My wife is an angel in front of that old battle axe

THERE are some African cultures which were put there long before we were born which were really helpful.

Although I was born long after our forefathers, I believe that those old fellows were very wise, because most of the ‘rules and regulations’ helped to avert a lot of problems.

In our culture, they said it was bad luck for a pregnant woman to eat eggs, but I came to learn later that this culture was meant to avert the possibility of increasing the weight of the child in the womb, which would have caused problems when the time to give birth arrives.

Another culture is the one which prohibits a man from coming anywhere near his mother in law, which was a great taboo if you ask me.

I believe this culture exists in most African tribes, and I know for sure that if we continued to embrace this culture and stay as far away from mother in laws as possible, half of our problems would not have occurred.

But in our stupid moment, most of us decided to abandon these golden rules and instead started acting as if we were born in Europe, where there is no line drawn between a fellow and his mother in law.

Most of us know the problem some mother in laws cause in marriages, and our ancestors were well aware of this happening, that is why no one can claim that they were stupid when they decided that a mother in law should not come close to her son in law.

In the old days when we still had respect for our culture and elders, if a man is walking down the street and he sees his mother in law coming in the opposite direction, that fellow will conduct a serious U turn so that he does not come anywhere near her.

But nowadays things are very different, where a fellow can have the audacity of going out with his mother in law, and as if that is not enough, they can be seen dancing together.

When I married the mother of my clan, mama Boyi, I explained all these things to her in detail, telling her that in our culture, her mother is supposed to be like an army barracks to me, that under any circumstance I was not supposed to go near.

What I did not know then is that my in laws have already ditched the old culture and embraced the culture of the white folks, that is why on our wedding day I almost ducked under the table in fear when her mother approached me.

I later realised that the woman, my mother in law, had no qualms when it comes to taking me by the shirtfront and shake me thoroughly until my teeth rattled in my mouth if I went against her or her daughter.

That is why I always wish they would have stuck to the old tradition of staying far from me when it comes to my life.

Three days ago, my mind was in a turmoil after my boss summoned me to his office as soon as I entered the office door, and the look on his face was obvious that he did not wish to offer me a pay rise.

When I entered the office, I found him pacing up and down like a caged lion, and instincts told me that I would be a very lucky chap if I left the office with my job intact.

“Baba Boyi, I was going through the performance report a few minutes ago, and I don’t know why your name appears on the bottom of the list, for the third month running,” he did not waste time in telling me.

I didn’t know whether it was a question or a statement, so to be on the safe side I decided to keep quiet and appear shocked like a nun who found herself in a brothel.

He told me that he has decided to suspend me until further notice, because he did not see the logic of retaining me when all I did was appear in the office smelling like a broken brewery almost every day.

Of course I begged to be given a second chance, and told him that I will begin by avoiding Zakayo’s Pub, my local watering hole, the way one avoids a leper, but he ordered me out of his office.

The situation did not improve one bit when I entered my house and found my mother in law sitting in my favorite chair and drinking what looked like one of my beers. On the other side of the room was my sister in law, who looked like a retired sumo wrestler as she sat on the floor.

They both glared at me as if I was trespassing in my own house, but my eyes were locked on the brown bottle the old battle axe was holding, before I was satisfied that indeed the bottle was mine.

Mama Boyi was nowhere to be seen, but I found her in the kitchen creating all sorts of commotion in the name of washing the dishes, and I demanded to know what those two women were doing in my house, and to explain in detail why her mother was swallowing my beer.

“Baba Boyi, my mother is here to attend a religious seminar organised by her church, which will begin tomorrow until Sunday, and she asked my sister to accompany her,” she told me. In my mind I told myself if that woman goes to church and she behaves the way she does, I wonder how she would have been if she was not ‘religious’.

Asking Mama Boyi why she did not tell me in advance always will result in confrontation, so I asked her why her mother was drinking my beer instead.

One look at the fridge told me that two of my brown bottles were already down, and only six were remaining, so I did what any responsible and bright fellow will do, I took them to my bedroom and swallowed all of them, before I went back to the sitting room and gave my mother in law a piece of my mind.

When she lifted her massive frame from the chair and started coming towards me, I was bright enough to know that she was not coming to give me a warm hug, so again I did what any wise fellow would have done, I ran to my bedroom and locked myself inside.

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