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Stand by your (Nigerian) man, Mrs President

COUPLE: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and wife Aisha at his inauguration last year

WHILST THE entire world is distracted by the alleged sexual shenanigans of Donald Trump and the Republican Party stateside is wishing it had chosen Bill Cosby to be its presidential candidate
instead, the Nigerian president’s faux pas about a woman’s place in the home might just sneak under the radar.

If he’s lucky, it might just avoid being in Bill Clinton’s top 10 of How To Make Girlfriends and Influence Them to Sack Your Cook In The White House (sic).

What President Muhammadu Buhari said was that his wife belongs in his kitchen and “the other room”.

Before you accuse this Nigerian head of state of being a bedroom bully, remember he was only responding to his First Lady’s earlier threat on radio that she might not support him if he stands for re-election.

You see, Mrs Buhari is not very HP that none of her mates got jobs in the administration when her husband got elected 17 months ago.

Hell hath no fury like a Nigerian wife’s scorn. That I believe is widely accepted. Do remember the late great Fela Kuti’s passing words to me a few years after marrying 27 Nigerian woman in one go: “Dotun, one (Nigerian) woman is more than enough for nay man.”

Well, he would say that wouldn’t he?

But let me not take the words of a polygamist to heart when it comes to encouraging the rest of us not to have as much fun as he has had. Let me turn to my great-great grandfather. That great warrior who ruled the kingdom of Ilesha and fought off usurpers and would-be conquerors. 

It is part of our family legend that he forbade his wife to touch his suit of armour. It was part of the superstition of the followers of the god of iron (yes, we were pagans, and very happily pagans) that if a woman touched a warrior’s suit of armour, that warrior would perish.

Well, you know what happened: my great-great grandmother went to clean his suit of armour and come the next battle, my great-great grandfather suffered his only defeat and perished.

Now, dem times are no more. Man cannot expect a woman to “obey” whatever the marriage vows state. It’s not about “man and woman” it’s about “us”. Or, let’s be real now, it’s not about “us” it’s about “she”. In my house, anyway.


Having said that, I have to come to the defence of the Nigerian president, but only slightly. Because there is one thing that every married woman should know. Yes, you might be the boss behind closed doors, you might run tings in the bedroom and all over the rest of the house, but when it comes to public pronouncements, PLEASE, I’m begging you, let the man BE a man. Which means the woman has to BE a woman and not go challenging her man in public.

At least not in the way that Mrs Buhari challenged her husband. I mean, that is tantamount to a public diss of your husband. And I know that behind closed doors, she’s gonna give him some slaps for suggesting that she belongs in his kitchen and his “other room”– where the bed will be too big without her for the next couple weeks – but just allow him to do his ting in public.

You see, that’s how come me and my missus are cool all this time. We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary last week. That’s 19 and a half years together. That’s 37 years since I first tried to chirps her and she sent me packing with my tail between my legs and my shirt-tail full of wind until I learned to come correct. 

Now, in all that time, have you ever heard of the queen of lover’s rock dissing her man in public?

Even when I spout the kind of foolishness that I’m spouting in this article, do you really think my missus is going to come out in public and smack me round the chops for it? Nah, man. Dat cyan work. Cah, me is a man. Seen. And all my mates will start calling me names if that happens and I will never be able to show my face in public again. You see wha’ I’m sayin’? 

And it’s not just my missus. Hillary Clinton has not uttered one word of a diss of her husband, even when Donald Trump alleges that he’s a rapist. Incredible.

That’s why the Nigerian president had to come out like that and talk about a woman’s place in the kitchen and all that. If Bill Clinton could save face due to his wife’s loyalty, Buhari had to save face also. Do you honestly think a single man back home in Nigeria would have had the least bit of respect for the country’s head of state if he had just allowed his missus to diss him in that way?

Which brings me on to the issue of this historic Black History Month for black women.

Let’s be real now, I don’t think that Jeremy Corbyn decided to make history for us brothas and sistas twice in two weeks just because it is Black History Month. It’s a nice thought, but I doubt it.

Having said that, we can’t get away from the fact that the Labour leader did, by default or otherwise, achieve two landmark moments in black history and the fact that it is in Black History Month makes it that little bit sweeter. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about his politics or whether you (or I) agrees or disagrees with them. Some things are over and above the polemic of politics. I would suggest that black history is one of those things.


When it comes to our history, it is irrelevant where your partisan thoughts are, none of us can help but rejoice that there are now FOUR, yes FOUR black women in the shadow cabinet.

Last week, I said there were three Kate Osamor, Diane Abbott, Chi Onwurah – and we were all celebrating and cracking open the Wray & Nephew, because it was history in the making. Now, you can add Brent Central MP Dawn Butler to that list. And not only that, Corbyn’s only gone and elevated Diane Abbott to Shadow Home Secretary. That is a first. Not even pretty boy Chuka Umunna achieved that level of status.

And that should not surprise anyone, because Diane has never dissed, shamed, contradicted or bad-mouthed Jeremy Corbyn in public. Unlike the Nigerian First Lady, she hasn’t even
allowed Jeremy to perceive that she has shamed, bad-mouthed, dissed or contradicted him in public. To misquote Hillary Clinton, quoting Tammy Wynette: stand by your man – in public, ladies.

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