Unromantic Nigerian Men: Responding to Michael Oluwagbemi

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde

Hello Mr. Oluwagbemi:

I have just finished reading your fabulous essay Unromantic Nigerian Men and “their” Women. In fact I couldn’t help but read it the second and third time; and as I was doing so I kept thinking of my past love life. That is to say I kept thinking of all the relationships I have had in my time and in my days from Cape to Cairo and from Zanfarra to Yenagoa. I kept thinking of all the women that have readjusted the pillows. I am almost 69 now, and have given up shining congos. Michael, you and your generation are the next-big-thing.

Memory, Oh memory…sixty-nine years of good times. I remember all those times and all those years now brought alive by the words of Willie Nelson: “To all the girls I’ve loved before…Who traveled in and out my door…I’m glad they came along…And may I say I’ve held the best To all the girls who shared my life…Who now are someone else’s wives …Who filled my nights with ecstasy…” Mnmnmnmnm memories. But let’s leave that aside and deal with the matter at hand: your recent essay lamenting the state of romance and love among Nigerians.

You said: “Romance is one of those things you hardly learn formally or informally; at home or even in the formal education system no one puts you through the nitty-gritty of love, romance and relationship.”

And I say: Oh really? I am surprised you said that because in my days at a boys-only boarding school in Ilorin, Kwara State we had to hone our romantic ability with those Omoges at Queen’s School, a girls-only boarding school on the other side of town. Besides, there were other mixed schools and we had to learn how to write letters indicating and professing our undying and everlasting love. So, I don’t know about you and your generation, we practiced by letting them know they were the only sugar in our gari…the only kulinkuli in our cupboard…the only geisha in our stew.” I was told of two fellas who got really lucky and shined congos. I didn’t. I was a born-again and was fearful of going to hell.

You said: “in the modern world we live in, it is a reality. A man lacking in this department…will be treated like an alien and might as well end up in the convent as soon as old age comes knocking.”

And I say: I disagree ooooooo. I was in Nigeria last season for a couple of weeks. From Abeokuta to Oshogbo and from Idanre to Kafancha, I never saw a Nigerian man give his wife or wives flowers; I never saw any man buy or bring cards and chocolate to his concubines; and I never witnessed any man take his wife for a walk at the beach or the gardens that dot Abuja. I mostly saw men who came home from work after 3-5 hours in the rush-hour go-slow demanding food from their wives and mistresses. Half of the time, there was no NEPA and so no man was in the mood for romance. A neighbor was always too tired to even shine his wife — leaving the neighborhood tailor to partake in the feast.

If you are hungry and angry and thirsty, love and romance is the last thing on your mind. If street urchins and armed-robbers are your primary concern, shining congo, giving flowers, reciting poems and darting perfumes between your woman pineapples or between the v-square would be the last thing on your mind. No be so? I lie?

You wrote: “…not diamonds but the person that buys them is the girl’s best friend… Victoria Secrets lingerie.”

And I say: “E paripa…Busanga, you want kill me ooo. Did you think African babes give a rass-ass about the man who bought the diamond? This is not rocket science ooo: dump the man and take the diamond. Shiiiittttttt. African girls know your game, they know your trick. Some of them have no use for a man. Mister-man, all they want is the diamond and you can fall off the cliff. Another sucker will come along with a fist-full of diamonds.

Victoria Secret? I was in Mushin and Agege and was also at Inalende, Kulende and Obalende and did not see Victoria oooooo. Look, the duty of every red-blooded African man is to shine as many congos as earthly possible; while it is the duty of any and all blue-blooded African woman to make the man pay in cash and kind or with his sweat and blood. The days of free lunch are over.

You asked: “What of opening the car door?”

And I asked: “What car door are you talking about? I didn’t know bolekajas have doors.

You lamented: “Oh and yes, foreplay. No one teaches a young man that stuff.”

I warned: Ole boy be careful, be very careful ooooo all these talk about foreplay may land you in wahala. I have a friend, Johnbull, who has not recovered from the ungodly things his Oyinbo woman used to make him do: Lick toes. Lick this. Lick that. Kiss this. Kiss that. Finger here and finger there. Move mouth this way and that way. Hold on…oh baby, oh baby oooooooooooooo. After him get his Pali from Ejire him run 4-forty. The last I heard, he lives in SW Houston.

You observed: “There is no doubt that the African society particularly the Nigerian one frowns upon public Public Display of Affection (PDA).

My Response: I agree! I agree! PDA is generally frowned upon. Back in the days, even if you shine congo in the dark of night the baby would find it difficult to look you in the eyes…as if una don do something bad…she’d be stirring at the ground or floor.

There was a time I paid a visit to my friends in Ekiti where I witnessed two lovers trying to kiss. Chei, chei, chei…there was saliva everywhere as if Kainji Dam overflowed its barriers…spit everywhere…all in the name of kissing.

Michael, make I come begin to dey go before NEPA take light. What’s more, the Internet Café wants to close now. Besides, my third madam dey call me say food don ready. Food and Congo…

You may also like


Anna April 11, 2007 - 3:06 pm

Hahaha, I never thought that this kind of topic would have men so stumped……..it really isnt hard. Men……just listen and learn….thats it!! And listen to Bola (#4), not all women are the same.

smokeysmokey48238@yahoo.com August 18, 2006 - 6:05 pm


rubyadu@yahoo.com August 17, 2006 - 4:09 pm

Both of you arent serious! or rather, youre very funny! All i have to say is find out what works for what particular woman….some love flowers, some cards, others cold hard cash! I know some women that dont like luvy, dovy,clingy men while some others need it like air! Contrary to what you think not all women are the same.

Sabella Abidde August 17, 2006 - 10:20 am

Shining Congo? Why are you asking such a delicate question? Are you telling me you dont know what shining congo means? Well, I dont want to be the want to corrupt you oooo. In any case, have you seen Debbie Does Dallasor something to that effect? When a man and woman are in the privacy of their room and doing that jolijoli thing that makes you sigh and moan and spent and gratefulyou are shining congo!

a wouba August 16, 2006 - 9:39 pm

Yu no de fia ooo! I say what does shining congo mean?

Anonymous August 16, 2006 - 8:02 am

That was hilarious!


Leave a Comment