Wale Akin

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.


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Re: For Women Only: Her Shoes!
ELAWALO posted on 10-22-2008, 12:39:21 PM
Ahh My brother
Na so we see am this article is an eye opener. My other half has this obscene (hope she is not reading this!) collection of shoes too. She spends a lot of time looking for the right colour match when she dresses for an occasion. Foreverlovely as I call her, as I am always proud of her appearance when she is decked up in her baffs.
I once read that women and their swinging moods are only consoled with a visit to a shoe shop. Na waa ooh. Many a time have I witnessed the attention to detail when a social outing calls for traditional attires with matching shoe and bag. A case in point is my younger sister's wedding which is due in a months time in naija. She is already contemplating getting a matching shoe and bag for various attires. Egba mi O
Re: For Women Only: Her Shoes!
Heart-thief posted on 10-22-2008, 13:22:13 PM
Some of us love to shop even when we're in our worst moods there's nothing that can be done to make us happy. I have shoes and i have shoes.. i can't count.

sometimes i dash them off when they are over crowding my room. You simply can't let it go when the sight pleases ur eyes(nice colour) and matches one or two dresses in your wardrobe (that's if u're the colour 'combo' type).

Guys, what's the worry if am not using ur money to buy them? I gotta look good oh.. abi u dey appreciate when she looks good by ur side.. with ur head held high and swollen..

some of us also shop for anything.. unplanned, there are some belongings they neva use them.. yet they keep buying.

cool it.. women's nature.
Re: For Women Only: Her Shoes!
VOR posted on 10-22-2008, 15:04:28 PM
WaleAkin, you have lost the appeal! lakasoro! ko soro mo!

The Mr. Kuforiji sounds like KB, he has pleaded, threatened, cut up cards etc. but no do no do, those shoes have a way of daring me to buy them when I am in front of a shop! Seriously, a woman should have shoes in different colours and there are different shades to these colours.

For example when you think green coloured shoes, you’ll probably think there is one 1 or 2 types of green! Wrong!! I have so many shades of green shoes - olive, myrtle, emerald, sea, tea, pear green etc. same with other colours, all in different styles/designs - don’t forget that there are shoes for different types of outing.

Work shoes your court shoes, sandals, stilettos, sling backs, boots (half, full and ankle)
Outing shoes beach shoes, shopping shoes (slippers, slip ons and trainers)
Occasion shoes these are your dress shoes and come in various designs, colours and material.

So you see it is just not possible for us modern day women to have just 10 pairs of shoe? There are just so many needs to be met that 10 pairs cannot meet!
Also, with the type of social life style we have, it is not possible to make do with 10 pairs of shoes, mba nu! as an oba lo’la, it is in his interest that whenever his Olori steps out, it is in ‘Hello’ style!

So take it easy with Abeni, in my opinion, at just over 60 pairs, she is just starting. We always have to look good for you our Ade Ori’s now, if you decide to up your blood pressure because we are doing our ‘duty’
well….what can I say…..? Chillax, as I say to KB, "its all for you babe"!
Re: For Women Only: Her Shoes!
Emj posted on 10-22-2008, 23:00:09 PM
Hmmm, Wales 60 pere..and 94 is even conservative...she must have given some to charity...i do that when am tired of some to make room for more se u get....and there are some u just keep and only wear once a year.

This side of the world...one needs different shoes for different season of the year....not to talk of different occasions and even moods phapha....like Olori Vor posited, Boots, Dressy shoes,Sandalets, Slippers, Loafers, Running Shoes, etc etc ati bee bee lo.
I've got some that needs some tuning....cant let go of them for some very personal reasons. And of course the very Vintage ones made from special fabrics...some made specifically for some occasions with matching bags.
Then there are the special evening outing ones...show shoes
The there are the Dancing shoes...rugged and comfortable..loads of those

Aint nothing as good as a refreshing... shoe shopping theraphy

P>......BTW, why For women only? I know a lot of men who buy shoes for their GF and wife Ke and like the fact that she has a very interesting and classy wardrobe filled with shoes and other accessories.
Re: For Women Only: Her Shoes!
Lotus Flower posted on 10-23-2008, 03:12:03 AM
My latest shoe purchase (about 2 weeks ago):

I took a half-day off work to go hunting, er, shoe shopping

Pointy stilleto with a snake-like coil strap winding up the calves, the entire silver (mock crocodile) leather covered in bling. This was to match a silver mock crocodile clutch bag to wear with a traditional outfit (lace) which was (you guessed it) covered in bling.

