The Nigerian Man is a PEACOCK!!!!

There are some things that we grow so accustomed to that we fail to see what it is about them that is odd. I realise that the phrasing of that sentence is a little strange. It might be comfortable for you to read it as there are some things that we grow so accustomed to that we fail to see what is odd about them. I cannot tell you which of the sentences I prefer. They both feel like my children and I refuse to choose between them for while the first one isn't very good looking it has such character, and while the second is very pretty indeed, it is also mind numbingly dull.

As at the summer of 2012 I had been away from Nigeria for 5 years. When I returned home for summer as I have done every summer since I was 12 (I went to a very good boarding school in Abuja that I am not quite ready to talk about), I noticed that Nigerian men were rather fruity individuals, wearing colours and prints that most men from other countries would balk at. While it is not uncommon for anyone to see some ridiculously stylish young men in the rest of the world, most of their eccentricities fade as they get older. The questionable items of clothing are sold to charity shops, where they are picked up by similarly expressive individuals. However in Nigeria, the flair never dies. There's no negative relationship between age and flair, like there is between youth and wisdom. It is quite possible that the flair increases as one ages, for when I was younger Papa Afam could very rarely ever be seen on a weekday without the quintessential black suit and tie, now he delights in sand coloured blazers, flat caps and straw hats. I think that this might be his version of a midlife crisis, but I cannot complain as he has yet to ditch Mama Afam for Eku Edewor, and he hasn't squandered his well earned money on an Audi R8. The thought of that fills me with dread. Such a car wouldn't last a second on the isolated war torn region that is the road to our family home. Even the bushmen of the Kalahari who generally have no use for roads would be wary of it. It is just that spectacular. 

For those of you who do not know who Eku is this is she. She has quite the lovely angle doesn't she?  

It is hardly surprising that Nigerian men are so fruity and foppish as several of our traditional forms of dress inspire a level of dandyism that is nothing short of extraordinary. Below is a picture of what we call the agbada. I realise that pronouncing the consonants g and b together is a task that European tongues find impossible. It's quite similar to how my mouth felt when my accent was changing. After  speaking for too long I would be left with the acute sensation that I was moving my mouth in a way that was wholly unfamiliar.

That is me, Afam, in an agbada. The agbada is basically a piece of fabric that is as wide as you are from wrist to wrist, and as long as you are from neck to shin. It provides one with the wingspan of an albatross. 

In the West it is customary that the eyes devour the woman before flitting to her right or her left to discover the sort of man she's ended up with. This is mostly helped by the fact that the woman is often the more colourful of the two. This isn't so in Nigeria. In Nigeria, the man presents himself as a beacon for attention, demanding the adoration of all creatures with his gaudy, unnatural step, and his overly manly sashay. When you add the agbada to such an equation the result is the human equivalent of a peacock fanning its tail.

Happy Days,


Dupe K. said...

I do not completely agree with author but the writing is interesting enough to pique my curiosity. Who is Afam?

Afam said...

Thankyou for reading!!!

About Us