Since the discovery of the killer virus called HIV/AIDS, we are being constantly inundated with “difren difren” jingles & campaigns aimed at guiding mankind on the path of discipline, abstinence and the last option of the use of the “olmaiti kondom jos in kes man no fit hol bodi”. Despite the huge amount of money being invested worldwide on the fight against the scourge, men in their large number may not be co-operating enough because majority are not doing di rait tin. As you read this piece, a lot of “rons” are being worked upon or better still consummated. If a study is conducted today towards ascertaining the level at which men are changing from their “dirty ways” in response to the clarion call for a united fight against the HIV/AIDS scourge, we may find out that “ewe gems” in different nomenclatures are on the increase. As a one-time manager of a hospitality outfit where “responsible men” steal in even on Fridays & Sundays (Holy days for Moslems & Christians) “fo shot taim” or short rest, I can confirm with all the strength at my disposal that “ewe gems” will remain with us for a very long time. Once men, “ova grin botuls”, are opportune to have this topic as a subject of discussion, the conclusion would most likely be “ivun awa papa dem guilti”. Meaning, men these days are better off their grandparents who were said to have even kept concubines on the same street where they resided. Therefore, it’s the proposition of most guys that men should be allowed to “flenj” as long as they don’t come home with another woman. As I write these lines, countless numbers of marriages are on the verge of collapse because men are clinging on to the old unwritten notion of our dear grand fathers which held that man was not meant to eat “onli okro soup”. With particular reference to “di kain kain tins we men de du”, hereunder is a personal categorisation of men being a suggested guide to any one that may want to study the subject matter alongside the current delicate scenario which is seemingly making a nonsense of the billions of naira various NGOs and governments across the world are pumping into the fight against promiscuity under the guise of HIV/AIDS campaigns.
Suwegbe: Men in this category are known to be "slow to act" and generally presumed to be unskilful or not smart enough to “du rons”. Even though this may be misleading, and "bikos man go olwes won to bi man”, they indulge in “flings” that usually get their fingers burnt.
Pritendas: As the name goes, they pretend a lot. Foolishly, they are wont to think that they can fool the people all the time. They are like the proverbial dog “we go chop s*** finish, klin maut”. Over time, and as nature would have it, they keep running into their match in Ladies who are equally skilful in “rons” and before you know it, they will begin to show "wayo sori ai" in preparation for graduation into the next group.
Bai fos born egen: This is a very special group of men who may have at one time or the other experienced a bad/unpleasant condition and recoil into their shell as born egen. But remember “se na kondishon mek krafish bend”. Most times, “as pepe enta dia han”, they will begin to exhibit those characteristics of theirs. “Yu sabi wetin ah de tok. Abi?” Don’t rule out the fact that during their “so-called period of restitution”, some of them “de ivun haid de du rons”. Once they are caught the first thing you may likely hear from the affected is, “na devul wok” or “man no bi wud”.
Despirados: The name speaks volume for those in this category. Their sing song goes like this; “somtin mos kil pesin” or “dai na dai”. They are generally regarded as artful and like the main characters in “tough films”, they consider themselves as not just impregnable, but were never meant to meet their death in what in their opinion, is “kwe kwe”. Therefore, whenever you hear “akto no de dai fo fim” just know that the one who may have made such a comment, either belongs to that group, or may have passed said so in praise of someone else who belongs there. As a group of people that survives in “pawaful rons”, they usually say “kondom na yeye”. Like members of the previous groups, “dia gra gra” (bravado) does not immune them from meeting “roged bebs” who on “koret skimin”, puts them in one trouble or the other. In Nigeria Pidgin, we commonly say “omoge de plenti we sabi tek dia han tosh ink”.
Koret pipol: The smallest number of men falls in here. From observed consistency in their positive attitude and approach to life, and based on informed knowledge of those who know them intimately, they are the select few amongst us who could be vouched for as far as the subject matter is concerned. This has nothing to do with one’s professional or religious calling. But again, and as we are used to saying, “na only God na im go fit joj”.
Although the above categorisation is personal, am confident of its capacity to serve as a ready guide to whoever that may want to carry out serious but practical study of men and their ways in Nigeria. Like the men, we also have ladies/women whose stock in trade, and for selfish reasons, always device new tricks of keeping men “in bondej”. Only recently, I tried eaves dropping a discussion by some ladies at a “joint”. I repeatedly heard, “men sef, dia oun tu mosh”. I didn’t require any one to tell me that their discussion was cantered on the “excesses” of men in our world. Apparently they were crossed and bothered about how to cope in this dicey situation. I think, I also overheard them say, "dis na di taim we wi go de du magun fo awa hosband dem bodi”. Immediately I heard this, my mind raced to my laptop to begin to write these lines as a way of forewarning the men-folk of what may turn out to be the new thinking of women. If put into force, (God fobid) am very sure it may revolutionise our world of man and woman relationship and would go a long way in cutting randy men to size. What is magun?
According to Eriata’s Dictionary of Nigeria Pidgin (forth-coming), magun, originally a Yoruba word stands for any form of traditional “jas” or charm secretly put on a woman by her husband to trap her whenever she indulges in sex with another man. It’s a form of protection against flirtation. Many years ago while growing up, I heard of how a man and a woman got “stocked” permanently together after a round of illicit sex. Both of them were brought to the open for all to see. A cynosure of shame one would say, but it taught a bitter lesson to the one who went to reap where he didn’t sow and a deterrent to others who may want to act in like manner. But the most annoying and painful aspect of the story is that they remained inseparable till death. Similar stories of this nature also ended up in such a sad and sorrowful note. Does magun still exists? If yes, have we found an antidote yet to this “eva redi” charm whose “ogbunigwe”- like potency is unrivalled?
Despite the preceding, some women still mess around outside of their matrimonial homes as if in competition with their men-folk. In our clime, men are known and allowed to marry many wives and even have “oda atashment” as long as you can take provide for them. (African way). But it has never been so for the women-folk. Never "fo awa histri” were women said to indulge in escapades like men. For God's sake why are our women thinking like this in awa oun taim”. Why? In Nigeria’s year of Golden Jubilee? Are they not taking “Bejin konfrens” too far? Why at all should women contemplate along the line of “trapping” their men whenever they “du autsaid”. Are they trying to discount the dowry their husbands paid in making to bear their names and “di olmaiti Misis”. I just heard someone shouted, “mek dem trai am na”?
My major worry; what is the implication of this for our marriage institution in the coming years? I am not a Prophet but I dare say here loud and clear that in these days of “bai faya, bai fos”, there is nothing our women are not capable of doing. Most men have been reduced to mere “dodo” in their homes due to the secret activities of their wives who "bai faya bai fos, se dem mos to pin dia hosband daun”. At the time these actions begin to “du Ajasko bakfaya”, you will see them crying like babies as they confess "ol di yama yama tins" they had been doing. You will hear of the several Babalawos and hilltop prayer houses they had visited just to “maintain” their marriages as it were.
It’s now a commonplace thing to hear women gleefully say “anything a man can do, the woman can do better”. I may not know how seriously the women I met discussing this sensitive matter would have concluded on the matter under reference, but to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Men need to wake up. Well, I trust men, before this would begin to claim its first victims, a solution would definitely be on hand. Who knows whether there is already an antidote? Haba! Wumen sef una oun tu mosh tu.

Edwin Eriata Oribhabor,
Member of ANA, Abuja Chapter, resides in Abuja.

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