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Akudo Abengowe-Adebayo: No, I Don’t Belong in the Kitchen



Akudo AbenogweI vividly remember my article ‘Lagos Hustle’, where I narrated my daily activities in a bid to paint the picture of how stressful it is to work or live in Lagos. I read the various responses about how I was trying to be a super woman. Some people even called my husband a lazy man who was not helping me in anyway. While I enjoy reading the comments and feedbacks, sometimes I think we are too quick to judge without checking the angles to understand what the writer is trying to say.

I am first a woman, before I became a wife and a mother. As a growing girl, I had dreams, things I hoped to achieve, status I wanted to attain, lives I wanted to touch, and I will still try to achieve those dreams.

This is what drives me. My dreams shouldn’t change because marriage and motherhood happened, no. As much as I would try my best to make a success of my roles as a wife and a mother, I should also try and make a success of my dreams.

The worst thing that can happen to any human is to live an unfulfilled life. I don’t think it’s right to think that marriage or motherhood is enough validation as a human, there has to be more to life. I love my husband and children, but I also love ME and will strive to make ME happy. So every hustle I make is not because I don’t have an option of staying at home to be a good wife and mother, every hustle is because I had my dreams as a girl and I want to make them happen.

It will be total injustice for a girl to endure the stress of getting educated or skilled and then throw them away on the altar of being a wife and mother, well if it works for you, good, but it does not work for me.

And that is why I have a problem with being told plainly without mincing words that my place is in the kitchen and bedroom. I disagree. I don’t think any man would set out to marry a dumb, foolish girl as a wife. What kind of kids would she give you? How would she even be able to take care of your home? Marrying such a woman will be tantamount to inviting unending stress into your life because you will end up doing double roles.

I believe that one of the qualities men look out for when picking a wife is smartness, they need to be assured that God forbid if anything happens to them, their kids and properties will be ably handled and safeguarded by their wives. So they marry smart women. Assuming they have political ambitions, they not only marry smart women they go for the ones that are skilled at communication and winning people to their sides, and they bring out their wives to campaign for them when the need arises. How can you then tell me to my face, after bearing and training your children for you, after giving you both moral, emotional, psychological and financial support (if need be) that I belong to the kitchen, just because I am bold enough to air my opinion?

I remember back then as an undergraduate, I knew someone who would always say he wanted to marry me. I thought he was joking about it then. One day, he came to the house and started again with his usual talk, so I told him to get on his knees and propose to me. It was a joke but he took offence and said, what if he got on his knees and I refused to marry him, how would he get up? That as a titled man it was a taboo for him to kneel for a woman. So I told him that my greatest desire is for my fiancé to propose to me on his knees. That was the end of his marriage proposal, he stopped saying it and even avoided coming to the house if I was around.

America is on the verge of having a woman as its first female president. Will we ever have such achievement with politics in Nigeria, if we are constantly reminded that we belong to the kitchen? So I say so, I don’t belong in the kitchen, I also have a dream and will strive to achieve it, so help me God!

Photo Credit: Moussa Moussa

Akudo Abengowe-Adebayo is a multiple award winner, with over 8 years in the media industry. She also hosts (Love Moments With Akudo) and is CEO of SATT Media, a content and media marketing company. She blogs at Akudosworld. She is married with two adorable kids and loves Jesus with all her being. She is a TV addict, loves dancing and traveling, and a lil gossip now and then. Follow her on [email protected] or [email protected]


  1. Bodunade

    October 23, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Everyone understood the article you are referring to. There is no need to apologize or explain your life to ” readers” on the Internet. The political correctness police have finally got to you. Divergent views are no longer tolerated. Akudo your articles are always filled with wisdom, please don’t change. Thanks!

    • Not rocket science.

      October 24, 2016 at 2:49 am

      Er, read the article, and she did NOT

  2. Bodunade

    October 23, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Ps: There is freedom to belong in the kitchen or the other room if your heart so desires.

