Sometime in 2016, my literary agent, Chidimma and I were walking through an Avenue in New Bodija estate, Ibadan, Nigeria. We headed to the house of a famous media influencer in the city who could help promote the poetry collection I wrote at that time.
The avenue happened to be dominated by Germans and a bit of British-Americans. The environment was so attractive, calm and serene to the point that you’d hear the sound of an office pin if it drops. “Your poetry is going to paint the town! Just watch a powerful superwoman handle it,” Chidimma said with a brim of confidence. Chidimma—a very bright, beautiful young lady whose natural display of bravado often gives her an obvious edge over whosoever she encounters. She’s a dogged arguer who has referred herself as a ‘feminist’ in most of her arguments about feminism. Her feminism speaks more of gender equity than equality.
As we approached our destination, we sighted a white couple who were engaging in a physical fight. Normally, based on physicality, it should be the man dominating the fight but in this case, it was the other way round. We tried to let go of our eyes from this sight-entertaining scene but the rate at which the lady was brutally battering the young man was quite unbearable.
In succession, resounding slaps were landing on his cheeks. “Stupid! How many times will I tell you to stop talking to girls in my presence?” she kept asking with so much heavy breathe aggression.
As feminist as Chidimma was, she couldn’t take the cruel act of violence, “I am going to stop her right away!” she told me, and thereafter, within two blinks of an eye, she picked a flash race to the fight scene. “Come on lady! Stop! This is very wrong,” Chidimma said while she tried obstructing the lady’s consuming hand pounce on the young man, accidentally, the coming slap landed on Chidimma’s left cheek. At first, she took it as part of the pain in settling a fight until several slaps started raining heavily on her. Chidimma out of quick awakened anger retaliated immediately as she returned jaw-breaking jabs in abundance.
At first sight, a total stranger would think that it was a racial fight, meanwhile Chidimma had already redesigned her face with several punches. “Leave her alone, stop this madness!” the weakened white guy forcefully screamed at Chidimma. “Stop hitting her! It isn’t your business, I love the pain, I love her,” he kept screaming. I came to a state of confusion.
Chidimma after the alarming screams stopped and stared at him. “Like seriously, you love the way it hurts?”
“Yes lady, I do, leave us alone!” he screamed instantaneously.
“Do you know what mister, take her home and let her beat you properly and accordingly,” Chidimma said and chuckled. “I’m dearly sorry for interfering in your love affair, kindly forgive my ignorance, keep beating him, and keep on loving her,” Chidimma said as her face wore a veil of regret. “Ayomide! Biko let’s leave this mad oyinbo lovers alone, this avenue is so insane.”
My emotion was full of confusion; I couldn’t comprehend the high level of lunacy, perhaps an unfathomable strong affection all in the name of true love. In the meantime, some white people witnessed the couple’s fight but they were less concerned, all they could do was stare slightly and pass by.
But why! A rhetorical question I couldn’t find an answer to. “But why must true love pass through torture? But why is sweet love a sweet pain? But why do feelings come with so much loop holes that may not be filled? And why is relationship a miserable mission to accomplish? But why! Answers have failed the question, perhaps I should stop questioning the question…
Biko: this means please in Igbo language.
Oyinbo: an indigenous dialect of referring to a White person or White people.