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Isio Knows Better: God’s Sense of Humour

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This is true. I know better. I lay no claims to being more knowledgeable than anyone, but I do confess that I know better than I did yesterday, last year and a decade ago.

You see, there is this conversation that we all have with ourselves, within ourselves and most times I just listen to mine. So, here’s an introduction to the Isio that is; beneath the surface.

There’s my mind: sharp, witty, caustic, 100% Realist. No nonsense. A ferocious reader; likes to acquire knowledge, highly opinionated.

And there’s my soul: soft, kind, maternal, nurturing, and forgiving. She is the lover, the spiritual one, the deep thinker, very empathic.

And there’s my body: which is where I come in, this vessel, experiencing life. The voice of the mind and soul. Likes beautiful things. Does not like driving, does not like traffic, absolutely detests saliva, sweat and yucky bodily fluids, loves laughing, exotic food and pretty much is concerned with the more mundane things of life. She is the everlasting referee between the caustic mind and the sensitive soul.

This is Isio.

Isio Knows Better is an attempt to capture the shocking and highly entertaining conversation within myself. Now I must say that these conversations happen in various languages, in any situation and underneath a poker face and a hidden smile.

Enjoy!
***
“You say you don’t like Ibo boys, but you keep dating them.”
This statement stopped me straight in my tracks. I had gone on a 15-minute non-stop tirade about the many injustices that had plagued me since I had the misfortune of meeting and loving (until I did not) every moment of a certain Igbo man. I was horrified. I shrieked, “GOD FORBIDDDDDDD!”
She calmly listed names. Likers, the liked and the “likees”. Now my throat went dry. She was right. We ended our phone call. I needed to process this.

Yup, God does have a sense of humor afterall. It is said that you attract that which you condemn. For me, it must be Igbo men.

Ehennnn, Papa God, I see what you are doing o, I don see ya hand. Hmmmmn, papisko papisko, Alpha and Omega, okay o, well done. I will soon start shouting that I hate Arab Money, make you for shock me with plenty Arab money na. As you don decide say na reverse psychology level we dey so…” I chuckle my urban prayer to God. You see, he is not just my creator, he is my padi, and we have this “thing”. He is awesome.

I think of the bestie’s words as I flop onto my couch. “Ouch…” I grimaced. I had landed with more force than expected. Rubbing my sore behind, I mused.This does NOT sit well with my idea of self. I know myself.

So what exactly does this mean?
Does this mean they are so amazing and irresistible? I grudgingly refuse to accept this… Okay fine, they can be amazing- sometimes. I chuckle to myself… Even my closest male friend was Ibo. “Delta-Ibo” he refers to himself. “What does that even mean?” I whine in exasperation. This was not a new argument. “Your name has the “C”s, the “K”s and the “U”s. It sounds Ibo to me.” He gives me “the look”. I drop the topic.

Does this mean I actually do not “NOT LIKE” Igbo boys? So, really, WHY do I seem to attract them? The alternative truth is that perhaps I DON’T love myself as much as I think.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a tribalist. I am thoroughly on the fence on that one. When I read of the hate/tribal bashing amongst the major tribes in Nigeria, what I think about is what would happen if we had another civil war forcing Nigeria to split and we were all forced to go back to our states of origin. Seeing as I am neither Yoruba, nor Ibo, nor am I Hausa, what would happen to this Urhobo woman if the country did split?

I imagined packing my ‘load’ back to my father’s village in Ughelli, Delta State. I imagined endless village meetings, making starch for my “battalion” of uncles when they come to do the Wanogho family meetings at our house. I imagined trekking a ‘great distance’ to go buy Milo and milk.Splitting is probably a bad idea.