  3. bumble bee

    October 23, 2016 at 8:41 am

    This whole I don’t belong to the kitchen is becoming very irritating and stale, sometimes we Nigerians are very good at over flogging issues that it looses it’s substance.. everyone now wants to write an article or make a statement about not belonging in the kitchen, let’s even get something straight there is no basis for any woman (yes I am a working wife) to give their own take on what buhari said, he said his wife I repeat his wife belongs in the kitchen not every woman or everybody’s wife, so if there is anybody that should be offended is aisha and not every woman, let her release a statement countering what her husband said.. there is no need for anyone to start writing articles on the role of a woman in the society or how you as a woman can also work.. cos buhari wasn’t referring to every woman, he was referring to the woman whom he married, and let’s be honest here some of you, your husband has said worse things to you, and you go ahead and forgive him and if anyone wants to add their own pence, you are on the attack.. so please ehn you people should leave aisha to deal with her husband the way she deems fit!!! Enough of all this unnecessary articles.

    • Panda

      October 23, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Sorry no, nobody buys that. If buhari was an unknown man who said to his unknown wife in the secrecy of their own home that she belonged to the kitchen fine. But he is THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA, he said it ON TV for the media and THE WORLD to hear. There are young boys and old men watching him, there are young girls and women watching him. The president is seen as someone to look up to in the eyes of some people, HE IS IN A POSITION OF INFLUENCE and POWER, he is in a position where PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR WHAT HE SAYS.
      Therefore you CANNOT come here and try and say that those words were between him and his wife only, that he was just talking to his wife, that everybody shouldn’t take if to heart, what kind of sense does that make?

    • bumble bee

      October 23, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      It makes a whole lot of sense, I don’t car whether young boys or men or women or girls were watching him, buhari does not have the power whether he is president or not to change the impression of a man who believes the role of the woman is in the kitchen or a man who doesn’t, so because he is the president whatever he says applies to all and sundry? Fine carry a placard, why don’t u go and protest… I still stand by what I said your president buhari was referring to his wife whether he is the president or not does not change the fact that he is someone’s husband or father and at that point he wa talking in the capacity of a husband to his wife and not the president of Nigeria.. what he said had nothing to do with national issues.. and I still say it, it’s no one’s business or right to be offended!!! The only person that has the right to be offended is aisha, wait let me ask you 1st what’s the point of the several articles? To convince who? The world( that’s a joke) men (that’s even funnier) or your husband that what buhari said doesn’t apply to you.. well reality check honey, the world really doesn’t care about whether you belong to the kitchen or not, we have world hunger, trafficking, murders, wars etc to care about, is it the men or your husband you are tryin to convince.. even funnier.. understand this.. a man who believes the role of his wife is in the kitchen or the other room, one interview wouldn’t change his perspective and a man who doesn’t believe that.. same applies.. go figure

    • Nella hairs

      October 23, 2016 at 10:10 am

      The whole thing is tiring. The man was only trying to be sarcastic with his statement, just that it came out wrong. We all what to be like the western world ladies, but yet we expect our husbands to give us feeding money and pay the house bills. Please let us forget this Kichen business and focus on something meaningful. We are Africans let’s keep out cultural values and let the white keep their’s.

    • Weezy

      October 23, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      I agree. I would never marry a man like Buhari. Aisha married him and is quite happy to spend his money . If she doesn’t like how he treats her or what she says about her she is free to complain or leave. For all we know she is one of those patriarchal women that doesn’t believe in feminism. So why should I take panadol for her headache. I am a feminist who does not believe in fighting for people who haven’t asked for help.

      The only person I feel sorry for is his daughter(S)

    • Moha M

      October 24, 2016 at 12:30 am

      God bless you..

  4. AceOfSpades

    October 23, 2016 at 8:45 am

    I remember that post. One lady said ‘all your husband does is to eat, fuck and work’

    If you are happy with your life, why should someone come from somewhere and try to make you see why you should be unhappy.

  5. hadiza

    October 23, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I feel u, Akudo. but I disagree where u said “after bearing and raising your children for u”. The kids are not his, they are yours too. Why do people always say the child belongs to the man? is the woman just a baby factory?? the kids are yours too. So, u aren’t bearing and raising his kids, u are bearing and raising your kids. He didn’t force u to bear children, u both decided to. Or did he force u??

