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“I don’t believe it!”
That was what Mazi said as he stared in utter bewilderment, unable to believe the sight of his wife naked and in bed with another man in a cheap hotel room. For a while, the rumour mongers tried abortively to warn him about his wife’s cheating ways. They told him about the nights different voices of men were heard coming from his room; voices of men who moaned and cried as they fucked his wife and then ejaculated. But the man disbelieved the rumours. He trusted his wife too much, reason why he could leave her alone at home while he traveled the length and breath of Nigeria; merchandising. However, one thing that was unknown to him was that his wife was indeed getting some pleasure in his absence. You see, he was a man with a peculiar sexual weakness! Therefore, his woman longed for those days he was away so she could have her lover over to please her in all the right ways…
Meanwhile, as the she soon learned about the rumours which have spread about her infidelity, Mrs Mazi devised a new and convenient way to get it with her lover- she began lodging in hotels. This worked for a while until the nosey people (who wouldn’t let her be great) became aware of her new arrangement. So they found out about the hotel she usually lodged in and then relayed the information to her husband who once again disbelieved them. But the rumour mongers were relentless. They ensured to always relay every bit of Mrs Mazi’s “sexcapades” to her husband; albeit very salaciously. Unfortunately for them, he disbelieved them everytime. But a time came when the man began to pay attention to the rumours about his wife even though he didn’t still believe it. He told his “reporters” that seeing would be believing.
Consequently, the rumour mongers plotted to set Mrs Mazi up for fail by giving her husband details about the day and time she usually met up with her lover at the hotel. To catch with them, the man pretended as though he was embarking on one of his journeys. But of course he hung around in town. And on that faithful day, he barged into the hotel and very easily got information about the room his wife was lodging in. It was as he broke into the room and caught the lovers red-handed that he began saying “I don’t believe it”…
Before long, a small crowd had gathered to watch as the drama unfolded. And while they busied themselves cursing at the woman and her lover as well as taking pictures of them, Mr Mazi was unfortunately losing hold of his faculties. He was beyond shocked by what he had seen. And he would never be the same again.
So to him, seeing was not believing after all.
[THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION]
~Emmanuel Abara Benson
Oftentimes, I’m scared to collect my balance after carrying out transactions. And this is because it’s either that the balance I’m getting is comprised of dirty, torn notes or I’m getting the wet and smelly ones. Can you imagine the disgust; you pay a bus conductor with the finest naira note and he gives you smelly one[s] in return in the name of balance! What effrontery?!
That’s how the other day after I’d gone to the ATM machine and withdrawn the freshest five hundred naira notes (too fresh so much so I was jealous of even spending it), I gave one of them to the bus conductor only for him to give me smelly N300 in return. Trust me, I refused to collect it…
Seriously, why do we like money so much yet we cannot afford it some respect? Instead, we squeeze it, crumple it and make it wet and smelly; why? Some even write and draw on valuable naira notes… Can you imagine such utter disrespect?! Unfortunately, after they have finished tearing it and patching it up with gum they would still want to spend it and get more money. Please tell me how money will like to belong to those who mishandle it!
Let me not even get started on those people who like to hide money in their private areas. I mean… how can someone even think to bring their most precious organs in contact with money which is typically very dirty and bacteria-ladden? The unfortunate thing is that in the process of hiding money in their privates, they inevitably contribute to its dirtiness. And after that someone would give it to me? Disgust!
It’s important that we learn to handle money with care. No one who owns real diamonds or gold would ever mishandle them, yeah? That’s because those are very precious things to possess. Well newsflash- money is equally precious! So handle it with care please.
Ever found yourself in this type of traumatic situation whereby the person you love hates you? We all get to have this experience at least once in a lifetime. And trust me, it can be hard to deal with; speaking from experience. In my own case, I tend to blame myself for everything that went wrong. You see, I used to have it with this girl- good communication, gorgeous smiles each time we met, long nights of texting and other great and fantastic moments. At this point, she loved me unconditionally even more than I did love her. And before I knew it, I allowed the fact that she loved me too much to get into my head. So I began to feel cocky and very important, even as she remained so nice to me in spite of the fact. But then she eventually got tired and gave up on me. And it wasn’t until then that my mind cleared even as I came to my senses.
She had had it with my attitude, tired of having to constantly stroke my ego. As a matter of fact, she was tired of loving me. So she hated me instead! It was such a rude awakening because never for once did it cross my mind that this girl could stop loving me the way she once did. Unbeknownst to me, while I was busy feeling so good with myself and taking advantage of her, I failed to realize that humans have the tendency to change either suddenly or gradually. Until there I was…taken unawares by her sudden hatred for me. It was shocking how disdainful towards me she suddenly became. It was even worse than I ever did treat her. And I couldn’t take.
