Read 29 Single And Nigerian By NaijaSingleGirl – From the book 29 Single And Nigerian, 29-year-old Edikan has lived her whole life in abject poverty. When she departs her hometown in Ikot Ansa for Lagos, her expectations are high.
29 Single And Nigerian
A roof over head, a high paying job and a man she can finally call her own tops her priority. Months after, she is forced to grapple with the reality that the city of her dreams is not all that. With constant pressure from her family, the stigma associated with being unmarried and dark memories haunting from her past; days become nights and nights become torture.
29, Single & Nigerian is an emotional gripping, mesmerising and humorous tale of survival you won’t forget in a hurry
Edikan is easily the most ridiculous human being I have ever met; She is naïve, materialistic, incredibly thirsty and bordering on delusional. This lady has nothing going for her and is completely unprepared for ‘Adulting’. You would think the reverse would be the case, considering her background, but it turns out growing up in poverty doesn’t necessarily make you realistic. I’ll give her points for going after what she wants though, even if she doesn’t necessarily think things through.
There are some real pressures on her though, I can’t say I sympathize because I tend to block out unpleasant things but Edikan is highly sensitive. She has internalized every expectation her family has placed on her, and the pressures on her are not a joking matter. Her family literally expects her to be their messiah, but one they can control of course. So, it’s not surprising that it doesn’t take long for her to lose sight of her purpose in life, if she ever had one, and start engaging in pretty risky behavior just to find ‘Mr. Right’.
I really enjoyed this book, not surprising, if you are familiar with NSG’s blog. It is absolutely hilarious; but it’s not all fun and games and in the midst of the humor, she touches on some pretty serious issues. Like the experiences of unemployed graduates in this current clime, with unscrupulous people looking to swindle you at every point (Of course, Edikan falls for the biggest scam of all: CV Rewriting), Everybody’s obsession with marriage (and a woman’s womb) in this country, and the patriarchal system that dictates that a woman is nothing if she doesn’t have a man in tow.
What really struck me is how this system puts women at the mercy of men who are ready to take advantage of these poor creatures. There is no balance in the expectations for men and women when it comes to marriage, which is ridiculous since women can’t marry themselves (at least, not in Nigeria). So there is this immense pressure on women to marry and start breeding, while the men they are supposed to marry are praised for having 5 girlfriends… I refuse to participate in this madness. Thank you very much.
Excerpt – 29 Single And Nigerian
The days dragged until Friday. At 1 p.m. that day, I stood in front of the mirror, adding finishing touches to my makeup. The previous night, Bibi had helped me carve my eyebrows, my first eyebrow shaping since I got to Lagos. I was so engrossed in job hunting and wallowing in self-pity that I lost track of how to look good.
Under Bibi’s tireless and quite frankly, intrusive instructions, I was buffed all over. I was uncomfortable in the black striped gown and stilettos but she assured me that men expected nothing less these days. What else would he expect? My new stilettos had cost me six thousand naira but it was an investment I was pleased with. After what Nkechi said to me, I wanted nothing to do with my OK shoes anymore. I took a final look at the mirror, happy to look formal and casual at the same time. Earlier in the day, George had called to instruct me not to take one of those commercial buses. His instructions were clear, ‘My driver is away till 5 p.m. so there will be no one to pick you from CMS or wherever you stop. Please take a cab so it can bring you directly to the office.’ I grabbed my handbag and walked out of the house.
The sun was scorching and I hoped I wouldn’t have to stand too long. When a BMW stopped and offered me a lift to where I was heading, I didn’t hesitate to get in. Gospel music was blaring from the car stereo. This one should be a choirmaster or an assistant pastor, I thought to myself when I saw the big Bible and religious pamphlets at the backseat. Luckily for me, he was heading to Victoria Island. (29 Single And Nigerian)
‘What a coincidence!’ I said excitedly. I just saved myself three thousand bucks for a cab.
The man who gave me a lift introduced himself as Ajayi. After I told him my name, he asked no more questions as we plied the expressway quietly. Whenever another road user overtook us in a disorderly manner, he turned to me and said, ‘Just look at that bastard! Look at that bloody idiot! Why is he driving like a motherfucker?’ I grinned and concluded this one was just a gangster who loved big Bibles and gospel music.
I called George when we got to the Island. I was still in Ajayi’s car and traffic was slow.
‘Where on the Island are you?’ George said.