  6. BijouxthisBijouxthat

    October 23, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I didn’t read the lagos hustle article then, just read it now and errrhhh scratching head…. Well your husband actually came out as a task master…
    I mean in 2016 a man who EATS FRESH FOOD EVERYDAY!
    And it didn’t sound like he was helping to alleviate your stressful day… Maybe the reality is different in your home but basically it came across as you have a tin god in your home as a husband (like who needs that)??
    Anyways, whatever works for you

  7. working woman

    October 23, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Okay Im a well educated women. I absolutely hate going to work. I hate waking up in the cold of winter dropping my babies at the child minder getting on the damned packed train to my job anwering to a narsasitic female bitch boss. My dream in life is to be able to afford to just have one job. The job of stay at home mum. My other dream is to be able to scream I QUIT at my bitch boss and knock her the fuck out!!!. Stay at home mums arent stupid uneducated no ambition women. My husband HAS ONE JOB. It is stressful going to work and bringing up kids. Just the other day my little girl was sent back home because the PE couch noticed a rash on her torso. Turns out shes had chicken pox for the past 3 days and neither my huband or myself noticed it. Why? Because we both come home at shit oclock in the night we both too stressed and exhausted to even check on how the kids day has been. My little girl is 9 she washing and changing herself i dread them being sick and i suppose shes caught up on that fact hence she never said she was feeling ill. What im trying to say is being a mum is a FULL TIME JOB. And women should admit to the fact that going out to work is a choice which means you joggling 2 DAMNED JOBS and you better not drop the ball. Honestly if i had the choice i would choose the job of being a mum. Becsuse i can do it better than my husband and i enjoy the nuturing role. Right now Im in the process of applying to be a Foster carer that way i can bring some moneyworking from home. I suppose if you are your own boss and can have flexible working pattern then you wont be too stressed out having 2 jobs. Honestly if i won the lottery today thats one of my other dreams ill rip up my. Second class upper certificate .adios to work. Probably invest in property. Ok breathe, rant over! Get ready for monday.

    • Tosin

      October 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      my life is super easy. no winter, to start with.

    • Tokunbo

      October 23, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      I can understand your plight. I was in the exact same situation a couple of years ago. I remember sending my kids off to school with fevers because myself and hubby had used up all our carers leave allowance and we had no other option but to dose them up on nurofen and send them off to school. Me and my husband use to just pray that they don’t voimit in school and school has to call either one of us to pick the kid up. We had a Toxic environment, stress levels were sky high. Kills me every time I think about it. i remember sat on a bus on my way to work and seeing adverts about fostering it was like Gods sent. I packed in the daily grind . I started off with being a registered child minder . Fast forward 4 years later I,m a foster carer . . I love it because it’s convenient, it allows me the flexibility of working from home and being there for my own kids. When I laugh now it comes from my belly because I am genuinely a happier, stress free balance woman.

  8. Nuel

    October 23, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Panda you got it right and it will be almost impossible to talk sense into this bumble bees head. How can you say you dont care if young boys and girls were listening or not, how can you say Buhari, as the president does not have the power to change the impressions of Men. Bumble bee people like you are what is wrong in the world.

  9. kitty galore

    October 23, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    *Akudo love ya girl. I know i’m shallow but I’ll choose the glamorous life of a president wife over your “”I’m an independent woman dont belong anywere except were i choose to be. Life “” anyday of the week. Ashia anit even complaining. Do you see her complaining? The woman knows which side her breads buttered. Yall need to stop stresssing over other peoples NON STRESSFUL LIVES.

  10. Nem

    October 23, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Madam working woman who is forcing you to work outside the home? Money issues eh? Pele o! You should have married a man who could fund your stay at home mom dreams, no? And the thought of you becoming a foster care mom to make money…SMH.
    See, intead of choking on your resentment or conspiring to bring kids into your home for a wage – those kids need more care and attention than you’re probably willing or able to provide – why not find a way to share home making and housekeeping with your husband? Instead of your superwoman 2 jobs to his one job, change that to one and a half each. You sound so stressed and that is not life. You’re not happy, and your children can feel that. Imagine your daughter hiding her illness from you and it seems she cannot equally open up to the dad. Let him help out, talk to him. This is his home and his children too.

    • tokunbo

      October 23, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      Emmmm i foster. Its a JOB at the end of the day .I do it because i get paid very well. Doctors nurses teacher they dont just do it becsuse they got big bleeding hearts. For me money is the number one incentive, followed by convenience. Social service do a thorough check on foster carers and believe it or not the number one thing on their check list is not how big a ❤ youve got. And working womans got some good points. Her plight was exactly my situation a couple of years ago. I thank God for options. Where the hell do you get off asking a person. Why they married a poor man. Not all women sell themselves to the highest bidder dear and some men dont have a maternal bone in them. Please down you dound bitter. Like you miserably married to a potbelly moneybag.

