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Women Are The Worst!





So that's how yesterday I was instructed to get my state of origin papers for some thing I'm trying to hook. After wondering if it was worth going all the way to the east for, and deciding it was, I thankfully realized that I could likely get it at my state's liaison office in Lagos. A brief Google search pointed me to the address in Victoria Island and I immediately set sail. 

One foot into the compound and you're suddenly transported from the lustrous Victoria Island to the native air of a south-eastern town. I mean for all I knew, I could have been in Awka or Owerri. After making a few enquiries I was directed to an office where I would be attended to. I was greeted by the loud chatter of idle women discussing everything and nothing all at the same time. Sensing my presence, they all turned to look at me, and as though I was invisible or irrelevant, immediately turned back to their gist. 

I approached the woman closest to the door. "Good afternoon ma, please how do I go about procuring the papers for my state of origin?"

She responded with a blank stare, as though I'd spoken Mandarin, so I decided to repeat myself. "Good afternoon ma, please how do..."

"A di ghi a ghota ihe i na ekwu" I don't understand what you're saying, she said flatly. 

"State of origin..."

"Su o ya na igbo!" Say it in igbo, she said. 

Now I tried to translate the grammar I'd spoken into igbo and I was momentarily stumped. 

"Hahahahaha. You people come and follow me to see o!" She beckoned to all the others. Now about twelve pairs of eyes were glued to me. They already knew the drill, obviously several people like me walk into their office on a regular basis, Igbos unable to speak Igbo; "city people". Some of the eyes were amused, some irritated, some filled with pity, none with indifference. They all held an opinion and none was good. 

"Chioma, attend to her" she said dismissively, passing me on to a junior staff to deal with such rubbish.

Chioma was one of the youngest in the room, really pretty, early 30s perhaps. 

"What did you say you want?" She asked in igbo, I repeated myself. 

"Su o ya na igbo" she demanded. 

Wait, I thought we'd already established that I couldn't. I stared back at her, forcing a smile, to stop myself from rolling my eyes at her. 

"Ke side na Anambra?" She asked, I told her what part of Anambra I'm from. 

Next thing she began to shout to the hearing of the other women. "O nwanne Dera o!!!! Dera bia ka i fu nwanne gi! Come and see your sister and teach her your language"

Once again all the women began to chatter excitably; such nonsense, they say they're igbo yet they cannot speak it!

I had to endure this for about five minutes until Chioma pointed me to a notice on the wall which had the requirements, which was the very first thing they should have done, instead they chose to use me for Monday midday comic relief. 

I read through and one of the requirements is a very long thing so I went back to Chioma. "Is that one compulsory?"

"Compu-gini? Mmu a a ghota ihe i na e kwu". She said feigning confusion. 

I swear down I wanted to thump her head with the stack of files on the table. 

Next thing all the women were asking me to say "compulsory" in Igbo. This time I actually rolled my eyes and said I'd be back, I'd gotten the information I needed. They all guffawed at my retreating back.

...In truth it was an amusing albeit annoying experience. No I'm no longer lamenting over the inability to speak my language fluently. I've just been playing out the scenerio in my head. Then I wondered if it would have played out the same way if I'd walked into an office full of men? I don't know but I doubt they'd have turned a simple question into a half-hour moment of ridicule. What do you think?


Ps; I've heard some young parents argue about the usefulness (Or lack thereof) of kids knowing how to speak their native languages. Some say it really serves no purpose as the world is becoming a global village and one's local language is in no way going to foster their growth or advancement. Instead the same energy should put used in teaching these kids languages that are important in the "economic" world, like Arabic or Mandarin. Some others strongly differ, saying the importance of knowing one's language can never be overstated. What do you think?


Yeah, the title said women are the worst but I love my sisters any day anytime and if I could, I would come back to this world as a woman again, and again!







Comments

  1. I can speak my native language fluently and I even adopted other languages*strollsoutofpostshakingbumbum.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thelma...honestly I think sometimes you tend to be cool headed to a fault (or at the wrong time, as the case may be). Imagine people who are paid to render professional service to you end up making fun of you...AND YOU UP AND GO???

    About 4/5 years ago I called my cousin, who was to pick up my aunt travelling to Owerri, only for someone answering her phone, claiming to be "progressives in poverty alleviation", and warned that I shouldn't call back or there'll be dire consequences. I quickly went to the police to report the case. I told the sergeant at the desk (or is it counter..don't really care) that I came to report a serious crime. He became slightly agitated and asked if it was a robbery incident. I said it was a case of kidnap. He asked where, and I told him Owerri. He scoffed, hissed, then laughed and called his colleagues to "come see this bobo o. Come hear wetin him de talk". He told them and they all laughed. I was confused. I asked what was so funny about what I just reported and the sergeant said I should "enter Night-bus begin go Owerri". I immediately got really angry and asked him, raising my voice a little, if it was out of place that I should come to the police with something as serious as a kidnap case. Was it not their duty to act on it or advice me on the next step? Why being callous over it, and as serious as it was?. The *joy* immediately left the room and the sergeant told me to be calm. Five minutes later he took me to his DPO who later explained that I would have to get in touch with the cops in Owerri, that each state had their own separate jurisdiction and mode of operations, bla bla bla.

