Ajua hears the door bell and lets in three of her classmates – Angie, Bambam and Esosa. It is the 1982 – 1987 class set meeting and Ajua is hosting. Angie is the first to flounce into the living room but Bambam, immediately heads for the dinner table which is well laid out with delicious goodies. She opens dish after dish and exclaims…”Wow Ajua, what a spread and it sure looks good and smells good. I can’t wait for the meeting to be over to tantalise my palate with this cassava fufu and banga soup. Are those periwinkles I see and gosh this jollof rice looks really rich and different.” She continues to appraise each of the dishes until Esosa quips “Is this the Nigerian or Ghanaian jollof? I guess today will be the decider on which is tastier”. After picking their preferred drinks the four of them settle to await the arrival of other members of the set for the meeting.
Angie speaks for the first time – “Ajua girl, you are really prepared for us o. Your caterer must be good – with so much variety and on time too”.
Ajua replies – “The boys will be thrilled to hear these compliments o. My three boys took over the kitchen and cooked up a storm. I only flew in from my workshop yesterday night and trust me, I was too tired to do much, except arrange for dessert. They had earlier agreed the menu with me during the week, and kept true to their promise”.
Bambam quickly cuts in – “Ajua, tell me you are kidding. How do you mean your boys? I can’t believe boys can do this…even the fufu”?
Ajua continues – “What do you do in my circumstances? I have three boys and no girl child. With time it became increasingly difficult to get good house-helps. Also, Misan (my husband) was not comfortable with having female maids as the boys reached puberty and I didn’t want a male help hanging around the house. I had to train the boys to be self sufficient and domesticated. After-all…I can’t kill myself. I also feel it prepares them for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and beyond”.
Esosa adds – “Yes o. No girlfriends can bluff them”.
Ajua resumes – “Interestingly, I see it as an asset for their potential wives. I expect them to give necessary support and assistance to their wives as conditions demand”.
Angela chips in – “You have a point there. I never really saw it that way you know. Dudu , my only girl of the three children constantly complains that I leave all the household chores to her while the boys can hardly keep their rooms neat. It’s always Dudu this or Dudu that”.
Bambam takes a deep breath and says “Ajua…thanks for the insight. My children are still quite young so I will take a cue from you in raising my only son”.
Esosa gushes – “Today, the ladies seem to be faring better in their careers and in the workplace. They seem better able to multitask without dropping the ball. Could it be that we have trained the girls to fit so much into their day that they learn early how to organise themselves and juggle their tasks efficiently to achieve the desired results. This translates into commendable performance at work as they are better organised and prepared to think on their feet without balking in the face of unexpected challenges”.
Bambam ends the discussion just as three other classmates come through the door: “I really think this should make for a good after dinner discussion for the house. Maybe we should raise both sexes with similar values after-all we say “What a man can do a woman can do also” and the women are proving it. Why not vice versa”?
If you were at the set meeting after dinner discussion, what would be your view? Please don’t hesitate to write your comment below or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.