    • Truth.

      October 24, 2016 at 4:51 am

      I think @Nem is @ A Real Nigerian or @hadiza under a different handle.

    • Waleed

      October 23, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      I think working girl was speaking her truth. Her truth is the. truth of a lot of working mothers. I don’t get what your point is. You are Mocking her because she’s got to work to make ends meet or because she didn’t marry a rich man. you sound like a major league asshole the kind that kicks a man when they are down.

  11. slice

    October 23, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    I have to agree you husband is simply not helping enough.

  12. Sibo

    October 23, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    What’s with all this rebel without a clue/point activities. I don’t understand this #I don’t belong in the kitchen and other room campaign you and others have embarked on. Which level.?Has the presidents wife made a formal protest against her husband.. She done send una SOS message from the hole were Buhari is keeping her captive? Some women enjoy other room activities plus first class flights and other benefits, some don’t like work but conditions make it a necessity, some women love to work. So please let it be already. You should be thrashing this topic out with your dear other halves not Buhari. Buhari has no jurisdiction in your home oh. Let’s not give the man too much power. I beg una.

  13. Amie orakpo

    October 23, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Akudo, you belong in the kitchen if you are cooking fresh soup for your husband everyday. Aisha Buhari doesn’t even do that

  14. Moha M

    October 24, 2016 at 12:33 am

    God bless you. The President said his wife belongs to his kitchen. It’s nobody’s business. People are just hating him for no reason and in the process making caricature of themselves. .

  15. Just.

    October 24, 2016 at 2:51 am

    Er, read the article and she does NOT “‘apologize””. She vents, and then, reiterates and clarifies a little further for the evidently comprehension-impaired.

  16. Just.

    October 24, 2016 at 3:01 am

    “”just because I am bold enough to air my opinion?””

    I do not like either Buhari or his wife. I have never been fooled by either of them and do not believe either of them mean well for Nigeria, or rather, for Southern Nigerians, for Christian Nigerians, for Southern Christian Nigerians, for Southern muslim Nigerians over themselves, or that they place Nigeria first. Nevertheless, it was not a case of “”just”” “”to air my opinion””, it was the kind of opinion that was aired (NEGATIVE, PAINTING AS INCOMPETENT and true or not, that should NEVER come from a SPOUSE) and WHERE (in PUBLIC, to THE WORLD). Buhari was also wrong in his response (made twice, also to the world). Two wrongs do not a right make. He is (MUCH) older than her, he is the one who has been a ruler and is one, he is the one who is (supposedly but then, is he truly qualified by law? is his presidency legal? does he have the required certificate?) presidential and ought to demonstrate that maturity, wisdom, statesmanship, presidential demeanour and utterances but, as usual, no.

  17. Loulou

    October 24, 2016 at 4:03 am

    Dear Nigerian Woman,
    I salute you. Your tenacity, patience and strength are unimaginable. Thank you.
    I, like you was outraged at the comment our Bros made but after the rage gave way to banter and then calmness resumed, I sorta asked myself- I said “Self, what will make this man talk like this now?”
    Myself: know this is heart matter. Anyone could have given the interview Madam made and oga will have given a very strategic, ambiguous response. But it was Madam.
    Madam who he gets to sleep and wake up with in the other room (pun intended), who has seen his moments of triumph and secret failures. who knows the workings of his head and heart. He is vulnerable with his lady. Just like you want your man to be!!
    My fellow sister-lin-thy-Lord, Men treat the fear of shame the same way we treat the fear of loneliness. (Selah)
    So perhaps, he reacted in a way that he will to naturally resist that shame- discredit/diminish the source of it. I by no means, approve of his method of dealing with it, but in our future interactions with the men we want to keep (our sons, nephews, the good workers and of course Hubbies), let us remember this.
    Oh and by the way ladies, what do you do to avoid the fear of loneliness?
    #HappyMonday #MondayMotivation

  18. Nancy Drew

    October 24, 2016 at 4:42 am

    “America is on the verge of having a *woman* as its first female preSident” Errrrmmmm as opposed to a goat? Hmm please be editing this thing na!!!!

