When I was reading about the title that was just conferred on Genevieve Nnaji, all I was eager to find out was what state she's from. If I had to guess I would have said Anambra or Abia, I learnt that she's not only from IMO state, she's also from Mbaise.
Immediately I remembered a conversation I had with an older friend of mine weeks ago when I playfully told him that an Mbaise man was on my case. My friend said to me very solemnly "Nwando it is better to remain single than to marry an Mbaise man". I was astounded.
Ok, in truth that wasn't the first time I was hearing such a thing about Mbaise people, but the way my friend said it, the same friend who's always on my case to "pick one man and marry...... men are all the same", just told me that I should remain single if I must, marrying someone from Mbaise is NOT an option.
So I asked around and I heard all sorts, I heard things like they're very wicked, they don't have hearts, their hearts are at their backs; an Mbaise person will kill you first and think about the consequences later, they're stingy, they're too cunning and can kill a man for money, those people are too wicked, simply evil, you can never trust someone from Mbaise. On and on they went.
I'd waited for just one person to tell me that's all simply crap, I waited in vain. I even asked two women married to men from Mbaise and they whispered the same thing to me; they're not good people.
Hmmmm. I'm not quite sold yet, I just find it all a bit far fetched.
Over the years I've heard all sorts of stereotypes about people from different tribes and ethnic groups in Nigeria. I'll share a few with you.
-Benue women are very loose and promiscuous and would sleep with almost anyone.
-Bini (people) are very fetish and diabolical.
-Bini women = Prostitutes.
-Igbo men are very industrious and natural money makers
-Anambra women are very stubborn and headstrong and are rarely ever submissive to their husbands.
-Asaba women make the worst wives.
-Efik and Ibibio (Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers) women are great in bed and are most skilled at keeping men; ever heard that phrase; "if your man starts cheating on you with a Calabar woman just forget about him"?
-Men from that axis are also very virile and last longer in bed
-Ijaw men are great womanizers and more polygamous in nature than the average man
-Northerners are the most honest people you'll find in Nigeria.
-Some people say "marry a Yoruba man and be sure that your husband has another family outside"
-Yorubas are very academic and will choose knowledge over money.
-They say most Northern men have homosexual tendencies and the evidence of this is that anal sex is practiced most in the north (Although I cannot testify to this, I'm reminded of something I learnt while in Kano. I met a sex worker who complained of the extremely high rate of STDs in that region, and most of the victims were teenage girls. He said the girls were vaginal virgins but engaged in anal sex on the regular. Because; they needed to be married as virgins, their men prefer anal sex and they had the misconception that anal sex is safer; less risk of diseases and also, pregnancies).
I've heard so much said about the different people from different tribes, a few I've found to be true (but I won't tell you which. Hehe), most I've found to be most likely mythical or plain ridiculous.
What characteristics have you heard being ascribed to a particular group of people? Have you found them to be true or false? Do stereotypes about tribes and ethic groups even hold any weight at all?
And oh, while we're at it, have you ever been a victim of a broken relationship resulting from something your partner's parents said about people from your place? (I know I have; "Igbo girls love money too much and will leave if things get rough, besides Igbos have no respect for elders or 'our' tradition"...).