I’ve got a question today, thanks to my mind whipping up highlight reels from past experiences. It’s quite simple really: how on earth do you date a Nigerian (and not completely screw up while at it like me)? But it seems I’m so interested in exploring this that I’ve jumped the gun already, even though we’ve probably never met. I’m sorry, pardon my manners.
I know I just got here and this is my first article but let’s just hope we’ll be great together. How are you, your mother, father and siblings? How is the entire family? If all is well, doxology!
Damn, I suck at small talk.
So let me just tell you a story instead.
Once upon a time, I was hanging out with my friends knocking out each other on FIFA. Whenever I lose, I take that time to reply my then girlfriend in our never ending BBM conversation that has ended now. I was also chatting with two other girls (no toasting involved o!) and a few homies. One time sha, I picked my phone to check my messages and saw the all-time question protecting Nigerian relationships since Adam started wearing boxer shorts made with cocoyam leaves.
“Have you eaten?”
Now, I wouldn’t have really thought about it that much but within the space of 15 minutes, the two other babes I was having a conversation with asked the same question. Mo daran!
To my girlfriend, I replied, “Yes.”
If I hear say I don chop that morning sha… Of course I hadn’t, I was busy whooping and getting my ass whooped on that yeye soccer game all morning. Beans still dey fire. I was a very yeye boyfriend (I think I still am) but not so stupid that I would not know that she would freak out if I said I hadn’t. And I wonder why. It wasn’t like I was emaciated when she met me, abi? But for the sake of peace, just say yes and let her rest. She’s simply saying she cares about you. If you like, be forming Rambo; is it your caring?
And we have an idea who they learnt this from – our mothers. Nigerian mothers will flog the daylight out of you and while you’re still sulking, they’ll tell you to come and eat. And we mumu children will forget that we almost had an out of body experience after accommodating 36 kpankere on our backs just a few minutes prior. Mummy loves us, and in any case, who dares fight with food?
So God help you if you don’t return the favour. It simply means you don’t care. Or you don’t love her. Or him. Never mind the fact that you’re in a relationship with an adult human being; you will break up, I tell you.
And if you think that’s all, wait till your boyfriend or girlfriend says “Take care of yourself for me oh!” Wait, what happened to just “Take care of yourself”? With this, you begin to wonder if you’ve still got diapers on or you have no motivation whatsoever to take care of yourself in the first place that you have to do what’s actually good for you on your lover’s behalf.
And in the process of taking care of yourself and showing that you care, should babe/boo/beau/bae be going from Point A to Point B, you must also monitor the movement of your significant other with incessant phone calls – especially when they’re visiting. It doesn’t matter if that person is going from Mile 12 to Ketu, Yaba to Ojuelegba or Lagos to Ibadan; just pick up the phone and ask “So where are you now?” every 10 minutes. Screw logic – you’re not Superman and there’s nothing you can really do about the journey but that’s not the point. It also doesn’t matter if the person on the journey is actually responsible for updating whoever is waiting every now and then just in case. Just call! The journey or distance is not what’s important o; showing that you care is. If you don’t, you’re in trouble.
So forget what any relationship book or manual tells you – if it’s not written by one of us, dating a Nigerian is not like dating any other human on earth. Communicating with one isn’t either. We have our quirks, sweet spots and all. It can be so annoying sometimes (for me it’s all the time but who that wan epp?) but hey, enjoy it because you won’t find any relationship like it anywhere else.
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