My Soul kept nagging me to confront this truth about myself. This whole like-not-like-Ibo-Men-issue. I ignored her for months (well, at least I tried). She would not rest until I confronted every truth about myself. She felt it was important for me to figure this out. That it is important for one to know one’s self. Every beautiful, ugly, dark, scary, glorious or yamayama thing about yourself. That this is the secret of peace. Go within yourself. Check yourself. In the words of writer N.L Walsh, “If you do not go within, you go without…” she sing-songed through my consciousness. Get lost jo! But since I KNOW you cannot get lost as you are Me, I will confront this.
Let see.

TRUTH TIME.

I don’t actually dislike Ibo men. I just say it because I’ve had the most… well, unpalatable experiences (comparatively) in relationships with Igbo men. In fact, I have been singing this song for so long that I didn’t realize I was surrounded (ironically) by Igbo- brothers.

The other day I was in my other best friend’s house. We were there with her husband’s people. Laughing and dining. I was in my Warri babe element. Gesticulating and mimicking and descriptive. Then they start extolling the virtues of marrying an Ibo guy.

I am sorry o, and apologies in advance, but MOST Igbo guys treat their non-native girlfriends/wives BADLY!” I interjected.

Instant commotion!
Ehhhh! Ewoooooo! Chineke! Heeeeeeey! The confusion and uproar was instant. The party erupted into a series of shocked activities. Like something from a Nollywood movie. I am sure somebody jumped up and put his hands on his head with his mouth agape. Another must have bitten his fingers and leaped from the sofa to the middle of the room. It was dramatic. It was epic. My friend and her husband were laughing hard.

Uncle Nnamdi, the oldest, a chieftain from one of the more prestigious Igbo families says that this is a first he has heard. That many women usually wish to marry into the tribe because of the legendary ways their men take care of their women. The others nod in affirmation. He vows that I will marry one of them and that he WILL personally find me one… (He turns to my “date” and apologies. The poor Yoruba guy had gummed his yansh on his chair since and seemed to be half enjoying and half frightened by the spectacle).

Now it was my turn to leap from the sofa (Nollywood Style) and snap my fingers as I swung my hand across my head in the famous God forbid bad thing gesture. They all laughed heartily. My friend is on my side. She tries to explain. Still they insist that for that I MUST marry a good Ibo man who would make up for the ugliness the Ibo ex caused. They begin to discuss suitable sons…social status and pedigree was highly considered. They did not want me to suffer.

EXPERIENCES

Well, there was the one who loved and punished me consistently for years. My biggest sin was that I reminded him of his ex fiancee who broke his heart.

There was the one who was telling me his life’s history. How he had always loved me from afar but would want to marry an Ibo village girl… To say I was flabbergasted was an understatement. I told him it was highly arrogant of him to assume that he was someone I would want to be married to in the first place. It was only rice and stew, not starch and banga. Perhaps you should have asked me “if” I wanted you first. He kept malice with me and deleted me off his BBM.

Then there was the one who stalked me. From London to Lagos. Perched outside my place. He would sit in his car for hours just to see me walk by. Then angry messages on my cell-phone. Didn’t I see him wave at me?
(Of course I didn’t, weirdo. It was raining and I didn’t realize the stalking had reached that level).

One minute he is sending me stinkers, the next he is concerned for me and worrying if London wasn’t too cold for me. “Have you taken medicines? Don’t catch a cold baby… I’m sorry I was angry the last time… PICK UP MY CALLS YOU F**KER!!!!” Just my luck. Of all the people on TV he had to get fixated on, it just had to be me this one chose.

Then there are those ones who will date a non-native, but will rather go “home” and marry someone from their tribe to please their families. And they would come back crying to you about it. Thankfully, this has not been my experience, though I have seen it happen more times than I could count.

So here it is, my darling Soul, after reflecting I do realize that I don’t dislike them at all, in spite of every unpalatable experience. After all, every person is different and each tribe has its stereotype true/false that other people believe to be true. (Don’t even get me started on Urhobo stereotypes).

