#DontLetTheDevilUseYou: Episode 2

Mayowa! Mayowa!! Mayowa!!! Where do I even begin? I still can’t remember how we met, couple of comments dropped on the blog and some months later, I’m submitting an entry (I Swear) in her “War on Women” campaign. Mayowa is a free soul with a beautiful mind, as I’m sure you’d come to agree. So sit back and enjoy, I give you Mayowa

  ‘There are certain things we need to unlearn,’ Feyikemi said as she handed a cup of grape juice to her husband, Alex and their mutual friend, Dare. ‘Oh! Yes Feyikemi,’ Dare said with a raised voice as if he was talking to a large group of people and he needed to augment his voice in other to be heard because of a lack of microphone. ‘Alex and I were just discussing the stereotypical way people think in Nigeria which is greatly affecting the advancement of this nation. You won’t believe how much Alex was looked down on because of his third class degree,’ Dare continued.Feyikemi looked at her husband and squeezed his right hand. ‘The trouble my father gave this very intelligent guy because of his third class degree can’t be said. Dare, you were fully aware of all the issues that surrounded his having a third class degree and being from a middle class background. We would not be married today, but for the strong intervention of my mother. Left to my father, if he wasn’t in the same social class as me, it couldn’t work. Worse, if he didn’t graduate with a first or second class, his chances of making it are slim except he makes money through dubious means. My father actually said his third class was a decorated failure.’

‘It baffles me how we are so concerned about grading that we forget skills learnt and experiences gained. We forget about artistic and athletic abilities and focus solely on academic ones. There goes the popular belief: he is a failure because the grading system defines him as one and for the rest of his life, he would struggle or be subordinate to the person that finished with a first class or second class degree,’ Feyikemi hissed as she left her husband’s hand to take the cup of water on the table, in front of her.

Dare laughed out loud and patted Alex’s back. ‘The irony,’ he said. ‘Did I not finish with a first class at the same university of Ibadan that Alex finished with a third class from?! I really do remember making it all about books then and cramming. This husband of yours always thought and did things in unconventional ways. He never believed in that cramming and regurgitating system operative in Nigerian educational system. As a result, the grading system didn’t favour him as he would write an exam based on his understanding of the topic and not lecturers regurgitated notes.’

‘I always knew he would make a mark and become successful as he always read wide and thought outside the box. He didn’t allow himself to be restricted by the walls of school, but learnt practical skills that later helped him set up his own company. He is now doing better than the first class student everyone thought would be king. Please, life is about determination and hardwork and success is available to those who are willing to think and take steps. A holder of a third class degree should not be automatically written off.’ … I mean, look at me, I have a first class degree in theory, not practical,’ Dare said and they all laughed.

Alex who had been sitting quietly finally spoke. ‘Everyone has embraced stereotypical stance to life because it makes classification easy. Unfortunately, life is not like that as there are many grey areas. A lot of us have imbibed the belief that there is a set way things are meant to be and there is a problem if you do not fit into that picture.’ … ‘Darling, you are right,’ Feyikemi said as she put a grape fruit in her mouth. ‘Babe, do you remember the comment I told you a friend of mine made when I told her about Carl Lentz, the American preacher?’ she did not wait for her husband to answer before she continued. ‘Pastor Carl Lentz is clearly an anointed man of God, but he has a tattoo. I was showing Bimpe one of his messages, when she saw the tattoo and asked if the man was really called by God. The question came as a shock to me as she was enjoying the message before she saw the tattoo. She did not question his being called until the tattoo made him not fit into the stereotypical view of men of God.’ Feyikemi shook her head as she put another grape in her mouth.

‘The thing is people have to be seen as humans first. Slapping a label on people blinds us and restricts our minds. Man can sometimes be so blinded by the outward appearance that they forget God qualifies the called and he looks at our heart’, Alex said clearly amused. ‘Ha- ha. That reminds me of what Bisola told me. She said her pastor’s wife complained about dancing shoki in church. Don’t you guys think that is pretentious cause people also shake their ass and ‘komole’ in clubs, as they do in churches,’ Feyikemi said with irritation. Alex and Dare laughed. ‘That’s exactly what I am saying. People have even moved this stereotype thing to dance moves. They classify the holiness of a dance based on the person that invented the moves or the videos the song is seen in,’ Alex said as he looked at Dare who wouldn’t stop laughing. … ‘Ore, that’s sad because David was a crazy dancer and God never specified the kind of dance to be danced in church,’ Dare said with a serious face when he finally stopped laughing.

Silence fell upon them for a few minutes before Alex spoke up with a calm tone which was his certified signal for a serious talk. ‘The issue with us is that we so badly want to classify things as good or bad. You are expected to behave in a particular way and people think your success in life is dependent on your grades. But this life we are all living can never be just black and white. It will always have grey areas and if you don’t look at people individually and at least get to know them first before labeling them, you might never know what the person has to offer to the world, or discover the unconventional modes of thinking of the person. A way this stereotypical wall can be broken is to look at things and people objectively.’ Dare and Feyikemi shook their heads in agreement.

‘Am I going to come to your house and leave without being fed?’ Dare said with a teasing smile plastered on his face. ‘Hehe! Woman, this is your cue to go to the kitchen,’ Alex pecked his wife after uttering the statement. … ‘You African men with your stereotypical view of the kitchen being the woman’s office. Shame! And you act like you are fighting against stereotypes,’ Feyikemi retorted as she looked at her husband and Dare. She stood up and went to stand in front of the two men. They laughed and stood up to follow her to the kitchen. It was time to talk about politics.

#dontletthedeviluseyou #saynotostereotypes

Check out her Blog @ Matey Scott’s Blog, mind you my friend is now an Author o, so start flexing your spending muscles 😊


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