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



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


  1. Moyo

    May 13, 2016 at 9:25 am

    This article is hilarious oh, my dear God will bless you for this article. Most Nigerian men including my husband suffer this syndrome

  2. Atukpa!

    May 13, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Hi Flo!! 🙂 If only you know how much the recipes on Youtube channel and website have saved me ehn…!! Just wanted to say thank you.

    • slice

      May 13, 2016 at 11:25 am

      I love her channel too. And pretty cool to watch the video about her main job on the high seas

    • Salome

      May 18, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      Please post the link to the video.

    • Sky Blue

      May 13, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      Me too!

  3. Chinma Eke

    May 13, 2016 at 9:36 am

    You forgot to mention that ‘have you eaten’ is = ‘I love you’ i.e: if you don’t ask or feed a person; you don’t love the person.

    • Ruby

      May 13, 2016 at 10:11 am

      Lol!!! In their mind those two are synonyms. A good example of #3 is Oga Teebillz

  4. Ajala & Foodie

    May 13, 2016 at 9:40 am

    ???? @ #7, telling the bride…. I can’t deal ….

  5. Bey

    May 13, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Thank you for dis article.
    I SMH for some men on this matter. I too have experienced some o.
    You forgot to add some men go as far as having a problem just coming down to eat on d dinning table. Mind you d 3course meal is set dere like a king for them o. But d wife has committed a sin telling dem to cum to d dinning. If she or smone can’t bring it up to d room while he’s watching Super Sports, d wife is a bad wife.
    Some men can’t in dere mind imagine eating stew that isn’t fresh, I mean their mothers didn’t bring dem up not eating meat from slaughter house, pepper strait from farm , and fish straight from Atlantic Ocean.
    Some don’t eat yesterday’s stew, do you want them to have food poisoning. Why shld their wives give them freezer food. Then even expect them to navigate a microwave and warm it.
    Lastly, got me remembering Teebillz. I hope Banky and his mum are asking him what he will eat morning, day and nite, since Tiwa cldnt do it.
    Or Annie Idibia and Omowunmi are doing dere civil duty feeding him.

  6. beauty

    May 13, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Jah bless you Flo! My mum does this too oh, but I always let it slide cos she’s beauty’s momma lol…I feel so happy today, it’s like skyrocket happiness mehn!!! *sorry for digressing*

  7. Rayva

    May 13, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Teebillz melt down has opened up can of worms thereby creating the ripple effect we are now seeing such as this article and others alike on bella naija. People are now willing to talk, share their experiences and help out a fellow sister/brother from what I can see in my own little conner of life. The Joie de vivre nature of articles such as this should not detract people from its underlying message which is tolerance, compassion, comprise,empathy for your fellow man or woman i.e Love They Neighbor As You Would Lover They Self =(Skin/Stomach/Property/Monies/Children/Freedom etc)

  8. Lou

    May 13, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    All that one of Inlaws waiting for me to get back from work and warm food, I already decided that one ended last year!!!

  9. Allie

    May 14, 2016 at 4:07 am

    Flo nwannem, Chukwu gozie gi!

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