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Flo Madubike: The ‘Have You Eaten?’ Syndrome | Symptoms & Solutions

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dreamstime_l_58893579Some people, in their sense of entitlement, believe that they should always be asked “Have you eaten?” by another person. In their reasoning, it is the responsibility of another, usually a specific person in their lives, to cook for and serve them – always! If this person is not available, the sufferers wait till he/she is ready to serve them.

Picture this: X believes that it is the responsibility of Y to cook and serve X’s meals. Y is unavailable to do so at certain meal times. X does not make efforts to find food and eat; sits and waits till Y becomes available.

I call this the “Have You Eaten?” Syndrome – HYE Syndrome.

Sufferers usually complain to anyone that cares to listen that the “responsible person” does not bother to ask them if they have eaten. When their carer is not available to give them food, they are helpless, hungry and grumpy. With time, they become hangry, depressed and may turn violent.


1.   You visit your brother and his wife for a few days. You sit around all day waiting for Iyawo to come back from work, cook and serve you. Brother, sister, you have “Have You Eaten?” syndrome. If she barred you from her kitchen and tagged her pot of food a no-go area for you, then there’s a deeper problem that is beyond the diagnosis of this syndrome. Please, seek help elsewhere. 😉

2.   You visit your son whose wife is often busy. She prepares food and keeps for you. All you need to do is warm that food and choplate but you do not want to do that. She should come back from her office during lunch to warm the food and serve you. Mummy, you have “Have You Eaten?” syndrome.

3.   You work. Your wife works. You come back earlier than she does. You go on your PlayStation or watch TV till she comes back to prepare the food that both of you will eat. Uncle, you have “Have You Eaten?” syndrome.

4.   You teach your female children how to cook but you tell your male children that you do not want to see them in the kitchen; they should go and wait to be served. Mummy, you are spreading the “Have You Eaten?” virus.

5.   You attend a buffet with wifey and you balance in your seat and say “Baby, go and see what they have there”. Brother, you have “Have You Eaten?” syndrome.

6.   Your wife just came back from the hospital after childbirth and you think it’s alright for her to run around serving guests that came to see the baby while you sit there “gisting”. Brother, you have “Have You Eaten?” syndrome.

7.   You attend a wedding and before you leave, you march up to the newlyweds and say to the bride: “Congrats, but I did not eat anything o”. Uncle, Aunty, you are suffering from “Have You Eaten?” syndrome.

8.   You are slowly turning into an adult in your parents’ house yet you still rely on your Mum or hired helps to cook for and serve you. Nne, Nnaa it will hit you when you leave home.

9.   You make your wife quit her job so that she can attend to the affairs of your stomach full time. Brother, if you can kill someone’s career because you cannot enter the kitchen sometimes, you have acute “Have you Eaten?” syndrome.


Be Human
It’s only a tethered domestic animal that feels hungry yet sits out the rumbling stomach while waiting for someone to come and feed it. Brother, sister how can you completely leave the responsibility of nourishing your own body in the hands of another person? Hepp yaself sometimes!

Be Humane
Be compassionate and help out when you can. Women enjoy feeding their loved ones but it borders on callousness when you sit there waiting for her to come back from a tedious day at work and start cooking. Biko, surprise her by preparing some mede-mede before she gets home today!

Learn How to Cook
O yes, you do not know how to cook. How can we forget that?! Cooking is a life skill that everyone should acquire. It has many advantages – the most obvious being that you will be independent. No one will do shakara for you because you do not know how to boil water. 😉 Click here to subscribe to my Youtube channel to start learning how to cook today.

BellaNaijarians please how can we eradicate this “Have you Eaten?” epidemic from our society?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Flo Madubike has undiluted Nigerian taste buds. Her hobby is making sure that our classic Nigerian foods do not go extinct. She shares authentic, traditional Nigerian recipes just like grandmas make them, on

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