Now I believe that God just used it to teach me that there should be no prejudice in one’s heart. By bringing me different versions of the very thing I had condemned (as friends, colleagues, lovers and villains) he was teaching me to let go of my personal prejudice and see people for WHO THEY ARE while they are in my life, and deal with them accordingly, not what I think they would be. See the person, not the tribe.

But Father Lord, just in case you REALLY are into this reverse-psychology thing, just to be clear, I really, thoroughly, completely and passionately HATE Arab money o. And while we are at it, let me just say that I think having a multi-million Euro beach house in Sardinia is utterly disgusting. But seriously, if you insist that I am honest with you about things that just piss me off, know that those skyscrapers that will be built in Eko Atlantic City just break my heart and fills me with vile- bitter, green bile. I shall be wanting 5 of those properties anyway. Okay, 50 or 55. I need to keep these things close to my chest so they don’t annoy other God fearing people. Thank You Father… yes, yes, I love you too.

Love and Gratitude.

_______________________________________________________________________________
Isio Wanogho is a top-model, TV Personality and entrepreneur. She is conversant in five languages and has 12 years of experience in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Isio, popularly known by her brand name Isio De-laVega, captivates audiences with her signature wide smile and relatable, quirky personality which endears her to many. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @isiodelavega

Isio De-laVega Wanogho is a Nigerian supermodel, a multi-award winning media personality and an interior architect who is a creative-expressionist at her core. She uses words, wit and her paintings to tell stories that entertain, yet convey a deeper meaning. Follow her on Instagram @isiodelavega and visit her website: http://www.idds.pro to see her professional body of work.

44 Comments

  1. Bleed Blue

    February 11, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Huh?

    Will come back to read again when the brain is less occupied.

  2. frances

    February 11, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Ah Isio! Lesson learnt with plenty laughter! Ah, looolsss.
    Tis true,we should judge people on who they are personally and not on our personal prejudices.
    And lemme use your style too; dear God, I totally,absolutely hate,detest getting the new phone I need,the blackberry q10 I see with all its features totally makes me want to puke! That’s how much the mention of q10 makes me recoil in disgust.I am content with just the nokia torchlight phone I use for now.thank you Lord…
    PS: I live in ughelli/from there, and I don’t know which of the villages you are from, but I don’t think you have to trek to get milo again o,where I am at is open and I love to think other towns are too..

    http://imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

  3. angela

    February 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    isio i am igbo and i have to agree that most igbo men are arrogant and proud. i feel a bit offended by this piece but i have also said i would never marry any man from any yoruba state,benue,delta,edo, or any northerner. i am pretty much only looking for an igbo man who is not from anambra state or someone else but i know that when i fall in love with the right person it wouldn’t matter where he’s from or the colour of his skin.

    • Jennifer

      February 11, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Yoruba state?

  4. storm

    February 11, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    LOL!

  5. angela

    February 11, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    that was my friend angela typing from my laptop. now, for me nene. i also believe igbo men are arrogant and proud and i tell my mum how irritating they are and igbo men are very rude to women. however, i’m still hoping God sends one fine igbo man my way, preferably Amobi Okoye..lol. Isio i see you marrying a yoruba, delta or a white man, you will definitely not end up with an igbo man (please this is not an insult or compliment) and i believe you when you say igbo men will date a non-igbo girl but marrying her is a big problem. either way, it’s always good to explore

    • Her

      February 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      HIANN!!!! The struglle to comment is real. LMAO @ “dt was my friend typing”

    • Ugomma Ukam

      February 19, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      I think the dating of a non-tribe member and getting married to a gurl from the same tribe is also related to Yorubas………

    • hadassah

      June 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Pls leave Amobi Okoye for me…..
      LOL
      I had my reservations about Igbo men until I read about Him and saw his pictures…
      Omo.. that dude though.. *lips sealed*

  6. Nathaniel's Daughter

    February 11, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Wow… I love this! Isio, you’ve got a really interesting way of telling stories. E be like say you go like to do amebo small – you know the sweet type.

