My Darling Ifeoma- Doki Wada

Ifeoma, Ifeoma, Ifeoma, I want to marry you. Give me your love. Give me your love.....Those were the subtle but charming words of Felix Liberty, the love songs maestro of those days. Today's Ifeoma is totally opposite of what Felix was infatuated with. This is an attempt to project the travails of young men in Abuja, and shouldn't be taken out of context, especially as it pertains feminism. Of course there are good girls around, but hey, for some reason they have proven to be elusive to a lot of young men. As them talk, you no fit find your spouse for Abuja. The character "Ifeoma" was a figment of my imagination. Happy Viewing!

Last week, while on my way home from the gym, I had the rather unfortunate experience of seeing my ex-girlfriend. 

She was buried in the comfortable leather arms of a luxurious Jaguar 2013 model as we all trudged on through the tomb like structure of the traffic within the Karu axis. A traffic that makes all of us ‘’driving’’ look like slaves plodding through the forest, chained together on this route by our automobiles. IFEOMA- that was her name. A name that evoked mixed emotions in me, just as the sight of her did. 

Just like every dumped lover, boyfriend, husband; this uncanny visual ‘’reunion’’ made me reminisce about my time with Ifeoma. 

Omalicha- my pet name for her, which means ‘beautiful woman’ in Ibo language. 

For most young adults, a reunion (albeit in my case- visual) with their ex-lover is usually met with mixed feelings, mainly due to the incontestable fact that splits are usually a sad and somewhat exciting event- depending on what side of the aisle one is on. Denial, anger, negotiations, despair- I am not sure I went through all these stages, but, at a point I had to come to terms with the fact that I had been unceremoniously discarded like a pack of cards whose edges are no longer sharp.

I call this acceptance of my fate with I-F-E-O-M-A. 

Being the real man that I claim to be, I really do not have any qualms admitting this bit of fact. What I have a grouse with is quality of the ‘’lady’’ who did the dumping. As though I had not undergone enough punishment; elements of guilt and regret also crept through my mind. At some point, I contemplated stepping out of my car to render an apology. But, slaps from the fiery-looking motorists for holding up traffic all in the guise of being chivalrous, as opposed to forgiveness from Ifeoma, is what stopped me dead in my tracks.

I met my darling Ifeoma at the 2007 NYSC camp in Abuja. NYSC camps usually offer imports like myself the opportunity for re-integration into the social fabric of our ‘’great’’ nation, because it provides us (imports) the platform to create new social and professional relationships. Both sets of goals I was able to achieve successfully, with the only bad patch being my union, with Ifeoma.

Ifeoma is your typical ingenuous pseudo-Nigerian girl; deep on the outside and shallow in the inside, an embodiment of Cleopatra’s facial attributes on the outside, but a blonde-like acumen at first tries of a logical conversation. She is endowed with facial talents that would make Halle blush, a structure that would make Jenifer stare, and a backside that would make Cherokee’s inconsequential in the lives of all porn viewing men. My darling Ifeoma’s pulchritudinous physical gifts and ‘’brilliance’’ (which is often embodied by her ‘’British’’ accent) lent credence to the famous theory on men only liking what they see.

Our attraction was VERY mutual. While she brought her obvious talents to the table, I brought my imaginary talents and smooth talk (which I admit, can be contagious), as a bargaining tool. The deeper we got into our union, the more difficult and unbearable life became for me, because Ifeoma turned out to be pathologically demanding. Her unrealistic financial demands were always the source of our all too frequent conflicts. My antidote was to indulge her in ostentatious tales of potential gigs in the pipeline, with the hope of buying time, until I was able to sort out a much more permanent solution- which in lay man’s terms implied a realistic replacement.

Young unwilling spenders use this strategy as bait towards securing the loyalty of younger girls in high demand. Unfortunately, they are smartening up also, thereby rendering the tactic ineffectual.

One fine morning I got a text, suggesting that, my torrid but tantalizing time with Ifeoma was over. At first glance, I actually thought that I had just been punked, but at second glance, I realized that I had actually been dumped. I tried making frantic efforts at a possible reunion, but she would not have any of it. Just like most young men, I was a little bit depressed, but was able to take solace from the fact that I did not spend a dime on her- and that is being generous. 

I heard rumors of her exploits; most of which I wanted to believe because I just could not stomach the feeling of being dumped, and that is until I metamorphosed into a real man. However, the traffic incident confirmed my worst fears i.e. Ifeoma dumped me because of the old age “affordability” doctrine.

The term “affordability” has gained widespread usage amongst young males and females, especially for those of us residing in capitalistic societies. While the males equip themselves with resonating defensive liners such as “I can’t afford her”, the females on the other hand attack with exclamatory teasers such as “can he afford me?” This phenomenon is becoming all too frequent in Nigeria because relationships have been carefully conceptualized to capture the commercial sides of both sexes, thus leading to the commoditization of the organs in high demand- one of which isn’t the human brain.

I remember reading Cyprian Ekwensi’s fiction novel-An African Nights Entertainment, where he likened women to “commercial fabrics in the market place; which were reserved for the highest bidders’’. Little did I know that one day I would be forced to reckon with his thoughts in real life. 

As I drove away from the traffic, two schools of thoughts juggled through my head- Ifeoma’s 2013 Jaguar and Zarah’s principled stance. Zarah shockingly turned down huge sums of money in exchange for her God given physical endowments. 

Young, hustling and genuine “real men” would rather deal with the Zarah’s of this world, when compared with my darling, because only the super-rich can satisfy the materialistic desires of the latter. When put in perspective, it is no surprise that younger women nowadays prefer older men because it is they alone who can woo them with the material instruments they desperately seek and crave.

THUS, leading me to the belief that it is just a matter of time before I get attracted to Ifeoma again (life they say is in cycles AND circles).

Unfortunately, this is the reality of our contemporary Nigerian society- a society where all that glitters IS worth G-O-L-D!


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