. He called perhaps 3 more times. I still didn’t answer. I then responded with a text letting him know that I was extremely disappointed in him and he knew of our plans & failed to respect my time, I also added how much a despised inconsistency. He texted back immediately with sincere apologies and an explanation of a “family emergency”. I accepted his apology but refused to see him that night. So the following day when we finally talked he addressed me by saying how can I marry a man one day then divorce him the next without him giving an explanation to the mistake that was made, then apologized to me again. He made me feel really bad, like I was too hard on him. I apologized to him, if I offended him and we arranged to meet for dinner. We met for dinner that night, he then again brought up the incident. He asked me if I had told my friends that he was an asshole for what happened. I told him no I didn’t mention what happened to anyone. He then said he told his friends that he was surprised by my lashing out at him, because he portrayed me to be such a pleasant woman. I was offended slightly because, I don’t feel that me expressing my disappointment makes me an unpleasant person, but I didn’t debate him. I just said I didn’t mean any harm & I’m sorry etc.

So after dinner we went back his place, I stayed for a few hours, but again didn’t stay the entire night, he wanted me to but I declined. This now leads up to Monday (which was yesterday), he didn’t call me nor did I call him. We only exchanged a text regarding some business finance info he asked me to obtain for him. Then another text later in the afternoon saying he hoped my day was pleasant.

My plight is that I’ve noticed a decline in admiration towards me since the incident of me lashing out at him. I’m not sure what my next move should be. I’m really feeling this guy and had expectations of us getting to know each other better. I’m not ready for things to end. Also, he’s very attractive & extremely wealthy so I know he’s a hot commodity among women. I’m a little lost and starting to come down on myself for the assertiveness I’ve displayed. Help.. What should my next move be?


The Hero Series: Part Three

How to say ‘Do you love me’ in Igbo

Number of times searched – 3.

Alternate searches: How to say ‘I will marry you’ in Igbo (2), What is the Igbo translation of ‘I’m missing you’ (1), How to say ‘I feel that you love me’ in Igbo (1), How do you say ‘Thinking of you’ in Igbo (1), What is the igbo for ‘Where are you going’ (1), How do you say ‘Marry me’ in Igbo (1), How to say ‘There is no one like you’ in Igbo (1),  How to say ‘Fine man’ in Igbo (1), How to say ‘I want to see you’ in Igbo (1), How to say ‘There is no problem in Igbo’ (1), How to say ‘I’m tired’ in Igbo (1), How to say ‘It is finished’ in Igbo (1), How do you say ‘I want you’ in Igbo (1), What is ‘You are mine’ in Igbo (1), How to say ‘You don’t care’ in Igbo (1), ‘How to say ‘I am sad’ in Igbo(1) What is the Igbo for ‘Yes I will marry you’ (1), How to say ‘I love you’ in Igbo to your husband (1), How to say ‘I don’t love you’ in Igbo (1), How to say ‘I’m a doctor’ in igbo (1).

Dear Reader(s),

Phew. I had to go into the kitchen, wash some onugbu and drink the water so I could have a stomach strong enough to deal with this. I know I will pay for it later with some explosive superhero gas later (if you’re in London, I predict serious fog around five o’clock) but I hope this shows you how committed I am to dealing with your problem.

At first glance, it seemed a language lesson was in order, but then I noticed a theme to your search terms. It seems to me – and correct me if I’m wrong –  that you are writing a letter and a difficult one at that. I have taken the liberty of constructing a letter in English using the above terms in red. Now tell me, could this be what you are trying to say?

*       *       *

Dear Pius (Good Igbo catholic name),

I have been writing you on this email address like you asked for the past two months but I have still not heard from you. I am missing you but I’m afriaid that this email will not be as happy as all the others. You see, I bumped into Jenny yesterday. You remember Jenny? The blonde that hangs out with your friend Obi’s wife here in Finland? She told me that you are planning a traditional marriage with a woman in your village. Is this true? I was hoping that this is a lie spread by Jenny. I know how much she hates you, and you her, even if you have never told me why. She showed me pictures and I recognised the woman in one of them. It is the same as the one I found in your inbox, the picture your mother sent you last month of your cousin, Rose. She is your cousin as you say, is she not? 

I am full of fear. I do not doubt our love, so forgive my weakness. I feel that you love me but before you left, I had the feeling also that you were drawing away. Where are you going, my love? And why can I not come along? 

Since you have been gone, there have been many of your Igbo brothers asking me to be their lady. They laugh at me in Igbo and think I do not understand what their bodies say. They think I am a fool for waiting for you.You said you wanted me, well here I am. Marry me. Or do you have doubts? I know there is no one like you. You are a fine man. It is you that I want but do you still feel the same about me?

When will you come back? My bed is empty and cold and my heart is rotting away in my chest. I want to see you, badly. But if you no longer feel love for me, there is no problem. Just tell me, and I will release you. I only want for your happiness. But, Pius my paw-paw, you must release me too. I am tired of not knowing my left from my right, whether I am coming or going, of hearing laughter in igbo. If this is the end, if it is finished, say so. I want you the same way I did when I promised myself to you with my very soul. I have put seven years of my life into this relationship with youYou are mine. Or were you just saying words?

I ask all these questions because this behaviour is not like you. I know we did not spend this much time apart before you got your EU citizenship but even then, you made sure I knew where you were and that you were alright. This makes me think that now you don’t care about my feelings. I am sad about this because I thought you had more respect for me. 

If you still want to marry me then, yes I will marry you. But if you have changed in your affections, then please tell me so that I can move on with my life.

I am thinking of you.


*       *       *

Karoliina, you sound like a sensible girl. I will help you. Please send me an email as soon as you can. The sooner you send off this letter the better. A fine woman like you should not dwell in uncertainty especially now that winter is coming. What do you mean ‘How do I know you’re fine?’ How many Igbo men have you seen with ugly women? It doesn’t matter if the man in question looks like Obasanjo. Their wives all look like Bianca Onoh/Caroline Danjuma. Besides, all the other Igbo men want you, so the point is moot really.

As for the rest of the search terms, I know it wasn’t you that typed them in. They don’t sound like you. To the people that did, I will address them one by one.

How to say ‘I love you’ in Igbo to your husband (1) – You don’t. Remember what I said in the first Hero I wrote? Make that your manual. Just do the number one on that list over and over, combined with other numbers like number 11 on a regular basis, and you’ll be fine.

How to say ‘I don’t love you’ in Igbo (1) – Just stop cooking. He should get the message. I’m going to go ahead and assume you’re not a guy because a guy would not waste his time wondering how to say anything. He would just miss as we say in Engiligbo…oops! Karoliina, I am not talking about your case o! I am just talking in general.

How to say ‘I’m a doctor’ in igbo (1)Dude, you’re slacking. Stop messing about and show her your wallet.

Make love, not war.