‘I don’t know. Please just tell me how to get to your office.’
‘You know my office is in Lekki right? Give the phone to your cab guy.’
Uh oh! Ajayi kept a straight face, oblivious to my conversation. I don’t think that’s a good idea, George.
‘Tell me what you want to say and I’ll pass the message. There are road traffic officials everywhere and I doubt if that sort of conversation is best.’ I passed the message subliminally, hoping Ajayi was more engrossed with how to manoeuvre through the traffic than what I was saying to my caller.
‘Okay. If your cab can’t locate BLG, just make sure he gets to Admiralty Way at Lekki Phase 1 and I will send one of my less busy staff to fetch you from there.’ (29 Single And Nigerian)
Fetch me? His choice of words didn’t go well with me. I felt like a heavy burden.
‘Okay,’ I said, and pressed the red button.
‘Thank you very much,’ I said to Ajayi.
‘You’re welcome. I wasn’t expecting this sort of traffic. It is these politicians and their bloody campaigns that have refused to hold off until 2015. The sad part is that it is on both lanes. Good thing we are on the Island already.’
‘Where are you going?’ I asked.
‘I want to pick something from Ajibola Street, from there I will get to Ajah.’
‘I don’t know Ajibola Street though I have heard of Ajah.’
‘Where are you stopping?’
‘BLG Company, BLG company, BLG Company,’ he murmured repeatedly, tapping the steering. The traffic was moving slowly.
‘You know it?’ I propped up in my seat. (29 Single And Nigerian)
‘I think so. I can drop you there because of your shoes. You ladies are something else,’ He laughed.
‘Thank you,’ I said, flashing a wide smile.
BLG was a huge six storey building off Admiralty Way, Lekki 1. It was the same route I passed when I was delivering modems but I never noticed it as my eyes were glued to my phone then. Ajayi dropped me and zoomed off, without even getting my number. I was impressed that there were still good men out there that did favours without asking for anything in return, not even a BBM pin. Maybe Bibi’s lipstick had a magic potion that made this possible; the brand was called Indulge. Overall, I felt super confident as I walked into BLG. If I could get a total stranger to give me a ride from Ikotun to Lekki at no cost, then George is a small problem, I thought. (29 Single And Nigerian)
It was a quarter past four when I walked into the enormous – and frankly intimidating – white sandstone lobby. Eunice was seated behind the receptionist desk looking immaculate in a white long-sleeved shirt. Her hair was packed into a ponytail and I was convinced a professional makeup artist had carved her perfect brows. She frowned slightly when she saw me.
‘Good evening,’ I said.
‘Miss Edikan right?’ she asked coldly.
Who else? Please spare me the attitude. I hoped my facial expression communicated my thoughts.
”OF COURSE!’ I said arrogantly.
She passed me a logbook and a touch device for me to stamp my thumb.
‘Come with me,’ she instructed as she got up. Once again, her skirt was too short for my liking, too short to be worn around my George. Hoe! I cursed silently.
Even with my stilettoes, she still towered above me considerably as I trailed behind her. We entered an elevator and she hit the fourth floor button. There was an awkward silence between us as the elevator ascended. The door slid open and we walked into another large lobby. She stopped by the door and instructed me to go in. (29 Single And Nigerian)
‘This is George’s office?’ I asked.
‘Yes.’ She walked away and left me standing by the door. I didn’t know if I was to turn the door knob or press what looked like a bell. I closed my eyes and knocked hard.
‘It’s open,’ George said from inside. The room was quiet except for the staccato clicks of my heels on the shiny floor. He was seated in an armchair in front of a glass desk, his eyes fixed on his computer. My eyes quickly took in the room. Everything was exquisite in his office. There was a large TV screen on mute. The walls were white, decorated with expensive-looking artefacts, and several plaques adorned the walls. Three chairs were in front of him and I pulled out one to sit. His white long-sleeved shirt made me wonder if the company had a dress code.
‘Good evening,’ I said.
‘How was your trip here?’ he asked. He still didn’t look up.
‘The timing explains it all, my apologies. I should have left the house earlier.’
‘That’s not your fault. I’m actually surprised they hold political rallies in this part of Lagos.’
I was confused. ‘How did you know from here?’
‘One minute,’ he said, with his eyes still on the screen. He was typing ferociously. I sat quietly in my seat as he kept working on his computer, using that time to continue scanning the office.