Home Essays If You Talk To A Man In His Language by Oladejo Victor.

If You Talk To A Man In His Language by Oladejo Victor.


You sat on the edge of the bed , clutching your bedsheets in your hand. The window was opened and the breeze with its coldness crept towards you like a hunter skulking in the bush. The night was in a strange romance with quietness which was unlike of your ever bustling street. No one was at home because they were on holiday. You stayed back not because you hate having holidays , the truth was,no one would be receiving you. They were gone — your parents — they died three years ago and your siblings are far in the distant north.

You stared into the quiet night and shook your head. You hated loneliness. You grew nostalgia and you closed your eyes as if you could relive those happy moment you call your beautiful past. You wished you could relive and inhabit those colourful days when your parents were alive, though they it was tinged with some bits of sadness too. You wished those days of innocency and carefree life you lived with your brother: Samuel and your parents would come alive. You remembered those beautiful days when your father would call you to his study after your siesta . He would sit you down and read his books on history. He read about Napoleon and the French , about a man called Gandhi from India who he called his model and of silk and cocoons from China. You wondered why he loved to read those books to you and what relevance they were. He read some interesting literature by African female writers to you most of the time. He read books written by Ama Ata Aidoo to you and some of chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. He told you he want you to learn from them and you did!

Your encounter with chimamanda through literature kindled a new form of fire in you. You learnt the word :”feminism “ and what it meant.

Your brother painted it bad , so did your mother and after a while your father(due to some reasons). You did also at first. You were fascinated by her success and wished to be like her. You became a bit addicted to her works and your mother warned you : “wumi , overly successful women never get married , because low-class men will shrink at their sight”. She thought chimamanda as overly successful because of the limits she broke. Even when she got married your mother never stopped the message. You knew that it was a plain unintended lie. people were only surprise at some success and the only way to contribute is to talk. You wondered why your mother hated feminism when she needed it herself. You wondered why she preferred to stick to hate and never embrace it when she received lashes daily at her work place because she is a woman. You wondered why she decided to accept there was a limit to success as a female and remained as the deputy of her firm for three years because she competed with men. Your brother added a bit of his message too. You noticed that whenever chimamanda and fighting for equality of gender came into the dining table conversation, he got angry. Now as an adult he fought with his wife often and got divorced. He was arrested recently for assault because he slapped a female co-worker. Your father hated feminism eventually because he was scared of your behavior — you always question decisions made by men — He perceived you learnt that from reading “feminist manifesto “ by chimamanda. You knew the book was a guide on becoming a champion of equality , you picked the necessary advice based on your version of feminism. Your older self became what you read . you didn’t tolerate abuse from anyone and people saw that in you.

When you read “ Half of a yellow sun “ by chimamanda , you were surprised at what the eastern part of the country faced. The deaths, destruction of buildings ,starvation and separations of family from loved ones all echoed in your heart and you became part of the story. You were glad she wrote the book to remind the sleeping Nigeria of her past that should not happen again. You vowed to shun anything that could bring about hate among you and people from other ethnic groups and tribes. You perfected your new form of believe to the extent your co — workers began to complain among themselves that you avoided your tribesmen and set other people from other tribes above them. You ignored their words because you promoted those people above them based on qualification and not tribalism as expected. You allowed your friends to live with you even when they are not from your tribe.

Your favourite quote was : “ if you talk to a man in a language he understand that goes to his head . if you talk to him in his language , that goes to his heart “. It was a quote you understood its meaning but you didn’t know of its full potency until you knew the world’s only language : Action. Everyone in the world understands action in any form it is used. You realised that was the reason Chimamanda chose to act. She acted by speaking on equality fearlessly through interviews and talkshows on equality , unity and race because it is the language that the world needs to hear. Her appearance on “ TEDxEuston” amused you. Her words about stereotype limit and shape of thinking about Africa at the conference shook you. She preached through her actions and you decided to do the same anywhere you go. Her fearlessness and boldness to be different despite her gender made her your perfect definition of an human being worthy of your admiration.

You believed that if everyone should preach the right thing through their action on issues that concerns others , if they chose to look above race or economy background and speak through their positive actions the world would become a better place to dwell.

Oladejo Victor Olayemi, a secondary school
graduate is a budding artist who
lives in Ore, Odigbo, Ondo state. He wrote in via victoroladejo95@gmail.com
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