People say stupid things on Facebook.
The other day, this male Facebook friend of mine who is also a well
known Nigerian writer posted on his Facebook profile the following yeye
quote by Norman Mailer: "Writing books is the closest men ever come to
His Facebook account lit up
immediately. He was assaulted by a million female Facebook warriors led
by the mother of all generals, a smart, sexy and pretty Facebook
Nigerian writer friend of mine, who, you guessed right, is female.
Norman Mailer you will recall was a great American writer. He tended to
drink lots of cheap booze and get into fights and say a lot of stupid
Think about it; only a drunken male
would make the stupid assertion that writing books is the closest men
ever come to childbearing. The person has obviously never given birth
to a baby! And is definitely not married. Otherwise he would know to
shut his yeye mouth.
Married men know to simply not go there
when it comes to certain things and this is one of those ‘certain
things.' A famous woman once said to an unmarried man; "olosi (silly),
to imagine childbirth, imagine pushing a big fat wet calabash out of
Bill Cosby was probably thinking about
brash young unmarried male fools when he observed that having a baby
feels like your bottom lip is being pulled up over your head. He would
know. He is happily married. Besides, who wan die?
Times have changed. In the golden olden
days, it was more fun to be a man like Okonkwo of Chinua Achebe's
Things Fall Apart. No woman dared yell at a man unless she desired her
skull to be a palm wine cup. Heh! Heh! Heh! Heh! I used to envy my dad
Papalolo so much.
As was the great custom of our great
forefathers, when it was time for the pikin to come to this world, our
mother Mamalolo went to the hospital and no effort was spared to ensure
that Papalolo was comfortable. On that day, Papalolo would sit at home
waiting for the big news with a big bottle of ogogoro and a big pot of
fresh fish peppersoup by his side.
Once the blessed event happened, he
would get up, thank his ancestors, provide a name for the pikin and
promptly get drunk. It was a great life and I looked forward to being a
proud papa like my papa. Unfortunately for me, coming to America ruined
it for me, Let me explain.
The first time my wife and I were
expecting a baby, we were really excited. On the appointed day, just
like my father, I was prepared for the great event. Our relatives in
America had prepared me fresh fish peppersoup for the occasion.
Just like my father, I had bought the
best ogogoro that my wretched wallet could point at – actually, two
bottles just in case my loser-friends visited and were interested in
helping me through the stress of child-birth. I had it all planned out.
I would gently drop madam off at the hospital, give her a big kiss, and
then, like my father, run home to enjoy my peppersoup and ogogoro and
wait for the great news. This was not to be.
As soon as we got to the hospital, the
nurses started asking me stupid yeye questions like: "Are you the
father?" "Do you faint easily?" Before I could say e gba mi O (help
me!), these evil nurses had handed me hospital clothes! "Wear them! You
will need them for the childbirth!" one of them said!
"Why?" I asked, "I am not staying,
thanks for the offer, where we come from in Africa, men don't hang
around maternity wards, it is taboo, I have to go home to wait for our
child, the peppersoup will soon get cold, do you know what peppersoup
The evil nurses shared with me that the
constitution of the United States decrees that the father of the child
must be present during childbirth, it helps with the bonding process,
plus it is a very loving thing to do with your wife because you will
help to push the baby out… blah, blah, blah.
Apparently Americans do not forbid
anything. This was a surprise to me! I did not take this sneaky ambush
very well, trust me. I accused them of cultural and linguistic
incompetence and insensitivity. To cut a long story, I was made to stay
for the entire childbirth drama.
My people, wonderful things shall never
end in this world! At some point during the childbirth, the pain is so
much, the doctors offer your wife painkillers. I was not offered
painkillers. I was the one in great pain. I am very serious here; the
painkillers should really be for the man. In the maternity room, as the
man, you are in pain all the time.
As for the actual childbirth, I don't remember it. The nurses claim I fainted. I disagree. I just don't remember fainting.
By Ikhide R. Ikheloa (Nigerian Writer)