Aisha Buhari is a bold woman indeed. a very bold African woman. Let’s be real here, every man likes to have his girlfriend, not to talk of a wife, on his side of an argument no matter how stupid it is and when she’s not, the sense of betrayal can be crushing and as painful as a very solid kick in the you know where. She’d better have kept her mouth shut. When you’re Mr. President then, I guess, that sense of public betrayal must be presidential indeed. So, when you utter that expletive, as persistently reported, ‘My wife belongs in the kitchen’, public propriety could be the least of your concerns. If you’re of that special specie of male, Maximanlinus Nigerianus (don’t go looking for this in any encyclopaedia) then the mostly likely retort could be: ‘My wife belongs in her father’s house’. So Senator Ovie, the Chief Whip of the Senate, made bold to say, in effect.
Ben Bruce’s ‘My dear wife Evelyn belongs by my side not behind’ is, well, not authentic Naija, whatever you have to say, but that’s what’s right in this age of sensibilities, when the avatar now becomes us. This is what we hear in the Church even when the realities at home are quite the opposite. The Nigerian man has learnt how to market himself too, in an era when the image seems to matter more than the substance. The sad reality is that for most Nigerian men, their wives still belong in the Kitchen, no matter what they profess in public, and if you are as bold as Aisha, heyyyyyyyy! Hell hath no fury than a Nigerian man feeling betrayed in public.
This is what President Buhari actually said: “I don’t know which party my wife belongs to, but she belongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room…” This, for me, would mean that my wife belongs in the home, not just in the Kitchen. Was President Buhari right then? No, but he’s very true to the Nigerian Norm. It’s just that Nigerian men just don’t fit role that advocacy role, and, it comes across to me as jarringly sanctimonious. Nigeria man park well! This has nothing to do with the merits or veracity of Madam Aisha’s utterances. I suspect that she must have spoken out of despair and love. She has voiced what many Nigerians have come to know or believe anyway, her only offence being that she’s the wife to the protagonist.
Our wives know better, so what do you think? Let me know. Comment o. Let me know if it’s just sanctimonious posturing by the likes of Ben Bruce or that we are now in the era of the new Nigerian man, truly and honestly offended by the passé attitudes of Mr. President towards his wife, as representative of all women.