Don’t climb trees, our mothers told us, the boys would get a good view; keep your hair away from your face and smile. Smile like this when you like a person and like this when you don’t. Don’t slouch; no, that does not mean you should chest out either! What are you, a wrestler? Tufiakwa!
Walk upright; suck your stomach in, you don’t want people seeing your spare tires. Swing your hips – not like that, you are not a slut; softly, softly, as to a rhythm. Exactly, that is how you catch a man!
Sweep the floors, clean the house and wash his clothes; stoke the fires and cook his meals. What to cook? Egusi soup my dear, with pounded yam. You mean you do not know how to prepare it? How old are you? No matter, I must teach you. Dress the kids, sew their buttons; make your hair and look pretty when you greet him at the door; don’t nag, do not ask too many questions; smile when you agree with him, nod even when you don’t, then go ahead and do what you want. When he’s ready, spread your legs. That’s how you keep a man!
Smile at your mother-in law even if she hates you, then in the privacy of your bathroom you can stick pins in a doll with her name on it. What if he cheats on me? Who taught you that word? There is no such thing. Men will be men; but if it bothers you, well, there are ways. Find the girl – or girls – and invite them home for a little party at about the time he will come home; introduce them as your friends. The next time he goes on a trip, pack for him and put a couple of condoms in his bag; make sure you are waiting with his best food and a smile when he gets back. It will drive him crazy.
I’m not yet ready to marry; I want to do a Masters first. What Masters? Do not be greedy! I knew I shouldn’t have let your father send you to that school. Look at you; your cousin brings bags and bags of clothes and other things for her mother in her husband’s jeep every Christmas and here you are talking rubbish. Career? Job? What are those? Don’t let these white people deceive you with big big grammar.
Oh! Money! You wouldn’t need it. That’s why I’ve been teaching you how to catch a man and not a boy. Satisfaction you say! Well what have I been saying? Satisfy your man; that’s the most important thing.
Listen to me, don’t let this corrupt world ruin you with their ‘new age’ talk. I am your mother, I will not lead your astray. We are African women; this is how our mothers did it before us, this is how we did it in our time, this is how we kept our men.
So pay attention, do as I say; that’s how you keep a man!
“To the African girl,
Who will dare to disobey …
Happy International Women’s day.”
By Lilian Izuorah
Words Are Work … and fun too!