HID­DEN TRUTH ABOUT RE­LA­TION­SHIPS

THISDAY - - ARTS & REVIEW\\ LITERARY CAFE - Adaeze Anaekwe

Ihith­erto never be­lieved in the idea of soul mates or love at first sight. But now I am some­what be­ing com­pelled to be­lieve that at very few times in life, if you are lucky, you just might meet some­one who is right for you. Not be­cause he is per­fect or she is per­fect but be­cause your com­bined flaws are ar­ranged in a way that al­lows two sep­a­rate be­ings to hinge to­gether. This is ex­actly what the book Di­ary of a Stupid Boyfriend proves.

The book was writ­ten by fast-ris­ing Nige­rian writer Bura-Bari Nwilo, who is a Wri­tivist on the Ugan­dan’s writ­ers’ move­ment called Wri­tivism. He has a diploma in screen­writ­ing from the New York Film Academy. His first short film project was pro­duced and di­rected by Uzoma Wills and won Best at the 2011 Abuja In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val. His story “Slum Di­ary” won sec­ond place at the Cre­ative Wings Short Story contest or­gan­ised by the Ugreen Foun­da­tion.

Di­ary of a Stupid Boyfriend is a non-fic­tional novel that houses some of the ex­pe­ri­ences of the au­thor dur­ing a three-year re­la­tion­ship, which later col­lapsed. The book is an en­ter­tain­ing, ed­uca­tive, in­for­ma­tive and grip­ping tale of Nwilo. It has funny but his­toric themes that af­fect the typ­i­cal Nige­rian re­la­tion­ship.

It ad­vises part­ners on what should be done to avoid cer­tain common mis­takes in re­la­tion­ships such as cheat­ing, prej­u­dice, over-de­pen­dence and mis­un­der­stand­ing.

Men are known for their promis­cu­ity, but it takes an un­der­stand­ing Nige­rian lady to en­dure. Ac­cord­ing to the au­thor, “cheat­ing de­stroys the very foun­da­tion that any re­la­tion­ship stands on”. If you are in to­day’s world, then you would un­der­stand that cheat­ing is one big business among most peo­ple in re­la­tion­ship. Some peo­ple cheat just for the fun of it. Some Nige­rian women love with there ev­ery be­ing and when you cheat on them, you lose the very thing that holds the re­la­tion­ship – trust, says the writer.

More im­por­tantly, tol­er­ance is needed in ev­ery re­la­tion­ship for sur­vival. Nwilo learnt a great deal of this virtue from his great-grand fa­ther, Dae Du­udee, who played a ma­jor role in the novel.

Dae Du­udee is por­trayed as a wise and witty man, very tra­di­tional to the core. He was a fan of good food. Ac­cord­ing to the au­thor: “my great­grand fa­ther was a spe­cial character. His spot was in food... He said you should com­pli­ment a woman in pub­lic when she has done awe­somely well in the kitchen or wher­ever but never the re­verse when some­thing goes wrong. The man was as in­tel­li­gent as his ol­fac­tion.”

In­ti­macy, which has al­ways been a con­tentious mat­ter in re­la­tion­ship, was also dis­cussed in the book, with the ti­tle, “Sex is Ex­pen­sive”. I be­lieve a lady and a gen­tle­man can en­joy more than sex in a re­la­tion­ship, against popular af­fir­ma­tion in the world that sex is proof of love. Get as much safe sex be­fore you get into a re­la­tion­ship if you can. When you are in, you are a sane man and you are not ex­pected to fal­ter, Nwilo said.

Nwilo ad­vises ev­ery cou­ple to com­mu­ni­cate and ex­press their deep­est feel­ings to each other, as com­mu­ni­ca­tion is the key to ev­ery suc­cess­ful re­la­tion­ship. So call your girl­friend as of­ten as you can, send her text mes­sages, elim­i­nate ev­ery threats. Make your girl­friend the num­ber one woman in your life. En­dure so many things for peace to reign. When her favourite foot­ball club loses a match con­sole her, this way she knows you are in­ter­ested in the af­fairs of her life.

The au­thor also em­pha­sises on hy­giene. Be neat. Al­ways shower and smell good. Make sure all your body hairs are trimmed in­clud­ing nose and ear hair if you have them. It does not cost much to own a de­odor­ant and a body cream. A woman judges you by your style, how you are groomed and how well you take care of your body. A woman wants a clean, healthy, stylish man not a slob. The way you take care of your­self tells her a lot about how well you will take care of her. Also spend on your woman. Let her look good for you, this way cheat­ing will be avoided.

All in all, Nwilo writes in a very hi­lar­i­ous and satir­i­cal man­ner poised with ro­man­tic com­edy. His dic­tions are rather too di­rect. Hence, the book is ba­si­cally for adults, since there are ob­scene words in it. But any­one who is ma­ture enough to with­stand the truth can read it. One may call him a fem­i­nist.

Hap­pi­ness is a spice of life, peo­ple de­serve to be happy. Your con­tri­bu­tion to hu­man­ity should be geared to­wards mak­ing peo­ple happy, al­le­vi­at­ing their many wor­ries that seem to be ev­ery­where. Lis­ten more care­fully, and ask ques­tions. Do not keep un­due se­crets from each other and stay su­per happy all your days, he tells the read­ers.

Nwilo

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