  19. Just.

    October 24, 2016 at 4:44 am

    “”And that is why I have a problem with being told plainly without mincing words that my place is in the kitchen and bedroom. I disagree. I don’t think any man would set out to marry a dumb, foolish girl as a wife. “”

    The error in your premise lies in the fact that you left out one of the 3 rooms (and, therefore, functions) specified by Mr. President. He said his wife belongs in the kitchen, living room and other room. The living room is for the decorative/display role, and the hospitality (to his guests). In this regard, you have likely heard of the term (and phenomenon: trophy wife. There ARE men who marry women solely for their looks (if they come from some kind of good pedigree, that’s a plus). Solely for their looks happens a lot in the north, especially among the northern elite (pedigree i.e. moneyed, can come in too, or she could just be the 14 year-old daughter of the taxi driver you use when in Egypt and you can pay him $100,000 and marry his under-age child in your country because in his country the law won’t allow her to be married off at that age, then after she’s had a child for you and lost her novelty, when she’s 17 years old you can divorce her, since you like keeping your first three wives, and marry another girl, also from Egypt but this time, at the grand old age of 15 since there was so much hue and cry when you married her at 14); solely for looks happens among the southern elite too except pedigree, especially in the case of the South-Westerners whilst it can be moneyed, there is also more emphasis on education and exposure (as in abroad, well educated, well-cultured) but with that education and exposure, it’s not necessarily for her also to have a job and fly high in her career but to look good, be something to admire, something he can be complimented on, that will know how to converse with all the international contacts, business associates and friends and know how to make the home look good i.e. have all the finishing school skills (cooking not necessary, just to supervise the chef(s)) e.g. decor (done by interior decorator but handle it, get it done), flower arrangements (can be done by the florist but know to order them and place them), know table etiquette when dining out and when hosting in, know formal table settings, have children, handle all children things e.g. PTA, shopping, outings, etc. Sometimes, if they’ve been married before and already have children, having children is not required; keeping your figure is more important.

    As for me, the kitchen belongs to me (and my husband and all our children), the living room belongs to me (and … you get it), the other room belongs to me (and my husband, and when we graciously permit them, all our children, which is often enough so they know they are welcome and loved but also, must respect mommy and daddy’s privacy), all the rooms in our marital home belong to me (and to my husband and all our children), and my place is at my husband’s side, shoulder to shoulder, and when necessary, behind him, when it is necessary for him to lead, and, when it is necessary for him to shield and protect me. My place is also in front of my husband, when he’s showing me off, and when he’s encouraging me to take that step and pushing me, nudging me lovingly forward, and when it’s my time/turn in the limelight and he steps back and supports me wholeheartedly to have my moment but he’s always right there, so that when I turn, or just reach out my hand in invitation, he’s always close enough to immediately grasp it and join me in the circle of light, right by my side.

    All things are mine. Every room and every thing belongs to me. My husband belongs to God and to me. Just as I belong to God and to him. And my place is with him, always, wherever, I need, and want it to be.

  20. wale

    October 24, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Sorry, buhari did not mention your in th interview, he called his wife aisha, not you, if you want to be buhari wife, wait for him to marry you, don’t marry him on bellanaija.

    Aisha is not every woman, she is for buharia, his wife, that is issue if she is for his kitchen…over sabi woman

  21. mia

    October 24, 2016 at 11:33 am

    Ma’am, our mindset reflects in everything we do. You are obviously the woman who sees your husband as a prize you won, so you bend over backwards to please him and stamp your mark in his house and believe me, this has nothing to do with you having your own business and being highly educated. it is probably the patriarchy mentality with which you have been fed so BN commenters are right to point that out. for instance, in this particular article, you said you bore and are raising children for him, meaning that you believe you have no claim to the kids you carried for nine months and pushed out of you. I bet you won’t advise a woman who is separating from her husband for whatever reason to fight for custody because you believe the man owns the kids.

    In your Lagos woman article, you also said things like you could be sent packing if you did not cook fresh food and you never made mention of the fact that your husband does anything to care for the kids or ease the obvious burden of being a working mother in a killing city like lagos. so there…

  22. ...just saying

    October 24, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    “I believe that one of the qualities men look out for when picking a wife is smartness,…..”

    Now your defense totally makes sense. Feeling like a cherry that was picked huh! Keep working your behind off, so that you prove your worth to the lazy one. Hian

    • bella

      October 24, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      Yes oh. That how they work all hours God sends man collects money to build house in nigeria .only to replay old beatup model with brand new soft hand chuchu.

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