Casual Musing with Chioma Annette

Email: chyomamba@gmail.com Twitter: @cutechyoma

ChiomaThere is an ailment that seems to have taken over the land. This ailment affects the subconscious and make people hallucinate, lose their senses and begin to build castles in the air.

This ailment I have chosen to call ‘Wannabe-ism’. It affects both sexes but I will focus mainly on the female folk.

Dear sisters, why exactly do we like ‘forming’, giving false impressions and trying to be like the Joneses? What is wrong with being ourselves instead of ‘packaging’ and deceiving ourselves thinking we are actually fooling others? Yes indeed, a well-packaged babe would be great eye candy but one of the most attractive and beautiful traits in a lady is being real, being herself and calling a spade a spade. Get that straight into your head!

How can you go to a restaurant to eat local food and when asked if you want fufu u go “Yuck! That smelly thing? I don’t eat it. Gimme semo or yellow garri“. Then you use go ahead and request for cutlery. Some even say in public that they do not eat ‘swallow’. Meanwhile in your house, with a wrapper tied across your chest, you can sit down and do adequate justice to a deep mortar filled with fufu while licking your five fingers one after the other in the delicious process! Who exactly are you deceiving?

Worse still, you are out on a date and you end up in a nice restaurant where meals like T-bone steak, lamb chops, lasagna, fillet mignon, wonton soup, sushi or chicken cordon bleu are sold. Instead of you to respect yourself and settle for rice, chicken and dodo (fried plantain) that you are used to or be honest and own up that you know nothing about the menu, you go ahead and place your order, force it down your long throat and end up throwing up like a hot radiator when you get home or you acquire temporary accommodation inside your toilet. Why?

The truth is that your date may even appreciate you more if you reveal you know nothing about the meals. If he is a food connoisseur, he may put you through and painstakingly explain what the meal components are. Every day is a learning process. To your greatest amazement he may whisper to you that he is equally clueless and that leaves both of you in the same boat and you can have something to laugh about. Would that not be better?

I also think it is unfair not to give credit to your hair stylist for a job well done simply because she does not work in one of the luxurious salons in town. If you do not think it’s ‘prestigious’ for you to own up that Monsurat did your lovely braids, why patronise her in the first place? Give Monsurat what is Monsurat’s and to Luxury Salon what is Luxury Salon’s.

Why get a local masseuse to give you a massage at home for next to nothing and you are tweeting “getting a massage at the spa”? What spa? The local Ijaw lady does a better job with Shea butter and coconut oil and gets your bones creaking with her firm hands. Why not advertise her skills? Most spas do not come cheap and there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking alternatives.

Do not get me wrong. I am not preaching poverty here. On no account should any lady be shabby or untidy all in the name of ‘being herself’. Every lady should be well groomed, maintain high hygiene standards and dress well. Dressing well is a sign of good manners. My point here is that you do not need to lose your identity and become who you are not simply because you want to impress others or maintain a particular lifestyle that is way above your income. Wake up and smell the coffee. For those who can afford such, you have nothing to worry about. But for those who cannot, please cut your coat according to your size and fabric.

The fact is that most of us are suffering from wannabe-ism. This aliment had made lots of us debtors just because we want to be “on top of our game”. We go for expensive weaves, tablets, smartphones, shoes, bags and clothes even when we know we cannot afford it. We speak with fake accents even though some of us have not even been to an airport or the only country we have been to is the United Arab Emirates (UAE). How sad.

Be yourself. It is easier and more comfortable. Anyone who does not admire or like the REAL you is not worthy to be around you. Give the person a red card!!