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BN Prose: A Man that Cooks by Tolu’ Akinyemi



That Monday morning, I did not wake up in a hurry. I did not run into the shower. I did not jump into my clothes, and breakfast was not left-overs from Sunday night’s dinner. I lounged lazily, with Ezinwanne and Nneka watching a TV drama series. None of us had work that day. It was the New Year’s Holiday.

We sat there in the living room, frequently glancing, towards the source of the savoury aroma, wafting in. My husband was busy, in the kitchen, whipping up a delectable feast.

I remember, Nneka curled adorably, as she told me I’m so lucky, to have a great cook as my husband. My reply was a contented look, accompanied by a measured smile.

She later called out to Obim asking, if he needed any help from us. I remember chuckling, at her polite but naive offer.

Obim rarely accepts help with his cooking, not even from me, his wife. He would say, “Cooking is like driving a car; if it has one steering wheel, it needs just one driver”. Almost as much as he loves cooking, my husband loves beautiful cars. I often rolled my eyes to his incessant and annoying habit of drawing ridiculous car analogies from anything.

Sometimes, he lets me stay in the kitchen just to watch him cook. At other times, perhaps out of guilt, he would assign me ‘crucial tasks’ like passing him utensils or opening the windows to let the heat out.

That day, he responded, just like I expected. “No! No! No! Thank you Nneka, I’m almost done here”. He said it with an overcompensating cheerful voice.

Not long after, we were seated around the table, hands navigating bowls of his deliciously thick thick Onugbu soup.

I remember a remark, about Obim’s need to open a restaurant, then a hospital, because his delicious meals can heal the sick. We laughed, as oily fingers waited on occupied mouths.

On Friday night, that same week, I remember Obim came back very late from work; still, he made dinner. I was already in bed, but my darling husband brought it in, and without even asking, he fed me with it. Another steamy plate of jollof lies, from the deceit kitchen that sits on his fat neck.

The first bite tasted like a severe traffic hold-up, with curried portions of punctured tyres and faulty jack spanners. Yet, Obim sat beside me, smelling like perfumed sweat and Ezinwanne’s breasts.

I ate in silence.

Tonight, I’m making dinner.

His last.

Photo Credit: Orangeline |

Tolu' Akinyemi (Poetolu) is a Writer, Architect/Designer and Entrepreneur. His two poetry books often described as 'a breath of fresh air' - "Your Father Walks Like A Crab" and "I Laugh at These Skinny Girls"  are both available on KongaAmazon e.t.c.  He is @poetolu on Instagram and Twitter. He blogs at and currently lives in London, England.


  1. Rubby

    January 10, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    What the hellll….his last….we don’t need suspense In 2017…..

  2. Ghenghen

    January 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    He was cheating on her with her friend Ezinwanne!!!! Damn!!!

    • LEM

      January 10, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      Damn, but you caught on very fast though. Was confused at first, then had to go back and read again, slowly, before it hit. Like wow, that’s like the worst betrayal.

    • Chu

      January 10, 2017 at 2:35 pm


    • Hotspice_yimu

      January 10, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      “Yet, Obim sat beside me, smelling like perfumed sweat and Ezinwanne’s breasts.” my question is…how did she come to know the smell of her friend’s breasts???

  3. Zeeebby

    January 10, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    WOW…. that went from 20 to 150 real quick. Don’t kill us with suspense this year abeg!

    • FinchleysFinest

      January 10, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      I was so in love with the story till i read the last part… AYE Le ooooo

  4. Big Tee

    January 10, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    ” steamy plate of Jollof lies from the deceit kitchen on his fat neck” …….. sounds delicious for the mind….

  5. Taiwo

    January 10, 2017 at 1:39 pm


  6. Marian

    January 10, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    ?Aye le o….

  7. Spunky

    January 10, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    And here I was saying “ehen, Me sef can cook”! This will make a good read.

  8. Kaf

    January 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I wish this ended really well without the cheating part. There are loads of men who cook for their partner and kids without seeing it as a big deal. In a culture like ours we’re men are believed to just sit down and food brought to them, such men needs to be celebrated all the time. And not all this men cheat, they are just loving and wouldn’t wanna fuse over cooking. Anyways, it’s just a prose! To the men that cook and take care of their partners, cheers to you!!! May God keep blessing you???

    • Mama

      January 11, 2017 at 5:52 am

      Hear, hear!

  9. Carmen

    January 10, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    That escalated quickly…

  10. Someone

    January 10, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Well that escalated quickly! LOL

  11. Nv

    January 10, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    At first, I thought ‘Jollof lies’ was a typo lol.

    Well that warm lovely cutie youre admiring and then all of a sudden she morphs into a dried, scary zombie witch accompanied with horror movie soundtrack. That was the feeling I got by the time I reached the end of this story

  12. funmilola

    January 10, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    ghen ghen!,it has happened!
    had to read again to know who eziwanne is, good read with enough suspense too, no be small jollof lies?

  13. The Real Oma

    January 10, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Yay, my fave poet on Instagram is here.
    I hope he becomes a regular – get ready for more awesome pieces people 🙂

  14. Ofure

    January 11, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Yay poetolu on Bella naija!!

  15. Meg

    January 12, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Ye! This one escalated quickly.


  16. Meg

    January 12, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Me too, for rea!!!???

  17. xoxo

    April 7, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    wow! this is good. its this kind of writing that sets my mind on fire! awesome piece Tolu

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