I sincerely 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.
Isio Knows Better is an attempt to capture the shocking and highly entertaining conversation within myself. The conversations between my mind (the sharp witty one), my soul (the lover and the spiritual one) and my body (the playful one concerned with the more mundane things of life). She is the eternal referee between the caustic mind and the sensitive soul. This is Isio. So, here’s to making private conversations public.
I used to have one Oyinbo friend like that in Design school in Italy. She was a French girl in love with a French boy and was in the same Masters programme as I. She had come all the way from Paris. It was evident how thoroughly in love they were with each other and they didn’t hide it.
Even though they were apart, he was with her all the time and she with him. Phone calls, Facebook and the whole slew of connecting and communication options that the internet gave us were theirs and they utilised them well. They were all over each other’s comments anywhere online, that if it wasn’t so sweet, it would have been alarming.
Meeting to discuss our “group assignment” at Penelopé’s house meant Olivier was there through her computer screen via Skype beaming at us while the coffee drinkers amongst us drank coffee, ate biscuits and we all cackled about everything BUT the assignment we were supposed to be doing.
3 hours later, we were still cackling.
3 weeks later, he came to Florence to be with her.
3 months later he was still in Florence, having decided to look for a job near our school so they wouldn’t have to be apart.
3 years later, they are still together, stronger than ever. Still brandishing their love on Facebook and Instagram. They were living their “happily ever after” everyday. It is refreshing to see their love thrive… there are too many sad love stories around.
It really does warm my heart to see them make it, because it seems like the opposite formula is the case to sustaining your relationship in Naija (where you have to hide your precious love before it pafukas inexplicably before your eyes) So my question is, is this just bad-belle, witchcraft (winchi tinz) or just coincidence that this is so in our society – to a higher degree- than it is with our Western peers?
Ever notice how the moment you decide to brandish your love on social media, scratch that, even from the moment you start talking about how amazing your partner is, once awon-aye can testify to the butterflies in your tummy and see the stars in your eyes, you start having problems in that relationship? Abi Is it not a beautiful thing to celebrate your commitment to another openly without fear, retribution or skeletons yet undead reaching for you with bony fingers dripping of decaying flesh? Without the fear of your precious relationship being jinxed or without a side chic/ past sprouting like a resistant weed determined to dethrone you?
It would seem like here/ back home (for our people in the Diaspora), putting up your love’s picture up on BBM/Instagram EVERYTIME is at your own risk. Keep talking about him like he is the next best thing to sliced bread to the world and you just might not be eating that sliced bread in peace ever again. Inexplicable fights and misunderstandings, friends and enemies will rise up and whisper. Whisperers and monitoring spirits. Whispering about things they know about you and things they wished they knew. Lies they wished were true and truths you wished no one knew but you. The question of who is to blame and the trust that should exist between two people in love that makes them unshakable to such wickedness is a GRAND topic for another day.
I won’t lie, I do wonder about this. Look at me, I am a creative person, I live for artisic expression. Love is the most precious of gifts and I like to celebrate it, especially since I express my emotions better in writing than through speech. Tell me you love me and I would either say, “Awww/ Okay/ Heeya/ Thank you” or simply grunt in reply (depending on how full of poopoo that person is, the proven value of their words, the history of their actions and why they are telling me that in the first place). For someone I love who tells me such, I would rather show you, but if you insist I write it, well, you get a masterpiece. Hehehheheeee! Tell me to write how I feel; especially regarding love or when I’m upset, you get an accurate picture of my state of mind (or heart as the case might be).
And so some of us have learnt to hide our love, we hide our lovers from social media, we hide the one we plan to get married to, hide the news of our pregnancy, hide the good news of a new and great job, hide that we are travelling abroad, hide things that we should celebrate until we are well past the “danger-zone” or “honeymoon period”.
Are we crazy to think people care enough about us to even want to tamper with us and ours? Are we not arrogant to think people want what we have, which makes us want to hide it? Are we so faithless in human beings that we do not believe that people can be content with their lives enough to be happy for us- that is if they even care about us anyway? Perhaps some of us are just afraid to publicly “mark” our lovers and beloved online because we cannot say without unwavering confidence that we will be unchallenged. Maybe it’s just coincidence after all.
Or maybe we just don’t want to expose ourselves to bad belle. Perhaps we are simply wise, because we have learnt from experience that it is better to be safe than sorry. We have learnt that we do not need to prove to the world what we feel is real. Perhaps we are simply private people and want to enjoy the people we cherish most without the interference of people who probably have miserable lives but who decide they are authorities on what yours should be like. Perhaps we just want a chance to share in love, knowing that even if it fails, we did once win in love. Perhaps we are just secretive.
Or perhaps all this grammar no consign all those witches and wizards who have vowed to show you pepper.
Perhaps it is witchcraft after all.
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