Years ago I worked as a sales girl in a huge bookshop located along Herbert Macaulay, Yaba
The bookshop was huge with three or four floors filled top to bottom with books; naturally, there were diverse kinds of staff.
On my floor, which was the first, my co-workers among others were Joy, a fair in complexion and very friendly Calabar girl with a heavy Calabar accent; (she had just relocated from Cross River to Lagos to chase her dreams)
Joy was the floor’s cashier; she was quick on the job; ambitious and wanted to go further with her studies to become an accountant. She had plans to write the ICAN exams while she worked hard at passing her Jamb exams for university.
She couldn’t have been more than 20 years or thereabout at that time.
The other person in this story is Mr Amos, a Yoruba man from Ekiti; he too had a heavy Ekiti accent and served as security for the floor. Mr Amos too was a school cert holder like the rest of us, only he was older, married with kids and he was in his mid-30s at that time. He used to say things like “what is that girl and that boy doing in the cornor?”
Now, Joy had a boyfriend, a very devoted fine looking guy who worked somewhere in Yaba. Victor, that was his name, saw Joy as the only reason to breathe. He would escort her to the office in the morning, bring her lunch in the afternoon with an assortment of sweets and drinks and of course, I saw him part with money many times as he hurried to go back to his office.
Many evenings, he would be at hand to walk Joy to the bus stop for her evening classes.
Mr Amos didn’t like this!
You wonder what business of his it was? Anyway.
Mr Amos would chant in Yoruba, every time Victor came by, “Afani lo ri f’o da kun, oko iya abiye.” He would go on soliloquisng about the dangers of fair-skinned women who entrap men.
I didn’t understand what he meant, though I consider myself fluent in my native tongue.
So one day, I asked him what he meant. He told me. Like a teacher educating a retard – “can’t you see? Do you need another pair of glasses on your head to see clearly?”
“Joy has jazzed her boyfriend such that he wouldn’t even stay at his job; she has used all kinds of juju to swath the boy’s head, which is why he delivers all his salary to her every month, brings her food every day and walks her home, it is not normal!”
“…she has him bound between her legs, she being a Calabar girl. When a Calabar girl handles a man, he will only be thinking through his p’/;’s (Mr Amos mouthing it)…and when the boy loses his job, she will find another lover soon after as she is a witch!”
He believed his theory. (And so did many people as I came to find out years later. That Calabar girls are great at sex, that Calabar girls never let a man go once they get him…what is it about them that the rest of us Nigerian women are missing? Story for another day.)
But you see, I liked Joy and though I was quite young and inexperienced, I knew I should avoid Mr Amos. He was too lewd, he was too loud, and I wasn’t quite matured enough to handle having men talk loosely like that with me.
I soon let Mr Amos know that I was on Joy’s side; we both wanted to further our education, she didn’t have parents to sponsor her so if this boyfriend could, why not?
Why should the fact that the boy wants to “die on top of her” be Mr Amos’s wahala?
Of course, Mr Amos knew I was avoiding him, he confronted me, telling me to avoid Joy as she would teach me how to trap men between my legs!
How would that be his problem, I wanted to ask him. So I told him in a roundabout way, one day. I say ‘roundabout’, as a Yoruba na, you can’t tell your elders to go eff themselves but you can say it in a roundabout manner.
So I said, “If the boy wants to ‘die on top of Joy’, that’s his business, if I want to trap men between my legs, that’s my business”. I walked away before Mr Amos could recover.
He followed me. Told me he’d been suspecting me since I began to share lunch breaks with Joy, since I began “painting” my face to work. He sneered while telling me I won’t last, as only women of Calabar origin can withstand several rounds of sex without tiring.
Amooosssiii! Ko ni da fun. e!**@#!
At that point, I lost all respect for him.
Haba! My “church mind” wasn’t even on sex. I was 16 just going on 17, fresh from secondary school. I had no boyfriend, no thought of having any at that time either, “this man is evil!”
I was later to learn from Joy that Mr Amos had made advances at her and she refused. She said when she first arrived at the bookshop, Mr Amos was one of the few people she got acquainted with. He asked her about Calabar girls and sex and she told him it was true but she wouldn’t sleep with him even if he begged!
Yes, she affirmed. She told me of the fattening rooms where girls are taught how to please their men; cooking, caring for the home and ensuring the man comes home everyday by being ready to provide several rounds of sex!
I wasn’t sure if Joy was telling the truth.
Long story short, I left for higher education a few months after; Joy stayed on, writing her ICAN exams and still trying JAMB; her devoted boyfriend, I heard, left her; she was heartbroken. I was, too, for her, but what happened to the several rounds of expert sex?
Mr Amos, I heard, was sacked; I was happy with this piece of news even though I heard he ascribed his sack to Joy bewitching him.