    Bottom line is, I showed my displeasure and made sure it sunk in. Please when you go back there and they talk to you with such unprofessional manner, give them a strong hint about their job description, since they're obviously too daft to realize it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dear I had to 'upango' biko. At least until I get what I need. I certainly don't need anyone trying to frustrate my efforts at this crucial moment.

      Delete
    2. Haaa memphis! You go dey show yourself for police station! In Nigeria! Haaa! Oya raise your two hands and wave to heaven. You are favored. If you had met an insane cop, he could have turned it against you o.

      Thelma... in my opinion.. you did the right thing. Whatever they said did not stick to your skin. It is their problem if they carry it on their head that someone cannot speak their language. They are obviously very idle and petty women. You can't win with them. They'll always find something to say. And people like that, as insignificant you think they are in the scheme of things, can frustrate the process of getting the required document. So it depends on how urgent the document is and if you can embark on the long journey to Anambra. How do you even know you won't meet worse people. So in my opinion, you did the right thing. Just keep playing nice till you get what you want. You probably won't ever have to see them again.

      Oga memphis's approach in Nigeria can backfire big time! Loool. Go and watch the meeting. It's not the same scenario but it'll help you understand why you don't want to mess with those women or tell them what the should be doing.

      Delete
  3. Looools I'm sorry but this is just too funny... I tried imagining the whole scenario, you standing there like a duck out of water in their midst, while they went about ridiculing the hell outta you... ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ no fair mehn no fair

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hahhaahhahahahahahaha,while reading this I was imagining what u must have gone through.lmao. personally, I believe everyone who comes from a particular tribe should be able to speak their dialect at least 70%. If it had been a room filled with men,am sure it wouldn't have been like this,trust me, there is this thing about men that I just can't explain, God created them differently and I doubt they would make u go through all those stuffs u went through with the women.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would come back into this world as a male....story for another day.

    Yes, women can be this way especially the 'busy idle' ones. Meanwhile, I'm one for both local and at least one other international language aside English.

    -F

    ReplyDelete
  6. Women are really the worst, they turn simple things to quarrel.

    Anyway it's very important for us to learn our language.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Those women really are the worst but if the service they're supposed to render to you is really important, please don't go Memphis's way o or that document will not come out until next year Christmas... Government workers can be mean like that and since there's no one to check their excesses, no one will chastise them. I'd have been very very angry tho, it would have shown in my countenance and body language.

    As for the question, my kids will learn to speak yoruba and whatever language my husband speaks. I speak yoruba fluently and I don't think there's anything wrong with teaching kids their local languages.

    Why will I neglect my own language and teach them Mandarin of all languages? Or even Arabic? Those ones developed their countries, that's why everyone wants to speak their language. Who says Nigeria won't be as developed come 30, 40,50 years?

    I will ensure that my kids speak English, yoruba, and at least 1 other language.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lol, igwe tupac on fleek...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jokes aside. You're paid to do your job and it doesn't entail mocking people who can't speak their language fluently or at all. That's wrong on every level. Yes, they could easily frustrate you by asking g you to come back over and over again, but imagine being firm and taking the case up. If the person in charge is not as naughty as the rest who will the joke now be on? On the flip side though, this is funny ...

    Epiphany29.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lol it's so funny but I wouldn't have found it funny oh. Nigerians are so full of shit.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Tee,that's how they behave in those liaison offices.The way you were treated is exactly the same way they'll treat anyone who comes there & can't speak the language.
    Some months back,I went to the Imo state liaison office to get my cert of state of Origin. Immediately I stepped into to building,I saw a man and asked questions in English,i was laughed at & told to speak in Igbo if I wanted to be attended to.So you see,It's not because they were women,I guess it's an unspoken rule in this liaison offices.I asked questions when I got home & I was told that's how it's been since inception.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I don't think this is a women thing, I think it's their policy, atleast one should be able to speak their native language in these liason offices.

      Delete
  12. Am pained my dad didnt teach me my native language,i cn only speak yoruba fluently,then i understand my mums language,but for my dad its nada,and am the first born,God forbid something happens and we have to go to the village,those folks wld use ur eye to see something

    ReplyDelete

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