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.
Yep, it had finally arrived- my plate of steaming hot Ofada rice with a bottle of that orange-y drink. I rubbed my palms in anticipation. This was just the way I liked it – extra pepperish meal (Pepperish, not spicy… thanks to Indian food, this distinction should be made), and an ice cold, sweet drink. I told the mama that ran the joint that I would like a bottle of water too. She smiled with unsmiling eyes her understanding to me and then turned to her apparent grandson and barked at him to go get me water. From where I sat it was really hard not to stare up her nose, as her nostrils flared dangerously when she spoke.
“Oloshi omo jati jati! Wo oju’é langò-langò bi ago shòoshi’. Opòonu, oo’ni sh’òori’ré!”
(Wretched, useless child! Look at his big wandering eyes like church bells! Idiot, you will never do well!)
Wow. I immediately lost my appetite.
Why would anyone curse a child like that? More importantly their own blood?
Another five minutes of insults and shuffling on her seat in a corner of the joint restaurant where she held court, each passing staff of hers got a healthy dose of verbal abuse, deserving or not, she didn’t care. It was harsh, brutal and done so succinctly that it was a horror to imagine just how long she had been this way. I shuddered my revulsion, paid the bill and got up to leave.
I was born in Nigeria, have been exposed to several ethnic cultures and I have seen how our people act. We are known for many good things and a few bad ones, but one of the bad things some of us seem to do without batting an eye lid is acting upon this instinct to curse. Haba, kilode? We curse the ones who make us angry, we curse when we are angry. We curse other motorists when stuck in traffic. We curse the ones we blame for our misfortunes. We curse our aggressors’ parents, children, siblings etc. We curse anyone and anything. Some curse when they are disciplining a child, some curse their exes, their spouses, their own siblings, teachers, and their leaders. Curses curses curses! Some will even curse you when they are happy to see you.
Once I went to an event and then I bumped into an old acquaintance. She stretched her arms for a hug and squealed; “Hey useless girl! Bitch, where have you been? It’s been a long time my friend, I have missed you o!”
I hugged her back “Hello darling!” Then I whispered to her, “I know you mean well, but please don’t call me useless and bitch again, okay?” I punctuated each cheek with air kisses and looked into her eyes.
“Oh, but I call ALL my friends bitches. It is a form of endearment.” She replied haughtily.
“Good for you, and good for them, but I will rather you didn’t call me that.” I was still smiling. Ahhh, the many intrigues of the red carpet…
“Ohhhhh…” she said.
Yes exactly. Ohhhhh…
How can you wake up in the morning and decide it’s a good idea to use curse words as terms of endearment? There has got to be a better way. Maybe I am just old fashioned, but I believe that there is power in the tongue. What alarms me more is that people think that it is okay to curse someone whom they have never met, just because someone else deserves their wrath.
A woman had been dating a guy for a decade. He had kpanshed her Congo anyhow from here to the North Pole and back. In fact, dem don kpansh RAW reach Pluto sef. She has had seven abortions for him (okay maybe five, but you get the gist). He promised to marry her, but he did not. She found out from her cousin that he got married last weekend to one girl like that. Naturally. She was hurt and outraged! This is understandable.
What happens next is an outrage. It is NOT that she goes down on her knees, naked and crying to God (or whatever gods she might look to) for justice.It is not even that she curses the man who used, misled and abandoned her… it is that she goes down on her knees and curses the man’s unborn daughter. That she would suffer the same fate or a fate worse than the one her disloyal father meted to her. THAT is a tragedy. It is an outrage. The poor child; cursed and condemned, simply because of the blood that runs through her veins. Some will take it further and curse the new wife – curse her with barrenness and five decades of marital pestilence. Kai. Shege. Such harsh words, for a sin you didn’t commit.
Some people are born and just seem to be battling one mysterious issue or the other. Everything just seems so hard. Again, there is power in the tongue. If curses were bullets, people would be dropping dead like flies all over the place, often times without being able to trace the source of the shots.
I do pray that the effects of any curse that has spilled over into my life as a result of my parents offending anyone- should cease immediately. It seems like a random prayer and quite frankly I don’t know where it came from, but it just did, and I have nothing to lose by praying it, and so I do.
I advise my friends who have Dads that were sweet-talking, devilishly good-looking Casanovas that broke many hearts, to pray it too. God bless you too if your mother was the object of envy amongst many. Some people are just cruel. WHY curse the child?
Often times I read online where people disagree on something and then the next thing, one of the parties releases a barricade of curses on the other’s family and generations unborn. Something like…
“You this idiot! Shòpònò fire that useless mouth of yours, and may Ayélala wither that diseased hand of yours that you used to type that rubbish to me. Never in your useless, maggot-infested, miserable life would you amount to anything more than a mad man’s pant, and may it never be well with your family up until the 10th generation who will all die violently in the evil forest. May Ebola kill anyone who tries to reply me. Bastard!”
Like I said, if curses were bullets…
Just because one family member of yours is busy arguing with someone online – fiam, fiam fiammmmm! You would be gifted- three bullets straight! You don die be dat.
Please let us not just learn to do to others what we want done to us, but also to say to them what we want said to us.
Why do you think people curse? What is the worst you have heard? What is the worst ever you have said to anyone? Why…?
May God have mercy on us all.
Have a truly terrific Tuesday my lovelies!