The price? don't ask! the 'Wow' factor? PRICELESS!

I figured that if I'm going to do something (like the once in a blue moon dress-up), I might as well do it exceedingly well
Re: For Women Only: Her Shoes!
Alake posted on 10-23-2008, 11:35:46 AM
@ Wale am sure by now you would have known that real women love shoes.

I love shoes so much that am never tired of buying it. Few months ago, I bought 5 pairs of shoes in a week, then the following week, a friend invited me to go shopping with her in a new stores, so I decided to go with her and do window shopping because I don't have the intention of buying anything but on getting there I saw 2 beautiful pair of shoes that I cannot resist, I had to buy the shoes again. When I got home, my husband was dumbfounded and was just looking at me. He used to complain but now he has stopped complaining.
This year, I traded in some shoes to buy new shoes again. So please stop complaining.
When I was single, I do appreciate men that wear "correct" shoes not just shoes oh.
Re: For Women Only: Her Shoes!
VOR posted on 10-23-2008, 12:19:23 PM
Thank you jare my sistas, heart-thief, countess, lotus flower and Alake.

Do we ask for much? really, do we? just leave us alone with our "obsession", "pyschosis", "compulsive disorder", "stubborness" and any other 'blackmailing' phrase you guys can come out with! when/if we are ready we will seek help........

Gba fun' olorun ni simi
Re: For Women Only: Her Shoes!
Idahota posted on 10-23-2008, 15:18:23 PM
Is that all she's got ? 94 pairs. I expected more from Kuforiji. WaleAkin have you forgotten the infamous Phillipine first lady Imelda Marcus and her 500 pairs of shoes
Re: For Women Only: Her Shoes!
Uche Nworah posted on 10-24-2008, 06:36:51 AM

You may be surprised to know that I am the one who has this shoe craze in my family. Perhaps this has to do with my Aba upbringing. Back then emphasis was on the shoes which was why we made frequent trips to Ariaria and Ahia Ohuru markets. At the time, it was Trend and Mister shoes that were in vogue. Later when I went to Enugu for High school, we started buying Aguson shoes from Lobito and Johnny Sputes.

At the University of Uyo, a 30 –minutes drive away from Aba, the Aba boys who had taken over the school carried on with the shoe thing. A common greeting then amongst Aba boys was to greet each other by tapping their right feet together, a ploy to draw attention of the girls or guys to the latest shoe they were wearing.

The shoe craze continued in Europe when I discovered the Prison market in Napoli – Italy. I would make weekend trips from D├╝sseldorf – Germany and later London to Napoli. From going to buy to use, I started buying to sell/supply to the Mandilas boys and Ariaria traders. I would recommend this market to anybody in search of Italian leather goods but do watch your wallets.

Because I wear size 46 (US size 12) which is not usually easily available, I try to buy two pair of the same shoes anytime I am buying shoes. Over time I get bored wearing them, and because of the African in me, I wait till there is an opportunity to cargo them back home for friends and family rather than donate them to Salvation Army or any of the charities. Between the time of not wanting the shoes anymore to when I can send them to Nigeria, I would have incurred the anger of my missus a million times especially when I come back home clutching new pairs without having evacuated the ones that have started littering the whole house.

That is my own shoe story, I guess everyone has his, or hers.
Re: For Women Only: Her Shoes!
Dem posted on 10-24-2008, 10:48:12 AM
Just read this. Well done sir.

But women here are scaring me. I have always said that if you want to be rich one quick way is to sell women products. You can't depend on us men that wear pata until the colour fade and even change.
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