  7. whocares

    February 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Seeing as the big man is about irony, let me say a quick one too. God, I detest billionaires.. let me say it in Yoruba, “mo ko irira won”. I cannot stand them. Personally, if I have to be one I would have to find a way to live with myself eventually, but I should point out I will be spending all that money in self hate so if you have to punish me for my NUMEROUS transgressions I am ready for my punishment…. As for men, if it behoves you to kill off all the mature, kind hearted, faithful, and decent men in the world, who can blame you? walking about with their smug “I am a good man face”.. death to all of them jare! Please don’t bring them my way.. Mi o fe., but as your good book has said we should love all “men”, I will try and manage them, but na only manage o. Don’t think I want any happy ever after business with them.
    Good message Isio. Tolerance is what its about. Judging people for who they are, and not where they are from.

  8. mia

    February 11, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    hmm, i stayed in the East for about four years and i must say that in all the four years, i never found an igbo guy that tickled my fancy or impressed me enough to like him. while i would not make a blanket statement like “igbo men are arrogant, proud and rude”, i would say i have found quite a number of them believe that women are beneath them and they sometimes find very intelligent women unattractive.

  9. JdB

    February 11, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    hahahah this is amuzing.

  10. Autoprincess

    February 11, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    lol. Isio, you do know how to ‘gist’ sha.

  11. Turi

    February 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Nice one Isio, our prayer should be that God will give us the special one who we will be their bone of bone. That been said, can you move about you to the end as against having it at the begining and will this intro be there every time you write a piece?

    • Atoke

      February 11, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Hiya,

      The introduction is there every week for readers who are new to the column.

      Cheers!
      A.

  12. adanne

    February 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    LOL!!! This is so funny!
    Dear God, I absolutely detest 6 figure salary, owning a Caribbean beach front house and Israel Idonijie lol.
    Isio don’t worry it’s not just you… I’m igbo and I vacillate between detesting them and loving them. *Some* igbo guys are very chauvinistic, it’s how they were raised sadly. They are the ones that have shown me the most pepper in this my life.

  13. jcsgrl

    February 11, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Isio isi emebiela gi o! (you don craze small) and you manage pass the craze to commenters above. Being married to an ibo man, I can tell you they can be proud and arrogant. They love to be in charge and take care of their women. And when they love you, they will move mountains for you. they will rather wear tattered trousers than see their women in less than anything beautiful. dont get me started on when they toast you in ibo language. Chei! When they seranade you with words like asampete m, tomatoe jos, elewe ukwu egbuo ehi, etc. When my boo is kpanshing me and begins to speak in ibolese, chineke! Holy Ghost FIRE!!! In short, lemme go and call him sef….

    • Newbie

      February 11, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Looooool! Na you wey ‘isi mebiri’ (don craze)…Now you have me with an image of an Ibolese speaking man ‘kpanshing’ his lady in my head! How am I supposed to concentrate on this work now eh?

    • whocares

      February 11, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      LMAO! THREE POINTS FOR GRYFFINDOR!!!!!!!!!!! (Is what one of my drunken friend screamed when another friend scored with a girl, and she was loud, and we could all hear) So 3 points for you and your oga on top. lool
      PS: To everyone finding this offensive, I don’t think she is Ibo bashing, did you all read the penultimate paragraph about God teaching her not to be prejudiced? It shows a maturity of the mind for me.. she might have started out with her bias, but she has learnt to judge people not by their ethnicity, but by their character.. or am I reading to much into the 3 paragraphs I read?

    • Neo

      February 11, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      odi egwu! Please how does this Ibolese kpanshing work biko? Is he like ” oh Chineke, anama bia, anama bia”?

      EL OH EL! thanks for this. was having a totally rotten day but i shall think about this and feel better for the rest of the day!

