A few months back I attended a show that was organized by my nephew's school. The school is in Lekki phase 1 so naturally most of the kids are residents. Although I'm very involved in my nephew's lives I'd never attended one of the school programs. On that day however my sister had a training at work so I had to go and take him for the show. I won't lie I couldn't care less about what was going on, was only interested in my nephew's performance but even if I was interested in everything something else would have stolen my attention. The mothers. The real Lekki Wives, not those questionable characters on the show Lekki Wives. Speaking of the show; Lekki Wives I must first make some comparisons. Unlike the women on the show, the real Lekki Wives are Go Getters, not Gold Diggers. They are freaking independent women who mostly married well but don't need their husbands' money, they are independent, career driven, overly ambitious and very successful.
So on that day I sat and observed the lot of them but I wasn't admiring their success or careers. I was in awe of their size 6 bodies. It was like watching an audition for Nigerian Stepford Wives. It was a children's show but the mothers were the centre of attraction. The fattest mum I saw was a Size 10 at most. They were all really skinny things wearing 6" stiletto heels and garbed in clothes a dress size too small. I was in awe. On the heads of those who hadn't 'gone natural' were the priciest looking weaves I'd ever seen. These women didn't look like mothers, hell, this is not what my mum and her friends looked like in their time. I just sat in the corner observing; the very practiced catwalk on the very thin heels, the back-straight/shoulder-high/head-up posture that could only have been taught at Finishing School. It was like a competition for who was skinniest, wore the tightest dress, had the most cleavage. And all at a primary school show! They walked from table to table, they like me, could not careless about what their kids were doing on the stage, they were more occupied with 'walking the room', blowing air kisses, networking... oh, a lot of networking was done, it's hard to believe that's not what we came for. And so many "So where are you now?" questions flying around in the air. I eavesdropped and heard stories of leaving one multinational company for an even bigger multinational company, leaving that bank to start their own business, and oh, business is fantastic by the way... how, the older kids had left for boarding school in England and I heard at least two people say "Oh they're in the best Boarding school in England/France". I was so fascinated. I also found it even curiouser that the mums spoke to their kids with foreign accents. Curiouser and Curiouser... I was in awe. I put my glasses on (they age me real bad so I only wear them when I'm driving, in court or when I desperately need them) and I desperately needed them, I needed to have a closer look at the bags I was seeing. I had to look closer to familiarize myself with the labels. From Roberto Cavallis to Jimmy Choos, from Hermes to Louis Vuittons, from Chanels to Burberrys...and no, they were not the usual random designer bags that people carry everyday.
Yesterday a few came over. When I could, I watched *Ibiso, *Funke, *Mary and *Chika. All wives and mothers, all in their mid to late 30s and all Lekki Wives. The first thing that struck me was how 'tiny' all these women are. Somewhere between UK size 6-8. I remember complimenting Funke once that she looked good and she said "Nwando I work at it. This takes serious hard work". Funke is about 37 with four kids but seeing us together you'll think I'm the one that gave birth to her and her children *covers face*. Ibiso is equally tiny and we all know that one doesn't eat. If there's one thing Lekki wives detest it's FAT. (Adaora Ukoh take note o!). It's like, that's the worst thing that could happen to an individual, to add a pound. I seriously admire them. These women are fierce! They are boss ladies and they are in charge. Their jobs and careers are fascinating and each of them have got her own! I won't say that some don't climb the less savory ladder, that some don't take less than moral means to get to the top, I'm very certain some do. But then these ones I'm opportuned to know or at least know of are a great blend of beauty, brains and balls!
But then I wondered. Why do they care so much about "packaging", about appearances, about being picture perfect, why does it matter so much? One of these real Lekki wives tries so hard to keep up with the Joneses that I almost feel sorry for her. Kids in the most expensive schools on the Island and yearly summer vacations to the US and UK yet she's up to her neck in debts... Hmmm, Lekki Wives. I find myself wondering though, is she trying to keep appearances or is she doing all she can to invest in her children to give them better opportunities in the future?
Is it foolish to put your kids in expensive schools with an expensive lifestyle even though you can barely afford to OR is it wise to do so in order to improve their chances of a better and brighter future? I think we should talk about this.
(Let me explain my last paragraph a little. For instance, growing up, I had friends from very average or below average homes whose parents struggled to give them the best and even had to borrow to send them to schools abroad, for their first degree and Masters. Some of these people have come back and have the most mouth watering jobs/careers and are presently earning much more than the rest of us. When Madam 'keeping up with the joneses' was once asked why she won't put her kids in less expensive schools she said she wanted them to rub shoulders, mix and be friends with (the kind of) children in that school. She says when you are friends with those people you become part of their circle, and when you belong to that kind of circle it raises your standing in life. And in future your chances of a better life, better job, better career, better connections and belonging to high society are a lot higher. So in essence she's doing it for the kids, these are investments she's making, although most of people still believe she's just trying to keep up with the Joneses.)
*I'm not speaking generally about every wife who lives in Lekki, just the few I've observed*.
*I'm not suggesting that these traits apply to only women/wives who live in Lekki, they just happen to be the ones who've provided me enough material to go by*.
*The picture I used is that of the cast of Basketball Wives*.