Some years ago, eight maybe even 10 years, I think, my partner was invited to the Gambia along with Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva, to celebrate the 60th birthday of a client of his.
When Gambia saw Olu Jacobs, it almost shut down!
Right from the airport, my partner detailed how Olu Jacobs was almost mobbed by the crowd; at the hotel where they all lodged, the police had to be called in to contain the crowd as guests, and workers at the hotel all trooped out to catch a glimpse of the living legend, Olu Jacobs!
He is widely known and loved in the Gambia and Gambians are suckers for Nollywood. They had seen him in hundreds of Nollywood movies and so seeing him live, was…big!
Then we stopped seeing him on our screens and later got to find out from his lovely wife, Joke Silva, in an interview with Chude Jideonwo on Channels TV that Olu Jacobs suffers from Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) a debilitating disease that affects the brain, causing victims to shake and gradually forget who they are and lose memories of their loved ones.
I have seen dementia at work.
My partner’s mum suffered from it until she died.
We watched as she gradually disappeared from us; from merely forgetting simple things like wallets, phones…to not recognizing anyone, to not being conscious of her environment, to completely forgetting her children, their names, what they look like, her grandchildren, her husband…to forgetting to eat, drink…chew…well, it’s not pretty.
From the little I gleaned from my partner’s mum, I knew aunty Joke Silva has her hands full; she is nursing a husband who no longer recognizes her, though once in a while, there will be flashes of lucidity by sufferers but it’s a downward slope, there’s no recovery, there’s no getting better…there will be fair days and truly awful days. I’m saying this to give perspective to what Joke Silva’s world may look like, even with nurses and nannies to assist, caring for a loved one with dementia is a 25- hour job!
And then a few days back, the media was awash with a photoshoot of Olu Jacobs as his wife celebrated his 80th birthday.
What a bold move by Joke Silva.
Many women would have preferred to hide their men; “He is kuku sick, will he know what is going on?”
“Birthday party for someone who doesn’t even recognize anyone, that’s a waste of money.”
“Shior, you want the world to see how vulnerable your man has become? Please keep quiet and mark his birthday with just a handful of friends and family, you don’t know who your enemies are.”
And some truly genuine concerns, “Will he want this, since he isn’t in a position to decide for himself.
She would have heard all kinds of advice; some well-meaning, others not…but she chose to celebrate her man because you see, even if he doesn’t recognize her, doesn’t remember half of what he’s even done for her, has no recollection of what a birthday party entails, she knows her man, she remembers, she hasn’t forgot who he is. And because she knows him, she chose to celebrate him!
After all of that, Nigeria’s “soso media” aka social media began to analyse the reason she celebrated him…’because he took care of her way back and didn’t spend his time and money on side chicks…’
Ha, eyin girls! I read most of the comments on this thread and saw most of the arguments for this were made by women.
Then one uncle from old Nollywood countered it and said Aunty Joke Silva belongs to the old school of dignity and honour and would still have celebrated her man” even if he was a philanderer and wife beater.”
Uncle, I beg to differ, sir!
Because though I don’t belong to the “egbe ki lo oko o se,” (what can a husband do?) an allusion to women’s lib of the 70s and early 80s. Like someone said, know that ‘loyalty has an expiration date,’ sir!
When you hurt others by your reckless living, it’ll be waiting for you in your twilight years… except you don’t live long enough.
A man who fails to take responsibility over his wife and kids and a woman, too, for that matter, who fails to take responsibility for her husband and kids will be paid back in the same coins in old age and this isn’t even wickedness; some people have found a name for it, they call it karma!
To those who are saying, “but you call yourself a Christian…;” yes, ke; if an individual fails to sow the seed of goodness, why should he expect to reap good?
To the fathers who neglect their children and think, “they will take care of me no matter what, in old age,” you are missing it! If you ‘fail, ‘who says they too won’t fail when it’s their turn?
If you spend your time and money on side chicks and side cocks, go ask many of those old men living alone in their old age, go ask some of the old women who look for other people’s children to send on errands. Kindly note, I said some, not all! So before you wonder too far:
Who said an “eye for an eye?”
Who said “you’ll reap what you sow”?
Not the same bible we’re all quoting upandan?
Methinks that even if we bring in the, “are you not a Christian or are you not a Muslim?” argument for one to feel obligated to care of a spouse or parent who had been negligent in the early years of the relationship; some things will hold true and that is;
They will take care of you but will never celebrate you
They will feed you but never nourish you
They may be come by but never stand by you
There’s a difference folks, you want to be treated well, treat your wife/ husband well! Treat your children well, too because like our people say, “If you want to step on cool ground, wet the grounds first.”
See, uncle from Nollywood, if you mistreat your partner and think when the evening of your time comes, they will be obligated to care for you, ‘wo you have ‘jented’