Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Akiaekeme: the village Gossiper.

As I was driving last month, I remembered Akiaekeme, a divorced spinster who even had fewer men talking to her about marriage. She had news about everyone’s marriage, everyone’s child, everyone’s husband, everyone’s job and everyone’s life. She knew whose husband was beating who, who was sleeping with who or whose child had dropped out of school. Perhaps she was not happy that others were not divorced like her or were going to get married and graduate from the Princesses of Our Fathers (a spinsters’ club) she promoted with every pint of her blood. When she got a victim, she took her to the gossip laboratory and by the time the victim came out, hell would be a comfort zone or a familiar territory.
I don’t know if it was a Thursday or a Friday, but I know that it was towards the end of the week that Adesuwa (Benin; meaning the crown of beauty) visited her, and she told her that her Husband was sleeping with her cousin.  “Did I not say it/” Akiaekeme exclaimed. “These men are never serious!” She buttressed her point with her Ido accent because both of them were from Benin, although they lived in Douala.  
It is unknown if Adesuwa was aware of the Iago syndrome in Shakespeare Othello. If you have not read it, please do so because some of your problems may be ensuing from the ignorance thereof. The Iago syndrome is a desire to heap schadenfreude on the person whom you think has escheated you from your lebensfreude. It is also the spirit of excessive obsession with the sex lives of others. Akiaekeme did not want Adesuwa (her best friend or so it seemed) or any other young girl in the quarter to marry. As a result, she fabricated stories to destroy their relationships with the pretext that she was protecting them from hurt. She pretended to build a fence around them to prevent sorrow from coming in, but she left a chink through which she surreptitiously smuggled sorrow in.  Adesuwa failed to see her covert war, although she was aware of her fiends’ overt wars. 
Othello like Adesuwa was not aware of the Iago syndrome, so he thought that Iago was protecting him. Unfortunately, it was Iago who poisoned his mind because he was mad that Othello, his general had bypassed him to nominate Michael Cassio as his lieutenant and also because he thought Othello was sleeping with his wife, Emilia. Akiaekeme exploited dexterously Adesuwa’s naivety just like Iago did with Othello. She will say, “What I just saw; my mouth is too holy to speak.” Adesuwa is held captive as she adjures her for the revelations. Akiaekeme will pretend that she doesn’t want to hurt her. She will say, “Swear that you will not be hurt.”  Without waiting for her to finish, Adesuwa will retort, “Are you doubting my womanhood? I swear my mami and even my dead father. I swear my grandparents in the grave.” Then she extended her little finger to add impetus.
Akiaekeme (is a Benin name that means “go on and wait for me”) began narrating but suddenly stopped en media res. Then she resumed speaking and stopped again mid-way.  She said “Adesuwa, don’t worry, you will see it yourself. I don’t want to be the want who destroyed your marriage.”  Adesuwa became more agitated and curious. Akiaekeme finally told her a concocted canard which could be sustained from the suspicion she had built. “It is all over the town that your husband, Tom is sleeping with Vera, your cousin. Yes, your Vera of all people.” Now Adesuwa wants to explode. That is the Iago syndrome I told you before. Beware!
Thenceforth, Adesuwa is her slave. She will control and manipulate her as she wants.
I told Adesuwa that even if she caught them flagrantly, she must know one thing; love conquers all. She must weigh the goodness from her husband and the evil he just committed and then decide which one weighs more. Do not tell me your relationship was hinged on a one time error.  Jealous people are quick to judge and condemn even when the body of evidence is all lies.
If infidelity actually occurred, one must learn to forgive and not bring it back when they are angry. The righteous easily forgive; the sinners easily condemn and judge. Jesus taught us that lesson when they brought to him in an open show a woman caught in adultery. He asked them for the sinless people to lapidate her first. From her greatest accusers to the least, they all absconded.  It is not like you do not have alternatives; you can either divorce or stay, but you should forgive.
I told Adesuwa that the third phase was to find out why her husband looked for sex outside.  Is it that he did not have enough sex at home or just that she made the place like a war zone that even with the sex, he did not feel love, accepted and valued? Or perhaps she was acting like a porcupine; piercing him with her goads that he could not even come around her for the sex. Was it that he had lost interest in her physical beauty because he married her as a tadpole, but she became like a sow. Therefore, Adesuwa, you must remember where you have fallen. Notwithstanding, I am aware that some men will still be unfaithful, no matter what because some allow their sinful nature to overrun them. Nevertheless, at the same time, we know that love conquers all.
Who do you think Adesuwa listened to? She listened to Akiaekeme the village gossiper! Within a short time, she had made Adesuwa a spinster just as she was. Adesuwa lost her home for listening to all those single women like Akiaekeme who deceived her to ruin her marriage because they wanted single company. They appeared happy without but within they were like gall.  Ade, (as she was popularly known) should have remembered the Iago Syndrome. Even if you do not like someone 100%, if you put 100% to like them, you too will soon be inseparable. I only hope Adesuwa’s case has taught us about the Iago Syndrome.
Until then, beware of Iago Syndrome!

St Arrey of Ntenako.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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