It does feel bad when someone who once loved you begins to hate you. As a matter of fact, the bad feeling can go from worse to worst when you realize that you still love this person who now hates you. There is every tendency of you making attempts to convince this estranged lover to love you again. You may even embarrass yourself severally in the process of doing this convincing. And at the end of it all, your chances of succeeding with getting your estranged lover back could be zero to none. And then you begin to think of all the things you did wrong to her and how you wish you had been different. And when it so happens that your former lover has moved on with someone else, your jealousy grows and knows no bounds.
Here is something we should all bear in mind- most of those who suddenly start hating their former lovers do so after trying for long to endure some things about their lovers which they always disliked. In other words, rarely does a boyfriend or a girlfriend just start hating you for nothing. There is always that one thing in your relationship that always caused problem and which one of you complained about but failed to work on. And it is always that one thing to leads to hateful breakups. And here is something else I have learnt- the moment someone who once loved you decides to leave you because of your unrepentant attitude or the way you treated them badly, you will find it difficult to accept the fact that s/he is leaving you. And in your bid to make them stay, you will end up loving them more while they only hate you the most!
That said, it is important to work on yourself as a lover. Ensure to reciprocate the level of love shown you by your lover. And never fail to appreciate your lover too. Remember, he or she could have been with someone else but they chose you. Moreover, there are several other humans out there with whom they could match and flourish. Do be one of those who do not appreciate what they have until they lose it.
Cherish your lover today and always!
-Emmanuel Abara Benson
I know they think I’m weird. They call me a Feminist, and then wonder if there is even such a thing as a Male Feminist. And so they make light of my masculinity, going short of calling me a woman. But I am not a woman; I just dearly love women. Moreover, I am by every standard male and masculine. But one thing I will never be is chauvinistic. I cherish the fact that a woman’s vagina birthed me. And in the same vein, I hold the belief that everyone deserves the right to be respectfully treated at all times, no matter whether it is a penis or a vagina that they have in between their legs.
Growing up as a little boy, I was always in awe of women. I always knew that there is something very special about them; something almost beyond human. Their resilience to life’s hurdles amazed me and inspired me. And so did their beauty, which up till date continues to mesmerize me by the way. But with every passing day ever since my childhood days, I came to realize that these beautiful set of humans called women aren’t always treated with as much justice as they deserved. Being female in our clime (African traditions) and indeed elsewhere can be synonymous with disadvantages. Women are short-changed at every level and aspect of life. And so I realised earlier on that this injustice has to be called out, repudiated and denounced. This is so important, because short-changing our women simply amounts to short-changing the whole of humanity. And this isn’t what we truly want for ourselves; is it?
As I have become grown with my worldviews expanded, I have come to become a total advocate/supporter of feminism. It is a good thing to be, because having availed myself the opportunity to learn about the long history of female oppression and the struggles that led to breaking down most of the glass ceilings, I knew right away that I had to become a part of the movement- the movement to break down the rest of the glass ceilings that is. Moreover, the truth is that I myself have been negatively impacted by the injustice called gender bias. My paternal grandmother was of course female. And even though I never met her, I knew the story of her life. She was a woman short-changed and disadvantaged by her own father, maybe not purposefully, but because it was what the culture specified. You see, she was the first child of a local Igbo Chief. Her father had the resources to put her through school just like he did her younger brother. But she never got that opportunity because it was uncultured for a young girl to go to school when she ought to be married and “tending her husband and children”. Consequently, my paternal granny never got the most basic education. This was unlike her brother who acquired a masters degree back in the 1960s. To cut this story short, my grandma, who married a local farmer, died as an impoverished farmer, whereas her brother became one of the most influential men of his time. The difference between them was that one got the opportunity to thrive whereas the other was denied that same opportunity…just because she was female.
The decision to treat women and girls with respect does not do any harm. Unfortunately, the reverse is the case when women’s rights are violated and abused by culture and maybe legislation. I therefore use this medium to call on every well-meaning man to embrace gender-equality; embrace humanity. Respect and empower women, because s it is often said, the rest of humanity succeeds and thrives when women succeed and thrive.
-Emmanuel Abara Benson
Ever been interested in the fashion industry as much as I am? Perhaps the glitz and glamour of the Lagos Fashion Week fascinate you too! And of course there are the models, [mostly] skinny and beautiful; gracefully-composed/poised as they walk the runways. Such sophistication! Yet, we must all agree that mainstream fashion represent the perfect example of what everybody longs for but can hardly get to have. Why is that?
Across the world, the fashion industry is such a closely-knit, exclusively-wealthy and obviously elitist circle. Those beautiful clothes and accessories are reserved for those who are rich enough to afford them. Indeed, no hungry human can afford to buy a Lanre Da Silva dress or a Zizi Cardow dress. It is almost as if there is a pact between the superrich and the fashion industry experts to make it an all wealth affair, dedicated solely to those who are moneyed and classy. Perhaps by deliberately making fashion elitist, those involved justify Hadley Freeman’s opinion that “fashion that is not elite is just clothing”.
