Tuesday, 14 March 2017 03:45

Yẹ̀yẹ́ Man: Portrait of a Passive-Aggressive

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After all is said and done, more is said than done - Aesop.

It all started with this piece of social media flotsam – A young lady had her dad’s picture as a screensaver on her cell phone.  One of her friends saw it and asked, “So you too know this yẹ̀yẹ́ man?”

Thanks to Nollywood, the term, “yẹ̀yẹ́ man” has entered pan-African lexicon.  It describes a shyster, ne’er do well, a layabout, a consumate liar.  A major characteristic of such a person is that they talk a good game but deliver zilch.  Rather, they build castles in the air.  For example, a yẹ̀yẹ́ man one who has been “about to graduate” for twelve years!

He’s a business man, a lawyer, an architect, a neurosurgeon, and a part-time astronaut.  Yẹ̀yẹ́ man is most adept at weaving a world of words.  With his mouth, he builds empires and wins wars.  His saliva alone establishes conglomerates yielding billions.  From his sofa, he commands the universe; all humans hold a collective breathe awaiting his pronouncements.  He is king of his (sand)castle.

With his sweet tongue, he woos even the most astute of women.  He talks of his plans and dreams.  Who could resist such a visionary?  But wait a while, and she soon discovers he’s the master of sweet nothings, beautiful zeros, and empty kisses.  At first, he turns a girl’s head, but soon enough, her stomach.

Yẹ̀yẹ́ man asks you to marry him by saying, “You know, marriage elevates a woman’s status.  It beautifies her life.”  When you go, “Hmm?” he continues, “A woman who weds is very fortunate indeed because a good man is hard to find.”

A consultant par excellence, yẹ̀yẹ́ man tells you how to start or do everything.  He walks into your shop to instruct you on the arrangement of shelves, goods to sell, vendors to buy from, customers to cultivate, and most especially, employees to hire or keep.  Never having done any real work himself, yẹ̀yẹ́ man was born an expert so listen to him.

You plan to have children together and after 10 years of waiting, you get restless.  You say, “let us check our fertility, now?”  Yẹ̀yẹ́ man agrees but never takes action.  In fact, he loses one of his occasional jobs about the same time you need money for fertility treatments.

The rental in which you’ve raised your children is a testament to ‘honey-didn’t do nada.’  Scrape money to buy land and yẹ̀yẹ́ man informs you that it is a dangerous place to build a house.  Travel to visit friends, and yẹ̀yẹ́ man intimates that they gave you the evil eye and must be avoided at all cost. 

After spending 25 years marking time, you tire of yẹ̀yẹ́ man and suggest it might be better to part ways.  He tells you, “Yes, now, I’ve been wanting to divorce you for a long time.  Marrying you has derailed all the plans I had for my life!” So, he storms out of the master bedroom to colonize the basement.

(Photo credit: http://www.wivestownhallconnection.com/2016/08/on-wedding-day-proper-bride-discovers.html)

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Abi Adegboye Ph.D

Abi Adegboye began writing as a young girl growing in western Nigeria.  In a culture that reveres boys, she was born the second of three girls.  Certain she had to be her family's 'boy,' she climbed trees to harvest fruit, dressed chickens for dinner, caught mice, and whatever else required male-handling.  She also loved to read, write, and draw.  Her initial efforts yielded publications in local newspapers and newsletters.  However, she was advised to get a day job which turned out to be as a professor of political science.  This opened to her, a different avenue for publication in her areas of research including African women and development, women migrants, and the impact of public policy on women’s political economy.

On her 40th birthday, she rekindled her creative writing with the publication of Butterfly, a picture book and Reflections on Nigerian Christianity, a social commentary.  Since then, she’s co-authored Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life (2010), a cultural anthology and published Wanna B Prez? 10 Life Strategies from President Barack Obama’s Journey to the White House (2012), a YA motivational YA book, and Renike comes to America (2016), a novella.  

Abi writes multicultural fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults.  She shares her writing through speaking engagements, performances, storytelling, and classroom visits. 

For more information about Ms. Adegboye’s publications, or to connect with her, visit her

Website at www.abiadegboye.com

Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/abiadegboyeauthor

Blog at http://www.abiadegboye.com/blog

And Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/abiadegboye



Website: www.afrileads.com