I sat on the carpeted floor of my lounge, a 3 Bed detached bungalow inside the Middle class estate called JB Jebba on Ijakpa Road, Warri, Nigeria thinking about the previous night. It was Mid August 1997; i had returned from Benin earlier that morning having spent the entire night at the Blue Edge Club on Oguigo Avenue, GRA Benin and fresh thoughts of my Fianc├ę filled my near stupor being. I love that Lady. Gentle. Humane. Beautiful. Brilliant. Witty. Down to earth. As usual with a Drunk, i rushed to the kitchen, opened my Fridge Freezer, a gift from lovely Momsie delivered all the way from Lagos as a birthday present, still wondering till date why she bought a grown up Man a Fridge- Hmnnn, Mothers and their funny overbearing wahala. I took out a chilled bottle of The Ultimate Gulder and slurped at the content-It tasted like warm piss and i was pissed off instantly. I really need to get married before i loose this Lady.
What is wrong with you she angrily retorted and finished with this statement: "I am a Woman for God's sake Wale and i need to always look good, go to the house of your colleagues who are married and ask them if their Wives only have a pair of shoe. Yes, her shoes are my problem and it's doing my head big time. Abeni has at the last count a total of 60 pairs of shoes. Yes and i am not lying. Colours i have not seen in my life. Fuchsia Pink. Torquise Blue. Beefy Brown. Sea Green. Dull Beige. Off White. Lemon Green. Navy Blue. Crimson Red. Ox-Blood. Pink. Yellow. (Some of her yellow shoes look more like jaundiced infants) Royal Blue. The usual blacks. She has them all neatly arranged in our dressing room in a row of ten with her shoe horns and various shoe wraps. Give it to her; she manages her wardrobe very well.
I grew up in a family of Five (Popsie, Momsie, Two elder Sisters and I) and we lived a typical Lagos life. Very nucleated! No external forces until the Mid 80s when Popsie adopted his late Uncle's Son. I grew up to know that Popsie an astute Self Employed Ondo Man resident in Lagos all his life has ONLY three pairs of shoes (A black English Brogues, a Black Maori leather shoe and brown lace up), for a typical Lagosian, he has a couple of Leather Slippers- His favourite being an Opanka Sandal. Momsie being a Civil Servant and devoted Christian (I coined a name for her and it stuck- Transparent Mama) only had way back then about 6 pairs of shoes, the majority being her church collection as she was the President of the Womens' Missionary Union and alot of meetings is associated with this post! We lived a near conservative life and i grew up to know that Shoki lo'be oge (A Little stew is neccesary at a time, if you need more, go get it).
I have had several meetings with Abeni on her near craze collection of shoes. I must admit though that each time she wears any of those shoes, she comes out so lovely. Abeni is beautiful with her well rounded backside. Hips that once caused a traffic accident as she crossed a major road to catch a train at Westminster Tube Station: We laughed over this incident. I begged her to tone down on this collection and we've had several verbal contests on the issue. Maybe because of her profession and her command of grammar, she was always winning. Na u sabi. I studied pure science. The last "heated fellowship" we had on this growing shoes' debacle was sometimes after her 2008 birthday when we returned from an evening outing and her Younger Sister who was on Holiday from the University of Leicester came into our room and gave another 2 pairs of shoes as gift. Ha! Abeke what are you doing again, i asked the younger Sister instantly, she laughed and sauntered out. I met the Kuforiji Family.
When are you coming to our residence, the Kuforijis kept asking me and this has been on for close to 2 years and as usual with me, i study alot before venturing into any relationship most especially if it's at work. This is what feeds my family and i am not ready to truncate the source. I keep to myself alot but The Kuforijis are a bunch of nice couple plus Kids and after so much persuasion, i gave in when they bought their new house in Surrey and they wanted us to spend a night with them. I was beginning to get across to the Kuforijis as an unfriendly person and i needed to correct the impression, so off we embarked on the journey with the Boys that changed my perception about my Wife of eight years Abeni, Omo dudu bi koro esin.
We drove into the private road of the Kuforiji somewhere off M23 and their house stood at the extreme, a sight to behold. Some Nigerians indeed live large. Kuforiji himself being a Consultant, they welcomed and took us into their guest room while my Boys adapted easily, trust Kids and before i knew what was happening , Kuforiji Jnr had taken them upstairs and were riding his Quad bike to and fro on their private road. We settled him after a sumptuous meal of Pounded Yam with Efo Riro and a plate full of assorted meal. Mrs Kuforiji should go contest the next Magic Kitchen Competition hosted by Funke Adeoye! It was time to show us around the expansive building. My trouble thus began!
We got into their Master bedroom and as we made to return to the lounge where their Au Pair, an Eastern Europe Lady from Romania had prepared another round of edible nibbles, Kuforiji stopped and asked that we followed him into another room just by the staircases. He opened the door and retorted jokingly "Welcome to my Wife's personal boutique". Boutique? I asked. Yes, he replied with a smirk. Wale nkan ti mo nsi ni yi ohhh (Wale, this is what i worship ohhh). I saw an "army" of shoes, "neatly parked" in layers more like a Multi storey car park like those at Heathrow Airport Terminals. To say that i was shocked would be an understatement; i was scared for the "sanity" of Mrs Kuforiji. I turned to look at my Abeni and she gave me a childish smile more like an Ntoooooooo sign. I asked the Kuforiji if i could count the shoes, not knowing what i was really getting at and i did count. 94 pairs in all. Different colours, Shapes. Stilettos'. Court Shoes. Wedges. Slip Ons. Sandals. Strappies. I quickly recovered from the shock as i discovered that the three were now boring into my back as i stooped whilst counting the shoes. We went downstairs and as we drowned the drinks and nibbles. The lecture began on the reason why Women have a large collection of shoes.
Pls, do you also have a Wife/Partner/Fianc├ę/GF or you are a Woman who collects so much shoes as if it's going out of circulation cos my Wife just won this battle and i am on the verge of an appeal.