    • jcsgrl

      February 11, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      Neo anwuola m (I don die o). I should have waited to read this after work now I’m laughing like a hyena on heat. chei nne you gerrit…something like dat

    • jcsgrl

      February 11, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Newbie and whocares…no mind me o. the said event happened recently that is why e still dey my mind 🙂

  14. Cynthia

    February 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    This column has gone into free-fall since its interesting first piece, “Losing weight – Naija style”. Too long, rambling, disconnected…and with this one, stereotyping a group and offensive. And I’m not even Igbo.

  15. mrs chidukane

    February 11, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Well, I’ve only dated ibo guys and married an ibo guy so I can’t say. What I like about them is their industry and hardwork.Yes they can be proud and arrogant and treat women badly but aren’t most Nigerian men like that? Brought up with the mindset that they are gods and women are their minions?Just be sure to marry the Man,not his tribe and you’ll be fine.

  16. adelegirl

    February 11, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I can so relate! Being half yoruba, I have always said I will not like to marry a yoruba man yet I have dated mainly yoruba and I am now marrying a full-blooded yoruba man. Talk about the irony! I have also wondered myself whether God is into this reverse pyschology thing, so me too let me just let him know that I absolutely will detest being the richest, happiest, well loved woman in Africa! I mean, what am I supposed to do with things like private jets, luxury cars and holidays, jet-set lifestyle ehn?

  17. Africhic

    February 11, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I fail to see the humour in this piece. I am not Ibo, but I believe there are some thoughts that are best kept to oneself.

  18. http://www.thelmathinks.blogspot.com/

    February 11, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Ironically I’m Igbo but I’ve never dated an Igbo guy. I’ve dated mainly from Akwa-ibom, delta and Yoruba and I find that everything you people have accused Igbo men of are present features in a lot of guys from other tribes and states. I’ve had enough of this I hate Igbo (men) , if they’re so bad then please leave them alone. When one approaches you put you shoes on your head and do a Ben Johnson. RUN!. Hell, most of my Exs are Yorubas and I can’t begin to tell of half the sh*t they put me through. I don’t know the kind of Igbo men y’all meet, the ones I’ve met and the ones I know are fairly decent people.

    http://www.thelmathinks.blogspot.com

  19. M

    February 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Ibo men! Where should I start from? I have dated some, the 1st one was such a sweetheart until I met his cousin who also is IBO but speaks Yoruba , so he said to me in Yoruba ” what are you doing with him, do you like him at all you can try someone else” I confronted the cuz and it happened he wanted to ask me out too.nah that was messed up, the 2nd guy once he started catching feelings his insecured side also came out and he started complaining about everything and then my IBO male friends constantly say things like “instead of you marrying an IBO guy you want to end up with those pepper loving Yoruba guys” i politely reply them with you are retarded and I wish you know there is more to life than hating others for no good reason and I have some fantastic IBO friends that I don’t joke with please don’t even insult them for me.
    But the whole they take care of their wife thing hmmmmnnnn thanks I have a job, but you can tell me more of your other characteristics and lifetime plans and also respect. would your family accept me and all.at the end of the day I just say it’s more of the individual and always keep an open mind .life is 3 scores plus 1 and if you are lucky you get more, then be happy and enjoy every moment,treat the people in your life fairly doesn’t matter where they come from 1 or 2 bad experience shouldn’t stand has hindrance.

    My reverse psychology is I don’t like when we humans get along.

  20. Iyke

    February 11, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    God ain’t using no reverse psychology on anybody…. be careful with what you wish for ..it might come to pass.If you want Arab Money,or a beach house in Sardinia – Cagliari, stop wishing and work for it.You are as relevant…as significant…as essential…consequential and regarded as the weight…measure and breath of your bank of humanity… Check the balance in your account…it may be time for a much needed deposit.
    Per Igbo men bashers, trust me, there are two types of men in Nigeria – an IGBO MAN and the rest.Igbo Men ROCK!