“Rampant elitism is the cornerstone of fashion’s foundation garments. It’s like… I wear Alexander McQueen, therefore I am part of a select group that can afford it. Fashion has such a sense of self-importance it comes with a dry-clean-only label as standard…”
So why exactly is fashion so elitist? Well the fact that it can be F***ing expensive forms the basis. Big fashion brands anywhere in the world are quite the luxury items and only those with real disposable income can afford them! Consequently, the price tag automatically excludes a wide range of any given population. They can only be the spectators, looking from outside the circle and never able to have an insider’s feel. Such is the way of fashion.
But the belief that fashion must be elitist to thrive comes with very many negative implications. And this can be blamed on the “matriarchs” of the industry. These are the fashion designers themselves, the Creative Directors and the Brand Ambassadors whom can be summarily grouped as “Complete bitches”. These set of humans [perhaps not all] are totally obnoxious in their ways. They feel they alone can dictate everything there is to know about fashion. More so, because they earn quite the money by selling to their select clientele, they inevitably feel like they are the richest and most sophisticated people. They have the highest expectations of newbies, including their demands that models be skinny and extremely beautiful. These recruitment yardsticks are set despite the fact that those who set them more often fail to meet the “standards” themselves. And then there is the unfortunate aspect of the entire situation- the fact that the “matriarch’s” obnoxiousness overtime [inevitably] robs off on the “recruits” and sadly contributes in further perpetuating this culture of “perfect imperfections”.
There is a lot on my mind on this topic and I daresay most of them aren’t patronizing. So I will just cut it short by saying that the fashion industry is such an important sector of our economy and society. And in order to ensure its longevity and continued success, it’s imperative that the prevalent culture of classism and “bitchcraftery” be done away with; please!
Written by Emmanuel Abara Benson
The first time Nedum set eyes on Ginika, he felt the power of attraction. She was a total stranger, yet deep down within him he felt an instant click; that romantic feeling that just overwhelms you when you find the one! It was more easily felt than expressed because it all happened so unexpectedly when they both looked into each other’s eyes from across the concourse. He was there waiting to pick up his girlfriend who was flying in from Abuja…
The awe-striking moment didn’t last forever though because Ginika quickly looked away from Nedum and had hurriedly left the place instead. Truth is, she felt exactly the same way Nedum did. It was nothing short of an instant connection, a typical moment of attraction every sexual human finds [themselves] in every now and then. But then she decided to let the moment slide because it made her feel guilty. She was a married woman although quite unhappy no thanks to her husband and his cheating ways. It had however been a long time since anybody admired her way Nedum did and the encounter awakened a lot of desires within her. She however didn’t know exactly how a married woman was supposed to react to such feelings! Nobody taught her these things. All her life she had been the good girl- church-going, Jesus-loving and married to the only man who knew her private parts. She was loyal and loving to her husband despite his many shortcomings.
But as she sat at the back of that taxi heading to her deluxe Lekki residence, she kept thinking about the strange man she saw at the airport, the man with who she felt the best attraction ever. She knew quite well that sitting in a cab and fantasizing about a stranger wasn’t exactly the most Christian thing to do as a married woman, yet she couldn’t help herself. So she fantasized that Nedum was every bit the realest man she had always wished she got to have and to hold. She wished she could see him again and feel the same way she had felt earlier. She kept thinking about him as the cab drove her home.
Unknown to her, she was getting home to meet an unexpected surprise. Her husband never expected her home that night. So as she got into the house and climbed upstairs to their bedroom, she met husband in bed, caught up in compromising positions with two women. They were busy doing many things at the same time, so busy they hardly even noticed her presence at first. Never before had Ginika’s husband been careless enough to let her catch him in the act. He was a pastor, highly respected in church and easily mistakable for a saint. Those were attributes that made her love him enough to marry him. Unknown to her, she would spend every day suspecting him until she finally caught him in the act. And what was more; the two women he was frolicking with were highly respected sisters in the church! That evening, she had the perfect excuse to leave the marriage…
Fast forward to five months later, Ginika was a divorced woman, facing all the stereotypes and loving it all. She felt good being free and was looking forwards to better days. And then one day after work as she stopped over at her favourite restaurant to have dinner, she met someone she thought she’d never meet again. It was Nedum, sitting just a table away with his back to her as he ate alone. Their gaze met and got hocked again when for whatever turned around to scan the place. And just like the first time, they shared that moment of attraction. And this time, neither of them was going to let the moment slip away. Just like Ginika, Nedum was freshly out of a relationship after his girlfriend left him to become the second wife of a senator. For months he was devastated and meeting Ginika again was indeed the best thing that happened to him the longest of times.
Today their love story continues, blossoming with every single day that passes. Got to love Love!
Written by Emmanuel Abara Benson