Another sunny morning today in beautiful Metro Vancouver. My eyes are blood shot (again) as I look upon my reflection in the mirror. Drool and breast milk spots redesign the top of my pink PJ. As I wash my hands in the bathroom sink and walk over to the nursery to pick up my angel and the cause of my dreadful morning look, I chuckle to myself.
I had finally finished ‘Yinka, where is your huzband?’ last night. It was different from most of the books I have picked up. It was almost like reading the script of a cheesy romcom but better. What’s more, I could see myself in the character of Yinka. What over 25 year old Nigerian girl hasn’t experienced the overt pressure of being unmarried? Now imagine being over 30 and still unmarried. Dreadful, isn’t it?
I remember when I was 27. My younger sister was married and I was still single to the bones. A former neighbour of ours in Lagos reached out to me on Facebook and after the usual pleasantries of ‘How are you?’ ‘How are your parents?’ ‘How about your sister…’ and naming each one, he proceeded to ask me straight up ‘What’s wrong with you, Ify?’. Uncertain of what he meant, I responded ‘What do you mean?’
‘Your sisters are married and you are not, so what’s wrong with you’, he bravely typed to ME. I was so stunned that all I could type was ‘LOL’ and closed the app.
‘Yinka, where is your huzband’ is that relatable. Her desperate need for marriage due to societal pressure and being in the spotlight, her desire to please and all the failures she encounters by running faster than her shadow is reminiscent of you and me. Yes, you.
On the flip side of the coin is the messiness of polygamy – the constant need to one up the other wives via children, cooking, physical appearance and even bedroom expertise. The jealousy and bitterness that breeds from the inevitable favouritism is worth any sane individual fleeing from polygamy. ‘The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives’ is just that. A mirror is placed in front of polygamy and we are face-to-face with what can be so easily hidden when there are too many spouses.
Both books were enjoyable and easy reads. I did have a ‘hmmmm’ moment interacting with the character of Bolanle in ‘The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives’ but I’ll let you be the judge of that should you pick up this book.