“Good afternoon, our mothers, wives and men in the…” the MC began only to be quickly cut short by the murmuring of the women in the hall causing the MC and the men in the hall to wonder.
Just about then, another man ran into the hall and whispered hastily into the right ear of the MC. He quickly re-adjusted his tie and started on a fresh tone, smiling “Hello ladies and gentlemen in the house”.
I remember this popular line from one of Fela Kuti’s songs “if you call her woman, African woman no go gree, she go say, she go say I be lady ooh”. You see my pain ehn, is that our women don’t want to bear the name anymore; they want to be called ladies. Even our old mothers with children older than me want to be addressed as “ladies” in social gatherings. They feel calling them “mothers’ or “wives’ sounds more like they’re of age and cannot partake in the youthful fun.
Back in the days, being a called a woman in Africa used to be a thing of pride, but now, the women think it’s more appropriate to be called a lady after the whites.
Let me start with what the legend, Fela Kuti had to say on this. He felt the lady character is a mirage – women thinking they can be men; this reminds me of a movie. Fela believes the idea of being called a lady is about the woman thinking she can do anything a man can do; he also feels it makes the woman think she’s therefore equal to man. Fela thought the spoilt attitude of the generation of Eve lies with the lady and not the woman, such as, reaching out with her hands before her man does, waiting for the car door to be opened for her, wanting a housemaid to do the dish and sitting down to greet a man with her hand stretched forward.
You can choose to argue what the legend has said but you will just have to agree with the last point he made in that song about the dance of a woman compared to the dance of a lady, and this brings me to what I have to say on this issue.
I’m not going to tackle character but rather the looks. While what is obtainable today is every lady shedding weight and looking skinny in the name of being a lady, it is unfortunate that this was not how it was in the early days. An African woman is supposed to be chubby, fleshy, succulent… not skinny. We forget there is beauty in being chubby, there are curves in being fleshy and there are stuffs to hold on to in being succulent.
A friend once said “I thought her bones were grinding me on the dance floor.” How about that?
While Fela Kuti thinks the lady attitude is not perfect but the woman attitude is, I, with my little experience, will say the lady physique is not perfect but the woman physique is. While you’re meditating on that, think about this: would you love to be addressed as “beautiful woman” or “sexy lady”?
Shout out to the big, bold and beautiful women, the chubby and fleshy women. God bless Africa!