    • Iyke

      February 11, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Just Saying:
      @ ISIO – I find your brand of humor, much like I find you…inconvenient. Because you decide you’ve been ordained the chosen one…engaged and empowered…having obtain access…your words of postured wisdom masquerading your true intentions, are off putting and ill advised. Demanding the favor of my time…and considerable indulgence…is not a right of acceptance or valued weight of regard. I find you excessively offensive…much like I find your hair… You are completely unacceptable to me…in every way…so there!

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      February 11, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      Iyke biko relax is not that serious. Since u comments started appearing in this blog it has been reflecting the character ppl complain of purely egoistic and vainglorious. You just chant your poem and walk away, if anyone reprimands you of it you chant another poem with exaggerated grammar and still walk away later when ppl complain about it you start chanting another very long poem. Have u ever stopped to know whether people understand you or not? Yours is just to write after all its your comment why should other dimwits understand it. Nna O bu ndi dika gi na ebutelu Igbo men ajo afa. So biko chill on that your poem chanting and English speaking ka anyi zuo ike. Besides the girl was just speaking her mind people have their preferences.
      @ Isio nne relax and enjoy my Igbo brothers, one thing you will be sure of is that your children will never lack food if they are in charge. Looooool! There are lots of decent ones out there i tell you. I am sure.

    • Curious

      February 11, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      You are just so extra and childish…Grow up!

  21. The Real Madam the Madam

    February 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Igbo men can definitely be annoying.

  22. bukky

    February 11, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Lolest @ Isio.you just managed to make me laugh out loud in a public transport vehicle.Nice one!

  23. El patron medellin cartel

    February 11, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Iyke dey para! but on this I feel isio, I like all girls no matter where you from, as long as you have got my specs,but yoruba girls can be annoying can too form shakara,and don’t give up the cookie in time..but my friend if you are patient the world is yours.

    • Fig leaf

      February 12, 2014 at 12:09 am

      Your cookie desiring self is rather foolish. May your daughters meet men like you, whose only place value on women depending on how quickly they give up the cookie.

      #incensed

    • Fig leaf

      February 12, 2014 at 12:13 am

      **who only place**

      This anuofia…making me shell. Nonsense!

  24. Charis

    February 11, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    @ Iyke don’t be bitter, its not that deep yeah… I’m. Igbo too nd I know how our men can be, uurrgh don’t get me strting on that. I’m dating one at the mo’ who’s proving me wrong tho; he’s an amazing man (well I guess till he messes up, lol hopefully not)… Igbo men/yoruba men/hausa men/black men/white men… I think its ‘conceptualizing’ gone wrong .. If a man is good he’s good… And oh, God isn’t into d whole reversed psychology tingy, I believe… so amma b straight.. I LOVE ARAB MONEY ☺

  25. Que

    February 11, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    I have on at least two occassions come to this same conclusion bout Igbo men, n anytime I do, I am instantly reminded that I am an offspring of one great Igbo man par excellence….n my brothers dont fit the stereotype too….that is all d lesson I need- character not tribe makes d man…

  26. Curious

    February 11, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    This Iyke or whoever the hell he says he is just ruins my mood with his silly comments on Bellanija. I have never read anything sensible or worthwhile from him. I feel sorry for the people who have to put up with the likes of him in real life. Truly pathetic!

  27. Mrs Nwosu

    February 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    @Isio, this write up is me o through and through. I so dislike the ibo men, my friends swore i must marry one, infact , i disliked the smoker and the over drinker and guess what God did that reverse psychology thingy and gave e me all three to delete prejudice from my life. Am good now os the moment i knelt down and told Him am sorry for all my prejudices my life change. Right now my hubby is the best thing since slice bread. Igbo kwenu!

  28. sussy

    February 27, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Igbo men and I don’t mix at all and am Igbo. The ones I have met are arrogant but then again I can’t generalize or dispute the fact that they are fine 🙂

  29. Prince Hope Esharegharan

    September 17, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I love your story, and i really wished my own daughter Isio Esharegharan to do more greatly than this, i’d thought my daughter bears Isio as the only person on earth, but never knew it exists with you

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