Much Ado About A Dame, By Ose Oyamendam

Ose Oyamendan

You gotta pity Goodluck Jonathan sometimes. He simply cannot catch a break from a section of Nigeria. The man got tired of the Nigerian heat, packed his bags and flew to China. But, as he’s enjoying the original “Chinese friend rice” in Beijing, Nigeria blows up with tall tales about the first lady.

It seems Nigerians can’t live with a peaceful presidency. A few weeks ago, you would think the country’s governors, most of who slept through arithmetic class in primary school, were going to set the country on fire. And, for some weird reason, the president who is not a governor was fingered as the man behind it. You wonder if these powerful Nigerians also missed social studies class in primary school and somehow think the president is indeed the governor of Nigeria and must be a secret member of the governor’s forum.

And, before that, the rave was about the president not performing. But trust the silky-voiced president who may have a career in public speaking after the villa, he told Nigerians they would bow when they buy some special glasses next year and take a really close look at his record. Strangely, a nation of impatient people decided to buy patience. Literally.

They moved on to the poor first lady whose only sin is that she is the madam of the villa. They accuse the Dame of sublime things like holding traffic up as if she has a giant magnet in her wallet that keeps all the metal contraptions at bay.

They accuse her of ridiculous things like breaking the electoral act by launching campaigns. What campaign? In a nation where the national leaders endorse a candidate and asks everyone else to jump in the lagoon!

You would think Nigerians will attack the main issue, like “madam, this dame title, how did it come about since Oga is not knighted?” But, that would be opening a cesspool because this is Nigeria after all where a title is a ticket to the front-page news. Every governor’s wife is a dame these days and we wonder why the British keep hurling insulting policies at us. It’s because we’ll eat it up!

The way it’s all coming across, everything has gone from “Dame, damn!” to “damn, Dame!” Same words arranged differently. “Dame, damn” is an exclamation of appreciation with a tinge of jealousy – like a when you see a gorgeous girl strolling down the marina as the sun sets. “Damn, Dame!” is serious bad belle.

I was content to be patient as the accusations flew at the first lady like balls of amala. But, this week, I finally hit the roof. The poor woman is in her home state on a vacation or whatever it is First Ladies do when they travel which I assume is not far from what they do when they are at their base.

Now, the woman is at home jeje, watching the television and probably thought she was watching a reality show as a bunch of lawmakers were busy breaking the law with blows and slaps in the Rivers State House of Assembly. Suddenly it’s her fault. She brought the wahala from Abuja!

Haba! Enough is enough! First of all, the first lady can count. You don’t get that fabulously wealthy and have properties all over the place without being able to count them. The First Lady is not like his brother governor who believes 16 is greater that 19. She knows five is not greater than twenty-seven. These things are easy for women and metrosexuals, people! A one-hand manicure is less than a full manicure, pedicure and eyelash treatment. I know because I’m in a salon right now.

If this sounds like a defense of the first lady, that’s entirely your opinion. If you think I’m scared of women, you are right. Women scare me. They do things to you that make you think you’re in heaven. And when you piss them off, they do things that make you wish you were in hell. And, these are not powerful women who fight their former friend and predecessor for an office building.

Me, I like Patience. I have a sister called Patience. When she was younger she used to beat up the boys on the street. I suspect she spared me because of that thing they call respect. In a very eerie way, every time I see a picture of the first lady, I see a lot of my sister in her. With the way no one respects traditions these days, I’m not messing with that.

And these band of critics should stop too, especially those of the male specie. Which of them do not have a wife or sister everyone calls “fire”? Which of them doesn’t open the fridge and grab a cold one every time the said wife leaves the house? Do they think because Jonathan is the president he doesn’t have a fridge or the lack of “fire” is part of the good luck?

People need to retrace their steps and tongue and move from “damn, dame” back to “Dame, damn!” Either that or we’re staring a fight club in defense of the first lady. We shall be called the “Dame boys”.

Ose Oyamendam, a Nigerian film maker based in the United States, is a columnist of Premium Times.  Kindly follow his twitter handle @iam_ose 

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