Blind date disasters: Any deal breakers?

Hello everyone.

I’m currently working on a romance fiction novella. I wrote a scene yesterday that made me chuckle. It reminded me of a horrible blind date I experienced in Enugu, where the nice looking thirty-three year old man I was set up with, told me in a very serious voice that he would never marry a woman his mother didn’t approve of.

Now, I get that people have little mental tick boxes of what they can or can not accept in a future partner, but it was a first date and I didn’t feel it was appropriate telling me that the very first time we met. To be honest, it was a deal breaker for me. I think it’s because I worry about guys whose mothers influence majority of their decisions.

Have you ever had a horrible blind date? Care to share?

 Below is an excerpt of the scene I wrote. I hope you like it. (It’s not yet edited, so, be gentle.)

Gobsmacked, Yemi stared at the man in front of her, unable to believe what she just heard. Where does mum find these men?

“Pardon?” she asked, lowering her fork to her plate, her appetite suddenly diminished.

“I said, if a woman can’t cook a good pot of soup with a thousand Naira, she is not prepared to marry.”

Yemi laughed. “You are joking, right?” she said, lifting her cutlery piece again and digging into her plate of jollof rice. He had to be kidding. Surely, no person could say something so absurd without intending to be humorous.

“I am dead serious. I always set this test for women before I date them…to see if they are wife material,” Dare replied, smiling. His grin exposed perfectly shaped white teeth on a ruggedly handsome face. A shame. For someone so good-looking, his thinking process was gravely flawed.

Although she tried, Yemi couldn’t seem to muster any physical attraction to him. And his chauvinistic remarks didn’t help with the repulsion she felt. This latest comment was the final nail in the coffin. No Bueno. She would rather remain single than be forced to continue to listen to this.

“Since you aren’t married yet, I take it nobody has passed your test,” Yemi said, her brain working fast on the best escape plan she could come up with in this situation without appearing rude.

“Not one woman. And It’s a shame,” Dare said, shaking his head in earnest disappointment. “Women of nowadays know nothing about keeping a home. That is why there is so much divorce in our society today.”

Yemi shook her head, flabbergasted. “Hmmm…so, you believe that not being able to cook a pot of soup with a thousand Naira is the reason for the increased divorce rate?”

“That’s not what I mean,” he objected.

“What exactly do you mean, then?”

“A stable marriage depends on simple things like that, a woman being able to manage money. My future wife has to know how to do that.”

“Of course, being able to manage money is a good quality,” Yemi agreed. “My problem with that comment is that in your opinion, the responsibility rests on the woman alone.”

“Yes, it does. A woman is the pillar of every home.”

Oh, lord. I’ll kill mum for this. Yemi couldn’t believe that her mother had tried to convince her this man would be a perfect fit for her. “He is one of the most sought after bachelors in my church,” she had said. Sought after for what? To aggravate women?

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Why romance authors should be taken seriously.

Hello everyone

I was excited to be interviewed by Syncity NG about the role of the romance genre in literature, particularly African literature.

One of the things I hated growing up, was the scarcity of contemporary romance with African main characters. When I was a teenager, I used to walk around the market and bookshops, desperately searching for romance books that had brown people who looked like me on the front covers. I was frequently disappointed because the only romance novels populating our bookstores were Mills and Boons with non-African main characters.

This made me yearn for more. When I came across the pacesetters series in the early 90s and authors like Helen Ovbiagele, who showcased romance in books like Evbu my Love and A Fresh Start, I went wild with excitement like a kid in a candy store. That day, I purchased almost all the books there with my pocket money.

Since then, I have come across other authors like Kiru Taye, Nana Prah, Empi Darko, Lara Daniels, Somi Ekhasomhi who write about love in Africa. I wanted to be a part of that.

Continue for my Interview with SynCity NG

Finalist at the Ufere Awards
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Intertribal relationships: What are the challenges?

More than 300 tribes in Nigeria.

Hello everyone

I am still in my writing cave battling with fictional characters in my head. Nonetheless, I have an interesting experience to share with you.

ENCOUNTER:

A few weeks ago, I met a lady called Bimbo Okoye. When she told me her name, I was instantly confused, and it must have shown on my face because she said, “I get that reaction from Nigerians all the time.”

Her remark caused a bout of shame to hit me, and I found myself mumbling through an awkward apology. Luckily for me, she was gracious. Not only did she laugh off my embarrassment, she also explained that her parents wanted her to know both sides of her culture and insisted that her name reflected that.

Most Nigerians would understand my initial reaction because the combination of her name is quite unusual—A Yoruba first name with an Igbo surname.

For non-Nigerians who may not understand this, Nigeria is an amalgamation of up to, if not more than 300 tribes. Some with similar language and culture, others with quite different ways of life. Names, accents, traditional attire, religion and other subtle qualities can suggest a person’s tribe.

MUSINGS:

Because of my experience with Bimbo, I decided to use the name Yemi Okeke for the new story I have begun working on. She is one of four children born to an Igbo father and a Yoruba mother.

This got me thinking about intertribal relationships and marriages. As a Nigerian from the Igbo tribe whose parents are both Igbos and who married an Igbo man, I have very little experience with the challenges that intertribal relationships can bring.

I know there are many stereotypes associated with various tribes, but I have always considered them all superficial and non-significant when individuals are involved.

Of course, there are constant jokes about the Igbos loving money too much, the Yoruba tribe throwing multiple elaborate parties even when broke, the Edo tribe having supernatural powers, e. t. c. But do the stereotypes really count in the daily living between couples or friends from different tribes?

Not for me. Although I enjoy those tribal jokes, I try not to let them influence my dealings with anyone on a personal level.

The wedding party, a movie I enjoyed tremendously, showcased an intertribal marriage. I loved the humour and the exploration of various cultures.

Do you have any stories to share about intertribal relationships? Have you observed any challenges from any? Do you think cultural differences can destroy a relationship?

I still believe in One Nigeria. However, I also like to celebrate our diversity.

The Wedding Party. A wonderful movie celebrating cultural diversity in Nigeria..

 

 

 

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Paper copies now available for purchase in Nigeria

Hello everyone,

I have excellent news to share!

Paper copies of Melodies of Love, Thorns and Roses and Starting Over Again can now be purchased in Nigeria. Yay!!!

I am so excited about this, because readers have asked me repeatedly to make them available in Nigeria. There is something about holding a book that some book lovers find fascinating. There are people who say that e- books don’t produce the same effect.

For me, as long as the story is enthralling, I don’t mind whatever form it comes in. I am like a book junkie—anything to fix my fiction craving will do.

Well, for those who prefer paper copies and find e-books inadequate, I have got you covered.

Enjoy a blissful romantic escape with this trilogy of sensual love stories from the heart of West Africa.

Just click the links below, order the paper copies and they will be delivered at your doorstep wherever you live in Nigeria. It is as simple as that.

Melodies of LoveClick here to buy Melodies Of Love

Thorns and RosesClick here to buy Thorns and Roses

Starting Over AgainClick here to buy Starting Over Again

 

Paper copies now available for purchase in Nigeria
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